Archive | August, 2013

Daily Book Challenge: Day 6

21 Aug

Day 06 – A book that makes you sad

The Works of Hans Christian Anderson (Matchstick Girl, The Little Mermaid)

I wasn’t sure how to answer this at first – I thought about something like Les Miserables or The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and I was leaning towards Phantom of the Opera (book form only!) but the thing is, they don’t particularly make me sad. I was going to say how many it’s just that I escape through fiction and no matter what the character is going through – I’d rather be in their world with them and forget how rough things can be here some times.

Even though Anderson did write other stories like The Snow Queen, which ends on a happy note, I figured the saddest endings are his more famous stories. Notably, a lot of the ‘best’ works in series often ends when the villain wins, (think Star Wars) but they end on a hopeful note. With Anderson, his only works if you have faith in a higher power – and I guess for me in particular right now, that’s the reason I can find them sad.

When you have the works of Hugo, you can at least argue that Jean Valjean had a redemption arc in his life. Erik was messed up, but he willingly let Christine go. Granted, there has to be some suspension of belief to entertain the idea of mermaids to begin with. As said previously – I’m a believing Christian – so it should be easy to accept that a bigger picture is what it’s about.

But for living in the here and now, especially on days like this, it can be really hard – even though you know some of this stuff isn’t going to matter in a few years. I suppose that’s why it’s called faith though – faith for it’s own sake, and not for the sake of gain or reward, but doing what’s right in the bigger picture even if you feel like you’re the only one who even sees it that way.

My INTJ-ness is slipping.


Pitch to Cassie, and some other Agents/Editors

20 Aug

If you have a manuscript that’s looking for a home, you can check out the info here – I can’t attest to anyone besides Cassie, who is our senior editor with Champagne (Burst is an imprint, if you were unaware). Of course, you can always just hit the slush pile at Champagne any time, but I’ve always had better luck getting attention when people were saying, “Throw stuff at me.”

And yes, I’ll do the daily book challenge. Later. I have to get ready and go to work now.



Daily Book Meme: Day 5

19 Aug

Day 05 – A book that makes you happy


Whaaaat? It’s not my first book – it’s the first that someone thought actually had going for it though. As much as I might kvetch about how I suck or how I want to be like such and such, the fact that I got this baby out there and I didn’t have to compromise too much, I’m content. Course, getting this marketing down without looking pathetic, that’s still in the works.

Daily Book Challenge: Day 4

18 Aug

Day 04 – Favorite book of your favorite series

Apparently I should read ahead and plan before picking six different series. How about, here’s 10 series I like, and I tell you my favorite and briefly why?

The Song of the Lioness Quartette – Alanna: The First Adventure

Normally, first titles in a sequence have a tough job. From my own experience, you not only have to hook your reader almost from the get-go, you have to build your world (moreso in science-fiction, fantasy, and historical pieces) but this novel was geared at me when I was done reading Burroughs and I wanted a female heroine to go on adventures. The reason I liked this one the most? It was the least preachy – and in hindsight, I know why Pierce probably made the choices she did, but it’s like when you’re a kid reading Narnia. You don’t care about The Symbolism and real world implications, which is weird, because as an adult, I really do care about the messages that are in kids’ books.

Malazan Book of the Fallen – Deadhouse Gates

I’m still reading this series so I was all kind of ‘should I have it on the list if I don’t know how it ends?’ but I figured what the hey. This is a more complex fantasy series that follows its implications, if you haven’t read it, check it out. Why Deadhouse Gates? I read Gardens of the Moon and I was confused. I never understood it when people said that about books, but Gardens of the Moon just throws so much stuff at you – it probably didn’t help that I was up to my elbows in chordate zoology when I first attempted this novel, so I was having a hard time keeping track of things. Deadhouse Gates seemed to slow down just a mite, and I was able to really sink my teeth into the series.

The Sun Sword Series – The Sun Sword

This is another cheat – I didn’t care much for the Sacred Hunt Duology that proceeded it and I’m still reading the House War series that are kind of co/after the Sun Sword. I like this series for many reasons – I love the different cultures Sagara West creates, and while I enjoyed all of the books to some extent (some more than others) and the story ended very satisfactorily for numerous characters – and Jewel’s story continues on in the House War sequence (It’s 5 books as of now, I’m guessing it’s still going).

Narnia – Voyage of the Dawn Treader

I found Lewis’s more overtly religious books in the sequence sucky when I was a kid, but now as an adult, I enjoy them. Most of me is reminded to remember one’s audience when writing books – but I loved Dawn Treader both then and now. I’m not saying it fixed Prince Caspian, but it was a great adventure and as an adult, I enjoy what Lewis’ is really getting at (at least, in my own mind). If I had to pick a second, it would be The Silver Chair solely because of Puddleglum. In hindsight, I think I might like Lewis for when his characters are either behaving badly, miserable, or just up to no good.

Discworld – Witches Abroad

I know I didn’t mention it yesterday – but I’ve read most of the series, I haven’t read the newer books in a while (It’s a thing with me – I like to have matching covers so if I start hardcover, I end hardcover; start paperback, end paperback, and preferably in the same style of cover, I get bitchy if the set doesn’t match) and I was having a hard time picking a favorite. I think Witches Abroad stood out for me because of the sequence where we meet Granny Weatherwax’s sister, and one had to be a good witch, and one had to be a bad witch. I won’t spoil it, but I loved the climax of this story. I would have liked Magrat to keep the wand at the end, of course, but whatever.

Dune – Dune

I had no idea how much this series influence me until I reread the series about five years ago; I had a friend looking over a novel and said, “This part reminds me of Dune.” and I said, “Yeah, I read those books a long time ago.” (I was a kid – just because I could read them doesn’t mean I understood a thing).

A Song of Ice and Fire – A Storm of Swords

Because lots of characters died. That’s why. I haven’t read DwD yet, (once again, a cover thing) I’ll get on it eventually.

Daily Book Challenge: Day 3

17 Aug

Day 03 – Your favorite series

Okay, I have really no idea how to answer this one. My first thought was the series that I’m reading, but I haven’t finished them yet. My next thought was that I love long book series – I know, I should finish one before starting another – I love it when an author moves me out of a three-act structure. And I think three-act structures work very well, but I like variety.

So, here’s some of my favorite series, both finished and currently reading, that I like. I can’t pick, I’m sorry.

images225_alanna-the-first-adventuresouthern-lge-1-broken-199x325gotm a-game-of-thrones-george-rr-martin-book-coverNarnia

I could keep going – The Patternmaster series is definitely deserving a spot, but I’m only half-way through the series, whereas these other titles, I’m at least four books in (Wel, Dune I only read Dune, Dune Messiah, and Children of Dune but, I’ve been told that the quality drops off anyway). I’m more likely to read single contained novels then start the series, but it depends for me.

Now, I’m not thinking about this too clearly – I’ll probably make it up for a series when I remember it some time next week. I guess tomorrow, I’ll talk about my most favorite/least favorite in the sequence thus far.

Daily Book Challenge: Day 2

16 Aug

Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than 3 times

Screwtape Letters

I’m going to limit this as to the only time I refer to C.S. Lewis – quite frankly, he’s preaching to the choir, and while I don’t agree with him 100% on everything he does (quite frankly, I am Christian but I find several of Narnia’s books rather tedious and obvious) I also quite enjoy exploring philosophy and rhetoric in prose.

That, and I like unreliable narrators. Obviously, this narrator is so over-the-top obvious I don’t even know if we can call him an unreliable narrator, but I enjoy it when authors treat me like I have half a brain and can read between the lines.

30 Day Book Meme: Day 1

16 Aug

So I was stalking on goodreads and I found someone doing a daily challenge – I figure hey: It’ll get me back into the groove of updating regularly. I know: I should be doing Top 10 Tuesdays, so I’ll probably work those in as well.


Day 01 – Best book you read last year


I first heard about Octavia E. Butler on a list of POC science-fiction and fantasy writers, and she was the only one I never heard of.

WHY DID I NEVER HEAR OF HER BEFORE??? WHY DID IT TAKE ME ALMOST THIRTY YEARS TO DISCOVER THIS WOMAN?  Don’t get me wrong – I’ve read a few of her novels now and I think some of her work is better than others (I adored Blood Child, but I lowered its rating once I read Wild Seed). And quite frankly, this is all about eugenics and it’s enough to make me squick.

But it’s good. It’s not just about the science-fiction, it’s about the character – it actualizes its plot based on the dilemma it creates, and the novel is really about the power struggle between the two immortal characters. I am still reading this series (I’m trying to drag it out) but if you only take one recommendation from me in ever, go read this book. It’s on my very short list of perfect novels.

I shouldn’t whine about how hard promo is and never update, heh

11 Aug

To be fair though, the WOTI site keeps me busy, but I think I’m going to have to pick something to keep me regular here.

Not at When Words Collide this year – I know, I said I was gonna go, but something came up at the last minute and I pulled out – but apparently things are going very well in accordance to the people I know who are going, so hopefully life will calm down a bit next summer. I have a ton of work to get done before Comic Con anyway. But if you happen to be in the Calgary area – go check out Ellen’s table. Ron and Graeme are both there – not sure about the others from that area, but apparently this is the big “if you want to be taken seriously” convention to go to for your writing peers,  Oh well – the reason for my pulling out is a relatively small chunk of time, and it’s gorgeous and warm (finally!) so I got to enjoy the lake yesterday with some kayaking.

I’m doing another Book Blog Tour – this time with Pump Up Your Books, so stay tuned for September. It seems to be easier and easier to get reviews now, but I dunno – the first few were hard. The cycle, of course, is that I imagine people don’t trust reviews from friends (my friends who read tend to be snarky and they will be honest, but still, it’s pretty obvious they know me) and when you’re nobody, why should anyone bother reading your book over someone else’s? Once the first few reviews are out though, it’s don’t take my word for it.

Once again though, I think it’s best to think about this in terms of the big picture – and keep writing in the meantime. Or stop editing and send away, but, you know, nerves. I finally finished Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy, so I’m going to stop playing with Terran by month’s end and send it. I’m on vacation last week in August, so no excuses.

Well, this is me, so excuses seem to just flow so well sometimes…