Saturday was gorgeous here, so we hauled The Son's bike out of storage and went to the elementary school playground. Good times, but I managed to fall off a curb and twist my ankle. It hurt a lot Sat. night, so Sunday I really babied it-- let The Husband take over Son duty and just sat on my ass all day. And what did I do with all that ass-sitting time (since we already know I wasn't writing)? I read this blog: Library Hungry. I seriously read almost the entire thing, from the very first entries back in 2004.
Now, I've "known" Library Hungry (LH) for years, through a women's message board community. She's a regular commenter here, and I've checked out her blog before and enjoyed the posts. But writing blogs are my thing, not reading blogs. Or so I thought.
GodDAMN is it an incredible blog! If you are a lover of books at all (and if you're not I can't imagine what the hell you're doing here) I pretty much have to insist that you take your little fanny over there right now. LH is funny, crazy smart, and amazingly insightful about what makes a good book. She doesn't write "reviews" of the books she reads (and that would be over 100 books a year-- holy hell!) as much as she captures her experience of reading them. Aside from making fascinating reading, sharing that experience turns out to be an immensely valuable resource for writers-- or at least for this one. I'm used to thinking of my stories from the writer's side of thing, but after spending the last day and a half immersed in LH's perspective, my gears are turning in a new direction and I'm getting excited to work again. Case in point: I've written 600 words today, pretty painlessly, and plan to write at least 200 more before bed.
This is a little embarrassing to admit, but all day I've been composing LH's future review of The Owl Bearer in my head. Naturally, she LOVES it. But as I lavish praise upon myself, I'm realizing that some of my brilliant characterization hasn't actually made the leap from my mind to the page. For example, Willa is bright, self-assured, and well-educated. It would be easy to misinterpret her ambition to enter a particular Vocation as a desire for knowledge-- when, really, what drives her is not being able to tolerate secrets being kept from her. I need to make that facet of her personality more explicit. And doing so sets her up to be even more Tom's pawn, and leads into a stronger motivation for taking on this insanely dangerous-sounding mission.
So some of those still-to-be-written 200 words for today will be a line added here and an exchange there to bring Willa into sharper focus. I like to think LH would be pleased.
She would probably also be pleased to learn that the book I'm reading now (The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss) comes straight from her endorsement, and that I added
P.S.: Babying the twisted ankle was also a good idea from a physical standpoint. It is 90% better today.