Nightstand Books: March 2017

Top o’ the mornin’ to ye, dear Reader! (Something about March always makes me feel a little bit more of those Irish roots buried deep down in my genetic code).

Well, the new month is begun, Spring is about to be sprung, and don’t forget we lose an hour this weekend! (ugh)

But all that aside, it’s time to talk about all the shiny new books we’re going to read this month! So here’s a picture of my stack o’ books on the old nightstand.

Nightstand books march

Nightstand books is a monthly blogging meme thought up by myself and DJ Edwardson. Joining is easy, just take a picture of the books on your nightstand (or whatever surface you use to store the books you are currently reading (pictures of kindles or ereading devices are fine, too)) and link back to mine or DJ’s blogs to give credit.

Pretty nice pile compared to last month’s pitiful offering, wouldn’t you say? I’ve already finished a couple of them, but since I didn’t start them until March began, it’s not technically cheating, right?

On the left at the bottom there is my Bible. Currently I’m in a Bible study going through the book of James, which has been wonderful. I was studying James before we moved here, and it’s nice to be able to sort of continue that study now.

The tattered journal is my story-idea journal, which is where I have all manner of handwritten scenes, notes, snippets, and various ideas for various and sundry stories… mostly Turrim Archive stuff, but there’s quite a lot of my sci-fi/mystery tale in there, as well.

Then on the right, the books I intend to read… or at least get a good ways into… this month. From the bottom:

The King’s Scrolls by Jaye L. Knight. I read Resistance back in February and just loved it to pieces. I have a full-on review coming later, but let me just start by saying I highly recommend this series… despite only having read the first two books. The story is fast-paced, compelling, and the characters are well-developed. I felt like King’s Scrolls got a little bit predictable in the second half, but that did not detract too much from my enjoyment of the story.

The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis. I found a quote from this book recently that prompted me to get my hands on a copy and read the whole thing. It’s not an easy read… none of Lewis’ non-story-books are… but it is definitely the kind of book that turns your brain on and makes you think, which I appreciate. It’s kind of slow-going, though, because I have to be in the right frame of mind to dive into it… and most of the time I’d rather read something for fun.

Journeyman by Elizabeth Yates. This is our next read for homeschool, and I don’t really know much about it, as we don’t start in on it until tomorrow. However, all but one of the Sonlight curriculum reads have been excellent, so I’m not worried.

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde. Continuing my re-reading of the Thursday Next Novels… this is the second installment in that delightful series. 

EDITED: Apparently baby-brain has taken serious hold… I am NOT reading Lost in a Good Book again, I read that recently… and finished book #3 as well *slaps forehead*… I have now in actuality reached Something Rotten, which is the fourth and final book in the first story arc of the Thursday Next novels. This is the problem with books that don’t have the series number anywhere on their covers or easily discoverable on the title page. Sigh. I’ve read all the books in the first arc, so this is the last one and then I’ll be able to move on to the books I haven’t read yet, which is exciting. But it’s been so many years since I read these, that there’s a lot I don’t remember, and it’s fun rediscovering the humor and witticisms anew.

In Grandma’s Attic by Arleta Richardson is the book I’m reading out loud to Nathalie, and so far it is quite the charming little tome.

Justin Morgan Had a Horse by Marguerite Henry was just as beautiful as I was expecting, considering Henry is one of my all-time favorite authors. I had never read this particular book of hers before, so it was fun to share a favorite author AND a story I’d never read with my kiddos.

The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket… oops… looks like I grabbed the wrong book and put it on the stack. Erm… haha… just imagine that it’s a bit thicker and has a different title… I don’t want to clean off my nightstand for a whole ‘nother picture… This is the series my husband is reading out loud to the kiddos each night, and I listen in, as well. We finished The Bad Beginning last month and the kids enjoyed it, so we got the second installment.

Not pictured here: I am also reading Dragonfriend by Marc Secchia for the Fellowship of Fantasy book club. I am, for the first time ever, reading a book in e-format… which is not my preferred method at all… but circumstances. And I loved reading The Firethorn Crown last month and participating in the tail-end of the discussion… I’ve never been in a book club before, partially because book clubs always seem to want to read or focus on a book or genre I have zero interest in… but as this one is dedicated solely to fantasy… I figured I’d give it a try. And I’m really enjoying it! If you enjoy fantasy and want to find new, clean reads… you should definitely consider joining. We read a book a month, and you can pop in and join whenever, no pressure to stay involved from month to month. At the end of each month we have a “meet the author” fb event and reveal what the next month’s read will be (voted on by the book club members).

Lots of good reading material to look forward to this month.

Now it’s your turn, dear Reader! What books are on YOUR nightstand for March?

~ jenelle

February Ishness

We are a little ways into March now, but it’s not too terribly late for an Ishness post… right? I mean, February clearly deserves one!

(Ishness is a monthly blogging meme created by the amazing and talented Deborah O’Carroll over at Road of a Writer)

Writing

I wrote 11,847 words on Turrim Archive book 2 in the month of February (and I think I’m zeroing in on a potential title for this book… more on that later). Plus all the blog posts for February is Fantasy month (I have no idea how many words that was, but it was many). I feel like the climax of the story is drawing nigh, and that is very exciting. I tend to write books straight through from start to finish, partially because that’s just the way it works for me, and partially because I need to muscle through the set up and description and character-development and plot development… otherwise I would just write beginnings, climaxes, and endings. But stories need more than that, and writing the stories in order helps motivate me, because there’s always something to look forward to.

I also wrote a 400-word rough draft for an Easter skit for my church, which has been a truly enjoyable experience. I have to do a little editing on it, but I am liking the way it is turning out.

Had a pretty good sale of all three of my books at the end of February/beginning of March, so that was nice.

Reading

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Despite my lonely Nightstand Books picture… I actually read more than just one book last month, much to my surprise.

I read and finished Resistance by Jaye L. Knight (Book 1 of the Ilyon Chronicles) and absolutely loved it to pieces. It’s one of those books that’s been so hyped up, I wasn’t sure it would live up to the hubub, but it definitely did. I will have to do a full review later, but suffice to say, I am already halfway through The King’s Scrolls, which is book #2 of the same series.

I also read The Firethorn Crown by Lea Doue and just adored it. I got to read it with the Fellowship of Fantasy book club and participated in the “Meet the Author” event on facebook at the end of the month. If you love fantasy and enjoy online book clubs… definitely go check this one out. We’ve just started the book for March, and while I’m not sure I’m going to be able to participate this time around, it was quite a lot of fun. And the reads they choose are always clean, so that makes it even more fun.

We finished Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham, which was quite enjoyable all around. Loved getting to learn about sailing ships and navigation in the late 1700s, as well as follow the MC throughout his life. Beautiful, poignant, tragic, humorous, and powerful are all words I could use of this story.

We also finished The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket, and the kids seemed to like it. L especially enjoyed it, and they are looking forward to reading book 2.

I read “My Father’s Dragon” out loud to my kids and good times were had by all.

In addition, I read the following countless times: “Put Me in the Zoo,” “Paw Patrol: The Great Robo Dog Rescue,” The Lego Catalogue (which isn’t strictly a story, so I get to make it up each time I read it), “Dear Zoo,” “How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten,” “How Do Dinosaurs Clean Their Rooms,” and “How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends.”

Reading is sort of a staple in our home.

Watching

Didn’t really watch much in the month of February. Been continuing to watch Grimm – Season 5 and we are enjoying it immensely. Started watching Season 1 of Little House on the Prairie with the kids and that has been a lot of fun. We rented Jack Reacher: Never Look Back and basically MST3K’d the snot out of it… SUCH a disappointing movie (almost ridiculously humorous in how disappointing it was).

Listening

Been listening to Sarah Brightman’s “A Winter Symphony” a lot lately, as the music inspires me and helps me when I’m writing.

Life-ing

Had a pretty great month of February. The kids had a couple of weekend playdates and a sleep-over that went pretty well. We joined a small group at our church and are enjoying getting plugged in more. My husband’s parents came to visit (from FL to WI… in the middle of Winter… they must love us an awful lot!) Homeschooling has been going quite well and we’re even getting a little bit ahead, which is good, because I’m sure we’ll get behind again once we hit April and have a new baby in the house!

We went and took a short tour of the hospital where little buddy will (hopefully) be born. My children tend to come fast, so my enormous prayer request for the next 5 weeks is going to be, “Please, Lord, do not let me have a baby in my car. Please.”

I was diagnosed a couple of weeks ago with gestational diabetes, which was sort of a major blow to this girl with a serious phobia of needles and an aversion to blood… having to jab myself in the finger with a needle 4 times a day has taken rather a lot of prayer to get through… but thankfully my blood sugar numbers have been fantastic and the doctor even told me last week that I could reduce the number of finger-pricks from 4 to 3, so that has been a relief and a much-rejoiced answer to prayer. It’s still a trial, but it’s one we’re getting through without so many tears now that I’m getting used to it. I keep reminding myself that I put my characters through far worse… thankfully this is the sort of thing that disappears once the baby comes, so I am doubly looking forward to Little Guy’s arrival!

March Plans

My lofty and probably unattainable goal is to finish the first draft of Turrim 2 before baby boy gets here. So, I’m targeting the end of March (more realistically, probably the end of April). We shall see… if the book is going to be near the word count I think it is I’m going to have to more than double my writing output from the months of Jan and Feb to make that end-of-March goal… which may mean the blog is a little silent for the next two months.

How about you, dear Reader? What endeavors filled your February? Is it Spring yet where you are? I’d love to hear from you!

~ jenelle

Baby Name Guessing Game

Good morning, dear Readers!

Well, we have said “farewell” to February, and a mighty fun month it was. I’m still blown away by how many people participated and added links and wrote stories! Thanks again for helping make it a memorable celebration!

Now it’s time to March forward.

*grin* Yes, that was on purpose.

I know my Readers are spread across the country and even the world. What is March like where you are, dear Reader? Some of you may still be in the throes of Winter. Some of you may be getting Spring teasers. Some of you may not have gotten the Winter you wanted and are still hopeful for a good snow. Some of you may have already begun Summer temperatures. March is unpredictable like that.

But no matter what weather you are experiencing, I thought maybe some of you might enjoy playing a game with me. We’ve never “revealed” any of our children’s names beforehand in the past, but I thought we could mix it up a bit this time around. Especially since Little Buddy’s due date coincides so nicely with the NCAA craziness (which I don’t care overly much about, but I always thought the brackets aspect was kind of fun), I thought a game might be fun.

It’s pretty simple:

1. These are all names that have actually been considered.

2. First names are on the left, middle names are on the right. (For those of you who are new to the blog, we have given all of our children Tolkien-Inspired Middle Names… we’re nerdy like that)

3. The top name from the left and the top name from the right will combine to create the full name of Little Buddy.

4. The name is already chosen, this is a guessing game.

5. You have until March 18th to fill out your bracket. After that I will be posting a “round” of updates each week, with the final name reveal coming after Little Buddy is born.

6. What you do with your bracket is entirely up to you. You may keep it to yourself, email it to me at jenelle@jenelleschmidt.com, or post it for others to see.

7. There are no prizes, just bragging rights. Sorry… once this baby comes, the last thing I’m going to be thinking about is scoring brackets or sending out prizes. (You can still pick up King’s Warrior for FREE or Second Son for 99 cents OR get $2.25 off the paperbacks of any of my books until tomorrow, though! Details HERE)

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~ jenelle