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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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Marking Time?

or, why can't I seem to put "finis' on Emma?
 
The Read:  Finished Jane Haddam's Living Witness and felt disappointed -- even with Demarkian and Bennis getting married in the epilogue.  (Being a fan makes you think/do strange things sometimes.  Like stare at your overstuffed bookshelves and wondering if the first Demarkian novel where Gregor meets Bennis, in the midst of solving a murder, is somewhere behind the Anita Blake books.)

Why disappointed?  Well, for one thing,  I didn't guess the culprit soon enough ... or the motive.  Part of this was because I don't think Haddam gave enough clues -- or maybe, buried the clues in the polemics, and I missed them when I scanned.  We got the message that a sizable part of the population was against the secular humanists taking "God" out of the schools in the prologue.  --  I put "god" in quotes, because even the various Protestant sects can't decide on one interpretation of "god".  And, I don't even want to get into the goddess or hermaphrodite arguments.  --  I didn't think Haddam needed to spend such a huge amount of space repeating the same arguments over and over again.  What's wrong with a 300 page book?

Overall, I found the book a reminder to keep it sweet (or sour) and simple.  Less sometimes really is more.

Progress:  I think I'm going to get to the end over Emma's everlasting revisions.  I'm somewhere in the  middle of  "20s" chapters out of 33, I think.  Actually, it's going really fast (except when I think about Maren).  I even have a new query to send out ... with an emphasis on emotions rather than plot.  We'll see what happens when I send out another batch of queries.

So far, no one seems to responding to any of my submissions, and I can't do status queries until March.

Maren.  I've got a weird opening started.  I like it, and that worries me.  Whatever, I signed up for a critique class (sponsored by the Northern Colorado Writers) taught by Victoria Hanley, a young adult fantasy writer.  First I thought I'd learn more about doing useful critiques -- since I noticed my comments seem to get stuck in a pattern.

Now, I'm glad I did because I have some new writing to play with.  There are three people signed up so far so I'm looking forward to some really good discussion.

Trivia:  We are going out for lunch to amuse the old man -- Thai curry.  

Yesterday, I went to the Northern Colorado Writers coffee where we discussed time management and social media at length.  

Tonight, I'm going to my lackadaisical critique group.  I don't mean this as a put down, but it consists of women who have a lot of stuff going on in their lives, like the deaths of a parent and husband.  It's more they think submitting four pages is a big deal.
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