Best Laid Plans

Well that didn’t quite go to plan.

I had almost made it an entire month of blogging every single day when somewhere along the way I got derailed. I lost the momentum because I was struggling for ideas, and the notion of going on vacation was starting to make me perhaps a touch lazy. (This is perhaps the first vacation I can remember in which I wrote absolutely nothing– didn’t even take my laptop with me).

Now in (admittedly early) May, I’m a bit behind in multiple things. I didn’t end up recording anything of Drag Con for a vlog (as I somewhat suspected I wouldn’t), and I’m a week behind in blogs and just general writing. It seems my outline that I was so sure I was going to make my writing the sequel to my current work that much easier has not proven true as of yet and I find myself currently trying to find said outline so I might get back to work after a well needed vacation.

Audiobooks or Physical?

In 2007, I waited in line for the last time for the midnight release of a Harry Potter novel. The Deathly Hallows. It was the end of an era, and for me the end of one of the best parts of my childhood during those parties. My mother and I were to go to California immediately after picking up the book, and since it was the last one, my mother decided that she wanted to enjoy the book too. After the party we ran to Walmart and picked up a copy of the audiobook edition. The first audiobook I’d ever had. I remember Walmart had made a point to close down the store for an hour or so before midnight and brought out two huge palettes. One of the book in hardcover, and one of the audiobook. We grabbed the audiobook, and some drinks, and checked out. We had barely made it to the car before we popped in the CD and we were excitedly on our way. Listening to the story as I read along in the book.

For years the debate has raged on; ebooks or print? For many years, I would have said ebooks, I loved the convenience of them, and I hated the idea that somehow ebooks didn’t count as real books. Perhaps it’s some deep seeded desire to fight for the underdog but this idea that somehow the text in an ebook was less important than physical books became an exhausting fight. Recently however thanks in part to changing prices in hardcover books and the Book of the Month Club, I’ve found a new obsession in hardcover. I also realized something about the debate of digital versus physical books that I hadn’t considered before. With all of the handwringing over ebooks killing the paperbound book, why wasn’t there concern over audiobooks?

For as long as I can remember audiobooks have never been seen as a threat to the physical book. Audiobooks had existed for years before the ebook, and yet, when the debate came up about the danger to the end of the physical novel, the audiobook was never mentioned. I think in some ways it’s because audiobooks almost go hand in hand with physical books, and so it’s less a war of how something is devoured and more an addition to how it’s enjoyed and appreciated. It’s an extension of the book, not competition. But the question has always confused me, why is how you enjoy a book more important than that you are enjoying a book at all? If we’re really so concerned about how few people read, it might be advised not to tell them how to read, and simply to be glad that they are reading, period.

The Reading List- Prologue

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The other day I had the frankly bizarre idea that I wanted to try and color code the books on my bookshelf (a part of me wishes I’d also done so by height, but that’s another story), because it seemed like it would be fun. But I’ve also decided that as a challenge to myself I thought I would spend this year reading all of these books from start to finish. In color order as follows:

  1. Six of Crows
  2. Behind Her Eyes
  3. The Cuckoo’s Calling
  4. Becoming Steve Jobs
  5. Yes Please
  6. Enchanted Islands
  7. If I Was Your Girl 
  8. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
  9. The Edge of Everything
  10. Settle for More
  11. The Sun is Also a Star
  12. Killing Monica
  13. Lilian Boxfish Takes a Walk
  14. The Possessions
  15. Good as Gone
  16. The Wangs vs. The World
  17. The Princess Diarist
  18. The Underground Railroad
  19. Carry On
  20. Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit
  21. The Most Dangerous Place on Earth
  22. Shrill
  23. Swingtime
  24. Pachinko
  25. Fangirl
  26. the Nest
  27. The After Party
  28. Fates and Furies
  29. The Mothers
  30. Why Not Me
  31. The Girls
  32. Celebrity Run-ins
  33. The Nix

I’ve technically already read If I was Your Girl earlier and I absolutely loved it, so I may replace it with another book just to make it a fair/even 33. Additionally I’ll be returning to this post with my progress and crossing things out as I go. 33 books in the year is a fairly small amount, but considering that I’ve been averaging about maybe 2 or 3 a year, I’d say 33 is a great way to play catch-up. I’d like to write periodic reviews on Fridays of my progress with whatever book I’m on, so I’ll be starting the next Fic Fri post with an update on Six of Crows. 

Typing it All Up!

It’s official. As of 1 Feb, 2017, phase 2 of editing is complete, leading to the final phase, getting it all typed up. You’d think this would be the easy part, and for the most part it is (if tedious), but when your body decided just after finishing edits now would be a great time to get a cold (for the second time in two months I might add) typing becomes rather difficult. I realize it’s something I should have done as I finished chapters, and originally that was my full intent, too. But if thirteen plus years of writing has taught me anything, it’s that more often than not those best laid plans never quite pan out. And so, I’m now on chapter 6 of 24 to type up. I’ve made fairly good progress and it was my intent to do about 5ish chapters a day which would have had me done by Monday, but being that (as of this writing it’s Sunday) and I’m 10 chapters behind, I seriously doubt that’s going to be possible, but maybe I’ll manage to get it together in the end. I don’t have a deadline this time (though I’d like to say maybe before March 1st?)

I’m terribly excited to have this done, (though my break that I planned to have between finishing edits and typing them up lasted all of 3 hours) and I’m excited to have a few trusted readers getting their hands on it as soon as I can finish typing up the changes and have it printed and bound (boyfriend, best friend, mother, you know challenging readers that might offer me real critiques) I’m eager to start on book 2, but I know I should take some time to read more and get myself caught up on more blog/essay stuff before I jump fully into book 2. So much to do, so little time.

The Story You’re Meant to Write

days6You may not know this about me as yet, because I haven’t really shared that many stories. But I’m not exactly known for writing happy tales where everything works out for the best and the good guy always wins. More often than not, the stories I end up writing are pretty dark, even the ones I want so desperately to be happy end up dark. Because the story that I’m meant to tell or that I need to tell isn’t necessarily the story that I always want to tell. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike what I write by any means, but sometimes I’d like to write something happier from time to time.

Truthfully, I’m not even sure I know what a happy story would entail at this point. Certainly it would be different from what I’m known for writing but as far as how that translates into an actual story, I can’t say I know. But I do know this, what I do write, is absolutely what I’m meant to write, and I will continue writing (no matter how dark) what I have because somebody’s got to. Why not me?

The Woman in Cabin 10: A Review

 I’m not what you would call an avid thriller reader, so my opinions on this novel probably aren’t on par with those who read the genre regularly. I also wouldn’t call this a great read, it’s fun and a little bizarre, but it was a breezy read that I actually enjoyed. I’ve been trying since Cursed Child to read more (which, let’s not even discuss that little gem). I even joined the Book of the Month Club to grow my reading collection, and so far it’s been… admittedly slower than I’d like. The truth is you have to make time to read and I just haven’t been doing it. That said, I did manage to read a book about a month or so ago, that I was meaning to write up a review for the old blog, but I figured now was as good a time as any. 

 

Read More… 

The Editing Chronicles Part I

Editing is by now, a well traversed subject on this blog, over the many years I’ve been writing day2it, I’ve had a lot of things to say and a lot of thoughts on the subject, and ultimately as I’ve grown as a writer, so too has my editing and my thoughts on editing. While it still remains sometimes an almost Sisyphean effort to get the edits done, I’ve learned quite a bit a long the way.

A few weeks ago, I started outlining my novel on notecards that I picked up at the Dollar Store around the same time I went to Bath and Body Works. Along with fall and candles, I’m a very big fan of office supplies and school supply shopping has been a yearly ritual for me for as long as I can remember. For me, there is almost no better mini catalogue during the year than the Office Max/Depot Back to School one in July.

Last year I managed to pick up about 15 or so 1 Subject notebooks that were 17¢ each. I still pick up new notebooks here and there, and managed to pick up three, three subject notebooks, and a sparkly composition notebook that I’ve nicknamed the Leviathan that will include all things related to my current work in progress and the overarching series as I realize there’s a lot that of important details that I need to get set in stone, as it were.

I started doing the outline of the book, using color coated note cards, in an effort to get a visual look at the progress of my novel thus far, which got me thinking about pacing within the story, and looking ahead to the rest of the series. One of the biggest questions one has to think about when it comes to writing a series is, where does this information fit in the over arcing universe that you’ve created. Would, whatever is happening in this particular book be better served elsewhere in the series? It’s a difficult balance, and who’s really to say whether or not a particular topic would be better served later in the series, except that if it doesn’t fit anywhere else in the current book, then perhaps it might be best to hold it.

As much as editing can be a pain, it is also a learning opportunity to really get a good look at what the story is right at this particular moment, and what you think still needs to happen to it.

Stretching Out of My Comfort Zone

I have often believed, that some of the greatest growth a person can achieve, is by stepping MISCout of your comfort zone and trying things that you otherwise might not have. Meeting my boyfriend in real life for the first time, only a week after talking to him online was one of the most nerve wracking things I had ever done, we met at a crowded mall and I was with my best friend, but all of it was way out of my comfort zone and even though it took me a minute to work through my anxiety and nerves, it was well worth the effort. Applying to become a supervisor at my work, my internship back in college, hell even making the appointment to talk to a therapist to get the letter I needed to start the hormonal end of my transition were all very much out of my comfort zone, in one way or another, but in making that effort and pushing myself, I have grown in ways that I never could have imagined; and because of it, I’m in a much better place now than I was even last year, I’m more confident, and happy, and that’s something I wasn’t sure for a long time I could actually be for more than the few hours of a post-shopping high.

It’s not all sunshine and roses that’s true, but the point is, I am trying.

Why this conversation is important to me, is because I think letting people read my writing has often been a huge comfort zone issue for me, particularly my fiction. I want people to read and enjoy my work, but more often than not it can be a terrifying venture to put yourself out there and I think that is why I’ve spent so much time editing and rewriting the same story, there is that comfort in perpetually working on something that can, in the future, when it’s ‘better’ and ‘perfect’ be read by actual humans. Ultimately however the problem becomes that it can’t really ever get better if you’re the only one seeing it, because as much as I would like to, I can’t always see the forest through the trees. Sometimes, I’m blinded by my own understanding of a story.

This was brought into crystal clear focus, when after having my boyfriend read a short story I’d written, he had a completely different understanding of the story than what I had intended for it to be. It was no less interesting in it’s way, but it wasn’t the story I had meant to come across to the reader. Though, short stories have always been a tricky medium for me… but that’s another comfort zone thing (and a blog for a different day), and one that I’m working to push myself out of.

What I’m Reading: The Hellbound Heart

READA week or so ago I discovered a novel called Abarat by Clive Barker on Scribd. It was an interesting enough book, and one that had the first example I’d ever seen of a great prologue. The name of the author intrigued me though, it sounded familiar, but there was no way it was that Clive Barker.

I decided to look at his other works and as it turned out the author was the very same, creator of the Hellbound Heart the novella upon which the Hellraiser franchise is based. As a big fan of at least several of the films (I think I got to the one in space before I said, perhaps this is enough), then I watched one about Hellraiser being a video game and I kinda thought you know… this also isn’t necessary.

The novella, as much as I’ve read is actually really good, if a lot different from the film, it seems to follow the same characters, though the cenobites changed a bit from the book to film. Take for instance Pinhead, it’s hard to say if he’s the main cenobite in this story or not. He doesn’t seem to be at least not so far, but it’s also interesting that he is described as having a high voice which is definitely not how I remember him.

All in all I’m really enjoying it, and I think I’m going to enjoy the short story collection from several other authors in the universe (from which I believe the video game storyline for that Hellraiser film was taken) Hellbound Hearts.