Saturday, November 4, 2023

I quit writing and October Reads

October 2023

I quit writing in October of 2023.

I've been struggling with creating good stories to write and I toil and toil over my manuscripts and making the storyline work. I haven't had new ideas for a usable new story in years. I come home from work, open up the laptop and I stare at old manuscripts for hours, nit-picking and staring at it, and starting all over.

It just struck me how little I physically read, I usually listen to audiobooks while driving, and you miss so much. I've talked about it, and I have a lot of books that I needed to read read, so I decided to start reading as much as I could again, too.

I really hoped this would help with my lack of creativity. Stephen King said, “If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” Irony is that I listened that book, I didn't read it. And I think the lack of creativity comes from me not physically reading.

Money has been problematic for me, too, and I think I'm subscribed to a lot of streaming services, too. I have some book subscriptions that I need to read and review, as well, so I thought, I might as well get into it. I'm cancelling many of my streaming services and replacing them with books. I'm going to take a break from writing fiction so I try to rebuild my creativity muscles. This is a diary of how it goes.

If you aren't following my Goodreads, here's the link, please add me, and here's my October reads:

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik - a good book, but the writing was not easy for me to comprehend and the style was not the kind of read best. The main character, El, (aka Galadriel) is wizard who is trying to pass through the Scholomance school of magic. While it's a boarding school, it's not Hogwarts, but it's a building built in the void between Earth and another dimension, and it's crawling with malia, monsters trying to kill the students- and about half of them get killed. Yet, why would any parent send their kid here? Well, trying to survive the world as a wizard without magical education has a higher chance of death than in the Scholomance. El is the weird girl without a lot of friends OR an magical Enclave, and she's fighting to survive and learn, when attempts on her life are made by students, and Orion Lake, a boy in her class who's an enclave kid, saves her. El is sharp and angry and I could see the Scholomance turning her into a serial killer, yet she's fighting against it. The magical abilities were a little difficult to understand, there were a lot of info dumps, but that's not always a bad thing. It might be a great read for someone who likes info dumps, but there's always tell, not showing, which is not for me.

The Witch of Eisenwald Forest by C.P. Morgan - such a good dark fairy tale! Well-written and very creepy retelling of Hansel and Gretl. Probably my favorite of all my October reads. The Village of Eisenwald is dying, but outside Zelka believes she can save it with her foreign abilities, but does not consider the dark place they came from. I really liked this one, it was very descriptive and pretty grown-up. Recommended!

Omen of Ice by Jus Accardo - A fun fairy read, I found that I struggle with comprehending the world-building at the beginning of books, but if I write a lot of notes in my Goodreads updates, I can write a decent review and I can refer back to it, and it makes it easier to enjoy the rest of the book. I also found with this one that I absolutely DO need to read quickly. I can't read a few pages and put it down for a few days and come back. I have to schedule my books and make sure I read it regularly, and not just five pages, I try to read a minimum of 100 pages at a time. I got this book from Owl Crate's YA subscription service. I wouldn't normally choose it for myself, but I'm glad Owl Crate sent it to me. There were Druids and Fairies, and a strong female character that reminded me a lot of Fairy Loot's most recent YA book, Bonesmith.

Bonesmith by Nickie Pau Preto - a medium fantasy read, and technically, I read this September, but I wanted to include it. It was from Fairy Loot. In this medium to high fantasy world, Smiths are people born with certain abilities and it usually runs in family, like a hair color or something. Our main character is a Bonesmith and doesn't like other people very much, but her uber-independence backfires on her in her final test, and she ends up stationed at the border wall in the Dominions. She's never known her mother, and her grandmother doesn't like her much, but her father had her a long time ago with a mystery woman she's not allowed to know anything about. The battle was between the Ironsmiths and the Ghostsmiths. As Wren goes through the story, she learns more about the hidden history written by the victors.

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