Skip to main content

A Midsummer Night’s Dream…

The midsummer weekend is a time of great celebration in my country. We are far enough in the north for there to be light almost through the night, even if the sun does set at some point, and it drives everyone to a near frenzy. Half of the population travels to the seaside, lakeside or poolside to take part in heavy duty partying through a long weekend. At the end of it, they take a toll of those who have drowned and everybody promises to behave better the next time.

My weekend was wonderful though. The whole family gathered at my parents’ summer place – by river – and since the weather favoured outdoors activities, we managed to spend a summery weekend resting and relaxing. Nevertheless, just in case I would feel inspired, I had packed quite a lot of work-related stuff with me, but in the end the midsummer night’s dream got to me and I ended up reading the work of others. Namely, Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera.

I discovered Jim Butcher only recently and was instantly so taken with his Dresden files that I read all of them back to back during the spring. It was a very inspiring experience, but daunting as well. It is wonderful to read an innovative and imaginative series that manages to maintain its level of excellence a book after a book, but at the same time it is upsetting to realise that I will never achieve the same. Inspiration won in the end and so, having devoured Harry Dresden, I moved on to Butcher’s other series, although with trepidation. Could it be as good?

As could be expected with an epic fantasy like Codex Alera , it took me a while to warm up to the characters – unlike with Harry. But once I did, there was nothing better for whiling away slow summer days by river, or on it, than good fantasy Jim Butcher style. Now I feel inspired and ready to tackle my own writing, no matter how imperfect it may be.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My #worldcon75 experience

Here’s the long overdue report from my day at the WorldCon 75, my first ever time attending. The event was held on August 9-13 in my home country, Finland, so it was a once in a life-time chance to experience it with a minimum trouble. I originally thought to attend the entire five days, but life intervened in the form of work, and so I could only attend on Saturday. I tried to make the most of it by planning a full day.

I arrived at the conference centre about fifteen minutes after the doors opened at nine in the morning, and the queue was already at least fifty metres long. It caused me a few palpitations until I figured it was the line for people who hadn’t purchased their day passes in advance. I had, so I just walked past, trying not to look gleeful. Half an hour later I felt bad for all those people when it was announced that the day was sold out, which left most of them outside. The queue for pre-purchased passes was three persons long, the shortest line for me the entire day. I…

Reading recap: August

August was my worst reading month so far and I only managed to finish two books. I have no excuses other than that I was busy working. I did start two more books, but I didn’t manage to finish them in August. And even though I read eight books in July, I’m now two books behind the schedule in my reading challenge of fifty-five books. I’ll have to step up. As has been my habit throughout the year, one book was from my reading list and the other wasn’t.
First book was Ride the Storm by Karen Chance, the long-awaited next chapter in her Cassandra Palmer urban fantasy series of time-travelling Pythia and her entourage of vampires, demons and mages. One vampire and one mage in particular. As always, it was a wild romp through space and time – at times a bit too wild. The first part of the book was constant tumbling from crisis to battle and back with no breathers or plot development in between, as if the author was afraid that the reader will get bored if something earth-shattering isn’t co…

Working with the editor: a case study

Editing has been on my mind lately, as I’ve been preparing Tracy Hayes, P.I. with the Eye for publishing. As a happy coincidence, Delilah S. Dawson had a lengthytweet chain about the topic too, prompted by her annoyance with aspiring authors unwilling to make changes that editors suggest to their books. Her response, in short, was that no author escapes the changes, so you’d better get used to them from the start. Her notes are useful to read in full.

She was speaking from the point of view of a traditionally published author who has more than one set of editors making suggestions and demands, all of which strive to make the book as good as possible. She doesn’t claim it’s easy to let other people to have their say, but that it’s necessary.
Listening to one’s editor is even more crucial for self-publishing authors, as we lack the gatekeepers of traditional publishing. If you’re lucky, you find one who understands your writing, and who isn’t afraid to tell you how you can improve it. If …