Tag Archives: reading

Am Reading: February 2014

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Am Reading

Started off February with a bang primarily because bad news meant I read more as a coping mechanism. After War of Honor, I slowed down because I got sick, because I distrusted the next book in the series, and because my attempts at reading my collaborator's fiction screwed with my writing, and I gave up. Then I did a little rereading to lift my rotten mood, but rereads don't count, remember?

  1. Doppelganger duology by Marie Brennan - compelling, couldn't put it down
  2. Flag in Exile by David Weber - layered and amazingly good
  3. Honor Among Enemies by David Weber - very good, enjoyed thoroughly
  4. In Enemy Hands by David Weber - reduced me to a quivery, cringing mess—in a good way. I was in no way up to reading the next book immediately and took a reprieve
  5. Mindtouch by M.C.A. Hogarth - even more amazing than expected and ended on a cliffhanger! love, love, love—except the cliffhanger
  6. Mindline by M.C.A. Hogarth - heartpounding, awww-inducing awesome. Love
  7. Echoes of Honor by David Weber - wow, loved
  8. Ashes of Victory by David Weber - oh, my heart
  9. War of Honor by David Weber - There are too many characters I want to strangle right now, not least of all High Ridge and Giancola. I hate how it ended and had to go read the summary of the next book to be sure it would fix it. It will. I must sit through watching my favorite characters fight each other. Gut-wrenching.

Breaking this down by genre:

  • 2 books heroic action-adventure fantasy
  • 6 books military science fiction
  • 2 books general science fiction*

*meaning I haven't the foggiest which subgenres the Mindhealers duology belongs to, but it was awesome and clearly SF.

By series:

  • 2 entire series
  • 1 continuing through a series
  • 0 stand-alone novels
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The Storm After the Fizzle

This entry is part 67 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

I just reread A Ring of Endless Light, foregoing dozens of books I've been wanting to read for months, proving once and for all that mood figures in more than I'd like when it comes to my reading choices.

Also confirmed why I'm having a hard time reading my collaborator's other works right now. It screws with my ability to write the collaboration. Guess which I'm giving priority? That's right. Writing.

Discovered the new home on the web of one o' my internet besties and adored so many posts I wanted to reblog almost the entire first 12 pages of the tumblr. Go figure. She's one of many awesome people I know. Speaking of which, lithiumlaughter, I just reread A Ring of Endless Light, so we talked about talking about Zachary Grey. :hint, hint:

On publishing, I got my updated covers into review for both trade and mass market on Createspace. If they check out as covers, I order a proof for the mass and okay the trade so I can order copies for my betas/readers. Can I just say I'm HUGELY excited about this?

Tied up a bunch of social/personal loose ends. I know I'm supposed to write first, do other things later, but I've been needing to get some of this stuff done for months. I regret nothing.

So I was supposed to go and write today after all this and just ran out of umph and had a pain in my throat. I declared it a health afternoon and gave up.

Word Counts:

  • Fiction: 0 words
  • Poetry: 0 lines | 0 words
  • Blog: 254 words

Continue reading

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Realistic Fiction

When reviewers complain that a story element is "unrealistic," their real complaint is usually something else. When they say a handsome billionaire falling for a mousy secretary is "unrealistic," they're really saying that the characters were underdeveloped and their romance was flat and contrived. When they say the pat deus ex machina at the end was "unrealistic," they're really saying that it felt cheap. (In general, when people complain about the ending, the problem isn't the ending. The problem is the middle leading up to it.)

— "Ideal vs. Reality," T. K. Marnell

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Am Reading: January 2014

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Am Reading

One of my big goals for the year was to do more reading again, so here goes a little list of what I read book-wise in the last month (let's not bother with the online reading, re-reads, or anything reading-in-progress; I do too much of that):

  1. Return to Me by Lynn Austin - mixed feelings
  2. The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult - loved
  3. Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn - liked a lot, want the next one
  4. Delirium by Susan Kaye Quinn - excellent; bought the whole season based on it
  5. Agony by Susan Kaye Quinn - slightly annoying, lots of setup, but interesting enough to keep going
  6. Debt Collector, Season 1, by Susan Kaye Quinn - mixed feelings, stayed interested
  7. Wild Seed by Octavia Butler - fascinated by it and will reread often
  8. Mind of My Mind by Octavia Butler - loved it at first and hated with fiery passion the ending, will never read again and try to expunge it from my memory banks
  9. The Drought by Allowyn Nyrti - had a hard time getting into it at first, then fell back in love
  10. Honor of the Queen by David Weber - as good as Basilisk and loaded with great characters on all sides, loved
  11. The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner - I read The Thief when I was fourteen and taking a writing course at the suggestion of my instructor. Adored the book and this follow-up just blew it out of the water.
  12. The Flood by Allowyn Nyrti - Sucked me right in, but I procrastinated on finishing it because I didn't want the story to end just yet. Bad me. Awesome stuff then ended on another cliffhanger. I'm getting an amicable grudge against this author.
  13. The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner - Not enough Gen but I loved every second of this book
  14. Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner - Again, amazing, if much harder to take
  15. The Short Victorious War by David Weber - loved
  16. Field of Dishonor by David Weber - wept and hated and loved

This breaks down to:

  • 14 novel-length books*

*Delirium and Agony were parts of Debt Collector, Season 1, which is itself equivalent to one large novel-length book, though it is also an omnibus and thus a series.

which break down further to:

  • 1 stand-alone novel
  • 2 complete series
  • 3 first novels in a series
  • 1 finished a previously started series
  • 2 reading through a series
  • 1 stopped reading a series

Genres:

  • 1 Biblical Fiction
  • 1 Literary Fiction
  • 1 YA Science Fiction
  • 5 General Science Fiction
  • 3 Fantasy
  • 3 Military Science Fiction

Publisher:

  • 9 traditionally published
  • 2 indie published
  • 2 not yet published
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End of January Post

This entry is part 56 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So I wrote a lot and did a lot, even though I definitely didn't write enough. Ah, well.

Lessons Learned

  1. Apparently, it takes me a while to really fully recover from heavy emotional blows.
  2.  

  3. Publishing slows me down if I mix it in with writing. I knew that but forgot it. I didn't even finish getting Dowse and Bleed published and will have to rethink how I fit publishing in the schedule.
  4.  

  5. Layering in on top of stuff I've already written pretty much requires me to go into a bubble. Writing a quick, rough novel draft goes much faster if I can bounce it off of someone else whenever I hit a wall. Writing a quick, rough short draft pretty much requires knowing too little or too much; it's that semi-ignorance that stops me cold.
  6.  

  7. Reading to 2 o'clock in the morning is a very bad idea. Stop picking up novels at 11 p.m.
  8.  

  9. Reading can radically alter which story I can write. Be very careful of what you read when.
  10.  

  11. I had forgotten my old style of story creation when I was just a wee thing. It went like this: I had certain kinds of stories I liked, which usually involved special powers and often romance. I would create a premise and plunk in my favored pairing of the moment and all their family dynamics with others, then play it all out in my head for weeks on end. Eventually, I got too good at this. I could play through an entire story in a couple of hours because my brain had dissected the inevitable path. If you'll recall my rule of story process:

    Know your characters, the rules of your world, and a handful of outside factors to fling at them. The rest will be unpredictable—even to you, but inevitable.

    The instant of predictability killed the story for me because it would wrap too quickly. So I got very, very good at adding more twists, more obstacles, more cultural or biological issues to get in the way, more trauma, more angst, until I could still play out my stories for weeks because I had backed my characters into some awful corners and inescapable difficulties.

    Which means that outlining kills a story for me because the instant of predictability, I lose all interest in a story unless I've already hit the home stretch of writing, from the end of the middle through the climax and denouement. Which is also why I tend to sketch instead of fill out a story the way I ought to. :headdesk: Lesson learned.

  12.  

  13. I write waaay better and more if I do not browse the industry blogs first. I write waaaay better if I do not read someone else's fiction first. New rule of thumb ought to be, Write first.
  14.  

  15. Self-discipline is a virtue. Learn it!

Word Counts

January 31, 2014

  • Fiction: 0 words
  • Poetry: 85 words | 21 lines
  • Blog: 33 words

January Totals

  • Fiction: 17,392 words
  • Poetry: 498 words | 102 lines
  • Blog: 8030 words

Completed Pieces

  1. Poem: "Before My Eyes," 220 words | 47 lines.
  2. Fanfic: "Mistakes," 1397 words.
  3. Poem: "Writer's Social Therapy," 32 words | 4 lines.
  4. Poem: "Blanket Statements," 8 lines| 48 words.
  5. Poem: "Friends Like These," 24 lines | 121 words.
  6. Poem: “Empty Spaces,” 7 lines | 20 words.
  7. Poem: “The Soundless Scream,” 5 lines | 22 words.
  8. Poem: “Like a Light,” 9 lines | 43 words.
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Up and Down

This entry is part 49 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So over the course of the last few days, I have fixed my computer three times and it has unfixed itself. Virus scan tomorrow.

Reading

I am reading The Flood while reading other books because frankly, I'm not ready for the Fire and Water series to be over. The other books were the Queen's Thief books by Megan Whalen Turner. A very long time ago when I was fourteen years old, my writing instructor recommended The Thief. I fell promptly and wholly in love. I never picked up the other books. This year, I rectified that and wow, these are so incredibly good. I want more too. Much more. I feel new fandom coming on.

Publishing

I got through page 20 of justifying/hyphenating the updated trade paperback interior of Dowse and Bleed. This proof already comes to hand too easily. I'm so ready to publish more and update Gone Hunting and write more. Alas! Only so much time and energy.

Writing

Started at 1696 words on Tracing Trouble, wrote 211, dumped those words, then went to the end and kept writing. I wanted to get 1000 on both this story and the collaboration today, but my computer was still crazy and my aunt visited today. I expect my evenings for the rest of the week to be similarly shortchanged.

Word Counts

  • Fiction: 526 words
  • Poetry: 0 words, 0 lines
  • Blog: 215 words

Splintered Gates

  • Today: 0 words
  • Total: 2493 words

Collaboration

  • Today: 0 words
  • Total: 3409 words*

*written by me in 2014

Tracing Trouble

  • Today: 526 words
  • Total: 2011 words

January Totals

  • Fiction: 8967 words
  • Poetry: 212 words | 45 lines
  • Blog: 6924 words

Completed Pieces

  • Poem: "Before My Eyes," 220 words | 47 lines.
  • Fanfic: "Mistakes," 1397 words.
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Where HAVE I Been?

This entry is part 47 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

Well, to be honest, reading The Drought, Honor of the Queen by David Weber, and getting ready to dive into The Flood while also working on getting all formats of Dowse and Bleed ready for publication while trying to resurrect my dead-in-the-water home computer (registry error).

I'll get back to updating after I start scribbling again instead of just percolating and tech supporting. Did I mention tech is not my color?

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Change of Plans—on Both Fronts

This entry is part 46 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

I had a plans. I changed them.

Reading

Today, I intend to finish reading The Drought and worrying about notating it afterward. I was trying to be good and do them both at once, but I think I just want to read the book right now, since she doesn’t want notes yet anyway. Fell asleep late in the middle of the book so morning post.

Writing

Collaboration

I know what to write next, but it’s not coming and I hear a siren call. :frustrated growl: Going to switch tactics for now.

Kingdoms and Thorn

I wanted to publish twelve books in 2014. That means finishing eleven. I started writing at 1695 words in Tracing Trouble and took a break at 2298.

I had wanted to do Collateral Damage next, but every time I sat down to it, my brain froze up and everything about Kingdoms and Thorn keeps breathing Cate to me. I have the photo silhouette for the cover, the meat and potatoes of this story, the core conflict, and now, due to a song lyric search today, I have the heart of this story. I pulled a thecatisacritic and went for a song, Vienna Tang’s “The Tower.”

She turns up the light
Anticipating night falling tenderly around her
Watches the dusk
The words won't come
She carries the act so convincingly
The fact is sometimes she believes it
She can be happy with the way things are
Be happy with the things she's done

And yet I need not to need
Or else a love with intuition
Someone who reaches out to my weakness
And won't let go
I need not to need
I've always been the tower
But now I feel like I'm the flower trying to bloom in snow

Collaboration

Back on work and between editing, tweaking, and general scribbling, I got 1085 words.

Splintered Gates

So I went ahead while I was on a roll and there went 168 words in 21 sentences.

Word Count

  • Fiction: 1856 words
  • Poetry: 0 words, 0 lines
  • Blog: 362 words

Splintered Gates

  • Today: 168 words
  • Total: 2493 words

Collaboration

  • Today: 1085 words
  • Total: 3409 words*

*written by me in 2014

Tracing Trouble

  • Today: 603 words
  • Total: 2298 words

January Totals

  • Fiction: 8441 words
  • Poetry: 212 words | 45 lines
  • Blog: 6709 words

Completed Pieces

  • Poem: "Before My Eyes," 220 words | 47 lines.
  • Fanfic: "Mistakes," 1397 words.
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Scribbling at Leisure

This entry is part 44 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

I didn't rush into anything and I took my time and here I am.

Today, I skipped reading The Drought like I was supposed to and read Mind of My Mind by Octavia Butler and the collaboration fic so I could write in it.

Writing went well and is continuing. I also created the mass-market book cover for Dowse and Bleed. I like it better than the trade. I'll do the interior tomorrow.

So tonight, I added 19 sentences to Splintered Gates, which came out to 150 words. Now, I can go to bed.

Word Count

  • Fiction: 1263 words
  • Poetry: 0 words, 0 lines
  • Blog: 324 words

Splintered Gates

  • Today: 150 words
  • Total: 2325 words

Collaboration

  • Today: 1113 words
  • Total: 2724 words*

*written by me in 2014

January Totals

  • Fiction: 6585 words
  • Poetry: 212 words | 45 lines
  • Blog: 6347 words

Completed Pieces

  • Poem: "Before My Eyes," 220 words | 47 lines.
  • Fanfic: "Mistakes," 1397 words.
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Story Order

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Am Reading

I had wanted to read Octavia Butler's Wild Seed for so long that I picked it up the moment I thought I could spend that much on a book (and that Veronica Roth didn't have anything new for me to inhale). The book fascinated me, I loved it, and when I saw it was part of a series, I bought the whole thing.

:cue dirge here:

Wild Seed was written fourth. You know what that means? Even though chronologically, in story-time it was the first book, it was not meant to be read first and shouldn't have been. The book redeemed Doro and then I read the second book chronologically and Butler killed him.

End of series for me.

But the second book was written almost first and the characters were all good and the ideas were wonderful. If I had read it first, then I would have loved probably the whole series.

Let this be a lesson to the scribbler (me): think about your story order and your publication order, especially when you put together omnibuses. Do not assume chronological is best. It probably isn't.

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