Friday, August 21, 2015

No Book Unread Project 1st Anniversary! - A Self-Review by the Numbers

So highlighters are actually useful. I always considered them a nuisance until recently.
Just shy of a month ago No Book Unread Project turned one year old! On July 23rd 2014 I was sitting in my garage (enjoying the weather from the shade) wondering what the hell I should do to get myself to read and write more. Then, as now, I was being a lazy sod scribbling madly in a fit of genius when my little idea came to me the heavens opened up bathing me in rays of light filtered through the clouds and heard distant music. I wrote my first post the same day. Same as then I am writing, once again, from my garage. It seemed fitting.

So, I suppose my first real review question should be has No Book Unread worked out like I planned? To which I have to say, yes. I'm still writing at this very moment. Despite the fact that I stopped writing for a few months in the long term I have continued to read and write. NBU has given me a reason to stay focused and served as a reminder when I slacked off for a long period of time. Despite my glacial reading pace I've managed to read 14 books so far. That may be a drop in the bucket for some, but for me it's the most I've read in a long time. Arguably I haven't finished this many books in a similar time-frame since middle school. Now that's progress. (On the other hand something went terribly wrong along the way if you are indirectly competing with your junior-high self.) While at the rate I'm going I'll probably finish up my reading list under the rule of our eventual AI overlords I'm already noticing some improvements. What I'm curious about though is: Have you, my dear readers, noticed any change in my writing over the last year? Feel free to be completely honest, I won't even cry. (Okay maybe a little.) 

Monday, August 17, 2015

This Shattered World - (Dragonwing - Final)

About three weeks previous I found myself at my wife's bookshelves once again. I was looking for a book that might help distract me from my shirking of duties regarding The Briar King. (I stopped reading Briar King about halfway through January this year.) There was plenty on the shelves to choose from. After all, the No Book Unread Project is still young. I considered my options.

I could read another R.A. Salvatore book, Jennifer has twenty plus books by him which probably translates to roughly a half dozen series. Then there is the werewolf series, the one about Mercedes Thompson, written by Patricia Briggs. I read the first one in that series but hadn't bothered to pick up the next one yet. Of course I could always start the Kushiel series that Jennifer so adores; a series that always results in my lovely wife staring tiny daggers inscribed with 'why can't you be that romantic?' at me for the following week. I decided to take a pass on that one for the time being. I also considered the next Pern novel, but I enjoyed the sci-fi elements of Dragonsdawn so much that I an reluctant to pick up the next book, which is supposed to be more fantasy-esque.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Non-fiction Addiction - (Deer Hunting with Jesus - Final)

In January 2014, before I started No Book Unread, I was really just beginning to rally for the first time in my bare-knuckle brawl with creative writing or, well, writing in general. In the grip of a cold a wintry despair, fueled by my disparaging evaluation of my writing ability, my bruised ego and I wandered into the Biddeford public library. Perhaps it was due to a flash of inspiration that I wandered in, a sudden realization that the former writing masters of the world were at my fingertips within the walls of that amazing public institution; the library. Walking in I could almost feel a hand grasping mine, the leathery grip of Mark Twain maybe, whilst behind him the heads of other literary greats rose slowly from a field of clouds, nodding approvingly. There was warm laughter and then I floated off the ground and then...Erm, it gets a bit hazy after that.

In any case I was quickly charmed by the nostalgia and potential of the library. I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed the sight and smell of stacks upon stacks of books and after wandering around the Biddeford library for the first time I decided I was going to need a library card. I just had to have one. I wanted to tap into that vast bastion of knowledge, this reservoir of literary achievement. I stopped at the front desk, filled out a form and slid the completed card back across the counter. The polite lady behind the counter picked up the card and studied it for a moment.

"Oh, you live in Arundel*, that will be 30 dollars." replied the polite devil-spawn looking back at me.