Memo Pad – July Books

This month has been a pretty bad reading month to be honest. I still managed to read four books but at times it was a bit of a struggle. I think I’m still in a slump because of a book hangover but fingers crossed I’m getting over that. And ending the month reading Artemis was great because I really enjoyed it but more on that later…

Read: 4mp july2017

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First Draft Finished!

I interrupt my usually scheduled posts (… Who an I kidding?) to say I have officially finished writing my first ever first draft for the story I was writing!

WOOOOOOOOOOOO!

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I started out during NaNoWriMo in November (posts about it here and here) then wrote one chapter a month until now. Nine months after I started, it’s done… Well, first draft is written anyway!

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Cross Stitch Update

First off I want to say thanks for all of the advice I got on my last cross stitch update. I’ve given a few of the ideas a go since then but I have to say it hasn’t gone well.

I tried back stitching in brown like a couple of you suggested, then green as well and neither looked right to me. Finally I tried back stitching in one thread of black again and it looks the best out of the options I’ve tried but looking at it now (The whole of the left side has been backstitched, about a third of the piece)

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I honestly think it looks better without. So I’m going to leave it without any back stitching. The only thing I hate more than back stitching is unpicking back stitching so I have that to look forward to before I can finally take pictures of it in a frame.

Between the attempts of back stitching, to keep me sane, I have started another project. It’s another pin cushion. And this is how far I’ve gotten on it.

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It’ll be the Gryffindor version of my house pin cushions. I have to say I really enjoy making these, they’re simple and quick to stitch and actually making them 3d is very easy and enjoyable too.

I decided to wait until my Peter pan cross stitch is fully finished before starting my next big cross stitch project but I may start that for the next update. We’ll see how it goes.

This update is part of a stitchalong group that posts every third Sunday. We’re always open to new people joining and we all stitch whatever projects we choose rather than sticking to a set thing.

Here are the links of everyone taking part:

Avis / Claire / Gun / Carole / Kate / Lucyanne / Sue / Constanze / Debbie / Christina / Kathy / Margaret / Cindy / Helen / Steph / Linda / Catherine / Wendy / Mary Margaret and Timothy

Time differences mean some may post later than others but there’s loads of cool projects to check out.

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Mid Year Freakout Book Tag

Following on from the mid year theme of my last post I thought I’d do a bookish version. Normally I don’t really read enough books to take part in things like this after a full year but reading is going really well and, having 40 books to pick from already, I thought I’d give the mid year freak out book tag that’s been floating around my feed lately a go.

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  1. Best book you’ve read so far?

    1

I’m going to go for the All For The Game trilogy by Nora Sakavic (I realise that’s three books but shhhh!) it was amazing! Honourable mentions to: Starship’s Mage, We Were Liars, The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare and Crooked Kingdom, which were all five star reads for me.

 

  1. Best sequel of 2017 so far?

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I haven’t read that many sequels this year but I started the year by reading Crooked Kingdom and loved it. Not quite as much as Six  of Crows but it was still brilliant.

 

  1. New release you haven’t read yet but want to read?

    3

Six Wakes by Mur Laffety, Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts and Shadow Run by Adrianne Strickland and Micheal Miller, are 3 books that I was mega excited to read this year but none of them are available on kindle (at least in the UK) so I haven’t been able to read them. I’m mad!! I should email the publishers or something but I never get around to it. Also Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor which is available but its £9.99 for the ebook and I mean really? I’m not paying that much for an ebook considering most of the books I buy are on deal for less than £2. I stretch to £5 if I REALLY want to read it RIGHT THIS MINUTE. But not that high.

 

  1. Most anticipated release of the second half of 2017?

    4

The Wicker King by Kayla Ancrum, The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman, Winds of Winter (ASOIAF) by George R.R Martins (hey man, I’m eternally optimistic that this book will be released at some point…)

 

  1. Biggest disappointment?

    5

The Untimely Deaths of Alex Wayfare or Illuminae. This is a difficult one because I didn’t hate either of these (they were both 3 star for me) but I’d loved the previous Alex Wayfare book and Illuminae came with a massive amount of hype and just, neither lived up to my expectations.

 

  1. Biggest surprise?

    6

The Foxhole Court (All for the Game #1) or We Were Liars

I picked up both of these because they were on deal and I’d heard decent things about them and I was not expecting to love them as much as I did, (I’m only putting the first book in the All For The Game trilogy here because once I’d read the first it was NOT a surprise how much I loved the others) and hell if they didn’t give me the most ridiculous and long lasting of book hangovers.

 

  1. Favourite new author (debut or new to you)?

I don’t really follow authors, like, even if I really absolutely love a book I won’t go and check what other books that author had written. If I come across a book that sounds good and then realise that it’s by an author I’ve previously liked then I might be slightly more inclined to read it or rather boost it up the list a little but I never seek books by certain authors out.

 

  1. Newest fictional crush?

…i don’t…? I have loads of favourite characters that I just can’t get out of my head but not in this way.

 

  1. Newest favourite character?

Andrew Minyard from All For The Game, my little five foot ball of anger with a racket.

 

  1. Book that made you cry?

We Were Liars by E Lockhart. Just. Daymn. That book. I’m not someone who cries reading  (or watching) but this book physically hurt me.

 

  1. Book that made you happy?

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This is a bit of a weird question to me, any book that I enjoyed reading made me happy but I’m assuming it means more…. Story wise? And I don’t know, fantasy books aren’t normally necessarily…happy. I really enjoyed reading Sea by Sarah Driver which was a very magical children’s story and also the 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by MG Buehrlen was also quite feel good? In a weird way? I mean it wasn’t happy… But… I don’t know man.

 

  1. Favourite book to movie adaptation you’ve seen this year?

I really don’t watch that many movies. There’s loads that I’ve been like, oh I should watch that but….

Does Handmaid’s Tale count? That’s not a movie and I haven’t even finished watching it yet but that’s the closest I can come, which gives you an idea of just how little tv/films I watch.

 

  1. Favourite review you’ve written this year?

I really don’t think I’m very good at reviews (I’m trying, okay?) but I’d say maybe We Were Liars for the complete lack of coherent thoughts I had about the book (….it hurts!) or perhaps my slightly scathing review of Matilda (where the best thing I could say about it was that I liked the musical).

 

  1. Most beautiful book you bought or received so far this year?

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This Savage Song? I’m looking through my goodreads shelves looking at covers (because I don’t buy real books anymore) and I honestly am not coming up with many pretty ones. Sea? Crooked kingdom maybe?

 

  1. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

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All of the books I mentioned in questions 3 & 4. I’d also really like to read Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova and A Gathering of Shadows by VE Schwab. I  have both of these already but I’m a massive mood reader and I’m waiting till the right time because I want to love them.

 


 

I tried not to repeat the same books so many times but a lot of the questions line up. It was interesting to look back over them and it’ll be interesting to compare my answers at the end if the year too to see if my favourites survive and if I ever do manage to get around to reading those books I want to.

What about you? Do you read by author? I’ve seen a lot of people blogging about their favourite authors and am starting to feel like the odd one out for not having any! I’m not going to tag anyone directly but if you think this would be fun for you to do then I would love to read your answers.

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Mid Year Goals – How am I doing?

It’s July! Where is the year going? It seems like only a couple weeks ago that I made my new years goals for the year but here we are six months later. I thought it would be good time check in with them (no point making goals if you forget all about them).

 

Writing

Keep writing

I wanted to write two chapters a month. So far I’ve written two chapters every month apart from April where I wrote one. But that was planned because I went on holiday. This is going well, I was a little apprehensive at the start that doing two chapters a month would be too much but I’m managing well without too much anxiety about it.

Keep writing harry potter fan fic: So far – Check

I’m enjoying doing this even if no one is reading it haha. Finally getting it written down after so many years of it being in my head. I’m about half way through writing second year.

Finish my original prequel story: Not yet but I only have one chapter left so, very soon. It’s very exciting, I’m writing the last chapter at the moment. That’s 21 chapters since I started it in November. I can’t wait till I finish it but I’m also dreading having to read it haha.

Do a first edit: Need to finish it first!

 

Blogs and books

Keep blogging: Check. (Hi!)

Read at least 40 books/ maybe even 48:

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I’ve officially read 40 books already!

I have no idea how that happened, the most I’ve ever read in a year before is 46 so that looks like its going to be beaten. I said it would be really cool to read 52 books. One a week. Which is something I’ve never done before and it’s looking like a very good possibility right now.

 

Business:

Put more energy in

&

Have more listings

So this one is a little difficult as my cutting machine stopped cutting through much. (read: Big fat no) I still have my vinyl cards and cross stitches up. And I’ve gotten a new cutter for my birthday a few weeks ago so hopefully I can get back on track with this. Unfortunately it uses a different software and file type so I have to try to convert/redesign everything. It’ll take a while but I’m getting there and figuring it all out. I’m hoping once everything is ready then I will get this one back on track.

Try to make some small cross stitches as well as big pieces:

This is going well so far. I have two pin cushion up and am just finishing my large Peter pan quote and getting the pattern ready to sell. I’m hoping by the end of the year I’ll have the other two pin cushions and a large Christmas design up as well. Which would be double the designs I managed last year.

 

Craft:

Make mum a bag: Check! This went really well, even if I did rush it only a couple weeks before her birthday.

Make dad a scarf:…. Road bump. You can see my post about the difficulties here but I’ve started a new one. I’m about half way through it and liking how it’s turning out.

Make first quilt: I’ve started, I am currently 8 blocks in out of 24 so still a long way to go. I probably won’t be finished the blocks let alone joining it all together by the end of the year but it is happening.

 

Spanish:

Keep a Spanish diary every day:

On track! (okay so there was that one week in June where I was so ill I just couldn’t do it but other than that…) I’m also thinking about stopping at the end of July (once I’ve finished this notebook) because I’m not really learning much more now that I’ve done six months of what I do everyday (I do a lot of the same things!) I have learnt a lot though and I’m going to carry on doing something Spanish everyday. I think I’m going to do a workbook next that should take me a month or two if I do a page a day and then see what else after.

Find someone to check: Nope. Big fat no.

 


 

I think overall I’m doing really well. The cutter breaking wasn’t really my fault and I once I get my new one all figured out I’ll push ahead with that one. The quilt is unfortunate, I could get it done by the end of the year but I’d probably have to do nothing else which isn’t going to happy. We’ll just see how far I get with it anyway. I haven’t given up on any of my goals even if they are changing a little.

How about you? What goals did you set and how are you doing with them? Did you set yourself a reading challenge? What crafts are you up to this year? Can you believe we are halfway through the year already?

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The Happiness Tag

A couple of weeks ago I was nominated by Lois @LoisReadsBooks to do the happiness tag. I thought it was a lovely idea and it’s a really simple tag so here it is:

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List five things that make me happy:

1. Taking to family and friends.

This is a bit of an obvious one but I love having random conversations with a few close people whether that;s chatting to my parents in person or talking online with my closest friends.

2. Watching sports.

This is pretty much how I tell what day/month it is. I honestly think without sports giving me a schedule I’d have no idea. I love football, formula 1, tennis, Rugby… I’m sure I could like more but I don’t have time to watch anything else! Currently watching Wimbledon, tennis. It always feels like summer to me hearing tennis on the tv.

3. Crafting.

Obviously. Spending time creating things is a brilliant way to pass the time. Imagining what you want to make, and then spending ages making something, getting to see the progress and finally the finish. Every one feels like an accomplishment.

4. Reading.

I do too much of this, but I want to do even more. Escaping into a book is one of my favourite pastimes. Finding a new favourite that completely blows you away is brilliant.

5. Music.

I am always listening to music. Which brings me nicely to the second half of the tag:

 

List five songs that make you happy:

1. Happy by Pharrell Williams 

Obviously right? I couldn’t resist adding this one.

Favourite lyric: I should probably warn you, I’ll be just fine. No offence to you but don’t waste your time.

2. Cake by the Ocean by DNCE

Favourite Lyric: You’re moving so carefully, let’s start living dangerously

3. Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson

Favourite Lyric: I’m too hot, hot damn, make a dragon want to retire, man.

Both of those two are just so upbeat and I can’t help but want to get up and dance to them.

4. Biblical by Biffy Clyro.

Favourite Lyric: You gave me magical, I gave you wonderful, Let’s make this Biblical.

I’m always pretty late to things concerning music because I don’t listen to the radio or much tv but I recently came across this song and I love it.

5. Whatever it Takes by Imagine Dragons

Favourite Lyrics: Whatever it takes, ’cause I love the adrenaline in my veins.

This is off the new album which is actually quite good (if that sounds surprised to you then it’s because the last few months I’ve found most new albums I’ve listened to have been disappointing). I’m in love with this song and have been listening to it on repeat.

 

And I’m tagging five people just to keep in theme:

@ChelasColchasyMas

@TravelinRetrospect

@LostinaStory

@SparkleOn

@StoriesandSpoons

As always, don’t feel like you have to take part, just a bit of fun.

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