Sunday, January 04, 2015

The Week in Review

I hope everyone had a very happy new year!

 It was a pretty quiet week here at the blog.

The blog post that garnered the most comments (generally how I measure interest) was this on fonts for backstory.

I thought Colin Smith's comment synthesized what I was trying to say a lot better than I did:

If I understand you correctly, you're saying that the manuscript FONT needs to be in either TNR or Courier New throughout. The font STYLE can be italicized for brief sections (e.g., a few lines of inner dialog, notes passed under the table, IM texts, etc.). But italics should not be used for extended chunks of text (e.g., back story). For those portions the writer should use a date or a section break rather than have paragraphs of italics.

As a general observation, it seems to me a bit reckless to take one's manuscript formatting tips from published novels. That's like trying to make an egg look like a chicken.

For some reason "sentient penises" were a continuing element in the comments. I'm not sure how this happened ...and I'm not sure I really want to ask.  Tawna Fenske novels are about as racy as I want to get!

There was a great deal of good information on how to get over the fear of having your work read by other people, as I predicted all of it from the comments on the post!

The comments on the week's earlier posts demonstrate we're all getting to know each other's pets. (one very hilarious benefit of posting cat/dog pictures here.)

This week I also managed to get a nice break between Christmas and New Year. Took a total shark dive on to the couch and read my face off!

For those of you interested in what I read when I'm not reading requested fulls, or client revisions, I keep a list at Library Thing (I prefer LT to GoodReads.)

This week's highlights:

The Bishop's Wife by Mette Ivie Harrison.  I heard about this when Mette's editor Juliet Grames posted the NYT review on Facebook.  I instantly ordered it, got it on Friday, and read it that day.
I was NOT disappointed. Expect to be hearing me talk about this more in the coming weeks.

Neverhome by Laird Hunt.  This was a book buzz panel choice at BEA last year. I meant to read it right after BEA but got sidetracked. (The story of my reading life!)  I picked it up because I was intrigued by the idea of women going to battle back in the Civil War days.  It's a haunting, lyrical novel.  The writing is exquisite.  I think I've got a new reading rule after picking this up: the shorter the novel, the slower you need to read.  My eye is geared toward "page turning commercial fiction" and I really had to remind myself to slow down and savor this.

Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd. I've had this kicking around for awhile but re-started and finished this week.  I loved it. And the author is now going to be doing the James Bond books, so I may start reading those again. I'm sort of a purist on Bond. The Fleming novels were great, but I never really took a shine to the ones written by other people.  I'm willing to give this guy a try though.

Show Me the Murder by Carolyn Mulford. I heard this author on a panel at ThrillerFest and she was terrific so I bought the book. It's been here waiting for me to have some free reading time for a while.  I really enjoyed how the author uses dialogue here to convey the sense of place and character.  I hate the cover of the book a lot and for about 150 pages I was sneering at whoever designed it because there was NO DOG in the book...and yet there's a dog on the cover. (Clearly just to boost sales I thought meanly)  Of course the dog shows up right after page 150 and I had to take back all my churlish thoughts.

This book isn't going to get anywhere near the attention it deserves so if you're looking for something good to read this is one I'd say to get.

We're back to work on Monday! I'm very much looking forward to it since I have a couple really terrific projects to talk to editors about, and my treasured minion returns from vacation (I HOPE!) 


Anonymous said...

I'm really happy you got some downtime! Honestly, I still can't figure out how you post to FB, this blog, read fulls, books, and tweet. Do you sleep? Eat? Shower?

On the topic of pets, I wish I could post a pic of little dog with the hyperlink embedded in my comments when I feel the need for others to stare at his itty bitty cute face. But, based on my limited knowledge, it seems by logging in under WordPress ID onto a Blogger site, I can't. Maybe someone can tell me if it's possible.

Otherwise, it's been a SLOW start to the New Year around here, although I did get started on a new project I'm pretty excited about.

And now, I'm also intrigued by Library Thing. I wonder how easy/hard it would be to switch all my books listed on GR to LT.

I won't even touch, I mean mention the topic of sentient BLANK - again. One time was enough for me.

Have a restful Sunday!

Ardenwolfe said...

Oh? Did one of those hopefuls land a contract with you? :)

Stacy said...

SHOW ME THE MURDER is only $3.99 today on Amazon (I couldn't find it on Kobo, my preferred ereading app). Picked it up!

DLM said...

I purchased Gary Corby's Sacred Games this weekend for my Kindle app, $1.99, and believe the deal is still on.

Back to work myself tomorrow, after having worked only two days since Christmas Eve. And back to querying and research as well. The office, fortunately, is organized at last for both of these post-job jobs.

Oh, and I followed Treasures Minion on Twitter a few weeks ago, too.

Onward and forward! Can't wait to see what 2015 brings for our little community.

Lilly Faye said...

There should be a dog in every book.
Lilly Faye Poodle

Colin Smith said...

Wow--quoted by Ms. Shark! If that doesn't just about make my week. Alongside the lady who gave me a hug this morning and told me how much my piano playing blessed her. :)

I'm a bit of a Bond purist too, so I'll be interested to know what you think of Boyd's Bond.

And Donna, because I live to serve, I just posted a blog article on how to add a hyperlink to a comment. This has always worked for me, so try it out! :)

Anonymous said...

Colin, you are awesome. Testing now, and hope Ms. Janet doesn't mind:

Little Dog

Colin Smith said...

Awww... glad to help, Donna. And doesn't little dog look precious!! :)

I think Janet has previously said she doesn't mind hyperlinks as long as they don't go to places that exist only to increase someone's bank balance or naughty bits. :)

Colin Smith said...

... especially if those naughty bits are sentient...

*sorry, couldn't resist*

Anonymous said...

@Colin - total LOL!!! And, Little Dog looks perplexed.

Something tells me Ms. Janet is okay with "sentient naughty bits" vs "sentient BLANK."

Kitties, bunnies, doggies, wabbits, baby sloths! Wash, rinse, repeat.

Dena Pawling said...

I worked four days last week. On New Year's Day, I wore my pajamas ALL DAY and read a book! I haven't had that luxury in forever, it seems. Usually I read books a few minutes at a time on my phone's Kindle app during breaks in trial, and hardcovers for 30-60 minutes during lunchtime.

The tree is gone, but my boys are reluctant to take out the train. So I'm sitting here in my living room with Lionel stench puffing from the smokestack. Ugh. But the boys are happy, so there is that.

Anonymous said...

Dena - you do the train track around the base of the tree? I love that. My brother used to own a Lionel set (didn't every boy in that er???) and I bet he wishes he still had it. I recollect each train as being quite solid and heavy - and oily smelling. The tomboy in me was jealous.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Donna, little dog is so sweet.
DLM I can't wait to see what's in store for our little community in '15 too.
Colin you are awesome. I really like all you guys, especially the crowds on the sidelines and QOTKU.

Dena Pawling said...

Yep, Lionel trains around the tree. The racket when the trains are running makes it hard to think, but then the quiet when they're turned off is wonderful. And the stench from the "smoke" fluid is horrible, but the rest of my family likes it. I have no idea why.

We also have a monorail we bought at Disneyland - already put away. That's much more my speed. It's quiet and doesn't smell, unlike the male inhabitants of this house :)

Colin Smith said...

Donna, Carolynn: Of course, that How to Hyperlink article will probably now compete with my UK Graham Crackers articles for popularity on my blog. Which means when I meet writers and agents hoping they've seen all the flash fiction on my blog, they'll just say "Oh, you're the hyperlink and Graham Cracker guy!" *sigh* But it's worth it to help y'all out (yes, I said "y'all"!). :)

Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

I associate with The World's Most Boring Cat. Honestly, if she didn't want in/out three times a day, you'd not notice she's there.

Colin Smith said...

@Diane (AKA DLM), and anyone else who cares: I have it on good authority that Gary Corby's fifth novel is coming out in May. An article should be going up on Gary's blog soon. :)

Jenz said...

I have nothing relevant to add, but the new captcha is really fun. I hear it in a monotone robot voice in my head: Please prove you are not a robot—I'm not a robot.

Karen McCoy said...

Definitely a great week. I'm binge reading, as I was out of town and away from internet. Great comment by Colin, too!