Category Archives: Reading

Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy

One of my favorite writers has passed away.

Maeve Binchy made everyday life more fascinating than

Vampires, werewolves and zombies

Interstellar travel

Regency dukes

Lost civilizations

Ménages à trois

Secret societies

Aliens

Cannibalistic but intellectual mass murderers

Wizards, warriors and witches

Elves, dwarves and dragons.

That’s a lot for one writer to do

In a single lifetime.

Real is better.

Thanks.

Lizards, tea and pantslessness

Nothing extraordinary. Top o’ the world and bottom of a pit, as usual. It’s all movin’ along.

Let’s see, did anything interesting happen? A large lizard with a gray and tan diamond-patterned back now lives in the garden. I found him while watering. He tried to convince me he was a piece of rotted wood that got stuck in one of the tomato plants. Didn’t work.

He’s a much larger version of the lizards that live in my plastic garden box. I store some old newspapers in it and the lizards made themselves speckly gray to match the type.

They’re all welcome to stay since they’re carnivorous, not herbivorous. Something else carnivorous was sighted here a while ago: another mountain lion. Stay in the fenced garden, little lizards, and eat bugs.

I now hear Prudence MacLeod reiterating: “Gods, Sally, you have such an interesting life!” Continue reading

Da Voidick

On Monday I didn’t read. Instead, I carried around a clipboard and wrote longhand a bit at a time. On Tuesday and Wednesday I wrote like “work” and read during the in-between times of my job and meals.

The verdict? Two days with reading and with writing done during a specific period: about 250 words a day. One day without reading and with writing fit in here and there without any special effort: 650 words. That couldn’t be clearer. Continue reading

Killing Audrey II—again

Yesterday @DeidreKnight of The Knight Agency, literary agent and romance writer, held a Q&A session for Austin RWA. She was inspirational—at least I found her so. She approaches the business of running her agency in a way that’s both very creative and very directed. That’s what’s so inspirational.

Creative as well as directed… that’s what we all want to be, isn’t it?

So my question to myself this Sunday is whether I can be more creative and more directed. That’s why this time I’m assessing my goals in a different way. How do the goals affect each other? Am I letting my priorities have priority? Seems like I’m doing okay… but am I still approaching what I want to do in a self-defeating way? Continue reading

Mostly tooth

Yes, these last couple of days have been about a tooth. Nothing like visiting the dentist for a regular checkup and being told you need a crown. Immediately. So I got one. That was yesterday.

Not that this was unexpected. And my dentist is excellent. But having even an excellent dentist hammering away in your jaw for an hour could ruin your day, or your next couple of days. And that adrenaline rush that comes with the local anesthesia? I crash every time.

Lucky for me my goals were set up a couple of weeks ago. They’re just about habits by now, and I sure needed my new habits. No stressing about what to do next—I just look at the list. Continue reading

Magic how new habits take hold

1) My eyes now start to close as 10 p.m. approaches. Stayed awake in bed until 11:30 last night, though, playing with the new electronic toy. Made me remember reading LITTLE WOMEN by moonlight when I was little, while the rest of my family slept. Gorgeous weather and I’m not getting out as much as I’d like, but my office windows open onto our huge live oak so it almost counts as being outside. Still keeping up the garden and doing a few minutes on the elliptical, just not yesterday. Seems like I can do every other day. [Real goal: Health: sleep (lights out at 10:30 p.m.), move (get up from desk every hour, spend at least 20 minutes outside morning or evening, gardening, walking or looking at forest).

2) Worked about 24 hours in the last two days to make the monthly issue deadline while fitting in other work odds and ends. Surprisingly, that left little to do toward it this morning, though I thought I’d be jammed. Happy! Now to get a head start on the Continue reading

Goals

Adjustment and discovery as I begin to work my goals.

Since one of my underlying goals is to become more aware of time but wearing a watch is too galling when I type all day, I spent some time (too much!) looking on line for a device that would chime softly every hour without constant resetting. Ended up ordering an iPod Touch because some apps look like they may help with goals and time management. If not, back it goes.

1) Sleep started off with a major fail. I went to bed at 10:30 on day 1. Spent an hour staring into the dark, got up, read until 2:30 and was up at 5:30. But last night I slept 9 hours. This must be evened out. Got outside for 15 minutes this morning to check and water garden, which should really be listed as a “fun” goal. It’s snake boot time! And there was an 8-inch centipede in the kitchen this morning. Continue reading

Crossing the chasm from here to there

My initial 17 fantasy goals are now realigned into what I believe can get done during the next 80 days. The original fantasy goals are in italics behind the achievable goals.

1) Health: sleep (lights out at 10:30 p.m.), move (get up from desk every hour, spend at least 20 minutes outside morning or evening, gardening, walking or looking at forest). [17) Take better care of my health—for instance, get up from my desk, spend time outside, go to bed before midnight (fail!).]

2) Work only 8 a.m.-5 p.m., 1 hour for lunch, no evening or weekend work. [1) Maintain the quality of my science editing and other job obligations while meeting my deadlines and not stressing out.]

3) Write 250 words/day on my current novel, Continue reading

Two for Wednesday: Fiction by Clark and Singh

Bri Clark: Scent of a WitchMaeve da Paer has lived her life free from the Board of Witchery, protected by powerful clan magic—and by a lie. In desperation, she casts her most powerful spell, one that will end the pain before it begins on All Hallows’ Eve…. Immortal tracker Fionn Hughes is on a mission to restore his honor. But, following the scent of gardenias and honeysuckle, he discovers Maeve, the last Scent Witch. Will Fionn be strong enough to stop Maeve when he finds she plans to cancel her own existence?

From Astraea Press      Kindle US

Bri Clark grew up in the South and learned street smarts while caring for her brother in a broken home. She moved on to a series of bad choices. As a teen, her wake-up call came from a judge who gave her the choice of shaping up or going to jail. Bri ended up co-owning a successful construction business but lost everything in the real estate crash. Now she writes, blogs and shares her Southern culture in Boise, where she’s known as the Belle of Boise for her Southern accent, bold demeanor and hospitable nature.

***

Robert and Elise are strangers who meet at a bar. After one unique conversation, they find that they’re at a similar crossroads in their marriages. The decision they make that night will change their lives forever.

Kindle US   Amazon UK

Hardit Singh was born and raised in Southwest England. He rediscovered his love for reading at university, which sparked his desire to write. The author of crime fiction, Hardit believes that the most important aspect of a book is character. Often this is ultimately what the reader thinks about after closing a book. Mere words can create inspiration and empower an individual. The power that stories harness is what compels him to write.

One for Wednesday: Silk Road by Colin Falconer

Colin Falconer: Silk Road1260 AD: Christian Knight Templar Josseran Sarrazini is a man divided in his soul. Haunted by a shameful past, he hopes to find redemption in a dangerous crusade: a journey from Palestine to Xanadu to form a crucial allegiance against the Saracens at the legendary court of Kubilai Khan–the seat of the Mongol Empire.

Instead he finds solace in a warrior-princess from a heathen tribe. Beautiful and ferocious, Khutelun is a Tartar, a nomadic rider of the Mongolian steppe. Although their union is impossible, she finds in Josseran what she cannot find in one of her own.

Parched by desert winds, pursued by Saracen hordes and tormented by a passion he cannot control, Josseran must abandon Khutelun if he is to complete his journey and save his soul. Worse, he must travel with William, a Dominican friar of fearsome zeal who longs for matyrdom, but whose life Josseran is sworn to protect. Worse yet, he will arrive in Xanadu just as the greatest empire in human history plunges into civil war.

Winding through the plains of Palestine and over the high mountains of the Hindu Kush, from the empty wastes of the Taklimakan desert to the golden palaces of China, SILK ROAD weaves a spellbinding story of sin, desire, conflict and human frailty onto the vast tapestry of the medieval orient.

Falconer’s novels are “based on dedicated research and a profound knowledge of his subject, stories of passion and human frailty drawn on a vast canvas, about the perennial nature of love and the human spirit.” The Australian

ISBN 9780857891082

Published by Atlantic Books   Corvus Books   Amazon.co.uk   Waterstones

Falconer’s novels for Kindle US and UK   Falconer’s novels on Amazon US

Born in the north of London, Colin Falconer moved to Australia in his twenties. He drove cabs and played guitar in dark bars and rough pubs before joining an advertising agency. He then worked as a television and radio scriptwriter, and as a freelance journalist. Since 1990, he has been a full-time novelist. His work has been translated into seventeen languages.