What I’m Reading — 10/21/16

I’ve just finished Caitlín R. Kiernan’s The Drowning Girl on Audible. A tremendous recording of a beautiful, upsettling novel that spirals in and out of madness. Sirens and werewolves and art and wonder. My mind is still boggled.

Started Peter Straub’s Ghost Story for the umpteenth time today. It’s my Everest, man. I can’t seem to get through it. I’ve tackled this novel at least four other times in my life, getting to various stages before finally surrendering to Straub’s impressive but tangled imagination and taking a mulligan. But here I am, ready this time. I shall reach the summit!

Also, I’m reading Thrill Me!: Essays on Fiction by Benjamin Percy. This is fast becoming my favorite book on writing. Percy’s a good teacher, and he doesn’t really truck with bullshit. He knows what he likes, and he isn’t at all afraid to share. I might read and reread this book, like I had with King’s On Writing, until I’ve absorbed all the goodies found between the covers. You can always get better at something, right? (Write?

On the writing front, I’m happy to say I’ll be tackling draft 3 (or 4?) of my WIP. A nasty bit of short fic I’m hoping to start shopping around by the first of November. My lovely wife is providing the next stage of edits, which I will take and lament over, wishing I was brilliant out the gate, and then I’ll put on my editor cap and get out my scalpel. The words must serve the story, not my ego. Cut, cut, cut, and then a polish before the end of next week.

I’m thinking I’ll do a bunch of these progress reports from time to time. I like the idea of looking back on this, sometime in the future, and seeing NOW. This is usually cringe-worthy (how many blogs have I started, forgotten about, and then eradicated because of shame? Too many), but I’m feeling optimistic. Change is in the air, and I embrace it.

Worst case scenario, I can take another mulligan.

JM

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