Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why We Read




Life is busy.  It doesn't matter who you talk to, or how much they try to live simply, if people are honest when you ask "How are you doing?" They will say something along the lines of crazy, hectic or busy at best.   If you are single and live alone, you still have work projects, grocery shopping cleaning, budgeting, etc.  If, like me, you are a mom of school age kids you can add to all that, getting the kids ready for school, helping with homework, volunteering at the school, and THEN if the kids are in a sport or after school activity the list just gets insane. 

So what does this have to do with reading?  

Reading is an escape.  I'm sure you've heard that before, but why?  Is it just because you are transported to another world for a while?  Is it because you get to forget your problems and focus on someone else's for a while?  I think the answer to either of those is yes, but I think they are only partial answers.  I think the real answer goes a little deeper.  See, especially as a woman, there are always at least 5 thoughts rumbling around in our head vying for our attention at any given time.  This is exhausting!  But when you look back at everything we are trying to fit into 24 hours it’s no wonder! 

Because of all that we look for escape.  Some find it in TV or movies, but for me those still leave too much room for multiple thoughts (what’s that car doing in the background, does it have to do with the plot? … why did he just give her that look, is it important?) but in a book you can only read one thought at a time.  Think about it ONE. THOUGHT. AT. A. TIME.  No matter how insanely complex the plot, at best you can read one thought at a time.  I know a lot of people read one word at a time, but let’s say you’re a speed reader… it’s still only one thought at a time.  Either way this is insanely relaxing to the mind.  Instead of trying to think about EVERYTHING on your to-do list at once you can concentrate on the one sentence in front of you.

Yes, you are escaping to another world, and yes you can focus on someone else’s problems but this tiny rest from the hectic pace of our world is, in my humble opinion, one of the things we crave most.  I hope that your reading spurs many quiet ponderings when you look away from the page but even those thoughts are better than to-do lists.

What are your thoughts?  Do you feel that same rest that I do when I pick up a good book?  What do you think of the quote?  Does reading help you in that area?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Mortal Instruments Series



http://www.amazon.com/Cassandra-Clare/e/B004MSU9M0/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1409073125&sr=1-1

Every book has to have a setting, characters and plot... Sorry, but having a daughter in 7th grade doing book reports has to rub off on me a little... So let's start there.  Setting: New York.  Characters: Nephilium, Angels, vampires, werewolves, warlocks, and even the Fairy people (with a few "mundanes" thrown in here and there).  Plot: Shadowhunters/Nephium hunt demons and keep the peace between “Downworlders”, like vampires and werewolves, with lots and lots of battles thrown in (obviously I'm WAY over simplifying, but you get the idea).

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Wimpy Vampires are BORING!





So the last time I wrote I was bemoaning the fact that I had nothing to write passionately about.  You MAY have noticed that since then I skipped a week of writing... Yes, it was due to the same issue.  But today I have something I am very passionate about.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Another "Meh" List




Do writers always have a story in their head?  Do they always have something they could write about? Even when they have writer’s block, is the story still there?  Under the surface?  Waiting to be written?  These are the questions that fill my head because I know I am “supposed” to write a blog post, but I have nothing to write about.  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Terrible Writing - Good Plot



http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005983WCQ/ref=kinw_myk_ro_title

This book is so hard to categorize.  I mean, yes, it goes under werewolves, but as far as good, bad or meh…. That’s a whole other issue.  The writing was TERRIBLE!  If it hadn’t been free… AND I hadn’t been in a hurry to find something to read while sitting in a hospital waiting room there is NO way, after reading the sample, I would have clicked “buy.”    

Number one problem:  please stay in one tense!  As the writer of a blog about books there is a fine line on how I should discuss books.  For example… Yesterday I read this book (past… can’t write if I haven’t already read it) and it is good (present… if you pick it up this instant it will still be the same) you should read it as soon as possible (future… you haven’t read it yet, but you should).  HOWEVER, in the story itself there should be only ONE tense!  Either the story has happened or it is presently happening… I guess it could be future, but who really prophesies a story?  That would just get weird.  However, you can’t switch back and forth, especially in one paragraph!   As you probably have guessed Loftis does this over and over… UGH!   In fact there was more than one time where it went from past, to future, to present in 3 consecutive sentences!  

Next problem:  Loftis doesn’t know how to properly formulate paragraphs—specifically dialogue. 

Correct Example: 
“Can you come over?” said Helen.

“Sure.  I’ll be right there,” Rachel replied.  With that she grabbed her bag and headed out the door.

Incorrect example:
“Can you come over?” said Helen.  “Sure.  I’ll be right there.” Rachel replied.  With that she grabbed her bag and headed out the door.

The second was how every 2nd or 3rd paragraph went.  She couldn’t even consistently get it wrong!

SO…. Why did I read it?  As I said I was in the waiting room of a hospital, which didn’t really leave me much chance of getting something else.  And to be honest the plot was really good.  Very similar ideas to the werewolf side of Twilight which I never felt was explored well enough.  It reminded me a little bit of the Significance series which I reviewed {HERE} and loved.  I guess that’s what kept my attention despite the poor writing and editing.

I actually read the whole thing in one day, which says a lot considering how little free time I have these days.  It obviously kept my attention to the point of continuing on even once I got home.

And now to the crazy part… I even bought the sequel (which was a couple of dollars), but immediately regretted it and returned it.  Even crazier… after I returned it I found myself asking: “But what happens next?”  I just need to get over it and move on to something well written!