Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Title: The Sign of the Four

Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Genre: Mystery

Summary: A young lady has been sent pearls. Sherlock and Watson investigate their origin, along with a cryptic letter that promises to explain all.

The Take-Away: My love of the classics is two-fold: I love stories that well told even by modern standards; I love seeing how the world has changed. For instance, Sherlock Holmes was a cocaine user. When he wasn't solving mysteries, he was so bored with life, that a 7% solution was one of the two things that made life tolerable -- the other being morphine.

I also love seeing how writing has changed. "Editing" the title helps me to think through what would need to be done to make it sell in today's market. Working out that muscle also helps my own writing.

Sherlock isn't nearly as interesting as Watson. Sherlock is cool and undistribed, always right whereas Watson is emotional and often overlooks what Sherlock considers a clue. Indulge me a bit here: Sherlock is always right, because the author makes sure he is. If Sherlock missed a clue, here and there, like Watson often does, would the books be considered as great? Is it because Sherlock is a larger than life character that they've carried through the years?

Recommendation: If you like classics, Sherlock is a great detective.

Extra: is a great way to read the classics. A new fragment is emailed on a time table you establish, plus you can always request the next one. New titles added daily.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Writing Critiques

I'm a firm believer in constructive critiques. I'll tell you what does and doesn't work for me, why it is(n't), weird formatting things that you might not have picked up on, etc. I won't say I don't like, unless I can tell you why.

But, the following had me dying with laughter and wishing that I wasn't so nice. Just for a day.

Comments on My Short Story I've Received From My Creative-Writing Classmates. By Robert Hinderliter

A hackneyed, masturbatory miscarriage of a story.

You have managed to coldly and persistently rape the English language for 17 pages. Congratulations.

The fact that this story exists is the ultimate argument against Creationism.

Your embarrassingly ineffectual and flaccid prose made me feel uncomfortable.

This smugly written tripe is an affront to the craft of writing and fails to meet even the most generous definition of adequacy.

Truly abysmal. Maybe singularly so.

You had some nice details.

I'm not even sure I've ever read anything that would justify a single one of these comments. If I used one, I'd have a hard time keeping a straight face.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Jigs & Reels by Joanne Harris

Title: Jigs & Reels : stories

Author: Joanne Harris

Genre: Fiction

Summary: Short Stories covering a range of genres.

The Take-Away: The slim volume includes 22 short stories, covering a wide range of genres -- fantasy, thriller, horror, etc. For a fast reader like myself, one thing glared at me from the pages -- the voice was the same for all of the stories. Harris has a strong voice and seldom wavered from it. Reading this title only enforced it.

However, since voice is one of the hardest things to explain, the collection would make a great example for anyone who doesn't understand. I think if I had taken longer breaks between stories, I would have enjoyed it more.

Recommendation: Skip it.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Bachelorette #1 by Jennifer L. O'Connell

Title: Bachelorette #1

Author: Jennifer L. O'Connell

Genre: Chick Lit

Summary: Freelance writer by day, wife and mother by night, Sarah Holmes inflitrates The Stag, a popular match-maker show, to confirm what everyone thinks in happening behind the scenes. What she discovers, surprises her.

The Take-Away: While I classed this as chick lit, it was more out of habit. It's about women, what they think of themselves, men and dating. Sarah feels trapped by her marriage, family and The Plan that has controlled her life since college.

The part of the show that helps her the most is the part that the producers will edit out.

Recommendation: Pick it up for an afternoon's entertainment.

August Titles

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #4: I'm No Longer Delighted

Thirteen Things: I'm no Longer Delighted

via VocabGrapher

Instead, I am...

  1. pleased.
  2. enraptured.
  3. gladdened.
  4. entranced.
  5. satisfied.
  6. gratified.
  7. having a ball.
  8. having a good time.
  9. revelling.
  10. amused.
  11. enchanted.
  12. transported.
  13. enjoying.
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
  1. Alyssa Goodnight
  2. Qtpies
  3. Writing Aspirations
  4. Mert
  5. Raggedy's 13 Church Bulletin Announcements
  6. Rose's Thirteen Strange Holidays
  7. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

My previous Thirteens

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

On Writing by Stephen King

Title: On Writing

Author: Stephen King

Genre: Non-Fiction

Summary: A reflection on King's writing habits, philosohpies and practices.

The Take-Away: It was very interesting to see King's thoughts on writing. I don't like horror books. I tried reading Carrie ages ago and it terrified me. But I liked his voice; I wish he wrote fiction that wouldn't scare the pants off me.

The book isn't a workshop or exercise book. In fact, he only throws in a craft exercise to make one explicit point. Instead, except to find gems like the following:

"When you are writing the story, you're telling yourself the story," [John Gould] said. "When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story." (p. 47)

Sometimes you have to go on when you don't feel like it, and sometime you're doing good work when it feels like all you're manageing is to shovel shit from a sitting position. (p. 69)

It is possible to over use the well-turned fragment (and [Jonathan] Kellerman sometimes does), but frags can also work beautifully to streamline narration, create clear images and creat tension as well as to vary the prose line. (p. 128)

I find that reading books like this lead me to discover something that I've heard before but couldn't apply to my writing. The "purple prose" I've quoted is something I've heard before. Either the context was better, or my brain was willing to listen.

Plus, it's fab to hear that someone who has millions of copies in print has a similar problem to the one I'm experiencing.

Recommendation: Worth the time, if you seek motivation or inspiration.

December Titles

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What Every Woman Knows

Another goodie from the inbox.

A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard.

The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog. Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall.

In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.

In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened.

He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.

As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went.

He looked at her bewildered and asked, "What happened here today?"

She again smiled and answered, "You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world I do all day?"

"Yes," was his incredulous reply. She answered, "Well, today I didn't do it."

Monday, January 22, 2007

Hush by Anne Frasier

Title: Hush

Author: Anne Frasier

Genre: Thriller

Summary: The survior of a serial killer is asked to assist with a new series of murders that might be a copy cat, or the original killer.

The Take-Away: Intense. From the very beginning, I was sympathetic to both the lead detective, Max Irving, and the survivor, Ivy Dunlap. I liked the set-up of Ivy's assistance to the police, since she isn't FBI or related in any fashion, other than her survival. Ivy took her blackest moment and turned it into her life's work; she became a criminal profiler, teaching her subject at a local university.

Mary Cantrell, from Sleep Tight, has a cameo also. Since Sleep Tight was written after Hush, I'm not sure that her appearance adds to the story, nor does the side conversation between her and the current female lead. As a reader, however, it made me snicker at the recognition.

From Anne's site, I learned that "Anne Frasier" is a pen name. Her bio for the book is good, alluding to this being her first suspense, not her first book. Anne has stated that she feels Hush is her best work. I'd say it's a close second to Pale Immortal.

Recommendation: Definitely read it.

December Titles

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Magic Study by Maria V Snyder

Title: Magic Study (Second in a Series)

Author: Maria V Snyder

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: Yelena travels south with Irys, her rescuer from Poison Study, where she is briefly reunited with her family before starting her study, except her studies lead her from one plot to another.

The Take-Away: Excellent second novel. It was as well written as the first, with higher stakes. Yelena's safety continues to be threatened, but the threats come from the supporters of the exiled northern king and her brother.

I really liked how the author raised the stakes in this title, along with her set-up for the third, Fire Study. The rules of magic, as they apply to this series, is explored thoroughly in this title. I believe that the reader, along with Yelena, will need to be able to recognize them for the next title.

Recommendation: You won't spoil any story lines by starting with this one, but you're definitely going to want to read Poison Study too.

December Titles

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #3: Writing Books I Recommend

Thirteen Writing Books I Would Recommend

  1. The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes
  2. No Plot, No Problem by Chris Baty
  3. Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynn Truss
  4. Mugging the Muse by Holly Lisle
  5. Telling Lies for Fun and Profit by Lawrence Block
  6. Flirting with Pride & prejudice : fresh perspectives on the original chick-lit masterpiece by Jennifer Crusie
  7. Write great fiction : plot & structure : techniques and exercises for crafting a plot that grips readers from start to finish by James Scott Bell
  8. Ten Percent of Nothing by Jim Fisher
  9. Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas
  10. On Writing by Stephen King
  11. Create a Character Clinic by Holly Lisle
  12. How I write: secrets of a serial fiction writer by Janet Evanovich
  13. The Writing Clinic by Kelly Nickell
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
  1. Something Baby Blue
  2. Almost Somewhat Positive
  3. Jenny Ryan
  4. My Many Colored Crayons
  5. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

My previous Thirteens

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

True Evil by Greg Isles

Title: True Evil

Author: Greg Isles

Genre: Thriller

Summary: A brilliant researcher has perfected murder and markets it to the wealthy that are on the verge of divorce.

The Take-Away: Greg Isles brilliance lies in creating a scenario that is just outside the bounds of medicine but believeable. Like Robin Cook did. (Or does, I don't know if he still writes or not.) It would completely terrifies me, except my hubby wouldn't ever be able to afford the price tag.

The other thing Isles does well is create female protagonists. I have to remind myself that a man wrote the book, not a woman.

Recommendation: Pick this one up, and the back list too.

December Titles

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Internet Access

Scribbit is a blogger I picked up from Kelli's blog roll. I read a few posts, found her funny and have her in my browsing list. I confess that I don't read every post, depending on my own time restraints and interest, but I especially like this post: Is Internet Access Necessary in Public Schools?

With an abundance of involved and professional parents it's no surprise the school has a state of the art computer lab. Last year during her sixth grade year Grace had a teacher who prided herself on cutting edge computer skills and took it upon herself to teach the children how to use the internet. Now given what I'm now doing this very second, I'm obviously not opposed to new technology, but, realistically, how did you learn to use the internet? Did you need a teacher or a high-tech lab to teach you about email and yahoo?

It made me think of what I've learned about searching on the internet and how I learned it -- trial and error. I believe, given the accessibility of good information and the overwhelming amount of it, the time would be better spent teaching students about plagarism, copy right laws and proper referencing of sources (OMG, I sound like an ex-English teacher...oh wait...)

In my family, I'm the techie and currently monitor the bulk of the computer usage -- both time and sites visited. For time, I use my kitchen timer. When it beeps, Ollie knows that time is up and no amount of arguing will earn him more minutes. In fact, too much arguing decreases or eliminates the next session. I was pretty comfortable with the usage until he wanders into the living room one day and asks for my credit card.

Yep, Ollie discovered the joy of online shopping. Please keep in mind that he is six.

I have to agree with Scribbit's last thoughts.

But let's say, hypothetically, that the filters do work, that access to the nasty stuff is blocked. What then? Still the internet holds little value for the public education system. "Research" is usually the argument most frequently used, that in our tech-based world children must learn to do internet research. True, but again, how long does it take to figure out how to google? I would be willing to bet that most American pre-teens are masters.

It's simply a matter of priority. When American children are graduating with sub-standard reading, writing, math and science skills, why on earth is there such a frenzy to get computers into the classroom? Children don't need more screen time, they need more teacher and study time.

From my own experience, I figure that the argument will come up, but not every child has a computer at home. True. But that child probably has access to either a public or school library. It would still be better to teach them to evaulate the sources that they find, whether it is in print or online, then give them lessons on Googling and setting-up email accounts.

How does it work at your house?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Nasty Thoughts by Stacie Penney

I have a new short posted at Fictional Musings: Nasty Thoughts.

It started as an exercise to see if I could write a thriller. The nameless narrator is the killer, but most of the details are left to the reader's imagination.

I've included a permanent link in my sidebar, as well as links to my other writings around the blogosphere.

Tripping to Somewhere by Kristopher Reisz

Title: Tripping to Somewhere

Author: Kristopher Reisz

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: A pair of runaway teenagers want to find The Witches' Carnival, the ultimate good time. In their journey, they succeed, and fail.

The Take-Away: Nicely paced. It's fast, but didn't leave me wondering what just happened. It's a great example of tight writing as well. Both elements make it a must read for any author that wants to examine the execution of these elements.

It's a YA novel, but don't let that deter you. As a parent, the sub-culture of teenagers astounds me. My boys are too young to face the trials that these girls do: sexual orientation, drugs, theft, etc. My rather sheltered high school career didn't expose me to much of this either. I wouldn't hesitate to let my boys (or girls, if I had them) read this, but I'd want to talk about some of the situations after they finished. Just to find out what they thought.

Recommendation: Worth the time.

December Titles

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Poison Study by Maria V Snyder

Title: Poison Study

Author: Maria V Snyder

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: Yelena has a reprieve for her excution for the murder of the son of a high ranking official. The catch is she needs a daily antidote to stay alive. The antidote keeps Yelena near her captors.

The Take-Away: This is a great story. It moved fast, but didn't loose me. It's fantasy, but since Yelena is new to the household, explanations are easy to relay to the reader. Plus, she is in a unique position since she is educated, while most people (men and women) only learn what is needed for their positions. The author was very clever at working in large chunks of information that is vital to the story.

The other thing I really liked was the characterization. Yelena has room to grow and be challenged. Since this is the start of a series, I'm drawn in by her strength and determination. I want to know what happens next to her, especially as she is embarking on a new adventure, completely different than the first. While she was challenged in this book, she always had a way out provided for her or easily resolved. It worked for the plot however, but I'm hoping that the next title has a few challenges that throw her off guard.

Recommendation: Great start of a series.

December Titles

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #2: Editing with Small Children

Thirteen Things about Editing with Small Children

Editing with small children means...

  1. ...sharing your pens and ruining the color-coordination.
  2. ...crayon drawings over the top of text, and not just on the deleted pages.
  3. ...lowering your page quota.
  4. ...listening to Pixar's Cars twice in one night (once to make supper, once to edit.)
  5. ...sharing your iPod ear buds with someone who "wants to listen to the songs too."
  6. ...explaining to your critique partner which marks are proof-reader marks and which are unwelcome contributions from a wanna-be editor.
  7. ...not eating cookies at 9 pm even though I want to.
  8. ...listening to your kids instead of your characters.
  9. ...losing the threads of your story (and your thoughts) frequently.
  10. ...taking breaks to read their stories.
  11. ...searching for lost toys, instead of better verbs.
  12. ...answering questions without listening to them.
  13. ...lots of laughter that isn't directed at your writing skills.
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
  1. Mommy, Inc. by Shannon
  2. It's a Raggedy Life
  3. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

My previous Thirteens

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Guilty Pleasure by Laurell K Hamilton

Title: Guilty Pleasure

Author: Laurell K Hamilton

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: Anita Blake, the Executioner, has been employed by the city's Master Vampire to investigate the vampire murders in the city. Not succeeding will have consequences that extend further than a failed investigation.

The Take-Away: The Anita Blake series has several titles, and I'm coming into them quite late in the series. I believe there are 11 total. I confess that my interest relates to the most recent one, perhaps the last five or six.

Most of her readers love the early books, for the action, the vampires, the great world building that incorporates new twists with legends and lore. The later books have more of the "horizontal mambo" and less plot. However, I've heard that the newest title is better. So I decided to check it out for myself, after hearing about it in various places.

I have to admit, that the action in this book happened too rapidly for me. During the first 80 pages or so, things happened so rapidly that I'd just start to feel like I knew what was going on, and Anita would be thrown into a different conflict. However, it did help me to realize why I've been told by one critique partner that my novel's pace is too slow.

I liked it enough to get the next one. I'm interested too in seeing what happens during the "make or break" books.

Recommendation: Too soon to commit to the whole series but worth a further look.

December Titles

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Disclosure Policy

Based on a recent post by PBW, I decided this might be a good thing. In general, the sort of compensation that I've received has been ARCs. I've always had the right to decline them, and have always reviewed the books with honest opinions. I try to find the good in the book, whether an ARC or not, but will also state what doesn't work for me. I won't always mention that the book is an ARC.

This policy is valid from 02 January 2007

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact Stacie (stacie.penney at

This blog does not accept any form of cash advertising, sponsorship, or paid topic insertions. However, we will and do accept and keep free products, services, travel, event tickets, and other forms of compensation from companies and organizations.

This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.

The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified.

To get your own policy, go to

Monday, January 08, 2007

The False House by James Stoddard

Title: The False House

Author: James Stoddard

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: Parts and pieces of the High House are changed or missing and Carter Anderson has a traitor in his midst.

The Take-Away: The writing in the sequel to The High House is tighter, and rift with conflict. The kidnapping that occurs near the beginning of the book haunts the characters until the next big conflict occurs. The set-up was fabulous and brings back old enemies -- not the Anarchists, but Lady Order -- from the first book.

The False House also used multiple points of view quite effectively. The action happens in several locations. Instead of using a narrative information dump, or a retelling to other characters, Stoddard changes his narrator as needed. The writing held up as well, and allowed each distinct character's voice to shine through.

Stoddard hasn't published anything else and a reading of his website doesn't offer any clues. I'd be interested in a new offering.

Recommendation: You won't ruin any story lines starting with this one, but the writing growth is obvious.

December Titles

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Bookworm Review, 2006













  • The False House by James Stoddard
  • Guilty Pleasure by Laurell K Hamilton
  • Poison Study by Maria V Snyder
  • Tripping to Somewhere by Kristopher Reisz
  • True Evil by Greg Isles
  • Magic Study by Maria V Snyder
  • Hush by Anne Frasier
  • The Halo Effect by M.J. Rose
  • On Writing by Stephen King

Friday, January 05, 2007

Play Dead by Anne Frasier

Title: Play Dead

Author: Anne Frasier

Genre: Thriller

Summary: A new drug in Savannah, Georgia, only mimics death and confounds the local police, including their ex-FBI profiler.

The Take-Away: The relationship between the male and female protagonists was touch and go. Sometimes it would click, and the storyline would just flow. Other times, it wasn't working, but Elise Sandburg blames that on the mood swings of her partner, David Gould, the ex-FBI profiler.

Each of them has a history that while pertinant to the storyline, also keeps their relationship fluxuating between hot and cold. It was a refreshing change from the normal "romantic" interest that is automatically tied between partners, especially when one of them is new.

Recommendation: Again, Frasier's details about solving the case and her skill at creating memorable characters makes this a must read.

November Titles

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

My iPod and Me

I splurged just before Christmas and got an iPod. The little-ish 4 gig Nano. It's black. It's fully of fingerprints. I loved using it while I was NaNo-ing. Putting my music on shuffle and re-discovering it was fab.

Then a friend introduced me to podcasts. I hemmed and hawed, but eventually jumped in with both feet. On the one hand, I regret it. I'm obsessed with finding new shows. On the other hand, I'm amazed at the kind of shows that are available to me.

My Subscription List

  • 12 Byzantine Rulers: The History of the The Byzantine Empire -- I haven't started listening to this one, but I'm looking forward to getting back to Western Civ I. Ah, the college memories.
  • Creative Writing Podcast -- Fab. A 30 minute or less show about writing. The podcast, Tom O., is somewhat irregular in his posting. The shows are chocked full of value. He delves into the unknown essence of a story "What makes a book good?"
  • Barnes & Noble's Meet the Writers Podcast -- Ten minute interviews that give a cursory update of best selling authors.
  • British History 101 -- Again, another one that I haven't started listening to. But this is familiar ground to me, from my English Lit days.
  • Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing -- A must listen as the weekly show explains a common grammar mistake, in 5 minutes or less.
  • Holly Lisle On Writing -- This may be a now defunct podcast. Holly hasn't posted since the summer.
  • Princeton University Podcasts -- Again, another one unlistened to. The 90 minute lectures are a bit daunting but I'm hoping that it will serve as research for my writing, if not just being interesting.
  • Pullman, Paolini, Pierce Interview -- A short series that contains two of my favorite authors - Pullman and Paolini. I'm looking forward to hearing their points of view on various writing aspects
  • Radio Diaries Podcast -- Every day, real people are given a micro recorder for anywhere from 3 months to 2 years. Their recordings are editing to a 30 minute or less show. Absolutely fab. It's a great way of learning about how different Americans are across the country.
  • The Random House Audio Podcast -- No clue. (By the way, it's really easy to add interesting sounding podcasts but not actually listen to them.)
  • The Writing Show -- Interviews by Paula B of authors, publishers, bloggers -- really anyone who has anything to do with getting books into a reader's hands.
  • Writers on Writing -- Author interviews. An indepth interview with a variety of authors. The sound quality is bad for some of the early shows, but the breadth of authors is fantastic.

I have my eye on a few others. There's an over abundance of Harry Potter podcasts that look interesting. A variety of comedian podcasts are of interest to me. I do find that I don't like the ones with lots of sound clips. Intro or exit music is fine, but the weird sound effect thing turns me off.

What podcasts do you listen to?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I'm not a big fan of making New Year's resolutions. I'd rather apply certain principles to my life and live them every day. Sometimes, however, I need a reminder. Holly Lisle's resolutions did just that.

I'm going to blatantly steal them, because they are that awesome. In fact, a couple of them are principles that I apply to my life now. Others merely round them out.

Thanks, Holly, for the kick.

TAO, which includings FAMILY, WORK, and SPIRIT

  • Chop wood, carry water.
  • Give thanks each day.
  • Be here now.
  • Look for lessons.
  • In all things, be the river, not the stone.


  • Breathe consciously.
  • Move with intent.
  • Each moment is its own victory—no past failures, no future glories.


  • Do every project first and foremost for the love of it.
  • Work first.
  • Simplify the day.
  • Remember that rest, too, has a purpose.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Bookworm Report, December 2006

I hope your Christmas was very merry and your new year started out bright. I'm not much of a resolution maker, but I've seen a few posts that reminded me of some life philosophies that I haven't thought about in a while. I'll probably post about them soon.

On to The List!

Bookworm Review
Year Pages Books
2001 4,032 14
2002 2,017 4
2003 1,305 4
2004 4,647 15
2005 3,909 9
2006 3,360 9

For 2006, I read 127 books, or 47,694 pages, which averages to 11 books a month, or 3,975 pages per month, and an average book length of 376 pages.

2006: 127 books; 47,694 pages
2005: 114 books; 42,519 pages
2004: 94 books; 33,910 pages
2003: 54 books; 20,673 pages
2002: 87 books; 32,812 pages
2001: 164 books; 49,482 pages

A complete listing for 2006 will appear some weekend.

Also, 2007 brings a variety of changes to my life, both good and bad. I'm going to explore some of them over the next month, inbetween book reviews. Cheers!