Review, science fiction

Artless but Reading

It’s supposed to be art day, but I don’t have art for you… well, ok, I do, sort of. But I haven’t had the time to create anything, as I’ve been focused on the work, and school. I even got new paints yesterday, but between dealing with schtuff* that was happening, and a disaster area around my desk, it’s still sitting on the stack beside my elbow, and I don’t know when I’ll get to it.

Pink rose vector art
Rose doodle

My head has been trying to wrap around school, mostly. It’s not like the concepts are difficult, I’m just trying to memorize formulas for vapor pressure and boiling point elevation and that sort of thing. The labs are interesting. It’s nice to only have one class to focus on for the time being.

On the writing front, I’m not writing. I sent The God’s Wolfling off for proof-editing, and I will be working on formatting it even before it comes back, so I can get a proof-copy in my hands ASAP. I have another project I’m stalled on, and I know what the next novel I will write is – it finally gelled in my head on the long drive home from LibertyCon, bouncing it off my First Reader. But until I find a handle on my organization and get it under control, the work and school have a higher priority.

It doesn’t help that yesterday I was dealing with the above-mentioned schtuff, which wasn’t a huge deal, but it was conflict, and left me feeling drained and discouraged. I do occasionally wonder what the heck I’m doing, and why… yesterday was one of those days. Today, I haven’t had coffee yet, so I dunno. Also, I will be busy enough in class and lab to keep my mind from being squirrely.

I stayed up late self-medicating with a book (okay, maybe it was two books, but it was a series, and the second was short). It was a very nice thing to be able to grab a book and read and know that I could retreat into it, not have to struggle to try and connect with the story or the world. I wasn’t thrown out of the story repeatedly by glaring big errors, and I wasn’t repelled by the actions of the characters. This is why I read, to escape a little when I’m stressed. Gives my brain time to rest and reset.

This particular book (ok, ok, series!) I’ll be reviewing Friday. In between here and there, I’ll be talking about reviews, and sharing some review rating systems from friends who responded to my impromptu Facebook poll on that topic. Yesterday I had my reader hat firmly on, and it was the nicest part of the day, to remember when I wasn’t a professional who read for work, but for pleasure.

That is the downside of doing what I do, not just the writing, although being able to read with a critical eye and figure out what is working in a story and what is, is very important as a writer. But the editing I do on the side for other people means I pick up a book and see all the flaws. It’s very hard to shut that off.

On the flip side, when you encounter a book (or series!) that allows you to get past all that clutter and really sink into the enjoyment of it, then it’s a pleasure to leave a review for it. I never enjoy doing negative (or even ‘meh’) reviews. Books like the one last night are the ones I want to push at friends and say “Look! it’s science fiction, but also historical stuff, and a female character done right, and horseback travel, and…”

OH! I almost forgot! Thank you so very much to everyone who picked up a copy of Plant Life while it was free, and super big thanks to those who went ahead and reviewed it right away. I gave away almost 500 copies of that novella, which is a lot for me to pass out on a freebie push. I really appreciate it, it’s a great way to get people who haven’t tried me yet reading my stuff, and I always feel good about giving something to my fans. Thanks!