It's been awhile. I didn't participate last week, as we were visiting Southern California. Besides seeing Disneyland, we drove to San Diego and took in Sea World, which is awesome. On Sunday, after long days of playing tourist, we rested before driving back to Anaheim and one more day at Disney.
We walked along the beach at LaJolla, and saw about a hundred seals in a sheltered cove. They apparently give birth to their young there, and numerous pregnant seals will be giving birth any day now. People can stand right next to them, however the seals are not to be touched. It was fun to watch the one-year-old seals frolicking in the shallow water. This isn't one of the younger ones, but it also doesn't look pregnant, so maybe it's a daddy.
We arrived home from our vacation at about 1:00 AM on Wednesday, exhausted. I spent Wednesday buying $211 worth of veggies, stocking our refrigerator so that we can go back on to our newly established, healthier way of eating. We both watched our intake during vacation, often sharing a salad for lunch or dinner. I returned without gaining any weight, although hubby wasn't quite as spartan about his eating. He returned a couple pounds heavier.
On Thursday, I was able to access the titles that I will be judging for the Golden Heart contest, which is Romance Writers of America's biggest and most prestigious annual contest. Because I entered it (Young Adult category), I am required to judge in it as well, and happily.
I am judging 10 historical romance partials, a total of 550 pages. I've read half so far. The quality of the entries is quite strong. Entries are judged on the romance: 20 pts total; the plot: 10 points total; the writing, 10 points total, and the characters, 10 points total. One of the entries is strong straight across the board. Another is strong in the writing, characters and plot, but it's basically not a romance--doesn't have a romance structure or romance prerequisites. For one thing, the hero and heroine don't even meet in the first 60 or so pages, and so it will suffer in the area that counts the most.
Other than reading contest entries, I've read a couple of books over the past two weeks, and they are:
We'll be leaving for a vacation in Orlando in about three weeks. Between now and then, I need to finish judging the contest entries. I started thinking about my A-Z Challenge theme, which should be fun to do. I also need to paint four rooms, darn. I've been putting it off since last August, but the time has come and in fact, I'm buying the paint this afternoon. My son-in-law is still working on our third-floor bathroom, and he will paint it--the fifth room needing new paint.
I've also joined a national women's club, Athenaeum, which meets on Friday afternoons twice a month.
As to writing, I have done none. I am also holding back on starting the agent search until returning from Orlando. It just feels better to do it that way. I want to finish all these loose ends before starting the agent search, participating in the A-Z challenge, and beginning a new novel.
How was your week, reading, writing, or otherwise?