Moving along

Hey, how do you like the new duds?

I changed the theme on my blog. If you read via something other than a browser, you might want to come take a look. It is called Sunspot, and is the latest free offering from WordPress. I thought the colors matched my old and current Gravatar picture. Plus it seemed to match a lot of my sunset/sunrise pictures and my old fire photos. Sweet! I think I’ll stick with this for a while.

New Zealand Sunset

Seeing as I kept it for almost a year, I really enjoyed using the Chateau theme, but sometimes a girl just has to move on.

In the spirit of moving forward, here are some updates in my writing life:

What I’ve read

Yes, writers read. Or they should. I’ve read and enjoyed Mike Shevdon‘s Court of the Feyre series. I’ve reviewed Sixty-One Nails and The Road to Bedlam, and I’ve even managed to sneak into Mr. Shevdon’s busy schedule and interview him. He’s a great guy and the series is a lot of fun with plenty of intrigue. In my humble opinion, the cool factor is ramped up in this series, and I can’t wait for the eARC to come out so I can read the next installment: Strangeness and Charm.

I have taken up Jon Sprunk‘s series again with the second book, Shadow’s Lure. You can read my review of Shadow’s Son and see that I had some reservations about the book. Which is one reason it has taken me some time to get back to it. Still, Ciam, our hero assassin in this series, has lured me back. Be sure to subscribe to my blog The Atheist’s Quill for my upcoming review.

I’ve also finished reading a few unpublished works (both novels and short stories) over on Critters and for critter-friends. Man, is there a lot of talented writers out there. I am humbled and thoughts of quitting my own efforts are strong, but only so that I can have more time to READ! There’s just so much good stuff out there.

On the non-fiction front, I’m reading Sam HarrisFree Will at the moment. Like Gladwell‘s Blink and The Tipping Point, Free Will has some very interesting ideas that will have you re-thinking everything.

What I’ve written

I am almost 20,000 words into my re-write of Devil’s Blood, now called The Denouncer. My other projects are limping along (or shelved) as I dedicate most of my free time (do I have any?) to The Denouncer.

My writing coach sessions are going well. I am trying my best to absorb everything, but new concepts and skills are not miraculously turning my crap into readable prose. What I am discovering more and more each day is how much I truly suck, even as I rush to reach my daily word count goal.

I once met a woman who said she wrote. I asked her about her stories and how she was going about getting them published. She said, “Oh no. I’ll never publish them.” I asked, “Why not? If you enjoy writing them, I bet there are folks out there that will enjoy reading them.” She explained to me that yes, she enjoyed writing them, but she didn’t want anyone else judging her work. Content to just enjoy the writing process, she promptly put her stories in a drawer when she was finished – never to be read again.

Wow, I had thought, what a waste.

But now, as I realize that my writing may not be everyone else’s cup of tea, but that I really do enjoy the process of writing, her methods do not seem so outlandish. Maybe my stories are just for me. Maybe I can be content with enjoying the act of creating, and foregoing any of my half-baked dreams of publication. It is a tempting thought.

Until later, don’t forget to read.