Picture book?

My novella has some pictures in it, and strange things done with the formatting. I wonder how that will go over or who will like and dislike it…

I need to take one more picture to stick in there, and finish editing of course, then I will get to hear from some readers whether all these strange things I’ve done work or not.

Here’s hoping! At least they are easy to take out if they don’t go over well.

The quest for youth

I’ve started listening to the Picture of Dorian Gray, and it has a lot of intriguing dialogue so far.

I like that Dorian is so jealous of the painting even right from the start. That it will stay young and he will get old is such a painful idea for him, that he brings it up even a few days later, to say that the painting is already days younger than he is.

I never thought about aging when I was 20 years old… so this Dorian is quite the vain person to be worrying about it so young…

 

All kinds of love

I’ve started listening to this novel, and so far–as the title would imply–it is all about love. The book opens with one character, and we follow from him, to his wife, to his wife’s past lover, and I assume we’ll keep bouncing around like this, in a sort of meandering way through the past. It’s very enjoyable so far.

Currently we’re following Fermina and Florintino, young lovers who communicate with letters only, having only said a few words in person, even though they live in the same town . Florintino stares at Fermina for months before talking to her. It’s a love that is as restrained as it is explosive.  And she feels it for him, too, and is tormented while waiting and waiting for him to say something to her.

It’s a perfect portrait of young love, and I’m curious how their relationship will evolve over the years, since we know from the opening of the novel that Florintino professes his love again to Fermina 50 years later, days after the death of her husband.

Engaging story so far!

 

Finished!

I completed a draft of the novel I’ve been working on since April! And… it’s not a novel, coming in at only around 33,000 words. Well, that’s where it ended, so that’s what it is. I may even end up cutting some, as I rambled quite a lot in the beginning.

It feels amazing to be done! Again, the feeling of open vistas and freedom is so exciting and fun that being done with something is almost the entire reason for starting it! Now I can write anything… anything!

But first there is lots of editing to do on the novel I finished in April, so I can actually try to do something with it.

Here I come, words!

Very short story

I accepted a random challenge to write a 75 word story about a duel at high noon… this is what I came up with:

 
No shadows. Sun sizzles on my scalp. Lips crack, skin flakes red. Eyes blink sticky. My tongue is a paper reproduction. Resist.

Cool crystalline water, ice snap popping, condensation beading near my hand. Dusty fingers, split knuckles–they are the cracked soil longing to absorb drops from the cool glass. Resist.

He wobbles. A tower tipping, head drooping, hand swaying. His fingers touch glass. Grip it, tip it. The ground drinks. He laughs. Still I resist.

A short story appears

I’ve written one for the first time in months, and all in one sitting–something i haven’t done in over 5 years. It was exhilarating, satisfying and gave me lots of brain endorphins–it also turned out really good!

How did this happen? I signed up on Thursday for a contest which had a deadline of Sunday night, and the penalty for not turning anything in was some severe mocking and embarrassment… so I wrote it that day. Deadlines work!

It felt very good to see my own improvement. The fact that I wrote a story in two hours that was actually not bad, and probably better than a lot of stuff i spent weeks writing years ago… it means I am definitely getting better at this.

I’ll let you know if I win (though in this contest really, the goal is just not to lose) but I feel I already have, because I wrote something!

Books in a lifetime

How many books can one read in their life? I saw a nice quote from G.R.R Martin today, in one of his books:

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.

It made me wonder how many books I’ve read, and if it was near 1000.

I’ve been adding my reads to my goodreads account for the past 6 or 7 years, but before that it’s hard to remember what I’ve read. I know certain main authors that I’ve read everything by, but I’m sure there are one-offs out there that I’ll just never remember.

After a concerted effort today, I got my count on goodreads up to 320-ish. That seems a paltry number for 25 years of reading… and I feel I’m missing a big chunk somewhere. What era of my life am I missing… what adventures and travels and battles did I forget…