On Reading, Time, & Creativity

It’s been a long, very busy couple of weeks, and things are just starting to get back to normal (though I hesitate to say that, because you know what happens next…). Hence the no blogging thing. I don’t really know how to describe it, and I haven’t really been in a “funk”, so to speak, just…treading water and trying to get my routines back to where they should be. Only every time I think it’s gonna happen, something else happens, and I get waylaid, and then my routines get all screwy and I don’t get anything done at all.

It’s annoying.

The other thing that’s annoying is picking up a box of books free from a former co-worker who was cleaning out her shelves, and staring at the box in my living room wondering when I’ll ever have time to read them all.

I used to be a voracious reader. A typical paperback would take me two, maybe three nights to finish…maybe four if it was incredibly thick. Now the same size books take me weeks to finish, and it’s generally because I short-change my very limited reading time with writing or just getting ready for bed (after staying up too late writing or whatever). Fifteen minutes a night is okay for short stories and such, but it really stretches a novel out to turn-around times bordering on the ridiculous.

Needless to say, I’ve been having trouble sitting down and writing, too. There are some writers out there who insist they just don’t have time to read, but I firmly believe that reading is important for writing – they go hand in hand. You have to fill the well, so to speak. Creativity in, creativity out. And I’ve definitely been neglecting my “well”.

What to do, what to do? The obvious answer is to read more. But when?

Well, I’m not sure. I have a few ideas, but need to see if they’ll work with existing routines, which is not always as easy as it sounds. But I have a feeling that if I get back to reading more, writing more will come naturally as well. Or I hope it will, anyways.

Books I have currently in progress are: a short story/poem collection by Neil Gaiman, and “About that Kiss” by Jill Shalvis.

What are you reading? And if you’re a writer, do you think how much (or little) you read affects how much or little you write?


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Talkin’ Books: November 19, 2014

Books Finished:
Moon Shine by Vivian Arend

Kindle Books In Progress:
One in a Million by Jill Shalvis
Tatterdemon by Steve Vernon

Print Books in Progress:
Invasive Species by Joseph Wallace
Johnny the Homicidal Maniac: Director’s Cut

Comic Books:
Harley Quinn #11

It’s been a good week for books/reading. As I mentioned last week, I finished the 11th issue of Harley Quinn after I finished writing/scheduling that post, and it was…interesting, what with Power Girl in the mix. I’m not sure I like her, but we’ll see. And then there’s the new guy, fresh out of prison. Harley seems to like him…

I also promised to let you know if I found the creepy in Invasive Species. Boy did I! If you read this blog regularly, you know we had an issue with paper wasps this summer, and I was stung several times. Those insects made life…interesting for three months, and I’m glad they’re most certainly frozen now. This book though…oh yes. This book brings back memories and then magnifies them times ten, and I’m not even a quarter done yet. Should be a freaky ride!

No freakier than Johnny the Homicidal Maniac though, of course. Read a couple more of those stories, and I just want to give the kid a scritch behind the ears. As you do, with pets…

As you can see, I then took a bit of a break from the freak-fest and indulged in the last Takhini Wolves series by Vivian Arend, Moon Shine. I actually had myself a little mini-binge last Friday night when the hubby had to work late, and read the whole thing before I went to bed. I’m sure it surprises no one to learn that when it comes to paranormal tropes, I’m a werewolf girl, and I always enjoy Vivian’s books. Never read one I didn’t, actually. And this one was just as excellent and emotionally charged as the rest. With a bonus bear-shifter included.

I also splurged on One in a Million, the last Lucky Harbor novel by Jill Shalvis, which was a major mistake, productivity wise, but man, I’m loving every word. So sweet and funny and heart-wrenching all at the same time… *sigh* I’m sad this is the last Lucky Harbor book, but she’s got more Animal Magnetism books coming out, and I enjoy those too. As long as she keeps writing, I’ll be a happy camper. And a less productive writer, but whatever. Writer’s gotta read…

So, like I said, good reading week. Hubby’s got a poker game this Friday night, so I’ll be on my own then as well. Maybe I’ll mainline Invasive Species while he’s gone…


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Talkin’ Books: November 12, 2014

Books Finished:
Of Mice and Momphribraks by Lia London (A Maze of Tales, Book 2)
Saccharine White by Lia London (A Maze of Tales, Book 2)

Kindle Books In Progress:
Tatterdemon by Steve Vernon

Print Books in Progress:
Invasive Species by Joseph Wallace
Johnny the Homicidal Maniac: Director’s Cut

Comic Books:
Harley Quinn #10

So if you need a couple of fun, quick reads, and you’re a fan of fractured fairy tales, you’ll want to pick up the Maze of Tales ebooks by Lia London. They’re hilarious and snarky and just absolutely charming, in a “true fairy tale” sort of way. Pick ’em up to read while you’re waiting for…whatever. And then you can join me in bugging her for more, because they’re delightful.

Harley Quinn 10 was slightly more serious than normal, but still fun and funny in spots. I have 11, I just got interrupted half way through and haven’t picked it up again yet, but I’ll do that yet tonight (it’s Tues. night as I type).

And I’ve started Invasive Species in print, which my husband read quite awhile ago (I’m way behind on my print TBR pile), and still remembers as totally creepy. So far, I’m enjoying it, but haven’t reached too much creepy just yet. I’m curious though!

My eyes are in serious rebellion mode this week, so staring at a computer screen right now is…not fun. I’ve forced myself to stay away from backlit screens for most of the afternoon/evening, and after I schedule this post, I’m getting away again in hopes that I’ll be able to work without too much pain tomorrow. Annoying! But a good excuse to go finish my Harley comic, and then dive back in to Invasive Species. Next week, I’ll let you know if I found the creepiness


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Talkin’ Books: November 5, 2014

Books Finished:
He’s So Fine by Jill Shalvis

Kindle Books In Progress:
Tatterdemon by Steve Vernon

Print Books in Progress:
Johnny the Homicidal Maniac: Director’s Cut

Comic Books:
None

Just a very quick update this week – it’s NaNoWriMo time, and I’m writing up a storm. Even so, I *need* the last Lucky Harbor book by Jill Shalvis, because He’s So Fine was…well, so fine, and the excerpt for the next book hooked me right in.

Payday isn’t until Friday though, and I’m dead broke, so when I do get a few minutes to read, I’ll have to make do with something already on my kindle. Woe is me (yes, that was sarcasm).

Now, I’m trying to catch up on my word count for the day before bed, so that’s it for this week. See? Short!


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Talkin’ Books: May 28, 2014

Books Finished:
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Kindle Books In Progress:
Slow Ride Home by Leah Braemel
Tatterdemon by Steve Vernon

Print Books in Progress:
The Eye of God by James Rollins

Comic Books:
Batman Eternal #3 & #4

This is actually last week’s list…sad that I never got it posted, and even sadder yet that I didn’t have much to add for this week. Last week I really pushed to get all of my web site migrations done, and I did, but at the expense of any time at all in the evenings for other things. Dang it. But now that those are done…more reading time. Yay!

Neverwhere is finished! And I loved it. It’s quirky, and funny, and utterly ridiculous in spots, which just makes it absolutely perfect. If you haven’t read it, do, and then tell me you did so we can discuss…

Slow Ride Home is my kindle/lunch reading at the moment – and I do believe I’ll have to get a copy of the next book in the series once I’m done with this one. It’s a western romance, and full of twisted family dynamics and history that has to be overcome before the hero & heroine get together. So…brain candy. Which is exactly what I’ve needed lately. I’ll probably finish it this week.

Believe it or not, Tatterdemon has been on my mind lately, so I might go back to that once I finish Leah’s book…

And Batman Eternal is shaping up to be a really interesting read, so I’m anxious to get to the next several issues (waiting in my TBR stack) to see what happens. I also have the latest Harley Quinn, and several issues of the new Amazing Spider-man comics, but I can’t read the spidey comics until my local comic book shop gets the last Superior Spider-man issue in for me. My subscription with Marvel ran out *just* before the last issue, dang it, so I’m missing that one. Of all the issues to miss…

I’m starting The Eye of God tonight (Tues night, I mean). I should be writing, but I’m tired, and I’ve been dying to read this ever since we brought it home months ago. And on that happy note, I’m going to post this so I can get a few chapters in before bed.

Until next week, happy reading!