Showing posts from December, 2020

Writer's Wednesday: Is a blurb part of the story?

 In my review of The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet , I noted that I started listening without reading (or re-reading, given how long I'd had the book on hold at the library) the blurb. The way that affected my reading experience made me realize that our blurbs aren't just important for marketing--they are actually part of how most people read our books. That understanding has me working on a better sense of what and how to write the blurbs (book-jacket summary) to improve not just the likelihood that the person looking at it will buy the book, but also their experience of reading the book. Of course, all the holiday stuff distracted me from this question, so it's taken me until now to write this post, and precious little thinking has taken place. But here are the things I think I get from reading a blurb: The main character's name and something about him/her--life circumstances, if not personality. Setting. I presumably know genre in the broadest sense, at least, but

SF Review: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

    Title: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) Author: Becky Chambers. Read by Rachel Dulude Publication Info: Tantor Audio, 2016. 14 1/2 hours. Hardback by Hodder & Stoughton, 2015; 404 pages. Source: Library digital services Blurb:  Rosemary Harper doesn’t expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain. Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. It’s also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a di

All I want for Christmas...

As this very difficult holiday season moves into gear, I am moved to do as many do and write about the gifts we want. Not me as a writer, but me as a person who is struggling with a grief that is sometimes hard to bear, or to tell apart from depression (note: I understand there is a difference between grief and depression. But they can feel an awful lot alike). So here is... What the Grieving Widow* Wants for Christmas Okay, the answer to that is obvious. But even in my most irrational moments, some part of my brain knows I can't have what I really want (the science-fiction lover in me would vote for time travel so I can fix it myself). So what do I want that I *can* have? 1. The ability to remember that those horrible moments when the world is a sucking black hole won't last forever. I don't mean won't last as in I'll be less devastated in a year or two, but awareness that the black hole comes and goes on a pretty short cycle. If I can hold on for an hour or a day,

Nonfiction Review: Mobituaries, by Mo Rocca (audiobook)

  Title: Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving Author: Mo Rocca (read by the author) Publication Info: Simon and Schuster Audio, 2019. Hardback, Simon and Schuster, 2019, 384 pages.   Source: Library digital resources   Publisher's Blurb:  Mo Rocca has always loved obituaries—reading about the remarkable lives of global leaders, Hollywood heavyweights, and innovators who changed the world. But not every notable life has gotten the send-off it deserves. His quest to right that wrong inspired Mobituaries, his #1 hit podcast. Now with Mobituaries , the book, he has gone much further, with all new essays on artists, entertainers, sports stars, political pioneers, founding fathers, and more. Even if you know the names, you’ve never understood why they matter...until now. Take Herbert Hoover: before he was president, he was the “Great Humanitarian,” the man who saved tens of millions from starvation. But after less than a year in the White House, the stock market crashed,

IWSG: The best month for writing?

  It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group post. The IWSG is the brainchild of the amazing Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh. Since we are all insecure and can use all the support we can get, huge thanks to Alex and this month's co-hosts, Pat Garcia, Sylvia Ney, Liesbet @ Roaming About Cathrina Constantine, and Natalie Aguirre!   Each month we have an optional question to spark discussion.  This month's Optional Question: are there months or times of the year when you are more productive than others, and why? Let me know what you think! I think this is the flip side of the question about when it is hard to write, or what makes it hard. I've commented in the past that travel/vacations mess with my ability to write regularly, since there tends not to be a lot of down time, and a lot of distractions. Aside from the obvious corollary that writing happens more when I'm at home, I'm not sure whe