Archive | September, 2011

Writing Through a Headache

26 Sep

I have had a sinus headache since about 3 a.m. It’s one of those headaches that hangs around in my forehead and nose and never quite goes away until it is good and ready. I am guessing it will be sometime this afternoon. But I don’t want to waste a morning when I want to be writing.I have enough writing projects that I should be able to find one that I can work on through a headache. I don’t think I have the energy to tackle the major revisions I want to do on my sequel/prequel to The Gate House. My other Nara story, Nara of the Islands, is almost finished, but an ending is hard to write with a headache.I love writing book reviews, and I have one I need to work on for Suspense Magazine. That’s a “maybe” project. But for writing fun and relaxing, I think I will go back to what I call “My Real Story.” This is a story I started writing just for fun a few years ago. I have abandoned it and returned to it several times. I don’t know if it will ever be something I will want published. It is essentially a fantasy story, and I enjoy wandering around in this other world when I need a break from writing “work.” For me, this story is play. I am not following an outline. I don’t have any particular market in mind. I have no audience except myself. The story is set in the land of Three Rivers, so named because I worked in Tres Rios when I lived in Costa Rica. The land of Three Rivers is a place of pure imagination, and it’s all mine.How do you handle those days when your energy for writing is just not there, but you don’t want to miss your writing time?

Writing Negative Book Reviews

22 Sep

I write book reviews for a magazine, and of the twenty-five or so novels I have reviewed in the past year, most have been well-crafted, with appealing characters and story lines that kept me turning the pages until the end. Even if the book was not one I would have picked up by my own choice, if I was drawn into the story and could see where the author was taking me, I enjoyed the book. Reviewing gives me an opportunity to expand my own reading horizons and try a new sub-genre. (Most of the books I review are in the mystery or suspense category.) However, the novel I most recently reviewed, I found to be flawed in several areas. Although the story line had possibilities, and most of the characters were well-developed, the story lacked fluidity and some of the elements of the plot were too far-fetched to be believable. I felt bad when I wrote the review. I like to say positive things about fellow authors, but I felt that honesty was important. Of course this is my opinion. That is what a book reviewer does — reads a book and then writes her opinion. But when the negative outweighs the positive, it is difficult to anticipate seeing the review in print, and wonder how the author will feel.I don’t know how other reviewers feel, but this was a difficult task for me.