Friday, 25 October 2013

Cephalopod Coffeehouse & Do You Have Goals?

Cephalopod Coffeehouse time! This monthly blog hop is hosted by The Armchair Squid, and is a fair bit of fun. :) The idea is to post about your favourite book read in the last month.

So far this month I've only finished reading two books (yep, I'm having flashbacks to approx. a month ago). But of those I read, the one I preferred was The Trial of Dr. Kate, which I received from Netgalley. Here is a little review (less little than last month's):

Story: This book is set in the early 1950s. Shenandoah Coleman, an ex-fighter pilot who has become a successful reporter in Memphis, returns to the town where she grew up in poverty. She's there to do research for a book she's writing, but also to speak with an old friend, Dr. Kate, who has been arrested and imprisoned on suspicion of murder. After talking to Kate, Shenandoah becomes convinced the doctor isn't guilty. Determined to help clear Kate's name, she starts investigating. At the same time, she's being stalked by the driver of a Dodge Pickup who is apparently set on running her off the road - and killing her. And she's fending off the advances of sweet-talker Bobby who gives her plenty of butterflies.
My thoughts: I quite enjoyed this book for the setting, because I don't really know anything about American history or Tennessee (I'm Australian and when I was at school we really didn't learn any American history except as it related to the World Wars, etc.). Sometimes I found that problems were resolved a little too quickly, like when we finally learned the identity of the Dodge driver. This character harboured hatred toward Shenandoah that had built up over many years (like, fifteen years), but in a matter of minutes Shenandoah managed to diffuse the situation and make everything "okay" again. There was also the fact that at one point, a fair few people died on the same day for unrelated reasons, and some of the deaths were really ... unexpected. :) Not that that doesn't happen in reality. It just seemed a bit strange in this case.
The truth that came out in the end about the murder victim was quite a surprise to me, as was the trial verdict. All in all, I found this a slightly strange read, but I did enjoy "visiting" that part of America (I have in fact visited Tennessee, but only to drive through it). And I was glad when the book ended so I could go back to the cooler weather we were enjoying here in Western Australia at that time. (Sadly, it's starting to heat up now)

I've been participating in this monthly blog hop hosted by Misha Gericke and, as I've neglected to mention before purely because I didn't even realise it, Beth Fred. :) It's a hop where participants reporton how their "big dream" goals are coming along. My goal isn't really the biggest I could have gone for, nor the biggest that I have in my head, but it's the one I really, desperately want to achieve for right now, so that's why I chose it. Anyway, my goal is to:

And how have I gone with it since last month?

Back then, I'd received great feedback from my awesome CP Damyanti, but hadn't done anything about it yet. Since then I've managed a rewrite of chapter 1, and now I've received feedback from Damyanti on the rewrite. It was encouraging feedback, as it gave me the impression I'm headed in the right direction. For now I'm going to let the feedback settle, and move onto rewriting the next few chapters.

I don't know that I'll have all this done before year's end, given that November will be NaNo month. I honestly can't see publishing my novella by year's end. But I'm not giving up hope yet. The above will be my goal until the year is over and done.


  1. Storytelling is a big part of my/our middle school curriculum, generally done through pantomime. Resolving problems too quickly is a big hurdle for the students. It's interesting to know the issue is turning up in published works, too.

  2. The scene descriptions alone would pull me into the book. Thanks for the tip!

  3. I enjoyed hearing about the book and good going on your CP feedback. Heading forward is always preferable. :) Best of luck for the month ahead.

  4. Even ALMOST finishing a goal in the target time period is an achievement. Being a little bit late is better than never accomplishing a thing at all. You're NaNoing too? I had decided NaNo is Evil and Must Die, but then I had this bizarre idea of writing a traditional Gothic novel (similar to Jane Eyre) in a sci-fi setting and that was too good, and too possible-to-achieve, to not try it.

  5. Don't give up!! Also, if you don't meet this goal, it's totally OK in my book to change it a lil bit. I mean, sometimes goals have to be adapted. That doesn't mean you give up on them, just that you adjust them :)

  6. Keep going! You might just end up making it. :-D

  7. Hmm...the book sounds interesting, but I don't know about the convenience of tying up loose ends too easily. That tends to turn me off with a book. If the goal is reached too easily or quickly then it feels like author manipulation. Did you get that feeling with the storyline?

  8. I like books set in 1950's America...they don't call that our Golden Age for nothing!
    It's good to have goals, but getting an extension on a goal is perfectly acceptable. Good luck on the novella.

  9. I do have goals but they are very unfocused. I need to develop a timeline and actually start working more on achieving my bigger more important goals.

    Check out my interview with viral blogger Liza Long
    Tossing It Out

  10. Take your time and put out the best story you can. No rush.

  11. Hey Trish. The year isn't over yet, but so close! Like you, I always set myself a goal of publishing something, but I'm still not happy enough with my stories, probably never will be, lol. It's great that you've got a good CP. That's crucial!
    I hadn't read the book you reviewed. My name doesn't show up this month, but it was no. 7 at one stage. I've reviewed The Alchemist. D

  12. I'm with Alex. Don't push yourself. Once you're ready to publish, I say give yourself a 6 month window to get all your ducks in a row. You'll be glad you did--I mean, it's like planning a wedding! =)

    But here's to making the goal! If you don't have direction, you're chances of making progress are that much less.

  13. I was so excited to se ethe Chrystalis experiment under yoru blog and completely crushed when i saw it was closed. I lost it when i closed my one blog and tool it off line. I found it in 2011 and really enjoyed the write ups, can stoll remember some of them.
    I've glad to reconnect again though and am really looking forward to your stories.
    This was supposed to be about the hop hey?

    Thank you for your wise words on my blog.

  14. Glad you're not giving up. It sounds like you're moving in the right direction with this novella and it will be great when it is ready.

    This book sounds like an interesting one, I usually like historical novels. I also only read two books this month so I'm glad I'm not the only one. I can't seem to find time for reading lately!

  15. Keep pushing forward, Trisha! Constantly evaluating your goals is a good way to stay motivated. :)


Thanks for your words, me hearties! and don't forget to leave a link to your blog somewhere I can find it!