Books, Books, Writing, and Open Topics

Happy Thursday, regular readers. It’s time again for another edition of “Here’s a Bunch of Crap to Throw Against the Wall”. Consider these posts the Muse version of flypaper, hanging from a doorway to collect the buzzing ideas and events of the past week. Eliminates pests, cleans the house, and makes a nasty mess.  With no further preamble…

  • Work continues. Simple enough, right? Hoping to send the print version of Pathways to Createspace by the end of next week, which would put it in your hands by the end of the following week, weather and UPS permitting. As always, dates are flexible and may be  ambitious, as I’m knee-deep in an important work project at the moment. Broken Wing is coming along nicely. Fascinating to watch as a story that I nurtured from a rough outline transforming into a sleek machine with new pieces added  as its engine dictates. Revision typically follows this course, but Wing has taken on a life of its own in that regards and shown encouraging growth from its embryonic form.
  • In connection to that, and as a follow-up to last week’s request for more advanced writing books, I’m currently reading through Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose. It’s a little winky in spots, with the usual overblown cruft about loving the sentence and the power of the written word and so on and so forth, but I’ve only reached Chapter Two and already found its advice useful in revising Wing. Worth the purchase, worth the time to read.
  • After taking some time off from reading (chalk it up to a series of sub-par books that sapped my passion), I’m digging into books again. Started with a few indie clunkers – good to see some things, like lack of an editor, don’t change – before settling into Detroit: an American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff. Admittedly, this one is non-fiction, but it provides a gripping narrative with strong, overarching themes. You may know LeDuff as the journalist who covered the epic of the poor homeless man found frozen in an abandoned elevator in Detroit and the difficulty of getting anyone to care. It’s a good shorthand for the problems he discovers when he moves back to his hometown and he uses it as a fulcrum around which the rest of the story revolves.
  • Next up is Silver Linings Playbook. Enjoyed the movie and am curious about the book. The subject matter relates to my current project, especially the recovery angle of things. May not mention it here again since everyone and their cat has read it by this point.
  • Started working out again the other day. Not a New Years resolution thing here, just a realization that I felt like crap and needed to do something about it. Now I feel like crap and am sore but at least I’m working toward something better.
  • The GIF on the rightShroomBear
  • You might have noticed that winter is here again. It made a subtle appearance in the last week in the eastern part of the country, maybe froze your fingertips off? Anyway, I bring it up because I’m quite stunned at my continuing writing output. The season has always been problematic for me, sapping energy and creativity and leaving a fog through which I trudge, hoping to find the more hospitable shores of March. This year, however, I struck back, arming myself with the mortars of sun lamps and mind-expanding powers of nootropics. I won’t lie and say that I’ve written as many words as I did in, say, September, but I’ve held my own and word counts look closer to normal than ever before. I may share my regimen in the near future for those who likewise struggle.
  • Finally, and this also relates to a recent post, Kristen Lamb recently wrote a great post about bullying, one that struck home after my experience last Summer. I won’t summarize the thing as you really should read it (seriously, do it), but she makes the point that we cannot allow these people to dictate what we do with our lives. When we hide, when we alter the way we live our lives, they win. This means that they certainly won a short-term victory over me, and while I’m tempted to feel a species of shame or guilt about it, I have to remember that I’m back out there, pushing into new spaces once again. Temporary setback, not permanent loss. I could write an entire post about bullying here, but will save it for the future.

Have anything interesting or exciting happen this week? Maybe finish a cool book? I’d be interested in hearing about it in the comments.  

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