like sand throught the hourglass…and reading list as of 9/30/10

so this post was originally going to be my reading list from the past month (and if you skip to the end, you can see an abbreviated version of it.  i actually read far more books this month than i have in the last several).  instead, i started thinking about technology and what a time suck it is.

a friend of mine has had it with facebook.  my boyfriend refused a facebook page for several years for the same general reasons (he has since created one, but only to remind his 100+ friends of his upcoming gigs).  these networking sites are a huge drain on time.  well, except possibly linked in.  i often find myself checking facebook, and my email, several times a day, even though it’s not necessary.  on weekends, it’s usually much less, but still.  the point is the same.

for months, i would rarely turn on my home computer, because i spend my ENTIRE work day in front of one.  most of the blog posts for a lesson in vanishing (and frankly, most of these as well) were actually posted while i was at work (and not always on my lunch break, either).  when i finally decided i needed to make time to flesh out vanishing, i had to force myself to turn on my computer.  it’s been an interesting experience, to say the least.  most of the time, i set a time limit for myself.  sometimes i get quite a bit done.  other times, i found i’ve wasted almost all of it and just to adhere to my self-imposed time limit i have to shut down.

here’s my newest time-suck: scribophile.  it’s an online writer’s community.  at first, i was all gung-ho about it.  in theory, it’s an excellent set up: writers can post work for other writers in the community to critique.  there are forums where you can ask questions.  in order to post any work, you need to critique.  the more you critique, the more karma points you can get.

i’ve had some decent feedback on the first two sections of vanishing that i’ve posted.  mostly they say that i need to show, not tell (which if i’d bothered to take any writing classes in college i’d probably have a better idea of how to do) and that they aren’t all that invested in the character yet.  what i wish i could have is the same people read the whole thing, for consistent feedback.  one person said the pace was too slow; another said it was almost too fast.  probably the most helpful tip i got was to eliminate all of the commas, break apart the sentences, and then put in about 1/4 of the commas i’d taken out.  and no semicolons.  i love my semicolons.

but i spend far too much time browsing through the forums, looking for something to critique, and then actually doing the critiquing.  since i’ve decided to try and limit my time on the site while i’m at home during the week, i usually spend my lunch hour reading and critiquing (or crocheting, but that’s a different story).  and it’s just GOT.TO.STOP.  like, NOW.  i actually enjoy the critiquing, and i’m not at all ashamed to admit that i love when other people like my critiques.  there are actually two stories that i’m super excited about and have been anxiously awaiting each new installment.

but i feel like i need to focus on my own writing.  and i’m not getting a chance to do that with this website.  i also feel like i need to keep posting the installments, just so it’s not six months later and the readers are all, well, why’d it take you so long to get around to the 3rd chapter?  the thing is, vanishing just isn’t done yet.  the blog itself…that conclusion make come sooner rather than later.  i’m impatient; i know exactly how it’s going to go down and i want to get to the end.  but the book itself is slow going.  and i’ve got another CEBS exam to start studying for and i miss reading for fun (well, anything that isn’t a romance novel, which is all i’ve read lately).

anyway.  super long post, and it wasn’t intentional.  below is the reading list.

mockingjay suzanne collins – the final book in the hunger games trilogy, mockingjay answers the remaining questions and while it ties everything up, it’s not done neatly.  katniss suffers more loss, and the battle scenes were well written without being too graphic.  i shipped it off to my sister as soon as i got back from vacation 🙂

some girls bite chloe neill – the title is kind of dumb.  in fact, all three of the books in the chicagoland vampires had kind of dumb titles.  the books themselves, however, are not dumb.  greatly entertained by the first one, i actually went out and bought the second two (the fourth comes out in may 2011) and practically devoured them.  sassy and fast paced, i’d recommend them for anyone who likes vampire romance but wants something a little different.  NOT for vampire purists.

some dream for fools faiza guene – the new french wunderkind, or at least that’s what she’s being billed as.  fools is a slim read, and i think there was a plot, but i’m not sure what it was.  i read the whole book hoping that at some point the story, such as it was, might pop out at me.  it never did.  sometimes i have to wonder about books translated from their original language, and how much is lost in translation.  in regards to this book, i doubt reading it in the original french would have made a difference.

the original of laura vladimir nabakov – this book was odd.  it was like reading a mark danielewski novel, only not quite as convoluted.  the book is the final 138 notecards (color reproductions) that would have been his last book, except he died before he could start it.  he wanted them destroyed; his son ultimately decided to publish them as is.  you can sort of determine the direction of the story, although there were some really random pieces thrown in.  still, his writing is such that it doesn’t matter that there wasn’t much of a plot.  you read his words for the pleasure of the construction of his sentences.

the search nora roberts – not nearly as good as some of her others.  it actually feels formulaic, which is unusual for her.  the descriptions, however, are excellent as always.  the setting is orcas island, which i LOVED.  that’s primarily why i kept reading; i wanted to see if she’d make any geographical mistakes.

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