Thursday, December 30, 2021

The 2022 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

Whew.  Nothing like cutting it close to get this published before the New Year.  I have been dealing with a bum knee.  You'd think that a knee wouldn't prevent me from doing things like knitting Christmas hats to all my relatives or creating a reading challenge, but I've discovered that a bad knee slows down everything.  Like cleaning the litterboxes?  Used to take 15-20 minutes (I have a lot of cats) and now I'm taking an hour or more because I have to take breaks and rest.  Not fun at all.

Unfortunately my lovely friend Good Karma is dealing with some family issues and was unable to do her magic with the graphics.  Please send out lots of good thoughts her way.  In the meantime I had to polish off my (limited) graphic skills and make everything pretty.  I know it's not up to her caliber, but I'm pretty happy with myself.

I've seen plenty of folks asking about a challenge for 2022, though, so I definitely wanted to push myself and get this done.  Maybe I'll even push myself to start on my 2023 challenge soon so that I'll be ahead of the game next year.

So here it is, the 2022 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge:

As in previous years, I have a printable pdf that's a little easier to print/read for folks who want to take notes.  And for fans of spreadsheets, you can click here for a spreadsheet that you can save to your own Google drive to track your books that way.

Thanks again for checking out my reading challenge!


Sunday, December 20, 2020

The 2021 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

Okay, so 2020 pretty much can suck it.  I thought 2019 was a tough year--I had no idea.  The New Year is on the horizon, though, and I'm really hoping things will start to improve.  I know it won't be quick, but I'm hopeful.

I've seen a lot of different reactions from my fellow readers this year.  Some folks have been whipping through books like mad, using the escape to deal with the day to day.  Some folks have been bogged down by anxiety and stress and haven't managed to put much of a dent into their reading goals for the year.  This is the first time since I started the Pick Your Poison challenge that I didn't even come close to finishing all the categories.  But that's the beauty of this challenge--with the different levels you don't have to be overwhelmed.  What I love about reading challenges is that they get me out of my comfort zone and I find myself reading non-fiction and memoirs and horror--genres I used to shudder at.  (I still kind of shudder at horror.)

So here it is, the 2021 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge.  I hope that it helps you to get out of your comfort zone a bit, or helps you to escape a bit, or whatever it is you need to make 2021 a better year for reading.

For folks who want a printable version to make notes, click here for a PDF version.

For fans of spreadsheets, click here for a spreadsheet you can use to track your books.

As always, special thanks to my dear friend Good Karma for taking my basic concept and making it beautiful.  This year she said, "Any requests for what you want?" and I responded, "Something with chickens!" and I could not be more pleased with how perfect her finished product is.

Monday, December 9, 2019

The 2020 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

Wow.  Another year.  Another decade.  Another reading challenge.  This is my fifth year doing the Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge, and I'm very excited by this year's list.  I've tried to include some stash busting categories as well as some that are a little more challenging.

2019 was a bit of a rough year for me.  My mother passed in early March.  Mom got her first job in a library when she was 14, and went on to work in different libraries throughout her life. It's from her that I really got my love of reading and my huge respect for the important role that libraries play in our society.  My younger sister has carried on the proud librarian tradition, working as an archivist preserving knowledge for the future.  My older sister has had some serious heart issues, and finally this fall had heart surgery, which required a lengthy hospital stay and help at home for several weeks, so I have spent a lot of time on the road listening to audiobooks as I traveled back and forth to my hometown.  Thank goodness for audiobooks.  I would really be struggling to finish my challenge this year if it weren't for them.  I'm pretty sure I'll finish just in time for the New Year.

I'm looking forward to 2020 as an opportunity to celebrate my mother and my love of reading and also the fact that my older sister is still here with us and doing much better.

So here it is, the 2020 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge.

For folks who like to be able to print off a the list so they can take notes or make changes, click here for a downloadable PDF.

For folks who like to use spreadsheets to keep track of their books, click here for a spreadsheet you can save to your drive.

And as always, super special thanks to Good Karma for all the great graphics and fonts.  Show her some love by checking out her shop and grabbing some goodies for yourself.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The 2019 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

It's that time of year again.  It's dark before I leave work, and by the time I get home all I'm thinking about is a cup of hot chocolate and a good book to curl up with.  With the New Year on the horizon, we're all thinking about resolutions and goals and pushing ourselves a little bit further.

For the fourth year, I am excited to offer the Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge as an option for being creative with your reading goals this upcoming year.  I have designed this challenge to be flexible for  because I know there are a lot of different types of readers out there.  If you struggle to finish a book a month, the Baker's Dozen is the choice for you--pick 13 books from the topics.  If you are like me, and find yourself making trips almost daily to the library to return books you've finished and get new ones, the Freak Reader option should be your choice--read one book that fits each category in all of the topics.

I also know that sometimes you just can't find a book to work in a topic, so I've created some wildcards to help you out.  If you're up for a super challenge be a Freaky Reader and complete all the Wildcards.  Go on.  I dare you.

So here it is, the 2019 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge:

Many, many thanks to my good friend Good Karma for the graphics and the new look for 2019.  I always send her an email that says, "Do you mind?..." and she responds, "Of course I will!" and then I wait (no so) patiently for the magic that she creates.

Good Karma is also way more tech savvy than I am, and "knows what the people want" when it comes to being able to download things.  This year she has once again created a 2-page pdf so you can print it off and make notes.  Or, for the folks like me who love spreadsheets, she has created a great spreadsheet for you to keep track of what you've read.

Click here for Printable PDF

Click here for Spreadsheet

Good Karma also has a great shop where she sells lovely handmade housewares, wallets, journals, handspun yarn, and much more!  Take a moment to check out her shop and help me thank her by maybe making a purchase or two.

I also owe a world of thanks to the supportive gals in the "Cafe"--you guys know who you are.  Thanks for proofing my list and making suggestions!  I appreciate all of you!!!

Hope your 2019 is full of great books!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Final Legendary Carrot Uprising story

So I have definitely entered that stage of life where pulling an all-nighter is beyond my capability.  In the last couple of days before my final project for class was due, I found myself yawning uncontrollably by 10 pm.  I set my alarm early (around 4:30am) so I could get some writing done before work.

My final portfolio was due last night at 11:59pm.  At 11:21, I clicked "submit" and I am done.

For those who read the original draft of the Legendary Carrot Uprising, if you are interesting in reading the final version, it can be found here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Legendary Carrot Uprising

I am taking a creative writing course this semester from the college where I work.  Our final project for the term is a short story.  I was really struggling with an idea for my story when a friend of mine mentioned a phrase that she always wanted to see made into a story, "Legendary Carrot Uprising."

Somehow that title really appealed to me and I found myself coming up with all sorts of fun, ridiculous ideas of what might happen in carrots decided enough was enough.

I have submitted the initial draft of my story.  My classmates and instructor should all comment on the story and then I'm expected to make final edits and submit a final version at the end of the term.

For your reading pleasure, Legendary Carrot Uprising.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The 2018 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

Wow!  Where did this year go?!!!  I have been busily reading and dealing with some family matters and have neglected this blog terribly.  I have four more books to read to finish last years challenge.  Woohoo!  Feeling much less pressure this year to finish up.

But while I'm busily finishing up this year's list, I definitely want to get next year's challenge up so you can start planning.  I'm really pleased with it.

My super awesome friend, Good Karma, who helps me with the graphics, this year created a two page .pdf so that you have a little more room for notes if you are writing on the print out.  Click here for the .pdf version.

For folks who have not "picked your poison" in the past, I created this challenge to try to be a little more flexible than some reading challenges.  I remember looking at some challenges with only 10 or so topics and thinking "That might work for some folks, but I need more."  At the same time, I know not everyone has as much free time as I do (I've heard some people out there have these things called "friends" and "family"), and maybe a book a month is as much as you can manage.  I also created the wildcards to try to give you an opportunity to swap out some topics if you're just not finding anything.

Mostly, though, I'm hoping to get folks to push themselves a little bit out of their comfort zone, to see if there are books out there that they might not read otherwise, and to have fun!

Please feel free to share the list, but don't forget to give credit where credit is due. 😉

And finally, as always, super awesome thanks to Good Karma for taking time out of her busy schedule (and fighting with her recalcitrant internet service) to help me out with the great graphics.  Please check out her online shop for lovely handmade gifts, including housewares, wallets, knitting and crochet cases, and other great stuff.  (And if you ask real nice, she might even do something custom for you!)

Here's to a reading filled 2018!!