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text 2018-10-23 06:08
53,726

I had hoped to reach 53,500 today.  This is good.

 

 

I need to remember that I am writing this one for myself.

 

 

 

 

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text 2018-10-22 20:46
Halloween Bingo worked its magic

Whether I finish either of the two books already started -- A Canticle for Liebowitz and The Witch of Blackbird Pond -- is really at this point immaterial.  I only read seven books for the game, but that's almost more than I've read the rest of the year.

 

The past several days have been very discouraging.  I'm good at pretending that all is well, and I can even laugh and have fun when that's not really how I feel. 

 

A couple of weeks ago, my first art show of the season was rained out.  This is my supplemental income, so I felt the pinch pretty hard.  Then last week Moby's trip to the vet took a big bite out of my already trimmed to the bone budget.  Oh, well, it's only money, right?

 

But Moby's stubbornness about getting into and out of the car threw my back into a tizzy.  Not the spasms I've grown so used to that I finally got medication to deal with them.  Oh, no, this was something else.  Slowly, slowly, slowly it's been getting better, but it robbed me of valuable time to prepare for the next art show, our annual open studio tour.  I wanted to spend time on the rock saw cutting more material.  I wanted to sort out more rocks in the workshop.  None of it was possible.

 

Nor could I tackle the yard work needed for the studio tour.  One tree still needs trimming.  Storm debris needs to be cleaned up.  And then there's the dead water heater that BF dragged out by the gate and left there when his knee went out.  It's right in the path visitors take to get to my studio tour exhibit.

 

But I was raised never to make demands, because I wasn't worthy of making demands on anyone else.  It hard to shake that off under the best of circumstances; it's harder when you hit resistance.

 

Last night I gave up on reading.  My back was feeling a lot better and I had finally got some favorable response on what to do about the water heater . . . after my third or fourth request.  I decided maybe I would take a look at one of the two books I have over 50,000 words on but both are stalled.  I began reading in the early afternoon.  I fixed a few small details to conform with a slight alteration I wanted to make in the plot.  When I reached the end, the spot where I'd written some more by hand and then accidentally thrown the notebook pages away, I picked up the thread again.

 

But I was tired.  And my back was hurting again.  So I went to bed with my spiral notebook and pencil, and I scribbled out a couple of paragraphs.  I'm not sure why I picked up the Kindle Fire and posted those two paragraphs on BL, but I did.  Typing on it is a pain, and its autocorrect is the worst in the world.  But when I had finished the two paragraphs, I just kept going.  And going.  And going.  Until my eyes were falling closed even while I was writing.

 

Storms woke the dogs at 3:30 this morning, and then they woke me.  I knew where I wanted to pick up the writing thread, but sleep grabbed me first.  When I woke up again, it was 8:00 and there were errands to run and small but urgent chores to take care of.  Just as I was about to settle down with the laptop and maybe maybe maybe start writing again, someone showed up to help load the dead water heater in the back of my car to take to the recycler.  Half an hour later, another interruption.  And another.

 

It's now 12:30.  Half the day is gone.  But I've copied that late night text to the manuscript file.  I've made some editing changes.  And I've added a little bit, too.

 

In order to write, I need to read.  Halloween Bingo got me back to reading.  Halloween Bingo got me back to writing.

 

52,992.

 

 

 

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review 2018-10-22 18:56
Staked / Kevin Hearne
Staked - Kevin Hearne

When a druid has lived for two thousand years like Atticus, he's bound to run afoul of a few vampires. Make that legions of them. Even his former friend and legal counsel turned out to be a bloodsucking backstabber. Now the toothy troublemakers—led by power-mad pain-in-the-neck Theophilus—have become a huge problem requiring a solution. It's time to make a stand.

As always, Atticus wouldn't mind a little backup. But his allies have problems of their own. Ornery archdruid Owen Kennedy is having a wee bit of troll trouble: Turns out when you stiff a troll, it's not water under the bridge. Meanwhile, Granuaile is desperate to free herself of the Norse god Loki's mark and elude his powers of divination—a quest that will bring her face-to-face with several Slavic nightmares.

As Atticus globetrots to stop his nemesis Theophilus, the journey leads to Rome. What better place to end an immortal than the Eternal City? But poetic justice won't come without a price: In order to defeat Theophilus, Atticus may have to lose an old friend.

 

I read this to fill the Dead Lands square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

There’s plenty of vampire action in this installment of the Iron Druid chronicles to qualify it for my Dead Lands entry for Bingo. Plus it was a great choice for a Friday evening after a long week’s work!

I think this is one of the best books in this series—for once, I was perfectly content with the ending, even though at least one of my favourite characters was lost along the way. Granuaile and Archdruid Owen both get their own chapters and concerns. Owen’s troll troubles were highly amusing and his new Druid school was encouraging. I’m not sure exactly how I feel about Granuaile’s campaign against her step-father, beyond finding it quite realistic that it would take up more time and energy that she had anticipated.

Atticus seems to have finally have got things settled down, at least until the opening of the next (and last) book. A good choice on the author’s part, I think, to finish up before the ideas get feeling to repetitive. There’s only so much fleeing & smiting that he can do before he’s fought & fled from everything and everybody.

I think it’s a toss-up between the first book and this one for my favourite Atticus tale.

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review 2018-10-22 18:14
Evil Librarian / Michelle Knudsen
Evil Librarian - Michelle Knudsen

#EvilLibrarian He’s young. He’s hot. He’s also evil. He’s . . . the librarian.

When Cynthia Rothschild’s best friend, Annie, falls head over heels for the new high-school librarian, Cyn can totally see why. He’s really young and super cute and thinks Annie would make an excellent library monitor. But after meeting Mr. Gabriel, Cyn realizes something isn’t quite right. Maybe it’s the creepy look in the librarian’s eyes, or the weird feeling Cyn gets whenever she’s around him. Before long Cyn realizes that Mr. Gabriel is, in fact . . . a demon. Now, in addition to saving the school musical from technical disaster and trying not to make a fool of herself with her own hopeless crush, Cyn has to save her best friend from the clutches of the evil librarian, who also seems to be slowly sucking the life force out of the entire student body! From best-selling author Michelle Knudsen, here is the perfect novel for teens who like their horror served up with a bit of romance, plenty of humor, and some pretty hot guys (of both the good and evil variety).

 

I read this to fill the Cryptozoologist square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

Demons qualify as a paranormal species for my Cryptozoologist square and this book was a charming little jaunt into the demonic scene! I’m always looking for books concerning libraries and librarians and this one delivered a cute story with interesting problems for our heroine, Cyn, to solve. Like how to kiss that cute guy, Ryan, in her high school musical and how to rescue her best friend from the demonic clutches of Mr. Gabriel, the new school librarian.

Cyn and Annie are typical high school girls, at least until Mr. Gabriel comes to their high school and starts to show overt interest in Annie. How can it be only Cyn who realizes that something is dreadfully wrong with the whole scenario? Neither girl has ever had a boyfriend, but thankfully this only worries them peripherally. Cyn is focused on her future in musical theatre and Annie just wants to escape her house full of small children that everyone expects her to take care of while she’s not in school. Annie has the more serious problem of the two girls, being taken for granted by the adults in her life, and is therefore more open to the seduction of the older Mr. Gabriel.

Lucky Cyn gets thrown together with her classmate, Ryan, and she must struggle to maintain her focus—on the school play, rescuing Annie, saving the school, all while enjoying her new proximity to the guy she’s been crushing on. I appreciated that Cyn was written to enjoy the relationship while not basing her entire self-worth on it and that her friendship with Annie continued to be just as important to her as it had always been.

The dialog is sharp and often cute, the situation reminds me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the book is a whole lot of fun. Apparently there will be a sequel and I will definitely be interested in reading it.

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review 2018-10-22 11:04
The Magic Cottage
The Magic Cottage - James Herbert

by James Herbert

 

James Herbert can always be relied on to present an interesting story and this is one of his best. A couple looking for a house of their own are drawn to a remote cottage called Gramarye ("magic'' in old English) in the New Forest. It's a little over their price range but in need of serious repairs, leaving room for a little negotiation. Midge, the wife, is adamant that she must have this cottage and suddenly the money to make the difference appears in a rational way. She is an illustrator of children's books and the husband, Mike, is a session musician. Jobs arise in their usual haphazard fashion. The one unusual aspect of the transaction is that the previous owner had some odd criteria for whom the cottage could be sold to detailed in her will.

 

Mike is a city boy, but Midge grew up in the country so she adapts to the lifestyle change fastest. Mike takes a little longer to warm to remote life, especially when unexplainable things start to happen.

 

Things get a little weird from the start and progress as the story goes on. To explain further would require too many spoilers, but I can say that someone else wants the cottage for their own purposes. Discovering the nature of those purposes is an important part of the plot.

 

My favorite character was a little squirrel named Rumbo. I have no objection to most of the human characters, but this little guy was a heart stealer. All I'll say about the ending is that there was plenty of action and drama, though the magic aspect deviated into the sensational. It made for a very entertaining read all the way through.

 

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