Review: Me Talk Pretty One Day

Me Talk Pretty One Day
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I always wonder at reviewers who describe Sedaris as “screamingly funny” or similarly, because I find his humour more quiet and understated. No less enjoyable, but it only sometimes makes me chuckle out loud (which I did in the doctor’s waiting room with this book). I do love his turns of phrase, however, and his knack for touching upon things we might think but never admit to–thus making some of us feel a bit more “normal.” This collection struck me as a bit more melancholy than some of his others, but I did enjoy it very much.

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Review: Death Comes to Pemberley

Death Comes to Pemberley
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book, and returning to these characters, but I did have a few quibbles with it. I felt it went on far too looooooong, and I wasn’t truly satisfied with the resolution of the mystery. I think, also, that any reader not familiar with P.D. James and her style might not make it through the entire thing. However, it was fun to see the characters again (if they didn’t seem *quite* right at times) and visit this world.

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Review: 2016 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide

2016 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide
2016 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide by Maggie Allen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Full disclosure: I have a story in this book. However, I had not read any of the other stories before publication, so I came to them as any reader would.

This is another wonderful collection of science fiction stories for readers both young and old. I think it fills a niche that has not been addressed as much as it should in the past couple of decades: science fiction for young readers. There’s been lots of fantasy (and I’m not complaining about that), but certainly a paucity of science fiction for this age group. I think that’s important because sometimes science fiction is the route by which young people come to a love of science.

The book also offers a much-needed diversity in protagonists and settings, throwing wide the doors to girls (but not leaving out the boys) and less well-represented ethnicities. It’s never forced, never contrived, just a broad offering of voices and characters with stories to tell across the breadth of the book. The collection offers a lovely array of times, places, and ideas, which should please anyone with a taste for great science fiction.

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Friday Desk Report – February 5, 2016

perlerbeadtypewriterIt’s been a while since the last Friday Desk Report–mainly because I haven’t been able to be at my desk, so there’s been little to report. However, between medication, time, and the stellar efforts of my wonderful physiotherapist, I’ve been inching my way back. I’m picking up the threads of the novel draft again, and making some progress on a new short story. The novel is certainly the more challenging of the two, since one might visualize it as something like this:

Tangled_leads

instead of something more like this:

loom

but that is what editing is for, right?

Actually, those two pictures make a pretty good summation of the state of life in general and what I’m trying to get back to. All with time, I guess.

I’ve also just joined up for Kobo Writing Life and put The Murder Prophet there. It was available on Kobo before, through Smashwords distribution, but I wanted to explore the opportunities that Writing Life might provide. I’ve heard other authors talk about good experiences with it. I’m not sure of all the ins and outs of it just yet, but I’m sure I’ll learn as I go. I have a few short stories published since To Unimagined Shores came out, so I’m thinking about maybe putting together a small short story pack. Just a notion I’m noodling, so we’ll have to see where it goes.

On the Third Person Press side of things, we’re looking at two manuscripts right now, so although it’s seemed quiet on that front, things are happening behind the scenes. More on that as things develop.

So it’s been a slow and rather painful December and January, but as the daylight hours begin to grow a bit longer, a few minutes at a time, so do things begin to get back to “normal” at the desk. What will it look like by the time spring is actually here? Time will tell.

Away from the desk, I’m doing a sketch-a-day challenge this year to work on my drawing skills. I always say I’m better at colouring than drawing–my forays into coloured pencil art¬† attest to that–but this year I’d like to get a little better with the sketching. I am calling it sketch-a-day, but am allowing myself some leeway on that. Some days I might just do some colouring or other art, and if I miss a day, I’m allowed to make it up later. Right now I think I’m two drawings behind, but I’ll catch up on those on the weekend. Sometimes the hardest part of the undertaking is deciding what I feel like drawing.

Things I drew (or attempted to draw) this week:

  • flowers from photos on Instagram
  • a lamp in my living room
  • sketch plans for a clockwork rocket
  • a tree in a winter field

Loom image by Ladyheart at morguefile.com