Yesterday I talked about finding your genre when it comes to writing.
One of the points I made was to practice with all genres; whether it’s reading different genres or trying to write in different genres.
I love a good reading challenge whether it’s Goodreads yearly Reading Challenge, a Bingo board, a deadline for a book review, or even just a book recommendation.
With that being said, I decided to make my own Bingo board. I have a few, but this one I made is plain and simple. It’s Genre Bingo.
If you heed my advice about reading in different genres, this will be a great way to keep track.
The bingo board includes 24 genres plus the lovely free space that everyone adores. It also has a reading list at the bottom so you can write down which books you read for which genre. I don’t know about you, but I like keeping track of the books I read for which square whenever I do a reading bingo. So I thought I would throw that in there.
It’s been a long time, but I have actually been keeping up with my reading! I usually don’t, so this is a pretty big accomplishment for myself.
I don’t know if any of you remember, but at the beginning of 2014 I found two Reading Bingo charts. I completely forgot about it for a while, but when I found the charts the other day I looked through my “Read” shelf on GoodReads and filled in a few of the boxes.
Three of the boxes you all ready know about… I read Coming Clean and The Hobbit, and I, Robot. I’m going to explain the other seven books I’ve read whether you’re interested or not. These are all the books I read on the general bingo card:
For the square “a book with more than 500 pages” I read A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I had to read this book for my Science Fiction & Fantasy class last semester. I know people rave about this series and the TV show, but…it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I was very glad I was able to get through it. I will admit that it was interesting and I liked it to some certain extent, but it wasn’t good enough for me to run to Barnes & Noble and buy the rest of the series.
I read Psych: A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Read by William Rabkin for the square “a funny book.” I’ve watched and re-watched the TV show and absolutely love it! When I saw there were books based off of the show, I had to give it a shot. I must say, the author did it justice. The books are just as good as the show and I could hear the characters’ voices in my head as I read. It was written exactly like the show. Plus, it made for a good laugh.
For the square “a book published this year” I read The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel. I was at Barnes & Noble one day and while waiting for my parents, I picked up the book and started reading it. I got through the first 50 pages and then decided I might as well buy it. The reviews rave about how funny the book is, but I didn’t find too many “hilarious” moments. Overall, it was a good book and a quick read.
I downloaded A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton onto my Kindle for the square “a book with a mystery.” This is the first book of an “alphabet series.” The second book is called B is for Burglar and so on. I have yet to read the next book, even though I have it downloaded on my Kindle all ready. I read it because I started writing my own mystery series (Detective Florence) and wanted to read a bit in that genre. I look forward to finishing the series as the first book was very good. However, while the ending was satisfying, it was a bit abrupt which caused me to be a bit disappointed. I hope the other books don’t end like that.
For the young adult bingo card, I read If I Stay by Gayle Forman for the square “a book with music.” It was an interesting story line and the book is short, so it should have been a quick read. Yet, it took me a while to get into it. It made me cry, so there’s a plus for the book. As weird as it sounds, I love it when a good makes me cry–it shows the author did their job and I feel for the characters. I look forward to reading the sequel, but at the same time, I’m in no rush to go out and buy it anytime soon.
Finally, I began reading the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I read The Socerer’s Stone for the square “the first book in a series,” The Chamber of Secrets for “a book that became a movie,” and just yesterday I finished reading Prisoner of Azkaban for “a book with magic.” Starting in September I’m taking a class called Selected Authors: Tolkien & Rowling. I’m going to have to read books one, three, and seven of the Harry Potter series and since I’ve never read the books before I didn’t want to read them out of order, so I’m reading the entire series now. I don’t think I have to say much more to say on the matter… I’ve always loved Harry Potter and I know most of the rest of the world does, too.
And that’s that! I’m going to continue working through through the young adult bingo card as I’m currently reading through the whole Harry Potter series. I’m hoping I can finish the series in the next month. It took me about two weeks to get through the first three books, so here’s to hoping!
I finished another square for the Reading Bingo! I actually finished it over a week ago, but completely forgot about it until now.
I read I, Robot by Isaac Asimov for the square that says: “A book that became a movie.” I had to read this book for my science fiction & fantasy class this semester. Honestly, it’s not a book that I would pick off the shelf and read because I wanted to. I have seen the movie plenty of times and I like the movie, but I never thought about writing the book. Maybe it’s because Will Smith isn’t in the book…
Anyway, it was nothing like the movie. Or, the movie is nothing like the book, I should say. Then I realized this is a series, but I don’t think I’m going to continue reading it. The book was good, but it’s not something I would probably read again.
Right now I’m reading A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin for the Reading Bingo (and for school as well). You can keep track of my progress through my GoodReads profile if that’s what your heart desires.
On that note, I’ve been doing pretty well this month. I’ve been writing 1,000 words a day, but not on any novels. I’ve been doing prompts and such. I don’t want to start anything new with Camp NaNoWriMo coming up in April. I’ve also been editing at least one chapter a day on Hunter.
Yes, just one chapter. It’s takes me a long time to get through five pages let along a 20-page chapter…editing bites, but it will all be worth it in the end.
So I’m sure most of you remember the Reading Bingo I announced a little over a week ago. I discussed that even though I don’t read too much I feel very determined to do not one, but both bingo cards, which is 50 books. However, I will settle to complete only one card.
At the pace I’m going, I have to say that I am in pretty good shape. I’m starting with the purple bingo card (the orange one is geared toward more young adult novels whereas the purple is just general). It’s the beginning of February and I have already read two books for the bingo, which helps my GoodReads2014 Reading Challenge because I am now four books ahead of schedule for that.
The first square I filled out was “A book with non-human characters” in which I read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. I had to read this book for my science fiction and fantasy class. It took us two weeks to read it; we had to read chapters one through seven the first week and the rest of the novel the second week (which happens to be this week). I ended up finishing the entire novel last week. I did this because I wanted to attempt to have less homework this week, so I thought I would read bits and pieces each day. I ended up reading the rest of the novel in one or two sittings. It was really good; I don’t read fantasy all that much mostly because I have a hard time understanding it (hence why I read mostly middle grade fiction), but it just happened to be one of those “can’t put down” books.
Speaking of “can’t put down” books…the second square I filled out was “A book you heard about online” in which I read Coming Clean by Kimberly Rae Miller. This book was self-published through Amazon back in July 2013. I heard of it through an article on Yahoo and thought to myself, “This sounds like an interesting book.” It’s a memoir about growing up with both of her parents being hoarders. As interesting as it sounded, I never really read memoirs or non-fiction books. I thought about reading it, but in the back of my mind I knew I most likely never would read it.
Well, since there are very few books I hear about online (well, I do, but I just don’t pay attention), I didn’t know what to read for that square. Then Coming Clean popped into my head, I downloaded it onto my Kindle, and guess what? I read it in three days. According to my Kindle, I read 20% the first time, got up to 48% the second time, then I spent about three hours this morning reading the rest of the book. If it wasn’t too late last night and I wasn’t so tired, I probably would have stayed up half the night to read it. I couldn’t put it down. It is certainly a book I would recommend to anyone, and I did: to my mom and both of my sisters.
So I have 23 more books to read for the purple bingo card. For seven of those squares I know which books I’m going to read. One of them I started reading, but I’m reading it with Kris (we alternating reading the chapters out loud to each other–we’re weird), so it’s going to take us a while to get through it.
If any of you out there is doing the reading bingo, I would love to know what you’re reading and how far you are. If you think this is something you might want to do, then click here: This is the original website of the bingo cards, even though I found them on Pinterest.
I posted this picture from Pinterest because this is how I’ve been feeling lately. It’s gotten to the point when I’ve started asking myself, “Why am I doing this to myself?” again. You all know my answer as I have explained it once or twice before. As writers we’re not allowed to make excuses, but we make excuse after excuse anyway. Here’s my current excuse:
You know how I was writing 5,000 words a day? I was doing fantastic at that! Well, since school started I have been more preoccupied with that (as I should be) so it’s gotten to the point where I’ve said to myself, “It’s already 8pm, I’m not going to hit 5k…I’m just going to go watch Seinfeld.” …My sister and I have been on a Seinfeld kick lately.
Anyway, I decided that I’m going to shoot for 1,000 words a day while school is in session. During winter break, summer, Spring break, etc, I’ll go back to the 5,000 words a day. I’ll update it on my To Do List whenever I change the word count, even if it’s just for a week (like for Spring Break).
Now this bothers me because I assumed by taking three classes I’d have more time to write as opposed to taking five classes like I did last semester–not to mention I’m not working full-time anymore. But here’s the thing: I’m taking three classes and have 14 books for it. Mind blown, right? You have no idea how much reading I have been doing in the past two weeks since school started. I’m not saying this is a bad thing because it’s certainly helping me on GoodReads (I’m three books ahead of my 20-book 2014 Reading Challenge goal!) and I’m using a few of those books to fill up some squares on the Reading Bingo. So even though a few of the books are boring (no offense to anyone who likes Gertrude Stein and/or Ernest Hemingway), it helps. Plus it’s good for writers to read books they like and books they don’t like, right?
So today I pushed myself to get back into that daily writing routine. I wrote 1,259 words and I am happy with that. However, I will admit that I am looking forward to Spring Break in the middle of March so I can not be too exhausted out of my mind and will be able to write 5,000 words again even just for that week.
Look what I found! I found this Reading Bingo chart on Pinterest. I am a Pinterest addict like most people and I found this a while ago, but completely forgot to post it on here. You “play” it just like regular Bingo. You get five in a row and then…well, nothing, actually. I guess you can go out and buy yourself something nice as a reward.
On GoodReads there is a Reading Challenge every year. For 2013 I set the bar for 20 books. I failed, but we all knew that because I don’t read too much. I try, but…whatever. So, for 2014 I set the bar for 20 again. Then I found this Reading Bingo thing and I decided that instead of trying to hit five in a row, I plan on wiping the entire board clean. Yes, that’s 25 books. And yes, some people play Bingo that way–they try to fill up the entire board.
So, my goal on GoodReads is 20 books, but the Bingo goal is 25 books. If I read somewhere between 20-25 books, I will be happy. But…here’s the catch!
If you click on the “Reading Bingo” link back in the first paragraph of this post, it will lead to where the Bingo cards originated from. Notice there are two cards. One, the purple you see above, is a general one. The other one (on the website) is orange and is meant for young adult novels. Which one should I do?
Well, naturally I decided to do both. Can anyone tell me what 25 plus 25 equals? That’s right–50! (Good job, guys! Go eat a cookie!) So, I raised the bar from 20 to 25 to 50. Can I do it? Honestly, I think it would be nice to hit at least 20 and beat last years record (I think it was 16), but it would be even better to read those five extra books to hit 25. That’s why I’m only focusing on one Bingo card at a time. I’ll still try to do both, but I want to finish at least one full one by the end of 2014.
I printed out both cards, but I’m focusing on the purple one (the general one) right now. On the purple one I numbered the boxes and began to make a list of which books I’m going to read. For example:
A book by a female author: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The second book in a series: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
A book with a blue cover: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Okay, how many of you are freaking out right now? “She’s never read The Hunger Games before?!”
Let me say this: I read The Hunger Games when it first came out. I read it before it was cool, way before it became a movie (which I still haven’t seen…that you can freak out about). I read that book my sophomore year of high school during the MCAS testing. I remember because I rushed through the test so I could spend the majority of the four hours they gave us to take the test to read the book.
Now, like I just said, that was my sophomore year. That was about five-ish years ago. It’s been a while, so I decided to read it again; especially before I finally decide to watch the movie. That, and I want to refresh my memory so I can prepare myself for the second and third books.
Other than planning the books I’m going to read, I have only just started the actual reading part. School started last week and I am taking a science fiction & fantasy course. One of the books I have to read for that class is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. I’m almost halfway through the book and I’m reading it for the box that says: “a book with non-human characters.”
I hope you all find this Reading Bingo interesting and maybe some of you will even be willing to do it as well. I think it will be a lot of fun and it will expand my literary horizons. It would be great to know that there are others out there doing this challenge, too.