Four Books I Will Pay to Review This Year

d-221 books

d-221 books (Photo credit: azrasta)

At some point in the first few months leading into this year, I found myself overwhelmed with reading obligations. There’s the books I bought for myself, the books I bought to review, books that were given to me (KINDLY and GRACIOUSLY and IN GOOD FAITH) by publishers, and everything else I had straggling along. When I finally dug myself out of this mire in March, I did it with a new resolution: I wasn’t going to buy books this year that were “genre,” ie SF/F. Those books I read would only be by the graces of the publishers for review, and I was going to focus my “free” time and money on other things. If that was reading, then it was going to be reading that in some fashion was “for bettering myself,” whether that be personally, or just expanding my horizons.

Yeah, that isn’t really going to last long, especially if you saw the title of this post, so here it is: the four books I already know I will be paying for and then posting reviews on this year. Also known as a list of books I will be reading even if tomorrow I were to give up doing reviews all together.
  1. The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan. Book 1 was an unexpected and blow my socks off pleasure. Sure, it was “old fashioned” fantasy in the sense of great magics and mysterious destinies and the usual baggage, but it was fresh and original at the same. Loved Brian’s first book, really looking forward to this book.
  2. The Widow’s House by Daniel Abraham. Cannot emphasize enough how much of a fanboy I am of Abraham’s work. If I had to compare it to something, I’d say it’s like the Game of Thrones series, but not nearly as draggingly deep and weighted down. Plus, the books come out every 9-12 months, so there’s little risk of Daniel not finishing it. I think.
  3. Cibola Burn by S.A. Corey – which astute readers will know is really just 50% more Daniel Abraham. It’s weird, in a way – individually, I’ve had fault with a few parts of this series, and yet as a whole it has been exactly what the doctor ordered. Blow your socks off space opera – check! Also, you should probably read the books before SyFy goes to air with the series they’re adapting from book one. I hope they do the series justice, but just in case, read it now while you can.
  4. The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks. Loved the Night Angel trilogy to death – read all three books in the span of a week after discovering them. This series uses chromatic magic (based on color), which you’d think I wouldn’t fancy. And yet here it is, on my list.

What’s missing? Well, there’s Ken Scholes next book, which I feel guilty not including. I’m a little over halfway through Requiem and loving it – Ken’s books are always sweet and magical. However, I haven’t seen anything floating around yet about the next book (or rather, I have, but I can’t lay my fingers on where), making it difficult to include here. But these are my definite, going to pay good money and enjoy every moment of reading them books for this year.

So far.

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Well, at least that week is over

OpenSSL 2014 ... Heartbleed bug What you need ...

I’m afraid the real world has crept in and made a mess of both blogging and writing this week. No doubt, you’ve probably heard about Heartbleed by now. If you need a Dummies Guide to what it is, I can’t recommend a better source than the geek comic XKCD – this comic covers it all in a neat nutshell infographic. If you haven’t, don’t panic, but do make an effort to follow the obvious steps and change your passwords and then panic. If you use an application like Lastpass, all the better – Lastpass (and presumably other security services) have added awareness of heartbleed and will let you know which sites you should probably change your password on – and which ones you should change it on as soon as they get around to patching.

Sadly, all this day jobing and patching and such has left little time – or interest – in writing. I’m a little flummoxed on where that leaves me with Writeageddon. I haven’t given up (and let Mason win) yet, but I’m teetering. I’m just not into the story I’m writing right now, and nothing else is really overwhelming my brain.

Wife calls this my “typical Spring behavior.” As if my creative bouts could be predicted by a regular circadian rhythm as defined by the seasons. [Reads through his own paper journal and collected stats.] OK, there might be some truth to that.

All right, enough griping. Off to read something – if I can’t write, at least I can sit in someone else’s world for a while and stew.

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The end of the first week of Writeageddon

When I was full of bravado and ego (not quite 7 days ago), I scoffed at the paltry goal of 2,500 words a week.

English: So many words to keep track of!.

English: So many words to keep track of!. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I know from past writing tracking (thanks Jamie Rubin for teaching me those tricks!), there is a cadence to my writing habits, and that over time the amount I write per day up ticks until it settles around 1,000 words a day.

I have not reached that peak yet. In fact, this week has been such a struggle to get some words, any words, out of my head and onto the screen that at my lowest this week, I barely put down 200 words. Ouch.

That said, the writing continues. Today I should hit the first week’s goal of 2,500 words (currently sitting at 2,159), with a full day still ahead of me to finish minding that gap. So, for week one, I’d have to say I’m on track, but its been a struggle sometimes. I no longer feel as confident that I will be able to whip this before the end of September (the natural finish date for 2,500 words a week), but I haven’t given up hope yet.

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Today I did write – Writeageddon day 1.

coffee cup

coffee cup (Photo credit: Terry Freedman)

Today is the first day of the self proclaimed writeageddon, and not as shaky a start as I expected. Nothing spectacular today – 500+ words during lunch – but that’s still more than I’ve written since finishing the first draft of A Mountain Fell From Heaven. Add on to that that for the day job it was a late night (it is April Fool’s after all) and I’ve had about 5 hours of sleep, not too shabby for exhaustion.

Now to do it again…tomorrow.

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Mere days left to join the fun!

1935 film that be represent the eruption of mo...

Just because. 1935 film that represented the eruption of mount Vesuvius (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That’s right, it’s just a few days until write-ageddon starts up! Here’s your opportunity to be goaded into writing a novel along with Mason and I. Afraid to take part because you don’t know what you’re going to write? Neither do I! So far, Mason has me beat on this whole “planning” thing. Frankly, I like to think – did Vesuvius plan to be a volcano? Was Harrison Ford a stagehand for the Doors? Are there are other true but nonsensical questions I can throw out there to highlight this point? Probably!

So far the only revelations I’ve had on the plot have been things that need to be culled and put off on their own. I’ve come to realize the two lead characters in what I was thinking about writing are really from two different novels and should be kept apart, not melded together. Which mostly leaves me with nothing.

Crap. I don’t know what I’m going to write. Quick, distract me, join the mayhem!

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Where the inane meets the mundane

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