What I’ve Been Up To July 2015

Posted August 5, 2015 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments


Monthly Round-up. The text 'monthly round-up' beneath a wrapped package. What I've been up to the past month.

What a month! *keels over* I’m… not going to say a whole lot. I’m just going to move on to the things I’ve done this month.

This month, I’m trying something new: wrap-up shortcodes. This means that the list of thinks I’ve finished won’t (or at least shouldn’t) appear on DW and LJ. Sorry about that! It’s part of an experiment since they actually take a fair bit of time to compile even when I try to stay on top of them, so I’m going to see how I like a different approach. Please do give me feedback on the change! This is easier for me, but that doesn’t mean it’s easier for anyone else and I’d like to strike a good balance between the two when possible. I can’t do that without feedback. ^_^

30 Days in the Word Mines by Chuck Wendig: Intruiging read! It’s a… book on writing. It offers practical advice across a whole month of writing as well as some reflection. It’s well-suited for NaNoWriMo or not. It’s also pretty darned funny. I really liked it. (Even if it didn’t offer that much help for my writing troubles, but to be fair on the book it was really upfront about it not helping much with mental and/or physical limitations.)

Business for Breakfast 1: The Beginning Professional Writer by Leah Cutter: Very informative! Though most of it was advice I already knew, it’s really really good to have it reiterated again. I’d happily recommend it to anyone seeking to publish their stories (whether indie or traditional).

Business for Breakfast 2: The Beginning Professional Published by Leah Cutter: This one was much more useful to my purposes. Like the first book, it was filled with advice and common sense and has a shiny bibliography. This one will be less useful to both authors seeking traditional publishing routes and non-US authors, however. A lot of the common sense applies, but, as Cutter notes as well, some of it is US-specific. I would have liked to see it acknowledge the biggest international issues (that of EINs and ITINs especially) a little more than it did, but Cutter’s already well-ahead of much of the advice I’ve seen simply by acknowledging that there are non-American authors who might be reading the books.

The Case of the Counterfeit Enchantments: Part One by K.A. Webb: My thoughts may follow. I find this a tough ebook to talk about. It’s part 1 of a much longer story that Webb is currently serialising on her website. She’s posting part 10 as I’m writing this. Parts 2-9 aren’t available in ebook form (yet), so if you like the first part, you’ll have to read the read on the website for now. I would have liked more descriptions of the inhabitants of Quiar and of the magic system in general. It’s definitely not first-time-reader-friendly. If you like anthropomorphic settings, you might enjoy this, though. ^_^

The Deities’ World: Collection One by K.A. Webb: My thoughts may follow. Like Case, I find this a tough ebook to talk about. I know Webb is planning some potentially big changes and her crowdfunding model works very differently from the kind of book I normally talk about. None of the pieces in this collection are finished yet. I liked the characters in this collection a lot.

Fiddlehead by Cherie Priest: My thoughts may follow. I enjoyed it, but not as much as the previous volumes.

Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone: My thoughts will follow. We’ve still got one week of the readalong to go, so I’m staying mum, sorry. Except to say this: I really, really enjoyed this.

Hart’s Farm by Elizabeth Barrette: This series was so quiet and lovely! If you enjoy domestic historical fiction (with a dash of magic at times), this may well be a great fit for you. I really liked getting to know Auduna and her friends. It’s a melting pot of different cultures, customs and persobalities and the whole series is upbeat and positive, building a thriving and healthy community.

A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett: My second Pratchett since he died. T_T It’s beautiful and fun and I really like Tiffany and Granny Weatherwax and I love Pratchett’s writing. It’s so deft and sensitive.

In Heaven and Earth by Amy Rae Durreson: Amy’s ventured into science fiction! My thoughts will follow, but I really liked it despite feeling that the sex was unnecessary and out of place. (Also, Amy did a huge spoiler-filled post about the process of writing the story here if you’re interest in such. It’s well-worth reading! ^_^)

Queers Destroy Science Fiction by various authors: My thoughts will follow. I’m all tangled up about this Lightspeed issue, because I really wanted to like it and… I don’t. The stories are wonderful, but they’re just not for me. Also my enjoyment got tangled up in some general feelings about myself.

Running Deer and Hidden Badger by K.D. Sarge: Recommended by a friend ages ago and I finally got around to reading it. It’s a sweet, contemporary M/M romance novel set in Texas. It wasn’t too polished with some scene jumps and shifts in conversation that repeatedly had me leafing back to make sure I hadn’t just skipped something, but it’s a lovely story otherwise. I liked how Cal and Joseph worked together. More thoughts may follow, I’m not sure.

Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett: Do I really need to say more about this than “It’s Pratchett”? I do? Oh, fine. I’m enjoying this one, though I’m finding it a little slow to get into.

Seven Kingdoms: The Princess Problem Demo: Do you like sims ala Long Live the Queen Then you’ll probably like this game as well. Just be warned that it will eat your day and your night until you fall asleep at the keyboard. It’s not perfect (by a long shot) and, being a demo, isn’t yet finished. Parts of it are very unpolished yet and the UI is especially troublesome. It’s often bulky and inconsistent and where it’s not you have to place the cursor exactly right or the button you want to click won’t work. But it’s a lengthy demo that stands pretty well on its own. I’m looking forward to seeing how this one’ll shape up!

Inside Out: This was lovely! The film tackles a really complex topic and I was pleasanty surprised by how well it translated the ideas and concepts into a fun-filled 90-minutes or so. It has a few things I particularly disliked (notably the stereotyping of the parents’ thoughts), but I liked the subtlety with which Riley’s emotional growth was handled and how the story dealt with big changes to a child’s life.

Sailor Moon Crystal Episodes 25 & 26: You can read my thoughts on the episodes here and here. I’ve also written up some overall thoughts here. I liked them. They were nicely paced and I really liked how much the show manages to surprise me.