It’s APRIL! All about reading

I know, April happened like, two weeks ago or whatever, but seriously. Time is a’flyin!

Despite my already-massive TBR shelf, I stopped at the library and had my favorite fantasy-reading librarian come up with a stack of books that have NON HUMAN characters.

As usual, she did not disappoint. I’ve got something like 12 new books to read on top of the 30-something I wanted to get through this year anyway. Which basically means I need to write this as fast as possible so I can go read.

Oh wait, but I also have a novel to critique and a beta reading exchange to do.

Oh yeah, AND keep children alive.

But I also wanted to start editing my debut novel.

AND submit my children’s story to be published.

So, you know, not too much going on over here.

To be totally honest, I start this month off feeling terribly overwhelmed. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the massive list of writing-related things I have on my plate. And I KNOW that if I just slowly and steadily work my way through, all will be done in due time and I’ll survive.

In any case, I’ve read a bunch of great books lately and I’ve got all those book reviews written and lined up, just WAITING to get out to you every Monday. There are some REALLY good ones that I highly recommend you get your hands on.

So, anyway, back to my new stack of books to read. I asked for nonhuman characters because these are for research, of course. As a general rule in my fantasy novels, I like to stay away from humans and make up my own races. This is certainly NOT common in fantasy (at least outside of kid’s books where plenty of animals are sentient and very human-like), and so I wanted to see what others do. Do other authors make up their own races? Or is there more of an emphasis on magic and creating different magic systems?

I honestly can’t answer that question, but I’m trying to.

Once I’ve chewed through those, we’ll see where I’m sitting as far as my editing and what research I’ll need to do next. I’m starting to think that Wheel of Time needs to be on my reading list, even as much as I read mixed reviews on it. It appears to be a series that one either loves or hates. I haven’t found much  middle ground there. I still haven’t even finished our Sword of Truth series, as much as I’ve liked it. I guess I’ve just gotten really distracted from reading it. Maybe I’ll pull the current book down from the top shelf and onto my designated TBR shelf, which is overly packed with books.

Maybe what I need is a huge road trip where I just read.

Except we can’t really afford to drive anywhere.

In any case, I’ve got tons of books to read and a number of other writing obligations.

As a follow up to my critique group post, I’m still thinking that leaving was a good decision. I’ve had more writing and reading mental space than I’ve had in months, and it’s a good thing. I’ve needed that.

I have a story that I’m going to submit to a contest and it’s slowly getting better with the ruthless critiquing of my fellow AT writers. Man, those folks can be rough on a girl, but my stories ALWAYS come out better than I could have ever made them on my own, so the mental and emotional bruising is worth it. And truly, I know they care, so that helps immensely.

As always, moving onward and upward. I’m writing my to do lists and checking things off and looking forward to looking back in a year to see what I’ve managed to accomplish. These are exciting times and I’m loving the progress I’ve been able to make, even if sometimes it’s not as much or as fast as I’d like.

What are you working on these days?