Sunday, September 27, 2009

Rambling Around

So it's been a rainy kind of weekend with a steady, soaking rain falling since I woke up Friday morning. The yard work didn't get done Friday, as planned, so it was put off for this coming week. Something has zapped our router, which tanks the connection to my desktop, which has all my photos stored, so I've been running without photos the last two blog posts. Hopefully I'll be able to correct this technical difficulty tomorrow.

In the meantime, I've been working on Edwin McCain's Holy City and polishing Brisingr and Post Captain off my reading list. I think it's time to turn my attention back to Star Trek and by the time I've gotten past that, we should be into October and in the mood for Bradbury's The Halloween Tree.

Brisingr wasn't quite the exciting read I was hoping it was going to be and in fact it was left over from last fall's reading list. Oddly enough, I actually was more interested in Eragon's cousin, Roran, than I was following Eragon's tale. I think Paolini created a very impressive secondary character that nearly steals the show. Even though I wasn't the biggest fan of Brisingr, I admire Paolini's world and will definitely pick up the concluding volume of the Inheritance Cycle.

My polarizer filter arrived in the mail Saturday, giving me plenty of time to practice with it before the fall colors really set in. Of course I'll post results of those tests on the blog here. Cool weather is expected to set in this week and I'm hoping that the fall colors will really start to take hold around here. With Douthat State Park just up the road and Roaring Run a twenty minute drive from the house, I'll have plenty of opportunities for catching fall at its best.

Work on Blood and Steel continues slowly, as is sometimes the case with the written word. I've found at times all I can do is put one word down after another until I find the rhythm of what I'm trying to say and it takes care of itself. Other times it's all I can do to move my hand fast enough because what I want to say comes pouring out.

The Crownless King and Blood and Steel represents a pretty big shift in my writing and my focus. I was, for a time, caught up in the world of fantasy and all massive volumes of literature that entails. My library is broken down into three main areas: SciFi (Star Trek and Star Wars) Fantasy (assorted authors and series) and Fiction and Literary Fiction. As of late I've lost a bit of my enthusiasm for fantasy and find myself drawn to more thought provoking and deep literature. Pat Conroy was the first to introduce me to this and L.E. Modesitt Jr., though a fantasy author, hooked me in permanently with his Recluse Saga. The thing these have in common is that they both write in first person and both have a way of making their characters very real and very human. I feel like I could easily step into the roles of their characters at any given point.

They led me, through their writings, to shift into a first person style and really take the time to try to develop my characters before throwing them into the fire. And while it can certainly be done in a fantasy world, as Modesitt has proved, the technique is much more effective in a more realistic world. Even Modesitt's world of Recluse is tame when compared to what is considered to be high fantasy. I've been searching for authors who share some of the same talents and I've hit upon a very good one in David Liss. So while I will always have an interest in certain authors and in Star Trek and Star Wars, my interest in fantasy as a whole is waning.

And as the day is waning now, I think I'm going to go see what I can stir up for dinner. I hope to be able to get photos back up on the blog at a steady pace beginning tomorrow or Tuesday, so we'll see how that goes.

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