Last night I stayed up too late. I didn’t actually go to bed until after five this morning. I took a nap yesterday afternoon because I knew I would want to take a peek at the Lunar eclipse. If I didn’t take a nap, I probably would have been warm and comfortable in my pajamas by the time the eclipse started and then I wouldn’t want to go out into the cold. And it was cold, 18 degrees to be exact.
The moon was full and round, as something called a Super Blood Wolf Moon should be. The eclipse itself was pretty spectacular too. We won’t see another total lunar eclipse until May of 2021.
I managed to get a few pictures before I could no longer feel my fingers and toes. Some of them turned out pretty good considering my camera isn’t exactly fancy and doesn’t have extra lenses and such. I warmed up with a hot drink then sat down to read since the cold had made sure I was wide awake. I only have one book of a trilogy left to read and then the first one of the next trilogy. After that I have to wait for the author (Yes, still Mercedes Lackey,) to publish more.
I have been able to focus more on writing lately though some places feel like I am struggling through a swamp. I have to write a magic battle coming up next and I need to visualize it so I can describe it properly. However, this is harder than it sounds. At first, my brain kept basically showing me Dragon Ball Z reruns with my characters substituted and I had to convince it that there would be no Kamehameha-ing going on. Now I have an inkling of an idea. I just have to flesh it out.
I am also working on another nonfiction book I hope to have completed by May. If I focused solely on it I could probably have it done earlier, but I have other things I am working on too. I am also thinking about putting out another book of short stories. I haven’t decided for sure on that yet but I am gathering my orphans together so to speak.
Next weekend, if all goes well, I will probably be popping in at a local convention.
Currently, I am coming to the end of chapter two in a book I am writing. At least I think it will be a book. (I have been mistaken before.) I would be much further along if it wasn’t for Mercedes Lackey.
For Christmas, I received an eagerly anticipated trilogy of books. I knew I would get them. I had asked for them specifically when people inquired what I wanted for Christmas. Mercedes Lackey has been one of my favorite writers for a long time. I picked up one of her Valdemar books at a thrift store when I was too young to appreciate it and hated the book.
Then I discovered the Bedlam Bard books and fell in love. They were rare treasures I would search shelves for. That was how I discovered the Serrated Edge series. I loved those too but I hated them as well. Those books turned a flashlight on the dark corners of humanity. They absorbed you as you read them, immersing you in the story until you felt all of the horror and pain but also the hope. It was wonderful and awful at the same time. I read some of them over and over.
Years after my first introduction to Valdemar my sister started telling about this book she was reading. It sounded awesome. It had magic, adventure, and was written by one of my favorite authors. Then I found it out it was a Valdemar book. By then I knew Valdemar had quite a large fan base but I don’t like jumping on bandwagons. I honestly thought the Bedlam Bard series was better and that people were fans of the wrong series, even though I had never really given the Valdemar books a chance.
My sister can be quietly demanding when she wants to be. She gives you unspoken orders and you hop to, only later realizing what happened. I don’t think she even realizes that she does it. Which was how I was presented with a stack of Valdemar books from her collection and told to familiarize myself with this world she was always talking about. I devoured them all and came back for more. The storytelling was great. Later as I learned to read as a writer, I picked out a couple of things I thought could have been done differently and made a few of the books better. (In my opinion of course.) I was fool enough to mention these thoughts out loud.
Learn from my mistakes. If you are discussing books with someone who showers a story world with complete adoration, never ever ever suggest that there is something wrote with it. Ever. Not even if it is just saying that the ending felt a little rushed and you wonder if the author had to hurry through it to make a deadline. Don’t do it. You will regret it. (Unless of course, you are trying to start a fight or have odd compulsion to have the skin ripped from your body with words. If that is your goal then insulting a favored author or book series is an easy way to accomplish it. Even if the slight is only perceived, it will do the job.)
So after eight books or so I wandered away from Valdemar and on to something else. Then this Winter I was poking around on Amazon, looking for gifts for others when I stumbled across something called “The Herald Spy Trilogy”. I am a sucker for rogues and I enjoy Lackey’s writing so I asked for them for Christmas. I received them, eagerly sat down to read after the holiday craziness was complete, and discovered I had no idea what was going on. References were made to characters I had never heard of. Confused I contacted my local Valdemar informant, A.K.A my sister. She did some google-fu and produced a list of books that come before the trilogy I wanted to read. And to her surprise, she only owned three of the five and they were in storage. (Another long story.)
So I set out to acquire the five books that came before the trilogy I got for Christmas. Then I had to wait for them to be shipped because I bought them online. In the meantime, I got an idea for a book of my own after speaking to a friend and started writing. I managed to get a chapter and a half in when my books acquisitions arrived. I ignored them for a few days but then the person who got me the trilogy started asking questions about if I had read them yet and if I liked them. So feeling guilty for ignoring my gift, I started on the Collegium Chronicles and am now on the fourth book. However, I have only written a couple of paragraphs over the past few days since reading has taken over my writing time.
My writing is suffering from my lack of focus, concentration, and sleep. If Mercedes Lackey wasn’t such a hell of a storyteller I wouldn’t have this problem. The compulsion I feel to read and purchase these books because I enjoy them so much is fascinating. Wouldn’t it be awesome if I could be like that one day?
(By the way, during the writing of this blog post I stumbled upon another book in one of Lackey’s series that I haven’t read and ended up buying it too.)
Mondays are not my favorite day of the week but to face one without the benefit of coffee first isn’t something that should ever happen. Unfortunately, to have coffee you have to have money and to have money you have to go to work. I freelance but my job is a dead end. Literally. Lucky for me there is at least one cop out there that doesn’t ask too many questions when I tell him where to find bodies. Sometimes he even brings coffee.
We arrived at the convention a little later than originally planned but our timing worked to our advantage. My sister-in-law and I got our badges and checked into the hotel without issue. We’ve been to a few awesome panels and bought probably our weight in books. I’ve met some new people and was able to reconnect with old friends. So far we have had a good time.
The only problems that have shown their warty heads were the internet connection and the fact that we went left when we should have gone right (or the reverse) after getting off the elevator a few minutes ago. This meant we spent ten minutes trying to open a door that was to the wrong room. It took a handy passerby to point this out to us. In our defense, we were tired and just about ready for bed. I am looking forward to tomorrow.
I thought a lot this weekend. My throat was sore and I had two sick kids to take care of so there really wasn’t much time for writing. I did manage to do a little but not as much as I would have liked.
I read a few writing articles and blog posts, played too much candy crush, and watched way too many cartoons. The couch became our sickly nesting ground. Even the cats joined the pile of blankets and tissues.
This post comes from those hours of sitting there with kids and cats piled on me. I couldn’t move much so it left time to think. The articles I read were about book reviewers and how there are some people out there that write bad reviews on purpose, sometimes without even reading the book. That didn’t really come as a surprise but some of the lengths gone to did surprise me. I’m not talking just one bad review here, I am talking completely trampling the author through the mud.
I really don’t understand it. I mean if you read something and it is completely awful, you should be able to express your views. However, never reading more than the blurb or the sample on Amazon and then going to every site you can to trash the book…why? Just to hurt a random person you’ve never met? Isn’t there a better way to spend your time?
*sigh* Seeing what I see on the news and at night at work, I guess humanity should surprise me anymore. I guess I’m just naive. I don’t leave many bad reviews. If I like a book I am usually more enthusiastic than if I don’t. I am also lazy.
Reviews are important to authors. They are each particular book-baby’s life line. If there are a lot of good reviews more people will read the book. If there are a lot of bad reviews then only the morbidly curious will touch it.
I would like to encourage everyone reading this post to take just five minutes and go over to goodreads, amazon, or wherever you prefer. Find a book that you have read and enjoyed and leave a review. I don’t care what the book is, it could be an edition of Alice in Wonderland that you particularly liked. Go leave a few kind words.
Feel free to leave me a link in the comments too. I am always looking for new things to read. 🙂
A couple of weeks ago I went to LibertyCon in Chattanooga, TN. While there I picked up a copy of Witchfinder by Sarah A. Hoyt. It takes place in her Magical Empires world and I absolutely loved it.
It has been a while since I read a book I just couldn’t put down. (I think the last one was Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.) In fact, I got so engrossed in Witchfinder that I smuggled it to work with me and got a stern talking to for reading on the clock.
It was one of those days where I was stuck behind the counter. My boss will probably end up borrowing the book from me later though. Some how I don’t think that that was what the author meant when she signed my book and wrote “Sometimes you have to break the law.”
If you like fantasy novels, if you like magic, and if you like regency era fiction this is a book you really need to check out.