The Creativity Corner: Winter 2018

Happy Spring, everyone! Who else is looking forward to the weather getting warmer, the flowers to start blooming, and the world to soon turn green and lush and vibrant again? šŸ˜€

OK, maybe I was being overexuberant. But spring is my favorite season, after all, and after a super-productive winter on the creative front, Iā€™m looking forward to carrying that momentum into the next season. Plus, I have exciting news to share on two of my writing projects! (No, the current manuscript isnā€™t done yet, but itā€™s getting there. *wink*) So, without further ado, letā€™s dive into this edition of the Creativity Corner.

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Twelve Books in My TBR Pile that I’ve Been Meaning to Read for a While

How about a fun post today? As much as Iā€™m grateful for writing last weekā€™s tribute to the late Ursula K. Le Guin, I feel the need to do something lighter this week. Oddly enough, I know which topic to choose. Three of my book-blogger friends (Mogsy @ Bibliosanctum, Nandini @ Unputdownable Books, and Zezee @ Zezee With Books) recently posted Top Ten Tuesday posts featuring ten books that have been in their TBR piles for a while. I enjoyed reading their lists so much that I decided to do my own ā€“ and go figure, I came up with twelve books instead. šŸ˜‰

So, in alphabetical order, here are the twelve books that have been waiting longest for me to read them. Letā€™s start withā€¦

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Thank You, Ursula K. Le Guin (1929 – 2018)

In early January, I was at a local bookstore when I came across Ursula K. Le Guin’s most recent book,Ā No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters. This collection shows Le Guin, who excelled at writing a wide range of literature (fantasy, science fiction, children’s stories, essays, poetry), exploring yet another form of writing: blogging. Yes, No Time to SpareĀ isĀ a collection of blog posts, in which Le Guin shares her thoughts on family, the publishing industry, society and the world at large – and, perhaps most notably, aging. And I knew, just from holding the small blue hardcover and perusing the pages within, that it would be different from any UKLG book I’d read before.

Yet there was no question in my mind that I’d buy it. Because, after all, it’s Ursula K. Le Guin, my favorite writer ever. I’ve loved everything I’ve read from her in the past, and the thought of bringingĀ No Time to SpareĀ home was like opening my inner circle to a new friend whom I felt I’d known forever.

How fitting that this book, where Le Guin was contemplating the final frontier of life, was the last one she published, and the last one I bought by her, before she passed away.

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Sara’s Favorite Reads of 2017 (Plus, Another Double Giveaway!)

Isn’t it fun to look back on the books you’ve read in the past year? I always enjoy doing this, though I also prefer to wait until January to share my lists of favorites. Somehow the books I read around Christmas and New Year’s have a habit of shaking up those lists – and that certainly was the case again!

Out of the 56 fiction books I read in 2017, I’ve narrowed my favorites down to a top 10 of brand new books and a top 10 of previously published books. Plus, like with my Favorite Reads of 2016 post, I’ve added something fun for readers at the end of this post. šŸ˜‰ So let’s dive in!

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Guest Post by S.J. Higbee: Five Books That Inspired Her Debut Novel “Running Out of Space”

Today I’m thrilled to be taking part in a blog tour for one of my writer friends, S.J. Higbee! She recently self-published her debut novel RUNNING OUT OF SPACE, the first installment of the Sunblinded Trilogy. I was one of S.J.’s beta-readers for this novel a couple years ago, and I remember being swept away by her futuristic universe of spaceships, interplanetary travel, and a young woman who can’t seem to keep herself out of trouble. Now she’s here to share five novels that inspired RUNNING OUT OF SPACE – and I think you’ll be surprised at the variety of her picks.Ā 

Also, thanks to Lolaā€™s Blog Tours for letting me be part of S.J.’s blog tour, which runs until October 31st. Check out the complete scheduleĀ here.

Thank you so much, Sara, for inviting me to give my Top Five List of books that have influenced my writing and probably contributed towards the themes and ideas in Running Out of Space. I say “probably” because I am very much someone who gets an idea and then goes for it, so it is only during the layers of editing and rewriting that I get a chance to reflect on the books that have affected my storylines and themes.

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Three Books for a Desert Island (A Blog Hop)

How’s this for a blog hop challenge? Fellow blogger and writer friend Joanna Maciejewska tagged me on theĀ Three Books for a Desert Island Blog Hop,Ā which she created over the summer. The idea is to choose three books in your collection that you’d bring with you if you had to travel to a deserted island. It’s a neat idea, and a tough one, too – it took me a couple months to figure out which books I’d bring with me! But now I’m ready to share my choices. šŸ™‚

First, let’s go over…

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The 2017 Blogoversary, Part 1: Ten Unique Reads I Highly Recommend + Giveaway

This Sunday, July 9th marks my eighth blogoversary! And based on the results of this recent poll, this year’s celebration is going to be… giveaways! (Many thanks to everyone who voted, btw!) This is perfect, because blogoversaries aren’t just a time of virtual cake, confetti, and fireworks. They’re also a great opportunity to thank readers for their friendship and support, no matter how long they’ve been following you. So, consider this week’s and next week’s posts my gift to you guys. (*bows in gratitude*)

For this first giveaway, I wanted to do something bookish, but something different from the usual “favorite reads or authors of all time” theme. Then I read these recent Top 10 Tuesday posts by Sarah J. Higbee and The Bibliosanctum, and a lightbulb turned on. So, here are Ten Unique Reads I Highly Recommend, along with links to my reviewsĀ at Goodreads. At the end you’ll find a Rafflecopter link and instructions for how the giveaway will work. Sounds like a plan, yes? šŸ˜€
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Sara’s Favorite Reads of 2016, Plus Two Times the Giveaway Fun!

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SinceĀ it’s still the first week of 2017, it’sĀ still a good time to look back on the year that was, right? šŸ˜‰ On Tuesday I shared my annual reflection on writing, personal life, the blog, and goals for the new year. Today, it’s time to share my list of favorite reads of 2016!

Last year I split my year-end list into two posts: brand new books, and previously published books. But this year, I decided to “condense” and put it all in a single post.Ā So, which books ended up asĀ my favorite reads of 2016? You’ll find a few hints if you look closely at the bannerĀ image. Otherwise, let’s head on in and see the full list – and maybe a chance for you to win one of the honored books!

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Field Trip: Writer’s Digest Conference 2016

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Now that all of the late-summerĀ busynessĀ has passed, I finally have some time to tell you about this year’s Writer’s Digest Conference! And what an amazing four days it was. In fact, I thinkĀ it topped the 2015 edition!

With this post, I’ll give a general overview of WDC 2016, includingĀ which sessions I enjoyed most and what I learned. Last year IĀ did a trio of posts for DIY MFA;Ā and while I would have liked to have covered the conferenceĀ for the siteĀ again this year, it wasn’t possible with my friend’s wedding 2 weeks later. The good thing is,Ā waiting to do this post has given me time to digest (no pun intended) everything I absorbed that weekend and feel grateful for continuing to investĀ in my writing career.
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Recent Reads: July 2016 (+ How I’m Doing With My 2016 Reading Plan)

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of the books I read. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and anyĀ other books that are in the pipeline. Feel freeĀ to share yourĀ bookish happenings in the Comments section!

Last monthĀ I took a good look at my reading plan for 2016, which I shared back in January. While I’m doing well in some categories, others might have to roll over into 2017. But that’s OK. I’m just pleased with how many booksĀ I’ve read soĀ far this year (36 in total). In fact, I’m on pace to read more books in 2016 than I did in 2015!

So, for this month’s Recent Reads, I’ll share my progress with this year’s reading plan. And of course, I’ve got book reviews! Let’s start with my pick for Read of the Month, which is…
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