I’m about two weeks behind on the release date of Fairy Queen at this point. (Let’s hear it for ill cats and ill humans!) It’s okay; it was a tenative date anyway, and I’d rather it be purdy than rushed. Only a wee behind, so it’s still okay. And the new project is chomping at the bit, too. Will resurface soon and do an actual post with *gasp* actual content.
Puttering around the Internet this morning (waiting for the store to open so I can get creamer for my tea, not writing on the WiP because, uh, creamer for my caffeine delivery system, and half the household is still abed, so I’m being quiet!) I mosied on over to Insatiable Book Sluts to peek at their (huge!) Banned Book Week post. (okay. Post isn’t huge. Commentary is HUGE), which then had be jumping over to the ALA’s website.
I might have already admitted here, but if I haven’t I will now: I missed out on having to read a lot of the classic literature that most have to read in school. My high school was special. Trying to escape one particular school system, I opted for the regional vocational high school at a time when that school was playing around with teaching to the lowest common denominator in the academic side of our school year. I, um, was not among the lowest common denominators, and so school was mostly boring and not at all challenging. (Until senior year when they decided to stick me in pre-Cal *and* physics when my highest math exposure was Algebra I. Thank god for the pre-Cal teacher; I’d had him previously for my science classes, and he was all, “I know you aren’t stupid, you don’t have the prereqs for this course, why won’t they switch you out, I’ll go talk to them.” That was decidedly NOT boring, but also, not happy) So, my required reading for my high school career included a whole flipping year spent on the Diary of Anne Frank (and I don’t care how important a book and topic that was, teachers should not be allowed to have their own peeves and passions take over a WHOLE YEAR), The Pearl, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Hobbit, and Old Man and the Sea (which is the reason why I will never read Hemmingway again).
I have read some classics on my own, because that’s what I do. I’ve never really done more than look at these banned book lists and said, “hrm, people are weird.”
Trying to get my hands on a concise banned book list, and that’s proving to be hard (possibly because of the caffeine situation?) but I am curious to see what on there I have already read and what on there I want to read. Do I want to take break from my reading and read a banned book next week? Or do I want to strive, as a matter of course, to include more in my annual reading?
Thank goodness they’re pushing to ban Harry Potter though. Don’t want all those kids turning into witches and wizards. What was she thinking, writing such a realistic representation of the occult world?
What are your favorite banned or challenged books? Are you participating in Banned Book Week?
Edited to add: caffeine makes all the difference in the world. Or, in the posting. I found: the ACLU’s page of banned or challenged books is Oregon for 2009-2010, and 1979-2010. it’s very likely to be a useful tool, so I’m adding it here. Huzzah caffeine!
The library trip this week yielded both Inkheart and The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke, and we brought back the awful book we’d been trying to read to the dog. (Okay. Maybe not awful, but not up our alley at all, despite the elves). My current WiP has me researching death and dying rites for a few different religions, including Islam, which naturally leads me to books like Nine Parts of Desire and The Muslim Next Door and Kabul Beauty School, because religious-and-social customs fascinate me, and the topic of religious veiling intrigues me, and people living religiously, regardless of what that religion is (so, I guess I’m really looking at how one lives with a focus on religion in our largely secular society) is fascinating. (Hey, I told you up front: I’m a voyeur). The new WiP also sent me poking around car blue books, primitive camping topics, and other assorted, not at all related at first glance stuff. I love beginning project research! Yippee!
Books I’m currently craving: Portals of Power: Magical Agency and Transformation in Literary Fantasy and the second two books in the Darkborn Trilogy by Alison Sinclair. I need to reread the first and do a proper review, because I adored it tremendously.
So, are there any books you’re currently drooling over?
Last Saturday we picked up more books from the library, including books to read out loud (which, upon the dog’s release, we’ve actually not been doing a whole lot). I remember fondly reading The Dark is Rising Sequence back in high school (not for high school; I didn’t go to that sort of high school) and adoring it, so I snagged the first book, hoping to share the awesomeness with Beth. Originally published in 1973, and a Brit book at that, one naturally expects the book to be dated and colloquial. However, even while bearing that in mind? Good golly, The Dark is Rising is an awful book for reading outloud! We were laughing far too hard to gleen anything from the story and I had to stop before my fond memories were destroyed by harsh reality. I’ll keep those rose-tinted glasses, thanks.
So, we’re listening to The Mistress of the Art of Death and I’m crushing on Simon, and we’re reading Lucy and the Greenman and if you haven’t yet, you need to. I happened upon this one on accident a few months back and I’m so glad I did. It is wonderful and whimsical and a tad dark and absolutely perfect and where were these books when I was that age? Why was I stuck with Sweet Valley High crap? (Well, I wasn’t actually stuck with them, which is why I started reading Stephen King and V.C. Andrews — only for real, before she died, before most of “her” books were written, note the lack of trademark after the name, thanks) and Dean Koontz so young, so I could skip that crap, but I digress). I love this book so much that I’m forcing Beth and the dog to listen to it, even if Lucy isn’t a boy. (Dog’s got his preferences, you know). If you like the mythical fiction even at all a little bit, you need to check this book out. It is easily one of my favorite reads this year.
Once again, what are you currently reading?
Done done done, the edits are done! Cover art, and then one more galley and then a release. So far the tenative date is looking good. Meanwhile, I think I finally have the whole formatting page numbers thing down, with Word, but why oh why aren’t all the fields of information one needs to tweak it just so located in *one* place? Why must I got to file –> page set up and format –> page numbers and insert –> section break? More importantly, why must I always forget the proper order of things when it comes time to do it again?
In the next few weeks: an excerpt.
In the meantime, what writing software do you use? What’s been your favorite?
Typically I’m the sort of writer who, if I try to nail the plot down before I write the first draft, I get bored with the story. I’m also write more-or-less chronologically and, when I get halfway done, the story collapses like a house of cards, only to come back better and stronger and awesome.
For the soon to be current WiP (after Seditember), I’m going to have to do things differently. Why?
This one started as a short story a number of years ago. I loved it, but I saw the potential for bigger and better and awesome. And then, I became bogged down in too many details with it. Decided I was bored with it. Went on to write Fairy Queen of Spencer’s Butte and Other Tales. Couldn’t decide on a direction (YA? Paranormal suspense? Paranormal romance?) Couldn’t decide what Cool and Awesome and Riddled with Strife and Angst story to tell. Bogged it down. Switched main characters. Gave up. Got the germ of another idea for an unrelated story. Woke up talking to the MC in the story that would not give up . . . you know how it goes.
Because this MC is coming at me with so much stuff I knew right away MC was talking serial. And, I admit it. I baulked. Dug my feet in. It’s what I do. Ask Beth.
This is why I know I need to, at the least, do chapter summaries for myself. Because, I need to keep myself focused. There’s too much cool and awesome stuff to explore with this MC, and it can’t happen all in the first book, and I need to remember that. (Yes. First book. I’ve got a pretty good idea of books 1-3 and the beginning of 4 already in mind). So, I’m going to break out a notebook and do chapter summaries in between editing moments during this, Seditember. (Such a spazz! “I’m going to edit and when I need a break from editing I’m going to plot!”) I dunno how it’ll go. I’m hoping it’ll keep me engaged and not bore me. I hope it won’t backfire and make me bored with the story. I think this one isn’t going to let me go until I write it, so . . .
Starting in October my goal is 25k words a month. Reasonable goals when I get most of my writing done on the weekend, and by the end of December I should have 75k. (We’ll ignore the part about writing wherein you can write thousands upon thousands of words in a sitting and end up only a few hundred ahead, or, heh, with a negative count. That’s not part of my plan and thus it does not factor in. Sssh)
What’s your preferred approach to writing, in terms of working out the plot?
. . . also testing some things . . .
The dog has the official okay from the vet to go about resuming normal activity including freedom of the house. His favorite toys have not been cleared (he is a hunt, seize, kill, and toss dog) and Beth and I have agreed that he’s going to keep sleeping in the kennel at night (between our beds, so it’s not like he’s going to be booted from the bedroom). Mostly because he chooses to sleep with me (I am the bee’s knees) and I’m a tosser. It’s not safe. I don’t want a repeat of this if we can avoid it.
Having the vet come to the house makes all the difference in the world. We adore her. We went on a celebratory walk after they left the house and they were still getting the van togther, and Corbie wanted to go with them. He was all excited. So much better than cowering and wanting to get away. Absolutely adore them.
I’ve slacked the day away (finishing up Prayers for the Dead and Abandon)instead of fixing my page numbers and getting that uploaded again. I will — my deadline is next Saturday, after all, and it’s the last step I have to do besides the cover work. I’ve started the next book already — just poking at it, nothing serious yet — but I’m excited about it. (As well as the books waiting for me to be read after I finish September Edits. I’m up to THREE carrots now)
I’m also excited about Beth’s new blog: Fensalir Fiber which is to showcase her fabulous handspun creations and other fiber goodies! Do check it out, if for no other reason than to admire the colors! (And be envious of me for I get to touch this stuff!)
It’s been a nice, low-key weekend. Having the dog free means I can resume my writing schedule without having to worry about waking him up. He can resume his post under my feet at the desk at five am, now. Part protector (no, don’t laugh) part hero-dog, part muse. He’s pretty awesome.