The Week That Was, June 11 Edition

The problem with having a day job is that it’s always finding ways of getting in the way, and this week was no exception. Because of reasons at work (all good), I’ve been on-call for the last two weeks, in addition to any of my normal work. Not complaining, but it’s made not-work time a real premium.

The Mermaid’s Tears continues on pace. It’s not a fast pace, or something I’d want to dance to, but it’s a pace. I only wrote about 5k this last week, nothing great, but every word counts as they say.  It’s hard not to say more, but spoilers!

Our middle daughter (13), after complaining about headaches when she’s reading, went in for an eye exam last week. We were told to expect it to take a few weeks for the glasses to be ready (nearsighted, like father like daughter), so we were all pleasantly surprised when they were ready this week.

I’m still reading It. It’s hard to praise a book that’s already well known and well liked. Believe me when I say, so far it deserves it. The paperback is 1400+ pages, and the first 300 are just introducing characters. I know the Dark Tower is the epic saga in King’s writing, any book that takes 300 pages to introduce the cast is epic in my opinion. This is King after he figured out how to write, and it’s smooth, engaging, and engrossing.

Finally, the week ended with a short story rejection. Normally I wouldn’t mention it, but this is a story that made it to second rounds, which I’m a bit proud of. Oddly enough, I’ve stopped pushing my short stories out lately. It’s not that I don’t have faith in them, but I haven’t written anything new (short) in a while. The stories I have lying around right now are stories that written by a me almost two years ago. My writing has changed since then, and I don’t think they are as fair a representation of me as something I might write now.  Of course, I’d have to not be writing a novel at the moment to have the time to write a short, so I guess that’s on hold for later this summer.

Finally, a funny little something I read this week on Tor.  My Lousy Children Are Both Fake Geeks was fun and funny, and a bit close to home.

The Week That Was, Ending June 4th

Trying something a little new. Or really old. Definitely not new in the untried sense, but in the “I’d like to see myself blog more” sense.

This week I managed to write about 5k on The Mermaid’s Tears. I actually have a blurb written for the book already (it’s been my guideline, of sorts, on how the plot should go in a general sense). When I get closer to the end of the first draft I’ll post it here. I did hit the 30k mark today, so by my estimates I’m about half way there. I know 60k is a bit short compared to many mainstream books these days, but I’ve never been one to write doorstoppers. I write books that are as long as they need to be to tell a story. For now, that mark is about 60k words or so (roughly 2-300 pages in your average paperback format).

Speaking of books, today Chrysalis was made available on Kindle Unlimited. So, if you have KU and were waiting to read it, now’s your chance to do it for free 🙂

What am I reading these days? Believe it or not, I’ve been on a bit of a Stephen King kick lately. I won’t lie, the slew of movies tied to him that are coming out in the next few months don’t hurt, but I’ve always been a fan. Right now I’m trying to catch up on some of his pulpier works, starting with IT. I’ve seen the made for TV miniseries (who hasn’t?), and I’d swear I’ve read the book before, but maybe not. Started reading it this weekend and failed to recognize much of what was going on, so either I’ve forgotten more than I remember, or I never actually read it. Probably the latter. Of course, I started by reading the sample on my Kindle, but then started to get a headache, so I’ve ordered the paperback copy. Should be here tomorrow.

Like many comic book fans, I took the girls to see Wonder Woman Thursday night. I’m pretty much an oddball in that I alone haven’t minded most of the other DC movies. But Wonder Woman? FANTASTIC. On top of everything else the movie did great, I actually felt good about taking my girls and telling them this was a hero they could enjoy and aspire to. Sure, the middle daughter may have had a few words after the movie about the mythical inconsistencies between the DC mythos and Greek mythos, but we’ll let that slide for now.

Finally, this week, said middle daughter (who has become somewhat of a book lover in the last six months) has been complaining about headaches after reading. We finally got her in to an optometrist  – and you guessed it, if you haven’t already seen the photo floating around, she’s a bit near-sighted. Her new glasses will be here in a few weeks.

I realize this ended up going out late on Sunday (some would even call it early Monday, depending on where you are in the world). I’ll try better next week 🙂



I do not travel light

I used to travel light. In my early twenties, while overseas for school, I grabbed a bag, put a few things in it, and traveled to Scotland for spring break. I’ve always thought of myself as a light traveler, taking only what I need.

Then I went to Portland last week to wrap up things on our new house and realized I have lost that gift.

I won’t bore you with the clothing half of the packing – who cares how many socks or shirts or underwear I took? No, it was the entertainment portion of my packing that I failed to keep a good grasp on.  I left California with all kinds of visions of what I would do with a week alone. Sure, during the day I’d be working or managing house related tasks, but at night I was free! I’d write, obviously, and when I wasn’t writing I’d read. Worst case, I could watch any one of the dozen or so shows I’ve been meaning to try out or catch up on.

So I packed. First, I packed my journal, because I wanted to get that going again (that was actually a success). I packed three books to read – The Warded Man (re-reading-ish – I’ve listened to the audiobook), The Temporal Void, and The Lost City of Z. In the weeks preceding my trip, I was reading an average of a book every three or four days, so this didn’t seem too ambitious. I had a flight out and back, plus all that free time for the week in between. I also brought my Fire, filling it with graphic novels and comics, figuring it could also act as a video player for Netflix, Hulu, Xfinity, and of course, Amazon Video.

None of that quite worked out in the end.

My flight out was probably great. It was my birthday, and I flew out first class. I’m only vaguely conscious of most of the hour and a half because after getting up at 3am and being on the move all morning, I passed in and out for most of it. The rest of the day was social meetups, which I’ve already blogged about.

The problem became that the rest of the week, I was never quite at a point with enough down time to read much. And why watch a small seven-inch screen when I had a large screen TV in my room?

So there I was, in Portland, with three books, a notebook, a Kindle Fire, and all of it for naught. Even the times I did have legitimate down time, I found myself doing other things. Sometimes, that was just sitting and thinking. Sometimes it was daydreaming, which if you haven’t done in a while, I highly recommend.

Why physical books instead of Kindle books? Lately I’ve had trouble with screens later at night (when I typically read). The good news is that while on this trip, I confirmed it’s from a lack of solid sleep. The bad news is the biggest interruption to my sleep is the big furry baby.

So it turns out I could have traveled much lighter, because I don’t need to be entertained as much as I thought I did. On the upside, I have plenty of reading material for the next few weeks before the move. What I found most interesting is that within hours of being home, I was back to sitting in a chair and reading. The mind is a mysterious place, my friends.