Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Or, in honour of Euro Cup, GOOOOOOAAAAAALS!

Ahem. The half-year mark is a good time to look at the resolutions you set back in January. It's important not only to take stock of the work you've done so far but to also evaluate the goals themselves and see whether they're even still relevant to you.

For 2012 I made a simple, straightforward goal: each month I would submit a new story to Woman's World magazine. Woman's World is a weekly woman's magazine sold throughout North America. Each issue they publish one mystery story and one romance story.  I've had some success selling stories to them, and I wanted to build on that.

So, in the first week of January I sent off a mystery. Right on track! In February I mailed them a romance. Good job Shannon! In March...I did a lot of things in March, but subbing a story to Woman's World was not one of them. Same deal for April. It was only in May that I got back on it and sent them a mystery story. Tomorrow I plan to mail them a romance story, filling my quota for June.

So, for the first half of 2012, I'm batting an average of 4/6 when it comes to following through on my resolutions. Not the best track record. Could be worse. Either way I'm still committed to doing better. But were those even the right goals for me?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Books I've read so far in 2012 (Part 2)

Ack. My goal is to update every Monday, but it's looking like June is going to be one of those two posts months. Sorry.

Let's see, what's quick and easy and something I could post about and erase this bloggers guilt? Aha! Time for...

Books I've Read so Far in 2012 (part 2)

Wake by Robert J. Sawyer - The good: I love Becky Sharp and it's cool to see a fourteen-year-old blind girl at the center of a sci-fi series. The bad: Sawyer's sense of humour is just too corny for me. Also, he lays the Canadianisms on real think- did you know that there are differences between Canada and the U.S.? This book will hit you over the head with every single one of them.

'Wake' really feels like part one in a series. There are lots of dangling plot threads left to dangle in the wind. I didn't feel this book was satisfying on it's own, and I don't feel inclined to read part 2 and 3 to get the complete picture.

Servant of the Underworld: Obsidan & Blood, book 1 by Aliette de Bodard - A really interesting fantasy/mystery set in the Aztec empire. Ms. de Bodard does a great job of not only rebuilding the Aztec empire but creating a magic system to go with it. I look forward to reading other books in the series.

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler - This book has gone on my list of 'books everyone should read.' Ms. Butler creates a world teetering between pre and post apocalyptic. Sure, there might be wild dogs roaming the streets and thieves and killers keep trying to break into your gated community, but at least there are still presidential elections. The book covers a ton of fascinating themes, including religion, race, class and gender, but still also works as a fast-paced novel about survival. 

The Prophet Murders by Mehmet Murat Somer - I blogged about this one a few weeks back and how it managed to grab me out of all the other books in the used bookstore I work at. The Prophet Murders is an odd book, going back and forth between flippantly funny and drastically dark with the turn of a page. It's like if you combined 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' with the 'Shopaholic' series. I enjoyed reading it, even if it throw me for a loop sometimes with it's fluctuating moods.

Four books isn't a lot, I know, but I have been reading a ton of short stories as well. From the library's discard pile I picked up an old science fiction anthology that has several classics in it, such as 'For I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream' by Harlan Ellison and 'Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell. I've also read the latest issue of Asimov's and Interzone, and I've been making my way through 'Les Miserables' (only 500 more pages to go!). Plus there's also the myriad short stories on the net that I've read here and there.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The 'How Can I Not Read This?' Factor

Sometimes when it's slow at work I look at the books on the shelves, daring one to grab me. The other day while browsing through the mystery section I came across 'The Prophet Murders' by Mehmet Murat Somer. Here's the summary from Amazon:

"The first in a new Turkish detective series. A killer is on the loose in Istanbul and killing transvestites. Our protagonist—fellow transvestite, nightclub owner, and glamour-puss extraordinaire—turns into an investigator in the search for the killer. It’s a tough case—can she end the slaughter without breaking a nail?"

The summary on the back of the book goes into a little more detail, but the point is after reading the back my first thought was 'How could I not read this?' And as I thought that, something clicked in my mind.