Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Reading: Week Seven

I've mostly been reading my own work this week.  Last week, I finished book one of a historical fiction trilogy I'm working on. So this week was a shifting gears week, back to my superheroes. As you would imagine, that's a completely different world and style. Making the shift was harder than I thought it would be.

When it became clear I wasn't going to be able to just jump in and pick up where I left off, I re-read a lot of the first novel and what I had written so far on the second and made myself some charts. Charts are vital for me as a writer in following all the different threads and making sure I don't make silly continuity errors, like having some appear in a scene after he already died, or having a character in two places at the same time. In a sequel, it's even more vital because I can't contradict what took place in book one.

I also read a few stories for an online critique group I participate in for developing my short stories, and worked on another beta read. I do read a lot! Mostly, it's just not yet published.

So far as published books, I did manage to read more of Greatshadow by James Maxey--I'm in the end battle now and still really enjoying it. James has created an interesting band of adventurers with a variety of motivations and abilities. In a recent part I read, a man transformed into a worm and was cut in half. When he turned back into a man, there were now two of him.

I'm also reading Don Quijote, the next choice for my library's Monday classics book club.  I'm doing a lot better with Cervantes than I did with Faulkner. I last fully read Don Quijote in college and I've been trying to read it in Spanish for years, but it's a serious stretch for my Spanish skills, so it's slow going. For book club, I'll stick with the English. Mine is translated by Tobias Smollett. It's the same one I read previously, just a new copy since the old one fell apart on me.

Book clubs are a great motivator for me since they give me a deadline and help me prioritize time to finish things. As my blog title suggests, I'm always trying to balance the hours of the day for everything I want out of them: sleeping, working for pay, writing, playing, reading, social life. Even in summer, when most of my hours are mine to arrange, it's difficult to balance things so that each day feels comprised of the right things and leaves me feeling good.

Now, NJ is a reader! Books are her life.  We took in our reading log to the library a couple of days ago, so she could get her prizes. Over the course of twenty days (since we'd last turned in our count), she read over 1900 minutes. That's practically a full work week! Her obsession with Tiny Titans continues and we decimated the graphic novels section, picking her up old favorites like Babymouse, and a few new things to explore like Geronimo Stilton and Squish. For our audio book, we chose a Ghosthunters that we had missed: The Moldy Baroness. It promises to be very exciting.

M had a camp all this last week, so read less. She did finish Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell while she was traveling and said she really enjoyed it, though Eleanor and Park was better. She's been choosing more emotional storylines lately after a lifetime of being an adventure fan. Watch out Rick Riordan, you might be replaced!

Summer is beginning its wind-down now, sadly. One of us starts school on August 18.  We'd best get back to our books if we're going to get it all read by then!

1 comment:

  1. For two crazy semesters in college I was a Spanish major. (Until I realized that there were plenty of bilingual folks in Florida who could outdo me without any schooling whatsoever.) The class that finally broke me was "13th Century Spanish Literature." Think reading Shakespeare is hard?? It's got nothing on 700 year old Spanish texts. The entire class was held in Spanish -- no spoken, written or read English was allowed. So I read El Cid *and* Don Quixote in the original Spanish. After a 48-hour cram session with a friend we got the 2 highest grades on the class final exam. (An essay test, no less.) But it broke me for sure. I don't blame you for going back to the DQ English translation one bit!