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  • 24-Hour Read-A-Thon Wrap-up and Debriefing

    Now that I’ve had some sleep and can think clearly, if not rationally, I can give you a more objective run-down of how the Read-A-Thon went.

    Did I say I was going to do a lot of research during this thing? I lied. I only got a little bit of research done around the 1-2pm mark. I might have to try being more selective about my book choice next time, or I might just have to read more. I think I like option 2.

    While I wonder if I would have gotten more done it I’d done it on my own rather than with friends, I know I wouldn’t have had as much fun. There’s something about being sleep-deprived around other sleep-deprived people that makes it so much more intense. Twice I stared up in amazement at the ceiling, and at one point I expressed my deep and abiding appreciation for bricks. I’m not sure even I knew how much I loved bricks up until that point. ‘Coherent’ was the word of the day, mostly because it was completely absent.

    I still maintain that ‘editing’ is ‘reading’ because I spend most of the time reading words that have already been written. Besides which, I restructure sentences in published works while I read all the time… the only difference is that I don’t take a red pen to those one. Other than that, I spent quite a bit of time reading comics/graphic novels, depending on how you define each, or possibly when during those 24 hours you caught me. I also made what I consider to be decent head-way in our book club book, never mind that everyone else has finished it already. Apparently page 289/290 in the paperback is pretty terrible/gruesome; I can’t wait!

    For those really interested in what I was reading, I’m giving you a list. In order of reading:

    Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. The ebook does include the wonderful illustrations by Keith Thompson, but I still plan on getting a print version, because the screen on my phone really doesn’t do them justice. The story itself I find captivating, and I can’t wait to share it with my niece!

    My own work. Currently going under the working title of Daemons because there’s an awful lot of them running around in there.

    The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen. I don’t know why I’ve never read a procedural like this; I love these sorts of shows on TV. Bones, Castle, Profiler… all favourites. And this one is brilliant. The problem is, great writing makes me want to write, otherwise I may have finished it already along with the rest of my book club.

    The Emperor Constantine by Michael Grant. I’ve gotten some good stuff out of it so far, but I’m also coming up against a lot of new things to look up, like ‘Mithraism’. He also seems to assume I know certain historical elements which I don’t. This is not necessarily a failing on his part; I am after all delving into a period of history that is mostly foreign to my experience.

    Hellblazer: Original Sins by Jamie Delano, John Ridgway, Alfredo Alcala. Because the Emperor Constantine is an obvious lead-in to John Constantine. Naturally. DC’s Vertigo imprint is my favourite for comics/graphic novels, and Constantine here is no exception. He’s my favourite kind of anti-hero, flaws exposed and acknowledged with a cheery ‘sod off.’ Knowing that a good thing can never last makes the whole thing that much sweeter.

    Agatha H and the Airship City: A Girl Genius Novel by Phil & Kaja Foglio. I originally encountered Agatha while reading the Girl Genius webcomic, now and always a rollicking good time. From what I remember, the novel follows the comic pretty much exactly, though with perhaps a little more getting into character’s heads. It proclaims Adventure! Romance! and Mad Science! and delivers it all with a delightful comedy.

    Ezekiel 37.1-14 from The New Oxford Annotated Bible, New Revised Standard Version with the Apocrypha. There’s something about Ezekiel that just grabs me by the throat and refuses to let go. When I first read this passage about the valley of bones, I realized that whether I’d known it already or not, this was the theme of my novel. Knowing that there’s something deeply wrong with the world right now, trying to find a way to get it all back together again… It’s daunting, it’s desperate, and it’s the only thing I can do.

    And on that cheerful note, I give you a video of me singing Close to You as a Jägermonster. (I’m the Jägermonster of my primary triumvirate because I can do the accent, und I gots a noice hat.)

     



  • April 2011 Read-A-Thon Progress Blog

    6 AM

    *Stumbles blearily out of bed*

    …And a good morning to you too! I’m up, I’m packed, I’m ready to go. On today’s menu is everything from graphic novels to scripture, with stops at fantasy novels and historical essays along the way. Mixed metaphors aside, I’m off like a herd of turtles.

    7:15 AM

    What an adventure! Both in the book and out of it. It’s been a while since I’ve read while walking… good times. En route I read Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan on my phone. Excellent thing about having Kindle on my phone: I can hold it in one hand and turn the pages with my nose.

    8 AM

    Right. Now that I have some tea in me, time for a proper update, yes?

    I made it to Krissa and Blair’s place easy enough. I must have been quite a sight on the bus in my pyjamas and housecoat, lugging books and soup. All the while I was, sometimes literally, nose-deep in Leviathan. I am loving this book! Seriously. Deryn is my favourite, but I really like Alek, too. And the lady boffin, Dr. Barlow. So much fun!

    Now the question is, do I continue with Leviathan or move on to research? Or our latest book club book, The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen? Time will tell.

    9 AM

    So, I kept on with Leviathan after all. Too bloody good to put down! Short update this time, as I’m anxious to get back to it.

    10 AM

    At 68%, I decided to drag myself away from Leviathan for a spot of editing. Editing is reading, so it counts! And it’ll ease me into me real purpose for today, which is research. I brought a lot of books with me, and I don’t want that to be for naught!

    So now I’m fixing the head-hopping POV in the early parts. I hadn’t thought this was a problem for me, but apparently it was.

    11 AM

    All kinds of excitement! We got food, Danni’s here, and all is awesome! I was a little distracted from my reading/editing by a phone call to confirm a meeting time… we both had different ideas of what day I was to show up, so it’s a good thing we got that sorted. Anyway, back to it!

    Noon

    Ok, I lied about jumping into research after editing. I picked up The Surgeon instead, and holy crap! Love the prologue. First chapter? Awesome. Now go away so I can get back to reading it! ;)

    1 PM

    People (Danni) were distracting me from reading The Surgeon, so I switched to research. How does that work? Either way, I’m now reading The Emperor Constantine by Michael Grant. The fact that the author’s first name is the same as my MC’s has nothing to do with the book selection, of course >.>

    Also, Blair apparently has the Force. At least insofar as getting someone to pass him the chip bowl while he’s covered in dogs.

    2 PM

    I’m running into a slight snag with my research. Reading about Constantine in preparation for my Medieval reading works better when the book I chose doesn’t assume I have a background in Roman and Christian history that I don’t have.

    …I think that last sentence was coherent, but I’m really not sure right now. Perhaps book choice is not my only problem with doing research right now. I’m contemplating lightening things up with a graphic novel. Would John Constantine: Hellblazer be too silly a choice?

    3 PM

    I’m remembering now that the first story in this volume wasn’t perhaps my favourite. Still, John Constantine is hurting my brain less than the Emperor Constantine. I’ve been more easily distracted from my reading lately; hopefully this next hour will be more productive, if that’s a word that can be applied to reading comics.

    4 PM

    Late lunch/early supper break. We had the chicken carcass soup I brought to share with folks here, along with the bread I made earlier. Very yummy, if I do say so myself. And now, cookies!

    As far as the reading goes, I did get a more of Constantine read, before getting pulled away for cooking-type duties. Still love this guy. Getting a craving to read his storyline in Sandman, but I left those ones at home (alas!)

    5:15 PM

    Yeah, my hourly update’s a little late, but I wanted to get that chapter of Constantine finished. That bloke’s right messed, but I love it. Definitely not to be confused with the Emperor, though.

    Feeling sleepy. For some reason this inspire me to edit my own stuff again. Apparently for me, editing and fatigue go well together; this won’t be the first time I edit tired. May get some more tea in a bit.

    6 PM

    Bloody hell, is it update time again already? Just as I was getting into the swing of things, too. Chapter 2 is now starting mid-way through what was originally Chapter 2, before I cut the beginning and turned it into Chapter 1. See, this is why I’m using Scrivener and not numbering my chapters until the end!

    In other news, Danni is making the rest of us look bad by having already read an entire book since she got here, and she’s not even officially participating, besides.

    7 PM

    Still editing. Only have a few kinks to work out of the early bit; I’m impressed! Well, only a few that I know of so far. Who knows what will happen in later passes.

    Contemplating switching to Agatha H and the Airship City by Phil & Kaja Foglio, even if only to justify having talked like a Jägermonster most of today. My condition will probably worsen from this, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take.

    8 PM

    No Jägermonsters in this chapter. I’m disappointed.

    In other news, I’m apparently doing one of these Read-A-Thon challenges, making a sentence out of book titles. And so I give you The Devil’s Hatband Sparkles Hotter Than Hell. Enjoy!

    9 PM

    What coherency and/or sanity I may have had has gone out the window. It’s entirely possible I was singing Yellow Submarine to myself with a Jägermonster accent. And now I’m giggling over the three tenses of ‘having’ in a row there.

    That my brain cannot grasp the subtleties of prose in a steampunk adventure novel worries me. I’m going back to comics for a while…

    10 PM

    John Constantine’s got my head back on track. Reading The Surgeon again. Back later.

    11 PM

    As I just said on Twitter, editing is reading, damn it!

    Ahem. Anyway. So I was reading The Surgeon, and it made me want to write. So I did some editing, and found that my character’s Spock phase started earlier that I remembered. You know, that one where they all express emotions by raising their eyebrows? Yeah, that one.

    Midnight

    I missed watching the date tic over on my watch. Disappointing. In about an hour it’ll start telling me it’s ‘Samedi’ until about ten to three, when it will admit that it’s Sunday.

    In other news, The Surgeon is still being awesome. I like that. Still wanting to intersperse said reading with editing, but doubting the wisdom of that. Either way, good times!

    1 AM

    After a certain amount of arguing to no one in particular that editing is reading, and getting distracted by Twitter, I got back to reading my comics. Getting back to reading them again. Yay, Constantine! :D

    2 AM

    Still alive, and still reading! Yes, more Constantine. Rereading this, I’m noticing shards of the story that have burrowed through my brain and into my own book in new and dazzling forms. Brilliant is what it is.

    It’s just Blair and I left now. Everything’s quiet, peaceful. Just reading.

    3 AM

    You can always tell when Todd Klein’s the letterer. Beautiful work. The fact that I set out to do a whole lot of research during this thing but instead spent a good deal of time reading comics amuses me more than anything, really. Nothing wrong with that of course; I read quality comics.

    Watched my watch tic over to Sunday. It occurs to me that I am way too aware of the precise moments when the day and date change on my watch. It looks like I’m the last man standing here. Even the dogs are sleeping.

    4 AM

    Hullo! Other people are awake again. Got a bit more Constantine in, of course, and some more editing (which is totally reading!) but had to stop when I ran up against some potential POV issues that I don’t think I can wrangle just now. Returning to The Surgeon, because writing and writing-related activities always make me want to read something awesome.

    5 AM

    There was going to be something terribly interesting that I was planning to write for this post, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it was.

    Quite frankly, I’m surprised it took me this long to get to this point.

    Long story short, yes, I’m still awake. Reading… has been happening to some extent.

    6 AM

    Oh! Now I remember what I was going to say at 5 AM! I find it interesting that part way through I  switched from ‘graphic novels’ to ‘comics’. Still not 100% on the difference, but that doesn’t keep me from reading them!

    Ending things today with a bit from Ezekiel. And really, outside of Twitter, that’s the only thing I’ve read for this past hour. This has been a wonderful and surreal time, folks! After this, I’m off to sing hymns.

    Seriously. I’m in the choir.