Thursday, December 31, 2009

A bunch of stuff that isn't as interesting as whatever you are doing NYE.

I don't want to write you a run-down of the books I've read or how well I did in the Year of Dangeresque reading. Mostly because over the course of reading a lot of things I considered dangerous I managed to throw myself into depression. I will say I did read a lot of great stuff this year (Demon's Lexicon and The Sharing Knife being just two standouts), and I read a lot of stuff that I couldn't finish. So I'll leave out all the end of the year round up stuff and move on to other obligatory NYE post: "goals for next year."

So these are the things I think are worth doing in the Twenty-Ten:

  • Working hard on revision and with the critiques for my critique groups.

  • Write something everyday. Don't watch all the episodes in a Bones marathon instead, I've probably seen them all even if I don't remember. Reading is good and necessary but don't forget about the writing too. That includes this blog. 1 post a week isn't asking too much now is it?

  • Remember the positive, in my critiques and in my life and groups. So many of us (Librarians) get down and out when the people we are trying to help are rude or snappish or don't understand that we have policies and procedures in place and can't just "x,y,z" for them. Some much of our critiquing energy is taken up with what we think the other writers are doing wrong (which is of course constructive, but also depressing.) So more positivity, yes. Hopefully this will cut down on some of the frustrations that any customer-service type job will have.

  • I'm pretty good at guessing what patrons are getting at when they ask a question that is not really what they want to know. People don't like to come out and say what it is that they need or want and reference is often a cat and mouse game. Just because I'm "pretty good" at guessing what people mean when they ask a question doesn't mean that I should make assumptions that I know what they want. Make sure I take I know which thing the patron means before I try to answer their question.

  • Take more pictures.

  • Generally and overall, be healthier.

2009 has been one of the best years of my life. As I write this, my fiance is making dinner before he goes into work tonight. Unfortunately, he won't be here at midnight, and I'll be making pouring myself some sparkling grape juice and kissing the cats to ring in the new year. I don't really mind because I'll be sending out 2009 in the same way I've lived most of it: calmly and with a book in hand.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


My soul was weary and downtrodden. The books I'd been reading, and the ugliness of the world, and the lack of sunlight (dark at 4pm? REALLY WORLD?) all got to me. I was depressed and even my old standby pick-me-up authors, Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Terry Pratchett, weren't quite boosting my mood. Then I read this article by one of my favorite romance bloggers, Sarah Wendell (of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.) In the article she mentions a series called "The Sharing Knife" by Lois McMasters Bujold. My interest was piqued. New author! New Series! Fantastical Romance=New Genre for me. (I've had my fill of the paranormal stuff thank you very much.)

Lo and behold! All four books of the series were checked in and on the shelf in my Library. I ran and scooped them up and checked them all out. And then I opened "Beguilment" and all of the badness, the existential crisis, the depression melted away. I've since finished the whole series and want to spread the word of The Sharing Knife. These books are methodical and clear voiced, but still funny and fantastical. There are sexy bits, especially in book one when the main romantical characters are first getting together, but they made me laugh and smile, not cringe and quickly turn the page. The best part for me was the way the books dealt with a giant set of problems, tangled-up messy problems.The problems weren't solved by the end, but headway was made and the characters were realistically optomistic about the future.

I feel better now, and now you've been properly proselytized about The Sharing Knife.

Merry Festivus everyone.