Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Erin Go Braugh

Happy St. Patrick's Day and all that.

I have nothing green to wear. Fortunately, the only person I'll probably see today will be the J-man, eliminating exposure to pinching. Already gave J-man his pinch. He promptly disappeared into the bedroom and reappeared with green boxers.

I informed him that showing his boxers to the general public as proof of his Irish would be unacceptable.

The only green in my closet is an ancienct Boston Celtics sweatshirt. I put that on over a blue-green shirt. Finished the look off with gray sweatpants. Sexy.

The OtherWorld, by Mercedes Lackey and company.

Actually didn't really "finish" it. The paperback was a reprint of two earlier books, Wheels of Fire and When the Bough Breaks, packaged as one. I read the first book, Wheels of Fire, skimmed the second and then moved on.

The premise isn't bad and features a new spin on the "changeling" myth. Elves live among us, although few of us know it. Because they are long-lived and don't have many children themselves, elves cherish children (not in a creepy Michael Jackson kind of way). When an elf encounters a child who is being abused or exploited, the elf does everything possible to help the child, including taking them away to the land of Fairy and leaving a "changling" in their place.

Both books in The Otherworld are centered around child abuse. In both plots, a child or children with extraordinary abilities (read: psychic) is/are being abused.

The storylines are serviceable. The writing is...serviceable. Just..."serviceable." I found the writers' voice without much...sparkle. "Voice" is one of those undefinable characteristics in writing. The term is used a lot, but nobody can really explain what it means. For me, it's when the writer's personality bleeds through into the prose. It's rather like being in the room with the author. And ultimately, it's a question of whether I want to spend several hours with this person, with his/her voice.

The writing in The OtherWorld was serviceable, but bland. Not recommended.

(I've found that the act of reading novels/stories that lack a good "voice" saps my creative energies. So rather than reading the second novel, When The Bough Breaks, I moved on.)

Still Reading...
Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella.

So far, so good. The premise: Emma Corrigan is a junior marketing assistant with Panther Corporation. She's also a nervous flier. On a flight back from a failed marketing junket, her plane hits turbulence and she comforts herself with a tad too much vodka and by blurting out all her secrets to a stranger in the next seat. All her secrets, from poisoning of a co-worker's office plant, to her boyfriend's failed attempts to find her G-spot.

A couple days later, the stranger arrives at Panther Corp., and, loe and behold, he is the legendary JackHarper, founder of the company. Oops.

Hilarity ensues.

In the Queue...
-The Waterborn, by Greg Keyes.
Epic fantasy, which I don't read much of lately. But I like Keyes's "voice."
-The Assistants, by Robin Lynn Williams
Jacket blurb describes it as "wicked, laught-out-loud" novel. About five people trying to make their mark in Hollywood.
-Bridget Jones, The Edge of Reason, by Helen Fielding.
Follow-up to the first novel with the same character. More Brit chick-lit.

I'm a raging sexist pig. Oink.

So far, some of my glowy-est critiques have come from men. Men, on what is a heart-on-its sleeve romance. Go figure. So my earlier comment about men and romance was apparently way off base.

Of course, "The Shapeshifter's Challenge" isn't the kind of cheese featured in some romance. No over-wrought descriptions of bulging biceps and heaving bosoms (the kind of crap that gives romance a bad name.)

Anyway, I stand corrected.

I'm-a thankin' I may ship "Shapeshifter" off to Writers of the Future rather than "Meddling in the Affairs of Dead Mules." I'm still wrestling with how to deal with the exposition in "...Mules" and won't have it ready in time for the April deadline.

Had a terrif brainstorming session with Kristin, yesterday. Gonna get cracking on Pinnochio's Dream. Today I'm gonna try and get inside the antagonist's head and write the scene where he meets the protagonist (female).

No word from...anyone...lately, sub-wise. Course, I did have a recent acceptance, so I should chill out.




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