Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

May your holiday be filled with joy, cheer and enough merriness to see you through ringing in the New Year.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My Favorite Time of the Year, Part II

This is my favorite time of year.  I love the cold(ish) weather, the short days and long winter nights, the music (schmaltzy, solemn and joyous), the lights and decorations, the family get-togethers, and the diabetic coma inducing food.  About the only thing I don't like is the shopping.  There's nothing joyous about crowded parking lots, mob-filled malls, maxxed out credit cards, and time spent wrapping gifts that'll be shoved into a dark closet until used for next year's white elephant gift exchange at work.

Bleh.

Work on The Reckoning Flames is progressing--slowly for now (so many distractions!), but I hope to pick up the pace in the new year.  January is going to be a very busy month.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Favorite Time of the Year

I'm back home after spending Thanksgiving with the folks, where I did nothing but eat, watch TV, read (I'm on book three in the Wheel of Time series) and sleep, with a little sightseeing and socializing thrown in on the side.  Good times spent with family is always, well, good, but having no computer access meant that I didn't write at all.  So now it's back to the grindstone with a vengeance, working to make up for ten days of lotus eating.

And to prepare for Christmas.

Ah, well.  Maybe I can crank it up after the new year.  Belated Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Books

I love books.  The shape, the size, the weight, the feel of them.  And while I do my share of online shopping, there's nothing like walking into bookstore.  The scent of inks and fresh paper of a new bookstore; the dry, dusty smell of a used bookstore.  Both alike are heaven to me and I find myself inhaling deeply whenever I walk into one.  I can spend hours browsing, looking for familiar authors and new ones, gazing at the covers, reading the backs and inside jacket covers, scanning the first chapter before deciding whether or not to buy.

And, of course, I then take them home and enjoy what's written on the pages within.

While I have met books I haven't liked, they're surprisingly rare considering the volume (ha!) I read.  Usually if I'm having problems getting through a particular tome, I'll set it aside and come back later(sometimes much later) and discover that the book is fine; I just wasn't in a place to appreciate it.  Like what had happened with Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series.

I had picked up Eye of the World when it'd been out for a couple of years (about 17 years ago, dang!), intrigued by the cover art.  However, when I read the first couple of chapters, I thought, "Lord of the Rings clone," and set it aside.  Then one day a couple of years later, having nothing read by my favorite authors, I picked it up again and was hooked.  As soon as I finished, I went out and snapped up the rest of the books, which by then was up to book 5, The Fires of Heaven.  Feeling smug that I'd waited until the entire series had been published (I'd read David Eddings Belgariad where I discovered that series could indeed extend beyond the traditional three), I settled down and prepared to find out the end of Rand al'Thor, Mat and Perrin's journeys.

Only to realize as I reached midway through Heaven that there was more to come.  A lot more.  I hung in there until book seven, then decided to just buy and shelve them as they came out and wait until Jordan was finished and I could read them in one fell swoop.

Now, fourteen (plus prequels and companion books) books later, I'm once more reading the series, starting at the very beginning and taking my time.  The latest--and what I'd hoped would be the last--of the books (14) was published last month, thanks to Brandon Sanderson who stepped in when Robert Jordan so tragically died before he could finish what had to be his life's work.  I'd seen Mr. Jordan during his tour for book 12.  He'd promised then that book 14 would be the last as there wasn't enough material for any more.  But that wasn't quite true, as there is apparently enough for two more books before the absolute end.

Seventeen books altogether.

Well, as I said, I love books, and more, I love rereading good ones--for me that's what makes a book good, it's re-readability (made up word)--and I proved the Wheel of Time's re-read value back when I would start at book one each time a new volume was published.  Which is a good thing as, unless the last two books are published relatively quickly, it looks like I'll be spending considerable time with Rand and crew for the foreseeable future.

I can't wait.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Procrastination. . .

I mentioned in the first blog how I tend to procrastinate, the ol' putting off until next Monday what I should've done two months ago.  And there are so many ways to lollygag.  When I was in college, my favorite was housework.  Homework?  Studying for quizzes/tests/finals?  Hey, what's more righteous than doing dishes?  That other stuff can wait until I do laundry, dust under the bed and rearrange my furniture.

Nowadays, my procrastination is a little more subtle than busting suds and chasing dust bunnies.  There are emails to to check and respond to, errands to run, books to read (research, right?), and websites to visit (Facebook is becoming rather insidious).  There's even this blog. . .

Heh.

Anything to avoid what I should be doing, which is discovering what mischief Rabbit has gotten himself into this time.

Ah well, at least I don't procrastinate at tax time.  Much.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Transitions

Now that the book that consumed three years of my life (long story) is finally finished, I'm working on book four in the Rabbit-verse.  I've always found this to be the hardest part--letting go of the previous story and allowing the current one to unfold.  I have to constantly remind myself that this book is not Shadows Past.  Rabbit and the people around him have changed, maybe even grown some, and their responses and reactions aren't going to be quite the same.

But it's taking shape.  A more mature Rabbit is emerging, one who's not quite as subject to the whims and schemes of those around him.  That doesn't mean that he's not being plunged into situations that go cattywampus.  That's part of the fun; to see how characters react when their world is spinning out of control.

In any case, I hope to have this one done much quicker than the last; I too want to know how the latest bout of mischief Rabbit finds himself in turns out.

And then I get to start on book 5.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Maiden Voyage

As I posted on my relatively new Facebook page (I signed up for it months ago but never did anything with it until yesterday), I've finally joined the collective.  It wasn't that I was afraid (much) of the internet; it's that I'm very much an end-user.  The thought of setting up and maintaining my own website was a little daunting.  Add to the fact that I tend to procrastinate when unsure about choices and decisions, and well, here I am several years later doing what I should've done when Covenants was released.

But it's all good.  My Facebook is configured and I'm writing my first post for my Blog.  And in the process I discovered that it wasn't the huge bugbear I made it out to be.  But that was probably because I whined and moaned enough that a friend and fellow writer from my writing group, Chris Kern, took pity and walked me through the process.

So now I'm watching the afternoon sun pour through my livingroom windows as I face the terror of another blank page.  I'll probably procrastinate some before posting this, but all in all I'm glad that I'm finally taken the plunge.

Here's to calm seas and prosperous voyages.