gonna try to write my novel this month

Taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo for the first time. Instead of limiting the writing to a novel, with Camp NaNoWriMo, one can write anything one wants. Plays, comic books, movie scripts, novels, whatever anybody wants to write, they can. So I will again try to get my novel on virtual paper.

Just got to find the time every day to write. That’s the hardest part.

I’ll keep you posted.

book review: The Circle

Social media gone crazy, it can happen. That is, if it hasn’t already. But The Circleby Dave Eggers takes it to a new level. Total transparency (wearing a necklace camera, a bracelet connected to social network, another bracelet keeping track of all health issues) of politicians, little cameras planted everywhere: beaches, streets, houses, people’s necks as necklaces. People getting upset when they are not being responded to within seconds.

These are some of the basics of what a company does. It all starts with one account to do everything. One log in for e-mail, buying things, access to friends and family. And soon enough, it becomes mandatory to have one.

Though portions of the book or somewhat repetitive and almost cartoonish, such as the main character Mae Holland having nine monitors at her work desk so she can keep track of her many venues of social networking, it overall tells of a scenario that may not be too far down the road for us.

I enjoyed the book. Thought it was a good indication of just where we might go as a society if this current trend of social media and immediate need of acceptance and praise continues.

book review: king of hell

I remember picking up the first book in this series, Of Saints & Shadows when I was still working at a bookstore a few years after high school. It had been the type of vampire book I was looking for. Not a big fan of Anne Rice, I wanted something dark and gritty, which this was.

Now, over twenty years later, the series is complete.

And I’ll be honest, I wanted to hate this book. Not because it’s the last Peter Octavian book, but because it is exactly what it should be. It closes everything nicely, with a [SPOILER] bit of hope at the end.

Golden brings in characters from his other series, The Menagerie and The Veil. And these characters play key rules so I’m going to have to read these stories now.

The story did seem fast though. And unlike his earlier Shadow books, these seemed…less gruesome, less gory. Don’t get me wrong, it’s there, but this last one seemed to be somewhat cleaner than the others. While reading other books I would want to cringe at times with what he had written, this one, not so much.

A sore point with the book, which is the Kindle version, is there are a great many typos. But this seems to be almost the norm with Kindle books. I am surprised when there aren’t any typos more than if I find any. But that’s for another post.

Overall, if you enjoyed the Shadow Saga up to now, you should enjoy King of Hell (The Shadow Saga).

book review: S

First book of the new year, and was it long to read. S., by J. J. Abrams and Doug Dorst is not a book you want to read when commuting. There is quite a bit going on with this book. From the novel, to the novel in the margins, to all the inserts, to all of the names of different characters (most of them are just referenced through the novel in the margins), this is a book that takes time. And effort.

Long story short, there is a novel called The Ship of Thesus, whose author is sort of unknown. You see, no one has actually seen the author, except for a select few of his contemporaries. Though one or more of these may actually be the author. The second novel, the one in the margins, is correspondence between two people, an expunged grad student, and an undergrad who finds the grad student’s copy of The Ship of Thesus in the university library. They start talking back and forth writing in the margins, and as they get to know one another, they also try to solve the mystery of the who the author really was.

See, and that’s the short version.

There’s a lot more to it than this but I don’t want to give anything away. With all of the characters named in the book, the reader might want to take notes on who is who, exactly. And there several layers of margin correspondence going on. On any page they could be discussing when and where they are going to meet for the first time, what happened after the grad student met with one of editor of the novel, and what happens when the undergrad graduates. Fortunately, Abrams and Dorst have two different handwriting styles (script and print) and different colored inks (for the most part) so it’s easy to distinguish who is talking, and at what point in the relationship they are in.

I enjoyed the book, overall. There is a lot of thought put into it. Abrams and Dorst must have laid everything out with some weird frigging flowchart or something because this is some wild stuff. There are coded messages, and test from the novel that are underlined and used as part to reference events in the students’ lives. This is one well-thought out book. And there are inserts throughout the book like postcards, notes on school letterhead, napkins, pictures, that add to the dialog between the two students and helps with moving the story along.

That said, I did find myself annoyed with the story with the two students at times. A lot of it seemed redundant without any closing to it. I mean, you find out what happens to them, but some of the incidents that occur are never answered. Whether that is good or not, depends I guess. I don’t need to have everything resolved, but some answers would have been good.

I think I was more interested in the “main” novel, though even this was far from being perfect. Some of it felt forced in a way to push the other story along. The ideas were there, and if this were a stand alone novel, I’m sure it would have been better and I would have enjoyed it.

Overall, I liked it more than I didn’t. I would suggest reading it if you have the time and don’t mind putting in some effort. Just don’t expect everything to be nicely wrapped up.

end of year 2013

i should probably post something about the year ending and new one beginning but that’s not me. i don’t do reflection.

or looking forward. which i guess is speculation. not big on either of those.

sorry, nose itch.

as i was saying, i don’t do reflection or speculation. i should, might do me some good. then again, might make me feel worse.

sigh….

trying this again

once again i am going to try to keep a blog. why? damned if i know. but i’ll try again.