Between the day job, holiday preparations, a competition, competing social possibilities, and my cat getting sick it’s been a rollercoaster of ups and downs and too much at once. Even the good stuff has involved logistics that already stretch my overstretched brain. Long periods of waiting culminate in swift decision making–two things I’m particularly bad at.
Yeah, I know I need to take a chill–that’s what the holidays are for, right? Even so I feel like I’m juggling knives and can’t let a single one drop, ever.
No, I don’t smoke. I’ve never smoked. But even so…via GIPHY
So, writing has rather fallen by the wayside. The waiting gives me enough time to brainstorm but not enough for butt in seat, words on screen. What little I’ve written bores and frustrates me.
My hopes for the new year involve a schedule that calms down enough for me to work through the writer’s block. And for all my failings I have learned about my writing process: if I keep hammering I do break through to where the words flow again.
Beyond that, I’ve not got many goals for the new year (I’m bad at goal setting. Maybe learning to do so should be my goal…).
What are you looking forward to/working on/planning on for 2018?
‘Cos all the cool kids are doing it. Mind, just because I read it this year doesn’t mean it was written this year. And I’ve mixed up fiction and nonfiction just for giggles.
Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly: described as “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” by way of “Cabaret” and it is, in all the best ways. Follow the denizens of Weimar Germany-like Amberlough City’s fringes as they navigate the perils of the hyper-conservative “Ospie” takeover.
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn: based on the real WWI network of women spies in occupied France. I love the characters, especially the retired spy Evie, busted hands and all. It’s cliché but this really is a page turner, with a satisfying finish. Run, do not walk.
The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff: recommended for the prose alone-I didn’t know small details could show subtext and stretch tension like this! The story unfolds slowly and is less about Einar/Lili’s transition and more about the supportive marriage that made room for such transition. So very recommended.
Forbidden Science: The Journals of Jacques Vallée 1957-1969: Vallée came in on the ground floor of two mid-century developments: computer programming and government research into UFOs. His journals document a moment in which the government took UFO research seriously while questioning the long-term utility of computer programming – oh have times have changed!-and how he manages to hold both the scientific and the mystical in equal regard. I’m definitely picking up the next volume.
Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in the Digital Age by Kristen Lamb: if you’re an author who’s scared of social media, fear no more. Connecting with readers and potential readers is easy, and [gasp!] fun! Though fluent in Twitter and Facebook this book still provided some good ideas and is a good primer for newbies overall.
The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin: come for the fully formed, Ancient Egypt-inspired fantasy world but stay for the murder mystery and conspiracy. A thriller/fantasy in a ‘verse quite unlike any other.
A Song of War: A Novel of Troy by the Historical Fiction Authors Co-op (Kate Quinn, Christian Cameron, Libbie Hawker, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Russell Whitfield, Stephanie Thornton, S.J.A. Turney, Glyn Iliffe): how these folks keep taking known stories and infusing them with crazy tension I will never figure out, but every one of these collaborations keeps me on tenterhooks until the very last page.
Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and Its Legacy, from the Seventies to the Twenty-first Century by Simon Reynolds: I’ve always known more about glam fashion than music and I sought to rectify that. I’ve enjoyed Reynolds exhaustive, entertaining work on rave culture and early 80’s post-punk and this tome (and it is a doorstop) did not disappoint. If you want history and discography and dirt and analysis, this is your one stop shop. Reading it only a year after David Bowie’s death (and Reynolds included a nice eulogy for Bowie in his final edits) made it all the more timely.