New Year’s New Look and New Books!

First thing’s first, what do you all think of the new look?

I like it. I think it’s a bit sleeker and doesn’t have my face and Pride and Prejudice presiding over everything. It feels cleaner, and more to the point. I’d say more professional, but then you’d keep reading and just laugh at me.

Take the time to explore the new layout, because there’s some new things too. A couple new widgets, letting you follow me on twitter and Goodreads, as well as keep an eye on my reading list.

Speaking of which, I’ve given the What I’m Reading tab a make over. Though I started the list late in 2014, I found that adding completed books to the blog gave me a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. So much so that I decided to continue the practice. I’ve divided things up by year, so 2015 is looking pretty sparse for now.

This directly segues into an announcement. I’ve decided that 2015 is going to be a big year for my reading habits. I’ve set a goal of 25 novels and 10 short stories, as I mentioned before. And while that’s my official goal, I know I can do better than that. So, I set a Goodreads goal of 30 books this year.

But, what’s the announcement? This year I’ll be writing reviews on the books I read. I’ve never done this before, and I expect the first few reviews will be a bit bad. But, I’m looking forward to taking my personal reading to the next level and applying it to my understanding of writing fiction.

Plus, writing book reviews will help keep the blog focused. 2014 found the blog a bit scatter-brained. I want to hone in and keep things pertinent. We’ll see how that goes.

I think the Holidays took their toll on the folks at Caladria. I submitted A Stranger Comes Knocking, but have yet to hear anything. But, it’s only been six days, though it feels like weeks. And, they’re all super busy in the background, prepping the first issue of Fab Fables for release later this month.

While releasing the issue itself is a bit of work, there’s also a ton of things to create and sort out for the user website. I’ll have more on that when the updates roll out around mid-January.

And so I find myself project-less. Ok, not really. I still have a novel that wants to get written, and another that needs editing. But, I was having so much fun writing little things, popping in and out of history and character’s lives. Writing Fantasy short stories is so much better than Literary short fiction.

Trevor and I traded some books in. I found eight books lingering on my shelves that I knew I would never read, so we went to Escape Fiction. Trevor found me a hardback copy of The Wise Man’s Fear, and it is quite possibly one of the most glorious things I’ve held in my hands. For $12 I couldn’t pass it up. I also picked up a tattered copy of Terry Brooks’s The Sword of Shannara, which I’ve never read.

wise_mans_fear    Sword_of_shannara_hardcover

And Firefight comes out tomorrow! This is going to be the year of Sci-Fi/Fantasy… I mean, another year of Sci-Fi/Fantasy!

And I have a confession. I bought my first e-book. Brandon Sanderson released a short story set in the world of The Reckoners series (Steelheart, Firefight, and Calamity), that takes place between the first two books. And so, Mitosis is my first e-book, and will most likely be the first short story I read in 2015.
mitosis

I haven’t read it yet, so I’ll let you know how I feel about it when I do. I don’t expect a change of heart, but perhaps a caveat. If it’s only published as an e-book, or insanely expensive as a hard copy (I’m looking at you, Legion: Skin Deep) then I can see myself succumbing to the convenience of e-books.

But I will not own a Kindle or Nook, or any other device that claims to replace books. Not. Happening.

Anyway, I’m off to get some work done, and hopefully tear into the heart of The Star Scroll.

I’ll see you soon, Blogland!

BZ

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