Discworld! Or the time I tried a new author I’ve never read and can’t figure out why it’s taken me so long.

The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1)The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I decided to try out a new author for my first book while on vacation in Kauai. I’m not sure why I’ve never read any Terry Pratchett before, especially since I’ve known about his series and heard nothing but high praise for it since I can remember, but this book is absolutely amazing. I cannot wait to read more of the Discworld series. It’s hard for me to even convey how much I loved this book. I will admit to being a little lost at first as to what exactly was happening but before I knew it I was whisked away on an adventure with Rincewind the wizard and Twoflower the tourist as the sapient pearwood luggage chest follows them all over Discworld. So many authors I read on a regular basis have sung such high praises for this series and now I know why. It is simply put, one of the best books I have ever read. I found it hard to put down even with the Pacific Ocean lapping at the seawall outside of our rental house. My only complaint about this book was that each of the chapters was extremely long, I believe there were only 4 in the entire first book, and I vastly prefer shorter chapters. But honestly who the hell cares how many chapters there are or how long each of them is when the writing, characters, and story are as amazing as what Terry Pratchett put onto the page. RIP Terry Pratchett, I feel ashamed for not finding your truly fantastic series of books before now.

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Travels while Travelling

If you’ve ever hung out with me much and heard my talk about Michael Crichton you’ve probably already heard my story related to my first reading of this book when I was around 12 years old. I had started reading Crichton in 4th grade and was just devouring book after book of his. I had never much been into autobiographies, and I still am not, but this is one of my favorite Crichton books, fiction or non-fiction. Even though this didn’t seem like any of his other science fictiony/technological horror books I was more interested to learn about the author himself. As you can guess from the title this book involves what Crichton’s experiences were up and traveling across the planet trying to learn more about himself and humanity as a whole.

The story I alluded to earlier happened when Crichton was in Africa. I was on a road trip with my family somewhere in the Pacific Northwest and as often was the case, and still is, I came across a word that I was not entirely familiar with. The word was Clitoris. There was some African children that were walking down the road in white dresses headed towards a ceremony where they would have their genitalia mutilated. Crichton described the strangeness of the scene and since this was before the time of smartphones or even Personal Computers really, I had to ask my parents what the hell Clitoris meant. My mother immediately snatched the book away from me aghast at what exactly it was that I was reading. I was naturally very upset and didn’t understand what I had done wrong. It also didn’t help that they never told me what exactly the word meant. Eventually after reading parts of the book herself my mother gave it back to me and let me finish the book. But it’s a funny anecdote that I’m sure I will tell for the rest of my life. So when I picked up this book for a re-read on my current travels to Hawaii, I was pretty damn excited to see what it was like reading this book 20+ years later. I was surprised at how much I actually remembered and how specific my memories of reading them when I was 12 were. As soon as I started reading chapters everything that was going to happen would rush back into my mind. It didn’t hamper my enthusiasm for the re-read at all though. I stayed up about 2 hours later than I wanted to last night finishing the book and it was so so good. It was remarkable the amount of things Crichton talks about in Travels that actually relate to my current life. He talks a lot about consciousness and figuring out who he was as a person. He even devotes a lot of the book to his exploration of meditation, auras, physic phenomenon, and so on. I, along with my wife, have been interested in this same sort of exploration over the past few years. It was really kind of crazy how much it paralleled to certain things happening in my own life. A lot of the things he does and Travels he takes were happening to him at around the same age I am now.

I can’t express enough how much I enjoyed re-reading this book. I have been doing a re-read of all of his works over the last few years and this book has really amped up my excitement to continue that re-read and get into more of his books I enjoyed so much as a grade school and middle school kid. Here’s a pick of me chillazin’ in Hawaii.

Joe Hawaii Yoda.jpg

Old Man’s War and The Slow Regard of Silent Things

I’ve been finishing up books like mad this New Year and I’m happy to report that my resolution to read more is 2015, so far has been a success. Writing has also been a success in the New Year so far, I have gotten some good work done on Harbingers and my wife and I have been plodding away on our original TV Sitcom Pilot Script. More to come on our Pilot Script, we just finished the treatment and are starting to get to the actual writing, but first I want to discuss two awesome books I have recently had the pleasure of reading. Just a heads up there will be spoilers for Old Man’s War and The Slow Regard of Silent Things, so stop now or forever hold your peace.

Old Man’s War is a book that I have had for a while, I won it from the tor.com best sci-fi/fantasy novels of the 2000’s contest, and randomly decided to bring down to Boise with me for Christmas. It’s not a very big book and for that I’m thankful because I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. Old Man’s War is John Scalzi’s debut novel and if my own debut novel is even a tenth as good as Old Man’s War I will consider it a success. This book was pretty much a space opera, but for the first quarter or so of the book we don’t really have any idea what is about to happen and I think that is one of the reasons it works so well. I also really enjoyed it because it dealt with being in the military in the future and in space and being an Air Force Vet myself this was also fun to see how my imaginings stacked up against Scalzi’s.

John Perry is the main character of the book, at the age of 65 humans on Earth can sign up for the Colonial Defense Force or CDF, because of course Acronyms for everything that’s totally how the military rolls, and he and his wife do so when they are given the opportunity. The population of Earth knows that there is a wider Universe and that aliens in it do not particularly like humanity, but no one seems to know exactly what the deal is with the CDF and why their age limit to join is 75. John just recently turned 75 and since his wife has passed he decides to follow through on his commitment and he joins the ranks of the CDF, knowing that he will never return to Earth. Everyone is under the impression that the CDF has some magic technology that will reverse aging or something similar but when they finally learn the truth I actually thought it was more crazy and awesome than I or the old humans in the book imagined.

The deal is simply this, your consciousness is transferred to a modified younger superhuman version of yourself, that is green, and you go out and fight the Universe in the name of humanity and the CDF. If you last the 10 years required of your contract you are given a new young non-modified version of your body and a nice place on some far away planet to spend the rest of your days. Most of the recruits will die however and we see most of the people John meets along the way find this fate, but John is able to survive, thrive, and make some crazy discoveries along the way. The military training scenes were some of my favorite because they really reminded me of how things went down in Basic in the Air Force.

John heads out as a grunt into the Universe, fighting a lot of crazy Alien species, like tiny versions of humans called Covandu, that they stomp on and are easy to defeat in a ground attack but nearly impossible in space. There are also the dastardly Wraey who have a taste for human flesh and have discovered a way to detect ships entering the system, even though their technology is not to that capability yet. In fighting the Wraey on a distant planet called Coral John runs across his wife, but as it turns out it is just his wife’s shell and her body is now in use by a Special Forces member named Jane Sagan. It seems that when human’s sign on the dotted line, giving DNA during the signup, if they don’t make it and join the CDF when they turn 75 their DNA are still used to make enhanced bodies for Special Forces to inhibit. This was a very interesting aspect of the story because these Special Forces are human it seems, but they were only “born” when the CDF created them and gave them consciousness (not from 75 year old humans). They have only known life in the Special Forces and to me it would be pretty damn weird to gain consciousness without having to grow up and have a childhood first. They are very good at their job though and John is able to help them win the battle of Coral and make his way into the ranks of Officer.

I can’t recommend Old Man’s War enough to anyone out there that has not yet read it, there are six books total in the series and I look forward to devouring each of them in turn very soon. Up next is the Amazing Patrick Rothfuss and his quirky novella that takes us back to the world of 4 corners and gives us an inside look at the mysterious Auri.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things

In retrospect I wish I had soldiered through and made it to Seattle for the Rothfuss book tour and reading where I had a signed copy waiting for me. But alas I didn’t make it but was able to quickly snatch up a copy of his new novella The Slow Regard of Silent Things. It was a weird read, I have honestly never read quite anything like it before, but this is a good thing not a bad one. Auri is such a strange and mysterious character in the Kingkiller Chronicles. She lives under the school in an old abandoned section of it called the Underthing. She is odd, flighty, solitary, picky, and a character that I honestly didn’t necessarily want to know more about. But I’m not sad that I do.

Although The Slow Regard of Silent Things doesn’t delve into what made Auri the way she is, it does give a sneak peek into her day to day life. Holy hell is it a weird life. Auri seems to be a Namer, as we see from her finding things and areas and dubbing them as she sees fit, and she knows Alchemy as we see from her expositions into soap making. Kvothe always wondered how Auri got around in the Underthing, because ya know its underground and freaking pitch black, and we quickly learn about a little ball of glowing light named Foxen. Foxen is one of many collectibles that Auri has created or found, were not quite sure, though I suspect she made Foxen. The entire novella centers on the fact that Auri knows that Kvothe is coming to visit her and she must get three presents ready for his arrival. My main complaint with the novella was that it ended before we got to see the exchange between Kvothe and Auri. I do suspect that since one of his presents was a bed and a place to stay if he needed, that our hero will be using it as a refuge in the third book. The details of her day to day existence again are very strange but also strangely interesting. She is so much of a different character than any that have met in the Kingkiller Chronicles so far. There are probably a half dozen or so other characters I want to know more about but I’ll take anything Rothfuss wants to give me.

If you are new to the world of 4 Corners and Patrick Rothfuss then I, and even the author himself in the introduction, would not recommend you start with this book. I’m glad I read his books twice before I picked up The Slow Regard of Silent Things, I even look forward to my next re-read when I can make more sense of the areas of the Underthing that Kvothe searches for the secret entrance to the Stacks. This novella would be awfully confusing if you are not familiar with his work. But everyone should check out The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear anyways so go out and pick them up, give them a read (or two), and then settle down with The Slow Regard of Silent Things, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Up next I have a blog post coming, hopefully by the end of the week, on Odds On by Michael Crichton written under his pseudonym John Lange. That’s right I’m back in the Michael Crichton Experience after a small break and I really enjoyed this crime novel and I’m looking forward to more. Any Crichton book that I haven’t read before is always good times.

The Testing Cycle book two: Independent Study, The King Killer Chronicles book one: The Name of the Wind, and NanoWrimo

You can find my post on the first book of the testing cycle here. These books are nice short reads in the YA genre set in a dystopian future a la Hunger Games, but they are different enough that I still have enjoyed them. The 2nd in The Testing Cycle is called Independent Study, though after reading the book I couldn’t quite figure out why. The 2nd book in the series was not as good as the first but still held my attention enough that I want to find out what happens to end the series. From talking with friends and co-workers who have read Hunger Games and other dystopian YA novel series everyone’s favorite book is always the first and they usually end up not liking how the author ends the series. I will be finding out if that trend holds true for The Testing Cycle.
Cia, the main character of The Testing Cycle series, is now settling into her routine at the University. Her memories from what exactly happened in the first book have been erased but there is a recording she has hidden for herself that gives all the grisly details of just how cut throat and murderous the Testing really was. She doesn’t want to believe what her own voice is telling her but after being assigned a specific field of study she witnesses another student being “re-assigned” from the University and she finally comes face to face with the truth. Cia’s field of study that she is forced to enter is Government, which was not even close to her first choice. There are of course more Tests to initiate the new students, because you know it’s the Testing. Crazy adventure, betrayal and ultimately triumph ensue but the leaders of the Testing seem to know something is up with her. The rebel sub-plot that was in the first book is explained more fully but it is still pretty confusing as to what exactly is happening and who can be trusted. That is probably the point though. I look forward to finding out what happens in book three and I hope to not be disappointed.
After finishing up book two of the testing cycle I grabbed several books that I have been wanting to read; Foundation and Empire, Dune, and The Name of the Wind. I end up deciding on a good ol’ fashion re-read of The Name of the Wind. I have said this before on my blog but if you haven’t read The Name of the Wind yet I feel sorry for you. My co-worker calls Rothfuss the Tolkein of our generation and I find it hard to disagree with his assessment. I could write a couple thousand words on all the different aspects of The Name of the Wind and why I like it so much but I won’t bore you with all that. There is an excellent re-read of the series by Jo Walton at tor.com that does the series much more justice that I ever could, it can be found here.
Rothfuss has a new novella out next week that is an adventure with Auri, the mysterious girl who lives in the Underthing below the University. He is doing a book tour for its release and I have tickets and a signed copy of the book waiting for me in Seattle. The 30th cannot come soon enough. I absolutely devoured Name of the Wind on the re-read; it only took me a little over a week to finish the book, which for me lately is a record. Currently I am almost halfway through The Wise Man’s Fear, the 2nd book of the Kingkiller Chronicles and with the weather forecast being lots of rain I should be able to finish it up this weekend.
NanoWrimo starts November 1st and I am looking forward to getting as much writing done as humanly possible in a month, hopefully finishing up book one of my Harbingers series. I have an itch to get revision started but I have to finish the rough draft of the book first. This year I am going to try and be a little more social with Nano and go to some meet ups and attend some write-ins. There is a local group here in the Tri-Cities for Nano and my wife and I need to get out of the house and try to make friends anyway so this will be a good excuse to do so. If you are also doing Nano this year feel free to friend me my username is Jobi-Wan.

The Passage

I have told pretty much everyone I have come in contact with that I know enjoys reading, and even a few who don’t, to pick up this book. So far I have convinced one person and they are reading it, more will soon follow I am sure of it. Fair warning there will be spoilers ahead for Justin Cronin’s The Passage.

I have admittedly had this book on my shelf for several years, I bought it a while ago after hearing recommendations from authors I enjoy such as Stephen King, and let me tell you the recommendations didn’t steer me wrong. I’m not sure why it took me so long to pick up and read, but I imagine it’s because of the other two dozen books I have sitting around my room ready to be devoured as well. On more than one occasion I went to bed intending to read a chapter or two and instead I woke up the next morning after only getting 5 hours of sleep because I couldn’t put the book down and I wanted to find out what happens next. The last book I recommended this much to other people is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, which by the way if you haven’t read you are severely punishing yourself because it is so so good.

This book is about a dystopian world that is created when the United States government decides to try and create a new, better, shinier, and ultimately blood sucking human being. Yes the main bad guys are vampires in this book. No they do not fall in love with young buxom lasses and fret over whether or not they are monsters and if they can truly love a human…

For some crazy ass reason the US government decides that experiments to create the perfect human being should be carried out on Death Row prison inmates that no one will miss. Because obviously they are the ideal candidates to give a serum to that turns you into a creature that drinks blood and lives for thousands of years. After twelve unsuccessful tries to make a new awesome form of humans the government then decides to use the serum on a 9 year old girl, Amy, who had just been abandoned by her mother at a convent down south.  Amy is pretty much a badass and the hero of the first book and of the trilogy I am going to assume but we’ll see, book 2 is out but I haven’t read it yet with book 3 on the way soon. Things go horribly wrong as soon as Amy is given the serum, which appears to have finally had the intended affects, and the world as we know it ends as the twelve other death row inmate vampires escape and turn everyone else into virals, a term the main group of characters use in the book which I really like.

One of aspects of Cronin’s writing that I enjoyed the most was his change of perspective and the way he jumps through time while still keeping the story going at a good pace. Several chapters were from a journal kept by one of the characters in the post-apocalyptic vampire world, they called them the Book of Sara and I thought they worked so well in the book, I actually kept hoping there would be more of them. The way he ends chapters was excellent and has made me do some thinking about my own writing. On revision of my novel I will be definitely be looking for better ways to end chapters so that the reader is left wanting more, just like I was with The Passage. After the chaos of the world ending the story jumps 100 years into the future and we follow a community of humans who have survived by having giant lights all around their compound, virals don’t like the lights or the sun so for the most part it keeps them out. There is however a very big problem with the lights, they are dying.

One of the most interesting aspects of this new post vampire apocalyptic society is that they keep their “littles” in a central building of the compound. They are not allowed to leave until they turn a certain age and they are not told about the virals and how the world actually is until the day they step outside the walls of their shelter. Pretty cruel when you think about it but it also makes sense, they get 8 years of innocence before they are exposed to the truth and have to come face to face with reality and how much survival actually sucks. Amy shows back up and even though it’s been 100 years she’s aged about 4 and looks to be 13 now, the journey to find out what Amy is and ultimately figure out how to stop the virals commences and it does not disappoint. I won’t go into any more detail about the book because seriously go pick it up and read it for yourself! It is awesome.

I am currently reading Independent Study, the 2nd book in The Testing trilogy, my review of the first book is HERE. I read 2/3 of it on our recent trip to Northern California and I look forward to finishing it up soon. They are short easy reads and similar to The Hunger Games but not so much alike that it feels like a rip off. I am not sure what I will read next but I feel like it will be something more science fiction, we’ll see what mood strikes me. I have been writing at least a little lately and I have eclipsed the 60k word mark. I have set a goal of 40 days of 1000 words minimum written on my novel before the end of 2014 and I feel confident I can reach that and then start revision!!!

Two for One: Eragon and Scoundrels

I haven’t gotten around to reading any Crichton lately, because I really haven’t been in the mood, but I still have been doing lots of reading and I have finished two books in the last few weeks. As I’ve gotten older I noticed that I tend to go through phases with reading, I will read a lot and want to read a lot for a few months or so and then I will not read at all for a while. I’m hoping that I can make this current reading phase that I am in last longer than a few months and finish up the initial draft of my novel while I’m at it. The wife and I are doing the camp Nanowrimo in July and if I can stick with it I will make my goal of 100k words total on my novel by the end of the camp. I already have several Alpha readers lined up and I am ready to start my first of many revisions, this ball needs to keep on a’ rollin. So with that this will be a two for one blog on Eragon and Scoundrels, fair warning there will be spoilers ahead for both of these books.

First a shot from my hotel room where I recently spent a week and a half in Kona Hawaii.

View from Hilton in Kona

The epic views of the Pacific were a great setting to finish this book up and I look forward to reading the others in the series sometime soon. Overall I really enjoyed the book even though I have read many others that are set in high fantasy worlds with Dwarves, Elves, Dragons, Magic and the like. It was very much a YA fantasy novel, much in the same genre that I hope to market my own book. My book will have considerably less Dwarves, Elves, and Dragon riders. But I do plan on keeping at least some Dragons around, but there will be no riding of them allowed, maybe… Eragon is the name of the main character who, while out on a hunting trip in some mountains surrounding his tucked away little farm where he lives with his Uncle and Cousin, finds a mysterious stone that appears out of nowhere. He was looking for something to eat and not a strange glowing stone so promptly tries to trade it for a bunch of meat to help his family survive the winter. It does not go well at the butchers but the blacksmith swoops in and hooks him up in exchange for some help at the Forge over the next year. Eragon gladly accepts and heads back to his farm with the haul that will help them make it through some tough times. Everything seems to be going fairly fine until the strange rock decides to hatch one night and blammo, Eragon now has a full-fledged Dragon to look after. It grows really fast, making it hard to keep a secret and after asking the local old Curmudgeon in town about Dragons, Brom, gives him a list of all the previous Dragons names and keeps asking very pointed questions about Dragons. Eragon consults with the Dragon who he can now communicate with telepathically and they decide her name will be Saphira. Saphira is my favorite character in the book and as things keep happening at a fairly quick pace all throughout their adventures she seems to grow as a character along with Eragon of course. Lots of bad things happen very quickly, some bad guys come and kill his uncle and destroy his farm so Brom and Eragon head off after them seeking revenge. Along the way Eragon learns he can perform magic and also learns the finer points of fighting by practicing every day with Brom, he even learns how to read. Lots of other fun and interesting things happen along the way and I would greatly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy, especially YA fantasy. Next up Scoundrels! But first a picture of the best beach I have ever been on, Hapuna beach on the Kona side of Hawaii.

Hapuna Beach Kona

Scoundrels is the latest Timothy Zahn Star Wars Expanded Universe novel, since Disney has taken over the Star Wars franchise they gave the EU some sort of new name but I forget what it is. This isn’t my favorite Zahn novel in the Star Wars universe but after a slow start the book really picked up for me and had a really crazy twist ending I didn’t see coming. The book is framed around a Heist, think Oceans 11 but instead of Brad Pitt and George Clooney, Han Solo and Lando Calrissian are running the show. Chewbacca along with a bunch of other characters are thrown in to liven things up and we get a little more detail on exactly how Lando came into Cloud City and what the old beef between he and Han was. There was a prequel novella included at the back of the book which I didn’t get to until about halfway through the novel, I wish I would have read it first because it really helped set things up and introduce some of the other cast that appears in Scoundrels.

I decided to pick up Justin Cronin’s The Passage after I finished Scoundrels and I have not been the least bit disappointed. It has really been hard to put down and I look forward to reading more as soon as I finish up this blog post! After that I am thinking of finishing Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy to help myself get back into the Sci-Fi writing groove. I started Camp Nanowrimo today and have about half my word goal for the day completed, I will write a little more before bed. That is all for now, I will probably update the blog next when I get the Michael Crichton Experience timeline up to speed, hopefully soon. Also I am disappointed the USA team lost to Belgium today but glad that Soccer got a little bit of the headlines I love the World Cup and I have my own personalized USA jersey to prove it!

jersey

I’m going to need a bigger mantle or how I figured out what I want to be when I grow up.

It has been quite a while since I posted, in fact this is my first post of 2014, but as I wrap up my final semester on my 3rd college degree I have finally figured out the answer to a question I have heard many times throughout my life. What do you want to be when you grow up? Before the age of 11 my answer would vary. I remember saying astronaut or cowboy or scientist when my grandparents would constantly ask me this question. But after the original Jurassic Park movie came out in 1993 the answer always involved Paleontologist. As I got older and went through school the Paleontology option stayed the same but I also added some stipulations, Paleontologist or Marine Biologist or Paleobotanist. It was always something to do with science, these were my favorite classes growing up, and I loved learning about nature and how things worked.

But being some sort of scientist is not what I ended up being when I got older, though my first degree does have science in the title! I have a Liberal Arts B.A. in Political Science an Associates of Applied Science in Disaster Preparedness and now my most recent degree is a Bachelor’s in Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Fitting all of these diplomas along with my wife’s B.A. in English and Master’s in English Literature on the mantle is going to take some fancy maneuvering but I already have a Facebook picture planned out in my head.

So how did I end up working at Hanford on top of millions of gallons of nuclear waste? I joined the Air Force in 2003 at the age of 21 to make myself grow up. It worked, but I quickly knew that a career in the military was not for me. I did learn valuable skills and was trained in Emergency Management in the Air Force, teaching classes and running exercises for a little over four years. I switched into the Air Guard in 2005, moved back to Boise to focus on finishing college, and met my future beautiful blushing bride in acting class my first semester back at Boise State. She was wearing a Star Wars shirt the first time I met her so it was definitely meant to be. I worked my butt off and was able to graduate in 2008, the same semester as Ellie, and after a short stint at the Census Bureau I was able to snag a job at Hanford. One of the more valuable lessons I have learned as I get older is that the old adage it’s not what you know but who you know is oh so very true.

I am just now getting back into the field of Emergency Management, recently accepting a job in the discipline again, after working at Hanford for almost five years in Operations. I am looking forward to the change and challenge of the new position, and the good sized raise that comes along with it, but I honestly can’t see myself doing this for another 30+ years. My former boss, the one who originally hired me at the Hanford site likes to ask me the question I mentioned earlier every time I go and visit her, what do you want to be when you grow up? The answer has always been I don’t know or I’m not sure or something to do with movies, which after three degrees not having anything to do with movies is probably not going to happen. But the question has been on my mind quite a bit lately after I accepted this new job to go back into a field that my background is in, and I now have two degrees in.

Ellie and I have recently been talking about what we want in the future and how we can get there; this seems to be a pretty normal conversation for people as they get older. Being the anti-social animal loving couple that we are we both agree that we want a ranch set a way from the hustle and bustle of people where we can be with the animals we love and help those animals that are in need of it. While still being close enough that the friends and family we love and want to be around can come and visit every so often, but not too often. So how do we get there, and not have it take 30 or more years to achieve? Winning the lottery really isn’t a viable option as much as I would like it to be, but working as much as I do and not enjoying it all that much, other than the nice paychecks, and having Ellie work in a job that she doesn’t particularly care for either for the next few decades doesn’t really appeal to us either.

I have always heard that if you find a job that you love to do then you will never work a day in your life. This to me has never meant that you don’t work hard but if you find something that you love doing and truly enjoy doing it then you won’t mind the tediousness of it. I think I have finally found that thing. I have always been a reader. I love to read and get lost in a story and the characters that come to life on the page. But I have never been a writer. English was never my best subject growing up, and still isn’t, I always tell people I married an English major for a reason. But since I first came up with an idea for a story and started world building on it over five years ago I have found myself unable to stop thinking about it and continue the building. I was scared when I started writing on the story several years ago, terrified actually because I have never written anything of length and I have always thought my writing kind of sucked. But once I made myself stop editing everything I wrote as I went along and just got it down on the page I found that I really enjoyed writing. I enjoyed going into a scene with an idea and then my characters reacting in a totally different way than I had originally imagined it in my head. I like that it’s hard, that it’s frustrating, and that I can’t stop thinking about things I want to change on my revisions or coming up with new ideas.

I have over 50k words down on my first book and I am going to double that at a minimum before I start my first revision and I am planning on a series of five books total. I have to pretty much carry around a notebook all the time because ideas will randomly pop up in my head at the most ridiculous times and I have to get them written down so I can revisit them later. I know I have many years to go before I will be ready to try and get my book published but I look forward to the work and relish the opportunity to work on something I am really passionate about. Even then I will have to be extremely lucky to be able to make this into my career like I want and even if I somehow get published and make a little money off of my book I more than likely won’t be able to quit my job and write full time, but that sure as hell is not going to stop me from trying.

Now that this latest degree is finished and I am hopefully finished with college forever I plan on stepping up my reading quota and writing every day. This blog will be a part of that process, but after not actually writing on my book in quite a while and focusing on getting good grades in school instead, I plan on taking the advice that I have heard repeated over and over by successful writers. In order to succeed at being a writer you must write, and you must read as much as possible, especially books in the genre you plan on being published in. So that is exactly what I am going to do. I have stacks of books just waiting for me to get lost in, 50k words written and several notebooks full of ideas, maps, and characters that I am looking forward to going through and continuing to write on. I don’t feel overwhelmed or scared by the prospect of being rejected dozens of times by publishers and agents, all authors have to go through that. I feel happy that at the age of 32 I can finally give my former boss a definitive answer to her question the next time she asks me. What do you want to be when you grow up? I’m going to be a speculative fiction writer.