Hello again readers,
I’m excited to say that July has actually been an eventful month with life, reading and writing all moving along with leaps and bounds. Still haven’t managed to get a regular updating schedule on this things but I’m pretty optimistic August will see more content coming your way. Well then, let’s get into it.
Biggest news out of this department is that Husband has finally landed a job! New country, new career and limited options in rural Australia always meant it would be a time consuming challenge but things are on the up and up. Returning home from five years abroad basically sent me back to being a dependent teenager with no house, no car and no savings. With only his visa application left to file for the second stage of permanent migration, the number of worries on my stress list is decreasing at long last. Being a sufferer of mental illness (depression/anxiety with a huge focus on the latter) these things tend occupy more space in my mind than necessary and make it near impossible to do anything other than sit on the couch like a blob staring at the telly. BUT! My mind is clear for the time being and so I’ve been motoring along full-steam with all creative endeavours.
To make up for June’s abysmal effort of reading a whole zero books, I powered through and completed three this past month. Full disclosure, these were not read start-to-finish throughout the month of July but rather books I have completed since last update. It was a varied lineup this time, ranging in both genre and quality.
- Ready Player One – Ernest Cline ★★
- Puppet Master Vol. 2 – Miyuki Miyabe ★★★
- Heart of Mist – Helen Scheuerer ★★★★ (review here)
Heart of Mist, the runaway favourite of the month, was an ARC of Helen Scheuerer‘s debut YA fantasy series, The Oremere Chronicles. It’s everything you would want and expect in YA series and more, taken to a maturer level by lacing it with bold themes and issues. You can find my full review of Heart of Mist on my blog.
I am making a rule of reviewing series as a whole and not individual installments (ARC excluded) so I have experienced the complete story before passing judgement. Puppet Master is the second volume in Japanese author Miyuki Miyabe‘s disturbing five-part crime series. I am not a huge reader of this genre but I have to say I have been enjoying this purely for the horribly captivating villain, who is as insane as he is brilliant. It sits comfortably on a respectable three stars and I’m happily enjoying it without any niggling concerns.
Ready Player One, sadly, was a novel I expected to love and ended up rage-reading. While I can understand why the book has enjoyed a lot of success, there are a number of issues that seriously detract from the whole experience. I am in the process of writing a full review detailing everything that went wrong for me with Ernest Cline‘s debut novel.
This has been the most productive area of my life recently, having churned out over ten thousands words this last month across a number of projects. My second draft of Garden of the Gods is cruising along wonderfully. Fortunately, the chapter I am working on now only requires minor tweaks and I should be able to knock it over in the next week. During the writing of the first draft, I changed plot direction several
hundred times requiring a huge rewrite of the first half of the book As time consuming that has been, I’m feeling much more confident in this rendition and am hopeful to pass it out to beta readers by year’s end.
I’ve also been working on a number of short fiction pieces, one of which is a teaser for my novel and will introduce you to new characters, Rei-Hai Shaw and Kiokharen Holani. The teaser, Duty Binds Us All, will be up in the next few weeks and features mature themes. Reader discretion is advised.
I’m also pleased to announce that short story The Cottage on Peppercorn Tree Hill is back from its date with the editor and is currently undergoing some final revisions. This paranormal ghost story explores loneliness and family bonds in the face of a changing world. All going to plan, I’ll be rolling this out by the end of the week.
And I think that pretty much covers it for July.
Catch you all next month.