Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 27

Blogland,

Here we are, another week down. The time is flying by entirely too quickly, and from behind the haze of this migraine, this thing is likely to be short.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
  • Start chapter 6 of Sanctuary
  • Write a tumblr prompt
  • Finish reading Kill the Farm Boy
  • Submit Lifelike somewhere
  • Record an “episode” of Santa Sarita
  • Review Madhu’s pages

How’d I Do?

  • Publish two blog posts
    • Yes! Actually, there were three last week, including the unexpected review for Kill the Farm Boy!Kill the Farm Boy
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
    • Nope. I did write a few hundred words, but that was it. There was a considerable reread and a few minor edits however.
  • Start chapter 6 of Sanctuary
    • Yep. Not much, a few hundred words, but it’s a start.
  • Write a tumblr prompt
    • No. I started one, but did not finish it. Again, a few hundred words only.
  • Finish reading Kill the Farm Boy
    • Yes! And I finished a whole ‘nother book on top of that!
  • Submit Lifelike somewhere
    • Yes. And I just received its rejection… c’est la vie.
  • Record an “episode” of Santa Sarita
    • No… I started recording then managed to get horribly distracted.
  • Review Madhu’s pages
    • Yes. As usual.

Weekly Word Count: 951

Yikes. That is not a stellar start to the month. But, I did more reading this last week than I did in all of June so I guess that’s a fair trade. For all my efforts yesterday I have a migraine today, so no writing to be had, but quite a lot of listening to Brief Cases, the only audiobook I have on my phone at present. I’m about halfway through it already, which means July is off to a very impressive reading start.

Now if I can just kick the writing back into gear.

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write chapter 7 of The Steel Armada
  • Write 500 words on Sanctuary
  • Finish tumblr prompt
  • Finish a Dresden audiobook
  • Submit Lifelike
  • Review Madhu’s pages

I should really add “record an episode of Santa Sarita” on there, but I didn’t want to add another bullet point. This is plenty. More than plenty, considering I only completed half of them last week.

I’ve got a long day at work tomorrow, a short day on Wednesday. I’m off Thursday and Friday and then work another long day on Saturday. My schedule is pretty weird right now because the branch I normally work at is closed for renovations. So, I’m still getting decent-ish hours, but have more days off. Hopefully I can turn those extra days off into productivity.

We’ll see.

Midnight RiotI’ve got the book review for Midnight Riot (published as Rivers of London in the UK) on deck, as well as my next editing check-in for this week, so expect to see me around a bit.

Until then,

 

BZ

 

Book Review – Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne

Bloggos,

Welcome to the first book review of July! I am super excited about this review, mainly because it is my first time writing about my thoughts on an Advanced Reader Copy, known colloquially as an ARC. Thanks to working in a library and being homies with the Collection Development Librarian, I can raid her ARC shelf anytime I’d like, and finally one caught my eye.

Now, if you follow me on Goodreads or Twitter then you probably saw all kinds of weird comments from me about this book as I slowly worked my way through it. I did my best to keep my posts and thoughts spoiler-free, and I will endeavor to do the same here.

Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars

Kill the Farm Boy

 

Kill the Farm Boy releases in the US on July 17, 2018! You can still preorder a copy from Amazon or through your local, preferred retailer. Thanks to Edelweiss and Emily Byers for access to this ARC.

*A/N: I really wanted to give this book 3.5 stars, but the Goodreads rating system does not allow for it. So, I decided to round up because I liked the book more than I didn’t.

I have not read any of Dawson’s or Hearne’s books before, and after reading this book I think that’s a mistake I need to rectify. If you haven’t gathered from the title, cover, and tagline on the book, Kill the Farm Boy is a comedy. And I think it’s a pretty successful one at that. Humor is such a tricky thing to write well, because what an audience finds funny is so incredibly subjective.

Gustave
The look of a goat with a desperate craving for old boot leather.

I personally love puns and wordplay. I chuckle at the occasional dick joke. A talking goat calling his human companion “Pooboy” is funny to me. An aspiring Dark Lord who really just wants to be a food critic and whose magic always results in some sort of unexpected bread product is delightful. A rogue who trips over her own feet and blames the chickens is hilarious. Judge me as you will, but I make no apologies.

But, its more sophomoric tendencies aside, Kill the Farm Boy actually touches on some bigger themes and topics, like what constitutes ‘family’ and who your herd is, and pokes fun at the failings of crony capitalism and corporate governance. I think the commentary, though slim, is fitting and pertinent to American readers today.

In all of these ways, I think Kill the Farm Boy is very successful. I loved all of the characters, and the world of Pell is very well thought out and often tragically (read: hilariously) named.

Where it struggles is in the pacing. It took over a month to read this book, and while that was not all the book’s fault (mental health can be a bitch), the meandering plot didn’t exactly compel me to pick it up, either. I think there were some jokes that the story could have sacrificed to tighten up the plot a bit more, but at the same time, I enjoyed those side plots and jokes quite a bit.

Big takeaway #1: When I opened this book, I always enjoyed myself. I just didn’t feel the urge to open it very often.

I do think that the next book, for Kill the Farm Boy is the first in a planned series, may suffer less from the plodding sensation, since there’s less character introduction and “personal quests” to be done. I’m thinking this was the big introduction, and that from here things may streamline.

Big Takeaway #2: I will read the second book. I liked this one enough to give a sequel a shot.

So, I’d say, if you’re up for a laugh, and don’t want to take anything too seriously, give this book a try. But, I’d recommend giving yourself plenty of time, maybe whilst vacationing on a nice sandy beach, surrounded by glittering crabs and mai tais? Because this book is definitely a leisure read.

Speaking of leisure, I spent my entire day off sitting on the couch reading Midnight Riot from cover to cover. It was lovely. I’ll be back later in the week to tell you all about it!

Until then,

 

BZ

 

Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 23

Hey Bloggos,

This week sort of ran away from me, and I can firmly place the blame on E3 and Horizon Zero Dawn. Which of course means I’m really the one to blame. But, before I go pointing fingers, let’s talk about what happened.

Last Week

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
  • Finish listening to Side Jobs
  • Submit Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship application
  • Review Madhu’s pages

… And?

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
    • Nope. I did well each day I sat down, but it was only four days this week instead of seven.
  • Finish listening to Side Jobs
    • Not even close. I don’t think I listened to it at all. Yikes.
  • Submit Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship application
    • Yes! That is done and now out of my brain until someone contacts me about it. Hurray!
  • Review Madhu’s pages
    • Yep. You know, it’s the one thing I can count on getting done, no matter what.

Weekly Word Count: 3,199

All right. That wasn’t as bad as I thought. Yeah, I should have spent more time writing, especially since I got through the harder part of the chapter I’m working on. The next bit is actually really exciting to me, a big action sequence, so I’m surprised that I didn’t get to it faster.

I may not have finished Side Jobs, but I did get halfway through Kill the Farm Boy, so that’s exciting! I’m making progress, again, slowly but surely. Summertime is always a bit trying on my reading simply because I spend more time outdoors and in social settings. And as much as I’d like to bring a book to that backyard barbecue, I’m told that’s in poor taste.

I’ve signed up for my library’s Summer Reading Club (“Libraries Rock”), so you might see some adventurous reading  over the next couple of months. A Jeff Buckley memoir, random books about music, etc. I’ve also volunteered to help host the Hamiltunes: An American Sing-a-Long, which will basically be me performing Hamilton karaoke in front of library patrons. If there’s video/photographic evidence, I’ll be sure to share it.

The Fellowship application was only stressful in its redundancy. I had to fill out the same form three times! That and figuring out the best shipping method for documents. I’ve never sent documents through the mail before. Like, what a strange concept. Sheafs of paper. In the mail. When I could have just emailed it.

b99 what.gif

But, that was the requirement, so all right, I guess. Whatever floats your boat Oregon Literary Arts.

Madhu’s pages are getting better and better. She’s really good at implementing feedback from earlier pages into the ones she’s currently working on. I rarely have to point out an issue more than once.

Honorable Mentions

I completed my passport application! Hurray! That was a big scary hurdle between me and Germany, so I’m glad to have that simmering stress finally addressed. Now I can continue to be low-key panicked about these short story submissions in peace!

I wrote a tumblr prompt fill this week, which was not part of the plan, at all. But it was fun, and relatively well received, so that’s nice. I also got a teeny-eensie bit done on Sanctuary so… woo?

What else?

I reached out to my library mentor of sorts to ask a question for a blog post I’m drafting. So that’s good. I also finished writing my Library Pick column for the local newspaper. So, though neither of those things are really “goals”, they are work that I finished this week. So there.

My goal was to publish 52 blog posts this year. With the upload of The Master Magician book review, I have officially crossed that threshold! That is absolutely amazing to me, and wildly unexpected. I am tempted to erase the goal from the whiteboard and increase it, but I also want the reminder that I way underestimated myself. This way, when it’s time to assess the year’s achievements I can be impressed/plan better for 2019. So, I guess I’ll leave it for now.

I submitted The Cost of Rain to another magazine today. That makes for number six. When I see it in writing it looks way less disappointing than it feels. Five rejections is nothing.  There’s still hope for this story. I just need to convince my heart of that. Lifelike is still out. This is day 51. I am dying and the stress has ate away at my fingernails and the lining of my stomach, I’m sure. I can’t query the magazine for another week at least, but I really hope it won’t come to that.

If I query them, and then get a swift rejection I will need more than a pint of ice cream to soothe my bruised ego. Maybe a beer or two, and a big pretzel. Then ice cream. Yeah, that sounds like a plan.

What’s Next?

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
  • Finish reading something
  • Write two tumblr prompts
  • Review Madhu’s pages

Blog post content may actually be thin this week. I don’t have a book review queued up, but I am poised to cross the 20k word mark on The Steel Armada. I should be able to share my next Editing Check-In later this week.

My reading has really slowed down, which I want to fix. So I’ll be focusing on making headway on Kill the Farm Boy and Side Jobs. I’ve really enjoyed them both so far, I just need to make a more concerted effort in my reading and listening. I want to get the review for Kill the Farm Boy out before July, since it’s my first time reading an ARC (advanced reader copy) and I should post my review before the book releases.Kill the Farm Boy

I opened my tumblr inbox for writing prompts, specifically for my Mass Effect series. I thought it’d be a good way to boost my work on Sanctuary. Instead I got several prompts for my Dragon Age characters. So, not what I intended, and yet I’m not unhappy. I love writing for both Mass Effect and Dragon Age, so spending more time with my Warden and Zevran is hardly a bad thing.

Madhu was ahead of the game this week. Normally we share our pages on Tuesdays, but she already emailed me her next batch for consideration. I’ll probably read them tomorrow night or Wednesday morning.

Somehow, this post grew pretty long. Sorry about that. Anyhoo, that’s how I’m doing and what the plan looks like for this week. I’ll be back later to talk about the last 10k words of The Steel Armada rewrite.

Until then,

 

BZ