The State of the Writer: 7/15/18

<–The State of the Writer: 7/1/18          The State of the Writer: 7/29/18–>

A biweekly post updated every Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 2


Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 260,966
Prior Word Count: 260,969
Word Difference: -3
Status: Revising
Progress: Second review of Chapter 8

TiaraContinuing what I was saying last week, after having coffee, I figured out what I still needed to do and made a checklist.  I need to do a second review of Chapter 8 before continuing my review of Chapter 11, which would put me back on track.  It might take a while for Chapter 11, and I’m not going to re-post the revised story until I can continue with something new.  I’ve been having a lot of issues with fatigue and concentration lately, so I’m not where I want to be with any of my projects, but that’s the way life is, you know?

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The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan

Title: The Bonesetter’s Daughter
Author: Amy Tan
Date Added: August 16, 2012
Date Started: September 19, 2017
Date Finished: November 12, 2017
Reading Duration: 24 days
Genre: Cultural/Historical Fiction, Women’s Literature

The Bonesetter's Daughter coverPages: 378
Publication Date: February 19, 2001
Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Media: eBook/Kindle


In memories that rise like wisps of ghosts, LuLing Young searches for the name of her mother, the daughter of the Famous Bonesetter from the Mouth of the Mountain. Trying to hold on to the evaporating past, she begins to write all that she can remember of her life as a girl in China. Meanwhile, her daughter Ruth, a ghostwriter for authors of self-help books, is losing the ability to speak up for herself in front of the man she lives with and his two teenage daughters. None of her professional sound bites and pat homilies works for her personal life; she knows only how to translate what others want to say.

Ruth starts suspecting that something is terribly wrong with her mother. As a child, Ruth had been constantly subjected to her mother’s disturbing notions about curses and ghosts, and to her repeated threats to kill herself, and was even forced by her mother to try to communicate with ghosts. But now LuLing seems less argumentative, even happy, far from her usual disagreeable and dissatisfied self.

While tending to her ailing mother, Ruth discovers the pages LuLing wrote in Chinese, the story of her tumultuous and star-crossed life, and is transported to a backwoods village known as Immortal Heart. There she learns of secrets passed along by a mute nursemaid, Precious Auntie; of a cave where dragon bones are mined, some of which may prove to be the teeth of Peking Man; of the crumbling ravine known as the End of the World, where Precious Auntie’s scattered bones lie, and of the curse that LuLing believes she released through betrayal.

Like layers of sediment being removed, each page reveals secrets of a larger mystery: What became of Peking Man? What was the name of the Bonesetter’s Daughter? And who was Precious Auntie, whose suicide changed the path of LuLing’s life? Within LuLing’s calligraphed pages awaits the truth about a mother’s heart, what she cannot tell her daughter yet hopes she will never forget.

Set in contemporary San Francisco and in a Chinese village where Peking Man is being unearthed, The Bonesetter’s Daughter is an excavation of the human spirit: the past, its deepest wounds, its most profound hopes. The story conjures the pain of broken dreams, the power of myths, and the strength of love that enables us to recover in memory what we have lost in grief. Over the course of one fog-shrouded year, between one season of falling stars and the next, mother and daughter find what they share in their bones through heredity, history, and inexpressible qualities of love.


What is the past but what we choose to remember?

Amy Tan has been one of my favorite authors since high school.  I’ve read The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife, and The Hundred Secret Senses quite a few times, and when I finished The Bonesetter’s Daughter, I realized I’d read it before, too.  Miss Tan specializes in the relationships between mothers and daughters, how fraught they can be, how fragile, and, in this novel, how there’s more than one way for them to be broken.

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The State of the Writer: 7/1/18

<–The State of the Writer: 6/17/18          The State of the Writer: 7/15/18–>

A biweekly post updated every Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 4


Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 260,966
Prior Word Count: 260,969
Word Difference: -3
Status: Revising
Progress: Chapter 8 review

I think I might be done with my revision, but I haven’t had any coffee today, so I can’t confirm.  Either way, I’ve gone through the first eight chapters and updated as I saw fit, and I think I can continue with the regularly scheduled editing and posting.

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Low, Vol. 1: The Delirium of Hope by Rick Remender (Low #1) (DNF)

Title: Low, Vol. 1: The Delirium of Hope
Series Title: Low
Authors: Rick Remender
Artists: Greg Toccini & Dave McCaig
Date Added: September 4, 2017
Date Started: October 25, 2017
Date DNF: November 8, 2017
Reading Duration: 14 days
Genre: Science Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian, Graphic Novel

Low coverPages: 144
Publication Date: March 25, 2015
Publisher: Image Comics
Media: Paperback (Library)


Millennia ago, mankind fled the earth’s surface into the bottomless depths of the darkest oceans. Shielded from a merciless sun’s scorching radiation, the human race tried to stave off certain extinction by sending robotic probes far into the galaxy to search for a new home among the stars. Generations later, one family is about to be torn apart in a conflict that will usher in the final race to save humanity from a world beyond hope. Dive into an aquatic fantasy like none you’ve ever seen before, as writer Rick Remender (Fear Agent, Uncanny Avengers) and artist Greg Tocchini (Last Days of American Crime) bring you a tale mankind’s final hour in the cold, deathly dark of the sea.


Low is about the sun going super nova far sooner than expected, and humanity taking refuge beneath the waves, while sending probes out into space to search for a new home.  It has more of a Rapture (BioShock) vibe to it insofar as there’s a city under the sea as opposed to SOMA’s derelict facility horror.

Per Remender’s foreword, the author was inspired by our sun’s eventual violent death, which will scorch the Earth beyond recognition (if humanity hasn’t already), and how if we don’t discover a new home among the stars (or a way to stop it), our species will be rendered extinct.   While this time is billions of years away, it’s still a reminder that everything is temporary and nothing ever lasts: a recipe for nihilism if ever there was.  Of course the ephemeral qualities of the universe could imbue it with meaning for some, though when you recall the nature of memory and how there needs to be someone to remember, this argument falls apart.

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The State of the Reader: 6/20/18

<–The State of the Reader: 6/6/18          The State of the Reader: 7/4/18–>

weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Purchased: 4


Books Finished: 2

Title: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Vol. 2
Series Title: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Author: Akira Himekawa
Date Added: August 5, 2017
Date Started: June 1, 2018
Date Finished: June 14, 2018
Reading Duration: 13 days

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Vol. 2 coverMedia: Paperback

I really like this novelization of the game.  I’ll be looking for the next installment.

Title: The King of Elfland’s Daughter
Author: Lord Dunsany
Date Added: June 16, 2016
Date Started: May 16, 2018
Date Finished: June 15, 2018
Reading Duration: 30 days

The King of Elfland's Daughter coverMedia: eBook/Kindle

This was dry, but strangely interesting enough to finish.  The pace was plodding with particular lines repeated over and over and over again, yet you’re drawn into wondering how it will end.  It’s definitely a “be careful what you wish for” story.

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The State of the Writer: 6/17/18

<–The State of the Writer: 6/3/18          The State of the Writer: 7/1/18–>

A biweekly post updated every Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 5


Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 260,969
Prior Word Count: 261,043
Word Difference: -74
Status: Revising
Progress: Chapter 7 review

What am I doing?  Like seriously.  What am I doing?  I finished up the revisions I said I wanted to do, so what am I doing now?  Well, I’m reading through the remaining beginning chapters just to make sure there’s nothing I missed.  I haven’t done any major edits since Chapter 6.  It’s also not taking me that long to read through them, so as long as I keep up a decent pace with that, I should be back to a posting schedule by next month.

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The Daemoniac by Kat Ross (Dominion Mysteries #1)

Title: The Daemoniac
Series Title: Dominion Mysteries
Author: Kat Ross
Date Added: October 13, 2016
Date Started: September 28, 2017
Date Finished: October 25, 2017
Reading Duration: 27 days
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction

The Daemoniac coverPages: 334
Publication Date: October 12, 2016
Publisher: Acorn
Media: eBook/Kindle


It’s August of 1888, just three weeks before Jack the Ripper will begin his grisly spree in the London slum of Whitechapel, and another serial murderer is stalking the gas-lit streets of New York. With taunting messages in backwards Latin left at the crime scenes and even more inexplicable clues like the fingerprints that appear to have been burned into one victim’s throat, his handiwork bears all the hallmarks of a demonic possession.

But consulting detective Harrison Fearing Pell is convinced her quarry is a man of flesh and blood. Encouraged by her uncle, Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry hopes to make her reputation by solving the bizarre case before the man the press has dubbed Mr. Hyde strikes again.

From the squalor of the Five Points to the high-class gambling dens of the Tenderloin and the glittering mansions of Fifth Avenue, Harry and her best friend, John Weston, follow the trail of a remorseless killer, uncovering a few embarrassing secrets of New York’s richest High Society families along the way. Are the murders a case of black magic—or simple blackmail? And will the trail lead them closer to home than they ever imagined?


I believe change is coming, and we can either get out of the way, or be knocked down flat.

Harrison Fearing Pell is a consulting detective in this Sherlock Holmes inspired mystery where she isn’t even the Holmes analogue, her more famous sister Myrtle is, but the older Pell is away on business, and the game is afoot.

The author did a fantastic job differentiating this not only from the Sherlock Holmes stories (which…I’ll be honest, I haven’t read, so I might be completely talking out of my ass), but also from mysteries in the same vein.  Cleverly weaving more Sherlockian lore into the narrative with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as the uncle of the Harry and Myrtle.  So while The Daemoniac is inspired Sir Arthur’s work, in the narrative the famous mystery writer is inspired by his nieces.  There’s also a similar dynamic between the Pell sisters and the Holmes’ brothers (at least from what I’ve seen on the modern BBC version) with some virulent competition that unfortunately crossed over into bullying with the younger Harry as the victim.

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