Last year I read 23 books. By my standards, that number was completely unacceptable. I normally read at least one book a week, if not more. Books are what keep my creativity flowing, they are what I study to hone my storytelling abilities, in other words, they are necessary. So when I see how few books I read last year, I cringe.
As for writing, I only wrote three poems, two halfway completed short stories, two completed rough draft short stories and one novella last year.
This year, I’m going to try and track my reading and writing progress here on the blog.
What I’m Reading:
At the moment, I’m reading Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson. It was one of the first books I downloaded on the Kindle, but I never got around to reading it. Not sure why. Well, I wasn’t sure why before I checked the number of pages. Now, I know why. This book is over 900 pages long!
I’m not a stranger to long books. I’ve read most of Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen Series (some of the best fantasy I’ve ever read) and I’ve jumped into some of Brandon Sanderson’s thickest books, but coming from such a dry reading year, I didn’t want to plunge into a 900 page novel filled with pages and pages of mathematical prose solving the formula for when a bike wheel will fall off a bike. A nice 300 page book about elves or ghosts or even ghost elves would have been a better choice.
Nevertheless, I started reading the book and once I got semi-used to the back and forth time jumps not just between the nineties and the forties, but sometimes even jumping back and forth in time within chapters (and skimming all the mathematical jargon once it gets too deep), it’s not so bad. I connect most with an army sergeant named Bobby Shaftoe and a side character, Alan Turing. I’m not too crazy about either Waterhouse character. I’m about 300 pages into it. Good news because I still have so much story to uncover. Bad news because I was reading this book as part of a reading challenge and I only have a week or two left!
What I’m Writing:
I’m currently working on the second draft of a sci-fi story about a woman who works for the Intergalactic Department of Financial Affairs. It deals with boundaries and genocides and prejudices wrapped up with the quirky cyber-punk details I enjoy. I’m hoping to finish it this month and complete any revisions by the end of February. If all works out according to plan, this is one of the pieces I’ll submit with my application to the writing workshops.