Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Weekly Wanting (7)

Hey readers! Sorry about the lack of a Wanting last week. To be perfectly honest, I hadn't come across any books that particularly interested me that week, so I did without a post.

This has been an exciting week. I've been preparing for Book Expo America. Commissioned gorgeous business cards, scheduled hair and um, eyebrow appointments, shopped for new clothes, printed my Broadway tickets and hotel and flight confirmations, bought some new clothes and with the help of band-aids, I've been breaking in my newest pair of pretty sandals.

But this is definitely an event I'm going to as a reader and a blogger instead of an author. On the author front, I'm kind of at a crossroads. When it comes to writing non-fiction, like commentaries and reviews, I love it. I look forward to it. It makes me happy. However, when it comes to actual fiction - I've always wanted to write a novel. And I have good story ideas. But whenever I think about writing fiction, I stop. I'll do anything to hold off having to do it. I'd rather read some books. I'd rather surf through Tumblr. I'd rather clean my house. And aren't writers supposed to want to write? To be excited?

Like, I even reorganized my bookshelves - although, let's be honest, I love organizing my bookshelves:
I used to just stack all my books vertically, thinking it saved space, but really, horizontally is the way to go - they're easier to access and it just looks better.

But back on topic: writing fiction. I've started and stopped a lot of novels. To date, I've only finished two - and only one of those got through more than a first draft (The Duke of Snow and Apples). But when I actually decide to stop writing fiction and just focus on reading and my blog, I get another good idea. Life is hard. NaNoWriMo helped a lot, actually, so even though it's the end of May, I'll try to get back in that groove. In the words of Chris Baty: "The first step in writing a good book: giving yourself permission to write a bad book."

It's weird. I talk to a lot of authors on Twitter and I keep wondering how can they do it? How can they write so much in one day, actual coherent stuff that regularly gets published, and still have jobs and lives? I mean, when I was younger (and still to some extent today), I think of the incredibly magical and talented works of authors like Cathrynne Valente and Elizabeth Bear and just assume they live very odd and unconventional lives - like they live in elaborate eco-friendly treehouses and write with owl-feather pens and own retired racehorses and whatnot. So of course it's very jarring to see them Tweeting about how their fridge broke down or the latest episode of The Bachelor

The best I can do is keep writing, I suppose, although at this point it's more like digging through a giant mountain of poop hoping to find gold somewhere. But enough of my weekly ramblings! What books am I excited for this week?

The Uninvited Guests, by Sadie Jones
Genre: Historical, Paranormal, Comedy of Manners
Cover Snark: I really wouldn't invite anyone before I'd had a chance to decorate, either.
The Story: While a landed gentry family is throwing a classy dinner party, a train derails nearby and they're forced to accommodate the (gasp!) lower-class survivors. Also, ghosts.
Why I Want It: I loves me some period pieces. Comedies of manners even more so. And with a recommendation from The Booksmugglers? Sold! On that note:

The Outcast, by Sadie Jones
Genre: Historical fiction
Cover Snark: Everyone loves hugs!
 The Story: A boy returns to his home after a prison sentence, unravelling a number of dark secrets about his community, his family, and his mother's disappearance.
Why I Want It? Just reading the description from The Booksmuggler's review of Uninvited Guests sounded like something I'd definitely like. Historical period, dark family secrets, in England? Yes please!

Breaking Beautiful, by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Cover Snark: Ooh! Nice shoes!
The Story: After surviving a car accident that killed her popular boyfriend, our protagonist is forced to remember and confront the fact that their relationship was abusive, as well as rebuild her life with the friends she left behind.
Why I Want It? It sounds like an interesting story, particularly about a girl dating the town's most popular and well-liked guy, only to come to terms with the fact that he was a monster while the town is mourning his death. I honestly forgot where I read the great review for this. I think I'll have to take better notes in the future.

And that's it! What are you looking forward to reading? Also, any writing advice for burnout?


  1. Anonymous6:02 PM

    On writing "burnout" - I think there are 2 possibilities. Either

    1)Writing fiction is a huge dream for you that you choke at the thought of doing it. (That's the part where giving yourself permission to write a bad book comes in.)


    2)In your heart of hearts, you don't really want to write a fiction book because that's really someone else's dream. Think about it: The great American Novel is really supposed to be every writer's dream, right??? All the journalists, copy writers, editors, etc are all supposed to be toiling away on the side because only published fiction writers have really "made it".

    Bah. It's like saying everyone who gets into music wants to be a mega rock star but somehow it's out there.

    My vote personally, is #2. You've already written 2 novels. You've gone "meh", I'd rather clean my house.

    On the other hand, and I don't say this lightly, you give great blog. ;) I'm here because Smart Bitches 50% of the time is some sort of random literary cat-fight that I don't give a darn about. You make me laugh, consistently. And heaven forbid, you blog about books rather than have some cause de jour.

    Your voice is fantastic. Personally, I'd work on figure out how this becomes a career rather than fit your gifts to some literary stereotype.

    Obviously, however, a stranger can't really know what you dream about your life being. It's just my 2 cents from a fan whose been reading for a year or two. ;)

  2. Anonymous6:07 PM

    PS - If you have great novel ideas, but don't want to write them, do what the rest of the world does: hire a ghost writer. I suspect you have a gift for editing, too, and could get a writer to produce exactly what you wanted. :)