Posts Tagged: update

Writing and Reading

While I have been on my Big-Five-Oh birthday gift to myself writing retreat, I have also been reading. So far, I have worked my way through a re-read of the whole Ben Aaronvitch’s Rivers of London series and I am nearly finished with re-reading Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series (minus the more recent co-author or other author Pern books).

Why am I rereading books I have already read many times before, particularly in the case of the Pern books? I am reading them not just for the joy of the story but also to see and analyze how two authors who I admire have constructed their stories and series as a whole and from various writing perspectives.

What this past two months of reading and writing has shown or revealed to me is that I have a preference for multiple person point of view / main character stories or at least multiple threads of story interwoven over a single main character’s point of view with one story arc.

McCaffrey’s Pern books are almost always, with the exception of the YA books, multiple main characters with multiple threads of story. While Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series is from the POV of PC Peter Grant, each book weaves in multiple strands of story, including one series long story thread. One of the things that I also like about Jane Austen books is that by and large her stories are also ensemble stories, even if we see the story from the POV of one or two main characters.

The novel length story I wrote from 2015-2017, A Quiver Full, was a multiple character POV story. I started writing it as a short story for a writing challenge and it was originally written from the POV of two characters, after I expanded it to novel length – several more characters demanded their share of the conversation and stage time. After the fact, I got the feedback from a reader that it should have more of the romance of just two characters and not so much of the other stuff.

After finishing writing A Quiver Full, I printed it out, then I put it up on a shelf for a bit of aging before I reread it and started rewriting. It was six weeks on the shelf when I received the above feedback, which hit me enough of the wrong way that the first draft has stayed on the shelf and I started writing a whole new novel in December of 2017.

This second novel is from one character’s point of view. It is meant to be a humorous mildly unreliable narrator story wherein by the end the reader should be questioning if the main character really was all that and more or if we want our hero to be heroic rather than a mere man. Now more than seventy percent of the way through writing the story, I find myself longing for more strands of story – not in the novel I am writing now but in general.

Then it hit me about a week ago, as I was knee deep in my Pern reread that I prefer multiple characters with third person limited POVs in the plural to one or two main characters. I want more story, I want more points of view, and I want to be stretched. When I return back to California, I will be ready to take A Quiver Full off the shelf and start the rewrite.

But before I can do that, I have got to finish writing my one guy and his POV story.

View from My Window, the London Edition

View from my window in Bayswater, London

Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N8 this afternoon.

Fri 06.08.12 – End of the last full week that I am in London, here is a photo from my window taken this afternoon when the storm clouds were dark and peeps of sun were shining through.
I leave on Tuesday for two weeks in Finland – both Helsinki & Tampere with a side trip to Turku, then home to SoCal.
I continue to work on my mobile apps, but I know that I owe you all photos and some updates, which will hopefully come over this weekend.

6 + 6 = 12

Wed 06.06.12 – Rather than comment on today’s numerical date on Twitter, I will do it here, right now, plus put in a few words of update.
I am now one month, or 31 days, into my #AppRetreat and I have 24 more days to go. I have two wishes on this score:
a) I wish I could go home to SoCal for about 4 to 5 days over this weekend and early next week to visit with Scruffy McDoglet, drop off a whole lot of stuff I won’t need in Finland, and pick up a few things I do need that I can’t for the life of me find in London – like an aloe vera based Vitamin C serum for my rosacea that does not have any wheat in it – gah! People, stop putting gluten in stuff! Gah!
It is the 21st Century and I would like to request a teleporter…
b) I would like have another 3 weeks added onto my #AppRetreat as it would give me more time to get things done. Per usual, once I get under the hood and start working on an app a couple more things pop up to make the time to finish take longer. This week it is the wonders of the camera button access in Symbian Belle that has slowed me down…
Adding another three weeks on would not be hard, but where to stay that would be reasonable in price and have good internet connection?
Speaking of internet connections, while London has been lovely, the internets have been flaky here. Very flaky.
Happy 6 + 6 = 12 day. Enjoy!

Week and Some Change Later: The 2nd Saturday Dad Update

Sorry about the lack of updates the last few days, but we have gotten into a bit of a routine here in Parker, Arizona, and blogging from the computer has not been apart of it.
The Backstory: A week ago Friday, I drove out to Phoenix to see my Dad, Cam, in the hospital as he had had a bad work accident 2 days previously that resulted in 3 broken ribs & a ruptured spleen & a bruised lung plus scalp lacerations. Last Sunday he was released, and my brother Joe and I drove him back to his home in Parker, AZ, which is across the street from my brother’s vacation place. My Mom joined us on Monday and my brother left on Wednesday. My mom and I have been filling our days with making sure Cam is comfortable, hiking/exploring, and cooking. Lots of cooking.
The Cam Update: After his naughty escape morning on Monday to go have coffee with a crony, Cam has been mostly sleeping and resting. His ribs and spleen are quite painful and he was quite weak most of the week. Yesterday was his first follow up appointment with his primary care physician here in Parker. Basically, he is on bed and other forms of no work / no activity rest for four weeks. Due to the nature of the fall that caused him to fall, he does need to have a follow up ultrasound next week at the local hospital.
All in all, Cam is slowly on the mend but is still in a lot of pain, esp. when he moves. He spends most of his time sleeping and lying down watching TV. He is allowed to walk short distances, so he has been walking across the street for dinner with us. Mom and I have been bringing him his breakfast coffee so that he is not tempted to go out and about again.
How long will we be here? We decided after yesterday’s doctor appointment and how wiped out Cam was after returning, that we would stay for at least another 4 days and reevaluate on Tuesday, March 2nd.
As I noted before, I have no phone reception at my brother’s place, so please either leave me a phone message and SpinVox will email it to me or email me and then I will call you back on Skype or I will walk about 1/2 a mile away in the Keys were I do have reception.
Thanks for your kind Tweets, emails, prayers, and thoughts. Y’all rock.

Scruffy and Mom Have Arrived, or the Monday Dad Update

Scruffy and Mom
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with Mom’s Nokia N82

Mon 02.23.09 – The rear guard / back up troops have arrived… Mom and Scruffy pulled into my brother’s place in Parker, AZ, around 5pm or thereabouts today. My mom kindly agreed to come out to Parker to help me keep Cam resting and taking care of himself.
Which is a very good thing, since when I walked out of Joe’s house this morning to go across the street to my dad’s place to check on him, I found my dad in one of his crony’s trucks about to take off to go to have coffee. Grrrr….
While it seemed like a good idea after a night’s rest, when Cam returned from the jaunt, he was much worse for the wear and more willing to go back to his bed and nap. When Mom showed up, she told him that if he didn’t behave that she would get a electronic dog training collar for him and set up a perimeter. She was only half joking.

Dear Internet Public

Today is International Be Really Nice to Web Designers and Developers Day, which means that you, lovely internet public, should upgrade your browser.
Still using, Internet Explorer? Consider switching to Firefox or Opera or Safari (yeah, you want to do it, go buy a Mac).
If switching browsers is not your thing, then please, please, pretty please on top, be very nice and upgrade to Internet Explorer 7.
Yes, I know, Microsquash makes it hard, you have to find the Update area in the Start menu of your PC and then download about 62 security updates, but do it. Do it tonight before you go to bed, leave the MS update running while you sleep and hopefully when you wake up, your computer is happy and your favorite web designer and/or developer will be happy too.
Spread the love. Switch or Upgrade.