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.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Digging for Something to Read

The Reads ...
With all the books laying around my house, unread, you'd think finding something to read would be a cinch.  Duh.  The first two books I picked up got tossed on the trade pile within 10 pages. 

One was a Harlequin romance I'd bought used because it had such a neat cover and promo blurp.  It also mentioned demons when I was deep into the gargoyles.  By page 10, my internal editor was screaming so loud I was twitching.   I fear the book will end with the Friends of the Library since the used bookstores don't do Harlequins.

So, I reread Georgette Heyer's A Civil Contract, a romance about a marriage of convenience that turned into a happily-ever-after.  Heyer took the romantic infatuation so common in romances and juxtaposed it with a mundane marriage which turned out to be the HEA.  The writing?  Well, it tells ... and tells ... and tells the story some more, ie. very little dramatization.  The paragraphs are long and involved.  Sometimes, there are two viewpoints on the same page.  Still, the characters are multi-dimensional and compelling, making you care about even the secondary characters. 

What I was looking for was the new Theodosia book from the family lending library.  I knew I had seen it, but it was buried in a box under a pile of books and papers behind another box.  But, I found it.

Still reading Nick Bunker's Making Haste from Babylon.  Again, the reading is heavy going, but interesting how the "implementers" of the Puritan movement in Calvinism defy Queen Elizabeth's national church.  Yeah, I'm still reading the back story in northeastern England that caused the Puritans to be.  Very little was "national" at the time even though Elizabeth I and James I ruled. 

Interesting how the various regions of England had their own customs and beliefs yet consider themselves "Englishmen".  As I read Bunker, my mind kept popping to the words "Tea Party" and wondering what the stocks would feel like.  I don't think I'd like them, ... but enough to keep my mouth shut?  [Mouthy women were anathema to the Puritans.]

Web Stuff ...
Last Friday, I discovered Fiction Groupie thanks to a writing friend, Patti Struble, who has a funny blog called "The Writer's Bump".  In Friday's blog Fiction Groupie discusses how the website she reluctantly put up helped her get an agent.  I found the comments soothing since I still in the middle of getting the Half-Elven site set up.

More embarrassing.  Judith Laik discusses the importance of have a decent photo for your website and other promotions on 1st Turning Point.   Frankly, I strongly suggest you follow 1st Turning Point if you are any where near to marketing your WIP -- whether to agents or publishers.  --  If I can figure how to put it up, I'll shock you with the writer picture I'm hiding in My Photos.

One last thing.  A newbie to the Absolute Write Water Cooler put up a YouTube Video on the benefits of the forum.  I thought it was a clean, simple format ... that anyone with computer skills should be able to do.  [That doesn't include me though]  Whatever, you might check out the AW Water Cooler forum on your own.  You might even find me there.

Progress ...
Took it lazy for the weekend.  Actually, I spent a lot of time playing regular solitaire and spider solitaire ... as I tried to think of a problem for Mariah to solve in the next Renna's Tale.  My false starts are filling my "bits and pieces" files as I dump all the backstory and infodumps.  Who'd ever want to know that the Marches are divided into three parts and why? 

Also dinked with my agents list ... after I goofed on sending a query to an unlikely agent.  [Form rejection, to be landing in the inbox soon unless ignored.]

Did a little clean up for my platform building.  I'm sort of resolving to post on Twitter every day ... but I usually don't have anything to say.  I do follow some interesting people though [who don't follow me.]

Trivia ...
Did I say I didn't do much of anything?  

But, I did find this interesting tidbit on Facebook from the Huffington Post, courtesy Writer Beware. How many of these "must read" books have you read?  [These are the books people say they've read to impress others, but usually haven't.]  

I was surprised to find I had read 6 out of 13.  Really.  Including Chaucer's Tales ...  a couple in old English, but the whole thing in a modernized version.
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