In non-reading news, I’ve been battling Baldur Gate’s: EE‘s multiplayer and… Just. The frustration. I give up. I GIVE UP. I have tried everything the internet threw at me to try. Getting multiplayer to work with that game (without third party software) is HORRIBLE. *rubs temples* I’m too sulky and stroppy to try and deal with it further. No, this totally did NOT eat up my day.
Month: March 2013
See? I told you I’d give you author diversity this week. <3 And since I haven’t actually gotten around to posting the individual novella reactions before now, you get four for the price of one! All below the cut!
Non-reading news to follow because March is ended! XD GOOD RIDDANCE, MARCH!
It’s not Sunday, I know. But look! Author variety! Also, more short stories for Once upon a Time VII. XD Expect another post with rambling!
Even though these are folk or fairytales for a fictional world, these three tales can be read on their own easily. You can trace the fairytales McCoy drew on to tell at least the shorter two of the tales. I /loved/ ‘The Bear Prince’. It was utterly delightful and I foresee myself opening this ebook at random intervals just to reread it. ‘The Princess and the Sheep’s Wool’ suffered a little from the fact that I haven’t encountered the world these tales are set in before, but that wouldn’t have bothered me one whit had I read this at a younger age. I would have adored it all the more for the way it so strongly ties into a different culture, actually, so it may be a bit hit-and-miss for readers on the whole.
Still. I thoroughly enjoyed this little collection and only wish there’d been more of these folktales in the collection to enjoy.
More short stories! More M.C.A. Hogarth! (Next Sunday, author variety!)
If I’ve ever read stories as gentle and meditative as these, it’s been so long ago that I don’t remember it. I wish I had an idea of what to compare this collection to because I’d like more stories like these, please, world.
Word and language lovers will be delighted by the format of these pieces. Each tale starts with a (conlang) word and its definition and then proceeds to tell a short story revolving around the concept. It’s a /gorgeous/ idea and incredibly well executed.
The stories themselves are brief and, if I’m brutally honest, ultimately unsatisfying in the way that stories that make you go “But I want more!” tend to be. Hogarth’s introduction to Ai-Naidar society is even more subtle than in her Jokka shorts and the glimpses we get are fascinating. We learn very little about the narrator, but we learn enough and there’s a definite overall line running through these tales.
The writing is as gorgeous as ever. It’s lush and vivid and a delight to read. The stories… aren’t quite comfort reading in their content, but that’s exactly how I wound up experiencing the collection: as something soothing and warm. They’re delightful little gems, reflective and multifaceted and my only regret in reading this is that the stories and the collection aren’t longer.
In other bookish related news: Carl, from Stainless Steel Droppings has been hosting a reading ‘challenge’ called Once upon a Time for seven years. (Well, this is the seventh year, so it’s not quite seven yet.)
I’ve been too chicken to participate officially the previous few times, but this year I’m signing up. I’m signing up for Quest the First, which goes as follows:
Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time categories. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres.
Normally this wouldn’t really be very challenging, but since I’m tying this in with the new Talking About What I Read feature thing it’s more challenging than it looks! I can make the read-about target easily because the challenge runs from March 21st to June 21st, so that’s about three/four months. It’s the talk-about part that I’m a little worried about. But I’ll manage, I’m sure. That’s the challenge. ^-~
I thought I’d try something new for a while: talking about the books I’ve read. I’ve been dipping my feet into reviewing again very slowly. I burned out on it and never managed to balance it with my own writing.
I made myself a deal: I’ll only review books I liked and have something (positive) to say about. I will point out things that bothered me/that things bothered me, so it won’t be all praise all the time, but I will slant it towards celebrating what I enjoyed reading. I don’t review every book I read, not even if I like it, and that’s okay. I don’t write long, in-depth reviews. I’ve been there, done that and it took over my life. Not again.
I’ve got a bit of a backlog on GoodReads, so we’ll say that I’ll try to publish at least one review a week until I’m all caught up with those. After that, I’ll slow down quite a bit.
So. Without further ado. Have the first rambling on books I’m posting. Enjoy!
As I wouldn’t blame you for not recalling, my goals for February were the following:
For February I Want to Read:
– Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper
– Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper
– Possession by A.S. Byatt
For February I Want to Write:
12500 words of fiction (or of that syntactic essay I keep meaning to finish)
As I mentioned at the end of the first week of February, I was well on track toward reaching my goals. I finished up Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper, I finished the story I was working on and started to rework The Passage of Pearl. I suspect to have that ready somewhere in April/May at the latest unless the story decides to throw wrenches at me.
It’s taken me far, far longer to work on The Passage of Pearl as I’d anticipated and I’m not 100% sure that what I’m doing is working, but either way I’ll be able to release a story I have even more pride and confidence in.
My February word count quite honestly blew me away. It stands at 30,854 words. So, yes, that’s more than double what I was aiming for. O_O March is also off to a pretty decent start. It’s not stellar — The Passage of Pearl is being a little ornery — but it’s perfectly respectable and has pushed my yearly total past 50K. I’d not expected to be at this point until the end of April, so I am really pleased and tickled by that.
For March my goals will continue to look much the same. I’m not yet willing to up my reading goals just yet. I’m thinking I’ll up it in May if I continue to make this kind of progress and I may alter my writing goals a littel come April. 12,500 words is my official goal. It’s what I need to write in a month to complete the challenge I signed up for (Inking It Out is awesome.), but I’m thinking of adding in my “I am building up a buffer for the rest of the year” counts as well. They’re a little higher, though not by all that much. Ambitious, I am not. I am incompatible with challenge ambitions, and, anyway, that’s not really my aim. My aim is to write and finish up projects and then write some more. Setting goals I can reach with (relative) ease is what’s encouraging me to push for more. Not because reaching the goal is a challenge but because I’m having fun. And, if I get stuck on something or need a break because a project isn’t fun, I can afford to without breaking my official-goal streak. It’s win-win for me. ^-^
Anyway! My March goals shall be as follows:
I Want to Read:
– Yellow Moon by Jewell Parker Rhodes
– The Bone Palace by Amanda Downum
– Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier
I Want to Write:
12500 words of fiction
Unofficially, my goals are to finish new drafts (and preferably the last draft) of The Passage of Pearl, Changeling’s Time and Made to Be Broken, but we’ll see how that goes. The first two are high priority pieces and I’ve got some pieces that may (read: likely will) usurp Made to Be Broken in the queue.
One day, I will learn how to make a calendar with a proper planning and wield it effectively and it will be grand and awesome, but that day is not today and I shall keep my planning tucked nicely in my head.
But there you go. March’s goals.