Monthly Archives: November 2012

I so relate

I so relate to the first song on the NaNoMusical this week. It is called “Neil Gaiman tweeted me.” True admission: after I wrote the Coraline post on Monday I tagged Mr. Gaiman in my tweet with the link to the post. I was kind of hoping for a retweet. Then I would have been all “Neil Gaiman (re)tweeted me!” like the song.

In other news, my NaNo word count needs some serious work, but I have all these meetings and things I’m supposed to be in. Also, the end of the year lists about the best of 2012 have begun to appear. It feels early for these lists, but it is almost December. I’m sure there will be posts about these in the weeks to come.

Ok, back to the word count.

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Coraline

I’ve been looking at that GeekDad list of books to read aloud to your children before age 10. I hadn’t read some of the books, mostly because I have no children, and because some of them were not yet published when I was growing up. I went online and found an e-library copy of Coraline by Neil Gaiman. The more I read Mr. Gaiman, the more I like his stuff. Of course this book wasn’t published when I was small, but I quite like it. It makes me reconsider what has actually come out of my mad typing this month for NaNoWriMo. I think I should have attempted something on the scale of Coraline with the basic idea I started with. Instead I’ve been bouncing around not quite sure if I’m writing a failed fantasy novel, or some magical realism where the magic hasn’t quite started, or a family epic. I think reading Coraline aloud to a child between 8 and 11 would be a great experience for both the child and adult involved. It has suspense, adventure, and a puzzle to figure out. It also makes me want to read more Gaiman.

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Books to read aloud

I just found a great list of books to read aloud to children under 10. Since my NaNoWriMo project involves adults reading aloud to children under 10, I figured looking over this list made for good research. I’m still not up to speed on my word count, but thought you needed to see this list as well. I will be making further comments on books on this list over the next week or two.

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Where were you?

In today’s NaNoMusical episode there is a love song. Be warned that this song, it is ear worm, that is to say it will get stuck in your head and play there over and over and over again. “Where were you, when I was stuck on page two?” is on endless loop in my brain.

Meanwhile I’m on about page 72, and nowhere near the word-count for today, so I’ll just go and WriMo now. Happy Wednesday!

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Library

As requested by the East Coast Archivist, here is a photo of a part of my library:No, I don’t know how many books I have. No, I haven’t read them all. Yes, I’d like to read them all, and am working on it. But this month I’m also writing more than usual, and I’m behind on my NaNoWriMo word count. So I’ll just go and write that novel then, shall I?

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More on Book Arrangements

I wrote a post about arranging my books after my move a couple of weeks ago. I’m almost done arranging my books now, though the books on the shelves in my bedroom are still not quite there, and neither is the bookcase by the phone. I’ll work on those two tomorrow. I think the organization of my books makes perfect sense, but I realize it is full of quirks because of my particular collection of books and my current shelving situation. I’ve arranged the books by categories and sub-categories, then generally by author within the sub-categories. My categories and sub-categories make sense to me, but not everyone is going to have a section of books about the resurrection shelved in theology, just after the books on Christology. In the history section (my friend the Libertarian will be happy to see that I have a history section) some subsections are alphabetical by author, but others are arranged chronologically. One set of shelves that I have to work on tomorrow contains biographies. These will be arranged by subject, not by author. Of course in the case of autobiographies the subject and author are the same.

Other people have also been talking about arranging books on shelves recently. Do you have anything to add?

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Judging Covers

Last week a Publishers Weekly blog post looked at the differences between US and UK book covers. Fascinating stuff. There is also sometimes a difference between Canadian and American book covers, and sometimes even titles. Example: Canadian author Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes. In the USA and in some other places, the book is known as Someone Knows My Name. The author’s webpage (linked above) shows the US, Canadian, and Australian covers for the book. Apparently the title change was a good idea for the US market. I’m not sure what the book is called in the UK.

I’m not sure what to make of all these local versions of books. But, I figure it is all marketing right? And marketing is about tuning in to the culture and making a product attractive to people, so I guess it makes sense. But it can be confusing. I work in a bookshop, and sometimes people come in with the UK title of a book, and we say it isn’t available, then we figure out that the book has a different North American title. Good times.

What do you think about books and the different covers or even titles in different places thing? Legitimate? Confusing? Both?

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Contributor’s Copy!

Today my contributor’s copy of Handbook of Women Biblical Interpreters edited by Marion Ann Taylor and Agnes Choi came. This makes me very happy. I wrote four articles for this handbook and also have seen the at times painful collecting and editing process from a more behind-the-scenes angle than most. I’ve worked with Marion on other projects, and we’ve talked about the idea of this book a lot while researching women interpreters of the Bible. I’m very pleased to have the fruit of all these discussions and the labour of many in my hand. Just in case you thought putting a book like this together is a simple matter, let me say that the idea came out of a conversation Marion had 12 years ago. Twelve Years. I know that she and I started talking about it 10 years ago. This Is Crazy. It is also called ground-breaking research. This takes time. But it produces results.

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Reading on the bus

I’ve moved. This means I take different buses to work now. This evening I took only buses home from work. This meant I got to sit and read my book for an hour after work. I find this pretty relaxing, so I think that the only-bus on the way home thing is going to happen regularly, especially when the two buses vs. subway and bus option take about the same time. This may seem unreasonable, but the reason is in the transfer time between vehicles. The subway plus bus option generally means a long wait for a bus that will actually go past my house. I like reading on the bus, and the non-crowded state of the two buses I took today meant that was possible. It isn’t always.

Today I read more of Cryptonomicon on the bus. I am now getting pretty close to the end of this mammoth novel, so I will not belabour it too many more days. Keep in mind that I’ve been packing/moving/unpacking while reading it, so this hasn’t left a whole lot of time for the book. I’ve been listening to audio books during the move, which has been pleasant. I enjoyed In the Bleak Mid-Winter by Julia Spencer-Fleming, and will hunt down more Spencer-Fleming works. I’m now listening to A Pale Horse by Charles Todd. I’m enjoying that as well and will look for more of Mr. Todd’s works.

Of course, reading gets shelved for the whole NaNoWriMo thing. You can listen to audio books while moving, but not while writing.

How is your NaNoWriMo going?

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Does reading influence writing?

At the moment I am reading (for the fourth or maybe fifth time) Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. Stephenson used flashbacks to tell his story often, so that I sometimes forget whether one is in the story-line present or hearing a story from the current point-of-view character’s recent past. It is almost as though a bit of the suspense gets taken out of the story. You know the character survived the bit of the story you are hearing because you are hearing it from their future. This doesn’t always happen in the book, of course. All that to say that my point-of-view character in the NaNoWriMo book I’m writing madly spends most of her time reflecting on her past, so the story we get is not in her present, but in her past. I’m not sure why I decided to tell the story that way. It is one of the things I am already thinking about changing during the December Edit. I realized this morning that there was a similarity to what I had my pov character doing, and what Stephenson does. I wonder if the book one is reading at the moment has more influence that we realize. Things that make you go hmm while writing.

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