What I’m Reading: 4/3/16

Last night I finished reading The Man In The High Castle by Phillip K. Dick. Overall I liked it a lot; the plot was very subtly woven into the lives of the characters. The universe building was done much the same way; everything that Dick needed to get across to the reader was done through the characters.

There’s obviously a lot more to the story than I’ve written so far, but its a story where I think I’m going to be thinking it over for a while. There’s so much going on in it that I don’t think I’ve quite got a handle on yet. I’m thinking about getting it as an audiobook so I can go through it again.

Speaking of audiobooks I’ve just started listening to The Dark Tower, the final book of The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I’m really eager to see how King finishes this series. I’ve got a few ideas of how it is going to end; but seeing that it’s a book by Stephen King, and it’s his Dark Tower series then anything is game.

I’ve not got stuck into Deadpool and Cable just yet, but I’m going to try and get into this coming week.

I’ve now got the hard decision of choosing what book to read next. I’m prioritising the books that I got at DemonCon a few weeks ago, but I’m not sure what I’ll go for first. If I’m honest It’ll probably be one of the Dan Abnett ones, but I haven’t decided yet.



What I Want To Read In 2015

I didn’t read any where near enough last year. I can think of a half a dozen books that I really wanted to read but just didn’t get around to (Wool, Pandemic, Feed, The Man in the High Castle, Soul Asylum and The Earthsea Quartet). Those are just the ones off the top of my head. Lets add in some shorter pieces by Dan Abnett (set in his Gaunt’s Ghosts series) and J.C. Hutchins novella series, The 33.
Then I’ve got novels by Justin R. Macumber, Terry Mixon, Paul E. Cooley, Armand Rosamillia, Mimi Black and Christopher Stocking. (Dan Abnett also has a full length Gaunt’s Ghosts novel out this year too, yes I’m excited!).
I’d also like to read the second Lincoln Rhyme book, The Coffin Dancer by Jeffery Deaver and the first Harry Potter book read early on this year as well.
I’d really like to get start on the fourth Dark Tower book as I finished the third recently, but as it’s taking me a while to get through this series by Stephen King I’m a little reluctant to make a start on Wizard and Glass while I’ve got so many other books that I’m itching to read. That said, if I get through enough by the mid-point of the year then I may dive into it. I was thinking about giving it a go as an audiobook but these Dark Tower books seem so complex I’m not sure I’ll absorb them as much as I would do if I read them. I am a big fan of audiobooks, but I do miss the odd thing while listening (interruptions while at work) and also, I’ve read the previous three books and I think it’ll feel weird not reading the other four.

These are all books I’ve already got, either on my bookshelf or on my Kindle app or my iBooks app.

I will be listening to a lot of audiobooks this year as well. I’ve got eight or nine in my Audible library already.

I’ve set a Goodreads target of 60 books this year. With the audiobooks, comic books and the shorter pieces I’m planning on reading I think I’ll manage that. If I’m well ahead of target early on I may increase it but I’ll see how I’m doing.

Throwing Out An Update

I’m lying tucked up in bed watching The Bone Collector trying to fend off a cold which I thought was gone but came back last night with all it’s little friends and attacked my immune system again. Generally I’m quite lucky in that I don’t really get ill, aside from colds, which always make me fuzzy headed. So I’ve gone from writing about two thousand words an evening to struggling to do a combined two thousand in the last two days.
So I’m lying here watching this film and I had the urge to write a blog post, so this will probably end up one colossal ramble 😀

This is one of my favourite movies, The Bone Collector. I’m a fan of Denzel Washington and I think he really pulls out an ace of a performance. I’m not a huge fan of Angelina Jolie but here she really shows her acting chops. The movies based on Jeffery Deaver’s book. Deaver is an author whose work I really should start consuming.

About a month ago I finished reading The Drawing Of The Three by Stephen King. This is the second book in King’s The Dark Tower series. This was a really good book, one which took me a fair amount of time to get through. The way King is writing these is difficult for me to read, but they are incredible fascinating.
After finishing it I started on Shutter Island, and I haven’t been sucked into it just yet. I’m thinking that I may put it to one side for a while, read something else and then go back to it later.

Writing wise my NaNoWriMo story has got a good shape to it now and I think when I go back to edit it I’m going to be able to add a lot to the places that I skimmed over and add a few more scenes to build the setting, the characters and the storyline itself. As I was about 9500 words short of the 50k I tried taking the story to the next stage and changed the point of view but I’m not feeling it hugely at the moment, I may scrape it later and make a follow up story of it. Not sure yet though.
I’m going to put the story down once November is done. As I said I have a really structure and I think my foundations are sound. In December I am going to go back to Project Apollo and get the final two thirds of this latest read through done and off to Owen for his thoughts.
There’s still a fair bot of work on Apollo but I’m aiming to have it done by Christmas.

I’ve mentioned that I’m planning on releasing a story via ebook early next year. This one is all but done, I’m thinking over notes from a beta reader and a couple of other people will be reading it in the next couple of months. Artwork is something I want to do right, I’ve been recommended a cover artist whose work I really like. I’m hoping I click with the artist (If they want to and have time to do it that is) because I have no idea of how I want the cover art to look. That’s a problem for next year though.

Right, I hope I haven’t rambled too much, I’m going to watch the end of this movie and then off to bed.


Tough Reads

Have you ever read a book which was really difficult to get through but you love it all the same? I’ve got that at the moment with The Drawing Of The Three by Stephen King. The book is really fascinating, I am loving how  King has put this, and the first novel, The Gunslinger, together. As I’ve said before The Dark Tower books are the first works I have read by King and I love what he is writing but I am finding it a heavy slog working my way through them. Once I’ve finished the Dark Tower books I do want to read more of King’s work but I think I’ll go audiobook with the rest of his work in future.

Another book I’m enjoying reading but finding the act of reading tough is Beginning Operations by James White. Like Stephen King I am finding White’s writing style difficult to get through but I am finding the story really interesting.

With both of these books I can only read a few pages at a time which can be annoying as I just want to get stuck into these books and have an evening or two where I’m really getting pulled into these worlds.



In At The Deep End: Discovering Stephen King

It had always felt like I had committed a crime when I would say to someone that I had never read a Stephen King book. I felt like I was admitting to a very dirty secret but in truth it has only been in the last year, maybe two that I have started to explore who I’m reading and Stephen King is a big one for me.

So I’ve started off with The Dark Tower series, and I feel a little like I’ve been thrown in at the deep end. Part of me thinks I should have read one of his standalone novels first but the mystery of The Dark Tower series was too strong for me to start anywhere else. As a general rule I’m not a fast reader, there are books that I devour rapidly but The Gunslinger was not one of them, and neither has the second book of the series, The Drawing Of The Three. That’s not because I’m not enjoying these books but I think it’s because I’m trying to take in the complexities of the stories. The change of pace that has taken place between the first and second books is pretty big as well.

What has fascinated me so far is the fact that King has revealed almost nothing about the world this is all taking place in or the dark tower itself. What is our protagonist, Roland, searching for? Hell he doesn’t even know!

Am I going to read further then The Dark Tower series, am I going to fall in love with Stephen King’s work? I’m not sure I’ll fall in love with his work like I have done with Scott Sigler or Dan Abnett but I want to read more. From what I know of Stephen King he does not let himself be constrained by genre or people’s expectations and that is why I want to read more of his work. He’s a fearless writer.

(I’ve also got his book On Writing as an audiobook, if you’re a writer I think this is an essential read, or listen (King narrates that himself). It’s part autobiography and part writing guide. I felt King’s struggle as he tried to survive with a young family before Carrie got sold)


Flash Post

Here’s a just a quick little progress update. Project Apollo is moving along, albeit a little slower then I was hoping, part of this is due to non related, everyday life stuff and the other part is that I’m editing and re-writing as I’m going. Me and Tracie are off to see Owen this Saturday and although we’ll be in a pub’s beer garden we will be doing some work, mainly giving Owen a detailed progress update. I’d like to have the final chapters all typed up by Saturday but with a cinema trip tonight and down to Tracie’s tomorrow I’ll only be able to get a few words done in the next couple of nights.

Reading wise I’ve just started The Drawing Of The Three by Stephen King. Which is the second book in The Dark Tower series. I got all seven books for Christmas last year but I wanted to pace myself with them otherwise I would have only read the one series until I had finished it. I wanted to leave a little time between them also because I wanted to let each one sink in a bit as well.

That’s it for now. If you’ve ever felt the urge to write, paint, draw or anything creative then maybe today is the day to give it a go 🙂

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Get Sh*t Done Month

August is my get sh*t done month. I’m aiming to get the 1st draft of Project Apollo done and off to Owen and I want to have a short story, that’s all but done, ready to be sent off to the sci-fi magazines.

How easy is this going to be to achieve? That depends on a couple of things. The day job is a big one. This time of year my day job (valeter at a car sales) is quite demanding on the body. This glorious summer we are having here in the U.K. is awesome but it does sap ones energy when working a physically demanding job and at the moment we are busy. Which is absolutely great but it takes more of the body’s strength. Yesterday was a prime example, although not to warm I had a lot to do so come the evening when I got home I just could not get going with the words. So I got an early night and despite a few non-work related hiccups today I’ve got home and knocked out over 1100 words tonight *does a little dance* That’s the most words I have written in one day for a long time, and it feels good 😀

I’d also like to get back into a bit of reading this month as well. The last two books I have read have been amazing (Redshirts by John Scalzi & Blood In The Past by Jordanna East) so I was more then a little anxious at the prospect of starting a new novel. So I read more of Judge Dredd Vol. 1 but now its time to dive into a novel again and I’ve chosen The Drawing Of The Three (The Dark Tower Book 2) by Stephen King.

So that’s the plan, lets see how much of it I actually get done!


Diving Into Unknown Fiction

I’ve only just started reading Stephen King’s The Gunslinger and I have not really had much chance to sit for more then twenty minutes at a time to get into it but its pretty good so far 😀 One thing that is exciting me is diving into a whole new universe. I have no idea what type of story this is or what genre it’s in or much about any of it to be honest, except it is supposed to be the beginning of a great story. That is what is exciting me at the moment. Quite often I wish I could erase all knowledge of a TV series like Battlestar Galactica or the Phase 1 movies of the Marvel movies building up to The Avengers. This is because I have no hints as to what any of them are building up to or may contain. This is what I have with this Book, for those of you who may not know The Gunslinger is the first book in a series called The Dark Tower, and this is a world that I have no idea of. Before I started reading The Gunslinger all I knew of it was the gunslingers first name, the first line of the first book, the series name and who wrote the books.

I know nothing else at all, I’ve not wiki’d it, I’ve not read any reviews of it or goggle’d it. I am going to discover this story with each sentence read, each turned page. This is how we should discover fiction, totally blind.

Marking Progress

Something that I’ve noticed tonight is that a word count during editing is kind of pointless. This is something that I’ve known, but never quite appreciated until now. Tonight I’ve caught up to where I was on my editing of Avoiding The Game (all location errors are cleared up and a few little other bits have been changed).
If you’ve missed a couple of posts I started editing this story that I wrote during NaNoWriMo 2011 but after I had made a start I went to Sidcup, where my story starts, and had a little look around to make sure my memory was correct. So I started the edit again and I’m now at the point where I had got to before Sundays location scouting and I noticed that I have only added one word to the story.
Now I know that I deleted some bits and added others so I know that I’ve actually done some work on the story but it made me realise that I cannot use word counts as a marker for how much work I am doing on the story. So I’m going for the page count while I’m editing this bad boy. I am expecting to add a lot of words to it but I think that will be something that I’ll measure once this edit run is completed.

On another note I’m just about to start reading The Gunslinger by Stephen King. This is the first book in The Dark Tower series. I am really looking forward to this one 🙂