Tuesday 7 January 2014

Bout of Books 9.0 Days one and two


So, somehow the first day of Bout of Books 9 has been and gone without a blog post update. Most remiss of me! This time around I've decided to do two or three days per post, as that's how the last few readathons have turned out in the end. I might as well set out to do that from the start (and also that's fewer posts of waffle clogging up people's feed readers!)

Monday started out quite well for me. Now the Christmas rush has died down, so have the staffing levels at work, meaning that this week I'll only be working my contracted three days. On the plus side - plenty of reading time! I spent most of Monday morning sitting on the reading-nook-slash-pillow-fort I set up for myself on the spare bed in my room, buried in Joe Hill's excellent NOS4R2, following Victoria McQueen in her fight to save her son from the kidnapper and serial-killer Charlie Manx, from whose clutches she barely escaped with her life as a teenager. This book almost makes me afraid to pick it up each time. I've grown very fond of the troubled Vic, her son Wayne (first name Bruce) and Wayne's geeky dad Lou, and I fear for what the plot might have in store for them. 

Despite the predictions of "the worst storms in twenty years," the weather was pretty good yesterday; cold and windy, but dry with a respectable amount of sunshine. My friend Judith finished work early afternoon, and we decided to go for a walk over the cliffs from Shanklin to Sandown. Although we enjoy the fresh air and exploring the Isle of Wight, we don't tend to go very far from home in the winter, and today I remembered why. Despite living no more than about half an hour's drive from every coastline, I have to allow at least an hour to get anywhere on the buses. (You figure that out!) By the time we got to Shanklin, the sun was very low in the sky, and we did not get very far on the cliff path before we found it had been closed due to landslides. Instead, we walked along the seafront, where the waves were pretty impressive. The only people to be seen were dog-walkers, who enthusiastically declared the angry sea "fabulous."

It was dark by the time we reached Sandown, and another hour on the bus home. We spent more time on public transport than on our actual walk, and I'd foolishly forgotten to bring my book with me. Judith is the sort of friend who is quite happy to spend time together in person, but both completely ignoring each other in favour of a book.

In the evening, I wrote another 500-odd words of my latest story project, in which I am vividly reliving being a teenager at the turn of the millennium. It's early days in this story, which I only began on New Year's Day, but the plan is that this story will chronicle the lives of two very different sisters over the course of fifteen years or so. The focus point of what I am ambitiously calling the novel is a shared journal, and the true stories, which may differ greatly from what they chose to share with each other. 

Monday's Stats:

Books read today: NOS4R2
Pages read today: 151
Running total: 151 pages
Books finished: 0
My life outside books: Stormy walk along the seafront.


Another day off began when I was woken from sleep by the weather throwing everything it had at my bedroom window. However, it's one of those days where I can't really say I've properly woken up all day. Although I haven't let the winter weather get me down yet this year, there are some days where the greyness seems to get inside my head, keeping me feeling very sleepy and a bit headachy, and no amount of coffee can quite bring me to life. Today is one of those days.

I started my morning off by getting my day's writing out of the way before getting settled into my book. Although I'm quite excited by the ideas of my novel, it's still early days; I'm still experimenting and finding my feet, setting the story up and trying to figure out how much is world-building and how much is waffle. I suspect that a large percentage of the first chapters will be cut out of later drafts, but you can't get later drafts without getting the words onto the page (or screen) first.

After lunch, I finished my first book of the readathon - and the year - Joe Hill's excellent NOS4R2. If this is an indication of the quality of books I'll be reading this year, I'm excited. Now on to start the review, before I forget all the things I want to say about it. (I still need to even draft my review of Fangirl, too.)

I've been indoors all day so far, and ought to go out at some point to get some fresh air and exercise, try to shake off the sleepy headache, even if it's just going for a short walk down to the river and back. 

Books read today: NOS4R2
Pages read today: 121
Running total: 272
Books finished: 1: NOS4R2
My life outside books: Grey, sleepy, fuzzy-headed sort of day


  1. Sounds like a good day! I love that picture of the sea, stormy seas are the most attractive I think. I wish I lived nearer to the coast (as in, on the coast!). Happy Tuesday :D

  2. I also love the stormy sea photo! (Not sure how much I'd love it if I was physically very close to it though...) I'm glad you are enjoying NOS4R2, I do plan on starting some Joe Hill too - at some point.

  3. "Judith is the sort of friend who is quite happy to spend time together in person, but both completely ignoring each other in favour of a book." I need one of those. I know we've discussed this before, but I really need you to 1) move closer, and 2) work out a loan plan so I can borrow one of you when the other's busy. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK, KATIE?!

    This winter seems intent on throwing gales and rain at our bedroom windows every night, you're right. It's amazing, all day long it's still and relatively dry, then it goes dark and BOOM. Apocalyptic storminess, only without the 'ah well, I might as well get up for a bit' thunder factor. My resolve to actually go outside is wavering more and more with each passing grey day. Maybe I should do some reviews! Feel productive! *wanders off in search of coffee and maybe a game of Candy Crush first*

  4. I don't know what's up with the weather at the moment. It at least looks like it's quietening down today. I do love the angry sea but I'd also like the beach back. Sea is right up to the promendade in places, which isn't very safe. Plus you're more likely to have to jump out the way of runners and cyclists!


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