I finished reading Butcher's Small Favor. Very very good, although the middle part felt a bit slow. Also read Cole's Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night and Rich's Free-Range Chickens.
On my own writing front -- I figured out what's been bugging me about the second quarter of the book. There are two sex scenes, and they're so...dry.
What I mean is that the characters are doing this and that, but very little emotions are coming through. My characters have a lot of history together, so the scenes rang false when I reread them for the sheer lack of feelings from both of them. A lot of missed opportunities.
I also decided to add a couple of short scenes to advance the main subplot (the court intrigue part). They're all new and feature secondary characters. I think they'll add a bit more to the subplot because currently the book's about 85% romance.
After dinner I spent about ten minutes jotting down notes on my next project -- a futuristic paranormal romance. I can't decide if I want to write it in 1st person or not. The heroine is snarky and slightly eccentric, but I think the snarky 1st person narrator is a bit of a cliché now. I wonder if her voice can come through just as clearly in 3rd person.
I've been feeling very blah about my own writing. Of course it's expected since I haven't read anything in over four weeks. So I went on a reading binge. Since Thursday, I read:
I also watched 32 episodes of Hamtaro in original Japanese (no English subtitle). I can now sing the entire opening song in Japanese and picked up several new words.
Currently I'm reading Small Favor by Jim Butcher.
So what did I get at the end of reading & Hamtaro marathon?
I'm more or less happy with the first five chapters (about 100 pages) from my WIP. They went to my 1st beta reader. (No, May, you didn't lose them in your spam folder.) Am working on the next five chapters, and I'm very happy with where things are going. I also subscribed to AutoCrit. Will post more on what I think about that online editing software later.
mood: very very happy!
today's weather: freezing, but sunny and beautiful
Writing went super well today. I can't believe I wrote over 6,000 brand new words, no pre-writing draft included at all! W00t! I'm very very happy with what I've done, and I'm uber-excited about what I'm planning to work on tomorrow! The first draft is coming along very nicely! Yay!
On to other stuff --
I'm a fiction writer, so you'd think that I read tons of fiction. But for some reason, all the novels I have in my apartment don't grab me. I have zero interest in all of them. This doesn't mean that they're bad. There's really nothing inherently wrong with them, but they just aren't making me go "I gotta read this now!" Right now, I'm much more interested in non-fiction. Currently, I'm reading Does Anything Eat Wasps?: And 101 Other Unsettling, Witty Answers to Questions You Never Thought You Wanted to Ask, which is absolutely fascinating. Still, I feel like I should try to read more fiction. Any recommendations?
status: made my Twitter account public, so anyone can view my updates
watched last night: Starship Troopers II
currently reading: Prom Dates from Hell by Rosemary Clement-Moore
just read: Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs
I've avoided reading Mercy Thompson series for a while because of the controversial ending to Iron Kissed that many have talked about.
I'm currently kicking myself for being so stupid. The controversial part was very credible, and it showed and highlighted something that is often very real and yet ignored by many people -- consequences of rape and how people react to it. I've seen some cases where the victim is blamed for asking for it. The victim was either too stupid or dressed too sexy or whatever. And I'm sure such judgment also makes the victim question if she somehow deserved to be raped. I was relieved and happy that the pack stood behind Mercy and made sure she understood that it was not her fault. Furthermore, they helped her heal by letting her know that she's a valuable member of the pack no matter what.
As I closed the book, I was awed by the acceptance of the werewolves around her and the sensitivity with which Briggs handled the rape and the character arc. Because in a way Mercy really needed to see that she wasn't alone and that the pack wouldn't desert her. I felt that in many ways she felt a great deal of insecurity about her place in the world. She seemed to believe that the werewolves only accepted her because of Bran, not because they liked her. The book's climax and the resolution addressed her issues and I can't think of any other way Briggs could've done it without gutting Mercy's character arc.