December is slowly coming to an end. Who’d have thought 2015 would go by so rapidly? We’re also looking at a new title for this monthly section! Whoohoo! (Or boooooooo. Your choice.) December was a month of much reading, most of it nonfiction, so let’s just get right to it all!
- Film Talk: Pretty Guardian Sailormoon, Act 27
- Website Troubles
- Writing with Fatigue Issues
- Film Talk: Pretty Guardian Sailormoon, Act 28
- 2015 Books by Indie Authors
- My Book Releases in 2015
- Film Talk: Pretty Guardian Sailormoon, Act 29
- Night Calls by Katharine Eliska Kimbriel
- International (SFF) Fiction: The Blog Series (maybe?)
- Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
- The toughest fantasy book I’ve read
- Stranger by Sherwood Smith, Rachel Manija Brown
- Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
- Film Talk: Pretty Guardian Sailormoon, Act 30
- The Case of the Little Bloody Slipper by Carlie St. George
- The Price You Pay Is Red by Carlie St. George
- The Long And Silent Ever After by Carlie St. George
- The People the Fairies Forget by Cheryl Mahoney
- Film Talk: Pretty Guardian Sailormoon, Act 31
- Goal Review December 2015
- Culture Consumption December 2015
21 Days to a Novel by Michael A Stackpole: You know when you read advice from an author whose work methods are so different from yours the advice just doesn’t work for you? That was this book for me. I did find a couple of things in that that were really useful (such as an actual guideline on a good length for descriptions that I think I might actually be able to work with), but all in all it wasn’t really for me.
22 Fantastical Facts about Dolphins by Justin Gregg: Best consumed in fact-sized bites than read all the way through. The facts look to be written as stand-alone pieces and it means reading it in sitting generates a few “You just said that!” moments, but it’s a very entertaining and accessible book. I’d happily recommend it if you’re interested in some of the weirder facts about dolphins, but struggle with more scholarly texts. Gregg writes with as much eye for what amuses as for the scientific background.
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld: My thoughts can be found here. Not entirely my thing, but I really liked it. Darcy’s chapters were especially fun and the way the text discusses the act of writing is fascinating.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell: My thoughts can be found here. Enjoyable, but not quite as… savoury as I was hoping for. Still, if you enjoy Rowell’s work, you’ll love this and it you’re a fantasy fan curious about her works, this looks like a perfect entry point.
The Case of the Little Bloody Slipper by Carlie St George: My thoughts can be found here. I really loved this. It’s such a wonderful take on Cinderella. I’d highly recommend it!
Charisma +1 by Jessica Brawner: This book covers some of the basic etiquette guides of visiting a convention, whether you’re a professional on business or a fan looking to have a good time. Most of the, ah, conventions I have experience with are outdoor events, which means some of the advice isn’t immediately applicable to me, but that doesn’t stop it from being an interesting and humorous read. While the advice is pretty universal, the text itself is relatively US-centric, though, so you may want to keep that in mind.
Clover by CLAMP: A reread. I read this for the first time years and years ago and I think I got more out of the story this time around. It’s one of those stories that rewards rereading. Very enjoyable if you like twisty graphic novel stories.
How to Write Fiction Sales Copy by Dean Wesley Smith: I read this in hopes of feeling a little less anxious about writing copy for my own books. Not sure that it helped much with that, but I really liked the analysis of the structures Smith uses. He’s got a very easy, conversational style. I really liked the concept of author issues that he brought up.
The Long and Silent Ever After by Carlie St George: My thoughts can be found here. I think this was my least favourite of the three, but it’s still a good story. Ramps up the action and ties everything up… messily. (I hope you weren’t expecting happily ever after!)
The Lord of the Rushie River by Cicely Mary Barker: Another reread. This is a childhood favourite, but I admit I only reread it because it was short and I needed that one additional book to get to my reading goal for the year. Still, it’s a very sweet almost fairytale about a little girl waiting for her father to return home and the help she received from swans. It’s a story about kindness repaying kindness.
Millon Dollar Professionalism for the Writer by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta: Lots of common sense advice in this one, but sometimes it’s good to have it said. I really liked the fact that the book had two very different perspectives and included some practical examples (albeit unidentifiable ones) of the difference that being polite and professional can make.
Million Dollar Book Signings by David Farland: This book is about far more than book signings. That’s the main focus, but because book signings are so often tied to book launches you’ll find a lot more little tidbits about publishing in general. It’s easily one of the most fascinating books I read. Though, while the advice on how to hold a successful book signing/launch is pretty universal, it’s also entirely US-centric.
Night Calls by Katharine Eliska Kimbriel: My thoughts can be found here. Not my kind of story at all and I actually wish it’d come to my attention in a different way, but it’s a solid and entertaining piece all the same. If you like quieter, low fantasy fiction with a strong sense of community, you’d probably really enjoy this.
The People the Fairies Forget by Cheryl Mahoney: My thoughts can be found here. Fun retelling mash-up. If you’ve read the other books by Cheryl, be warned that this may contain more Marj than you might have bargained for, but the other characters are certainly worth her presence.
The Price You Pay Is Red by Carlie St George: My thoughts can be found here. Good, solid little novelette. If you enjoyed The Case of the Bloody Little Slipper, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy this as well.
Queers Destroy Fantasy (Fantasy Magazine #59) by various: A good solid collection, though I was surprised by the number of already well-established names in the field. I’d have loved to have seen some more lesser-known authors in it, actually. But aside from that, as I said it’s a solid collection. I liked it, but there weren’t any stand-out stories that I still recall.
Stranger by Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown: My thoughts can be found here. Not quite what I was expecting, but no less enjoyable for that.
Uncanny Magazine #7 by various: Ooooh. I’ve been looking forward to reading this for a while (but I’m entirely hopeless at keeping up with magazines). I really enjoyed this, though my memory for short storie is so appalling that I honestly couldn’t tell you much more than that. I think my favourite was the short story by Ursula Vernon?
Writing Fight Scenes by Marie Brennan: I’m not planning on writing any fight scenes at the moment, but it’s a fascinating read in general. I’ve read bits of it, I think, online, but it’s just really nice to have everything collected in a book. I enjoyed Brennan’s narrative style and the way she uses a variety of different examples and I’m impressed by how much detail she managed to give about a scene she absolutely did not want to spoil for people. This deals almost exclusively with how to write a fight scene on a technical level, though, not with the nittygritty stuff such as “Can someone with X wounds accomplish Y?” so if that’s what you’re looking for… I’m afraid this book isn’t it. If, however, you’re looking for what to do on a narrative level, this is a very nice guide and I’d happily recommend it in addition to any other kind of research you’d need for your scene.
Nothing! :O To be fair, this is mostly because I’d like to avoid starting off 2016 in the middle of a book written by an American when the whole point of the year is to read non-Americans. If I’m not reading, I can accidentally be in the middle of it when the year changes. And I’d like to start it the way I’d like t continue it: reading fewer American authors.
This will be hard, I’m sure, since there’s at least one American author released a book I want to read ASAP. (I must be good and wait. I can be good for half a year. I can postpone running out of new-to-me reads again. That’s it. I’m just savouring having a new-to-me book again.)
Nothing! :O This month has been All About The Books. :O Oh, and Star Wars. There was also Star Wars.
Equestria Girls: The Friendship Games: Entertaining. I actually really liked Sunset Shimmer trying to figure out what was going on with the magic and Twilight Sparkle investigating the magic and things going so wrong for all of them. And, of course, friendship saves the day. Not sure the finale quite worked for me, but it was a fun way to spend some time when I needed a pick-me-up.
The Librarians (season 2): I actually quite liked the resolution of the story with Prospero, though the video game episode has kind of stolen my heart juuuust a little. I’m still not entirely on board with the show’s take on writing as a magical force (there’s so much more interesting stuff you can do with it!), but it’s a lot of fun to watch and it just makes me happy.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Yes, I actually managed to see it before the end of the year! In short: I really enjoyed it. If you want a one-sentence review it goes something like this: Can I have a BB-8 of my own, please? I don’t actually like watching films in the cinema, but I’m really glad I made an exception for this one. I had a blast and I’m really looking forward to seeing where the franchise goes from here.