Thursday, February 24, 2011

Everything in the Second Month

The month of February. Filled with excitement and anxiety. My agent and I are finally at the editing stage of Scar-Crossed. However, I'm finding that while I might be a fairly passable storyteller, I am a GREEN editor. And we're not talking the good kind of faerie green either. Needless to say, it's slow going, but I'm very lucky to have an absolutely fabulous agent who believes in me and is willing to help me around every corner. I just hope I can live up to both our expectations. :)

Since there are long stints of me waiting for responses and sitting on my own edits for a few days until I can go back with fresh eyes and a rested voice, there is lots of down time. So, while I wait for season six of Bones to become available on Netflix, I'm back to my voracious reading/aubiobook schedule.

I was excited to find another two books from Christine Feehan's Carpathian series on biblio. So, of course I scooped up Dark Fire and Dark Dream. Dark Dream was different...and I liked it. Sarah wanted to get with Falcon from the beginning. How awesome is that? I'm getting sick of stubborn, independent paranormal/urban fantasy women. It's not like they aren't awesome in their own right, but when everyone is like that, it gets boring. For once, I want a female who is strong enough to accept things for how they are.

Another exciting find on biblio was The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton. I read Guilty Pleasures last year. I loved it and wanted more. However, I didn't have time to read more and the only audiobook I could find at the time was Blood Noir. I convinced myself that I loved Hamilton enough to skip the books in between. It didn't work out so well. Besides the fact that -- in case no one told you -- the tone of the stories get crazy sexual as the series goes on, I couldn't get past chapter one because I couldn't stand the voice actress they used for Anita Blake. Apparently they thought they needed a voice actress who reflected Anita's overdeveloped libido. So, needless to say I was apprehensive about downloading The Laughing Corpse, but this time the voice actress was perfect :). Can I just tell you how much I love zobies and Voodoo? It might become a problem.

I saw Peter V. Brett at a Lunacon a few years ago. At that time, The Warded Man was just being released, but even then I knew I wanted to read it. I get an Amazon card for Christmas this year and I bought this book with it. I knew that I was going to love this book before I even read it and for the most part, I did. I have one complaint: Leesha getting raped. There used to be a virtual essay following that comment, but I decided that I should probably just write a post in the future about rape in novels.

I possess Ice Land by Betsy Tobin in book form, however, I listened to the audiobook instead. I absolutely love Norse mythology and this story was wonderful. At first I was slightly confused, just because it centers on a number of story lines eventually coming together, but in the end I enjoyed the outcome of each character's fate.

I also own but listened to Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. These gents never fail to impress me. Especially Gaiman. I've decided that if it were legal, not incredibly messy, and we both weren't already happily spoken for, I'd marry the right hemisphere of Neil Gaiman's brain. Since that's just gross, I'm incredibly glad Amanda Palmer owns all of him and I eagerly await their progeny. I feel like the poles might shift on the day of that child's birth. o.O

I also -- at the request of many a friend -- read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. While I found the concept wonderful, I didn't like one particular aspect of it. The whole Susie switching bodies with Ruth and sleeping with Ray thing bothered me. There used to be a number of paragraphs explaining why it bothered me, but again, it might be better to hold it for it's own post.

Ah, the classics. Every so often, you need to harken back to your roots by reading one of them. Thus, I finally read The Call of the Wild and its sister novel, White Fang, by Jack London. I enjoyed both of them. Short, gritty, and fresh compared with the verbose novels I read these days. Not that being wordy and detailed is bad, I love a good thousand page epic fantasy, but there's something very fresh and clean about the oldies. Probably because some ideas were still new a hundred years ago. Now technology has made it a lot easier to share stories and you have to put more and more words in to prove that your novel is different from everything else in your genre.

I'm currently reading The Magicians by Lev Grossman and so far, I love it. I've only just finished the first chapter, so that's quite an endorsement. Also, much to the relief of my best friend and the baker at work, I'm starting to read The Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson this afternoon.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Enduring the Snowpocalypse

It's snowing...again. I'm staying home from work...again. Anyone else seeing a pattern here? So while Connecticut continually gets dumped on and my world continues to slowly disappear under a perpetually rising blanket of white (that's my picnic table in the picture), I'm writing.

Yes. I've decided the Snowpocalypse is a blessing. Why? Well, normally I couldn't convince myself to take time off of work to write. I'm just too much of a reincarnated Puritan for that. However, I can convince myself to not drive in the snow. Call it self-love, call it a deep seated desire to prevent 5-mile-per-hour-in-zero-visibility-while-SUVs-are-speeding-by-at-80 tension migraines, but I hate driving in the snow. So, I'm staying home.

And staying home means writing. Perspective: The Snowpocalypse is moving into week three and I'm halfway through a novel. Granted, it's not the novel I should be working on. My agent made it clear that I should be working on an entirely different novel, not a sequel to the one I'm trying to get published.

I understand why she says this. We can widen the reader market with a book in a different genre, and what if (God forbid) Scar-Crossed doesn't sell? What the heck are we going to do with a sequel to a book that never got published?

BUT, I've had writer's block for the past three months, I haven't liked anything I did manage to write, and I'm completely at a loss for what to do with the other books I am working on. Right about now, I'm just happy to be getting something down on paper and actually feeling good about it.

Plus, all is not lost. I'm still halfway through The Death of One...and Tamrin...and As Above, So Below. And I'm actually done with The Will of the Fallen (even though it's a cliffhanger). Disclaimer: It wouldn't have to be a cliffhanger if people would just accept the fact that sometimes the bad guy wins. And I have plenty more ideas.

Once I get this sequel to Scar-Crossed out on paper (which at this rate, will be soon) I can put it down and work on something else without being haunted by it. Until then, I'm embracing my blessings in every manner possible. That includes the Snowpocalypse making an appearance in the book itself. No one can say I don't count my blessings. :) Plus, you have to write what you know...and right about now, I know snow.