WWW Wednesday, 14-August-2019

14 Aug

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I have some time on an airplane and a long trip coming up where I can read some of Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min. I’m really hoping that this means I can finish it soon!
I made the hard decision not to take The Map of Time by Félix Palma on my trip with me. I was super tight on space and it’s a very long book! I’ll pick it up when I get back home and hope I can power through next week.
I should be finishing A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab any day now. I’m very close to the end and excited to see what the final book holds! Hopefully, I don’t take as long to get to the final book. I’m going to make this my main audiobook, even if I’m still listening when I get home from my trip. I need to get through it so I can start some book club selections.

Recently finished: I was able to wrap up Burial Rites by Hannah Kent on the day I left! I’m glad I was able to finish something eventually. The story was really well written and I’m glad I read it. I wish I’d gotten to it before I visited Iceland, but I think after was still OK. I wish I’d gotten out of the capital a bit more, now. I would love to see the countryside described in this book.

No reviews this week. I’ve been busier than I can describe and I’m hoping to take this week ‘off’ and then get back to blogging next week when life has calmed down.

Reading Next: I hope to have downloaded An American Marriage by Tayari Jones before I get home from my trip and have it going ASAP. I can’t wait to listen to this one and get to a few others as soon as I can! I don’t like feeling behind with reading.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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Book Review: Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton (3/5)

8 Aug

I bought this book when I visited Powells in 2017 because it was compared to Station Eleven. I was excited to see it was offered as an audiobook from my library so my husband and I started listening to it during a long car trip. Unfortunately, we didn’t finish it and when we went to check it out for the next car trip, the file was no longer available! We finished it reading out-loud to each other in the car and then in bed to finish it up. One way or another, we were going to finish it.

Cover image via Goodreads

Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton

Summary from Goodreads:

Augustine, a brilliant, aging astronomer, is consumed by the stars. For years he has lived in remote outposts, studying the sky for evidence of how the universe began. At his latest posting, in a research center in the Arctic, news of a catastrophic event arrives. The scientists are forced to evacuate, but Augustine stubbornly refuses to abandon his work. Shortly after the others have gone, Augustine discovers a mysterious child, Iris, and realizes the airwaves have gone silent. They are alone.

At the same time, Mission Specialist Sullivan is aboard the Aether on its return flight from Jupiter. The astronauts are the first human beings to delve this deep into space, and Sully has made peace with the sacrifices required of her: a daughter left behind, a marriage ended. So far the journey has been a success, but when Mission Control falls inexplicably silent, Sully and her crew mates are forced to wonder if they will ever get home.

As Augustine and Sully each face an uncertain future against forbidding yet beautiful landscapes, their stories gradually intertwine in a profound and unexpected conclusion. In crystalline prose, Good Morning, Midnight poses the most important questions: What endures at the end of the world? How do we make sense of our lives?

The premise of this book sounds interesting but in reality, it’s really boring to be alone. It’s also boring to read about being alone. The first half of the book had this problem. As we did flashbacks and set up the story to come, it was dull. Not much happened and the small things that did happen were mostly in flashback. It was frustrating not knowing what had caused the catastrophe. I hope this isn’t a spoiler, but we never find out what it was. I wanted to know so badly because it felt like Brooks-Dalton wrote half of a story. It felt like the build-up to a great adventure but it ended before it started. There was some good plotting, don’t get me wrong. However, my husband and I saw the two big twists coming well before they were revealed. The good characters didn’t redeem the problems I had with the plotting of the book.

I liked the characterization of the people on Aether and how they dealt with the uncertainty on Earth. With the number of people on board, they were able to portray a lot of different ways that someone might deal with possible death and loss. They were all at different stages of grief and I liked being in Sully’s head and hearing how she was dealing with it.

Harper was my favorite character. He was very ‘captain-like.’ He was easily in charge and very confident which came across well in the story. He also came across as a strong, silent type and extremely attractive. But he was very professional and it wasn’t until the very end that it seemed like he and Sully might have a romantic relationship. I liked that about him. It seemed like he realized when it was OK to cross the professional boundary.

I’ve never been as alone as these characters and it’s hard to think of any situation where I would have had a similar mentality. I’ve felt that alone but it’s all in my head and never lasted as long. I’ve probably been as retrospective as them, though.

Lily Brooks-Dalton
Image via The Independent

I liked the parts of the book Sully narrated best. I think it was because she had more people to interact with and it didn’t feel as remote despite them being in space. Auggie’s story seemed really flat to me and his backstory was pretty dull. Iris barely talked so she didn’t add much to it.

The end of the book frustrated me and I’m going to spoil it so skip ahead if you don’t want to know. I felt like the end of the book was the first half of a book I wanted to read more. I would have loved the adventure of exploring a world that had been devastated by something. You’re either the only ones or there was some communication knock-out that left everyone isolated that you have to deal with. I felt frustrated with the book when the big reveal on the final page wasn’t much of a reveal and then it ended earlier than I wanted.

The audiobook I listened to had two narrators, John H. Mayer and Hillary Huber. I liked having two people narrate the two leads in this book. It would have felt odd to have a man reading for Sully or a woman for Auggie. Both had good voices for this and gave the story the gravity it was due.

Both characters were searching for what gave them meaning when there wasn’t much left. That was a good thing for me to think about. When Auggie had nothing left, he wanted to reconnect with his daughter. When Sully had nothing left, she regretted the time she didn’t spend with her ex-husband and daughter. It’s spending time with family that we’ll regret, not working.

Writer’s Takeaway: Brooks-Dalton had two big twists planned but I honestly saw them coming. The one Auggie figured out was a little more obvious to me, but I liked how she threaded the other one in. (Trying not to give anything away.) It was interesting to see how slowly the connection was revealed and how it took until the very end for it to come full circle. I liked that element of the plotting even if the rest of it wasn’t for me.

Overall, I had some issues but still enjoyed the book. Three out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
‘Good Morning, Midnight’ Imagines a World Gone Dark | Chicago Review of Books
Book Review: Good Morning, Midnight, by Lily Brooks-Dalton | The Reviewer
Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton | The Desert Bookworm
Review: Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton | Mad Book Love
Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton | For Winter Nights

WWW Wednesday, 7-August-2019

7 Aug

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I had a few lunch breaks to read Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min last week. I can feel I’m getting toward the end of it, but I still have a long way to go. I need to pick shorter ebooks.
I’m about halfway through The Map of Time by Félix Palma which is more than I’d hoped for. The plot is really engaging for this one and I’m liking the narrative style a lot. I keep reading it instead of doing other things I should.
I started running again and listening to A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab. I hope I’m able to listen to the third in this series soon because I’d hate to forget all of the amazing details I’m hearing in this one. Schwab’s writing is amazing.
I’m over halfway through Burial Rites by Hannah Kent already and I’m really liking it. Agnes is becoming more developed and I’m looking forward to where her character will end up. I have an inkling of what will happen and I can’t wait to see it played out!

Recently finished: Nothing new this week. I did post my review of Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton yesterday so please check that out when you can. I gave it Three out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I still hope to get a copy of An American Marriage by Tayari Jones next. It’s available as an eaudio so that shouldn’t be too hard. Though I have yet another audiobook to get to soon for my other book club so I hope I can power through this one!


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Writing Check In- August

6 Aug

One of my goals for this year was to write more. My husband had the suggestion of making a monthly feature to talk about my writing and how it’s going. It helps keep me honest(ish) and lets you all know when my masterpiece will be released to the world!

This was not a good month for writing and I had an idea it would play out that way. I had my Half IronMan at the end of July and the ramp-up to that was intense. But it’s over. I want to really focus again on writing. I got a little bit done on Friday, fixing the tone of a few scenes. My female lead was getting in a lot of screaming matches that made her a bit unlikeable. I think we’re on better fitting now.

I stopped before a major change I’m putting in. I realized my POV didn’t bounce back and forth very much through one section and that needed to change. It should be easy enough to implement, but I need to re-write a few scenes and switch the order of a few others. It will take some work and a chunk of dedicated time is the best way to go about it. I’m saving it for my next dedicated time.

When I was training, I put each of my workouts on my calendar. It let me move things around if needed and see where I had free time or busy days. I want to start doing that with writing now. I know what workouts I need to plan so I can plan my writing, too. I think it will be mostly after-work writing time and I’m OK with that. My husband has found plenty of ways to keep himself busy while I’m having ‘me’ time. We’ll just keep that moving forward.

I hope to have more progress to report next month and be closer to moving toward submission. I’m so excited to share this book with all of you and the rest of the world! It’s coming, I promise.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Club Reflection: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

5 Aug

My book group met to discuss Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal last week. We got off the topic of the book a bit because a lot of us wanted to discuss the same topic more than what Gawande had to say about it. Many of us have had loved ones go through end-of-life care so we all had a lot to share.

We did talk a bit about Gawande before we began. He’s a very impressive person. He was born in Brooklyn and earned his MA from Oxford and his MD from Harvard. He served as a health care advisor under Clinton during his campaign. He’s currently working on developing a new kind of health care company with major players in the business world called Haven. I’d love to get coffee with this guy, but I doubt he has the time.

We had a new member join us this month who works as a social worker with older adults and she had a lot of personal insight to share. She revealed to us that many older adults are afraid of death and how they will die. Some members of our group were surprised. They talk about death and dying with their families and friends openly. Of course, these are trusted loved ones, but the topic still comes up.

The social worker mentioned that she met Bill Thomas, the man who brought birds and plants into his retirement community to bring life back to it. She said he’s a little crazy, but most people with radical ideas are a bit out there. The idea of it is to make people feel useful. Sometimes, this is accomplished by having residents wash a dish or peel carrots for dinner. Thomas’s way was to have them take care of animals. Often, you see these ideas implemented incorrectly. A birdcage in the lobby where the staff care for the animals is in the right vein but doesn’t put the responsibility on the residents and defeats the purpose.

Suicide among the Baby Boomer generation is increasing (see this article). One of the reasons cited is the loss of power. We read a lot in Gawande’s book about how you lose your individualism as you grow older and the power to control what you do. This loss of power can fuel depression and it seems to be growing as the Baby Boomers age.

We talked at length about the difference between hospice and palliative care. I was still a bit unsure of the difference after reading the book. Palliative care is meant to keep someone who is ill out of the hospital and anticipate problems before they occur. It’s a bit of ‘comfort care,’ but it’s also on the preventative side as it mitigates side effects. Hospice means you are no longer being treated for the disease you are dying of. You won’t be rushed to the hospital for a symptom of your disease. This is the idea of ‘making every day as good as possible.’

These are hard topics for some people to talk about because they’re very personal. Our conversation got emotional but I’m proud of us and how much we trust each other to talk about these difficult issues. It was interesting how this book focused on keeping the elderly or sick person in control of their situation while the book we read about cadavers, Stiff by Mary Roach, focused on how what happens to our bodies after we die is completely out of our control. We can’t forget that the change should happen only at death and not before.

I can’t believe summer’s almost over but we’ll meet one more time in August before the fall picks up. Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Challenge Update, July 2019

1 Aug

Another great month for audiobooks! I’m glad something good came out of my crazy fitness endeavors. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in July:

Being Mortal // Atul Gawande (4/5)
Ajax Penumbra 1969 // Robin Sloan (4/5)
The Golden Rules // Bob Bowman (3/5)
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius // Dave Eggers (2/5)
A Storm of Swords // George R.R. Martin (5/5)
Good Morning, Midnight // Lily Brooks-Dalton (3/5)

Eggers slowed down my physical book progress a bit. I really slugged through that one. And Martin was a big win for my car-audio. I’m glad to call that one ‘finished’ finally! Overall, a good haul for the month.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

9/12
Another one bites the dust! Since the A Song of Ice and Fire series is based on the factual War of the Roses, I decided to count the book in the time period that the war happened which means A Storm of Swords fulfills the 1300-1499 time period. If you want to, you can fight me. But it’s my challenge so I made up the rules so good luck. None of the books I’m reading now will fit the periods I have left so it might be time to start getting strategic.

Goodreads Challenge

37/52
Killing it! I’m feeling great on this one and I’m really far ahead of schedule. Even the long audiobook didn’t bring me down so I’m happy to be confident in this one. Maybe I can bring my goal back up next year. You never know.

 

Book of the Month

Limiting it to this month seems wrong because I worked on it for so long, but I’m giving the title to A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin. This was my favorite of the series so far and it feels like such an accomplishment just to have finished it.

Added to my TBR

It’s finally coming down again! I’m down a total of six books this month to 71. I know I’ll have a book club season role in here soon that will bring it back up, but I’ll enjoy this while it lasts. What’s even more amazing is that I didn’t add anything to my TBR this month. Yes, I am feeling alright, don’t worry!

Personal Challenge

I’m gearing up again to track personal goals here. This is a great way to keep me accountable and to tell you about me outside the wide world of books.

  • Finish 70.3 Half Ironman: DONE! I’ll do a full post on this at the end of the month but it went wonderfully, better than I could have expected. And no, it didn’t change my mind about doing another one. Never again.
  • Attend six weddings: We’re at the halfway point. Three down, three to go. One in August and two in October. I think we only have one more gift to buy so we’re well on our way!
  • Finish a weather blanket: I started getting caught up on this last week so I’ll be up to date pretty soon. I’m in mid-July right now, not too far off!
  • Write: I’m rededicating myself to this. With the time I’m not spending training, I can spend more writing. August is my rededication month so I’ll be beginning next week. My goal is a minimum of two hours a week and I hope for more.
  • See my friends more: Up and down. I had a friend reach out to me after my race so I got to see her and it was lovely. I have some fun adventures with friends happening soon that I’ve been planning for a while. So yes for planned trips/parties, but no a lot spontaneously. A mixed bag.

How are your challenges going so far? I hope you’re off to a good start If you love historical fiction, give some thought to my challenge for 2019, it’s fun!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 31-July-2019

31 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: Well, I read some of Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min. That’s a start, right? I’ll keep moving forward with this but it feels like it’s never-ending. But it has to at some point. I just feel like I’ve stalled.
I’m really enjoying The Map of Time by Félix Palma. I’m moving through it as fast as my schedule allows but I’ve already had to renew it once at the library. I’ll make it through eventually but I know this thick book is a long haul. I’m hanging on tight for the ride!
I’m at a lull with A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab. Now that my race is over, I’m taking a short break from running and biking to concentrate on a 2-mile swim I’m doing this weekend. It’s hard to listen while I swim so I’ll get back to this soon. I’m really liking it so I can’t wait to dive back in.
I’ve enjoyed Burial Rites by Hannah Kent so far. I’m amazed at the narrator attempting (successfully?) to pronounce all the Icelandic names and locations in this book. They sound impossible to pronounce. When we were in Iceland, I didn’t even try.

Recently finished: In a weird twist, the library e-copy of Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton my husband and I had been listening to is no longer available. I guess we were the only ones using it and it was removed from the collection. I dug out my physical copy and we took turns reading it out loud to each other on the drive home from Ohio. We had one chapter left when we got home and finished it that night! Review to come.

I posted my review of A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin yesterday. It feels so good to have finally finished that book! Please go check it out. I hope I don’t wait as long before I start the fourth book. I gave it Five out of Five Stars, my highest rating in the series so far!

Reading Next: The plan is still to get an e-copy of An American Marriage by Tayari Jones next. While I’m taking a break from running, I’m still doing a half marathon in the fall so I’ll be back at it soon enough and I’ll get to this after Schwab.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

30 Jul

It took me three months to listen to this audiobook. For context, it’s 39 disks long. A normal book is around 10, long books are 15. This was 39. I believe it was over 50 hours of audio. I had to get a librarian to change my due date twice because I’d run out of holds. It felt so good to finally finish this book!

Cover image via Goodreads

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3) by George R.R. Martin

Other books by Martin reviewed on this blog:

A Game of Thrones (#1)
A Clash of Kings (#2)

Summary from Goodreads:

Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, victim of the sorceress who holds him in her thrall. Young Robb still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world. And as opposing forces manoeuver for the final showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost limits of civilization, accompanied by a horde of mythical Others—a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords.

This book really took off. I looked at my ratings of the first two books (4 and 3 stars) and I’m surprised because this one was such a winner and I don’t remember disliking the first two. Maybe I’m going nuts. I was swept away with the story in book three. A lot of my favorite moments from several seasons of the show ended up in this book and the clash of them all together was very enjoyable. Each character is killing it and I’m liking the pacing a lot. Overall, I can’t wait to read book four. I’ve just got to carve out the time.

Martin builds amazing characters. As before, Tyrion is a favorite and I adore how he’s evolved in this book. Sansa is starting to become more likable and Arya is starting to feel less whiney. Most importantly, I’m starting to like Jaime. This book shows Martin’s amazing ability to build characters and I’m loving where it’s going.

Tyrion is again my favorite. I love how he appears to be evil and mean but it’s clearly a result of how his sister and father have treated him his entire life. I think his relationship with Jaime really shows a lot about him and in this book in particular. Jaime’s loyalty is very divided between the woman he loves and his brother when the two of them are at each other’s throats for most of the book. I think the brothers’ bond will be explored more as this goes forward, more so than the show did. I also loved the development of Tyrion’s first wife that we don’t get in the show. I won’t spoil it here, but I felt it showed a lot about Jaime that he told Tyrion the truth.

I can’t say I’ve been in situations like many of the characters in the story and that’s part of what makes it such a wonderful escapist pastime. The way they react in situations makes me think ‘I’d never do that’ or ‘I can see where they’re coming from,’ but their situations are not at all familiar to me.

George RR Martin
Image via GeorgeRRMartin.com

Arya and the Hound’s time together was my favorite of the book. I enjoyed the relationship they developed and being inside Arya’s head and hearing how she felt about Sandor and how that changed was really fun for me. She hated him but relied on him. She wanted to kill him but also wanted him to stay alive. I liked how she dealt with those mixed emotions and I think she grew a lot because of it.

There wasn’t a part of this book I disliked. I think it was all amazingly done and I really look forward to the next one now that Martin has kicked it into high gear.

Roy Dotrice was an amazing narrator yet again. I’m going to miss his voice when we finally get to books he couldn’t narrate. He does an incredible job with the mix of characters and the delivery of certain lines with deep emotion. He’s so talented and deserves the recognition he’s gotten for his performances.

There was a lot of loss and revenge in this book. Loss mostly from death but also other ways. Jaime’s loss comes to mind. Sansa is dealing with a loss of freedom. Revenge from Theon and Tyrion are prominent and the way the Northmen and outlaws are rebelling plays a large role in the balance of power in the realm. Revenge is often dark but we see how it can be so sweet in some of these cases.

Writer’s Takeaway: You rarely get a book as long as this one and it doesn’t drag at all. There wasn’t a down moment in this book, it kept rocketing ahead and I loved it. Martin does a good job of building to high points before switching to another character. This is something I’m trying to work into my re-write on my book which also uses multiple points of view. It’s great to see how it can be done well.

A great job and a middle book with no lag! A full Five out of Five stars.

This book counts toward the 1300-1499 period (assuming it parallels the War of the Roses) for the When Are You Reading? Challenge.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Review: A Storm of Swords | literaryelephant
A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin | Lighthearted Librarian’s Website
A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3) by George RR Martin | loudbookishtype

Off Topic Thursday: It’s Time

25 Jul

I’ve been talking about it for a long time and now it’s here! Well, it’s coming. My Half Ironman, Half Ironman Ohio 70.3, is on Sunday, July 28th. I’m. Freaking. Out!

I feel ready. I’ve trained according to my plan, making small adjustments for personal obligations and larger adjustments for injuries that I’ve learned to manage and help heal. And now it’s time to see if it was enough. It’s time to see if my bike (I’ve named her Bike) will hold up and if Bike and I will ever want to look at each other again after 56 miles in rural Ohio. And we’ll see if my knees still work after a half marathon to end the day. My husband and my parents will be there to support me and I’ll probably cry when I see them coming through the shoot. I’m almost crying thinking about it.

This has been a pretty major life goal of mine for some time. I’m glad to finally be staring it down and ready to check it off the list. I don’t ever want to do one of these again! So many of my friends from my tri club told me I’d get addicted. I have back and knee pain and a terrible hankering to just run a darn 5K and stop. I’m nowhere near addicted and I have no intention of doing a full Ironman ever in my life. I plan to focus on Sprint and Olympic distance races (about a quarter and half the distance I’ll do on Sunday) and swim more. I love swimming. I miss doing it as much as I used to.

If you’re terribly bored on Sunday, you can look me up. I’m number 446 and you can Google the race (Ironman Ohio) after it starts Sunday morning and track me throughout the day. I hope to finish in under seven hours. I should be in the water by about 7:30 EST (it’s a rolling start so no guarantee on a start time). It will be a long day and you can bet that my August post will be a reflection of how it went.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 24-July-2019

24 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

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Currently reading: It’s been even slower with Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min. I’ve been having lunch with a friend a lot the past few weeks since it’s nice out. We can’t do this as much come winter so we’re enjoying the sun and I’m reading less. Oh well.
My husband and I haven’t moved forward with Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton. We have a drive coming up this weekend (more on that tomorrow) so we’ll get a bit more in then. This one might be a long time running.
I was finally able to start The Map of Time by Félix Palma! It’s been really interesting so far, though I’m not far into it. The narration style is reminding me a bit of Marcus Zusak. We’ll see if that continues.
I’ve already made great progress with A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab due to some longer training sessions last week. I’m optimistic that I’ll finish this in two weeks, but we’ll see. Optimism!
I start Burial Rites by Hannah Kent in my car. Not too far into it yet, so no real opinion. I added this to my TBR when I planned my trip to Iceland but I’m a year late on reading it. Oh well, better late than never!

Recently finished: Finally, there is so much to report! I wrapped up The Golden Rules by Bob Bowman which was a great one to listen to while training for a Half Ironman. It was really inspiring to push toward your goals. It helps that I’m an avid swimmer and swim fan and this focused on Bowman’s most famous athlete, Michael Phelps. My review went up last Thursday and I gave it Three out of Five Stars.
I was glad to finish A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers late last week. It was dragging on more than I wanted and I was eager to start something new. My review went up yesterday so you can check that out. I gave it Two out of Five Stars.
I finally finished A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin! 39 disks and over 47 hours completed. It feels amazing to be done. I’ll have a review up next week I expect. I hope I can remember it all.

Reading Next: I’ve got one more book club pick coming up soon that I need to start so I’ll be listening to Tayari Jones’s An American Marriage next. I’ve read Jones before and liked her and this one has had a lot of good press so I’m looking forward to it.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

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