This is a Good Book Thursday, September 20, 2018

I’ve been reading Pratchett’s Watch series which has been interesting because although I’ve read the first three–Guards! Guards!, Men at Arms, and Feet of Clay–a dozen times and loved them all, I barely remember the last four.  I remember Night Watch being exceptional, but I can’t remember details, and the others I only have vague recollections of which means it’s like reading new books.  Oh, and I’ve been reading my own book-in-progress and it’s fun, too (yes, I got rid of the godawful sex scene).  So I’ve been having a lovely time.  

What have you been reading?

Sunshine and Reputation

I have been thinking about reputation, both in real life and in fiction.  I’ve always thought I’ve gone through life angry and defiant about reputation, my basic approach was “If you don’t like me, then the hell with you,” except when I look back, it wasn’t anything of the kind.  I worked really hard to build a reputation as a good teacher and then as a smart, original writer.  I didn’t care about the superficial stuff, people telling me I was no lady (really?  when did you notice?) or sneering at what I wore (except for the shoes, I had a shoe thing), or laughing because I wrote romance (most popular genre in publishing, laugh all you want, Monkey People), but I cared a lot about my professional reputation as a teacher and a writer. I think that’s where Nita’s coming from, too.  She can handle being Odd Dodd; she can’t handle being thought of as a crazy, lousy cop.  

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Iguana Awareness Day, September 8, 2018

Today is Iguana Awareness Day.   Iguanas are aggressive reptiles that bite and lash with their strong tails.  They’re evidently very cute as babies (what isn’t cute as a baby?) but then they grow to be six feet long.  Which made me think of all the other things that I’ve brought home because they were cute/beautiful/desirable in some way and that then metaphorically grew to be six feet long and not desirable.  Like the book I’m working on which was supposed to be a simple story about a small town girl who fell for the Devil and is now Game of Thrones in New Jersey.  Or the storage benches I bought to store my yarn before I remembered I don’t have any place to put storage benches (two are at my front door right now).  Or possibly my ex-husband.  I do not count the amazingly cute dogs I rescued because they did not grow to be six feet long and are still cute, but I think my yarn stash counts.  Now that I’m aware of it, I’m calling it my Yarn Iguana.  Perhaps you also have a situation at your house that you were not aware was an iguana, something you liked that you brought home and now are looking at with hopeless horror as it takes up way too much space and metaphorically bites you on the butt.  I understand some children are like that.

Today is Iguana Awareness Day.  Be aware.

Is Sex Necessary?

Krissie and I have been e-mailing about sex in our current WiPs (I know, you’re not surprised).  She’s dealing with button flies and I’m trying to figure out plot arcs, which tells you all you need to know about how we write.  But underneath that and the place the conversation eventually went is the role that sex plays in story.  Krissie, if I’m understanding her correctly, feels it’s central to life in general and therefore central to story (not the most important thing in life, but crucial).  I feel it’s an action and therefore illustrative of character and relationship arc, but not central to anything, even story (unless you’re writing erotica, in which case, yes, central).  Add to that, I really hate writing sex scenes which is why I think of them of scenes during which sex happens.   And yet here I am with four sex scenes (maybe0 in Nita’s book.  Argh.

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This Is A Good Book Thursday, September 6, 2018

I’m getting burned out on mysteries, so of course that’s when the NYT publishes an anonymous op ed explaining why the USA is going down the tubes.  The big mystery is who wrote it?  I don’t care.  If you’re going to hide under a bush shouting bad things, you have no credibility, and this opinion is from somebody who believes everything in the op ed.   Anonymous accusations: I hate ’em.  So I re-read Pratchett’s The Truth and felt better when William defeated his treacherous old father, the narcissistic and arrogant traitor.  Good does triumph over evil, I’m sure of it.  I just wish Good wasn’t taking the long route.  And then I wrote some more of Nita’s story, and let’s face it, I’m brilliant.  (This conviction comes and goes, so I’m enjoying it while it’s here.  Stay tuned for “I Suck At Writing and Should Eat Worms and Die.”)

So what did you read this week?  (Something you wrote counts.)