Friday, February 8, 2013


Since I've been spending a lot more of my time holding small baby girls and a lot less of my time writing, I've decided to make this the year of reading. Every once in a while, I plan to post what I'm reading or what I've read, possibly with reviews, though I'm not planning on becoming a book review blog. (Let's face it. I just don't have that kind of time on my hands.)

So, in the month of January, here's what I read:
Whispers in Autumn (The Last Year, #1)
Whispers in Autumn by Trisha Leigh. This is a great book with sci-fi/post apocalyptic elements. From goodreads:

In 2015, a race of alien Others conquered Earth. They enslaved humanity not by force, but through an aggressive mind control that turned people into contented, unquestioning robots.

Except sixteen-year-old Althea isn’t content at all, and she doesn’t need the mysterious note inside her locket to tell her she’s Something Else. It also warns her to trust no one, so she hides the pieces that make her different, even though it means being alone.

Then she meets Lucas, everything changes.

Althea and Lucas are immune to the alien mind control, and together they search for the reason why. What they uncover is a stunning truth the Others never anticipated, one with the potential to free the brainwashed human race.

It’s not who they are that makes them special, but what.

And what they are is a threat. One the Others are determined to eliminate for good.

 I loved this book. I read it on kindle and it was so engaging that I couldn't put it down. 

I also read
Matched (Matched, #1)Crossed (Matched, #2)Reached (Matched, #3)
I got Reached for Christmas, so I reread Matched and Crossed. I found it all to be quite nicely tied together. The end was fulfilling and matched the rest of the story. This series is not an action-y series. There's a lot more introspection and reflection about what it means to be a person and what choice is. And I liked that.

Right now, I'm reading
Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2)Shades of Earth (Across the Universe, #3)As They Slip Away (Across the Universe, #0.5)
I've finished As They Slip Away and am rereading the rest of the series to finish up with Shades of Earth. What a great sci-fi! Light on the science, heavy on the fiction, and a dash of mystery. So good.

What are you reading right now?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

In defense

So, I've been thinking. And evaluating and... you know the drill. New year. New ideas. New hopes.

I haven't been actively writing for several months now. And I want to be. But I feel discouraged when there's only 5 minutes to write. And a baby sits in my lap all day. And the house has to be cleaned. And homework and ... yeah. I think we've covered this before too.

But, here's the thing. I have been reading. A lot. And talking shop with hubby. And also with random people on writing forums. So, I'm keeping my hand in, even if it isn't active.

Something I discovered in a recent conversation. We all get super defensive about our writing. Or, at least, I do. Maybe I'm the only one, but I don't think so. The person I was in the conversation with had asked for honest opinions on a piece of writing. All the feedback said, "You've got some problems and here's where they are." And his response was, "But if you look at the rest of this," or "if you understood where I am going with this," or some other defensive thing.

I found it off-putting. He'd asked for genuine help and because he got defensive, he couldn't see what was going to help him improve.

I thought back to my most recent long term writing spurt. I had sent my first couple of chapters to a reader and got back a "it might work better this way" response. And I was devastated. And attached to what I'd already written. And I couldn't see why they were saying, "You really could do better by changing (this specific thing.)" I thought I knew where the story was going and what I wanted out of it. I responded with a "but, it's this way because of .... and I can't change it because of ....."

Months later, looking back at that, I was defensive and unresponsive to the help I'd asked for. And the truth of the matter was, my reader had it absolutely right. If I were to go back now to that moment, I would try to step back and see why I had gotten that feedback and maybe make the changes then, instead of losing the momentum of the story and feeling derailed (like I do.)

How do you respond to criticism? Have you moved past defensive and derailed?