One star review

I recently got a one star review on Goodreads and I’ll be honest, it hurt my feelings a little. Then I thought back over the lesbian romances I had recently read and regretted and I was ok. I had to remember that not everything appeals to everyone. I’ve hated books that friends and family raved about.

So I’ve decided to put more effort into crafting a good story with strong characters and less about slapping some words down and being done with it.

I don’t know you, Ms. One Star, bit I really do thank you. Thank you for taking the time to read and leave feedback. Writers need comments like we need food, even the ones we find unpalatable.

Have fun and Be Safe.

Found and Adopted Day (Observed)

Five or six years ago (I’ve lost my ability to tell time in the past tense as I’ve gotten older) my daughter and I had stepped outside the place we were living and noticed a Yorkie sitting in the driveway. I had seen the dog before, for the week prior I had caught glimpses of her during the torrential rainstorms. I texted my wife to bring bait and what ensued was about an hour of me, my wife, and our four year old playing catch that puppy.

I managed to catch her and she collapsed against me. She was shivering. She was covered in fleas and ticks. What really blew our minds was she was a full blooded Yorkshire Terrier and she had been fixed (she had the tattoo).

My wife of course was determined we were not going to keep her. We already had two shihtzus and we seemed to be feeding half the stray cats in the neighborhood.  However, our daughter fell in love with Millie. I took her to the vet and she was even chipped. That’s how we found her name. We never were able to contact the original owner though, we tried for days. Finally we stopped trying when we realized how devastated our daughter would be if the dog was claimed.

So since Easter is never the same day, we celebrate Millie’s found day on Easter Sunday. It was a little more poignant that Easter was the first after my mother had passed and Easter had been her favorite holiday. It seemed destined almost that we caught Millie that day. Now, years later, we wouldn’t have it any other way. IMG_20180225_155832.jpg

Five books ahead

In my Goodreads Challenge, I’ve read 10 out of the 30 I had set as a goal. My wife was surprised I had set the bar at 30 and not at more. Honestly, I may increase it. There are so many books out there that I want to read and so many more that I may not know about yet. But of course with a full time job, a wife and kid, three dogs, one cat and a writing habit it does make it a little difficult to squeeze things in to a day.  Even editing and revising my own work seems to take a backseat to everything else though that’s mostly because I feel as if I don’t get the story on paper it’ll never happen.

Anyway, the books that count toward my goal this time were a few graphic novels. Some people think graphic novels are cheating, but I don’t. I also read god is not Great by Christopher Hitchens. This book was informative and full of knowledge and a little condescending. Apparently that’s Hitchens in a nutshell.

I finished a what if retelling of an American Fairy tale as well, The Secret of Sleepy Hollow by Andi Marquette This reevaluated the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and provided a sweet lesfic romance. I liked it.

I am having a hard time finding a few of my personal goal books at my local library. Don’t tell my wife, but I may have to order one or two. As we get closer to the midyear point, I’ll reevaluate my goal and perhaps make it larger.

That’s it for this edition. Stay safe.

 

 

Cross off two more

I recently finished two more books and while they count toward my Goodreads goal, they don’t count toward the list of books I had compiled to read this year. That’s ok, it’s only March. Wait, March? Wasn’t it just January? I guess it is true that the older you get the shorter the years get.

So I read Backwards to Oregon by Jae and was completely blown away by the fact that she’s German. It’s a very well researched and detailed novel and I loved the characters.  I wish I had been as impressed with the other book I read, How to write Pulp Fiction.  That one was more of a composite of other books and interviews. I will say that at least it’s helpful to have it all in one place.

As to the status of my works, well I got a rejection notice for my lesfic romance novel. It’s just the first so there are many more to get 🙂 It’s a bit of a confidence let down, but writers are the ultimate rejection letter collectors. Besides, I’ve got three works in progress, two to revise and a couple of short stories that are trying to get my attention.

Until next time, stay safe.

The Man in the High Castle

I’ve read three out of 30 books so far for the Goodreads Challenge. This time I finished The Man in the High Castle by Phillip K. Dick. Maybe its the current climate, but it’s hard to read dystopian fiction right now, especially this type of what if speculation.

The book takes place in a reality where FDR was assassinated before Pearl Harbor which allows Germany and Japan to win the war and divide the US between them.  The Nazi regime has exterminated almost all those of Jewish descent as well as most Africans. The American South has revived slavery and the American spirit has been demoralized. It’s not a pretty picture.

Looking back on it from this end of time it is of course very dated.  The characters are not very fleshed out, especially the females (both of them).  While I do now regret reading this book, I don’t imagine it’s one I’ll ever read again.  I will try another book of PKD’s though.

Two down, 28 to go

I made my goal for Goodreads at 30 books. So far I’ve read two.  One was by Chuck Wendig called Damn Fine Story and the other was Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan.

Wendig’s book is for storytellers. It’s full of his humor and thoughts. The man is quite entertaining as a writer, blogger and personality on Twitter. I enjoyed it. I actually laughed out loud at parts and definitely found enough instruction and advice in there to bring into my own writing.

The Egan book on the other hand was well crafted, well researched but distant. I never got a feel for the characters. Like most literary works, books that don’t fall into easy categories like sci-fi, self help, humor, romance, etc, I found it a bit cold. I never really found an in to the characters. There was nothing about them that made them seem anything other than distant. It was a good book, but for me that detail, the lack of caring about the characters kept it from being amazing. No dig on Ms. Egan. She is a very gifted writer and I will certainly keep an eye out for her other works.

New Year, New Book List

I participated in the 2017 reading goal with 25 books. I ended up reading 30. I went about this blindly, just selecting books at random. This year I have a plan. I blame NaNoWriMo for this. I rarely plan things, but a few of the books I want to read will count as research for my next project. 

So here is a list of books that I plan on reading in 2018. I’ll have a goal of 30 total, but this list is to get me started. 

Delta Blues by Ted Gioia

Kite runner by Khaled Hosseini

Blues Legacies by Angela Davis

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Blues People by Amiri Baraka

Anatomy of a Story Teller by John Truby

Sin in Soft Focus by Mark Vieira

Save the Cat by Blake Snyder

Chloe & Olivia by Lillian Faderman

What Happened by Hillary Clinton 

Queens of Innie Lear by Tessa Grafton

Queens of Conquest by Alison Weir

Henry David Thoreau by Laura Walls

White Rage y Carol Anderson

Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okafor

Doc Holliday by Gary Roberts

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

God is not great by Christopeher Hitchens