Daily Archives: February 29, 2008

What I Read This February

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald
Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson
A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane
Wizard’s Dilemma by Diane Duane
The Chains That You Refuse by Elizabeth Bear
Living Well With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia by Mary J Shomon
Fibromyalgia for Dummies (2nd ed.) by Roland Staud and Christine Adamec
The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
White Night by Jim Butcher
Marie, Dancing by Caroline Meyer
How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen (reread)
Striding Folly by Dorothy L Sayers
A Wizard Abroad by Diane Duane

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald: It’s unfortunate that this is the book I read last of all this month, all in one sitting and to help me relax. It ended very unhappily. It wasn’t a bad book, or a bad read; I just timed the reading of it very badly. If I’d been in a different headspace I would have been very impressed by how the book set the protagonist up to fail, and the reader, conditioned by society’s love of stories about people who seem doomed to failure who triumph anyhow, expects the protagonist to prevail.. and, true to the reality of the plot, she doesn’t.

Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson: My imagination works perfectly well, and so I didn’t need to know what happened to Anne before she was adopted by Matthew and Marilla. But I was curious to see how Budge Wilson imagined it, so I picked it up. Lovely design of the book itself. The story, well, it was all right. Nothing spectacular. An interesting snapshot of what life was really like at the time for the region, more than anything else. And when a book is about Anne, you expect her to be the most interesting character, but she wasn’t. I did enjoy the fully imagined parts about Anne’s parents, and watching Budge explore and develop the characters Anne refers to only once or twice in the Montgomery books. A mildly interesting experiment, nothing more. Certainly not crucial for Anne fans.

Marie, Dancing by Caroline Meyer: Yawn. I wish I’d remembered that Cymry read this one; I ran into her single-sentence review after I’d read it and thought, yes, that’s pretty much it: I wanted a book about dancing, and I didn’t get it.

A Wizard Alone etc. by Diane Duane: These are just excellent, solid YA books that walk the line dividing fantasy and science fiction. I have one more to read, and I’m saving it.

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon: I;ve been off Gabaldon since I read Drums of Autumn; I just wasn’t as interested in reading about settlers’ lives in North Carolina. Except I was in the mood for some historical fiction the other week and I picked up the newest one on the Outlander series, seeing only the four I already owned on the bookstore shelf. When I got home I realized they’d been out of stock on The Fiery Cross, which I also hadn’t read, so I picked it up. I read it in about three days and deliberately gave myself a couple of weeks off before starting the next volume. Evidently I really needed those eleven years away from the characters to really enjoy them again.

Hello, Wall…

I have spent the day wandering aimlessly through the copy-edits, forgetting what I’m looking for and waffling between agreeing with the copy-editor and asking to stet some of the capitalization changes. On the up side, I’ve discovered that I want to change how I present the term ‘neopagan’ (Neopagan, neo-pagan, Neo-Pagan, neo-Pagan… gah) because this would make the fourth time it’s been edited differently in a book of mine, and darn it, I’d like to at least present a façade of consistency. (Why did this not occur to me the other three times I went through copy-edits on a book? Who knows?) I changed a few other things I thought were fine on the first pass, and stealthily added about eight hundred words to the hearthcraft book while doing on-line research to avoid working on the copy-edits, plus more in a new document that I’ll have to rewrite and paste into the main file next week. It’s been the kind of day where if I knew this morning what I know now, I would have just spent the day on the chesterfield with a notebook and a pile of real books to sort through, and perhaps accomplished something more useful.

No, wait, I made two loaves of bread and some sweet buns. That was useful. Of course, I forgot about planning dinner, so that may cancel out the production of useful bread products.

Jan came over for our regular Friday writing thing and we had a couple of conversations about conferences and the pagan community that made me think about how I respond to both of these things thanks to past experiences, and decide that maybe, just maybe, the next time I’m asked to be a guest I might say yes.

Tonight is opening night for the show HRH is stage managing, so break a leg, all! (Or a string, if you’re in the orchestra.)