Sunday, October 16, 2005

Having lugged home a box of books weighing about 26 pounds, plus another 8-10 pounds in my carry-on bag, I thought it was time I did a short round-up of what I have read so far.
"Catalyst" by Laurie Halse Anderson (YA fiction). I loved her first novel "Speak" and enjoyed this one almost as much. She has a wonderful way with voice, and with seeing right inside a teen character without making her sound whiny or immature. Recommended.
"Olive's Ocean" by Kevin Henkes (mg fiction). I did like this, but felt at times that the character and the story he was trying to tell was bigger than he could manage. Very occasionally it felt slight somehow, and I didn't feel that the whole thing about Olive dying and the ocean was as well handled as it could have been. But still a good book and very accessible to mg readers (who wouldn't be as critical as me!).
"Dead Run" by PJ Tracey (crime fiction) - excellent - up to their usual standard (it's a collaboration like Nicci French), with lots of twists and turns, and female characters who are very real and full of guts.
Two novels by John Harvey while I was away - both very good - that I passed on to a friend.
"Word Work" by Bruce Holland Rogers (writing book). Full of stuff about being a writer rather than writing craft and how-to. I really liked the bits about Pig Will and Pig Won't - did the exercises which was enlightening - and also about writing rituals. Later chapters on rejection and sticking at it also good value. This was a very intensive read, there was so much in it. Worth going back and re-reading bits for more thinking later.
As for writing, I did about 3 hours today (yaaaayyyy!). OK, it was rewriting but what is writing but making it better? This is draft No. 8 of my mg novel, and the ending needs more fixing. Obviously since I have spent a year working on my plotting and have improved on that, now I need to spend another year working on my endings! Thank goodness for honest writing friends who can critique fearlessly. Thanks, you lot.
I have downloaded an alarm clock for my computer which is designed to get me off the internet (my favorite procrastination tool). When the alarm goes off, a siren sounds and the words pop up on the screen, telling me it's time to WRITE!!!

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