Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Writing Things


September has been an unusual month and I'm just 9 days into it. I've not written much of my own since the last post. A variety of issues: unrelenting pain of the joints, skin, and tissue, birthday celebrations, and a house in dire need of cleaning have all played a part in my failing to write and perform said cleaning. 

I had a good day this week where I rapidly put away most of the laundry from last week and finished up my granddaughter's bedroom redo, i.e. hanging her pictures, plaques, and decorative items on the freshly painted walls. Also, there are now three loads of fresh laundry keeping company with the laundry which remained from my... well, this is getting as tiresome as the laundry. Just know there's still a pile of laundry. And my feet now are extremely unhappy with their enforced half day march.

I have been making an effort to read more since all over body pain makes it virtually impossible to do anything but lie in a chair that does little to alleviate pain in the pressure points. I've got several books started. Several others I've stopped because.. well, they just didn't hold my fog shrouded interest. I've taken steps to help with this by taking books to the bathroom. One always finds one can concentrate better there. Sadly, the accommodations are not equal to the Lazy Boy. Still, one might get a chapter read at times. It is unfortunate that I can't read in the shower.

Another thing I've been doing is editing the short stories for the anthology. I'm able to sit for this, but I found the long bouts at the computer to be not so good for my back and neck. However, the writers have turned them all in and now we're in the editing/revising stage. We only have two people editing so it is going to take a while and the pain involved will have to be borne. I'm doing the first round, a line edit. They revise. The next editor gets the next round. I will probably have to reread the finished product to ensure everything is formatted, but I don't want to put the horse behind the cart. 

I actually managed a visit to the library the day I had to pick up a prescription from the doctor's office. If you really want to know, see  Update to Medical Woes. I have to mail that in but I've not done it yet. Again, just getting up and doing simple tasks has been difficult with the overall pain. 

Anyway, I checked out several books I wanted to attempt to read. I am reading Spunk & Bite by Arthur Plotnik. Obviously, any writer should get the humor in the title. The cover states it is "A writer's guide to punchier, more engaging language & style." I've found it amusing and I'm actually enjoying the author's ideas of "punchier language". He practices what he preaches, to the extreme to prove a point. The title of the first chapter is E. B. Whitewashed  and he tells about the creation and subsequent incarnations of Strunk & White The Elements of Style. I recommend both books. 

I'm also reading Bloody Mary, by J. A. Konrath, that I got free for Kindle some time ago. I haven't read Konrath before, but I like his writing. This particular book is good and will probably mean that I'll read more of Konrath. That's the beauty of free. I think I've figured who the perp is and I'm not at the halfway point, but his intro promised a twist in the middle so maybe not. He writes so well and the pace is so quick that it is easy to forget how long you've been reading. I couldn't put it down last night and stayed up past my bedtime, which could account for my oversleeping this morning and having to rush to get Sarah to school. Obviously, the brain fog only extends so far.

I checked out two other books that looked interesting, but I'm not sure I'll get them read or even started. 

Fiction First Aid by Raymon Obstfeld: I like the format and the chapter titles sound interesting, so I really want to at least read some of it. It is the kind of book I'd buy for my reference shelf.

Murder and Mayhem, A Doctor Answers Medical & Forensic Question for Mystery Writers  by D. P. Lyle, M.D.: I have to say this book would be handy for any writing. It covers a hospital full of medical issues in question/answer format. You may get a little first aide along the way. I've only scanned some of it. I told my son today that I wasn't sure I could actually read the whole thing. It is quite gruesome in places, a necessity if you're doing research. There is a disclaimer in the preface that says the book is not to be used in the commission of any criminal activity. I believe he's also written a sequel. There are apparently so many ways to die it can't be covered in one book.

How To Write A Damn Good Mystery by James N. Frey: I've read something by Frey before but can't remember the name of the book. I've wanted to read this one for a while but ... never mind. So, I checked it out. If it seems useful I'll buy a copy from Amazon. 

Don't be shocked by the volume of volumes.  I used to check out twice this many books before I drifted into the Fibro Fog Bank. These days I take it a book at a time, but it is horrible for a book lover to do that. I want piles of them around me, reading a bit from each daily. I simply have problems concentrating for long periods of time on certain types of things. 

My next trick will be to work on a couple of my pieces. I'm going to stop worrying about how much writing I do and just worry about getting any writing done. 


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