What I’m Reading…

Journaling - IndulgesLife is so busy, yet my heart-strings pull me to reading. I read many things, not just books, and listen to many things too. Lately, I’ve read a lot of magazine and newspaper articles and listened to podcasts of books and short stories and radio classic broadcasts.

A few years back, a dear friend, George, passed away unexpectedly. During the cleaning, clearing, and redistribution of his things, I was lucky enough to receive a pile of old magazines. I have thought about digging into those mags and seeing what treasures are buried there. But, that idea keeps getting pushed back on the “never-ending-to-do” list.

Then, yesterday, while skimming the New York Times, I came across this article about a serious collection of magazines owned by James Hyman of The Hyman Archive – All Good Magazines Go to Heaven. A fascinating read and as I read, I realized a visit to this archive would probably cause me to lose months from my life as I would get lost reading. Do yourself a favor, read this article and learn about The Hyman Archive.

During the free book give-away of The Fire Within, a reader reached out to me on my FaceBook Author page and asked me about the idea of exchanging reviews. The reader, Gino Cox, is an author too.

I’m a slow reader and its mainly due to the huge amount of reading I must do for my technical writing gigs that pay for my writing habit. Gino Cox is the author of Ice Cold. It is a good read. I’m about twenty percent through. Gino is patiently waiting on my review. As a sneak peek…get the book! It is one hell-of-a-ride. The Iceman is Ice Cold with revenge on his mind. The narrative is full of twists and turns. Just the kind of book you would enjoy.

Recently, while sitting in the Martin room, it dawned on me why I’m not checking off as many books on my reading list as I’ve done in the past. I’m no longer driving an hour back-n-forth from work every day. When I drove to work, I’d listen to books on tape. I miss that. It saved me all kinds of time and I was able to ‘hear’ many good books.

A good book I’ve ticked away at reading in small chunks is by one of my favorite authors, Sue Grafton. The book is W – W is for Wasted. Kinsey is at it again and it is such a good escape. Sadly, my slow reading has me several letters behind in Grafton’s series. If you’ve not read her series featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone, you are in for a treat.

A writing book I picked up and have found not only informative to read but a fun read too is James Scott Bell’s How to Write Pulp Fiction. His opening description:

“Type Hard. Type Fast. Make Dough. That was the formula of old-school pulp fiction—plot-driven, popular and gobbled up by a reading public hungry for more.”

sets the stage for an excellent learning experience. Of course, I’m very partial to his writing and love his fiction work as well. The link to his Pulp Fiction book will open doors to all of his work. If you enjoy a good thriller, his Mike Romeo thriller series is a must read.

As for audio listening, I do love listening to Radio Classics on Sirius-XM radio following Greg Bell’s wonderful playlists as well as a variety of podcasts, such as Myths and Legends by Jason Weiser.

Update:

The Owl, the Sword, & the Efil Stone – Book One of The Chronicles of Eldershire

The countdown continues — today is 184!

Read & Write On!
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Mr. Scruffy — The Muse

BEING A MUSE IS A TOUGH JOB!

Mr. Scruffy
Mr. Scruffy, a dedicated owl who is Pam’s Muse.

Mr. Scruffy here — I serve as Pam’s Muse. And, let me tell you, it is a tough job, Bub! Gees, she can be hard settle her in a chair. Getting her to put her thoughts down is even harder. She is easily distracted. Between you and me, I believe she has a touch of some affliction that takes her off task so easily. Don’t get me started about her reading e-mail, reading news, and then, when she settles into reading other blogs — Oh Lord! It is hours later.

I sit here at her side, on her little table field with all kinds of articles she wants to read. I look at her like she is going to listen to me. Oh yeah…only if! I do have to say that she appears to think a lot about writing. You should see the piles of post-it notes with ideas on them. If she put those down on paper, even if she just listed them, she’d have two thick books as thick as a large dictionary.

But, alas, she doesn’t settle into writing on her novel like she should. Ugh! It’s driving me plumb batty. I mean, what is an owl to do? What do you think should happen? How do you help someone with “delay-in-writing” syndrome?

Getting Back on Track

Don’t get me wrong. Pam can write when she sets down to it. She’s already written four books. You want proof? Look at her Books page for the details. Right now, she is supposed to be working on her latest speculative fiction journey – The Chronicles of Eldershire. She has this really evil witch – Nukpana Fraener – that Pam appears to be struggling with her character.

Why the struggle? I’m not sure. But, I will tell you, it seems to eat her up inside when she does write about her. I see Pam stop and go. I see her reading other books with strong antagonists. She gets an idea, sits down to write, and then types some. Just as suddenly, she stops.

Do you have any ideas of how I might be able to help her? Can you point me to an evil protagonist that you liked, but wished would die? I can think of a few, but I think she is still searching for the type of antagonist that will inspire her to write. What do you think? Why do you think she is having trouble?

Lately, in the evenings when her husband, Hobbit King, comes home, after dinner, they spend their late evening hours watching GRIMM. Kinda of a marathon “catch up.” Oh, if you haven’t seen this show, which I think is a new twist on a contemporary soap opera, you need to watch it. It is full of twists & turns and lots of evil folks. Pam and Hobbit King are currently watching Season 5.

Pam said to me she thought it might help her inspire her writing. I’m not sure it has. But, then again, she is blogging today. Something she hasn’t done for two weeks. What do you think? Do you have any advice for her?

Thanks in Advance

Well, I’ve got to get back to helping her. She’s heading out now to go do some errands. She says she hopes to sit down and get back to her novel. (She hasn’t written on it for a week. She hasn’t been on any social media for two weeks. She kind of separated herself.) I’m not worried about her yet. But, I see the struggle in her face. (Yes, pun intended for those of you who watch GRIMM). So, any help you can give. She will very much appreciate. And, so will I!

Until later — Write On, My Friends!
Mr. Scruffy

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Make some fire!