Monday, December 29, 2014

Have a Happy New Year

This will be a quick post. I didn't meet any of the goals I set last Monday. I've done no writing or planning, and I'm on page 340 of Seven Wonders. It was silly in retrospect to expect much of myself over the holiday, so I'm not going to express any goals at this point. I'll be back next week to do that, however, and hopefully I'll have a book review at that point as well.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2014


Hello Readers!

I've decided that for now I'm going to try to blog every Monday. It's arbitrary. I don't hate Mondays like some. The weekend is more stressful for me because everybody's home. The Husband starts his vacation in a couple days, and won't go back to work until early next year. I am glad to see him more, but being the introvert I am it will be difficult to unwind with everyone about.

Enough of that personal stuff. I've been writing a little more, struggling with worldbuilding and plotting a new story, working title of World Striders, or maybe just Worldstriders. That's not actually going to be the title, but it's the name of the universe in which the story takes place. My goal is to have a loose plot by next blog and possibly have started the meat of writing the novel itself. I'm going to set myself some word count and timed writing goals for that, probably half an hour and 800 words. Not that I necessarily expect to always write 800 words in half an hour, just that I don't want to be stopping every five seconds to count words, so a time goal seems appropriate.

I am on page 173 of Seven Wonders by Adam Christopher. It's been a bit harder to get into than the other books I've read these past couple weeks. Part of it is the length; it's easier to get through 200 so so pages than 400.  Part of it is that I've been unable to find a sympathetic character. I feel like the book itself, the author, is trying to guide me through the story and that makes me feel lost. I will try to finish it up and write a proper review in the next few days, though with Christmas and such it will be difficult.

Thanks for reading, and Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Three More Books Read

Since my last post, I've read three books. The first was The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. This is a classic-style fantasy story of a shunned youngest son of the ruler unexpectedly inheriting the throne due to the sudden death of his father and all of his older brothers.

This was a very enjoyable read. The protagonist is kind and likable and in way over his head, which makes him a sympathetic character. His enemies are not evil but ambitious or stupid or misguided. Magic exists in this world but is not the centerpiece. The only thing I didn't like were the overly long and difficult names. Now, I realize this is a common feature of the genre, and fortunately there was a pronunciation guide at the back of the book as well as an explanation of titles and a list of notable characters.

Next I read Skin Game by Jim Butcher. I can't really say much about this. It's the fifteenth book in an ongoing series about Wizard for Hire Harry Dresden. In the world of the Dresden novels, all the old legends are true. All. And they're all fighting for control of the modern mortal world. I recommend this series to everyone who likes urban fantasy. Start with the first one, Storm Front.

Then I read Damned by Chuck Palahniuk. This book was bizarre and gross, and the protagonist seems irritating at first, but you warm up to her after a while. It was still fun and funky and wry.

I'm still working out what I'm doing about my writing. I keep waking up from these dreams that are like story seeds. Something I thought of today may end up being a series. Maybe my subconscious is telling me to start something new? I mean, I can always go back to those partial rough drafts I mentioned last time.

I can't remember where I read it now, but I've seen it written that all authors use outlines, it's just that often the outline is in the form of a rough draft. Often when I get an idea I just run with it, start writing, and that's a good thing, but...then when I encounter story problems or have a new idea that negates some of what I've already written, I stall out. I want to try some extra prep this time. Dive in and write, but do character creation and world building to begin with. Make a brief timeline of events, and then if I get stuck I can go back to it and see where I went wrong, make a few notes about the change, and forge ahead.

I can worry that kind of thing will take the passion and fun out of writing, but stalling out is no fun, either.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Review of The Stars, Like Dust and writing progress update

I just finished The Stars, Like Dust by Isaac Asimov.

This book is the foundation of his Foundation universe, and one of the first novels Asimov published.

Let me first say that I realize Asimov is one of the premier writers of science fiction. The world building in this universe is excellent, both clear and unobtrusive.

However, I found the characters in this book shallow and the plot predictable. There were a few surprises, but when they were revealed I hadn't identified enough with the characters to really care. The protagonist was arrogant and despicable. The ultimate antagonist was not very interesting, and the most sympathetic characters were a crazy old man and a bored and jaded bureaucrat. The female romantic lead was a classic example of the trope: headstrong and foolish until love makes her compliant.

Overall, despite the top-notch worldbuilding, I found the novel archaic, sexist and rather dull. I must recognize, however, that without Asimov leading the way, many of the science fiction works I love would never have existed. I can see in this work the roots of what became something greater.

However, I intend to read more of his Foundation universe books, simply because the world is so interesting to me.

As far as writing goes, I've got no projects that I'm actively working on right now. I write this blog and a few random paragraphs in the evenings. I have a number of things unfinished. An untitled novel with the main character's name of Juri is in it's severalth editing draft. Unfinished first drafts include Fallen Daughter, Sharli's Home, Children of the Net and Little Claire Lost.

I'm not sure where to go from here, whether I should start something new or try to finish something I started before.

Sunday, December 7, 2014


Hello, readers!

I am a writer, and this is my writing blog. Here you will find info and updates about my writing progress, what I'm working on, what books I'm reading, as well as other things that might seem interesting or pertinent. You will probably see short fiction here from time to time, but I'm in the process of archiving my older work here.

Please let me know in the comments what you think. This is very much a work in process, which will be updated sporadically until I get everything set up.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Reading Progress, short review

Yesterday I read a book called The Time Keeper by Mitch Alborn. It was pretty good, easy to read, caught my attention and I enjoyed staying with it over the course of a day. I can't say that about every book; I read 222 pages in one day and enjoyed doing so.

I hadn't read a book in about a month, so reading it was rather like eating an average meal after a long fast.

The only thing I didn't like about it was that one character didn't seem right. The writer told us she was a smart girl without having her think or act like a smart girl.

Also I tend to give religious writers (those with faith who write about religious themes, such as father time in this book) a little bit of leeway to be preachy. The theme itself was moralistic without being so preachy that it distracted from the plot or the character arcs.