partlyopenbook: (strong)
A follow-up to the previous post, about how many books I'm reading at one time, and what sort of challenge it would be to read everything on the list.

I listed nine books that I am reading intermittently... and it was actually ten. I forgot Mrs Dalloway. My apologies, Clarissa, Virginia. 

The Reverberator, 7/28
Mrs Dalloway, 8/9

Muddle Earth
The Sea, the Sea
The Wings of the Dove
The Little Minister
Rogue One
The Templar Legacy
Down the Garden Path

Blonde is over 700 pages, and I believe it comes close to Wings of the Dove as far as word count goes. Yikes! I haven't started reading anything else... a couple of smaller, non-fiction titles that serve a purpose as far as education goes, but nothing fiction. I'm trying to stick to the goal. 

In other news, I finished writing all of The Buried Cellar on Tuesday, 8/7, the day of the partial lunar eclipse... The book wound up being about 231,000 words long. Since I don't plan to send it out to a collection of agents or publishers, I won't have to drain myself by draining words out of the story during the arduous editing process. I started writing it in February. It is the first novel-length story (over 80,000 words) I've finished since 2012. 

 A lot of little things are getting finished, too. Some decisions, both giant and seemingly insignificant, have become clearer. 
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (read)
After a conversation with a buddy (which took place only online, don't get excited, I still don't have friends), in which he declared that he no longer reads multiple books at a time—only one!—I decided to take a personal inventory. But, seriously, one book at a time? One?

One book at a time! What is this madness?

He declared that it took him too long to read a bunch of books over time than it did for him to read one book.

Valid point. Check!


Am I stretching myself too thin, over books?

But back to the first question: How many books am I reading?

The answer? Nine. A staggering NINE books. Well, not simultaneously, but I'll pick one up whenever I feel like reading that particular style of prose, or swim in that particular story for a little while. The books are pretty varied. Really varied... 

Muddle earth ... Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell (illustrator)
The Sea, the Sea ... Iris Murdoch
The Wings of the Dove ... Henry James
The Reverberator ... Henry James
The Little Minister ... J.M. Barrie
Rogue One ... Alexander Freed
The Templar Legacy ... Steve Barry
Down the Garden Path ... Beverley Nichols
Blonde ... Joyce Carol Oates

There are two Henry James titles on here, you're not just seeing double. The Wings of the Dove is one of his "epics," and the Reverberator is a short novel that he wrote after two of his books, The Princess Casamassima and The Bostonians were critically, er, devalued. That's a tad weird, because The Bostonians has gone on to classic status (from which we've gathered our modern day phrase "Boston Marriage"). The Reverberator (incidentally, one of those "difficult" words to type on type-timing quizzes) is fairly light-hearted, and I am a titch more than halfway through it. And I don't know what those critics were talking about, The Princess Casamassima was fantastic. I read it in three days! 

I started reading BLONDE yesterday, after I knew that I wanted to get through this list and finish all the titles before I started something else. I simply couldn't help it. And I'm not sure if The Little Minister counts, it's more like A Study in Doric than entertainment, and Doric does make for an interesting read, when you're part Scottish and some of your favorite book creations are Scottish. The Templar Legacy could be good if I would just get into it a little more. I've started reading it twice. Down the Garden Path is delightful, but it's more a literary adventure best taken when the gardens are withered and brumal, and not when you're out frolicking about in your own flower patches. 

No doubt the first one to be struck from this list, marked as FINISHED, will be The Reverberator. As for the last, well, either The Wings of the Dove or The Little Minister. 


I'm still working on The Buried Cellar. I've become one of those people that I never thought I'd be, ever: someone who writes while in public, in notebooks, on the tablet, whatever... I hardly write at home now, only second drafts of initial public-typed writings. It's very strange. Since it took me so long to write again, I will take it however it wishes to come to me. 

I wrote the first part of the next book, with plots set out for two more books that are attached to the characters of The Buried Cellar (and also found in four previous books). One book is waiting to be finished, since I've worked out the plot kinks I'm sure I can finish it up in a few months. One book is waiting for an entire rewrite. Several more just want to be written. I don't know what I'll do with all of them when they're done. 

Sunday, 22 February 2015 12:42
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (read)
At the local library's book sale, I scored an autographed copy of Monica Ferris's FRAMED IN LACE.

It's the second time I've rather unwittingly picked up an ordinary paperback only to find it'd been autographed by the author. The other was Brian Jacques' The Salamandastron.

partlyopenbook: CKR (act)
Having a lot of fun this morning looking up vocabulary, slang and phrases from the 18th and early 19th centuries! 

Probably too much fun, and I should do some actual work. 

 56 Delightful Victorian Phrases

How to Speak 19th Century - Brought to you by a guy who saw George Washington wear a "surtout." And "oakum" isn't something you stick in your pipe and smoke... There are a lot of words on here I already know, because, yup, I like old stuff. 

Manly Slang from the 19th Century - is just a fantastic site! It comes up a lot when I'm doing story research. If you enjoy writing historical stuff, be it novels or fanfics, artofmanliness is a stop you have to make along your research journey. (Unless you know everything already.)

Here are some interesting books... 

The Humors of Falconbridge

A Journey to Ohio in 1810

Journals and Letters of ... a Plantation Tutor of the Old Dominion - the Old Dominion in this case is Virginia. Sorry, Canadians. (I was slightly disappointed, too.) I spent most of the morning reading this, and it's really fascinating. Only if you like old things, though. And if you can stand to read awkward English, with lots of ampersands (&'s!), and Random Capitalization of Letters, including Improper Nouns, and Verbs that do not Open sentences. And I skipped the first two chapters...  


Thursday, 22 May 2014 14:31
partlyopenbook: a raccoon looks like it's clapping (yay)
After buying some new athletic shoes (finally!), I went for another walk in the park today. I know for certain that there is indeed a Kentucky Warbler wandering around. According to a few of the sites I've looked at, it isn't unlikely that they'd be here, but it's rare. I'm hoping to contribute to the e-bird database my sightings of Kentucky Warblers in the area! 

Yesterday, I saw a female wild turkey … keeping my distance … and for those of you who've never had the fortune to see a wild turkey, they're much larger than you might think! 

Also yesterday, I saw many Yellow Warblers flitting round! They're pretty, sprightly birds… putting me in mind of butterflies, the way Restarts do… and completely unable to stand still! I have a feeling that Yellow Warblers are a bit more curious about people than most warblers, more along the lines of Chickadees. 

Of The Information Man, I can gladly report that I've done editing work on the first chapter! The character of Mr. Weatherstaff is now, I think, keeping more in line with the rest of the story. He seemed a bit off in the opening chapter, nothing that a little editing couldn't save. It's always interesting going back and working a bit on a piece that you haven't written in for quite a long time. Sometimes you still know the characters really well, and sometimes it takes a time or two to get the edits right. Or you're then required to edit your edits. 

I edit my edits, and then edit my edits again. Storytelling is two-thirds editing. I've said it before (and I'll probably say it again because I'm dull — and it's so true it hurts).  

This morning, I reached the rather sad conclusion that I have not finished writing a novel-length piece since my grandmother's death, and that was in 2012. I've finished a couple of novellas and short stories, and I did work on Dan and Steve for a really long time. Although I've somewhat given up on After Dan and Steve Saved the World. Not forever, just until I get my situation cleared up, and until I can find a way to get that missing notebook (with very valuable story information in it) back from the room in which I'd left it. That's what happens when you leave your living quarters in a hurry. But, in the meantime, I have plenty to work on. I haven't been getting a whole lot of writing done, as I seem to be having trouble with my health (for one thing), my keyboards (when is Apple going to put out a decent keyboard, when, WHEN??), and the location of my computer. Things have been better lately, and I hope to find some good routines that will enable me to spend a decent amount of time on writing work. 

Getting closer to releasing The Information Man. Just another edit, and perhaps one more after that on the Kindle so I know it looks all right, then the formatting … then the release. So, how many steps is that? Three, four? I'll try to keep this ole blog updated as a kind of countdown to the story's release… in case anyone is anticipating it or has just stumbled upon this journal and is curious. 

Latest Book Purchases
This Side of Paradise (F. Scott Fitzgerald) - My second copy. Other copy still at former residence. My favorite Fitzgerald.
Redwall (Brian Jacques) - Decided to pick it up, since I've read two of the prequels (Mossflower; Martin the Warrior).
Field Guide to the Birds of North America (National Geographic Society) - For obvious reasons. Have actually never had a North American field guide to birds before, only for certain regions.
The Thirty-Nine Steps/Greenmantle (John Buchan) - This is a very nice hardbound edition which features two of John Buchan's most famous works. I left a lot of unread John Buchan back at home. There's yet more unread John Buchan on my Kindle.

Still Reading
The Old Maids' Club (almost done!)
The Portrait of a Lady (stalled again)

partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (blink)
Finding the phrase "could care less" in a Bantam-published novel, six pages into said novel, when clearly it was supposed to be "couldn't care less" is just ... just hurtful and disappointing. If it hadn't been a library book, it would've been thrown at the wall.

Who are these editors and readers? Seriously, WHO?

It's not quite as awful as one of the books I read recently, in which it was Big Foot and not Bigfoot, Area 59 instead of Area 51... among other things that made me writhe and roll my eyes. (There might've been reasons for using Area 59 instead of Area 51.)

But "could care less"? It made me rather angry, actually... and then I started to feel sorry for these people.

I did have high hopes for a rom-com that wasn't 1) set in NYC; 2) not told in first-person prose; 3) had an unglamorous woman in it with an unglamorous profession.

Too many books, too many writers... I suppose they're willing to give up quality for a sale. Thus... quantity > quality.

For the record... I couldn't care less. You probably couldn't, either.

edit: ... this is such a pretentious post... I'd given thought to deleting it, but... but no! I want to keep track of items of this variety.

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