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Busy weekend —

Busy busy busy!

First, see, a friend loaned me these books, DARK LOVER, and LOVER ETERNAL. (There are seven books in the series, I believe.) Vampire romances! What can I say? They are actually pretty good. Not Patricia Briggs good, but not bad. The writing is not flawless, but again, not bad. The dialogue is good, often quite good. I like the characters – often especially the secondary characters. The point-of-view is pretty scattered, but actually in these books I don’t mind, partly because, as I said, I like the secondary characters. There’s some explicit sex, but not so much the plot bogs down while steam rises from the pages. Unlike Laurell Hamilton’s books, say. I’m definitely going to hit my friend up for the third book.

Now, for me, it’s totally impossible to read fiction AND write at the same time, because if I start reading a book, I’m going to finish it, and that kind of gets in the way of doing anything else, right? (I mean good fiction that I’m reading for the first time. That’s why I save nonfiction and not-very-compelling books I’ve read before for times when I’m writing.) So I didn’t fight this, when I picked up the second book (LOVER ETERNAL) on Friday, I just read the whole thing that evening and didn’t try to do anything useful. Then I could re-read bits over the rest of the weekend while really focusing on other things.

Like seeing The Avengers! I mean, it’s a tough call, go see a movie or pull weeds. (Actually I pulled weeds and then saw the movie.) Awesome movie! I can’t believe I was making snide comments about The Hulk before I went to see it, because he was great. Just great. I was never a Hulk fan, but I think my two favorite bits in the whole movie were Hulk things. Can’t say what they were because of course that would be kind of spoilery.

Loved Hawkeye. I actually have no real memory of Hawkeye from the comic, never being really into comics, but I bet he was cooler in the movie than the comic anyway. Did you see how he shot that plane? The one behind him? Without looking? Whoa.

Loved Natasha, too. Did you get that she was putting it on that second time? Because I totally did.

Hey, how about that bit where Captain America got the reference that Thor missed? Wasn’t that hilarious?

Man, I lust after Tony Stark’s armor. And the automated systems to put it on and take it off. Very, very cool.

I am so looking forward to the next movie!

But can I just mention one quibble, though, even though it might be a little spoilery? Hopefully not too much. I have to say, I didn’t believe in the thing with the nuke, because who would be that stupid? Great merciful God, is Tony Stark the only one who can think of better things to do with a nuke than, like, BLOW UP MANHATTAN? Because that idea was just nuts and what Stark did was extremely obvious. Though I guess I do believe that The Government can be run by incredibly stupid people from time to time.

Also! This movie is another example of why you should usually just skip the prologue. Anybody else feel that way? It didn’t add anything. Just start at the beginning, okay?

But after the book and the movie I did get some useful things done. A fair bit of dilettante-style gardening, for one thing. You know, the kind where you rip out the big weeds to make a flower bed look nicer, but don’t worry too much about little things like the roots. Too hard to pull stuff out by the roots when it’s this dry! Kind of worrisome, when it’s this dry in early May! Sure hope it rains soon.* Things are looking fabulous, though. I need to take another handful of pictures. Soon. This week for sure. My camera needs batteries, but hey, phone!

Also FINALLY got the squash and melons and okra and green beans planted. And set out the peppers and eggplants. Naturally it is supposed to get chilly again, but I don’t believe it.* It’s hot as blazes now. Anyway, I have enough seeds to replant if necessary.

Also! And here we are at last back in Author Land. Got 4000 words written this weekend, not bad for having so much else to do, including important things like go see The Avengers.

That takes me up to 15,000-plus words, which is about 48 pages. This is chapter one of the project I’m working on, plus part of chapter three (depending on where I decide to draw the chapter lines, which may change), plus a bit of chapter two. I’m going to finish chapter two, which I expect to take me to about sixty or seventy pages. Then I’ll let this project stall out and start something else, something YA, because my Knopf editor says (good news here!) that ISLANDS is doing rather well and she wants to see something else from me. So! Not going to take the current iron out of the fire till it cools down a bit, but I’m expecting to finish something else for Knopf this year. That’s the plan! Wish me luck.

* Rained last night! Much cooler now!

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My pick is number two! And other links —

Of these four ways to ruin your novel, I pick this one:

2) Stupid Gas! Let’s split up to explore this haunted house!

The other three hurl-the-book-aside sins according to Susan Morris at Omnivoracious are:

1) leaving in too much stuff you should have taken out
3) preaching to the reader, and
4) providing your hero with a cardboard cutout for a love interest.

Any of those strike you as worse than Stupid Gas?

Also! Here’s a nice post from Kate Elliot about woman characters in historical fantasy. Because the problem with saying: If you’re building a world with fantasy things like dragons in it, why does the role of women have to be authentic? is that a society that is supposed to feel historically accurate will in fact feel false if you try to equalize gender roles in that society. Though I love The Book Smugglers (really! My very favorite book site!), I don’t think they’re right about that one at all. About how even constrained woman characters can have agency, yes, but not about the equalize-gender-roles-what-the-heck-it’s-your-world-and-you-can-do-what-you-want thing.

Because, hello, there HAVE NEVER BEEN ANY HUMAN SOCIETIES EVER where gender was not important in determining social roles? So if you pretend that really gender is not important? Your fantasy world will feel all fake.

Though some authors manage surprisingly well, ie, THE DEED OF PAKSENNARION by Elizabeth Moon. Still not sure why it worked better in that one that it usually does. Have to think about it.

But! You should also keep in mind that building a realistic society that limits the “proper” roles of women gives you something extra for your female characters to struggle against, which as an author is a great and good thing, not a problem. And may also lead to your book making the Amelia Bloomer Project list for books with “significant feminist content”, because struggling against societal limitations is just the ticket as far as that goes, right? Which, just saying, THE FLOATING ISLANDS made that particular list, which is not something I aimed for — setting up problems for my characters to overcome did it automatically.

One more!

The INTERN has a hilarious post up — euphamisms for all! My fave: “This is my first book.” I think The INTERN is more or less right about what that phrase really means.

Plus, scroll down, because the INTERN has this to say about the ongoing agony that is picking a title:

The title INTERN had come up with for her novel had been, quote, “roundly” rejected by the Sales Team, who were requesting that a new one be dreamed up, stat.

Roundly rejected! huffed INTERN. They could have at least AGONIZED a little. They could have at least sent INTERN a letter explaining how this decision to veto her beloved pet title had ripped at their very SOULS.

Hah hah hah! Good luck with that whole “Come up with another title stat” thing. Sometimes it’s almost easier to write another book than a title!

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Cover art is important —

Death to the chain mail bikini! is the very proper and catchy rallying cry raised by a post here. This is James Sutton at Booklife, by the way.

Here’s what Sutton starts with:

“If you work in science fiction and fantasy publishing, you’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase “Just put some breasts on the cover.”

Well, I wouldn’t know, but if so, ick.

And I’m not alone in saying Ick, either. Sutton adds,

“While most folks acknowledge that sex sells, a wide chunk of the audience finds the preponderance of scantily clad women on SF covers offensive.”

No, really?

And even though Sutton feels compelled to add “regardless of how you feel about gender issues–even if you’re one of those unfortunate Rush Limbaugh fans who call any woman who speaks her mind a “feminazi” which I must say is a stupid gratuitous swipe at, for example, my mother, who is a Limbaugh fan, so thanks, James! —

But! Regardless of your totally irrelevant political opinions, if you want to put scantily clad people on covers, then if what you’re selling is a torrid erotic romance, FINE. But if what you’re selling is supposedly fantasy, then even if there’s romance — even if there’s torrid romance — if it would not be shelved in the “erotica” section — can we please have clothed people on the cover?

Even if we’re not talking about a literal chainmail bikini — and sometimes we are —

Looks like she'd get awfully chilly

— we’re often talking about women who apparently wander through the world without clothes on important parts of their bodies, and I don’t necessarily mean their tummies:

This is ridiculous

Just sayin’, if you wear nothing on your legs in the woods in the summer, you are going to get chewed to death by bugs. Never mind having your tanned, muscular thighs hacked up by guys who have not only swords but also, you know, armor.

When it comes to books, there’s only one series where chainmail bikinis belong on the covers:

These are hilarious

And I actually quite like these stories, btw. They’re funny! My favorite is actually MATHEMAGICS, by Margaret Ball , which has the most awesome chapter numbers EVER.

I have the book, but not with me, so I can’t remember all the chapter headings, but let me just say that anything to the zero power equals “1”. Just for example. And I think the chapter numbers get more challenging as you go through the book. I think there’s one with limits, for example.

Now I want to go get the book of the shelf and read it again! Which is pretty good for a book with a chainmail bikini on the cover.

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Check this out —

A fabulous article on verbs. I think I found it via Bibliophile Stalker, btw, but it was several days ago. Weeks? I dunno, some time ago anyway. I glanced at it then, thought it looked good, bookmarked it, and just got around to actually reading it now.

Like I said, fabulous!

I don’t think I actually laughed out loud at the use of the phrase “conjure existence itself” — great verb use there! — but I did at the term “copulative”. Copulative verbs, hah hah hah!

Though really I thought the breakdown of types of verbs was way cool.

Oh, but here’s a bit where the author (Constance Hale, a journalist) also asks a question I can answer:

Why have a character go when he could gambol, shamble, lumber, lurch, sway, swagger or sashay?

Because I am pretty sure that if you always have your characters gambol, shamble, lumber, lurch, sway, swagger, or sashay, your prose will turn out to be unbearably purple. I’d sashay with caution, myself. All those verbs better fit neatly into the overall prose!

Even if it’s true that using verbs with nuance and style lets you avoid adverbs. Which, hey, is true, not disagreeing!

Next on my list of things to get to: tracking down the other articles on writing by this author. I expect to enjoy them — maybe even print them out for future reference.

Verdict: way better than Strunk and White.

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Starting a new project! But with distractions everywhere!

My goodness, is it ever hard to write when you have a super-cute single puppy! It’s true that Puppy G plays with her “older sister”, Folly, but she’s not quite able to keep up with Folly yet, so I have to fill in as a kinder, gentler, slower playmate.

Which is a total hardship, let me tell you.

Ultimate cuteness at five weeks

I’ve registered her, finally. That means I had to decide on a show name, which is indeed Anara Give Me A Break. I’ll probably call her Giedre later, when she looks elegant enough to deserve a name like that, but right now she is just Puppy. I mean, there’s only the one. Not like I need to be able to distinguish her from a horde of others.

Also! Gardening, right? I mean, there’s all this stuff that won’t wait. Mind you, after a burst of summer back in March, it’s now too cold to plant the hot-season stuff (phooey! Tired of cold weather!). But there’s all kinds of other stuff to do. Moving the Kerrias finally. Making Kerria cuttings after cutting back the ones I moved. Planting my very first rhododendron! If it lives maybe I will get more. Planting the new, tiny ‘Butterfly’ magnolia — it’s not even knee high. Planting a bunch of nandinas. That horrible weedy strip next to the house looks so much better now that it’s been filled up with nandinas! I have little ones in the front (they should get three feet tall) and big ones behind (five to eight feet). Can’t wait for them to fill in. What a great plant. How could it have taken me so long to plant them?

Also! Moved a bunch of rocks to make an ornamental flow of rocks across this one area out back. Found four (4!) little ringneck snakes and one earth snake and two skinks.

Adorable!

It was totally tiny cute reptile day! Ringnecks never bite. Neither do earth snakes. You just pick ’em up and drop ’em over the fence. To protect them from the dogs, you understand.

But when it’s finally dark and the dogs are all miraculously asleep? It is actually possible to turn on the laptop. I’ve finally adjusted to the new machine (pretty much) and so I don’t accidentally resize the text anymore. Well, not very often. I never did consciously figure out what I was doing to make that happen, but the back of my brain seems to have got it sorted out because it’s nothing like as annoying a problem as it used to be.

So! 2000 words (or so) of a new project. About four pages a day. Which is very good considering a) the puppy, and b) the gardening. Plus, c) school isn’t out so there’s a big chunk of each day gone, right?

Which, no, I don’t want to talk about the new project. Later, like next year, maybe. I will probably — best guess — take it to about 20,000 words and then let it stall, because as soon as it does I have a different project I should be working on. But hey! Not on a deadline, so “should” is a relative term and I can totally switch back and forth if I feel like it. But I will feel awfully embarrassed if I fritter away the whole summer and don’t have a new ms finished by, say, September.

Plus my YA editor at Knopf made suggestions about reworking MOUNTAIN and I think I will probably try to do that, but not right away. Going to let that rest a while (like, months rather than mere weeks), get a little more distance, come back to it when I’m not bored just thinking about it.

This evening — weeding! Playing with Puppy! And THEN, we trust, another few thousand words.

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Starting a new project! But with distractions everywhere!

My goodness, is it ever hard to write when you have a super-cute single puppy! It’s true that Puppy G plays with her “older sister”, Folly, but she’s not quite able to keep up with Folly yet, so I have to fill in as a kinder, gentler, slower playmate.

Which is a total hardship, let me tell you.

Ultimate cuteness at five weeks

I’ve registered her, finally. That means I had to decide on a show name, which is indeed Anara Give Me A Break. I’ll probably call her Giedre later, when she looks elegant enough to deserve a name like that, but right now she is just Puppy. I mean, there’s only the one. Not like I need to be able to distinguish her from a horde of others.

Also! Gardening, right? I mean, there’s all this stuff that won’t wait. Mind you, after a burst of summer back in March, it’s now too cold to plant the hot-season stuff (phooey! Tired of cold weather!). But there’s all kinds of other stuff to do. Moving the Kerrias finally. Making Kerria cuttings after cutting back the ones I moved. Planting my very first rhododendron! If it lives maybe I will get more. Planting the new, tiny ‘Butterfly’ magnolia — it’s not even knee high. Planting a bunch of nandinas. That horrible weedy strip next to the house looks so much better now that it’s been filled up with nandinas! I have little ones in the front (they should get three feet tall) and big ones behind (five to eight feet). Can’t wait for them to fill in. What a great plant. How could it have taken me so long to plant them?

Also! Moved a bunch of rocks to make an ornamental flow of rocks across this one area out back. Found four (4!) little ringneck snakes and one earth snake and two skinks.

Adorable!

It was totally tiny cute reptile day! Ringnecks never bite. Neither do earth snakes. You just pick ’em up and drop ’em over the fence. To protect them from the dogs, you understand.

But when it’s finally dark and the dogs are all miraculously asleep? It is actually possible to turn on the laptop. I’ve finally adjusted to the new machine (pretty much) and so I don’t accidentally resize the text anymore. Well, not very often. I never did consciously figure out what I was doing to make that happen, but the back of my brain seems to have got it sorted out because it’s nothing like as annoying a problem as it used to be.

So! 2000 words (or so) of a new project. About four pages a day. Which is very good considering a) the puppy, and b) the gardening. Plus, c) school isn’t out so there’s a big chunk of each day gone, right?

Which, no, I don’t want to talk about the new project. Later, like next year, maybe. I will probably — best guess — take it to about 20,000 words and then let it stall, because as soon as it does I have a different project I should be working on. But hey! Not on a deadline, so “should” is a relative term and I can totally switch back and forth if I feel like it. But I will feel awfully embarrassed if I fritter away the whole summer and don’t have a new ms finished by, say, September.

Plus my YA editor at Knopf made suggestions about reworking MOUNTAIN and I think I will probably try to do that, but not right away. Going to let that rest a while (like, months rather than mere weeks), get a little more distance, come back to it when I’m not bored just thinking about it.

This evening — weeding! Playing with Puppy! And THEN, we trust, another few thousand words.

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Starting a new project! But with distractions everywhere!

My goodness, is it ever hard to write when you have a super-cute single puppy! It’s true that Puppy G plays with her “older sister”, Folly, but she’s not quite able to keep up with Folly yet, so I have to fill in as a kinder, gentler, slower playmate.

Which is a total hardship, let me tell you.

Ultimate cuteness at five weeks

I’ve registered her, finally. That means I had to decide on a show name, which is indeed Anara Give Me A Break. I’ll probably call her Giedre later, when she looks elegant enough to deserve a name like that, but right now she is just Puppy. I mean, there’s only the one. Not like I need to be able to distinguish her from a horde of others.

Also! Gardening, right? I mean, there’s all this stuff that won’t wait. Mind you, after a burst of summer back in March, it’s now too cold to plant the hot-season stuff (phooey! Tired of cold weather!). But there’s all kinds of other stuff to do. Moving the Kerrias finally. Making Kerria cuttings after cutting back the ones I moved. Planting my very first rhododendron! If it lives maybe I will get more. Planting the new, tiny ‘Butterfly’ magnolia — it’s not even knee high. Planting a bunch of nandinas. That horrible weedy strip next to the house looks so much better now that it’s been filled up with nandinas! I have little ones in the front (they should get three feet tall) and big ones behind (five to eight feet). Can’t wait for them to fill in. What a great plant. How could it have taken me so long to plant them?

Also! Moved a bunch of rocks to make an ornamental flow of rocks across this one area out back. Found four (4!) little ringneck snakes and one earth snake and two skinks.

Adorable!

It was totally tiny cute reptile day! Ringnecks never bite. Neither do earth snakes. You just pick ’em up and drop ’em over the fence. To protect them from the dogs, you understand.

But when it’s finally dark and the dogs are all miraculously asleep? It is actually possible to turn on the laptop. I’ve finally adjusted to the new machine (pretty much) and so I don’t accidentally resize the text anymore. Well, not very often. I never did consciously figure out what I was doing to make that happen, but the back of my brain seems to have got it sorted out because it’s nothing like as annoying a problem as it used to be.

So! 2000 words (or so) of a new project. About four pages a day. Which is very good considering a) the puppy, and b) the gardening. Plus, c) school isn’t out so there’s a big chunk of each day gone, right?

Which, no, I don’t want to talk about the new project. Later, like next year, maybe. I will probably — best guess — take it to about 20,000 words and then let it stall, because as soon as it does I have a different project I should be working on. But hey! Not on a deadline, so “should” is a relative term and I can totally switch back and forth if I feel like it. But I will feel awfully embarrassed if I fritter away the whole summer and don’t have a new ms finished by, say, September.

Plus my YA editor at Knopf made suggestions about reworking MOUNTAIN and I think I will probably try to do that, but not right away. Going to let that rest a while (like, months rather than mere weeks), get a little more distance, come back to it when I’m not bored just thinking about it.

This evening — weeding! Playing with Puppy! And THEN, we trust, another few thousand words.

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Pacing . . .

. . . is more subjective than you might think, and I think I’m starting to figure out part of why that is. I think there are elements that contribute to a feeling of slow or dragging pace even when the pace could objectively be described as fast.

You know, a couple of years ago now, I was having dinner with my agent and various of her other clients and Robin McKinley’s book DRAGONHAVEN came up, and I said I’d loved it and everybody else said NO WAY, IT WAS TOO SLOW. And I was shocked. Shocked!

Not that it wasn’t slow, but it didn’t strike me as too slow. I really loved the story, I loved the protagonist’s voice, and it didn’t bother me one bit that the story took its time getting anywhere. For me, the pacing of DRAGONHAVEN was just right.

But!

I’ve been re-reading Eric Flint’s 1632 series lately, whenever I want to read something but don’t want to get too caught up in a new book. And so I recently re-read THE BAVARIAN CRISIS. And, whoa, was it slooooow. It wasn’t just that nothing much was happening, it was that nothing much was happening to dozens and dozens of point-of-view characters. Who were all named Ferdinand or Fernando if they were male or Maria or Anna if they were female, and were thus impossible to keep straight. Slow, slow, slow AND confusing.

Well, at least until (at last!) Grandduchess Maria Anna’s storyline took over the book as she fled her arranged marriage and headed for the dashing romantic Don Fernando instead. She finally gave me a character and situation I could care about. But this illustrated one major problem that can make a book seem to be slow even if exciting stuff is happening: lack of a main character to attach to. Although THE BAVARIAN CRISIS really did not have exciting stuff happening either, until quite late in the book, so really almost anybody would probably find that it dragged at first.

Now! For a completely different problem! The other day I read a book by Mark L van Name called ONE JUMP AHEAD and it dragged and dragged. Only not really. Objectively, there was all this stuff going on. The protag has to get this crucial piece of equipment only the guy who’s selling it to him tries to rob him, only he knew that was going to happen so he Took Steps. And then he kidnapped this one guy and then this other guy and then made an alliance with this violent female leader of a small mercenary troop (who didn’t turn into a love interest, and that was an interesting choice on the author’s part). Anyway! Plenty of action!

So why did it seem to me that ONE JUMP AHEAD dragged so badly?

Because (I figured this out afterward) the back cover copy had made it clear to me that the main character was going to have this important discovery where he realizes that he only THOUGHT he rescued this kidnapped girl right at the beginning, because instead he was tricked by the bad guy into recapturing her after she had escaped his evil clutches.

And, see, because the back cover copy gave this important plot development away? I spent like 2/3 of the books going HEY, DUDE, FIGURE THIS OUT ALREADY. It made the WHOLE THING before the protagonist figured out he’d been used seem to drag — and it made everything AFTER that realization seem anticlimactic.

See, I think pacing is complicated. More complicated than “This book has too much description” or “There’s not enough going on in this story” or “Can’t the characters quit talking to each other all the time and DO SOMETHING?” even though all those elements can make a book seem slow if you don’t happen to appreciate plenty of description or interior monologues or whatever.

So . . .

1) Too much description (this will not usually in itself strike me as a problem)

2) Not enough action (ditto)

3) Too much space spent on interior monologues / dialogue (ditto, if the monologues/dialogues are good)

4) Too many point-of-view characters and too little attachment to any of them (I will not be able to get interested in this book)

5) An important plot point is foreshadowed but does not get delivered in a timely fashion (I hadn’t realized how much I hate this until ONE JUMP AHEAD, but it’s not unique).

6) Is there anything else?

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Recent Reading

So! Just read RA MacAvoy’s new book, DEATH AND RESURRECTION. I really enjoyed it! Really! MacAvoy hasn’t forgotten how to write! I really liked Ewen (the main character) and the secondary characters were well drawn. I enjoyed how MacAvoy made one police character a poet and the other a Mormon. I enjoyed the way Susan dyed her hair blond (she is Indian or part-Indian and fiercely defends her right to dye her hair any color she chooses).

I admit, not too crazy about the wolf-dog hybrid. Not usually crazy about super-obedient super-tough dogs in books. The writers seldom seem to know what real dogs are like and have them act like programmable robots instead of like real dogs. PLUS WOLF HYBRIDS ARE NOT SUPER OBEDIENT. Adding wolf blood does not exactly make a dog easy to train, hello? Although to be fair MacAvoy implied that there was not a lot of wolf in that dog. Still didn’t like it.

But that’s me, and personal. Here’s a more substantive comment: this book is kind of like a novella plus some related stories, rather than an actual novel.

See, there’s this big bad evil thing? And it gets defeated. And everything after that, which is about half the book, seems like an afterthought. Or really a series of disconnected afterthoughts. If I’d been editing this book — and I definitely do not claim major editing mojo — but it seems obvious to me that MacAvoy should have either a) put the defeat of the big bad evil thing at the end, or b) had some other problem that was in some way worse than the big bad evil thing, was foreshadowed early, and was dealt with in the second half of the book.

As it was . . . every part of the book was enjoyable, but it doesn’t seem very coherent as a single work. Plus, nothing after the defeat of the monster carries the increased sense of danger or urgency or importance that you would expect to see as a story builds toward the end. It’s as though you climb up a mountain . . . and then rather than being carried over a cliff by an avalanche, just clamber calmly down the other side.

So . . . hard to rate this book. I liked it! I will re-read it! I recommend it! But all with caveats.

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It helps to be awake when performing in public . . . and recent YA releases

I’m afraid my Adora was basically sleepwalking through her obedience classes on Sunday. Oh, well! She qualified in Rally anyway because, hey, Rally. I mean, when a dog loses focus in Rally you can call her name. But her heeling in formal obedience was awful. There was a thunderstorm the night before and she doesn’t like thunder, so I’ll use that as an excuse. She virtually went to sleep on the long down, thus lending credence to the notion that she was tired or just not in the mood to show.

Nevertheless, she is now Anara Adornment RN, C-RN, RA, C-RA, RE. That’s not “registered nurse,” obviously. It’s “rally novice.”

And Pippa is Sevenwoods Epiphany RN, C-RN, RA, C-RA, RE, CD, C-CD.

Also, I sort of regretted not entering Adora in the real show (the breed ring, you know). Because even sleepwalking, she would probably have won her class — she’s beaten the winner several times in the past. But, I don’t know. She really is terribly out of coat still. Although three of the confirmation people walked by her when I was practicing her stays in the lobby and independently stopped, looked at her, and said, “That’s a nice ruby.” Which she IS. Except when she wanders off to do her own thing on the off-lead heeling pattern.

So! Home again.

Also! Check this out. It’s the April YA releases. a) there are sure a lot of ’em; and b) whoa, paranormal is still popular. I never read paranormal unless a review by someone I trust cuts one out of the herd. Too hard to tell which ones might be good otherwise.

It’s interesting to see the trends, (Immortals, anyone?) but I don’t know how many sound like they would actually appeal to me. ABOVE I’m familiar with by repute, because I follow Leah Bobet on Twitter, but I haven’t read it. It’s getting good reviews, though, and it sounds like I would probably like it. I need to add it to my wish list at least . . . there, all done. So now I won’t forget it’s there.

And serial killers appear in at least four April YA releases. Four! Maybe five, not sure about number 55, go read the plot summary and see what you think. Plus maybe I missed a couple somewhere in the list. Anyway, it seems like an awful lot of serial killers. One of the books sounds especially disturbing: number 11) I HUNT KILLERS. I loved Dan Well’s book I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER and I wonder if it spawned some offspring? Which I am not sure I would like nearly as well.

Oh, look, number 46 is GRAVE MERCY by LaFevers! That one actually sounds quite good Angie at Angieville liked it, that’s a good sign. Also, Robin LaFevers wrote this really good post on second and third chances for a writer whose career seems to have stalled. That post alone makes me want to read her book. That’s another one to put on my wishlist.

How about you? Any stand out?

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