This month has been one of extremes. Too hot outside, and too much work.
I have my fulltime day job, my freelance editing, and then writing on top of that. Plus three cats to snuggle with (fortunately my latter two jobs have some room for cat snuggles).
But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel! I’ve had a few days between editing jobs, and I’m writing fiendishly, trying to get the first draft of my novel THE ORPHEUS finished. Of course then I’ll have to transcribe it, but still, it’ll be brilliant to get it finished.
And that is all. I promise to get back to more regular posting soon.
It’s still in the very (very!) early stages, but the first thoughts of a trip are starting to slither around in my brain.
I love this stage, where everything’s still possible, and I don’t have to think about how much holiday time it’ll take up, and how I’ll get there, and where I’ll stay. (Though the latter is fun to ponder, especially later in the evening when I’m browsing VRBO.com.)
I like to travel in the spring, before the craziness of summer holiday travel sets in, and before the weather in most of the northern hemisphere gets too hot, although if I’d known that Chicago was going to be almost 100F while I was there, I might have picked another weekend…
And where am I going? Let me give you a hint…
Skybound by Aleksandr Voinov
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Set in Germany in 1945, Skybound brings us Felix, a young Schwarzer Mann, an airfield mechanic with a great admiration and love for flying ace Baldur Vogt. It’s near the end of the war, and the German aces (Experten) are fiercely trying to defend Berlin as the Allied forces attack.
I was immediately intrigued by the premise of this novella, as I don’t think I’ve ever read a book set in this era from a German point of view. Most fiction (and film) addressing this period tends to be from the Allied POV, and the reality of German soldiers, pilots, etc. is not even considered. I’d also known that Aleks had a thing for WWII history and I wanted to see how his interest translated onto the page.
As a result, I inhaled this novella, reading it in one sitting. It is at once poignant and bitter, heartening and harrowing. And it was thought-provoking, portraying a different mindset than what is often assumed of all German forces–the virulent Nazi beliefs are not shared by all. I love this novella for its story, but also for what I have learned, and I was especially delighted to learn some German terms (aided by the helpful glossary at the back). I would love to read more WWII-set stories from Aleksandr, and I hope he releases some more in the near future.
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If you’re in Calgary this coming weekend (August 10-12th, 2012), come check out the When Words Collide convention happening at the Village Park Inn (1804 Crowchild Trail NW).
I’ll be on a panel on Sunday morning at 10 a.m., talking about ‘Romance and Sex Through the Ages’. My fellow panelists are CaRWA members Michelle Beattie and Jade Buchanan, and we also have well-known novelist Kelley Armstrong, too.
And if you plan to stick around all weekend, check out some of the other excellent presentations and panels. I would recommend Saturday morning’s ‘Dead Men Still Talk’ presentation by Det. Sweet of the Calgary Police Service, the readings and Q&As by guest authors (Jack Whyte, Kelley Armstrong, et al.), and the live slush readings. Lots of the presentations and panels are geared towards writers, but if you’re a reader, there’s lots for you too.
Colton: Rodeo Cowboy by C.J. Carmichael
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I only started reading American Romance books late last year, and though I still haven’t read many, I love them for their strong yet wounded cowboys and their sensitive yet headstrong women. And maybe it’s because I’m a city girl, but there seems to be a certain old-fashioned, down home feel to these stories.
Colton is back to the family ranch after another rodeo, and he’s butting heads with his brother Ace, and feeling dissatisfied with life. He runs into Leah, a woman with whom he’d had a childhood friendship, and suddenly his feelings of friendship turn into something more. Leah feels similarly about him, but she’s wary of another relationship after just having been through a divorce. Plus, she has two kids, and they’ve already been through a lot of upheaval.
Leah’s feelings for Colton grow, but when he tells her a secret he’s never told another living soul, she challenges him to decide how he wants his life to be. And Colton has to come to terms with his secret before he can let love into his life.
This is a great read. I highly recommend it.
The University of Illinois Press has just released a new volume in their Simone de Beauvoir series! I can hardly wait to start reading her Political Writings, though they will have to wait until I have finished reading the biography written by Deirdre Bair.
I’ve already read her essay on the Marquis de Sade (and own it in paperback), but I am really looking forward to reading the transcription of the documentary film ‘A Walk Through the Land of Old Age’. I haven’t yet been able to manage to finish reading her book on Old Age, though it sits patiently waiting for me to pick it up again.
I’m really impressed with the University of Illinois for releasing the books in the Beauvoir series, and for the impressive scholarship and work put into the series by the main editor, Margaret A. Simons. I only wish I had such dedication.