The Night Circus – Yeah, Okay.


I’ve just finished reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I have mixed feelings about this one.

Normally, you’d find me rattling off the praise for the novel first off, but there’s something that truly had me struggling with this novel. The execution of the actual sentences was poor. So many times I had to stop and re-read a sentence or two because I honestly did not understand what Morgenstern was trying to convey. Many of the sentences were wordy and unnecessarily long. I’ve always found that great writing conveys exactly what is meant to be conveyed in as few words as possible. Yes, I know that we embellish and add words for flourish and style, but Morgenstern’s sentence structures felt fumbled and in disarray rather than stylistic.

That being said, I did enjoy the story as a whole, even though I felt that the organization of her multiple perspective structure could have used some more work. Some pieces didn’t seem to fit in the flow of things, others seemed obsolete nearing the end and didn’t need to be there.

However, despite all these technical flaws the story itself was well thought out. The characters were rich and vibrant, while the challenge surrounding the circus is what kept me reading.

My favourite characters, which will likely be everyone’s favourite characters, were Poppet and Widgets. Their mixture of brilliance and innocence made them so enchanting. Plus, I just love red-heads.

The concept of the circus itself was wonderful and well described. Each tent had it’s own individual personality that resinated well on the page. I found when I was reading the descriptions of each tent that I fumbled far less over the sentence structure.

My final verdict for this novel would be to read it, only for the general story idea, rather than the execution of it. I’m, of course, very picky when it comes to the execution of an idea and for me it needs to be done well so that I can immerse myself in a novel without tripping over awkward sentences. But, unlike me, a lot of people won’t notice these things that grind my gears.

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Don’t Ever Stop – The Wise Man’s Fear


Dear Readers,

I apologize for the delay in reviews, but I’ve been indulging in The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss for months. Yes, months. I’m a slow reader by nature, but I’ve been savouring this novel because, simply put, it is amazingly written.

Rothfuss likes to take his sweet time writing a novel, so I thought I’d do the same when enjoying it. If I ever become half as good a writer as Rothfuss I can die knowing that I’ve accomplished something incredible.

The subtle way in which Rothfuss uses language to convey a sensation or feeling is masterful. His words, while sometimes seemingly simple are clearly deliberate. There was not one word in The Wise Man’s Fear that I could have done without.

The story flows in such a way that you feel as if you’re traveling down a river in a canoe without a paddle, but the river’s direction is deliberate. No matter how fast or slow you float, you feel the determination behind what is happening to you. There is reason behind ever dip, turn, rapid, and shallow. I was never bored. My mind never traveled away from the page, as it has during countless other novels. Rothfuss is a masterful story teller.

I love this novel and its predecessor The Name of the Wind was just as intoxicating. I found no flaw in either novel, and you folks know how much I enjoy finding flaws. Rothfuss is officially the top of my favourites list. (A certain friend’s husband will likely be throwing an “I told you so” or two my way for this).

If you haven’t already, pick up a Rothfuss and dive into Kvothe’s world, you won’t regret it.

Goal This Week: Reached.


So I did it. 1,539 words reached this week.

I’m not doing too well, I got caught on a short flashback. Getting into the flashback was easy, I related the current situation to a very similar past situation, not hard. It’s getting back to the present from the flashback that I have troubles with.

Usually it’s something like: “And back to now where our hero is equally screwed, but more so since luck isn’t there this time like the time we just went through. Yay memories! But seriously, our hero is in deep.”

Of course that’s not exactly how it goes… I’m a little bit more eloquent about it and there are more details, but you get the gist.

Transitions have never been an issue for me before. All roads lead somewhere for me, they always have. I was the queen of transitions when it came to my essays.

I just can’t wait until I’m done this draft and can get to the editing. Yes, I know most authors dread the editing because it’s like tearing up your whole idea and piecing it back together, but I want to make this better!

I used to edit other people’s essays in school. I had three types: Structural Edit, Structural and Idea Edit, and finally Murder Edit. I would put so many red marks on that paper that it looked like it was the victim of a gruesome homicide.

I digress. I’m glad my novel is finally back on track. I’m approaching a section which I have written already, but I need to integrate it into the current version. I’m going to get a great big chunk of the draft done really quickly!

Look forward to elated posts in the near future my friends, I’ll have taken leaps in my draft!

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1,669 down! 65,331 to go!


I did it! I met my goal of 1,500 words for this week. I even went over by 169 words.

Not too shabby, although as in proper procrastinator tradition I finished two hours before my deadline.

I did the math. If I finish 1,500 every week I’ll reach my goal of 100,000 words for my novel in 11 months. That’s including the 33,000 in my final count I started with today. That gets me just within my goal of finishing by the end of the year.

Whether 100,000 words is enough for finish the story is another issue. I’m at roughly 35,000 words now and I’ve completed 6 of 28 plot points I need to run through. Lovely.

Either way, at least I got some writing done this week. Hopefully, by keeping this pace up and going a bit faster now and again I’ll get to my goal of finishing this darn first draft.

I’m just barreling through at this point. I just need the skeleton done. I’m not focusing on rhetoric or sentence structure or even typos. I’m just trying to get this down so that I can go back and make it good, hopefully better than good in the long run.

I think setting this goal here on my blog, for anyone to come and see has really helped get me into gear, so to all those who have actually read this, thank you.

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Throne of Glass, More Epic Than It Sounds


I’d like to preface this review by saying I devoured this 406 page novel in 48 hours, less if you don’t count the hours I spent sleeping.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas was definitely a whirl wind of excitement, intrigue, turmoil, lust, emotions, and just old fashioned will power. It was definitely a fun and good read. Maas has a way with balancing description, action, and dialogue that I strive for in my own work. Her novel reminded me of Maria V. Snyder’s style, yet with a touch more brutality, I loved it.

That all being said, the praise being dolled out in spades, I’ve got to put in my two or five or ten cents regarding criticism. Now, I realize that coming up with an original plot is difficult, and while Maas’s plot was in fact relatively original I found many concepts or scenes were, let’s call it “borrowed.” I found that Throne of Glass, if completely broken down was an amalgamation of The Hunger Games (twenty-four “champions” fighting for their right to survive), Poison Study (a young girl trapped between death and working for a king she loathes, as well as a world overtaken by a ruler who has banned and destroyed magic), The Chamber of Secrets (fighting a giant scary monster in a secret room under a castle summoned by a dark magic wielder), Cinderella (a girl forbidden to attend a ball does so and dances the night away with a Prince), Game of Thrones (every person in any political standing is out to destroy anyone for power, including the king), True Blood (the whole Fae/Faerie ancient magic deal), and Daughter of Smoke and Bone (the power to jump through to other worlds with deadly monsters and creatures of light).

I love all these books/movies/shows, so I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. I know it can be hard to reduce the influence reading can have on your work. I know my own work can be compared to many other works and have many similarities.

Bottom line, it’s a great book. Of course, it was recommended, and by “recommended” I mean she gave it to me as a Christmas present and said I must read it, by my very best gal, writer of Lea At Sea. She always gives me the best recommendations and I then pass on these glowing reviews to you.

Read Throne of Glassit’s a good read and the first fantasy I’ve read in a while that’s actually written well! Maas knows her prose and the english language. She’s a good writer, I’m excited to read more of her work.

Looking for Alaska, Spoiler, I didn’t Find Her


I promptly decided, after reading The Fault in Our Stars, that I better get through Looking for Alaska before moving on to anything that may cheer me up and sway me from going back to the depressing honesty of life that is John Green’s prose.image

For such a positive, well spoken, and brilliant mind, Green is serious obsessed with the grief, guilt, morbidity, and anguish of teenage death. I realize that many “youth oriented” books do not address this issue truthfully or have any inclination as to how they may approach it, so in that sense Green is actually providing a service to the masses.

Considering all Green’s talent, skill, and insight I do wish he would write something that wouldn’t depress me! Yes, life is depressing, people die, we live on, etc, etc, and it’s not all the end of the world, we forgive and we move on and we even forget. I get it. I was looking for more philosophical insight into my soul… sorry, but I was.

Looking for Alaska is a good read. It portrays the teenage mind accurately, as did The Fault in Our Stars. It’s not as dismal as the later and it even threw in a chuckle now and again. But, Green’s obsession with teenage death really doesn’t sit the best with me. I’ve lived through grief, it’s not fun, and while I can see why Green wants to bring these issues to the present mind I don’t really enjoy delving into it all that often. I guess reading these books as I recover from minor surgery with a few complications isn’t really the best time to read books about death.

Anywho, it’s very well written and worth a read if you want to get a sad, sinking, mortal feeling in your gut. Best left for a sad rainy day where you’re not particularly sad, but don’t want something happy-go-lucky to read.

I think I’m going to delving into some fantasy reading for a bit, or at least some Tom Robbins to tickle my funny bone.

Cheers and be well!

The Fault in Our Stars… or Tears


I’ve been sitting on my bed for two days now, my left leg propped up on two pillows, recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. Yesterday, I decided that, since I have two weeks off of work, it’s prime time to burn through a fraction of the stack of books I have sitting on my shelf waiting to be discovered. image

My best friend recommended The Fault in Our Stars by John Green some time ago and I bought that along with Looking for Alaska about a month ago.
I began The Fault in Our Stars yesterday afternoon, and while it was a relatively easy read, I had to put it down before the final 100 pages, What the hell had I gotten myself into? I had teared up twice before I put it down and about four more times when I finished it today.

My gods, what a roller coaster of pain, sadness, depression, grief, and beauty. It’s clearly a modern tragedy written in a style to appease and relate to the modern teenager, but it was still a decent read, and getting me to shed a tear is a big deal.

But it’s one of those books that you need to prepare yourself to be depressed after, just warning you.

Green is an excellent author, though. I’m debating on whether or not to delve into Looking for Alaska now or go for a fantasy novel to give myself a break from tireless teenage-type emotions.

I wouldn’t call The Fault in Our Stars a masterpiece or genius by any means, really. The thing that it does is really understand the struggle with grief and the struggle with consciousness and reality.

I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, but if you want to put yourself through some hard times and come out on the other side less damaged than Gabriel  Garcia Marquez and Jose Saramago would leave you then go for it!

I don’t see how they’ll make it into a movie though, the majority of the story is Hazel’s thoughts, not the action of the plot that would be portrayed on screen, good luck Hollywood.