January 01, 2013

Welcome to the Future!

Today is the first day of a new year. The year behind has closed, and the year ahead awaits, a blank slate to write upon. It can be sort of scary to contemplate a whole year, knowing that every day I will be making choices that affect the contents of the rest of the year. Choices I make in January can mandate what choices will be available to me in November. It's also a lot awesome, knowing I have the power to make those choices!

In December I read 9 books containing 1218 pages. My year-long reading total was 210 books, most of them novels, containing 45,844 pages. I have to say that before this year my only experience with "Victorian Authors" was Charles Dickens. While I had read - or tried to read, some of his works in the past, I hadn't succeeded in finishing any of them and had written of all of the authors of the era as extremely wordy, inordinately fond of long words which have now fallen out of use, and utterly boring and depressing.

This year, thanks to the wonder of ebooks, I've been able to read a goodly chunk of the works of Mark Twain and H. G. Wells. Not all Victorian authors are of the same stamp. I finally understand why Mr. Twain is called a humorist. His observations of the human race and the manner of his sentence construction had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion. I love his fiction; his essays are entertaining, and his travelogues absorbing. I'm very much enjoying Mr. Wells' fiction. His guesses on where technology will take the human race in the future are entertaining. What is amazing is how many of his predictions have come true, and which things have largely not changed, as I look back on his looking forward. I'm not so fond of his political, philosophical, and religious writings (which are sometimes all mixed up in one essay), so I have to admit that I just skimmed them. He does use more words unfamiliar to me (and also unfamiliar to my nook's dictionary) than Mr. Twain does.

I didn't get a lot of work done this week, chiefly because my Dad was in the hospital from December 22-30, and our entire family's routine was disrupted as a result. However, he is home now, we had Christmas last night, and although there'll be a few more medical things for me to coordinate, things will be more or less back to normal.

My public goals for 2013 will keep me very busy this year, which hopefully will keep me out of trouble. I plan to publish seven books of my own. January should see the short story collection Bits and Bites published. I have four short novels planned that will be ebook only, whose titles will be announced later. I expect to publish the suspense novel Just a Name sometime in May, and the fantasy Mind Touch in the fall. I'm working on an updated website for myself.

In addition, I am the newsletter editor for my church congregation, and I might be working on the website for my writing association.




  1. I hope you have a lot of success in the new year!

    I love a lot of the classic storylines, but they do get way too wordy for me sometimes. I'm not ashamed to admit I read abridged versions at times. I still get the joy of the story without all the unneccessary (imo) stuff. Jane Austen is my favorite old time author (though I don't know if she's considered a Victorian writer...), with Pride and Predjudice being my favorite. I've read it several times and watched all the version of it. If you're familar with the storyline and like movies, Lost in Austen is a hillarious take on the story.

    1. According to Wikipedia, "Because Austen's novels failed to conform to Romantic and Victorian expectations that "powerful emotion [be] authenticated by an egregious display of sound and colour in the writing", 19th-century critics and audiences generally preferred the works of Charles Dickens and George Eliot. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_austin)" So apparently, she is considered a Victorian author.

      I've never actually read any of her works, as until recently I've generally avoided all "classics". Most of the time when a book is the absolute "must read", it's one that I really don't enjoy. I'm slowly beginning to correct that problem with regards to "classic" books, however, and I'm discovering that some of them I really dislike, and some I really enjoy.

      I didn't read it recently, but I loved Dumas' "The Three Musketeers". There's so much more there than would ever fit in a movie. I still haven't been able to make it through a Dickens book, though.

      I just got nook money for Christmas, and bought a two-volume set of Edgar Rice Burroughs, so I'll be getting to that soon, when I've finished with Mr. Twain and Mr. Wells. I've also got a bunch of Jules Verne queues up on my nook to read.

      I think it makes a difference when you're not told that you "have" to read something. Additionally, I've given myself permission to skip anything I don't like. In the meantime, I'm getting a better foundation in the roots of the SF & Fantasy I enjoy writing.