Reading corners for booklovers

Most of us will grab our books from the bedside table at night and will probably fall asleep after a few quick minutes. But how could we not? Our bed is so comfortable and our day routines leave us generally so tired that our sheets, blankets and everything else lull us into the land of the dreams without even noticing. Unless of course you have insomnia or the book is so damn good that you’re afraid it’s going to be one of those nights where you won’t sleep… but that’s another topic. But let’s face it, unless you don’t feel tired, the bed is not always the best place for reading. And if you fall asleep while reading, how many times have you woken up to find the cover of your book bent, and twisted in between your sheets?

Reading is a special experience and I believe it’s a good idea to have a reading corner besides the bed. And if you have the space (you really don’t need much, that’s why it’s called “corner”) investing into it is definitely worthy.

We spend too much money in acquiring these magnificent couches to place them in front of the TV. Why shouldn’t we invest in a nice place for reading? A corner that drags you into this world of books and makes you want to spend Sunday afternoons or rainy days in it, with a cup of coffee on the other hand. And even if you don’t use it, they actually look awesome as decoration.

A clever idea is to find a place in your house/apartment/flat where you wouldn’t jeopardize too much space. If you have stairs, then you’re done. The pictures below can give you good ideas.  Windows are also an incredible option. These images display some interesting ideas. I must confess I don’t have the proper credits for the pictures. They have resided in my computer for many years in a folder called “dreamed house” yeah, I know… but it’s good to dream (some day, maybe I’ll get to use all of them for real) Meanwhile, I continue feeding my inner interior decorator with the most tangible tool: Pinterest!

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You don’t need too much furniture to improvise corners like these ones. Take advantage of some cushions with vibrant colors and textures. (they say bright colors are better… I couldn’t agree more). If you don’t have the possibility to have a window in the chosen space, you could install some lights under the stairs. In fact you don’t need a complex electrical installation, there all sorts of LED lamps and LED candles out there. Be aware you might also need curtains if you’re near a window, sometimes the reflection or the lightening from thunders (yeah, I had to think of all possibilities) could interrupt your reading. Or maybe you just don’t have a nice view, and you don’t feel like staring at a brick wall or having the sensation that a neighbor is eavesdropping at you (again I had to think of all situations here… please feel free to add more in the comments if you come up with something I haven’t thought of). Overall, when you build/install these corners, take into account two factors: lighting and comfort; this will help you submerge into your reading without any distractions.

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Additionally, take into account that chair or couch you use is as comfortable as possible. You could take advantage of modern designs or retro chairs that could be as different as you want from the rest of the room, not only in design but in color as well. To enhance the place, you could use one of those standing lamps that not only look terrific in their design, but also help at the time of reading.

Another brilliant idea is to adapt your wardrobe or wall spaces, and make them into hidden and comfortable reading spaces for you. You can use them to distance yourself from the rest of the world, grab a book, and spend hours in it. Add some shelves and cushions inside this space (I bet you’ve realized that I love cushions) A lamp installed in the wall will also be a perfect addition to this reading closet.

And you, do you have any reading corners in your place? any other suggestions for these reading corners I have not taken into account? I’d love to hear from you. 

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Beta Readers and the nerves of getting people to read your manuscript…

Well, currently I have 4 people reading my manuscript. Two of them are very good friends, one is my potential editor (we haven´t agreed on that yet), and another is an official Swap Beta Reader Partner (I don´t know if there is a term for that, just correct me if there is a better way say it.)

My SBRP (Swap Beta Reader Partner) was actually fun to find. I dig up into the Beta Readers Group from Goodreads and I found some people asking for beta readers. Of course, I knew that the best way to find a Beta Reader was by offering to read first for somebody else, so that maybe later, I could seek for the same favour in return. I was struggling to find an interesting manuscript blurb that I would love to read, one that would take me away from the books I´m reading now (Yes, I haven´t learned my lesson, I´m still reading several books at once, you can check out my previous post, to know what I mean). Anyway, a story blurb called my attention, it was a memoir manuscript. Memoirs are usually not my first pick when I go to bookstores, unless it comes from somebody famous (no celebrity type, but other interesting people). I must admit that I actually enjoyed all the memoirs I´ve ever read, so I thought it would be a good option to beta read for this author. I was thrilled to find out that she was willing to swap manuscripts, even better! that way I had somebody else guaranteed to read my manuscript in return.

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I´m thrilled about my SBRP. I´ve already started reading her manuscript, and although we set a time frame of 10 days, I´m about to reach half of her manuscript in less than 2 days. It´s really good and I´m looking forward to see it published. And this leaves me in an insecure state, I can´t stop worrying about my manuscript. I mean, I know it´s my first novel ever and that I still have a long path until I learn how to do it properly, but still I can´t avoid thinking: “OMG, what happens if she is hating my manuscript or she´s getting so bored that she can´t see a way to finish it?” I know, insecurities on first time writers are normal. I know many of us fear sharing our work. But I guess, I just have to deal with it and take the feedback as best as I can.

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I don´t fear too much the feedback from my friends (that´s why it´s necessary to get other beta readers besides your friends), because even though I asked them to be as honest as possible, I know they will try to do it in a way that doesn’t disencourage me.

How about you? For the people who write out there, did you face those fears when you had beta readers reading your work? I would love to hear your experience with beta readers. 

Hang in there November, NaNoWriMo is coming!

NaNoWriMo???? I must be crazy. For those of you that don´t know about this, you can take a look here.

But basically is the National Novel Writing Month, and any writer can register in this event. You just need to have the courage to do it and all the energy of the world. In order to win (many people can win), you need to write 50 000 words in all the month, so that would mean 1666,66 words per day, and yes I´m taking into account, weekends, which for me is the challenge.

nanowrimo.org
nanowrimo.org

Image source: nanowrimo.org

I don´t feel it too bad to write that amount of words per day. I usually write between 1000 and 1500 per day, but I must confess that I don´t write all days of the week. I may write perhaps 4 days and no more. Usually, I will spend 2 days per week with my inner Editor on (which sooner is going to let me insane, I´ll tell you about this in another post); and Sundays, I don´t write, the lazy worm invades me completely. There are so many things going on Sunday, from doing laundry, cooking for the family, etc, to just spending lazy comforting time with my loved ones. Whenever my mom says on Sundays, let´s watch a movie, believe me I never think of rejecting it, it´s golden time to be able to spend time with her; and well writing gets mostly postponed on Sundays.

But if I don’t write Sundays in NaNoWriMo, I will have to write almost 2000 words per day, and that is a lot. I usually get burned at 1500 and sometimes 1000 is my best of the day.

sarahcradit.wordpress
sarahcradit.wordpress

Image source: sarahcradit.wordpress

So maybe I should consider, waking up early on Sundays, the only day I get to oversleep? Hell yeah! I will do it! because is NaNoWriMo and not LazyWormMo, and I need to take this challenge and put my 100% in doing it!

It´s going to be a hell of challenge, but I can imagine the satisfaction at the end of the month, when you know you have written 50 000 words… overwhelming!!!

So getting ready for the craziest months of the year!!! Hang in there November, you´re going to be my month!!!

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Image source: http://www.trashionista.com

How late is it to change paths?

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Image source: jenifferbarnett.edublogs.org

Well I studied Industrial Engineering, did a Master degree on Environmental Studies, worked on a couple of companies in the production, planning and logistics area, did some consulting on Quality Management Systems, Good Manufacturing Practices, Industrial Safety. Before that, I worked in the Purchases department of another company, did some work on external trade and even took some courses on Customs regulations in my country. I also worked on project management in a software development company and even occupied a position as “E-commerce sales analyst” ah… and I also sold cars in a car dealer shop.  And I could be going on for a couple more paragraphs on the many things I did and studied in approximately 8 years. I´ve changed jobs so many times that I actually hate to fill in Resumes just because I can´t remember already many things… On the other side, I´ve seen many people who graduated with me from the University getting stable jobs and promotions and now earning good money.

I also went on the entrepreneur side and I´m still going on it as I like it (and I see it as my main income source). But now I have settled down a little bit, I have managed to find a job that gives me some sort of “peace of conscience”, one job that doesn´t make me want to run away as fast possible from it.  I´m not looking anymore for other job opportunities in the newspaper. I´m ok where I´m, like I mentioned in a previous post, I work in Software Development Company as a Technical Writer. This is completely different from my previous job experience and educational background, but I like it, I actually like the “writer” part more than anything, and I think that I´m on the way to something good and bigger yet, but most important, I´m on the correct path…. I always knew since I was very young that this was the path… but I guess I wasn´t brave enough to look for it… I was too worried thinking on what the family and friends would think… since all the people I knew where studying these complex careers like engineerings and that stuff and getting jobs and working their ass off it…

So is it too late for this change? Of course not! I´m actually grateful that I´m still young to do this change, I knew deeply that I wanted to this change but I always thought that I was going to do it later, in the future, you know after I got married and raised kids and that regular things that we think is what we must only strive for…

Of course, I would have liked to have this change before the 8 years or maybe I would have liked to have chosen a different career after school… but I wouldn´t have had the experiences that have allowed me to mature and see things the way I see them now. I can´t go in the past, but I´m lucky to have reached this point in life where I definitely know where I want to head… many people live their lives without knowing it and some of them know it but won´t do anything (for me the saddest thing that could happen).

So I´m reinventing myself, I don´t care anymore what are my degrees and post-degrees and my previous job experiences were, because none of those things make me happy. What I care is that I have a new chance now I´m willing to go with all for it!

So how about you? Do you think that it´s too late to change careers or paths?