First book recs of the new year:
1) The Golden Compass! Read it on my flights and it was amazing. Where have I been my whole life? IDEK. The last half of the book totally blew me out of the water. Few books rarely have me connecting so well with the main character, but I was on the same page as Lyra through everything. Definitely an exhilarating ride. I have to say, this series reminds me a lot of The Wolf Tower series by Tanith Lee. Remember when that was popular? Remember? The science fiction and human experimentation stuff draws some parallels. Plus, I think Lyra and Claidi resemble each other strongly in personality, although Lyra is a more universally reader-friendly character. Looking forward to digging into The Subtle Knife and I'll have to order The Amber Spyglass, but NO PROBLEM because I am now a Borders Plus Member (free shipping with orders!). Yeah, I just fell into a new category of lame.
2) Not The End Of The World by Geraldine McCaughrean. This was pubbed in 2004, so not a new release. I discovered it in the good old library. I think the title is sort of childish and stupid, but whatever. It's a retelling of Noah's Ark and the flood. I am a huge fan of multiple POVs, and this book does it fantastically without overdoing it and giving Every Single Character a voice. Much, much love. It's beautifully written too. Short read. Something you could easily finish in several hours. Check it out!
Disclaimer: Completely unintentional, but both of my first 2011 recs are ... how do I put it ... a little blasphemous if you're easily offended by that sort of thing. I'm sure you're all familiar with why His Dark Materials is sacreligious blah blah. Not The End of The World is putting a new spin on a Bible story and it is not a flattering retelling. I personally do not find fiction offensive most of the time, because it's fiction. It's really hard for me to get riled up about something that was created imaginatively. Buuuut, I thought I'd warn you, in case it wasn't already obvious.
Onto other things.
3) I am making a New Years Resolution to be a better blogger this year. Two posts a week, I'mma try REALLY HARD. Especially since I am nearing the two-year anniversary of the start of this blog (I might treat myself to some delicious, expensive, otherwise-unjustifiable food as a celebration and maybe some clothes because I can always find an excuse to buy new clothes) and I want to hit the two-year on a good blogging note. I have gotten loads better since then, which is great, and the whole reason I started blogging, so that I wouldn't slack off on my writing. Which leads me to point number four.
4) I'm starting over on The Forever City. By which I mean, I'm totally dumping it and rewriting from scratch with new characters and a new setting and a new plot, but it is still a retelling of The Water Horse of Barra. I had about 15,000 words on TFC -- utterly pathetic, I know -- and I am very happy with what I have. It's great. But I got a better idea and I think I could do more with it. I'm not upset, and I certainly don't feel like I wasted my time. I never feel like anything I write is a waste of time, which is probably why I have over half a million words saved in various places on my computer. I mean, I have at least 50,000 of just fan fiction extras that I never posted. But everything is a learning experience, and that's why I save everything.
The only thing I am unhappy about is the sparse amount of writing that I ended up getting done the second half of 2010. Writing, while being painful and time-consuming and utterly UN-FUN while it is happening, is evidently integral enough of a part of me that my life feels tragically incomplete when I'm not writing on a regular basis. So here. I'm going to make a goal to write at least 2,000 per week. That's not hard. I wrote 1,700 words per day for 30 days straight in November '09, and I used to write 1,000 words per day. Even though my life is much busier now than it was when I started blogging, I think 2,000 per week is a doable goal. And in the end, it will probably make me a much happier person. I remember when I used to walk 30 minutes to spend the day at the library writing on Saturdays. Now, that was probably because I had nothing else to do my freshman year because see below, my freshman year sucked. But I was happy as a clown on Saturdays. Now, I'm all, "Mehhh, it's too cold to haul my ass somewhere and write and I can't do it in my apartment because I'm distracted and I have homework mehhhh." I need to stop being LAZY and COMPLACENT.
So, let's make 2011 a good year, shall we? My horoscope tells me that 2011 is a great year to write a book. No, really, it says that for Leo, in those words. You funny, horoscope. You funny.
Happy New Year!