I'm afraid my to-be-read pile might be a little bit out of control.
I have a sunroom with windows from waist height up. Below that is bookshelves and I have six shelves that are mine - the rest are shared between hubby and our photo collection. Here's how my shelves are organised:
1. Keep forever - this is mainly my collection of Kathleen Woodiwiss, Jean M Auel and few of the other romances that have travelled with me since my flatting days in my late teens/early twenties. Then add in some futuristic from Susan Grant and Patti O'Shea and you see my reading evolution over time. I do like a man in a spacesuit.
2. First books of authors I know - including Rachael Bailey, Nikki Logan, Sharon Archer, Christina Brooke, Denise Rossetti, Anna Campbell. Where possible, I have them autographed. I'm yet to figure out how to do this with e-books, but I'm working on it.
3. Re-read me - Right now I have Agnes and the Hitman by Jennie Cruisie and Bob Mayer, Gone with the Wind and Scarlett (my aim is to read these two without a break between them - this might be a long service leave project), Denise Rossetti's four sided pentacle series (books 1-3 with no 4 to come - again another read without a break series) and Susan Grant's Star Prince series.
4. To-be read - which is currently taking up two shelves - because there are.... wait for it.... 97 physical tomes (which underestimates, because there are a lot of collections, anthologies etc which blows the number of stories up around 130). I thought I needed to know the full extent of the problem, so I counted my e-readers as well. Kindle has 19 books, eBooks has 34 books. Grand total: 150 books to be read. O..M..G... If anyone is faring worse than this, please comment. I feel like a failure.
5. Library shelf - currently being used for to-be-read overflow. I've just discovered our library has two week e-book loans (and music and heaps of other great stuff) so my library shelf is temporarily sitting on my iPad and its only got one book on it. Phew...
6. Rehoming shelf - is sitting at about twenty titles - anything that isn't a keeper goes for rehoming. There is a drop-in centre for new migrants a few suburbs over and they teach conversation in english and reading in english, as well as providing an area to socialise and access community services. Its a really positive place, so most of my rehoming books end up there.
I would have taken a photo but I figured I wanted to show it to you tidy, not the way it is now (adds "tidy bookshelves" to never-ending to do list).
So how many books on your to-be-read shelf?
Our house is in chaos at the moment - our older dog Gromit fell on the stairs, ruptured a disc in her back and has had a trip to the vet hospital and is now recovering. She's got a long road ahead, but she'll eventually get back to normal. Hubby and I are splitting the nursing duties.
While she's learning to walk again, our younger dog is not allowed anywhere near her. As a result Misty is very confused. Her constant companion and BFF disappeared for a long time and now she's back, but she's not playing. Queue writing companion, television companion, gardening companion. Misty has attached herself to whoever is supervising Gromit and has to be touching them, so they don't disappear.
Does your pet keep you company while you write?
In August 2013, I travelled to Fremantle to attend the Romance Writers of Australia Annual Conference, and what a conference it was! There were so many highlights and lightbulb moments but I thought I would focus on the three new things I've incorporated into my life, having discovered them while at conference.
Thanks to Anita Joy and Kerrie Patterson, fellow RWA members and Geocachers, I have discovered this fabulous GPS treasure hunt and very quickly became hooked. The photos were taken on the way to the geocache closest to my house in Brisbane. I have lived in this house for over twenty years and despite this bushland being 500m from the end of my street I've never set foot in it before. I'm embarrassed to admit that. What's even weirder - one of the biggest shopping complexes in Brisbane is just over the road from here and if not for the noise of the traffic I would have thought I was in the middle of the bush.
Scrivener - what can I say? I fell in love with this software during the tutorial and am gradually learning the ropes. I'm sure once I can use in the ways its intended, I'll love it even more. If that's possible...
3. Don't forget to look behind you
This sage piece of advice came from a conference keynote. Don't be so driven going forward that you forget to look back at where you've been, and celebrate your successes. As a yet to be published author, I'm guilty of this. Instead of celebrating three complete novels, one novella and too many short stories to count, I focus on the lack of publication. So today, while walking this bush track I celebrated both the way forward and what I have achieved on the way.
I learnt heaps at conference, caught up with writing friends old and new, walked round Fremantle absorbing as much history as I could and had a fabulous time. I can't wait till the Sydney conference in August 2014.
A quick post to let you know I'll be reading one of my short stories, "A Happy New Year" at the Brisbane Writer's Festival at 10am on Sunday 8th September at the Red Box, State Library of Queensland. The Romance Writers of Australia will be launching the Little Gems Anthology 2013 - Sapphire with readings by several Little Gems Authors.
The RWA Little Gems competition is one of my favourites. Each year the anthology is themed and I find the gems chosen always take me out of my comfort zone. So far, I've been accepted for stories I've written on a medical unit in a futuristic mining disaster, a mobile medical unit on a 900km bike ride, a sexy vet rescuing a kitten trapped in a car and a toll-collector's fascination with a man in a ute.
This year's theme is Moonstone and I'm in the pre-contemplation stage of writing, which involves a lot of Google, some hands on research at either the jewellers or the markets and a trawl for photos of possible heros and heroines. Fingers crossed inspiration will strike and I'll be off and writing.
Fiona Greene Author
"A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step."