Lessons from My Reading

M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

One Batch of Cookies Down

Trivia:  It's the time of year when my world narrows down to baking cookies and making baklava.  This year it'll take longer since I no longer can handle double batches of dough. (Getting old catches up with you.)

Baking and Christmas was the reason I was so panicky about getting an ending on Emma.  At least, my shopping's done except for the peanut brittle.  Now I've got to wrap the stuff.  Ugh.

Lessons from My Reading:  Finished Mary Balogh's A Precious Jewel.  Cousin Oswald didn't appear again -- but a pregnancy did -- so I guessed wrong.  I marvel that Balogh is able to create characters well-rounded enough that you get teary-eyed even if you know what the ending's going to be.

Didn't guess wrong about the beta-male bit.  While flipping through the book during the news (better than sleeping like the old man), I discovered a 'Dear Reader' note at the beginning from Balogh giving the history of the book.  Mostly about breaking conventions by writing about the tribulations of a beta-male finding his HEA and how the book broke new ground back in 1993. 

Now it's time for all wanna-be writers to take a break and feel *something* about such a long career.  I'm impressed.  Balogh's new books are still lean and wry, compared to other authors who seem to expand the verbiage with each book.  Let that be a lesson for us all.

Truth in reading, I have at least 15 books by Balogh on my keeper shelf -- though some of them will be going out to trade if I ever get ambitious enough to prune the bookshelves.


Progress:  Not much.  I'm stuttering over editing the query and sample pages for Demons.  I'm not an efficient writer.  I re-read and re-edit until I stop finding things to dink.  So far, I've got one sentence that won't flow.  It sits there in the middle of the query like a lump of concrete.  -- The sample pages flow quickly and smoothly ... but are probably a trite beginning.  -- Sometimes I wonder why I even bother.  The whole voice thing and pulling the right character bits out of the story mystify me.

Maren keeps perculating.

Emma is waiting for my first manuscript comments -- from my alpha readers??  After I get the bills paid, I'll print it out and begin playing with it.


Blog?  It's sitting here with all its warts.

PS:  I'm getting some Christmas presents early.  According to the NY Times, P. D. James has a new book out  -- talking about detective fiction.  

Carol O'Connell also has a mass paperback on the best seller list, a new series it looks like.  Loved her Mallory series.  Maybe I should reread Find Me, the last of the series. (Maybe.)


 
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