Archive for category Books
I know, we haven’t talked in a while. It’s, like, I haven’t been around for the past few days or something.
Well, actually, it’s not like that at all. It’s exactly that. I haven’t been. Around, that is. I’ve been in Connecticut. Yes, that state in New England. Because I had to do [redacted].
Truth be told, I’ll probably be playing catch-up with pretty much everything for the rest of the week. Because that’s what happens when you go spend 2+ days somewhere else doing the stuff you don’t usually do.
In a perfect world, of course, there’d be, I dunno, stuff elves that came out when you were gone to take care of the stuff you couldn’t take care of like usual. You know, like the Grimm Brothers’ Cobbler Elves from that fairy tale, but more modern. They’d maybe write a blog post for you, keep you up to date on facebook and twitter, post a few Instagrams (no selfies, duh) , and make sure your daily workload gets done for you while you’re away. File your Status and TPS Reports and whatnot, maybe fill out your timecard. What-have-you.
Then again, it seems like I just described a muggle version of a “house elf” from Harry Potter. No one wants to make poor Dobby tweet for them. And the last thing I want is Dobby trying to keep my daily writing quota caught up for OTHER THING. The whole book would be about socks.
Which is fine, I guess, if you’re into socks. But maybe not this book.
According to the internet (and really, if we can’t trust the interwebs, who can we trust!?), Chinese philospher Lao-tzu wrote, “A journey of a thousand leagues begins beneath one’s feet.” The common paraphrase for that, of course, is, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.”
A journey of my own, one I’d been simultaneously preparing for and putting off my entire life, started more than three years ago with the single, not-terribly-kind sentence, “I have come to the conclusion that I am not a very good writer.”
With that sentence, I set about proving to myself that either I could be a writer or, well, just couldn’t. One way or another, though, I was bound and determined to find out.
In the course of the year that followed, I did, much to my delight, in fact, demonstrate to myself that I could write regularly if I put my mind to it. Even more importantly, what I wrote entertained my wife—sometimes to the point of laughing through tears—and that meant everything to me. Better still, not only did I write blog posts for Puddintopia that served as much-needed exercise for my atrophied writing muscles, but I also ended up with a complete novel, too. Oh, sure, I always hoped I’d end up with a novel, at some point, but I had no idea if it might take me half a decade to get there.
Turns out it didn’t.
Recently, (more specifically, after this post), I came to the realization that I don’t talk about books enough in general. Writing, sure. I ramble on about my own writing like one those poor, um, overserved* individuals you occasionally see wandering the convenience store barefoot and in search of cheese doodles.
But I don’t mean writing, I mean books.
That said, I actually do it more than you’d think. Talk about books, that is, not the thing about the cheese doodles. Sadly, though, speech is pretty limiting in that you need to be within the physical range of my voice to get any kind of idea what I think or how I feel about what I’ve been reading. That limitation pretty seriously hampers my ability to be much of a book evangelist. Well, unless you’re a co-worker of mine, or a member of my family. But in that case you have bigger problems.
Truth be told, I should have read Dragonflight a long, long time ago. Originally published in 1968, this book has been around since, well, as long as I’ve been alive. Longer, even. It’s one of those books, the ones that anyone purporting to have any semblance of “geek cred” is assumed to have read—and cherished deeply—lo, the many years ago, as part of an assumed formative pre/adolescence. Probably in a small room that served as a place of personal refuge that sported generic flying saucer wallpaper and an R2-D2 desk lamp.
Hello, welcome to Cliché Island. I’m Puddin and I’ll be your host today.
Anyway, somehow, with all the science fiction/fantasy I’ve read through the years, I’ve never read any of McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series. I’m pretty sure that makes me either a bad person or wholly lacking in the aforementioned “geek cred”.
Then again, I’m of the opinion that the concept of “geek cred” is as much utter bullshit as theories that we never actually landed on the moon or that the government is actually in secret negotiations with the aliens from the Pegasus galaxy to provide human samples for experimental study.
Clearly the Pegasans don’t need any governmental cooperation—as if that such a thing even existed. If nothing else, I’m pretty sure the collective governments of Earth couldn’t cooperate to find a men’s room. Read the rest of this entry »
I know I’ve been kind of worthless when it comes to making any kind of sense or producing even a mildly entertaining narrative here this week. Really, though, I swear, that’s over now and I’m going to be good and clean and room and eat all my vegetables and any and all the other kid-who-wants-a-puppy-style promises.
This probably goes without saying, but the thing keeping me pre-occupied all week was Brenda Drake’s Pitch Madness novel pitching contest hosted by her and several of her blogging friends. The long and short of it is that it’s intended to get pitches in front of agents specifically interested in them. The point of course being that if they’re specifically interested, the odds of making a match jump up like the striker toward the bell on one of those “Test Your Strength” carnival games.
Not that I know what it looks like when that striker jumps up because, well, I’m not exactly Popeye, but that’s a story for another day.
This is pretty unusual for a Monday, but I’ve got a bunch of things occupying my grey matter at the moment, meaning I’m limited on the creative juice needed to put into writing a Snazzy Blog Post ™. Admittedly, it doesn’t help that my brain normally operates about as well as that 1958 For-dge-olet jalopy your grandfather refused to give up on when you were a kid. Never-you-mind about the thick black smoke it belched out worse than Uncle Hal after two helpings of sauerkraut, and if those damn hoodlums in the neighborhood were too dumb to know the difference between a backfire and gunfire, well, that was their problem. He’d decided when that car had seen better days, thank-you-very-much, and everyone else just could keep their damned opinions to themselves.
Anyway, the point is that even when my thinker is firing on all cylinders, it’s not firing on all cylinders, if you know what I mean. And now it’s preoccupied to boot, which never helps.
I did briefly consider posting a haiku or a limerick today, but nothing interesting came to mind as far as topics go.
It’s suddenly come to my attention that I’ve somehow recently shared next to nothing about the current state of my author-ly pursuits. I mean, I did little but badger you poor readers about writing back in November (well, when I wasn’t trying to ignore everything blog-related competely) as I worked feverishly* on my NaNoWriMo novel. And ever since then, it’s been the Pope this, a hiaku that, or 100-words about some movie the other.
It’s almost as if I’ve been trying to make you think I finally gave up on the whole business.
Fear not! You’ll (hopefully) be glad to hear that nothing could be further from the truth. In point of fact, I’ve been quite busy lately.
Many of you have asked about the space I had waiting for A Memory of Light since I made such a big to-do about having my Wheel of Time shelf on the bookcase complete. There didn’t see to be a ton space there, did A Memory of Light fit? Or did it have to be wedge in there like a jeans model? How does it look now, fully filled out?
Have you ever noticed that everybody nowadays seems to have lists and lists of stuff they’re actively checking-off to feel like they’re, you know, accomplishing those ever important “life goals”? There’s the pile of books you just have to burn through because everyone says that they’re each, respectively, the best thing since Snooki’s book*; there’s your “Bucket List” (which is currently the length of a elephant’s trunk and growing), that compilation of everything you simply must experience before your number comes up and it’s time to exit the Ride of Life at the back gate; there are all those movies you have to see and all the places you need to set foot in just so you can say you were there; all the stupid little repairs you need to do around the house because that dumb toilet keeps overflowing…