Row80 – NaNo Week 1

nanowrimo1 Well I’ve been pretty silent on here this last week.  Why?  Because all of my words have been going into my NaNo project.  And guess what!!  Now that I have my story all plotted out, it’s super easy for me to make my daily word count goals.  I’m talking SUPER easy…as in, I can regularly write over 1,000 in a 30 minute sprint.

So my RoW80 goals for November were pretty much to do NaNo.  And that is what I’ve been doing.  So far, on the evening of the 9th day, I’ve written over 27,000 words.  That means I’m averaging over 3,000 words a day.  That’s just crazy.  If I keep this up…or should I rephrase that…after keeping this up I’ll have a complete rough draft by then end of the month!

That’s just crazy talk.  And it’s very exciting.  I can’t wait to have it all written, put together in 1 document, and then I’ll print it and grab a red pen…because honestly it has to be a red pen…and read what I’ve been working on for the last couple months.  That also terrifies me, but mostly I’m excited.

I hope everyone else is having as much success as I am.

RoW80 – First Week Check In

Well I’m one week into the first RoW I’ve actually started from the beginning.

As far as plotting/outlining.  I’m doing awesome.  I’ve figured out the final showdown.  I’ve figured out the resolution.  Sure, some of the details are fuzzy.  But I have a pretty good idea about where I want to go and the route I want to take.  So I’m pretty excited about that.  As in, I’m super excited.  I can’t stop talking about it.  I’m actually starting to feel sorry for my husband…he keeps changing the subject but after about 2.3 seconds I bring it right back.

My word count goal was 1000 words 3 days a week.  I didn’t do that.  I did write 3000 words, just not in 3 days…so I give myself a gold star for achieving that goal.  I definitely achieved the heart of the goal this week.

I’m doing great at not rereading/editing my work so far.  That’s definitely been the easiest goal thus far.

No flash fiction this last week, but that was an every other week goal.  So I need to pump one out this upcoming week.  Hopefully I find this prompt somewhat more inspiring than the last.  Although, if I was being honest, working with an uninspiring prompt would probably be very good for me.

This upcoming week might be a bit of a challenge.  I work the first half of the week and then my husband leaves town for the second, so I’ll have to carve writing time between work, sleep (which I don’t get nearly enough of as is), and taking care of the kids.  Hopefully my momentum at figuring out the final bit of my book can keep me going through this week!  I believe Hemingway wrote this quote: Write drunk, edit sober.  I’ve adopted that mantra…only I made it fit my life: Write exhausted to the point of delirium, edit rested.  I still haven’t done any editing, so I might have to amend the last bit…it might be more of: Write exhausted to the point of delirium, edit hopped up on caffeine.

Any suggestions on how to write when your energy tank is most assuredly less than optimal?

I Am Number Four – Pittacus Lore

Aliens

Super powers

Lame-o love story

I must admit, I enjoyed this book.  I’ve called books gateway drugs in a previous post.  And this book falls into that category.  It was delightful to read.  Granted, throughout the book I criticized it: poor choices…poor dialogue…poor love story.  Did all of those flaws stop me from reading the book?  No.  Did they slow me down?  No.

Will I stand on the rooftops and proclaim this the best book I’ve read in the past week?  Heck no.  But did it keep me entertained?  Yes, yes it did.  Is it currently introducing young teens to the sci fi genre?  Yes, yes it is.  Will those teens go on to read other books?  Hopefully, oh hopefully.

So, do I recommend this book?  I’m going to be a little ambiguous about this.  I think that if you are able to read books without getting caught up in flaws (as long as they’re not tooooo big) and you want some light hearted reading for a couple hours, this could be an option.  Then again, I could recommend some much better easy reads that you will probably enjoy more.  So maybe, read it if you want.  Like it for what it is: a simple story with a simple (albeit predictable) plot line.

I am Number Four – Pittacus Lore

Spoiler alert:  The best part of this book was the dog.  I’m not even kidding.  But as you know, in books, dogs die.  Not. In. This. Book.  Finally a book where the dog lives.

The Magicians – Lev Grossman

Other worlds

Magic school

Slightly offputting

So I just finished The Magicians.  It sounded very intriguing, comparisons to Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, but also compared to Narnia.  This was a story where the magical world you enter might not be as welcoming and heartwarming as Narnia was.  So I was intrigued, and excited to read it.

My first complaint about this book is virtually the same complaint I made about the Amulet of Samarkand.  I didn’t like the characters.  Any of them.  They were mopey, unsatisfied, undriven, and full of self pity.  All right, so there may have been one character with a little more drive and a little more reader sympathy, but she was peripheral for a good chunk of the book and it wasn’t until the very end that she became multi-faceted enough to really be interesting.

My second complaint is about how similar Fillory was to Narnia.  But it was twisted and dirty.  And while I think this darker version was very well done, it made me question some of the simple and good views I have a Narnia.  I selfishly didn’t like this because I loved Narnia, I especially love Narnia on a very simple and shallow level, yes I know it is virtually one long biblical allegory.  But Narnia, a tale about four kids and a witch and magic lion…that story I love, and I hate that for even a little while this book has made me look for dark, twisty corners in Narnia.

Personally, I won’t recommend this book to fellow readers.  If you want a magical world, go read about Narnia, or Oz, or Hogwarts.  This book left a sour taste in my mouth and I would have rather spent that time reading (or rereading) some other book, some better book.  Or sleeping, I like sleeping and I don’t do enough of it 🙂

The Magicians – Lev Grossman

Hunger Games – Not Quite A Review

Breathtaking

Un-put-downable (I don’t think that is a word)

Amazing

I can’t fully review this book (or the whole series) because I became so enthralled with it that I couldn’t put it down.  I devoured the first book in one sitting, seriously, I didn’t even stop to go to the bathroom.  I was completely immersed in the world that Collins created.

So, by that, I can say it is a great read.  And I can’t emphasize that enough.

But, I also read it so fast that there may have been flaws.  I certainly didn’t see them when I read it.  So now I have to reread it (dang 😉 ) to fully review it.

Regardless, read it, enjoy it, and don’t ponder about whether or not it’s great literature.

Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins, Katniss Everdeen

The Tombs of Atuan: a review

Sequel (to A Wizard of Earthsea)

Slow (to start)

Revealing

The second book in Le Guin’s Earthsea trilogy could be a stand alone novel.  As either part of the trilogy or alone it is a masterpiece.

I liked this book so much more than the first (see it’s review here).  I felt the protagonist (not Ged but Arha) was much more relatable.  The majority of the book is developing her character and setting her up for the climax.  Finally towards the end of the book she meets Ged, who is the catalyst for a deep self analysis and through that analysis she makes some powerful discoveries and choices.

Le Guin doesn’t veer from the style she worked with in the first book.  If you find slower, more descriptive books boring this may not be your cup of tea but it’s so well done it might change your perspective on this style of writing. It’s done to such a high caliber that I would encourage anyone to read this book.  It’s rather short, so it’s not a big time commitment, but it is very worthwhile.

The Tombs of Atuan

And now I’m off to read the third book (which I purchased from yet another thrift store).  I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

Descriptive

Immense (yet short)

Magical

I’ve looked at the Earthsea trilogy throughout the years but I never read it.  Then I saw that Anna over at Booknotized had read it.  And really, even without the review that was enough to get me to give it a chance.  That and I found the first two books of the trilogy at the thrift store last week.  Boo-ya!

I thought this book was a very slow moving book.  There is a lot of description and often I felt that it was through the description that the plot moved.  Frequently I find slow moving books boring.  However, this book was anything but boring.  The description created an absolutely believable world.  The characters moved, spoke, and acted in ways that fit with the world that Le Guin created.  Even though the book is description heavy, I never felt I was led away from the plot just to read pretty descriptive prose, every word painstakingly chosen to be true to the world of Earthsea.  And while  I can appreciate the challenge of a an epic fantasy tale being told in such sparse language, Le Guin never shows the work it required.  Instead it felt as though she had effortlessly recorded this detailed world.

The protagonist, Ged, in the folly of his youth releases a demon.  And now he is the only that can save himself and possibly many, many others from the evil the demon would unleash.  In the climax of the book the two face.  It is good versus evil.  It is dark versus light (and as I’ve admitted before, that is my kind of conflict!).  And in a beautiful twist the climax is resolved.  The true beauty of the twist is how simple and logical it is yet the twist isn’t predictable or common.

I can’t wait to read the second novel.  And I should probably go get the third (because I hate waiting for books when I’m in the middle of a series).  If you’re a lover of fantasy this book needs to be added to your list.  And this book needs to be discussed.  Have a friend read it too, so you can have someone with whom you can converse.

A Wizard of Earthsea