27 March 2015

Stacked-Up Book Thoughts: The Truly Random Edition

Stacked-Up Book Thoughts are my random notes about books I've read, movies I've watched, books I'm looking forward to, and events I hope to get to.

Original Intent for This Post

I so love Trish's idea of A Day in the Life event that I really wanted to participate. But this is just not the time of year for me to be sharing my day. From February to the middle of April my life is all about the editing: twelve-hour days, seven days a week. So, although I really do have a life outside of work, I didn't think a series of variations on the following photos would make a very good post. Here's my current life:

  • Coffee
  • Work
  • Coffee
  • Work
  • Walk (if possible)
  • Wine
  • Dinner
  • Collapse
Yeah. So fun. If someone reminds me, I'm going to do a Day in the Life of a Freelancer once I recover from spring editing. In the meantime, please, please click through the link and read about everyone else's exciting lives. I can't wait to get to know my friends a little bit better.

What I've Been Listening To

I've listened to a few audiobooks that I reviewed for other venues or haven't yet reviewed here. I'll get to them soon, either as full reviews or as part of a Sound Recommendations post.

Ali Smith's How to Be Both (Recorded Books; 8 hr, 29 min) looks at the fuzzy line between opposites: life/death, past/present, and male/female. So much to think about, and John Banks was a great choice for narrator. James Hannaham did a fab job narrating his Delicious Foods (Hachette Audio; 11 hr, 6 min), which mixes humor with a serious look at race, poverty, and addiction. Nina Stibbe's Man at the Helm (Audible Studios; 9 hr, 57 min) lets us see what happens to one family after a divorce changes their circumstances. Told through the eyes of an adolescent girl (and read by Imogen Church), this is funny, sad, and touching. Kate Mulgrew leaves very little out in her self-read memoir, Born with Teeth (Hachette Audio; 9 hr, 26 min). It's all about her journey from Iowa to acting fame. Fascinating.

This and That
  • Blogging platform: I've been following some of the Bloggiesta posts and chats this week. I really should do some blog maintenance, but I'll have to wait for this summer. I think it's time for a new design/template, and I've been toying with the thought of switching to WordPress, but I need to wait until work slows down so I can get bids from some designers. I want someone else to do the coding this time, and no way I'm moving all my photos, videos, linkies, etc. to a new platform by myself.
  • Reviews: I still love posting reviews, but I've decided to give myself a time limit for writing them. No more three hours of stewing over creating the absolute perfect review for the blog. Seriously, I spend way too much time on unpaid reviews. I have a few freelance writing gigs, and that's where I want to focus my energy. So expect to see more bullet reviews in the future.
  • Fun stuff: I'm getting a new Stitch Fix either today or tomorrow, so look for an unboxing next week. I can't wait to see what I got this season.
  • Comics: Thanks to Twitter friends, Comics February (again, too busy to participate), and especially Panels, I've gotten the comics / graphic novel bug bad. I haven't been reviewing them, but I hope to put together a few mini-review blasts late next month. My wish list continues to grow as I read all of your comics reviews.
  • A look to the future: I wrote a post for Book Bloggers International for April and did an interview with the blog The Things We Read. When those posts go live, I'll announce it here or on Twitter. I'm also really excited to be on a panel at the Audio Publishers Association Conference, which runs at the same time as BEA (late May in New York). I'm really looking forward to talking about promoting audiobooks.
That's about it for me. Did you participate in Bloggiesta this week? Read anything great?


Kay 3/27/15, 9:18 AM  

Your day sounds kind of exhausting. Seriously. Glad you take a minute to step out and walk a bit. We'll look forward to your "day" at a later time. I'm having a good time wandering around and reading what others have shared. Have a good weekend!

bermudaonion 3/27/15, 9:33 AM  

I don't set a time limit but don't spend near the time writing a post that I used to.

I can't wait to dig into Born With Teeth.

Nise' 3/27/15, 9:55 AM  

Glad you are able to take time for important things during the day (coffee, wine) LOL. No, getting out for a walk is a great way to invigorate yourself! Just started listening to The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scotton.

Beth Hoffman 3/27/15, 10:23 AM  

I can't wait to read what your day as a freelancer is like!

Cass 3/27/15, 10:32 AM  

Glad to see the walk is optional but not the wine! ;) Glad to hear the end of your busy season is in sight.

Lisa 3/27/15, 11:11 AM  

Crazy how many of these days have coffee in the first line!

Lisa 3/27/15, 11:12 AM  

Twelve hour days?? Goodness, do you ever deserve that wine at the end of the day. But what a great job!

Andi 3/27/15, 11:53 AM  

So much good stuff! I'm so excited the comics bug has kicked in big. Gotta love that quick reading, right? I need to pull together some sort of mini review situation.

picky 3/27/15, 12:17 PM  

Brain dead. That's what I would be. I only edit big projects in the summer (because my uni duties cut down quite a bit), and even doing it for a few months is rough. If I were only doing that, maybe it would be a bit better.

But I cannot imagine 12-hour days of it! Good for you trying to fit in a walk. Hope it's all going well.

Sarah's Book Shelves 3/27/15, 12:21 PM  

I love your bullet reviews, so I think more of those is a good thing! I also recently signed up for Stitch Fix and got my first box last week - it's weirdly fun and exciting to see what you get each time!

Katherine P 3/27/15, 12:33 PM  

I can relate to the need for multiple coffee entries! Yay for StitchFix! I really want to sign up for a box but keep chickening out. Until then I'll live vicariously through all that do sign up.

Belle Wong 3/27/15, 1:20 PM  

You know, of course, that I know exactly what your days are like right now. I think I've been really getting burnout lately after a busy period - do you find that happening, too? Really hoping I'll be able to even out the deadlines somewhat this year by adding more freelance writing into the mix.

Cindi 3/27/15, 1:27 PM  

So busy! Hang in there!

Ti 3/27/15, 4:49 PM  

I love how the passage of time is marked by a switch of a beverage (coffee to wine). If I drank wine in the evening I'd probably not be able to get through the rest of the night because I'd have to crash early. Puts me to sleep.

Literary Feline 3/27/15, 5:02 PM  

It sounds like work is crazy busy for you right now.

I'm with you on blog maintenance. I need to do some, but now is not the time. I can barely get my reviews written these days. I try to write during the slow moments at work, but it's never slow this time of year. I hate letting so much time pass before I write a review from when I've finished the book--but lately it's been bad.

Have a great weekend!

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity 3/27/15, 5:12 PM  

Savor that wine, at least! And hopefully there will be sunny spring days coming soon to enjoy your walks. Several people mentioned being sad they missed the event (because they thought their days were boring--boo!) so I might do another in the fall if there's enough interest.

I know we've chatted about this quite a bit, but I absolutely think you can move to WP with little stress (after your busy season). It's such a fun platform...a little more work, but fun. I think you'll love it!

Sue Jackson 3/27/15, 5:17 PM  

Wow, sounds like a really tough schedule!

Those audio books all sound great. I review a lot of middle-grade and YA audio books but would lie to listen to more grown-up ones, too - so many books, so little time!

As for reviews, I have had to make the same adjustments recently - more time on paid writing and less time on blog writing. I have written so many book reviews by now (starting my blogs 9 years ago) that I can knock out a 500-word review in about 30 minutes. For me, I limit the time of day for blogging: mornings (when my energy is highest) are for paid writing work and all the stuff I need to get done around the house that can't be done on weekends. Late afternoon and early evening are blog and social media time. It's been working well.

BTW, how do you get your pictures to look so artsy? After 9 years of blogging, I am still something of a neophyte when it comes to the technical aspects!

Thanks for sharing your day!


Book By Book

Chrisbookarama 3/27/15, 6:37 PM  

Coffee! Can't wait to read what you wrote for BBI. I wrote something too.

Joy 3/27/15, 6:50 PM  

That is quite a schedule. I'm working on making my blog posts come together a bit more quickly, too.

Joy's Book Blog

Kailana 3/27/15, 8:27 PM  

I find my life boring all the time, so I didn't participate because no one would be interested!

Julie S 3/28/15, 12:33 AM  

I like the simplified approach you have for your day description. That's pretty accurate :)

Laurie C 3/28/15, 7:13 AM  

My husband works from home (managing editor) so his day is a lot like yours! Minus the wine, because of the low-carb diet! I'm enjoying reading about others' Bloggiestas, but didn't sign up myself. Bad week for it for me too!

Anonymous,  3/28/15, 8:46 AM  

Coffee-work-coffee-work sounds like a dangerous spiral. Good thing you have fun blogging diversions!

Care's Review Writing Tip: I say, give yourself a 10 minute time limit to quick rough draft thoughts/words on a review and you'll be surprised how good it can be. :)

Bryan G. Robinson 3/28/15, 10:47 AM  

So from what I'm gathering from all this is you drink a lot of coffee and wine? ;) I drink a little bit of coffee, not enough water, and a little rum and coke on the weekends. :)

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) 3/28/15, 2:29 PM  

I'm looking forward to reading about the day in the life of a freelancer. I sometimes think I'd like to go that route, but I'm not sure if all of the "extras" that come with managing your own business are for me :)

Lindsey 3/28/15, 2:59 PM  

I've been meaning to read How To Be Both, but I never considered listening to it as an audio book. I need to find some good ones!

Thank goodness for coffee. It is certainly a good friend during editing!

Unknown 3/28/15, 3:26 PM  

It looks like you make a smooth transition from coffee o'clock to wine o'clock. :-) A woman after my own heart.

kathy 3/28/15, 8:47 PM  

It sounds like things are super busy for you! Good luck during your hectic time of year. I would love to read about a day in the life of a freelancer if you do get a chance to write about it :)

Bree 3/28/15, 11:58 PM  

Thanks for the shoutout! Hopefully life slows down a little for you soon :)

Anonymous,  3/29/15, 9:06 AM  

I would be really interested in seeing what a day in the life of a freelancer looks like. I do hope you decide to do a more detailed one in the fall!

Tara @ Tales of a Book Addict 3/29/15, 9:23 AM  

I hope you do post about your day sometime in the future, I've always been curious about what it's like to be a freelancer. I don't have enough self-motivation to work from home for any length of time. Personally I enjoy your bullet reviews. I have been finding it increasingly more difficult to write my reviews. I can only come up with so many ways to say "great book", "eh", or "skip it" and I think I've just about hit that limit sometimes! I wish I could let myself off the hook and do more simple reviews without the guilt.

Sheila (Bookjourney) 3/29/15, 11:48 AM  

Great post it was fun to hear about what your day is like and you made me feel like mine was less crazy.

Megan 3/29/15, 5:35 PM  

Hey! We have that mug with the huge cat on it at my house, too! LOL. 12 hour days 7 days a week sounds dreadful. Hope the madness lets up soon and you get to enjoy a little relaxation!

Booksnyc 3/29/15, 8:28 PM  

My schedule looks very similar right now although I work in an office so you can toss in the walk to and from the office which is a welcome addition of some exercise to the telecon, telecon, telecon monotony.

I like your approach to reviews - I agonize sometimes and then enter this guilt cycle over not getting something posted - maybe a time limit is the key!

Michelle 3/29/15, 10:02 PM  

The Kate Mulgrew memoir sounds fascinating!

And yes, I totally want to see a day in the life of a freelancer. Maybe this fall?

Daryl 3/30/15, 8:42 AM  

loved this post .. even the bullet point day in the life ...

Anonymous,  4/5/15, 1:50 PM  

Bullet reviews are totally cool! I definitely spend too much time agonizing over reviews. I've been thinking about switching to wordpress too, but ain't nobody got time for that. I really want to read Born With Teeth, so I'm glad it seems good!

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