I know. It’s been a little while since you last heard from me in any great detail. Some may count that a blessing. Anyway, the main reason is that so much has been going on and I’ve hardly known what to write about because by the time I sit down of an evening, I’m often so knackered that all I want to do is read a book.
This, then, is precisely what I’ve been doing. Lots. Brighton Plot Bunnies have been producing numerous book reviews lately, after having been sent some advance review copies (ARCs) from the good people at Little, Brown publishers, so a few of us have been reading and writing like mad things. We’ve also been reading for the book discussion part of the second meeting of each month, and for October, we’ve been reading The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold. Those who know me and are familiar with my reading habits will know that I wouldn’t usually touch fantasy novels with a ten-foot bargepole. However, this one was suggested by one of our members, so I read it. Laz read it before me and assured me it was good, so I knew already that I was going to enjoy it, as his feelings about fantasy pretty much echo my own, and I trust his judgement. I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed reading it, though, and it kept me up late at night as it’s one to lose yourself in, and short bursts of reading with this just didn’t work for me.
In the meantime, I’d used my charm to blag us some proof copies from a couple of bookshops and thus I began reading The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman. I was attracted by the cover, with its use of Art Deco, and hoped it would be as good as I wanted it to be. Well, I was hooked from the first page, which always bodes well, and that first page also made me laugh. So I’ve had my nose in that. This is a great way to find out about authors you may never have heard of otherwise, and is a way of finding out who you like without having to spend hundreds of pounds on books you’re taking a chance on. After all, it may not fulfil its promise, and the library isn’t always open (though it’s great when it is).
November is coming up and so it’s almost time for NaNoWriMo again. It seems to creep up on you a bit, and then before you realise it… time’s up. Have you got 50,000 words by the end of the month? Shit. Time went quickly. At least it forces me to write. I’ve been mainly editing this year, though not enough, so NaNo will be a good chance for me to get some actual words down. It’s also an opportunity to catch up with people you may not have seen since last year, and the socials are great fun. But mostly it’s for writing. My trilogy, though I love it dearly, needs some major surgery. I was in a very different place when I wrote the first two novels and once I’ve used NaNo to rewrite at least the first part of the first volume, I might even dare to show it to Laz again. His edits for the first few chapters a while back were enough to tell me that it needed work. That, and the fact he wasn’t dead keen to read any more. The idea is that people don’t want to close the book (or file, or whatever it happens to be at that stage). So that made me think about editing it in a very different way. This is the first time I’ve been with someone who not only encourages me to write and nags when I haven’t written for a while, but who also writes himself (and is pretty fucking good at it, too). From having had years of being made to feel both reading and writing were a ‘waste of time’ (over the course of two relationships), though I never actually bought that from anyone, this still feels like a novelty and it’s something I’ll always appreciate, perhaps the more so because of that previous lack.
Writing is a part of who I am and a part of who I always want to be. It’s in me. It is me.