Monday, January 27, 2014

Best And Worst Literary Role Models For Girls

A few days ago, I posted on Alan Bradley's Flavia DeLuce series and how Flavia is a superb role model for girls.  But that post got me thinking about other books, including some I loved as a child which really send girls awful messages.  Thus, I decided to put together lists of good and bad role models for girls in fiction.
However, this is a work in progress.  I'd love to hear your suggestions and thoughts in the comments section.

Here are my lists so far:

  1. Flavia DeLuce from The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie series by Alan Bradley.  Intelligence, self-motivation, determination, bravery, willingness to go alone, carefulness not to trust too many people
  2. Jane from Devilish by Maureen Johnson. Loyalty, bravery, saving your friend is more important than winning the guy.
  3. Annabelle in Freaky Friday by Mary Rogers.  Your relationship with your mom is important. Intelligence, humor, spunk.  And when you’re mature enough, you’ll see that doing well in school is very important; it’s only immature girls who think it’s not.
  4. Sophronia in the Etiquette and Espionage series by Gail Carriger.  Intelligence, spunk, resourcefulness, courage, doing your job is more important than getting the guy.
  5. Deryn in the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld.  Courage, self-dependence, intelligence, not just waiting around being sweet, believing in who you are.
  6. Elisa in the Girl of Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson.  Courage, intelligence, not every man is worthy of you, independence, don’t leave making babies to chance, leadership.  Unfortunately, there is also the very strong message of “lose weight to get a man.”
  7. DJ in Dairy Queen by Catherine Murdock.  It’s okay if you’re not feminine and pretty.  Being true to yourself is more important.
  8. Puck in the Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvator.  Independence, courage, family, feminism.  Life isn’t just about getting the hot guy.
  9. Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  Don’t take just anybody.  Oh, and wait until you both grow up first.
  10. Kivrin in The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. Intelligence, courage, self-motivation.  Yes, she gets “saved” by a man at the end, but 1) he’s a father-figure, not a boyfriend, and 2) it’s clear she’d survive in the past just fine if she had to stay there on her own.
  11. Laura Ingalls Wilder, writing about herself.  Yes, she marries at 18.  But she doesn’t spend the whole of her young years focusing just on Almanzo.  She’s intelligent, brave, and independent - teaching school at 16.
  12. Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare.  Intelligent, funny, independent, loyal.  She won’t tolerate a man who doesn’t treat her decently.
  13. Viola in 12th Night by William Shakespeare.  Solve your own problems; don’t wait for men to solve them for you.
  14. Robin in The Velvet Room by Zilpha Keatley Snyder.  Girls can be active and solve mysteries.  Plus, reading is good.
  15. April and Melanie in The Eqypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder.  Friendship knows no skin color.  Imagination is good.  Read!  Be brave and solve your own problems.
  16. Ramona in the Ramona books by Beverley Cleary.  Little girls don’t have to be sweet and quiet to be likable and good at heart.
  17. Cinder in Cinder by Marissa Meyer.  Smart, clever, loyal.  It’s NOT just about marrying the prince.
  18. UPDATE: 11/2/14  I just read Harriet, The Spy by Louise Fitzhugh for the first time.  Harriet is superb.  Bright, honest, and, best of all, she is NOT portrayed as "learning to be nice" as some kind of moral for little girls.  No, she is allowed to continue to be her snarky little self.  Plus, she gets even with the bullies.  Yes!

  1. Wendy in Peter Pan by JM Barrie.  Mothering is everything.  Expect men to hurt you and cheat on you.  Growing up means leaving freedom behind
  2. Beauty in Beauty and the Beast from Grimm’s Tales.  Girls, if you’re good and sweet, you can tame a beast into a man.  If you fail, it’s because you’re not loving enough.
  3. The March sisters in Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.  Yes, we all know that Jo shows spunk in the first half, but in the second half, she gives up the man she loves, then takes the only man who pays attention to her, bending herself to meet his wishes by giving up her independence and writing career.  Meg is taught to do whatever her husband wants, that she can’t control her own son because he’s a boy, and that her job is to make her husband happy because he knows better about everything -- even when he’s an inconsiderate dolt who brings home unexpected guests for dinner and complains when she’s not perfectly ready for this.
  4. Sara Crewe in A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  Yes, she is kind.  But the message is to be sweet and demure, and then -- eventually -- a man will save you.  Just wait until that happens.
  5. Bella Swan in Twilight, etc. by Stephenie Meyer.  Wimpy, passive, dependent, victim.  The whole series glorifies abusive relationships.  Plus, it’s all about catching the right guy and making babies that almost kill you -- but that’s so “glorious.”  gag.
  6. Fanny in Mansfield Park by Jane Austen.  Passive and feeble.  The whole point is that if a girl is “good” enough and patient, the good man will eventually come to select her.  Lies.
  7. Juliet in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.  Impetuous, drama queen, kills herself after her inability to think before acting on hormonal urges has caused the deaths of 5 other people.
  8. Hero in Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare.  She forgives and marries Claudio in spite of the fact that he values her for nothing other than her money and her virginity, and after he throws a tantrum and shames her in public.  Clearly, she deserves the misery she’ll get with this guy, but that’s no reason for a modern girl to find this romantic.
  9. Both Catherines and Isabella in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.  They all fall in love with jerks, two of them the same jerk.  Isabella is stupid and passive.  The two Catherines are spoiled little divas.
  10. Lucy Manette in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.  Beauty and passivity are all that matters in life.
  11. Cassia in the Matched series by Ally Condie.  Sure, you can have adventures, but remember that the whole point is to marry the “right” guy.
  12. Scarlet in Scarlet by Marissa Meyer.  Glorifies abusive relationships.

What do you think?  Have anything to add?  What have I forgotten?  (I'm thinking about Pippi Longstocking, but I need to reread the books first to be sure.  I ought to consider Katniss, but I disliked Hunger Games so much that I quit reading after about 70 pages of it, so I can't be sure of her messages to girls after that.)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

And The Winners Are.....

For the last two weeks, I've had a giveaway going on over at Word Spelunking.  The winners have now been chosen by Rafflecopter, so congrats to


who won a physical copy of Becoming Brigid
and to

Sweet Sindy

who won an e-copy of the book.

I hope they'll both take time to review it.

As a reminder to everyone, I'm still holding monthly giveaways for those who review Becoming Brigid or send me a photo.  Check out the details on my Current Contests page.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Exposé: The Elf On The Shelf Is NOT A "New" Trend

The Elf on the Shelf thing was freakin' everywhere this past Christmas season.  One could not go on twitter without some mommytweep sending out daily updates on what her precious little elfie had done for her children.  And pinterest was deluged by images of naughty elves pooping chocolate chips, hanging from lights, and riding stuffed animals.  Then bloggers took sides for and against the elf.  Was it a charming new tradition?  Or did it cause extra stress for parents and keep kids focused on receiving gifts?

NOTE: For those of you who've been under a rock avoiding Christmas and are just now emerging, let me explain that Elf on the Shelf is an overpriced book + toy elf combo that is making the author rich as people buy, buy, buy it.  The idea is that the elf is not to be touched by children, but that it reports back to Santa every night about the kids' behavior and then is "magically" in a new spot each morning.  It also means that parents must come up with some 2 dozen new things for the elf to do every single Christmas season.  And now they're selling birthday stuff for the elf, so they can make MORE money kids can enjoy the elf even more!  *rolls eyes*

So, here's the basic elf (image pulled from a yahoo search):

But here's the thing: the Elf on a Shelf is NOT new.  In fact, not even the style, size, facial features, etc. of the elf are new.   They're all freakin' copied from a 1950s fad.
Don't believe me?  No problem.  I have proof.

Here's our family's elf, purchased before I was born.  No, my folks never moved him around or such; he just sat on the shelf or got played with.  But check out the face and the eyes.  See what I mean?  Whoever created the new toy copied this old version way too closely for copyright issues.  I certainly hope they bought rights to use that image.
But I seriously think the older version has cuter clothes.  Look at the little boots and the pompon buttons!  And he has a striped union suit on!  So much cuter than the new one, which has stumps instead of feet.

There you have it.  Elf on the shelf is NOT new.  Not by a long shot.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Got Your Nose In A Good Book?

What's your reading goal for this year?  I'm going to try again for 120 books, or 10 per month.  So far, for January, I've read 9 and have 2 others partly finished.

Looking for something new to read?  May I (not so) humbly suggest Becoming Brigid?
Or, if you've already read it, tell your friends about it!
It's Celtic mythology + time travel, with illegal cloning, a stolen hearse, ghost hunting, a mysterious and romantic stranger, and the worst ex ever thrown in for good measure.  C'mon, you know you want to find out how all that fits in together!

Need more convincing?  OK, how about a few words from reviewers?

Pre-teen Mom says:
I stayed up way to [sic] late last night because I had to finish this book
K. Danials says:
I enjoyed this one so much I read it twice.
And an anonymous Amazon Customer says:

Hannah at goodreads says:
I was literally laughing out loud so much while reading this. I really got into the story and had trouble putting the book down.

Still not enough?  How about some contests?
I'm giving away both a paperback copy AND an e-copy on Word Spelunking.  Click here to enter.
And I'm still carrying on with the winter swag giveaways.  On February 2, I'll be giving away the gift bag shown here.  To win the goodies/swag bag, read the book and review it on Amazon, Goodreads, or your blog, and/or send me a jpg of yourself reading the book (with the cover showing).  You can earn up to 4 entries, and your name stays in the contest until you win or I run out of prizes, whichever comes first.  (I still have 3 more prizes after this one!)

What are you waiting for?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

An Awesome Literary Role Model For Girls: Flavia DeLuce

I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on, from the Little Eddie books and Mary Poppins series to the Three Investigators series to a biography of Rose Kennedy my mother had picked up for some book club and Chariot of the Gods, which was left behind by one of my parents' friends (and which, even at age 8, I thought was far-fetched).  But the books that really influenced my concept of a woman's role in society were Little Women, A Little Princess, and Rebecca of  Sunnybrook Farm.
Now, I still believe that these are well-written books and that kids ought to read them, but I hope that girls today would internalize other messages about girls, rather than things like "be good and obedient and wait for a man to rescue you" (Sarah Crewe) or "writing is OK, as long as you don't write about anything popular where you might earn money and become independent and damage your reputation" (Jo March).

(Photo: the first five Flavia DeLuce novels.)

(Photo: the sixth Flavia novel, released on 1/14/14.)

Far better for girls today is Flavia DeLuce.
Now, Alan Bradley, author of the Flavia series, has admitted that he's not trying to write YA.  He tells on his website that Flavia popped into his head while he was trying to write a completely different work, and he knew he had to write about her.  That will explain why Flavia is not like most YA heroines.  She is not out looking for a boyfriend.  She's not concerned about peer pressure.  She's not particularly interested in fashion.  Wow.   Right there we're onto something fresh.
But it goes beyond what the books are not.  In Flavia, Bradley has -- likely accidentally -- created a superb role model for young girls.  Flavia is intelligent, self-motivated, brave, and independent.  Her messages to girls have nothing to do with waiting/looking for a man or being obedient and submissive to social expectations for women.
The entire series of novels celebrates intelligence, and Flavia is at the head of all other smart characters in the books.  All the books highlight intelligence as desirable, for it is the smart characters that solve crimes and look good in the eyes of others.  Flavia's next older sister, Daphne (called "Daffy" by Flavia), is a bookworm obsessed with Dickens.  Flavia treats her as a 1950s version of Google, seeking her out for historical questions.  Dogger, Flavia's father's friend from the War who serves as a jack-of-all-trades at the family mansion, Buckshaw, but who also is more of a father to Flavia than her own dad is, has vast amounts of medical knowledge hiding in his shattered-by-PTSD mind.  Dr. Kissing, Flavia's father's former schoolmaster, is also a source of information for her.  And Inspector Hewitt, the police officer most likely to deal with Flavia, is -- although not brilliant -- an intelligent man whom Flavia respects.  Also, throughout the series, we are ever reminded that Flavia's missing mother Harriet was intelligent, and hints are dropped that Aunt Felicity (Father's sister) is one sharp cookie cutter.
But Flavia outdoes them all.  (Of course, for she is our protagonist!)  She is clearly a gifted child -- emphasis on BOTH words there.  She is rather childlike in many beliefs (she has no idea of what an "affair" is, still believes in Father Christmas, hopes to resurrect the dead) and habits (in one hilarious scene, she scrubs mud off her beloved bicycle Gladys with her toothbrush, then mentions cleaning herself up -- including brushing her teeth! -- in the very next paragraph).  But she is brilliant in chemistry!  She has read through a whole library of her deceased Uncle Tar's chemistry books, she works out fascinating experiments with the equipment in his lab, and she solves crimes in this way.
Bradley goes into fabulous detail about the experiments, with none of this vague Mary Shelley stuff about "old books."  No, step-by-step, Flavia walks us through testing blood (to see if her sisters are lying when they say she's adopted), constructing fireworks, and creating interesting poisons.  Along the way, the reader is treated to a great deal of the history of chemical discoveries.
Honestly, I cannot think of a better way to hook a young girl into an interest in chemistry than to let her read these books (or read them WITH her, if she is younger or not a voracious reader).  I often find myself wanting to go out and buy a basic chemistry set just to try some of this stuff!  And I know the books make me wish I'd taken chemistry in high school.  (To my credit, I preferred physiology, and I adored my classes in that subject.  But I never took chemistry; it was not a popular class at my high school, and thus, I never even thought about taking it.)  In these days where we need women interested in the sciences, Flavia can do a wonderful job of planting that seed into a girl's head.  And her fabulous brilliance underscores over and over and over: Girls, being smart is cool and awesome; smart girls are winners. What a fantastic message to a girl --- or to a boy!
Flavia also has a characteristic which I, as a school teacher, find so often lacking in kids: she's self-motivated.  No one makes her learn chemistry; she teaches herself.  No outside force causes her to solve mysteries; she is driven by her own curiosity.  She does her own research, her own experiments, she solves the crimes because she WANTS to.  She is NEVER lazy; she bikes or runs everywhere.  She never expects anyone to do her work for her.
Other characters reinforce this idea as well.  Dogger goes on with his life in spite of his untreatable (at the time) emotional disability.  He is shown as respectable, noble, and hard-working, for he never expects anyone to baby him.  Flavia's oldest sister, Ophelia (Ophelia Gertrude, in fact, although I haven't quite worked out yet why she has the Hamlet names going; Flavia calls her "Feely."), is a very dedicated pianist and organist.  And everything we hear about the long-absent Harriet lets us know that she was always doing something adventurous or important; she never, ever sat and waited for life to happen -- which is probably why her daughter does not.
Bradley never preaches this virtue, but it's subtly worked in to every single plot in a way that it can be internalized.  There is no idea of waiting for anyone else to work or learn; it's all about doing it yourself.  This is, again, another fabulous thing for a girl (or a boy) to learn.
This segues naturally into the idea of independence.  All too often, books for teens show characters who cannot make it without their friends (think: Harry Potter) or, far worse, that a girl's main interest in life should be to find and keep a man (pretty much 99% of books aimed at girls or women).  Flavia is refreshingly independent.
Oh yes, she longs for the approval of adults (Inspector Hewitt and his wife, the vicar, Dr. Kissing, and especially her emotionally distant father), she wishes to make friends (with the gypsy girl, with Nalia), and she struggles for six books with the woes of sibling rivalries, so it is made clear that being independent is not without its downsides.  But Bradley also shows a truth that is so very often ignored for girls: that, if ANYONE is going to make it in a hard task, s/he has to be willing to go beyond the comfort zone of having "back ups" and strike out as an individual.  Flavia often asks others for their expertise, but she never expects -- or even considers expecting -- anyone to work with her; she knows the job is up to her, whether it be tracking a murder suspect, gathering information, or making chemical analyses in her lab.
Because of this outlook, Flavia spends no time at all looking for boyfriends or planning out a marriage for herself.  Oh, she clearly has opinions on attractive and/or intelligent men (boys are pretty much so far beneath her emotionally that she barely notices them, but men interest her), but her life is not about finding and keeping a man; her life is about finding herself, having adventures like her mother, saving her family from the taxman, supporting those she loves or wants to help (Dogger, the old gypsy woman, Nalia), and making her own way in life.  What better message could you possibly give to a modern girl than "Focus on making yourself the best you can be"?  How many women have wasted their lives by working so hard on attracting and keeping a man that they never even figured out who they really were?  Far, far too many.  But Flavia is not going to be among those women, and she will help young girls realize that they don't need to be counted in that number either.
Flavia is also brave.  She climbs into tunnels, visits other towns by herself, walks on the roof, flies in a small plane, deals with kidnappers, questions adults to solve crimes, figures out ways to do things normally barred to children, goes out at night alone, and faces death and corpses.  She sometimes feels fear, but she talks herself out of it.  She is almost never at a loss for words.  She deals with her own mistakes and goes on with life instead of wallowing in her own failure.  While her sisters often hide from less pleasant things in life, Flavia faces them.  It is she who has worked out effective (and amusing) ways to help Dogger with his "episodes" (his flashbacks to torture at the hands of the Japanese during WWII; he has post-traumatic stress disorder, although it is never given that modern name in the books), she who faces dealing with the mentally deficient Jocelyn, and she who deals with the treatment of gypsies.
Harriet, as well, is presented at brave.  She flew her own airplane and went mountaineering in Tibet.  And Aunt Felicity is not just some "old" lady.  The further the reader goes into the books, the more s/he learns about what this woman has done in her life.
Bravery, then, is reinforced over and over.  Flavia is never cowed into submission by society's expectations of women or by men in positions of authority who wish to control her.  No, she stands up to everyone who tries to prevent her success because she knows she's brilliant and capable.  She lets NO ONE stop her, especially merely because they are older, male, and an authority figure (the police, the vicar, the schoolmaster, the government figures later on).  Her self-confidence and her bravery combine with her intelligence to let her earn success in things which are good.  (After all, Flavia seeks to solve crimes, not to cause trouble.)
Wow.  What young girl shouldn't learn that?  In fact, what grown woman shouldn't have that reinforced in her life?
There you have it: the reasons why Flavia DeLuce is a superb role model for young female readers.  She's intelligent, self-motivated, independent, and brave.  This veteran English teacher highly recommends the whole series.  :)

(Just remember, parents, if you buy the books for your daughter, you ought to consider buying chemistry set for later on.  And a bicycle.  And don't be surprised if your daughter wants to visit England, take a class on old-style film developing, try mountaineering, or ride in a two-seater airplane. These books might just have that effect on her.)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Wee Bit O Happiness

I arrived home to find my Amazon order on the doorstep -- two days early!!

SO excited to read the last book (?) in the series!!!!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Writing Inspiration Photos: Tourists in China!

Okay, it's January, the most blah month of the year.  Plus, I've had the flu.  Plus, it's the end of the term, and soon I'll be swamped with grading and frantic requests from parents who haven't bothered to check their kids' scores for weeks but are now suddenly interested.  Yuck.  Double yuck.
So, let us divert ourselves with amusing photos to inspire stories!
What you do with these is up to you.  One of my cyber friends wrote up a whole blog post on one of my photo sets.  And I know my cemetery photos last October drew hundreds of hits to this blog, so someone must've wanted some inspiration for something.
For today's set of photos, I've pulled up some blurry digital pics of old snapshots.  I'm not sharing these because they're such great photos; I'm sharing these because they might spark a story in someone's mind.  All of the original photos were taken by me in October of 2001, while I was on a UNESCO-sponsored dance tour in China.
Ready?  Let's begin. (Don't forget to click on any photo to enlarge it.)

Not for all the tea in China.....
Yeah, that's an American gal picking tea on a farm in China.
Maybe you've never seen tea being grown before.  I certainly hadn't until the day I took this picture.
I will leave the rest of the story up to you.

Here, an American child poses in front of a statue of a Chinese warrior.  (Yes, I blurred her features slightly on purpose, but enough time has passed that this little girl is now an adult anyway, so I'm not too worried.)  You can make up the story yourself, but I will tell you that, in 2001, a beautiful African-American child was enough of an oddity in large cities in China that she attracted attention everywhere we went.

This is a photo of a photo of selections from one of our meals.  Items on the plate include broccoli, a mushroom, a pea pod, noodles, a bamboo slice, an unidentified object shaped like an olive (but it wasn't an olive), and the head of a baby bird (complete with beak).
Before I went to China, I used to tell people that I liked Chinese food.  Nowadays, I say, "I like Chinese-American food."  It's much more accurate.  :)
I could tell you many a tale here, but that's not the point.  I'll let you be inspired to write your own story about this.

If you are an American and have not traveled outside of your homeland very much, you've probably never seen one of these before.  We always called them "Squatty Potties."  They used to be very common in Italy -- although there they often looked more like shower stalls that flushed -- and these were some of the very nicest public toilets available in China in 2001.  This particular one was (obviously) even clean enough to warrant a photograph.
The rest of the story is yours to create.  (Heaven knows I've got enough true ones of my own!)

And, of course, no photo essay on China would be complete without mentioning the signs.  Even back at the beginning of the present millennium, China had, in touristy places, many signs with English as a second language on them.  The trouble was that no one ever seemed to have bothered to have a native speaker of English check any of these signs.  This one, for example, reads: Protecting Tree: Please Not SIIINNG.   Hence, we came to refer to this language as "Close Enough English."
The rest of the story, my friends, is yours to create.

Have fun!  And if you do get inspired to write something thanks to one of these photos, I'd love to know about it.  Just post a comment.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Double Giveaway!

I've picked up a strange flu bug and I'm home sick today.  But you should check out the giveaway I've got going over on Word Spelunking.  There will be two winners: one US/UK/Canada/Ireland winner of a physical copy of Becoming Brigid and one international winner of an e-copy.  Info, excerpt, photos, and giveaway are all right here.    Just click.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Winter Tales Writing Inspiration Photos #2

This time it's a Jeep!
Not just any Jeep, but a vintage and restored WWII-era Jeep that Max and I found in the parking lot at the ski resort.

Look at this thing:

(Note: I color-enhanced the interior photo just a bit to help fend off the sun's glare.)

Someone (someone with $$$$$) has restored it to look very much like it did 60+ years ago.  Why?  How?  Where did they get it?  Where has it been kept?  Did it ever see action?  Was it in the Pacific or Europe?  Or is it in good shape because it was one that never made it out of the States?  And who owns it now?  Why did s/he buy/inherit/restore it?  Who brought it to the ski resort?  While it's good for mountains, it's not very comfortable for snow and cold weather.  The flags seem to indicate they want folks to notice it.

I have no answers to these questions.  I'm merely asking in case you need a good story starter.
Write on, people.  Write on.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Winter Tales Writing Inspiration Photos #1

This worked really well in October when I put up creepy cemetery pics for people to use as writing inspiration (my blog views really skyrocketed, so I know folks were interested in the photos), so let's see what happens if I put up some winter photos to spark those creative minds.
This particular set comes from yesterday, when my buddy Max and I went to Park City, Utah, to breathe smog-free air for a few hours and to take photos.  Max has much better camera equipment than I do, so you might want to drop by his post as well for awesome ski shots, but here are a few pics I chose as possible writing inspirations.

I call this one "Tethered Toddler."  I got the impression that the young man behind her was a ski instructor rather than a parent, but this photo could be the start of some great tales.  In fact, I thought of about 3 just as I took shots of her.

As I didn't have Max's telephoto lens, my snowboarders look like ants flipping over the edges of this half-pipe.  I did notice, however, that no one coming down this pipe during the entire time we took shots (about 30 minutes) was over age 15; most of them were boys of about 10 or 11.  (I suspect that once one gains the maturity to realize how easily one's neck could snap, then one stops doing this sort of thing.)  Most of these kids were pretty good.  One boy impressed a couple of older ones standing near us by doing a double flip.

Max searches for his next victim photography subject.  (Actually, he was just commenting at this point that the ice skaters nearby were rather boring subjects compared to the skiers we had been photographing.  He ended up shooting a couple of buildings instead.)  Wouldn't he make a great character in a story?  Go ahead; make something up.  :)

Happy writing!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What I Read In 2013

My goal was 120 books, or averaging 10 per month.  I sort of made it.
My official list has 111 (eleventy-one!) books on it, so I fell short by 9 books.  However, if I include my manuscript list of how many times I read through my own books, cover-to-cover, proofreading and whatnot, that adds another 11 books, bringing my total to 122, which meets my expectations.
Just in case you actually want to see what's on the massive lists, here they are.

First, the list of book-length manuscripts:

  1. Becoming Brigid 1/19/13
  2. The (Dis)Appearance of Nerissa MacKay 2/16/13
  3. The (Dis)Appearance of Nerissa MacKay 3/10/13
  4. Becoming Brigid 4/9/13
  5. The (Dis)Appearance of Nerissa MacKay 4/28/13
  6. Becoming Brigid 6/29/13
  7. Becoming Brigid 7/21/13
  8. Becoming Brigid 8/4/13
  9. Becoming Brigid 9/1/13
  10. Becoming Brigid 9/12/13
  11. Becoming Brigid 9/23/13

And here's the list of everything else:

  1. Millicent Marie Is Not My Name by Karen Pokras Toz 1/12/13
  2. Uneasy Spirits by M. Louisa Locke 1/14/13
  3. Red Hot Deadly Peppers by Paige Shelton 1/16/13
  4. Fearless by Brigid Kemmerer 1/18/13
  5. Naughty: Nine Tales Of Christmas Crime by Steve Hockensmith 1/19/13
  6. Heaven Preserve Us by Cricket McRae 1/21/13
  7. A Dash of Murder by Teresa Trent 1/22/13
  8. A Dyeing Shame by Elizabeth Span Craig 1/24/13
  9. Consider the Fork by Bee Wilson 1/25/13
  10. Tapped Out by Natalie M. Roberts 1/25/13
  11. Lament by Maggie Stiefvater 1/26/13
  12. The Ugly Stepsister Fights Back by Sarah Wilson 1/27
  13. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes 2/2/13
  14. Clockwise by Elle Strauss 2/3/13
  15. Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger 2/7/13
  16. Speaking From Among The Bones by Alan Bradley 2/8/13
  17. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder 2/15/13
  18. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder 2/16/13
  19. On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder 2/17/13
  20. By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder 2/17/13
  21. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder 2/17/13
  22. Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder 2/17/13
  23. These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder 2/18/13
  24. The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder 2/18/13
  25. The Cavendish Home For Boys and Girls by Claire LeGrand 2/18/13
  26. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer 2/24/13
  27. The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lillith Saintcrow 3/6/13
  28. Doktor Glass by Thomas Brennan 3/9/13
  29. Progressive Dinner Deadly by Elizabeth Spann Craig 3/26/13
  30. Overdue For Murder by Teresa Trent 3/29/13
  31. The Book of Killowen by Erin Hart 3/30/13
  32. Eighty Days by Matthew Goodman 3/31/13
  33. Haunted Ground by Erin Hart 4/2/13
  34. Lake of Sorrows by Erin Hart 4/3/13
  35. False Mermaid by Erin Hart 4/5/13
  36. Clockwork by Paige Shelton 4/7/13
  37. Revenge of the Mad Scientist by Lara Nance 4/17/13
  38. Revenge of the Girl With Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg 4/17/13
  39. The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson 4/18/13
  40. Buried in a Bog by Sheila Connolly 4/28/13
  41. Breathless by Brigid Kemmerer 4/29/13
  42. Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer 5/1/13
  43. Book, Line, and Sinker by Jennifer McInlay 5/5/13
  44. A Body in the Backyard by Elizabeth Spann Craig 5/7/13
  45. You Might As Well Die by JJ Murphy 5/10/13
  46. A Friendly Game of Murder by JJ Murphy 5/12/13
  47. Murder Your Darlings by JJ Murphy 5/17/13
  48. My Super-Sweet 16th Century by Rachel Harris 5/18/13
  49. Cut To The Corpse by Lucy Lawrence 5/24/13
  50. Dipped, Stripped, and Dead by Elise Hyatt 5/25/13
  51. Inferno by Dan Brown 5/31/13
  52. The Wonderful Future That Never Was by Gregory Benford 5/31/13
  53. French Polished Murder by Elise Hyatt 6/1/13
  54. A Fatal Stain by Elise Hyatt 6/2/13
  55. Murder on the Ghost Walk by Ellen Elizabeth Hunter 6/5/13
  56. Maids of Misfortune by M. Louisa Locke 6/7/13
  57. Misses Moffet Mend A Marriage by M. Louisa Locke 6/8/13
  58. Dandy Detects by M. Louisa Locke 6/8/13
  59. Seeds of Discovery by Breeana Puttroff 6/9/13
  60. Death at Epsom Downs by Robin Paige 6/15/13
  61. A Body To Die For by GA McKevett 6/16/13
  62. The Twelfth Tablet by Tom Harper 6/16/13
  63. Death At Glamis Castle by Robin Paige 6/20/13
  64. Death At Hyde Park by Robin Paige 6/22/13
  65. Murder Over Easy by Marshall Cook 7/2/13
  66. Irish History by Seamus MacAnaidh 7/9/13
  67. Hounds of Autumn by Heather Blackwood 7/14/13
  68. Enoch’s Device by Joseph Finley 7/16/13
  69. Mysteries and Legends of Utah by Michael O’Reilly 7/18/13
  70. Ghost Ship by PJ Alderman 7/20/13
  71. Written in Stone by Ellery Adams 7/22/13
  72. Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart 7/23/13
  73. Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby 7/26/13
  74. Exit Music by Ian Rankin 7/29/13
  75. Chick-tionary by Anna Lefler 8/3/13
  76. The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise 8/4/13
  77. Good, Clean Murder by Traci Tyne Hilton 8/11/13
  78. If Bread Could Rise To The Occasion by Paige Shelton 8/20/13
  79. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien 8/27/13
  80. The Encyclopedia of Herbs, Spices, and Flavorings by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz 8/29/13
  81. The Gallery of Regrettable Food by James Lileks 8/31/13
  82. Interior Desecrations by James Lileks 9/3/13
  83. Ripper by Stefan Petrucha 9/5/13 
  84. Lark by Erica Cope 9/6/13
  85. Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson 9/11/13
  86. In The Shadows Of Blackbirds by Cat Winters 9/13/13
  87. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani 9/16/13
  88.   The Toaster With Two Brains by Bradley W. Schenck 9/20/13
  89. The Lair of the Clockwork Book by Bradley W. Schenck 9/26/13
  90. Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston 10/5/13
  91. Ever After series of short stories by Shannon Hale 10/18/13
  92. The Princess Knight by Cornelia Funke 10/18/13
  93. Bloody Lessons by M. Louisa Locke 10/20/13
  94. The Joshua Stone by James Barney 10/26/13
  95. Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft by Jody Gehrman 11/3/13
  96. Audrey’s Guide to Black Magic by Jody Gehrman 11/4/13
  97. Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger 11/8/13
  98. The Dagger Before Me by Heather Haven 11/9/13
  99. Deadly Readings by Laura Bradford 11/10/13
  100. Early Mormonism and the Magic World View by Michael Quinn 11/15/13
  101. Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler 11/16/13
  102. Knights’ Handbook by Terry Deary 11/22/13
  103. Too Dead To Dance by Diane Morlan 11/24/13
  104. Casquette Girls by Alys Arden 11/28/13
  105. Merry Market Murder by Paige Shelton 12/6/13
  106. Shakespeare’s Restless World: A Portrait of an Era in 20 Objects by Neil MacGregor 12/9/13
  107. Miss Buncle’s Book by DE Stevenson 12/20/13
  108. Murder on the Candlelight Tour 12/21/13
  109. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens 12/24/13
  110. Murders at Astaire Castle by Lauren Carr 12/27/13
  111. Maid For Murder by Bridget Allison 12/28/13