The Fox’s Curse Review

The Fox's Curse (Crow Investigations, #3)The Fox’s Curse by Sarah Painter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was another fun read. One of the things I especially like about this stories is the little hints of things going on underneath the main story. Hints about the Families and other possible magic. The hints make me try to guess what these bigger stories might be and keep me reading to see if I get any more hints.

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The Silver Mark

The Silver Mark (Crow Investigations, #2)The Silver Mark by Sarah Painter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another fun story. I love how fast these are even if it makes them really hard to put down so going to bed at a reasonable time is out of the question. The ending was a little abrupt and left a couple of cliffhangers (I really don’t like cliffhangers!), though, but at least the next book is out so I can jump right in and see what’s happening next.

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White Pines by Gemma Amor

White PinesWhite Pines by Gemma Amor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story kept pulling me along, sometimes dragging me to the next part, sometimes just encouraging me to get there. But it was always hard to find a stopping point. There was such a rhythm, such an ebb and flow to the whole thing, and the slowly unfolding depths kept emerging. It was somehow slow moving and intense all at once. Very worth reading.

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Reading, Reviews, and The Girl in the Green Silk Gown

You know, I meant for this to be about the stories I love and the people who write them and the myths and folklore that inspire them when we’re talking about that kind of story. But then I never got around to writing up any of those story reviews. I always wanted to write so much about each and every one of them, and it seems overwhelming.

Today, though, as I finished my current book (and now the joy and angst of deciding what’s next!), I realized I’ve been ignoring the thing on Goodreads where you can blog your reviews.

It’s not what I initially had in mind, but at least it’s moving into the territory I hoped this blog would cover when I started it.

So here’s the first step. I may even go back and share reviews of favorite books over the years here to fill things out and move a little further toward what I’d like to be doing here.

The Girl in the Green Silk Gown (Ghost Roads #2)The Girl in the Green Silk Gown by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved the poetry of the language and the story–stories, really, because we got so many stories here. This is one of those book I wish I could read for the first time again.

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Winter Writing Thoughts

Image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.com

I want my writing life to be cozy. I don’t entirely (or really even a little bit) know how that would look in my world. But I want it.

I have some other, more measurable goals, too. Maybe best to talk about those while I try to figure out that cozy thing.

  • Finish my NaNoWriMo 2019 story (I think I’m really close to an ending on my rough draft at least)
  • Edit and share my NaNoWriMo 2019 story with my writing group. I’ll do this a few pages at a time and take them to the meetings (we meet twice a month)
  • Have something to share at writing group at most if not all meetings (most = 80%, so I could skip sharing 5 times during the year)
  • Do writing practice at least twice a week while I’m mostly focusing on finishing and editing my story

These are longer term goals, I think, not just for ROW80 Round 1, but I don’t have a specific ending date. Or maybe I do. I’d like to have this story finished (and named!) and first pass edits done by September. That way I can spend some time planning and getting ready for this year’s NaNo.

That’s it. I’m trying to have goals but not have them so tight that I don’t have breathing room. This feels like where I want to be–doing some writing practice, working on a story, going to writing group. And going to the day-long writing retreats when I can. It feels like a good writing life. Now to figure out that cozy part.

Round 4 Goals

I’m going to try to do a few blog posts for ROW80 this round. The past few rounds I’ve been doing my check-ins just on the Facebook page, and I’ll mostly still do that I’m sure, but it’s nice to have some posts to go back to so I can see what my plans were, see my progress. It’s not very easy to go back to a FB post and find my comments to see my progress.

One thing I’ve decided is that my check-ins will be more about how I feel about my progress. Goals and reports about specific numbers of days or words or pages written make me feel boxed in, and that’s not what I’m going for here. I’m just telling myself that up front, or reminding myself of it, so I don’t get caught up in tying myself up in minutiae.

Goals, ROW80 Round 4

  • Writing sessions 3-4 times a week (put them on the calendar!)
  • Go out to write at a coffee shop, etc. twice a month
  • Do NaNoWriMo
  • Go to at least one writing group a month (I have two to choose from, I just have to get myself out of the house)

Goals and Letting Go

I’ve been a storyteller my whole life. And I’ve been good at writing since we started learning to write paragraphs in elementary school. Combining the two was pretty natural. And I discovered a love for story structure and all things writing advice related. Clearly I was a writer.

But maybe not. Or not exclusively. And, what I haven’t admitted until recently, maybe not primarily. I always wanted to make art. I bought all sorts of art supplies and these thin and pricey books about how to draw and paint the ocean and how to draw trees and so on. But I didn’t have a natural talent for any of it. And I thought being an artist meant painting portraits or drawing sketches. That was all, and I wasn’t good at those. I was good at writing. So I was a writer.

But I was a writer who kept taking art classes. And then I found out that I had a talent for oil painting. I was in a workshop for a couple of years, and I improved, and my instructor encouraged me to keep painting. He even let me come to workshop when I didn’t have money for it because he said I should keep painting. But I stopped. Lots of reasons. But I stopped. It didn’t really matter, right? I was a writer who was interested in art, not an artist.

I’ve been holding onto that narrative for 20 years. I’m a writer who does art things. But the writing became more and more of a struggle because I really wanted to pour myself into the art stuff. But I’m a writer, I told myself. I’m a writer! I can’t just go around doing art all the time. I have to give my time to writing.

Sometime back in January? Early February? Sometime recently I had to open my eyes and admit that I want to spend most of my time on making things. I had to acknowledge that just because I’m good at writing and stories doesn’t mean that has to be my primary creative work. I had to admit that in some ways clinging to the writing was the easy path.

Am I stopping writing? No. I’m changing it, though. I think writing is crucial to my psyche. It clears my mind, opens my eyes, lets me see what I’m thinking and make new connections and build new ideas. But this isn’t from stories. It’s from writing practice, a beloved and very important part of my creative life. So I’m going to dedicate the writing part of my creative life to writing practice.

I’m going to stick with ROW80, too. I love the community and the connections I’ve made. It’s an important part of my life, and I want to stay with it. So here are my goals for Round 2:

  • Re-read Writing Down the Bones
  • Set up a dedicated spot for writing practice
  • Do writing practice at least 3 times a week (starting small with just 2 minutes and building as it starts to flow)
  • Write a weekly blog post for MuseCraft
  • Write at least 3 blog post check-ins for ROW80