So May went by in a flurry of frantic activity. My brain is still reeling. I'm a slowpoke at heart, content to putter steadily forward in increments.
This month I had a family trip to Vegas, which was a city I'd never managed to go to before.
I enjoyed the heck out of it. Took copious notes too! A novel that I've been working on--slow and steady, natch--is set in Vegas. The only problem was me walking around in a daze thinking "oh, Max would so eat here." and "Oh, this is EXACTLY where character X should disappear." It's a very strange city, Vegas. Fun at first and then there's a slow creeping disconnect with the world and general reality. Even the televisions in the hotel room seemed Vegas oriented--advertisements, news, shows--it all seemed like it was circling the city. On the bright side, it is definitely an area that caters to the 24hr lifestyle, which meant I had lots to do and see when I couldn't sleep.
I finished up the rough draft of Sylvie 3, tentatively called Gods & Monsters. That always feels good. Then three days later, the jitters set in. What am I to do with myself? What should I work on? OH MY GOD, I'm not being PRODUCTIVE! By the time I get to the end of books I'm either working in 5,000 word bursts or painful 300 word spurts, and my brain is running around in small, shrieking circles. It takes some time to unwind.
I finished G&M just in time for my Florida-based brother to pull a surprise visit to Kansas and that was great. We even managed to squeeze him into the trip my father & I make every year to Topeka's Reinisch Rose Garden. It's one of those pilgrimages we make and it connects me to my father to his father to his father. His side of the family has always loved and grown roses. We came back home and went to the nursery. So in my scrubby back yard, I now have three new rosebushes to go with the previous two. Eventually, my yard will be all thorns and flowers.
With all that, I didn't get much reading done in May; only five books, and only two of them came from my TBR list.
My favorite book of the month was SHOOT TO THRILL by the mother-daughter team PJ TRACY. Book 5 in their police procedurals and it was good to sink back into that world. I've missed them in the past few years.
I picked up CHARLAINE HARRIS'S GRAVE SECRET which I enjoyed once I reminded myself that it was a Southern gothic and thus free to be utterly implausible.
DEAD STONE by VICKY STIEFEL was the only one I didn't finish. I gave up on it, perhaps unfairly, mostly because I couldn't disengage the writer brain which persisted in saying "But I would have done it THIS way. . . ." and back-seat drove until I gave up.
MOONSHINE by ALAYA JOHNSON was quite fun, though the heroine was so busy running to and fro I had a hard time trying to get emotionally involved with her. But the world was excellent. 1920's NYC with vampires, etc. I'll pick up the sequel.
A DARK MATTER by PETER STRAUB disappointed me. I love Straub, love his way with words. But in this particular book, it just felt like the words didn't build to much, and I found myself actively disliking the main character's wife. I'm contrary. Spend too much time telling me how wonderful someone is and I'm going to put my back up and hiss.
Next up--prodded by EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER--I'm going to read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. I'd meant to take it with me to Vegas, but ultimately? It didn't fit in my bag. Also still reading MIDNIGHT RAMBLER.
Also, just a note. It's come to my attention that those of you who read this blog on lanerobins.com are missing the majority of my ramblings over on LJ (maybe to your advantage). This blog is pretty purely about writing, or things that can be vaguely considered writerly. If you're jonesing to know that I fight with my cats or the other randomness I babble about, you can find that on lanerobins.livejournal.com