I’ve really just wanted to read lately.
That’s a funny thing to say, if you know me. I’ve always got a book on me. Always. Taking the wife to the mall = coffee and reading while she tries stuff on. Going to the post office = 2-20 minutes of reading, depending on the queue. Nature calls? Yep. Ooh! gonna be a big one! Cool, I can get through a whole chapter.
But anyway, right now I’m just in a zone where not only is it a way to kill time, it is what I WANT to do. There’s nothing good on Netflix now, and that doesn’t bother me. I’m sick and run down, but that’s okay. My creative juices are coagulating, but no problem, because I just want to dive into some stories. Everyone’s clamoring about Nanowrimo, and good for them. If it helps kick off an idea, gets the story slopped out of yo brain and onto the page, that’s good. Then you can spend the next year revising. So, yes, I say “good for them” for the happy Nanowrimoers, but what I feel is “fuck that.” I published a novel and several stories this year, and I just finished a draft of my next book. I’m taking a break.
I’ve become more critical of books as I’ve done more editing and proofreading and learned more about how to write well. I find it very easy to throw a book aside at the slightest affront to my intelligence or the smallest hint of boredom. So, good, I’m not reading rubbish. But the flipside is that the magic of sinking into an alternate reality is harder to conjure up. Many books I read this summer, even the ones I finished, felt more like work – I was more attuned to analyzing the writing than getting into the story. What did I read? I can’t even remember.
But that’s not the woods I’m in now. No, I’m in good woods, spooky mysterious adventurous woods. I don’t know if I’m just picking good books, or my mindset is more open to diving into their stories. Probably both. Read Radcliff’s “A Vanishing Glow” and loved it. I just yesterday finished “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms” by N.K Jemisin and it completely stunned me. (See, look, I just edited myself. I was going to say BLEW MY MIND but that little fucker in my head said “no cliches!” Well, screw you, little imp, that book was ground-breaking, a completely new experience for me. It did blow my mind. All caps. “Good stuff” review to come.) Now I’m into “Shards of Honor” by Lois McMaster Bujold. I’ve never read anything by her before. This book came out three years after I was born, and it still feels fresh. That’s good writing there – good writing stays good.
I’ve actually got a whole bag full of books from the library by Sisters of the Geekly Quill (that would be lady spec fic authors) lined up to bring some uterine influence to my list of favorite authors and books (oh, and there’s the most recent Buettner book, too, because he’s always reliable for a good read, and I like how he’s using a classic military sci-fi storyline as a basis for what feels like a growing space opera.) One missing from my library pile (some jerk has it checked out. How dare s/he?), but which I’m very excited about is “Keeping it Real” by Justina Robson. I don’t even know what it’s about. Didn’t read the blurb, don’t want to. Someone recommended it to me, and I looked at the cover and it looks like a Luc Besson movie. So, yeah, I’m stoked on that.
So, much luck to you Nanowrimoers. After you’ve dome some revision, contact me iff you want a beta-read. I’ll see what I can do. Enjoy your Wrimo. I’m gonna Read Mo.