The State of the Writer: 2/23/20

<–The State of the Writer: 2/9/20         The State of the Writer: 3/8/20–>

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

Finished Projects: 3


Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 252,492
Prior Word Count: 252,713
Word Difference: -221
Status: Editing
Progress: First edit of Chapter 22

This chapter has some interesting challenges, and I may end up with two versions of it.  I saw someone do that once on Fanfic.net.  I was talking with The Ink Garden about my wacky timelines/AU scenarios, but it was only scratching the surface.  There are more branches than a tree, which is…kinda fitting when I think about it.  I’m trying to add any additional text in my first edit instead of after, because it just doesn’t make sense to do any kind of editing prior to including additions.

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A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes #3)

An Ember in the Ashes

<–A Torch Against the Night

Title: A Reaper at the Gates
Series: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Date Added: August 23, 2017
Date Started: July 2, 2018
Date Finished: August 4, 2018
Reading Duration: 33 days
Genre: Fantasy, Dystopian, Young Adult (YA), Romance

A Reaper at the Gates coverPages: 464
Publication Date: June 12, 2018
Publisher: Razorbill
Media: Paperback


Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.


***Spoilers for all previous books in the series***

Tahir has the gift of making characters on both sides of the conflict sympathetic, even casting some compassion on Keris Veturia.  Though a tortured past doesn’t excuse the horrible things one does, it often provides an explanation.  It is no easy feat to do something like this, and it is one of the better attributes of ASOIAF, as well.  Like Martin, Tahir not only titles her chapters by the character whose viewpoint we follow, but she adds additional ones with each volume.  This is merely logistical, though; what’s more interesting is how Tahir, like GRRM, seems to subscribe (whether consciously or no) to William Faulkner’s philosophy:

The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself.

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The State of the Writer: 2/9/20

<–The State of the Writer: 1/26/20         The State of the Writer: 2/23/20–>

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

Finished Projects: 0


Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 252,713
Prior Word Count: 252,930
Word Difference: -217
Status: Editing
Progress: Third edit of Chapter 21

I think this third edit might be my last.  I’ve been getting more comments/kudos on AO3, probably because more stuff has come out about the Remake.  I notice an uptick in interactions whenever that occurs, which is pretty cool.  What I find interesting is I think Northern Lights is the more superior story, but this one gets more interaction.  Maybe because it’s still ongoing.  I hope with the audio of NL I’ll get more interactions with that, but I’ll discuss that below.  Speaking of audio, this came out this week, and I can’t stop listening to it.

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The State of the Writer: 1/26/20

<–The State of the Writer: 1/12/20         The State of the Writer: 2/9/20–>

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

Finished Projects: 1


Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 252,930
Prior Word Count: 253,411
Word Difference: -481
Status: Editing
Progress: Second edit of Chapter 21

I spent about an hour on Friday going over one paragraph, trying to figure out how to make it work, finally consigning it to my next editing session.  Then when I went back to it yesterday, for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why the hell I didn’t just delete certain shit, and this is why it’s often prudent just to step away for a little while and come back with a fresh mind.  My problem is I hate unfinished business, and I hate leaving issues if I know they’re there, so it’s a tug-of-war between these two ideals.  This chapter will need a third edit, which isn’t surprising in the least.

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The State of the Writer: 1/12/20

<–The State of the Writer: 12/29/19         The State of the Writer: 1/26/20–>

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

Finished Projects: 1


Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 253,411
Prior Word Count: 253,632
Word Difference: -221
Status: Editing
Progress: First edit of Chapter 21

I may just finish the first edit this week.  Usually when the first edit takes a while, the second one is easier…usually.  If I add a lot I still have to smooth that out with the next edit.  If I get it posted by the end of the month, I’ll be happy.

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Top Books of 2018

Goodreads Challenge: 50
Books Finished: 51
Books DNF: 19

Last year I was ambitious and wrote out all the books I read.  This year I’m just going to talk about my top picks and biggest disappointments.


Top 10 Books/Series

10. Blister by Jeff Strand

Blister coverSurprisingly much more insightful than what it’s billed to be.

9. Two Hearts by Peter S. Beagle

Two Hearts coverYou can read this for free through the link.  It’s honestly the best I could hope for from a sequel to such an epic work.  It continues the themes without being trite and the resolution is beautiful if bittersweet.

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20 Questions Book Tag

Another one from the indomitable Writer Michelle Payne.  I think I can answer 20 book questions 🙂

1. How many books is too many books in a series?

Hm, that’s one of those “it depends” questions.  If the series remains fresh and relevant, keep going, but if the plot lines are going stale and the characters are stalling, I think it’s time to retire it.  I’d say 20+ books is too much with the same characters and setting.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

They’re evil and I love them. Re: Strange the Dreamer.

Strange the Dreamer cover

3. Hard copy or paperback?

I prefer paperback.  They’re easier to carry around and to read.  Hardback usually has an annoying cover that, while aesthetically pleasing, tends to flap around and get in the way.

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The State of the Reader: 8/15/18

<–The State of the Reader: 8/1/18          The State of the Reader: 8/29/18–>

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: 2


Books DNF: 1

Title: The Paper Magician
Series Title: The Paper Magician
Author: Charlie N. Holmber
Date Added: June 17, 2016
Date Started: August 9, 2018
Date DNF: August 9, 2018

The Paper Magician by Charlie N. HolmbergMedia: eBook/Kindle

I wish I’d just passed on this based on the sample, but I probably didn’t read enough of it and what I read at the time was enough of a draw.  It’s a hard balance.  I want to read enough to know if I’m going to like it, but I don’t want to read too much because I don’t see the point in reading it twice (I wish I could make this make more sense, but I’m too tired to explain it any better…)

I didn’t have much of a sense of Ceony the main character except she’s a good student and wanted to work with metal not paper.  Usually students can choose what they want, but since there’s been a dearth of paper magicians or Folders, she was pushed in that direction, and once you bond with a material that’s it.

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The State of the Reader: 8/1/18

<–The State of the Reader: 7/18/18          The State of the Reader: 8/15/18–>

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: 0


Currently Reading

Title: Two Hearts
Series Title: The Last Unicorn
Author: Peter S. Beagle
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 27. 2018

Two Hearts coverMedia: Online
Progress: Unknown

If there was one work of fiction or fantasy I’d recommend to everyone, it would The Last Unicorn.  Ahead of it’s time and meta before meta was cool, this is not your typical fairy tale.  Two Hearts may very well be the longest interval between the original and its sequel written by the same author, but I’m too caution to take bets on that.  If it’s available online, I plan to purchase it since Mr. Beagle is still living and certainly deserves the credit.  The mien is exactly the same as the first book even though TLU is third person and TH is first.  Fans of the first will immediately recognize their favorite characters before they’re named and wonder about the fates of others.  It seems to take place some years/decades after the unicorn’s adventure when an antagonist even worse than the Red Bull terrorizes the land.

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The State of the Reader: 7/18/18

<–The State of the Reader: 7/4/18          The State of the Reader: 8/1/18–>

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: 3


Books Finished: 2

Title: Black Hammer, Vol. 1: Secret Origins
Series Title: Black Hammer
Author: Jeff Lemire
Artists: Dean Ormston & Dave Stewart
Date Added: September 15, 2017
Date Started: June 28, 2018
Date Finished: July 5, 2017
Reading Duration: 7 days

Black Hammer, Vol. 1: Secret Origins coverMedia: Paperback (Library

This was fantastic.  All of the characters were complex, and many of them were rightfully bitter about their fate.  They might have been attempting to play a big, happy family, but there were a welter of unresolved issues centering around their inability to escape the situation.  I’ll be continuing this series and reviewing the entire thing when done.

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