Monday, June 25, 2012

A Busy (or disorganized?) Month

We’ve had company for the last two weeks and my writing has suffered. Well, that’s not really the only reason. Nasty weeds are taking over the garden, we’ve had far too much rain, unread magazines are collecting, emails are going unread promptly, all the usual suspects are piling up. The sailboat is in the water but hasn’t had a chance to leave the dock yet. Where does all the time go? You would think that twenty-four hours in a day should be enough.

Just when I thought I might sneak in some writing, two books arrive in the mail. I do genre book reviews for an on-line magazine aimed mainly at libraries and parents, and of course, they would like the reports written up promptly. It’s a volunteer job, and my reward is the review copy of the book. In the past eight years I’ve reviewed over sixty novels, mainly in the fantasy and science fiction genres. I can’t complain; I have read books that I would otherwise have never bothered to pick up, and have come across several gems. Unfortunately, at this point in time we don’t review the ebook format. Something to lobby for, I guess.

I find reviewing a good way to keep an eye on what is being published, what the better writers are doing and how they do it, and also to discover some of the pitfalls. A good editor tops the list of things you must have as far as I am concerned; I have come across too many errors, even in books published by the majors. No matter how many times I read my own work over, something always slips through. Hint of the day: read your writing out loud, it is surprising how many problems you can uncover that way.

As of the date I am writing this, I have one more novel to read and review, another recommended book lent to me to read by a friend, a pile of unopened magazines, and yes, that Dark Lady sequel to get back to working on. In the past month I had another fantasy novel, (tentatively: "Pawn, Queen and Checkmate") picked up by my publisher. I suppose I should start thinking about another sequel there too, in case somebody out there likes it. Besides, I have to find out what happens next, one of the great pleasures of the writing game!



Big Mike said...

Terrible when life interferes with writing. I'm trying to maintain a farm, another house, caring for my grand daughter, and another half dozen community thingys and it does drag on time with my muse. Tried to sell the farm but no market anymore.

I've gone from 3 or 4 stories a year to 1 or 2. Ref reading books myself, that had to go in the nowhere pile. Oh well, still breathing.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Yes, Mike, but better selling the farm than buying the farm.

Richard, your are "at work" the only way to live. I just came from the funeral of a 94-year-old man: a Iwo Jima Seabee, a psychologist, a volunteer, someone who always had a project. He is my inspiration. And he was well remembered.

Ute Carbone said...

LOL Julie! Sounds like you'll be very busy. Busy is good up to a point. But I know what you mean, hard to find a good balance. It's something i struggle with all of the time.

January Bain said...

Balance is tough. I'm just grateful my day job is over this coming Friday for a few weeks till fall classes start once more with new fresh-scrubbed faces! And my first novel being released is no helping my nervous condition whatsoever!