General

Y is for Yet More Non-Posts

So it is Y already in the A to Z challenge. I think I’ve missed most of this challenge.  Well, that is what it is.

Maybe next year will be better.

But maybe not. I can’t seem to finish Necessity’s Child – I keep getting distracted. I am starting to suspect I am just not that into it. If I was, I suspect I would have finished by now. I will give it the rest of this week and if I still can’t into it, well, than I won’t be finishing it.

In other news, my erotica novelette is proceeding slowly. Very slowly, but I have hope.

I logged into the WordPress for the first time in a long time yesterday to discover there is a new Twenty Thirteen theme and I have decided to try it out. I had Twenty Eleven before. I am not sure I’ll be keeping this one.

flash friday · General

Friday Flash: Queen’s Quill

Trying to figure out a Friday Flash story whose title started with Q was a challenge, but I think I managed.

The queen’s quill lay on the desk, temptingly close. Its carved silver handle gleamed in the sunlight.

Qut wanted to touch the beautiful orange feather. So strange. What bird could have such iridescent orange and red feathers?

She stroked the smooth silver. It was warm to the touch. She glanced over her shoulder, listening. She heard only the slither of silk. The queen was still getting dressed.

She picked up the quill pen and caressed it softly, like a mother touched her baby’s head. Qut dipped the quill in the red ink and wrote a word on a blank sheet.

“Excellent choice, dear.”

Qut whirled. “My Lady, I was -”

“I know what you were doing.” The Queen smiled. “I am quite pleased. Quite pleased.”

“Oh – I, uh, thank you.”

“Go on.”

Qut turned back to her sheet and wrote another word. There was a sharp pain her left palm and when she looked, she saw her palm was spotted with blood.

“Quite beautiful, dear.” The Queen smiled, took the quill from her hand jabbed it into her heart. “You’ll make such perfect ink.”

reading

P is for Pulitzer 2013

The Pulitzer prize was announced recently and this time they awarded a prize for fiction. Last year, they did not.

They chose The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson. It sounds more exciting than the book they chose in 2011. I remember reading an excerpt and thinking: I don’t want to read more.

The Orphan Master’s Son excerpt and summary is different. It sounds like it has a lot of adventure and excitement and interesting – all the things I like in a novel. Wondering if I should try it out.

But maybe the main character isn’t someone I would like. I don’t know. I still haven’t managed to finish the first A Song of Ice and Fire. So I don’t know and I am still trying to decide.

Also, this is a Pulitzer novel, so maybe it won’t really be as exciting as it sounds. Could turn out to be a dull bore.

General · reading

O is for Open Library

I discovered the Open Library recently. It’s online, you can register there and borrow books. Not just the classics, either, though I believe most classics are there.

Open Library has books by such as writers and David Weber, Anne Bishop and  Lois McMaster Bujold. Only catch is, for most of the recent books, you have to get some sort of key from  the Library of Congress. Which you get only if you have some sort of vision problem or reading disability. I don’t have problems like that, so I can’t get this key. But for someone who does, I imagine this library would be fantastic.

But! Some of the books are available to anyone who registers. The only one I’ve downloaded so far is Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop. It’s not bad. I downloaded a epub version, but the pdf might have been better. The epub was full of formatting errors. But it was readable, so I am not complaining. 😉 If I found a book I could take out and loved, this would be perfect. Perfect!!

General · reading · science fiction · Teaser Tuesdays

N is for Necessity’s Child (Teaser Tuesday)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Yes, I chose to start Necessity’s Child yesterday exactly because the title starts with N and I needed an N post. Also, this book has been on my TBR list for a couple of weeks now and I figure it’s time to move the book to the top of the pile. It’s Liaden Universe book, which are usually fun.

The first two lines are:

Inside the duct, it was hot and wet – nothing new there, thought Kezzi, shifting her weight carefully. The metal snapped in complaint, and she made herself be still.

–  Necessity’s Child by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller

This is a Baen book and the first nine chapters are available on Baen’s website.

General

M is for Marathon and Muddled

M is for Marathon

Just have to say – everyone at the Boston Marathon, stay safe.

This is one of the most popular marathons ever and I have to say: people suck. People who would explode bombs where there are guaranteed to be thousands and thousands of people. Really! I don’t understand at all why anyone would do that. On purpose.

Okay, terrorists, yeah, but I don’t understand a terrorists’ mind. I am not sure I want to. Anyway, I don’t even know if they know who did it. Some form of terrorists’ seems a reasonable guess. But that leaves a fairly big field, I think.

Also: I am muddled.

Having missed two letters (K, L) due to technical issues, I don’t know if I should stop with the A to Z challenge. I am missing two letters from the beginning (A, B) so I really don’t know now. If nothing else happens between now and Z, I will be missing four letters. I probably have time to make up two letters, but not four.

 

General

J is for Jabbing

Jabbing is what I want to do right now. You know, like jab someone’s eye out? Like that.

Because the tech guy came, fixes it, it rains and now it is broken again. Again!!!! In one day!!! For the forth time in about six weeks.

I got no words for how upset I am right now. I am thinking I might not be able to do the A to Z Challenge anymore. Or any other kind of post.

Though as a sidenote, this will keep me from wasting time when I should be writing.

Writing

I is for Ideas

I think I am going through an idea drought lately. Well, more like than I am stuck on the current novel in progress. I don’t know how to go on. I got the middle blues. Which is where I usually get stuck. It’s depressing. I know what happens after this bit, but not how to get there.

I guess that’s why I started the erotica novella. It’s an idea I’ve had for some time and just never really did anything about.

Though I don’t know – should I take a month-long break from the novel to do this? I am and I am hoping it’ll shake something loose. I was frustrated trying to write a transition type bit in the novel and not get getting anywhere. Maybe I should have written the piece(s) afterward, just to give myself a goal. Maybe. I don’t know.

But the erotica novella is new and interesting too so . . . I’m just not really sure if it’s a good idea taking a long break. But we’ll see.

fantasy · reading · science fiction

H is for Hard Fantasy

I may be behind the times, but I never heard of hard fantasy before. In fact, I only discovered this sub-genre on a Goodreads discussion forum. (One of those where people try to figure out what the difference is between science fiction and fantasy.)

The person provided quite a few links, including a wiki article. Wikipedia says the Recluce Saga, a Song of Ice and Fire and Magic, Inc. are examples of hard fantasy. Looking through Goodreads and LibraryThing shelves, people have also tagged Lord of the Rings, the Farseer trilogy and The Family Trade as hard fantasy.

There is an article that was posted in 2008, but I’ve never heard of hard fantasy until now. Well, shows what I know, huh?

From what I understand, hard fantasy is the fantasy where magic has rules. Truthfully, I am stunned there is even a sub-genre for this.

Though, yeah, the magical rules of most fantasy don’t have scientific rigor. Some books do treat magic just like it was a science, have schools and everything. Though truthfully, of the books I’ve listed here, only the Recluce Saga comes close to doing that. The others? I don’t know.

I haven’t read a lot of hard science fiction. Maybe that’s where my own disconnect is coming from. But most science fiction don’t have a lot of a scientific rigor, either.

But since people have tagged them as hard fantasy, I don’t think I understand what makes a book hard fantasy at all.

General

G is for GoodReads

Goodreads is a social networking website for readers. I’ve been a member for years. I love the groups, the discussions, the monthly reads and the reviews. Also, it’s a great way to keep a catalog of every book I’ve ever read.

Amazon bought Goodreads. I don’t know how much they paid. Some people are saying 150 million, but neither Amazon nor Goodreads have released any details. I suppose this is a good move for Amazon. They get direct access to 16 million readers.

I don’t know how I feel about it. The Goodreads blog post says they are going to have greater integration with the kindle. That’s good for kindle users, but I have a nook. So nothing for the nook users? I feel kind of left out. Not that it matters that much. I have the Goodreads phone app. Helps me keep up with the group discussions.

I know what I want:

  • I want Goodreads to remain the same vibrant community it is now
  • I don’t want Amazon’s books (and buy links) to be favored above other places. Other places like the Big 6 publishers and all the small ones, who I have found through looking for excerpts and such.
  • I don’t want Goodreads to turn into a book seller
  • I don’t want Goodreads to turn into just another marketing channel for Amazon (or any other publisher).

At the same time, I have to say, I would only leave if Goodreads turns into a horrible experience. I mean, if I feel like it’s not a books focused social-networking site anymore. Than . . . yeah. I am gone.

That’s a key feature of Goodreads. I doubt, I seriously doubt, that Amazon would be stupid enough to mess with that. I mean, that’s why they bought Goodreads, isn’t it? So yeah. Amazon will just collect the data and use it to better market books (possibly acquire books, too. Wonder if they’ll provide any of the data to the authors?).

It’s disturbing, but no different from Google or Facebook or any other big site. It’s too much to hope for Goodreads to be different. I am thinking this is a result of a living in a world with Big Data.

If I had to leave Goodreads for any reason, I would probably move to LibraryThing. I already have an account there. Or Shelfari. But I like LibraryThing better and it predates Goodreads anyway.