Sunday 10 January 2010

Sunday Salon - From the Influence of Others.

This is our little world at the moment. Snow, snow and more snow. Since Wednesday, our little world has come to a complete standstill. We had about 3 inches of snow and everything has stopped. The children haven't been to school; the shops are selling out of bread and milk; my poor little VW is shivering outside the house and refusing to go out in case he gets scratched and dented. The worst thing out of all this is that the library loans I am waiting for have been 'in transit' since Wednesday, with no hope of them reaching the library. Ho hum! I know, I know, you are all saying, 'But you got loads of books for Christmas Viv', but a girl can never have too many books!

Apart from our world feeling like it is void of colour ( I feel a bit like the lead character in The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman, who loses her ability to see red, only I can't see any colours), I am feeling rather chipper. I feel that lots of you lovely bloggers have inspired me this week.I have read some really interesting blogs that have made me look at what I have planned this year.

Firstly, check out Jessica's post over at Both Eyes Book blog, who managed to read 500 books in 2009. This girl is my hero; she works full time; has children and organised a wedding this year, still finding time to fit in 500 books. Amazing what you can do if you put your mind to it. Jessica has definitely inspired me to top my 120 books this year. I am doing well so far, as since the beginning of January I have already read 5 books, with another nearly finished.

Secondly, JKaye has inspired me to get on with my writing. JKaye has a new blog called '365 Days of Novel Writing,' which follows her daily journey into the world of becoming a successful author. Each day she writes what she has done and how she feels. I have found this to be really helpful and I have actually got off my butt and started to follow her guidelines to help me write.

Lastly, Carmen over at Whoopidoo...ings is getting me all worked up into a frenzy as she starts planning to make all her presents for Christmas 2010. I am so impressed by the websites that she has found and I have come across some lovely gifts that are quite easy to make. Check out the sites that Carmen recommends here and ease the cost of next Christmas. There are some lovely foodie presents,as well as cupcake bathbombs and felt cupcakes,which are all relatively easy to make. Follow the links on Carmen's site to the money saving experts and see what everyone is making.

So all these sites have got me geared up for lots more reading, more organisation, lots of writing and planning for next year's Christmas.

I have started organising my life already by halfing the amount of blogs in my google reader. I found I had so many blogs that I never really read or commented on blocking it up, which made me feel really heavy. By getting rid of all the ones I don't read, I feel like I have gained an extra hour a day. I have to recommend it, as it made me feel like a weight had been lifted.

As I mentioned above, I have read so much more already this week.

I finished 'Ruined' by Paula Morris, which I reviewed here; I also finished 'The Seance' by John Harwood, which I will be reviewing this week.

I also read 'The Ice Queen' by Alice Hoffman, 'The Stonewalkers' by Vivien Alcock and 'Saving CeeCee Honeycutt' by Beth Hoffman. Out of the last three I read, I have to say that 'Saving CeeCee Honeycutt' blew me away. The hype surrounding this debut is definitely for real. I want to live in this book. I hope to review all three books this week.

I have nearly finished reading How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, which is kind of weird, but enjoyable. I have also started reading Thaw by Fiona Robyn, which Fiona kindly sent me and is released this February.

As I mentioned last week, I am slowly working my way through The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley and when I say slowly, I really mean slowly. I will be happy to get through about 100 pages a week.

So that is my reading week. I hope to get a lot more done this week, but that will depend on the weather as more snow has been predicted. Anyway, off now to prepare Sunday roast for my parents. Have a great Sunday.


  1. Sounds like you've had a great week. I'm loving the cleanliness of the snow here, each night it covers over any nasty muddy marks and footprints. Will be looking at some of the blogs you mentioned - I've already reserved the book which shows you how to make felt cupcakes, can't wait for that to arrive at the library
    Have a good Sunday x

  2. Aw Vivienne, you've got me blushing here. I really can't wait to see what you come up with. I got some great quotes on fixing my Mums old sewing machine so am raring to go.

    I couldn't get into the Ice Queen so will be interested to read your review.

  3. Exactly Vivienne, a few inches of snow and our little country comes to a stand-still. Still it has been very cold and we have had the worst winter in 30 years or so we are constantly being told. Awful that your library books are delayed, you have my sympathy.

  4. It's been so cold here, but thankfully, we haven't gotten any of the white stuff.

    I hope my blog wasn't one of those you took out of your Reader! LOL

  5. Vivienne! Google Alerts sent me an email today, and when I opened it, there was a link to your blog -- and the only words were "I have to say that 'Saving CeeCee Honeycutt' blew me away. The hype surrounding this debut is definitely for real. I want to live in this book."

    You have no idea how you brightened my day! I love that you are the very first UK person (and blogger) to read CeeCee's story.

    Thank you, from my heart. I'm just tickled.

  6. You had a terrific week Viv. I loved Saving CeeCee (as you know). Ice Queen was another I enjoyed when I had read it.

    Love the peaceful look of the snow and open land in your photo. Enjoy your week.

  7. Every thing I read about CeeCee is just wonderful. I can't wait to get my hands on that book! Glad to hear you enjoyed it. I was looking over my list yesterday for books to get from the library and several notations were "reco by Vivienne". I'll add this one to the list! Have a great week!

  8. Alice Hoffman is on my radar. Sounds like you're off to a wonderful 2010 reading year.

    And the snow is gorgeous. In Florida, we are whining because it's in the 20's!

  9. Katrina - I reserved the same book and can't wait to get hold of it.

    Carmen - I think I need to invest in a sewing machine. Thanks for showing me lots of fabulous sites.

    Petty Witter - I just want the girls to go back to school, before they kill each other.

    Bermudaonion - no you are safe.LOL.

    Beth - I am pleased you got the alert, but I haven't finished raving about it yet. I shall review it later this week. Thanks again for sending it to me.

    Diane - thanks.

    Kaye - does that mean I am a bad influence on you. LOL.

  10. It was my pleasure to send the book, Vivienne, and I thank you for reading it. I love knowing that CeeCee and all the gals from Savannah are now in the UK.

  11. Such a wonderful post! I particularly enjoyed the links to the two blog sites. I have not seen those before, but I will become an avid follower of both!

    We are supposed to start thawing out this week. Hope you begin to see some color soon :)

  12. Christina - I wish we had some of your heat. Though it feels like the thaw has actually started.

    Beth - Please tell me you have started writing your next novel. I am already desperate to read it.

    Molly - I am glad I could find something crafty for you to enjoy. I really want to make more things this year.

  13. Wow, 500 books in a year! That is amazing. I think a goal of 120 is really impressive, too. Good luck!

  14. I've been wanting to read "The Ice Queen," and I thought I had it on my stacks! But fiddle; it's not there. Which is why I'm glad that I catalogued and listed my TBR piles awhile back. Helps me know what I have!

    I read the other Hoffman, "The Story Sisters," recently.

    I love J. Kaye's new blog, too. It's a great idea.

    My Sunday Salon:

    BTW, today's date is interesting, isn't it: 01/10/10.

  15. 500! I mean more than one book a day, that is just crazy. One book a day, perhaps I could make that. but no big ones ;)

  16. I loved The Ice Queen so much. How I live Now too, but I know it's an unusual book and not for everyone.

    I love your snow pictures! Though it sounds like that was a bit more snow that you bargained for...send some my way? :P

    Good luck with your 2010 goals, Vivienne!

  17. You have inspired me to think of next Christmas already and I haven't even finished packing away this past one yet! ;)
    The book you have going right now look so interesting--I am in the middle of Cee-Ced and I want to live in that book too! My reading for the month is up also, but only because of being sick in bed for a week--that darn full time job just gets in the way of my free time. ;)

    Have a beautiful Sunday and enjoy your snow--for us today? Rain.

  18. That's quite a bit of snow! It looks so pretty but after a day or two it gets annoying because it interrupts the flow of life so. It sounds like you have been reading some great books. I am especially interested in Saving CeeCee Honeycut" Glad you enjoyed it so much.
    I am intrigued by jakye's novel writing blog. Many authors recommend just writing anything everyday to get into the flow of your words, the practice of it so it sounds like a great idea to write down about your day.
    I totally understand limiting the blogs you visit. I weed out blogs from my list periodically just because I don't visit them or their focus is on books I don't read.

    Have a good day, Vivienne. I hope you aren't snowed in much longer!

  19. I read a lot but am not sure I could read 500 books a year without someone wanting a divorce:) I'm going slow this year. Hope you'll visit my Sunday Salon

  20. Aarti - can you imagine actually reading 500 books in a year. It is mindboggling.

    Laurel - I hope you get to read The Ice Queen. It is a very interesting read.

    Blodeuedd - I don't even think I could read 1 book a day.

    Nymeth - I remembered how much you loved The Ice Queen, so I knew I had to read it. It was an interesting read and an unusual storyline. I am enjoying How I Live Now. Aspects of it bother me, especially the relationship between Edward and Daisy, but I am trying not to focus too much on that.

    Kim - glad to hear I am not the only one inspired by next Christmas. CeeCee is wonderful!

    Amy - I just found that JKaye's blog helps to give my writing structure.

    Book Dilettante - I think I would end up divorced too, as well as my kids disowning me.

  21. Seems like everyone else has snow now and I don't. lol. It's actually quite nice here now although I know what you mean by seeing no color. Our white is here all winter. One of my favorite things is in spring when I see the first burst of color.

    I cleaned out my google reader a while back. There were many blogs who never commented on mine or I didn't really read or they didn't post often and I got rid of those but I still need to do more cleaning.

    I'd love to read CeeCee Honeycutt one of these days. I've been hearing a lot about it.

    Have a great week Viv and stay warm and safe.

  22. Sounds like "Thaw" might be a good read for you just now right? I bet you are wishing you could get out to get your library holds!

    Snow is so pretty but I'm glad we don't really ever get any in my part of the world.

    And, good for you for clearing out some of your reader. I used to feel bad about that but I just have to be realistic about how many blogs I can read and still have a life! ha. I still add new blogs all the time but basically I want to add blogs of people I'm becoming friends with and getting to know better.

    Stay warm!

  23. The snow looks absolutely beautiful, but I know it can get tiring if it sticks around too long. I hope you guys are enjoying it!

    I have The Mists of Avalon on my shelf and really want to read it this year too. I look forward to seeing what you think of it.

    Congrats on thinning down your reader. I couldn't bear to get rid of any feeds, but have sorted them into separate files, so that I can read my top 40 blogs and then skim or skip the other 400 when I don't have time.

  24. Great post and amazing week. Is that your house int he picture? You really are in a sea of white!

    Stay warm - read much! :)

  25. I wish it would snow around here. Maybe then I'll be able to actually finish a book. I haven't finish an adult read since last year. Happy reading!

  26. It's freezing here (literally in some places) but it won't snow :(

    Hope your library books come in soon. I'm going to go pick up mine in the morning.

  27. Dar - I can't believe we have the snow and you don't. You always have snow.

    I just had to clean out my google reader as I was feeling so guilty at not reading everyone's blogs.

    Iliana - Exactly right. I want to read the blogs of people I like to call blogging friends; the people I can really chat to on here and probably speak to more than my family.

    Alyce - I can understand your reluctance to clear out your google reader. It was a difficult decision to make.

    Sheila - no that isn't my house. An old couple live there. I took the picture because it is the park where we walk the dog.

    Vasilly - don't feel bad about finishing an adult book, as there some fantastic kids books out there to read.

    Ladytink - I am hoping the library will call me today to say they are in.

  28. Oh my gosh, Viv, it sounds like you're off to an awesome start in making your over 120 books in 2010 goal!!! I'm feeling like I'm getting nothing read these days. :(

  29. wow, I cant imagine reading 500 books in a year!
    Best of luck with your reading and your writing too.
    How did you like The Ice Queen? Its my favorite Hoffman book.
    We've got freezing weather here, I cant wait for the Spring.

  30. Going to try and take a leaf out of your book and clean out my google reader and hopefully free up my mind as well as my time :-)

    Sending some warmth your way from us getting sunstroke in Australia LOL. Thanks for your get well wishes and I'm really looking forward to your review on Saving CeeCee Honeycutt!

  31. Good luck with your writing! I like looking at pics with snow but not sure if I would be thrilled with the cold. I hope to experience it one day. :)


Hiya, thanks for stopping by, it is always nice to hear what you have to say, so do leave a comment if you have time.