Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Plan B

Well, I had a lovely post all typed up and ready to go, but the Alpha Smart I used to type it up can't connect to this ancient computer without lugging the stupid thing away from the wall, so that will have to wait a bit. Sorry!

However, the good news is (well, for me, not so much you) is that between the threat of jury duty looming over me and an ancient (read: s-l-o-w) computer, I've gotten tons done this week. I wonder if it was Fate's way of getting me to focus on the basics of storytelling. You know, the old, butt in the chair, pen and notebook, get off the frackin' computer kind of basics. Whatever it was, it worked.

Speaking of fracking, my buddy Katy Cooper has turned on to the wonders of Battlestar Galactica. I'm totally loving this show! And thank god it's on DVD so we can gobble them up as fast as we want. It is well written; excellently plotted and the characters are all delightfully complex and multi-dimensional.

I am also reading seven books at one time, which is a lot, even for me. A sure sign that I am deep in a book and being the world's most finicky reader. I am currently reading:

Mysteries of the Middle Ages
World Without End
New Moon
The Hallowed Hunt
Lady MacBeth
Book of Unholy Mischief
Kushiel's Justice
and have just started The Hunger Games.

Oops. That's eight.

And speaking of that...brings me to e-readers. You know, I've never thought very much of them, nor been tempted in any way to own one. I love books--real live books--way too much. However, does anyone else get reader's thumb or book lover's elbow?? The former is usually from forcing open fat paperbacks and feels like two sprained thumbs, and the latter is akin to tennis elbow from holding up books that way six pounds or more (I seem to be drawn to 500-1,000 page tomes). The physical hazards of being an avid reader have me at least pondering e-readers and wondering if they eliminate these injuries.


Sherrie Petersen said...

The Hunger Games is on my list, but I've been reading her older books recently, the Gregor the Overlander series. She is such an amazing writer!

I love paper too much to wholly convert to Kindle. Of course, I haven't seen one yet in person so I suppose my opinion could change.

Robin L said...

Sherrie, I loved the first Gregor book. I was shocked the author could make me cry over a cockroach, but she did!

And that's the other thing about a Kindle, would definitely want to see one in person before plunking down the $$. But boy, my thumbs want me to at least think about it!

Dave Johnson said...

The Gregor books are excellent - kind of a modern day Alice in Wonderland, but very dark.

I have the same problem with large books (Robert Jordan anyone?), but it's because I'm obsessive about not cracking the spine!

Robin (on a totally different subject) - I'm reading Frances Hardinge's Fly By Night (both you and Michael Stearns at Firebrand seem to like it). The writing is awe inspiring, but I remember you saying something about it being a bit too verbose (or something like that?) for your taste. It's very odd how the metaphors and descriptions almost bog down the story at times, but each and every one is so juicy I just keep soaking them up. It seems like the kind of ms an agent would automatically reject because it's so overloaded with description (and thus miss a really fun read). Did you have any other thoughts about the style of the writing? It's a very different type of book from anything else that's out there right now.

Robin L said...

Dave, I used to be obsessive about not breaking the spine, but since it required sacrificing my thumbs' health, I decided oh to hell with it.

As for Fly By Night--I loved that book. It wasn't too verbose for my taste (hel-lo? Have you read Theodosia? Or my blog posts?) but initially, the language was so rich and vibrant that I paid attention to it, rather than the story. However, after the first twenty or so pages I got used to it and it just became part of the story fabric.

I agree with you that some of the metaphors or descriptions came close to bogging the story down, but again, they were so rich and delicious, it was hard to complain.

Besides enjoying the book to pieces, I thought it was a good lesson to those who think there isn't room in kids book for that kind of writing. It's such a great illustration of how any rule can be broken, if it is done well. Or, to put it another way, if it works, it works.