This is the longest I’ve gone without posting to my blog in at least two years. I’m hitting the point where staying silent is easier than breaking my silence, which is sort of silly. I have no real reason for not posting, I just decided to give myself a break. And continuing my break is easier than connecting my phone and looking at the pictures I’ve taken or thinking about what I had to share.
Realistically, too, it’s been sort of a boring couple of weeks. Not uneventful, but the events have been things like taking Serenity in for service and discovering that she had a leak in the transmission; taking the dogs to the vet and finding out that yes, B is dying, and yes, said death is getting closer every day; taking myself to the dentist and getting a cap replaced. (Was it a cap or a crown, I wonder? I don’t actually know the difference.)
Not exactly the most scintillating or joyful of events, none of them, although the first was fixed under warranty, the second was not a surprise, and the third is actually kind of a relief. The cap (or crown) was loose on a front tooth and I was getting tired of feeling like a six-year-old, poking it with my tongue and wondering when it would fall out.
On the other hand, I also had a lovely dinner with my brother, dad and stepmom in Sarasota; went to the Ringling Museum for the first time; enjoyed dinner and writing time with some of my local writing friends; cooked sous vide honey mustard chicken and quinoa for some other friends; and worked on my writing, my taxes, and some book translations.
Life, in other words, has been happening. Some good, some bad, some fun, some sad. And that was an entirely unintentional Dr. Seuss imitation. I haven’t started writing with long streams of semi-colons mixed with sentence fragments in my fiction, just in case you’re worried about this trend!
Actually, probably the most interesting thing that has been going on — at least to me — is that I’m re-working how I use the space in the van. Shortly after New Year’s, I got myself a queen-size memory foam mattress topper. I’d hit the point where I felt like I had to do something about how horribly I was sleeping, and the something was not going to be using sleeping pills. I’ve spent the days since experimenting with how to most conveniently fit it into my limited space and the answer is, it doesn’t conveniently fit into my limited space. Period.
On the other hand, I’ve actually slept several hours in a row since it entered my life and so it is staying in my life. But my “office” and my “bed” — aka the positions in which I sat when I was writing/not writing — just don’t work the same way. You’d think that it wouldn’t be a big deal to just sit in a different way/place, but in fact, figuring out how to get comfortable writing with an unwieldy memory foam mattress topper taking up a ton of room has been difficult. Figuring out how to snuggle down into reading comfort has been much easier.
As a result, in the past ten days, I’ve read:
The Dark Days Club (A Lady Helen Novel) – Slow going and not one where I have any interest in reading the sequels, even though the story felt like set-up for the series more than it did a stand-alone.
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are – Interesting reading, although I suspect it would have been far more useful for me about ten years ago. Still, I do still struggle with perfectionism, so I’ll probably be trying to follow some of her advice.
Shatter Me – Not for me, but it had a great cover.
Ink and Bone (The Great Library) – Pulled me in, didn’t let me go. The moment I finished, I went looking for the sequels. I’m on the library waitlist for both of them. I thought at first it was going to be a Harry Potter knock-off, but a) I have no real objection to that, as long as it’s done well, and b) I was totally wrong, with the exception of the characters meeting in a school-type setting. Totally wrong. If you like fantasy, this one is engrossing, interesting, suspenseful, and maybe a little on the dark side, in a late Harry Potter kind of way.
Steel’s Edge (The Edge, Book 4) Also read Fate’s Edge, which means I have now officially read everything Ilona Andrews has published. These two aren’t my favorites (I like the Innkeeper series best, I think) but I enjoyed them while reading. And the fact that I’ve read all of the authors’ books — four or five series, at least twenty books — says something.
Neogenesis (Liaden Universe®) – The classic example, for me, of a series that I keep reading because I know the characters too well to stop. If you haven’t read the first 20-some books in the series, you definitely don’t want to start here. If you have read the first 20-some books, you’re probably wondering why nothing much ever seems to happen in these books anymore, even in the one where huge ongoing plot threads get tied up. Or at least I was.
Wild Horses – Modern Dick Francis but also classic Dick Francis. I’m not sure how I missed reading it when it first came out, but I enjoyed it.
I feel like I’m missing something in this list, but if I can’t remember it, it probably isn’t worth recommending. Not that I’m recommending all of these! But if you need something to read, Ink and Bone (The Great Library) is worth a try. If you’re not caught by the end of the first chapter, in which a truly grievous crime is committed, I’ll be surprised. Well, not if you’re not a fantasy reader. But if you liked Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, Ink and Bones is worth adding to your TBR pile.
And now I think I’ll get back to my TBW pile (To Be Written). It gets longer all the time, but I am definitely writing! In between reading, anyway.
I go through periods where I don’t feel like writing — it’s almost like withdrawing into myself. So very sorry about B, I know it’ll be very hard when she pases. I’m also very glad your Serenity repair was under warranty! Nice! And I’m glad you’re writing, even if you’re not posting! Take care …
I think that the next few months with B are probably going to be the hard part. We’re going to try some new medications, but he’s entering the stage where I have to weigh his suffering against his joy. At some point, that fluffy tail is going to stop wagging entirely. We’re not there yet, but I’ve already had some moments of feeling helpless to ease his struggle to breathe. But hey, today is fine, and he’s sleeping at my feet, so we take the good moments as we have them! And I was glad that I was still under warranty, too — only 1200 miles away from losing it, so it was very nice timing and I was glad that I’d been efficient about her 30K check-up!
So very sorry to hear about B. You are SO right about the Liaden books. I kind of wish they would write one book about one group of characters instead of books where we jump from chapter to chapter and group to group. Like the early books.
In the meantime, if you want an interesting twist on Greek myths, I recommend two books in the Epikurean Epic series by Karen Dudley. “When the gods decide they owe you a favor, you better start saying your prayers!”
Ditto on Liad! Not that I don’t like getting updates on the old favorite characters, but I think that could be done almost entirely through other POV characters. Generally speaking, I find that some of their short stories are better these days than the mainline books, just because they’re not trying to do the whole kitchen sink of characters. Although speaking of that, it’s been ages since we’ve seen Priscilla and Thom! I also wish they’d get away from these big, huge, overarching stories, with villains that come back and galactic things that have been going on for thousands of years. Their best stories are the smaller stories, like Jethri trying to figure out how to fit in on Liad or, my personal favorite, Aelliana trying to escape from her evil brother. And I will add Karen Dudley to my TBR list, thanks for the suggestion!
Judy, Judy, Judy said:
I haven’t read any Ilona Andrews. Think I’ll check out the innkeeper series. Glad to hear things are going well. I think January is a month where everybody has to do mundane things. I know I do.
It’s definitely a good month to take care of business. I’m glad to be starting the year with clean teeth!
Just read ink and bone based on your recommendation and I loved it. (Am an annoying fast reader- but also I couldn’t put it down!) Thanks heaps for this great suggestion. About to start book number two in the series.
I’m #1 on the waitlist for #2 now — the moment it shows up, I’m pretty sure I will be dropping everything to start reading. I’m also an annoyingly fast reader, but I don’t think I even paused to cook while I was reading that one. I’m glad you enjoyed it!