Tag Archive: Reviewing

Wow Does Time Fly

See I knew it had been a while since I’d written here, but truthfully I thought it was only a few weeks not twice that. I’ve in this time, had moments of productivity. I suppose mostly in the area of reading and blogging – review blogging that is. My review blog hasn’t been getting as many hits as it used to, I suppose that is in part because I sometimes find it difficult to blog after a 12 hr shift. You know when you work that many hours in a day and some days are very, very demanding ones, you just want to go home and veg.
I am finally, after almost 12 months in the job, getting organised with my reviewing. It is an awesome feeling. Also even though my blog traffic has dropped off, the other site I review for is doing awesome and I’m proud to be a part of that. People often don’t understand why I put so much time into reviewing and reading, they figure if I don’t get paid then it can’t possibly be worth it. Well let me tell you, it certainly is worth it. I love books, I love children’s books and I love sharing my love for them. (What a lot of love). Also I get books sent to me and for me that is a pretty awesome type of payment. I am very proud of my office library and quiet frankly I get why people don’t keep books or only borrow from the library (it can get kinda expensive over time) but I love my books, I love to revisit them too, sometimes even when I have heaps of new stuff to read, I just need to curl up and catch up with an old friend, it’s just what I need to make things feel right.

Might need to invest in one of these

Might need to invest in one of these

Writing stories hasn’t stopped, it’s just not quite as organised as perhaps it should be. I keep telling myself that I will get it all sorted but I haven’t got there yet. I’m not sure if that’s because I’m too scattered in my approach or what. I try to be disciplined but truthfully, sometimes when a new idea springs you just have to get some of that down. I wonder if some of my problem is simply that I want my writing to be profitable and so I get distracted with other projects in the hope one will result in some kind of breakthrough.
There is a part of me that wishes the muse was controllable but she is a fickle wench, always has been and I suspect always will be. That is life though. So for the moment I will plod on getting pen to paper whenever I can.
Oh if you want to check out either of the review blogs feel free.

What I Needed

I am enjoying some time off, I cannot deny that it is a good feeling not having to get up before dawn to go to work for 12 hours. You know what else is awesome? The sheer amount of time I am getting to read and write.
I’ve gone over my research, my character outlines and stared at my post-it note marked map. Building an entire world is a strange feeling. It takes hours of what, to many, may look like a complete waste of time, but time is what allows us to create a place that can sweep you away and seem so real.
It took me a long time to find the fantasy story I wanted to write. I always loved reading fantasy but my own story just wouldn’t come, until that day I found my opening scene. It remains a visual I love and the character who stood in the middle of it, is one I am proud to have created.
While I’m going thorough this structural editing process I find myself swept into the story of the characters I birthed, not wanting to stop to cook dinner or do other mundane things like housework (something that somehow never is a priority to me). As I’ve been wielding my red pen these people are becoming clearer in my mind. Is it a bad thing that I love my characters? I hope not.
I know even though the task that is finishing editing and completing these two books still seems like a mountain, it is one I am determined to climb. This break is giving me a renewed passion just like I hoped it would.
On the reading side of things I got to finish a book that has been sitting on my shelf for simply ages. I was left wondering why I didn’t pick it up earlier, even though I’d been meaning to. I suppose that is one of the drawbacks to being a reviewer, some books just sit on the pile because they aren’t a priority. (Not sure that it’s much of a drawback though because it means I always have something to read).
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is a great addition to the YA Dystopian genre. Ashala is everything I like in a central character, she is strong, flawed, clever and just a little different. The world Kwaymullina has created is devastated, controlled by fear mongers and a wonderfully 3 dimensional place for Ashala’s story. I won’t spill any secrets of this tightly written, completely engaging book, I wouldn’t want to spoil it. I will say if you love the genre, or cleverly written stories with great protagonists, then this is well worth a look. If you want to check out my review then go here.
Finding gems like this book make reading a joy. It’s why I read and why I write. I can only hope that one day someone will read something I wrote and enjoy it just as much.

Writing Again

This week I actually got some writing done. In amongst everything else I’m doing I came up with a cool short story idea and got the chance to put pen to paper again.

It’s strange I write pretty much every day, I’m never without a notebook or three, it’s just most of what I write these days are reviews. Sometimes that makes me a little sad. Don’t get me wrong I love the reading and I quite like writing reviews, I just really want to have people reading my stories. It’s what I’ve wanted since I was a kid. So there are days when I wonder if starting my review blog is a cop out of some sort. You know I can’t do what I really want so I settle.

I try not to dwell on it though. I still have ideas and still scribble things down, it’s just so much of my time is taken up reading other peoples books and writing about them. It is funny in a way because nearly every book or interview about what it takes to be a good writer includes the tip to read, and read, and read some more. I suppose on the up side I’ve got that down pat.

A funny thing happened at work this week. One of the people I work with asked me to tell her all about the kids books I know. I turned around half joking half serious and said what if I didn’t want someone else using my  knowledge for their gain and I got a lecture on how it’s not all about me and I should know it’s about selling books. Wow, I even less wanted to share what’s in my head after that. The thing is what if I don’t stay at this job I don’t want to give them all my knowledge any more than I want to give them all my contacts, in a way I am kind of feeling used. I love books and I want to put them into people’s hands but it’s hard when in some way it just feels like you’re being used for what you can give them not for what they can give back (the people you work for).

Here’s a thought, you want to know what all these books are about how about you pick one up and read it?

Oh and in brief, when people who work in books bitch and complain about e-books/e-readers and people downloading free books illegally, then turn around and say they download all their movies instead of paying for them, do they even see how stupid that looks?

Holding On

Wow, I didn’t realise it had been so long since I had blogged. I am a week out, thought it was only two but it’s three.

In those three weeks, I have finished the run of the play I was doing and gotten stuck back into work. Other great news is I’m starting to get books to review sent to me which for me is huge news. On the down side I’m still no better at the whole house work thing.

As for the ridiculous deadline I set for myself, well that went out the window. I was really committing to too many things. Not good. It has also got to be said that if I tried to stick the end result would be terrible and this project means too much to me.

In the mean time though I did hit a different deadline, another short story comp. I ended up writing something quite different for me, I’m more into fantasy than sci-fi but somehow I ended up writing this with bigger sci-fi themes. I was quite happy with my end result and hubby wants to know what happens next. I think that is a good sign.

So in between work, trying not to be a pain to my family and the review site I am still getting writing done. I cannot wait for the day I get paid for writing but in the meantime life goes on and I keep holding on to hope.