Monday, March 31, 2014

What I read, March 2014

“Nightwatch” by Sergei Lukianenko. People talk about this one. I don’t know what I expected. It’s three novellas really, and proves once again that stories are about characters. The Russian perspective on good and evil was really fatalistic and interesting.

“One Salt Sea” by Seanan McGuire. I finished this book standing crying in the line for customs in the Houston airport coming back from Mexico. Ed skipped this one, reading the series, because the boy was reading it,but there was a lot of background explained, and I’m glad I have it.

“Ashes of Honor” by Seanan McGuire. I was glad I grabbed this one too, since I still had a few hours of flight. SM really has a way with dialog. April’s dialog was the best. Reading these back-to-back, I was kind of wishing Toby did something other than missing children sometimes.

“Desert” by J.M.G. Le Clezio. Got it for Christmas as a random gift from my dad. You know how when you start a fantasy novel, sometimes you just let go and the places and descriptions just wash over you, and you don’t worry about it too much, whether you’re keeping track of it in your head? That was the mode in which I started this book. I haven’t read that much in translation, but I felt like I had to make allowances for it – misplaced antecedents and tenses that wandered. Still, it was strangely addictive reading. However, I guess I’m accustomed to things with a little more plot.

Friday, March 14, 2014

So this bugged me I don't know why.

I usually like Laura Miller's taste in books. But maybe she should take a break from reviewing.

Honestly the thing that bothered me the most in this piece was the part about all the community going "read my book" and not looking for something to read. Because I can't imagine writing more than, say, Seanan McGuire, so maybe three books a year. And I read way more than that! Possibly 20x as many! Where else am I going to find out about what to read? Please, suggest away!

Thursday, March 06, 2014

What I read -- Feb 2014

“The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman. Bought it to give it to my mother. It was so beautiful. Short, and no words were wasted.

“Radiant Days” by Elizabeth Hand. Got it for Christmas because I asked for it. EH’s short story collection “Errantry” blew me away -- it had more memorable stories than most collections do – the themes and characters really resonated. This was what I had meant to read after the KJF last month. EH is a punk rock star, wow.

“Siberian Dawn” by Jeffrey Tayler. He had exerpts in The Atlantic, I think. The current page-a-day has portions set in Russia, so I thought I’d give it a shot. It had a map in the front! That makes it a fat fantasy, as far as I’m concerned. The book is a travelogue of JT’s trip from eastern Siberia to Poland in 1993. It was delightful, especially the parts where he keeps trying to tell Russians that the US is not perfect, has corruption too, etc. They never seem to get it, and he never seems to get why they don’t. The ice road vodka drunks reminded me of my zombie novel, which I should go back and look at when I’m done WWS. Ed picked it up when I was done and found it depressing.

Monday, March 03, 2014

In Process -- Feb 2014

First Draft
“Limering”. Around 37,000 words. 

“Wind/Water/Salt”. This is the plot-fixing draft.
Thur, Feb 6 - Switched chapter 2 and chapter 1.
Mon, Feb 10 – wrote 1390 words into Chapter 1.
Wed, Feb 12 – Finished fixing Ch 1.
Thur, Feb 13 – Fixed Ch 2, moved part of Ch 1 to Ch 6.
Mon, Feb 17 – Started writing a new Ch 3.
Thur, Feb 20 – Wrote another page of Ch 3.
Sun, Feb 23 – Stared blankly at Ch 3.
Mon Feb 24 – Outlined Ch 3 since it wasn’t going well, then made an outline for chapters 1 – 12 so I could get things on paper rather than just in my head. Wrote and typed Chapter 3.
Wed Feb 26 – Broke chapter 10(b) into chunks and divided between chapters 4 and 7.
Thur Feb 27 – Broke chapter 11(b) into chunks and divided between 5 and 15.
Draft 2 has become like draft 1 – don’t look back. I would never get past the first three chapters if I didn't just keep plugging away.

Hella Finished neck, blocked body, and sewed on ruffle. Done and worn.
(self-designed).  Finished body to top of arms.
“St. Anthony’s Ribbon”
(self-designed). Slogged away on that first sleeve.
“Ceremonial Armour”
. Ignored.
“Makiko” haramaki
(rib warmer). I didn’t mean to start this, but then I got kind of obsessed with it, and looked for the yarn, and then I looked for the needles, and then I’d cast on and oops! Another project started! Ahem, and also finished.