Writing, Reading, and Procrastination

books stack old antique
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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 mandolin-3017726_1280.pngwould 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.

horse-175188_1920Years 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 martial-arts-291049_1280.jpgworld 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.)

library-425730_1920So 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.coffee-690421_1920

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.)




A new pretty

IMG_20130416_165421_682Today I got a custom made chain mail bracelet. I do not often wear jewelry but this is both shiny and makes noise. It has little bells spaced around the weave. Also I had the opportunity to watch the craftsman in action as he added the bells per request to the length of chain he had already created.

Master Maillers is a small on line business owned by a couple of friends of mine.  It is fascinating to watch the pieces they create slowly come into being. They graciously answered my questions and agreed to allow me an interview soon, which I will be posting here.

But until then here is a quote from the master craftsman himself,

Master Maillers has almost 15 years experience making high quality maille products. These products include Jewelry in its many incarnations… Necklaces, Bracelets, Earrings, Rings, and more. We also make more traditional Maille items including full suits of armor, and just about any custom designs you can think of, all at fairly reasonable prices.

I am thinking of ordering a necklace to go with my bracelet but I haven’t decided yet.  If anyone else reading this decides to check out their site, use the coupon code CREATIVEWELL for a 10% discount on all purchases.

There is some neat stuff.  Unfortunately, my purse isn’t big enough to afford everything I mugging forkwould like to order….hmm a chain mail purse… that certainly could be used as a mugging deterrent 🙂

Thank God for Coffee Shops

r2-d2-alarm-clockI woke up late this morning.  It was a mad dash to get in and out of the shower, feed the cats and goldfish,then get the kids up, ready and out of the door for school.  I remembered to pack lunches, sign papers, and enforce the wearing of coats….but I forgot to take out the trash.

I did manage to somehow toss last nights dishes (which I should ghosthave done last night) into the dishwasher.  Unfortunately I put a metal mixing bowl in oddly and so the water inside the dishwasher kept hitting it and echoing. It sounded like the moaning of a damned soul and scared the kids.  (It kind of freaked me out to until I tracked down the noise and figured out what it was.)

army field packI dropped the kids off at school and signed them in. (I had to carry my daughter’s back pack to her class room for her because it was so heavy that she couldn’t lift it.  It was almost too heavy for me.  I think military field packs weigh less than my 4th grader’s back pack.)  I could have gone home and fought with the trash cans until they were lined up on the corner of the driveway…but I didn’t.

In desperate need of caffeine and food, (because I fed the kids but not myself) I stopped at BcnEggChsCrsntthe coffee shop.  I love walking into the building and having them greet me by name.  (Because they know me, not because of some enforced corporate regulation.)  One bacon, egg, and cheese coffeedeskcroissant and a medium house coffee later, and I am starting to feel awake enough to write.

I have my current WIP (work in progress) on the agenda today, as well as some revision work on two separate novels. (Though the more I keep working on the fantasy novel the more it is starting to look like a really really long story rather than a book.   There are two more books that go along with that one that still need to be written, so maybe I’ll just make it one big three part book….)

Anyway, here’s to coffee shops, friendly baristas, and writing.  May your Monday be productive enough that you are content, but not so much that you are stressed.  Happy writing everyone.524px-S2e8_jake_drinking_hot_tea