What I’ve Been Reading

The #WritersRead theme for May was a book on writing. I decided against reading a craft book as I thought it might distract me from the more important task of drafting The City Without End.  The theme for June was a graphic novel. I always read plenty of those, so for this update, I’m going to feature Star Wars: Darth Vader – Dark Lord of the Sith, Vol. 1: Imperial Machine.

Darth VaderI adore Star Wars comics. I find them much more compelling than the movies, probably because each series tends to focus on a single character or a small group. The humor that I loved from the original three movies is nearly always present, though sometimes dry and subtle–especially in the case of Darth Vader. He can be a funny guy. No, really!

Imperial Machine starts right at the beginning. Vader has just become Vader and Darth Sidious has sent him on a mission to get his legendary red lightsaber. There were twists and turns enough to keep me guessing, even though I might have been the only one. See, the thing is, I’ve always felt a kernel of good continued to exist inside Vader’s mostly machine body. That he hasn’t forgotten *everything.* So when I read these comics, I’m always looking for the glint, for the tiny bit of Anakin Skywalker from before he, well, lost his way. I think the writers (in this instance, Charles Soule, look for it too because every now and then a question will pop up and you really do have to wonder how Vader will answer it.

Not going to say more, just going to recommend this series, and the one that follows it subtitled Vader. If you’re a fan, it’s great stuff, even when Triple Zero (Dr. Aphra’s murderous friend) is stealing the show.

Continue reading “What I’ve Been Reading”

Writing Short

I love short things. My favourite aunt is a tiny and compact ball of energy. She’s like a rogue asteroid that actually makes everything she bumps into better. My co-writer, Jenn, is short. I always forget how short she is until we meet up. I need a longer word to do her justice, though. Jenn is awesome.

I always order the shorti hoagie from Wawa because believe it or not, there is too much of a good thing. Too much egg salad is not a good thing.

A short stack of pancakes is the perfect stack.

I’m not here to tell you about all the short things I like, though. I’m here to talk about short stories. I love short stories. I like reading them and I like writing them. Continue reading “Writing Short”

What I’ve Been Reading

The #WritersRead theme for April was banned books. I chose to read Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan. It’d been on my Kindle for a while, so this was a good opportunity to check it out.

I’d imagine the reason this book appears on so many banned lists is right there in the title. Two boys kiss. The kiss is very long (over thirty hours long, in fact), as these two boys are intent on breaking the Guinness Book of World Record for Longest Kiss. Surrounding this amazing stage are several other stories, other boys who are connecting, looking to connect, and missing connections. All of this is relayed from the point of view of dead gays. In other words, the book is thoroughly gay. Unbelievably, there are a lot of folks who still have a problem with that.

I am not one of them. As any regular visitor to my blog will know, I often write about boys kissing. I think kisses are wonderful. I like to write about all people kissing. Continue reading “What I’ve Been Reading”

What I’ve Been Reading

The #WritersRead theme for March was children’s and middle-grade novels. I chose to read one of my daughter’s most beloved books, Holes by Louis Sachar.

I have around 3000 books sorted onto shelves around my home. The books I’ve read are housed in a room we call the library (read: The Library Project). Upstairs, my daughter has two crammed bookshelves, my husband has one, I have another in the bedroom I call my TBR shelf (over 300 titles and counting) and our guest bedroom hosts two bookshelves, one full of books from my childhood and one called the denial shelf. The books on the denial shelf don’t actually exist.

What may surprise you, however, is how few books there are on the children’s bookshelf Before the age of twelve, I didn’t really like to read. What happened when I was twelve? Our family took a vacation to Lake Michigan and over the bed, in the room I shared with my sister, was a shelf of well-read paperbacks. Bored to distraction by the rain that prevented us from swimming, I picked one at random (probably the skinniest) and read it. The book? Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. And so began my love affair with science fiction, dystopias, and by extension, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction. Forty years later, I’m still going. Continue reading “What I’ve Been Reading”

What I’ve Been Reading

The #WritersRead prompt for February was a book set in the future. I chose to read Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks.

I approached the book with a lot of misconceptions. I had expected it to be a long and difficult read, full of stuff I just didn’t get. But while the world Iain M. Banks has created (The Culture) is thoughtful and Consider Phlebas contains many literary themes, it is, at its core, an entertaining novel of high stakes adventure.

I have long wanted to read the Culture novels by Iain M. Banks but kept putting them off for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I started with the wrong book. I tried to read The Algebraist (not part of the Culture series) and had a very difficult time. I didn’t finish the book. Being so long ago, I barely remember anything but being mystified and bored (most likely due to being mystified). But there was something about the book that made me keep trying until I eventually put it aside, figuring I’d try again on audio sometime. Continue reading “What I’ve Been Reading”