Five Things I Am Into Right Now, November 2014

BoredI am suffering the case of the blahs. Oh, this is not a bad thing related to my life or anything, this is related to books. I’ve done the book reviews for my local NPR station now for over a year and half. That is over 30 books. (You can listen and read my reviews via the links on this page of my site.)

See, I’m struggling through a book review by a very popular author. Some people will love the book, I am certain; others will hate it. Me, I’m just mildly disappointed and that is what gives me the blahs.

Let me start this over… I love writing a good book review. There is nothing more fun for me as a reviewer than breaking down a good book, introducing it to a listener/reader and discussing why the high points are the high points. Talking about good books is my soapbox and I like being on it, thank you very much!

I am not Dorothy Parker. She used to take a glee in writing a bad review. Me, I find it disappointing. I can do it certainly, and they are easy to do, but they do not give me pleasure. Also, I like to say more than simply “I don’t like it.” I go out of my way to explain why something doesn’t work. Okay, this could be argued as a second soapbox, but not as big or important as the other one.

But there are no soapboxes when the book is a blah, middle-of-the road, half-a-shoulder-shrug. In a way, I see this blah around me in the environment too, as all the days are gray and getting colder. Of course, the review will be written in a week or so and my life will go on. I can’t guarantee anything regarding the weather.

Let’s move on to happier thoughts! Here are the five things I think are awesome right now. Continue reading

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Talking Short Stories in Today’s Writing World

When I was a young writer I was obsessed with short stories.

There was something about them that felt very freeing for me as a newbie; because, they don’t come with the same burdens a novel does, and even in my young writing days I could see that. If you don’t like a story, stop writing it! It’s not like you lose months and years of work like you would on a novel. For a short story you lose, what?, a week in the most.  I don’t know about you, but I can lose a week.

And you can experiment; and, boy, did I like to experiment in stories! I had to try everything! Sci-fi, fantasy, horror, romantic, comedy, parody, etc.; heck, I even wrote my own Chaucer Canterbury tale, if you can believe it! Continue reading