My Celebration of Reading of 2018

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Here we are at the end of 2018. Although I was rushing at the end of the year to finishe my reading challenges, overall I must say 2018 was a successful year in reading. Other areas of my life though were not as successful. It has been a couple of stressful years due to my husband’s issues with his heart and kidney. Reading was my salvation.

So here are some stats:

Number of books read:  459/400

Here is the breakdown by genre:

  • Classic – 2
  • Diverse books – 39
  • Non-Fiction: 18
  • Fantasy/scifi – 62
  • Fiction: -2
  • Graphic novels – 1
  • Historical – 3
  • Historical romance – 1
  • Magical realism – 4
  • Memoir – 5
  • MG to YA – 19
  • Mystery – 8
  • Nordic Noir – 1
  • Picture books – 163
  • Play – 1
  • Poetry – 1
  • Romance – 152
  • Woman’s fiction – 23

 

By far, I read romances and picture books the most. Fantasy was the third.

I did not track as accurately as I could have this past year. With more challenges I am attempting in 2019, I need to be more accurate. I also need to record where the book was from – TBR, library, ebooks, etc.

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Some things I learned from participating in challenges this year:

  1. I read several genres I normally wouldn’t – graphic novels, Nordic noir. I also read a number of books I wouldn’t normally read either. . Challenges definitely pushed me past my comfort zone in a number of cases.
  2. I definitely enjoyed the hunt for books, especially looking for books that would satisfy at least 2 challenges.
  3. I was struggling at the end to finish some challenges. I know I need to plan better and spread the books out more evenly.
  4. I found it extremely helpful to do a reading round-up at the end of each month, something I had never done before. I plan to continue that in the new year, but to focus more on being sure to expand the genres I read.
  5. I will definitely record my books better in 2019.

 

Here’s the status on the challenges I participated in:

Popsugar Reading Challenge (Through Goodreads)  40/40

2018 reading Challenge – 52 Books in 52 Weeks   52/52

Beyond the Bookends   12/12

Monthly Motif Reading Challenge   12/12

Monthly Key Word   12/12

Memoir Reading Challenge  5/5

Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge   12/12

Swords and Stars Reading Challenge  18/20

The Writers Write Book Reading Challenge   26/26

 

There were lots of great books read this year. Here are my overall 10 Favourite books of 2018 (as well as 2 Series):

The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

Bellewether by Susanna Kersley

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The Last Chance Matinee by Mariah Stewart

The Sugarhouse Blues by Mariah Stewart

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I’ll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de Los Santos

Beach House Reunion by Mary Alice Monroe

The Year of Pleasures by Elisabeth Berg

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Where We Found Home by Susan Mallery

Annie Freeman’s Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish

The Magic series by Ilona Andrews

The Court series by Sarah J. Maas

 

I have been signing up for a number of challenges already (check here for my master list) as well as hosting my own challenge (the Jane Austen Book Club Challenge).

One challenge asks us to list our bookish resolutions for 2019. Check here for mine.

 

May you have a wonderful New Year with lots of incredible books to read!

 

 

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December Reading Round-Up

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Here we are once again at the end of the month already, with 2019 soon to be here.
Time once again to share what I have been reading this past month. This past month the total read was 29, with the following breakdown:
Fantasy/scifi – 2
Picture books – 2
Romance – 12
MG – 1
Non Fiction – 2
Mystery – 2
Historical romance – 1
Women’s Fiction – 3
Classic – 3
Play – 1

(Ebooks – 5)
(Diverse books –4)
(TBR books -6)

I was pleased to see that I had actually read a few more TBR books. I hope to read a lot more in the new year.
For the Reading Challenges I participate in, I’ve read these books:

Beyond the Bookends.
The theme for December was a Goodreads Best Book Finalist for 2018.
I read:  The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. Loved it!

Monthly Key Word Challenge
The key word I chose this month was “Christmas” and I read a number of Christmas books.
A Christmas to Treasure by Sandra Steffen
Christmas Angel by Jo Beverley
The Christmas Wish by Barbara Ankrum
Home for Christmas by Holly Chamberlain
A Taos Christmas by Liz Durano
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Monthly Motif
The theme this month was “Wrapping it Up or winter or themed books.
Adding to the books just above, I also read:
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
The Perfect Gift by Serenity Woods
The Noel Stranger by Richard Paul Evans
Yule Be Mine by Lori Foster

52 Books in 52 Weeks
I read from 3 categories to finally complete this challenge!:
An Agatha Christie book – Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Won a Pulitzer Prize – The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds by Paul Zindel
Read in School – Matilda by Roald Dahl

Popsugar Ultimate Reading Challenge (Through Goodreads)
I finally finished all the categories for this challenge:
9. Anti-hero – The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas
11. Female author using a male pseudonym – Death of an Expert Witness by J. D. Robb
13. Play or musical – Matilda by Roald Dahl
31. Mentioned in another book – The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
32. From a Celebrity Book Club – Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
36. Set in the 50’s – Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Writers Write
I read 2 books that I needed to complete this challenge.
5. A book written over a hundred years ago: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
10. A book with a protagonist that shares your first name. I had to stretch this, as I read a book by an author whose last name is my first name (and spelled the same!): Christmas Angel by Jo Beverley

Favourite Books Read This Month
This was another good month for reading –I rated a number of books 5 at Goodreads.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish
Assassin’s Blade by Sarah Maas
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Matilda by Roald Dahl
The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

January Goals
As we move into January and a new year, I have joined a lot of challenges for 2019. One in particular is the Book Resolutions Challenge. I will be posting about that as well as a summary of my 2018 reading year in the next couple of days.

I am linking with the following:

Month in Review 6
Month in Review at Book Date

 

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Best of the Bunch

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up

 

WOW! Women on Writing Blog Tour for “Eyes on Alexandra” by Anna Levine

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I am honoured to be part of the WOW! Women of Writing Blog Tour for Eyes on Alexandra by Anna Levine and Chiara Pasqualotto,   which I read and am now reviewing.
(Please note: I received an advance copy to read and review.)

My Review

Eyes on Alexandra is a lovely picture book, written by Anna Levine, with beautiful illustrations by Chiara Pasqualotto.

I was captivated by the story of the crane migration to Israel on several levels.

Growing up in Canada, I knew about the bird migration here and loved watching birds head south for warmer climates each fall. I still watch Canada geese fly overhead in their V formations.

I love cranes and had followed the work of  Bill Lishman who lived near us. His “Operation Migration” was a huge success in saving the endangered whooping crane.

This story educated me as I had never imagined the millions of birds that flock to Israel on their migration to Africa. As we follow the cranes on their migration, we get to see many details of the trip as well, especially of Israel.

The story itself provides a glimpse into family dynamics. Alexandra definitely dances to a different drummer. Her family watched over her and were often exasperated by her. But they finally come to recognize her strengths. It is a gentle lesson in accepting each other and valuing those differences.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and am anxious to share it with my granddaughter. I highly recommend it.

 

(Check back on January 3rd as Anna Levine’ shares her  thoughts about getting into the head of your middle-grade characters.)

 

Book summary

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In All Eyes on Alexandra, young Alexandra Crane is terrible at following her family in their flying Vee. She can’t help it that the world is so full of interesting distracting sights! When it’s time for the Cranes to migrate to Israel’s Hula Valley for the winter, Alexandra is excited but her family is worried. Will Alexandra stay with the group, and what happens if a dangerous situation should arise? Might Alexandra—and the rest of the flock—discover that a bad follower can sometimes make a great leader?

Based on the true story of Israel’s annual crane migration.

Print Length: 32 Pages

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

Publisher: Kar-Ben Pub

ISBN-10: 1512444391

ISBN-13: 978-1512444391

All Eyes on Alexandra is available to purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target and Thrift Books.

 

About the Author, Anna Levine

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Anna Levine is an award-winning children’s book author. Like Alexandra Crane, the character in her latest picture book, she loves to explore new worlds. Born in Canada, Anna has lived in the US and Europe. She now lives in Israel, where she writes and teaches.

You can find Anna Levine online at —

Author website: http://www.annalevine.org/

Twitter: @LevineAnna

Instagram: @booksfromanna

 

About the Illustrator, Chiara Pasqualotto,

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Chiara Pasqualotto was born in Padua, in northern Italy, currently teaches illustration and drawing classes to children and adults, in particular in Padua during the summer at the Scuola Internazionale di Comics and in Rome. Since 2008 she’s been living in Rome and working with illustration professionally: her first picture book, Mine, All Mine! was published in 2009 by Boxer Books (UK), since then she published with Oxford University Press, Giunti, Terranuova and some American publishers (Paraclete Press, Tyndale, LearningAZ, Kar-Ben Publisher).

You can find Chiara Pasqualotto online at –

Artist website – https://romeartweek.com/en/artists/?id=1495&ida=1004

Blog: http://chiarapasqualotto.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clairepaspage/

 

Be sure to check out all these tour stops:

Blog Tour Dates

December 3rd @ The Muffin

What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Make sure you visit WOW’s blog today and read an interview with the author and enter for a chance to win a copy of the book All Eyes on Alexandra.

muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

December 5th @ Cassandra’s Writing World

Visit Cassandra’s blog where she shares her thoughts about Anna Levine’s picture book All Eyes on Alexandra.

https://cassandra-mywritingworld.blogspot.com/

December 5th @ Break Even Books

Visit Erik’s blog where you can read Anna Levine’s guest post about how to jog your inspiration.

https://breakevenbooks.com/

December 7th @ Coffee with Lacey

Grab some coffee and visit Lacey’s blog where you can read her review of Anna Levine’s picture book All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com

December 8th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit Anthony Avina’s blog today where he joins in the fun of celebrating and shares information about Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

December 8th @ Christy’s Cozy Corners

Visit Christy’s blog and cozy up while you read her review of Anna Levine’s picture book All Eyes on Alexandra.

https://christyscozycorners.com/

December 9th @ Coffee with Lacey

Visit Lacey’s blog again where you can read Anna Levine’s guest post about designing your ideal writing spot.

http://coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com

December 9th @ Christy’s Cozy Corner

Visit Christy’s blog where you can read Anna Levine’s blog post about how she decided to use crane’s in her story.

https://christyscozycorners.com/

December 10th @ Thoughts in Progress

Visit Pamela’s blog where you can read Anna Levine’s guest post about how authors use anthropomorphic animals.

http://masoncanyon.blogspot.com/

December 11th @ Read. Write. Sparkle. Coffee.

Make sure you visit Jeanie’s blog today and read her thoughts about Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://www.readwritesparklecoffee.com/

December 12th @ Author Anthony Avina Blog

Visit Anthony Avina’s blog where he interviews Anna Levine, author of All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

December 13th @ Read. Write. Sparkle. Coffee.

Make sure you visit Jeanie’s blog today and read Anna Levine’s guest post about building a theme day around a picture book.

http://www.readwritesparklecoffee.com/

December 13th @ Oh for the Hook of a Book

Visit Erin’s blog where she shares her thoughts on Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://www.hookofabook.wordpress.com

December 15th @ A Storybook World

Visit Deirdra’s blog where she features Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra in a spotlight post.

http://www.astorybookworld.com/

December 17th @ World of My Imagination

Stop by Nicole’s blog today where you can read her review of Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com

December 19th @ Cassandra’s Writing World

Visit Cassandra’s blog again where you can read Anna Levine’s blog post about naming your characters.

https://cassandra-mywritingworld.blogspot.com

December 19th @ Linda’s Blog

Make sure you visit Linda’s blog today where you can read her thoughts about Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

https://www.lindaleekane.com/blog

December 20th @ Word Magic: All About Books

Visit Fiona’s blog where you can read her review of Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com/

December 21st @ Bring on Lemons

Make sure you grab some lemonade and stop by Crystal’s blog today where she reviews Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

December 27th @ Linda’s Blog

Visit Linda’s blog again where you can read her interview with author Anna Levine.

https://www.lindaleekane.com/blog

December 28th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Visit Beverley’s blog today you can read her review of Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

December 31st @ Strength 4 Spouses

Visit Wendi’s blog and read Anna Levine’s guest post on learning about families and different cultures.

https://strength4spouses.blog/

January 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit author Anthony Avina’s blog where he shares his thoughts about Anna Levine’s picture book All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

January 3rd @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Visit Beverley’s blog again where you can read Anna Levine’s blog post about getting into the head of your middle-grade characters.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

January 4th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit author Anthony Avina’s blog again where you can read Anna Levine’s blog post about using fiction to write non-fiction.

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

January 7th @ Strength 4 Spouses Blog

Visit Wendi’s blog again where you can read her thoughts about the book All Eyes on Alexandra by Anna Levine.

https://strength4spouses.blog/

 

Winter 2018/19 TBR Books – for TTT

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly challenge hosted by “That Artsy Reader Girl”.
The topic this week is What’s on Your Winter TBR list”

Winter is only a few days away and I am already planning my 2019 reading challenges. I aim to be more focused about my reading and try news genres. But I also have an extensive TBR pile of books. I did not finish my Fall TBR books – so am moving some of them forward.

Here are 10 of the books I plan to read this winter:

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Glass Houses by Louise Penny

Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny

Becoming by Michele Obama

Princess Bride by William Goldman

As You Wish by Cary Elwies

The Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maa

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

 

 

What’s on your TBR list?

 

WOW! Women of Writing Book Review for “Time to Refresh” by Karen Brown Tyson

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I am honoured to be part of the WOW! Women of Writing Blog Tour for Time to Refresh by Karen Brown Tyson, which I read and am now reviewing.
(Please note: I received an advance copy to read and review.)

My Review

Time to Refresh by Karen Brown Tyson is a 21 Day devotional that was written as a result of being laid off from a position Karen loved. As she struggled to make sense of it, she came to God for understanding.
Time to Refresh has clear guidelines that allow us to take a daily journey with God as you recover your balance and focus.
We all face challenges in our lives and this devotional can help you face those challenges or timeouts.
Each day begins with a note from Karen, with her thoughts and prayers. She quotes bible verses and uses the stories in them to provide “Timeout Takeaways”. She then uses the G.L.O.W. Method to further delve into one’s relationship with God.
I have been sidelined the past two years, as I have put my husband’s health issues front and centre, thus putting my writing and art on the back burner.
I decided to not only read Karen’s book, but follow the advice each day, with journaling, prayer and reading scripture. Listing what I was grateful for each day was a wonderful way to start the day. I felt a renewed connection with God, one I had pushed back the last few years.
This is a very practical, but powerful book, one where Karen is with us along on this journey to find a new path, as we emerge from our own timeout.
Time to Refresh certainly will transform you. Thank you Karen for your very special book.

 

About the Author

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For the past 25 years, Karen Brown Tyson worked for Fortune 500 companies in the fast food, pharmaceutical, and telecommunication industries. Today, Karen is the founder of Constant Communicators, a lifestyle business that helps people improve their business writing skills. Time to Refresh: A 21-Day Devotional to Renew Your Mind After Being Laid Off, Fired or Sidelined was released in August 2018. Karen lives in North Carolina with her husband and son.

You can find Karen at –

Personal Websitehttp://www.karenbrowntyson.com

Blog

Twitter

Facebook  

 

About the Book:

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What happens when some part of your life comes to a screeching halt?

Time to Refresh: A 21- Day Devotional to Renew Your Mind After Being Laid Off, Fired or Sidelined, highlights Karen Brown Tyson’s journey through the Bible following one of three layoffs in her life.

Watch how God leads one woman on a 21-day journey through the Bible and teaches her how to G.L.O.W.— gratitude, listen, observe and witness.

Print Length: 68 pages

Genre: Nonfiction, Self-Help

Publisher: Constant Communicators

ISBN: 978-0692170489

Time to Refresh is available to purchase on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.

 

 

Be sure to check all the stops along the Blog tour:

— Blog Tour Dates


November 26th @ The Muffin

What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Grab your coffee and stop by the Muffin blog where you can read an interview with author Karen Brown Tyson and enter to win a copy of her book Time to Refresh.

muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

 

November 29th @ Bookworm Blog

Be sure to stop by Anjanette’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s guest post on managing career, home, and ministry.

bookworm66.wordpress.com

 

November 29th @ The Frugalista Mom

Visit Rozelyn’s blog where you can read her review of Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

http://thefrugalistamom.com/

 

November 30th @ Amateur Twin Mom

Visit Jonelle’s blog to read what she has to say about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

https://www.amateurtwinmom.com

 

December 3rd @ Beverley A Baird Blog

Visit Beverley’s blog where Karen Brown Tyson talks about how to improve your writing life.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

 

December 5th @ Break Even Books

Stop by Erik’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about how to build your personal brand.

https://breakevenbooks.com/

 

December 5th @  Jill Sheets Blog

Stop by Jill’s blog today where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about how to improve your writing life.

https://jillsheets.blogspot.com/

 

December 6th @ Beverley A Baird Blog

Visit Beverley’s blog again where she shares her thoughts about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh. 

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

 

December 7th @ Bookworm Blog

Visit Anjanette’s blog again where she interviews author Karen Brown Tyson about her book Time to Refresh.

bookworm66.wordpress.com

 

December 8th @ A Storybook World

Visit Deirdra’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about fearless writing.

http://www.astorybookworld.com/

 

December 9th @ Reducing Overload

Stop by Peggy’s blog to read author Karen Brown Tyson’s post about journaling and stress management.

http://reducingoverload.com/

 

December 13th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey

Visit Kathleen’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about fearless writing.

https://krpooler.com/

 

December 13th @ M.C. Walker’s Blog

Visit M.C. Walker’s blog where she interviews author Karen Brown Tyson about her and her book Time to Refresh.

https://seeminoltawrite.com/

 

December 14th @ Strength 4 Spouses

Visit Wendi’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about having faith during difficult times.

https://strength4spouses.blog/

 

December 15th @ Jessica’s Reading Room

Visit Jessica’s blog where you can read her thoughts on Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

http://jessicasreadingroom.com

 

December 16th @ 12 Books

Visit Louise’s blog where she shares her opinion on Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

http://www.12books.co.uk/

 

December 18th @ Look to the Western Sky

Visit Margo’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about parenting.

https://www.margoldill.com/

 

December 20th @ Strength 4 Spouses

Visit Wendi’s blog again where you can read her opinion about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

https://strength4spouses.blog/

 

December 20th @ The Faerie Review

Visit Lily Shadowlyn’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about journaling.

http://www.thefaeriereview.com/

 

December 21st @ The World of My Imagination

Visit Nicole’s blog where she shares her thoughts about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

http://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com

 

December 23rd @ Look to the Western Sky

Be sure to stop by Margo’s blog again where you find out what she had to say about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

https://www.margoldill.com/

 

December 23rd @ Coffee with Lacey

Visit Lacey’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about journaling.

http://coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com

 

December 24th @ Coffee with Lacey

Stop by Lacey’s blog again where she reviews Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

http://coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com

 

December 27th @ The Frugalista Mom

Be sure to visit Rozelyn’s blog again where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about change management.

http://thefrugalistamom.com/

 

WOW! Women on Writing Blog Tour Post by Karen Brown Tyson: “The Power of Asking, “Why” to Improve Your Writing

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I am so pleased to be hosting Karen Brown Tyson today as part of her blog tour for her book “Time to Refresh”, with Wow! Women on Writing.

Karen is offering solid advice on how we all can improve our writing. As I read her post, it was as if a light went off. I had been trying and failing to write 16667 words a day for NaNoWriMo this past year and felt I had failed when I didn’t complete 50,000. Karen made the point that we have to set goals for ourselves. Thank you Karen.

 

The Power of Asking, ‘Why’ to Improve Your Writing
By Karen Brown Tyson

Do you remember always asking your parents, “why?” You wanted to know why you had to eat your vegetables, why you had to go to bed so early, and why you could not play longer outside. When you wanted more information, you always asked why.

As a writer, you must be just as persistent when something in your writing life is not working. When you find it hard to write blog posts, magazine articles, or your next book, ask yourself, “why.”

In my work as a certified Six-Sigma communicator, I love helping people find new ways to improve their plans, projects, and writing. Change is my thing, so when I hear writers tell me how hard it is for them to finish their writing projects, I immediately ask “why?”

Change begins with me
Last year I wanted to understand my inability to finish personal writing projects. I started by asking myself why I lose interest so easily. My list of reasons included too much work, family obligations like taking my son to swim practice, and two workouts per day. The list was long and revealed one important thing—most of my reasons were excuses.

But why have I relied on these excuses for so long? I turned to an exercise I like to use with clients to solve problems called “5 Whys.” You begin with a problem and with each answer you ask “why” to drill down to find the root cause of the problem.

Here’s a glimpse at my “5 Whys” on my inability to write my book.

Question #1: Why did you stop writing your last book?
Answer: Because I was waiting to find the right time during the day to write.

Question #2: Why did you wait to find the right time each day?
Answer: Since every day is different, I am afraid I cannot get anything accomplished because of possible interruptions.

Question #3: Why do you allow possible interruptions to stop you from writing?
Answer: Because I want to write at least 2,500 words every time I sit down to write.

Question #4: Why do you want to write 2,500 words every time you sit down to write?
Answer: Because I read articles about writers who can write between 2,500 to 3,500 words per day. If I can write 2,500 words per day, I can finish writing my book in 30 days.

Question #5: Why is it important for you to finish writing your book in 30 days?
Answer: I don’t know.

Whoa! Did I stop writing because I was afraid I wouldn’t meet a daily word count and finish writing my book in 30 days? It blew me away.

In that moment, I knew I had to change my approach to writing.

How I improved my writing life
The first thing I did to improve my writing life was to get rid of the idea I had to be like other writers. Second, I stopped focusing on writing 2,500 words per day. With those two decisions, I completely changed the trajectory of my writing life.

I created a new writing habit which included one key component: I focused on writing in the morning for two hours every day. I chose two hours in the mornings because it’s when I have the most energy to write. Whether I wrote 500 words or 2,000 during that time did not matter. What mattered most was showing up every day to write for two hours.

The result: I finished writing my first book in less than 90 days.

Time to act
Analyze your current writing life to determine what works and what doesn’t work. Once you find the problem, ask yourself “why” to find the root cause. Be honest with yourself. Determine what small actions you will take to improve.

 

Karen Brown Tyson is the author of, Time to Refresh: A 21-Day Devotional to Renew Your Mind After Being Laid Off, Fired or Sidelined.
Karen works online, in person and by phone as a communication and writing coach. Karen helps her entrepreneurial clientele focus on business and nonfiction writing.

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Be sure to check out all the stops on this amazing book tour for “Time to Refresh”

— Blog Tour Dates

November 26th @ The Muffin

What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Grab your coffee and stop by the Muffin blog where you can read an interview with author Karen Brown Tyson and enter to win a copy of her book Time to Refresh.

muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

November 29th @ Bookworm Blog

Be sure to stop by Anjanette’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s guest post on managing career, home, and ministry.

bookworm66.wordpress.com

 

November 29th @ The Frugalista Mom

Visit Rozelyn’s blog where you can read her review of Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

http://thefrugalistamom.com/

 

November 30th @ Amateur Twin Mom

Visit Jonelle’s blog to read what she has to say about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

https://www.amateurtwinmom.com

 

December 3rd @ Beverley A Baird Blog

Visit Beverley’s blog where Karen Brown Tyson talks about how to improve your writing life.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

 

December 5th @ Break Even Books

Stop by Erik’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about how to build your personal brand.

https://breakevenbooks.com/

 

December 5th @  Jill Sheets Blog

Stop by Jill’s blog today where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about how to improve your writing life.

https://jillsheets.blogspot.com/

 

December 6th @ Beverley A Baird Blog

Visit Beverley’s blog again where she shares her thoughts about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh. 

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

 

December 7th @ Bookworm Blog

Visit Anjanette’s blog again where she interviews author Karen Brown Tyson about her book Time to Refresh.

bookworm66.wordpress.com

 

December 8th @ A Storybook World

Visit Deirdra’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about fearless writing.

http://www.astorybookworld.com/

 

December 9th @ Reducing Overload

Stop by Peggy’s blog to read author Karen Brown Tyson’s post about journaling and stress management.

http://reducingoverload.com/

 

December 13th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey

Visit Kathleen’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about fearless writing.

https://krpooler.com/

 

December 13th @ M.C. Walker’s Blog

Visit M.C. Walker’s blog where she interviews author Karen Brown Tyson about her and her book Time to Refresh.

https://seeminoltawrite.com/

 

December 14th @ Strength 4 Spouses

Visit Wendi’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about having faith during difficult times.

https://strength4spouses.blog/

 

December 15th @ Jessica’s Reading Room

Visit Jessica’s blog where you can read her thoughts on Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

http://jessicasreadingroom.com

 

December 16th @ 12 Books

Visit Louise’s blog where she shares her opinion on Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

http://www.12books.co.uk/

 

December 18th @ Look to the Western Sky

Visit Margo’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about parenting.

https://www.margoldill.com/

 

December 20th @ Strength 4 Spouses

Visit Wendi’s blog again where you can read her opinion about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

https://strength4spouses.blog/

 

December 20th @ The Faerie Review

Visit Lily Shadowlyn’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about journaling.

http://www.thefaeriereview.com/

 

December 21st @ The World of My Imagination

Visit Nicole’s blog where she shares her thoughts about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

http://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com

 

December 23rd @ Look to the Western Sky

Be sure to stop by Margo’s blog again where you find out what she had to say about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

https://www.margoldill.com/

 

December 23rd @ Coffee with Lacey

Visit Lacey’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about journaling.

http://coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com

 

December 24th @ Coffee with Lacey

Stop by Lacey’s blog again where she reviews Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.

http://coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com

 

December 27th @ The Frugalista Mom

Be sure to visit Rozelyn’s blog again where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about change management.

http://thefrugalistamom.com/

 

Reading Round-Up for November

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Here we are once again at the end of the month already, with Christmas only weeks away! Yikes – still so much to do.

Time once again to share what I have been reading this past month. This past month the total read was 40, with the following breakdown:
Fantasy/scifi – 5
Picture books – 10
Romance – 15
MG – 3
Non Fiction – 4
Crime 1
Graphic Novel – 1
(Ebooks – 10)
(Diverse books – 6)
(TBR books -2)

For the Reading Challenges I participate in, I’ve read these books:
Beyond the Bookends.
The theme for November was to read a classic.
I read Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White – one I have read numerous times, several times in my own classroom to students.

Monthly Key Word Challenge
The key word I chose this month was “Town”.
The book I read was Small Town Christmas by Magdalena Scott.

Monthly Motif
The theme this month was “family dynamics”.
I read Small Town Christmas and New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan.

52 Books in 52 Weeks
I read from 5 categories this past month:
A childhood favourite – Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
Adventure/espionage book – Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson
A political book – On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder
Book set in Africa – Akimbo and the Elephants by Alexander McCall Smith
A book about travel – Bill Bryson’s African Diary

Popsugar Ultimate Reading Challenge (Through Goodreads)
I read more books for this challenge:
2. True Crime – Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman
3. Book involving a heist – Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson
28. Book with song lyrics in the title – Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah Maas
30. Book with twin characters – New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan

Swords and Stars
I read a couple of books for this challenge.
2. Book over 500 pages – Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah Maas
15 – SFF graphic novel – Angel Catbird by Margaret Atwood

Writers Write
I read 2 books for this challenge.
6 – Your childhood favourite book – Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
26 – A graphic novel – Angel Catbird by Margaret Atwood

Favourite Books Read This Month
This was another good month for reading – so many books I rated 5 at Goodreads.
Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews This finishes the series – loved it.
Cooper’s Charm by Lori Foster
Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
By Sarah Maas: Court of Frost and Fury
Court of Wings and Ruin
 Court of Frost and Starlight
On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder
New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan
Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman

December Goals
My main goal for December is to finish as many of the challenges I am participating in. I also plan to continue to read more books on my TBR pile. I’d like to read a number of Christmas romances as well.

I am linking with the following:

Monthly Review at Book Date

Month in Review 6

Best of the Bunch

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Monthly Wrap-Up

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