The State of the Writer: 1/13/19

<–The State of the Writer: 12/30/18          The State of the Writer: 1/27/19–>

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 (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 255,627
Prior Word Count: 256,067
Word Difference: -440
Status: Editing
Progress: Chapter 14 First Edit

Tiny tiara on top of an open bookThis is a much longer chapter than the prior and more stuff happens in it.  I partially want to split it up, but the chapter title really encompasses everything that happens, so any of you enjoying this fanfic will have an extra long chapter to read when I post it 🙂

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Death Note by Tsugumi Oba (Vol. 1 – Vol. 12)

Title: Death Note
Series: Death Note
Author: Tsugumi Oba
Artist: Takeshi Obata
Date Added: January 7, 2017
Date Started: September 11, 2017
Date Finished: March 29, 2018
Reading Duration: 199 days
Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel/Comic, Fantasy, Horror

Death Note Box SetPages: 2424
Publication Date: October 7, 2008
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Media: Paperback (Library)


Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects – and he’s bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note , a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal…or his life? 

Light tests the boundaries of the Death Note’s powers as L and the police begin to close in. Luckily Light’s father is the head of the Japanese National Police Agency and leaves vital information about the case lying around the house. With access to his father’s files, Light can keep one step ahead of the authorities. But who is the strange man following him, and how can Light guard against enemies whose names he doesn’t know?


Pride goeth before the fall.

Note: This is the first manga/graphic novel series I’m reviewing in this way.  I was previously reviewing each installment at a time, but since series like these are usually one overarching story, it makes sense to me to read them all and then review.  Since I started and reviewed Saga book by book before I decided this, I chose to continue with that method for Saga, but going forward, all manga and graphic novels will be reviewed when I’ve completed the series.

Note: Minor spoilers.


I went into Death Note blissfully ignorant about it.  I’ve still never seen the anime or the (heavily reviled) Netflix version.  I did and do still know exactly whose names I would write in any death note I found; in fact I have even more to add today.  Boredom, the title of the first manga, is the exact catalyst for everything that occurs, but we’re led to believe it’s Light Yagami’s boredom that drives everything when it’s really Ryuk’s, the Shinigami (death god), who is nothing but amused by humanity.  Light, who’ll I’ll admit is a bored, Japanese honors student, is just a specimen to him, one of the most interesting one he’s seen in thousands of years, but a specimen nonetheless.  It’s like if an entomologist found a really fascinating bug.

Ryuk the shinigami

I do share his love of apples though

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The State of the Writer: 12/30/18

<–The State of the Writer: 12/16/18          The State of the Writer: 1/13/19–>

A post updated every other 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: 256,067
Prior Word Count: 256,065
Word Difference: +2
Status: Editing
Progress: Chapter 13 Second Edit

Sephiroth braiding Aeris's hairIf things go well, I should have the second edit of this chapter by the end of this week.  I don’t think I’ll need a third.

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The State of the Reader: 3/14/18

<–The State of the Reader: 2/28/18          The State of the Reader: 3/28/18–>

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: All’s Well That Ends Well
Author: William Shakespeare
Date Added: September 15, 2017
Date Started: January 26, 2018
Date DNF: March 2, 2018
Reading Duration: 35 days

Media: eBook/Kindle

Shelved.  Too many books to read to spend time on one that doesn’t interest me, even if it is by The Bard.  He has numerous other plays that I’ve enjoyed, and I’m sure I’ll find more as I continue to go through.


Books Finished: 3

Title: Deletion
Series Title: Death Note
Author: Tsugumi Ohba
Date Added: March 1, 2018
Date Started: March 1, 2018
Date Finished: March 8, 2018
Reading Duration: 7 days

The cover of Deletion (Death Note) by Tsugumi ObaI liked this one a bit better than the past few…but I still hate Misa.  I’ll review the entire series when I finish the last two.

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Top 20 Books of 2017

I set my Goodreads challenge to complete 15 books, and I read 73.  There’s something to be said for underestimation.  I low-balled it because last year, I put 20 on my challenge, but only finished 19; however, I discovered that by putting books on my schedule/to-do list, I could complete them like a fiend.  At some points I was reading eight at a time, but I mostly stuck with my favorite number: seven.  That…was too much though, and while I love to read, I also want to have enough time to do other things.  So I cut down to four, which might still sound like a lot, but one is a Kindle that I read on my lunch break; one is a fiction/fantasy; one varies between a classic or a non-fiction/reference (before I was reading one of each); and the last is a graphic novel/manga, which are easy to breeze through.  Compare this to two Kindles, one fiction/fantasy, one classic, one non-fiction/reference, one graphic novel/manga, and one library book. I’m currently borrowing Death Note from the library for my manga, and I’ll borrow fictions/fantasies from there, too.


Total Books Read: 73

  1. Tuf Voyaging by George R. R. Martin
  2. In the House of the Wyrm by George R. R. Martin
  3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  4. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  5. Rest in Piece by B. W. Ginsburg
  6. The Missing Orchid by Fia Black
  7. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
  8. The Quantum Door by Jonathan Ballagh
  9. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
  10. The Illustrated A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  11. Descendants by Rae Else
  12. The Mabinogion Tetralogy by Evangeline Walton
  13. Riddled With Senses by Petra Jacob
  14. The Quantum Ghost by Jonathan Ballagh
  15. Radiance by Grace Draven
  16. Saga: Volume 1 by Brian K, Vaughn
  17. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
  18. Eidolon by Grace Draven
  19. A Father’s Protection by K. J. Hawkins
  20. Saga: Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughn
  21. The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia (edited) by Patrick Thorpe
  22. Saga: Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughn
  23. Silent Child by Sarah K. Denzil
  24.  A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  25. Saga: Volume 4 by Brian K, Vaughn
  26. Saga: Volume 5 by Brian K. Vaughn
  27. Half a King by Joe Abercrombie
  28. Saga: Volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughn
  29. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  30. Talon by Julie Kagawa
  31. Saga: Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughn
  32. Stone & Iris by Jonathan Ballagh
  33. Gaslight Hades by Grace Draven
  34. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
  35. Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft
  36. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Volume 1 by Katie Cook
  37. Poetic Edda: The Stories of the Norse Gods and Heroes by Anonymous
  38. Never Never: Part One by Colleen Hoover
  39. The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
  40. Never Never: Part Two by Colleen Hoover
  41. Never Never: Part Three by Colleen Hoover
  42. The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess by Akira Himekawa
  43. Goldie Vance Volume 1 by Hope Larson
  44. Shadows on Snow by Starla Huchton
  45. Red as Blood and White as Bone by Theodora Goss
  46. Monstress #1: Awakening
  47. An Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDoniel
  48. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
  49. Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman
  50. The Archived by Victoria Schwab
  51. Dweller by Jeff Strand
  52. Abstract Clarity by B. W. Ginsburg
  53. Chobits, Vol. 1 by CLAMP
  54. The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare
  55. The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
  56. Death Note, Vol. 1: Boredom by Tsugumi Ohba
  57. Master of Crows by Grace Draven
  58. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
  59. The Diamond Tree by Michael Matson
  60. Promethea, Vol. 1 by Alan Moore
  61. Blink Once by Cylin Busby
  62. Death Note, Vol. 2: Confluence by Tsugumi Ohba
  63. The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau
  64. The Daemoniac by Kat Ross
  65. The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan
  66. Death Note, Vol. 3: Hard Run by Tsugumi Ohba
  67. Death Note, Vol 4: Love by Tsugumi Ohba
  68. Gyo by Junji Ito
  69. The Metamorphosis and Other Stories by Franz Kafka
  70. Parallel by Anthony Vicino
  71. Death Note, Vol. 5: Whiteout
  72. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
  73. Death Note, Vol 7: Give-and-Take by Tsugumi Ohba
Total Fiction/Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 46 (63%)
Total Classic: 3 (4%)
Total Non-Fiction/Reference: 4 (5%)
Total Graphic Novels/Manga: 20 (27%)

I was going to do this whole shebang with “Most Read Author,” “Favorite New Author,” “Favorite Series,” and all this other stuff, but I decided on just doing a Top 20 with that number as an increase from the original 10.  I marked around 14 books as potential Tops and figured I could find six more.

20. Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman

The cover of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David EaglemanOne of the best parts of reading this book was the perfect timing when I read it: in the midst of watching a Let’s Play of SOMA, which I’ve spoken of at great length (even though the review/essay is still to come).  Incognito explores the intricacies of conscious, subconscious, and unconscious processes and how the latter two form the foundation of the first.  It’s written in such a way that psychological novices can still follow with relatable analogies and examples, but the volume is not without some major issues, which I started noticing around Chapter 4 with Eagleman’s views on beauty/attractiveness that spiraled unfortunately towards racism (yes…really).  He also didn’t fully explore the reasons behind why we have unconscious biases, which never just come out of a vacuum.  While the author has a flair for piquing interest in subjects that could easily come off as tedious, his essentialism and (seemingly) unwillingness to take environmental influences into account raises my brows (and hackles) a bit (e.g. his insistence that having a Y chromosome essentially makes one more violent without considering this propensity could be due to how those perceived as having a Y chromosome are treated from [often before] birth is only one of many).  While I enjoyed the book for what information it imparted, especially for those unfamiliar with psychology, the fore mentioned (and other) issues prompt me to insist it be read with a discerning eye and copious grains of salt.

19. Dweller by Jeff Strand

The cover of Dweller by Jeff StrandThis novel was like a more fucked up version of Harry and the Hendersons, if the Hendersons were a once brutally bullied loner and Harry was a man eating abomination.  I really wanted to know where the monster came from.  Was he some government experiment gone wrong?  A throwback from an early time?  A creature from an alien dimension?  Everything about him just breeds more questions, but his relationship with Toby is both poignant and disturbing.  A lot of fucked up things happen in this book.  I was initially unsure about Strand’s writing style, but it grew on me as did Toby’s character.  It made sense why the author wrote it in this way: it perfectly reflected the MC’s mental state.  This is one of those books that has the perfect ending, as in there’s no other way it could’ve ended for these characters that would’ve been as satisfactory.

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The State of the Reader: 1/3/18

<–The State of the Reader: 12/20/17          The Final State of the Reader–>

A 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: 0


Books DNF: 1

Title: The Prophet of Yonwood
Series Title: Book of Ember
Author: Jeanne DuPrau

Media: Paperback
Percentage Finished: 21%

Not nearly as engaging as the other books.  This prequel wasn’t compelling in the least, and it’s disappointing since the lead up to what caused the existence of Ember could’ve been a rousing tale.  We could’ve found out if there were other underground cities and/or how the rest of humanity survived, but the author choose to focus on prophecy and proselytizing instead of that.  I still have the final Book of Ember to read, which I’m looking forward to, as it involves Lina and Doon’s return.

Books Finished: 3

Title: Strange the Dreamer
Series Title: Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Date Added: April 18, 2016
Date Started: August 26, 2017

Media: Physical/Hardback

Oh my god this book was so good.  I don’t know how I’m going to review it, since I can’t say much without spoiling, but it took so many familiar tropes, cliches even, and yet they didn’t come off as trite.  While I figured it out about a chapter or two before the reveal, I still covered my face with my hands.  All the pieces just fell together beautifully, and I think it worked because it’s not like the author doesn’t give away an integral part in the very prologue.  I kept going back and forth from there to my current place just to make sure all of the ends matched up.  They did…to tragic effect.  I hope the sequel comes out sooner rather than later sometime this year.

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The State of the Reader: 12/20/17

<–The State of the Reader: 12/6/17          The State of the Reader: 1/3/18–>

A 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

  1. All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater – $15.19 @ Target: I couldn’t resist the hype train for this one, plus it’s impossible to go into Target and only pick up what you went to Target for…especially when it comes to me and books.  I’m just thankful I resisted the video game section, but then I’m more likely to pick up a book anyway.  Not only because it’s cheaper, but also because I’m less likely to receive it for Christmas.  I already had her Scorpio Races on my TBR list, but the blurb for this (which you can find at the end of the link) was just too compelling to pass up.  Definitely something I’d expect from the author of The Raven Cycle.
  2. Sins of the Father by Anthony Vicino – $0.99 @ Amazon: I’d just finished reading Mr. Vicino’s novella Parallel, which I’ll talk more about below, so I added and bought this one when I saw how cheap it was.  Supporting indie authors is part of life.  This book is about a murderer who has no idea why he killed his grandmother.  The lack of motive presents a psychological conundrum.

Books Finished: 2

Title: Parellel
Author: Anthony Vicino
Date Added: May 9, 2015
Date Started: November 19, 2017
Date Finished: December 12, 2017
Reading Duration: 23 days

Media: eBook/Kindle

This story did not turn out as I expected, and that’s an excellent thing.  I like when novels do something different with tropes, and Parallel (ironically, in a titular sense) could have gone a number of different ways.  It’s a sci-fi that even non-sci-fi aficionados can appreciate, the elements serve to support the metaphor and message without overriding it.  The story is also realistic as well as bittersweet.  It’s only $0.99 on Kindle and less than 100 pages, so if you’re interested in a poignant sci-fi and would like to support an independent author, I’d pick this one up 🙂

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