A couple weeks ago Jamie went to Nassau for work (rough, right?). The place he stayed had lots of pools and a private beach. My first thought when I saw a picture of where he was staying was, “I’d have so much fun reading there.” That’s pretty much my idea of a dream vacation!
Adrian is not a fan of reading. Getting him to read in school is like pulling teeth and he has never been interested in reading anything for fun nor has he ever picked up a book to read without being told to. Until now!
For his birthday, we gave him the Odd 1s Out book. He has sat down with it on several occasions and read a chapter or two at a time.
He loves the anime My Hero Academia and Ani discovered there are mangas of it as well. She bought a couple, he bought one, and she’s gotten several more of the mangas from the library. Adrian has enjoyed reading those so much that he actually completed two in one day!
Jamie had to work in McAllen for a couple days this week so I went with him.
We stayed in a really beautiful hotel and the weather was absolutely lovely.
While Jamie worked I relaxed and read. It was quite a nice little trip.
The other day I discovered that one of my favorite indie authors follows me on Twitter. It’s pretty awesome. Most of what I tweet are links to my book reviews on my other blog, including reviews I’ve done of her books.
This discovery started me thinking about just why I love indie authors so much.
1.) I get to be the gatekeeper for what I want to read. Traditionally, with books published via publishing companies, it’s those publishing companies that decide what is good and what isn’t. Make no mistake: There is a whole lot of independently published junk out there. December and January always sees a bit of an uptick of terrible books completed during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month which happens every November). But there is also a whole lot of amazing independently published books. Many of these authors give away the first in a series on Kindle. After reading that first book I am the one who gets to decide if I want to keep reading the series, find other books by the author, or never download anything by them again. Let’s just say some indie authors have been paid well for that freebie I downloaded!
2.) The cost is usually a whole lot lower. Rick Riordan is a traditionally published author and I enjoy his books. But I refuse to buy his new ones as they come out because I don’t enjoy his books enough to justify the $14.99 Kindle price. That is nuts. Indie authors generally run $4.99 or less per book. Often much less. A couple days ago I got a box set of 5 of one indie author I like’s books for 99 cents. (These are Kindle prices… I pretty much exclusively read on my Kindle because I just prefer it.)
3.) Probably because indie authors are not as well known, interaction with them is a bit more personal. They often tweet a lot. I’m on a Facebook group run by one indie author I like. She’s always having conversations with fans on there. Last fall another indie author I like was making his way across the US and stayed at our house for a couple days.
Some Indie Authors I Really, Really Like: Andrea Pearson, Tony James Slater, Heather Sunseri, Karen McQuestion, Beth Labonte, Susan Kaye Quinn, and Julie Oleszek
I ran across an old journal entry from several years ago where I wrote about how happy I was to have read 5 whole books in a single month and how I wanted to spend more time reading. Old me really amused current me.
And I have definitely increased the amount of time I spend reading.
So far this year I’ve read 51 books. That’s 11 in January, 12 in February, 20 in March, and 8 so far in April. I think old me would faint to know current me reads that much (granted, old me had much littler children and so had a lot less time to read!).
Fritz, upon discovering today is the first day of spring, wondered just why we had spring break last week before spring started. Good question. Of course, living in south Texas the temperature has been quite spring-like since, well, January.
Last week was fun. Cameron went on Trek. This is a thing Mormon kids do to simulated being pioneers. They wore pioneer clothes (plus tennis shoes because we’re not that crazy). Slept outside. Cooked some of their meals on a fire. Were put in groups called families with a Ma and Pa. Pulled handcarts (and in the case of Cameron’s family, also pulled the chariot of their “sister” in a wheelchair). Got sunburned. Walked 26.6 miles over three days. Sang 99 Cartons of Milk on the Wall. Twice. And then sang 499 Cartons of Milk on the Wall. He absolutely loved it.
Wednesday Ani saw her rheumatologist and got some diagnoses and a treatment plan that is already helping a little bit.
Friday I took the kids to see Beauty and the Beast. We loved it. It was absolutely perfect. We’ll definitely be buying it when it is released on DVD (or, rather, digitally from Amazon because that’s what we do).
It’s been a year since we started redecorating Ani’s room. We’ve still got a few touch-ups left to do, but now we’re ready to move on to Cameron’s and the boys’ rooms. Saturday we went and got paint chips from Home Depot in pink (Cameron), blue (Cameron and Fritz), and yellow (Adrian) to choose from. Cameron and Fritz separately picked the exact same shade of blue.
Spring Break also included lots of reading (I’ve read 13 books so far in March), youtube videos, video game playing, and Cameron working at spring break camp at taekwondo after he returned from Trek.
Today we went back to school and everything went great. Everyone focused and worked hard and we even got all of our all together work done (rarely does that all get done in one day). Ten more weeks of school and then we’re off for the summer!
Fritz finished read the Harry Potter series a week ago yesterday. The next day he started the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. He’s quite a ways through the third book now. He read the second book in two days. He read until very late last not and couldn’t put it down until he was done. There’s always a book or a series that grabs a kid, one they just can’t put down, and that’s when you know a reader has been born.