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2020 Weekly Checkins > Week 20: 5/8 – 5/14

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message 1: by Sara (last edited May 14, 2020 05:08AM) (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Hello all,

How are we all doing? Here in Virginia, the governor has determined that “phase 1” of the reopening starts tomorrow (Friday). I’m not in a big hurry to rush anywhere so I don’t think it will change much for me. Maybe I’ll finally go get my dog’s nails clipped. Otherwise I’m just going to sit back and see what happens. We have a vacation planned in a few weeks – a beach house rental – which is still on so I’m hopeful it stays that way!

**Admin note:
Just looking ahead, June’s group read is The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar. Discussion will be led by Lynn.

ETA: Modern Mrs. Darcy has released her Summer Reading Guide which is always a fun source to discover some new books to read in the coming months. I think right now you have to subscribe to her newsletter for access, but it should be available through the website at some point. https://modernmrsdarcy.com/

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner. I’m of two minds about this book. The first two thirds of the book, covering the 1918 flu, is fantastic, but then the war ends, there’s about a 5-6 year gap and the story just stalls out. For me it didn’t pick up again until nearly the end of the book. Still, it’s a good read.

Currently Reading:
You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley. Two of my very good friends read and loved this book. Mia has seen the same man in her dreams for years when suddenly she sees him in person. And at some point (I haven’t gotten there yet), he reveals he’s been dreaming of her too! The premise is super interesting, and two of my trusted book loving friends have recommended it so I think it’s going to be a great read.

The Queens of Animation: The Untold Story of the Women Who Transformed the World of Disney and Made Cinematic History – This book looks back on the little known women working for the Walt Disney Company on early feature animation films in the 30’s and 40’s. I’m listening on audio, and since my audio habits have quite fallen off the cliff lately, it’s been a slow but steady read. I am enjoying it though. A little Disney history, a little women’s history, and a dash of Disney magic!

Question of the week:

(From Lauren) What advice would you give to writers, based on what works and what's frustrating when it comes to writing styles, content, etc. that you've noticed with the books you've loved and loathed over the years?

I thought this was an interesting question.

Things I think writers should STOP doing:
-Ignoring standard grammatical rules and punctuation. What is with the trend of no quotation marks?
-Hopping on a trend and flooding the market (“the girl” books, WWII fiction)

Things I want to see writers do:
-explore new topics, new time periods
-I'm sure there are more but I'm blanking on it!

message 2: by Brandy (new)

Brandy B (bybrandy) | 260 comments Texas is in the middle of reopening. I'm caretaker for my mom who already has lung issues so we're not rushing anywhere at all... no way, no how, not going to happen.

My sister-in-law tested positive on Friday last week. She is/was a cashier at her local grocery store. She hasn't had any symptoms but a coworker tested positive so my sister-in-law said, "just to be safe..." and... yeah. My brother and their son so far are negative. So knock wood but I'll be happy to be a bit further down the road on this one.

Didn't read much this week.

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel I'd read really mixed reviews of this one so it might have lowered my expectations. I liked it. It wasn't Station Eleven but most books aren't. (set in Canada, upside down image on the cover... who knows)

Currently Reading:
Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story by Jacob Tobia which I'm sure I put on for trans author debut book or pink cover or something and then slotted something else into each o these slots so who knows where I will put it, but this book so far about halfway in is pretty awesome. It is smart and funny and at times painful, but funny. And it isn't the traditional trans narrative and I think it is good to hear different voices on how gender identity is for them. So seriously so glad I picked this one.

Advice to Authors of multiple books:

Are you using the exact same plot devices and shocking twist as you used in your previous book? Yeah, don't do that. Try something else. We'll wait.

And I'm totally with you on the question marks. Why exactly have we decided the question mark is unnecessary?

message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 835 comments I think we have two week 20 posts :)

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