Catching up

I have the day off, sort of. My son had his Jr. High orientation this morning and after that mom-related business we had to go get tickets for the school bus (no longer free as it was when I was a kid) and then find the driveway where he’s supposed to catch the bus. He’s got soccer practice later today. I’m hoping to get in a couple of hours of writing work right now.

In the meantime, I’ve continued reading. I just finished Suzanne Brockmann’s Force of Nature which, naturally, I enjoyed. She’s a wonderful writer. Then I started this odd little book called Blackburn by Bradley Denton and I’m reserving judgment. Beautifully written, but the content is quite disturbing. I’ll report on that when I’m done with it.

Lately I’ve been thinking about writing, mostly because I’m working on Scandal which at this point is a lot of first draft writing, the books I’ve been reading to which I’ve reacted in a sort of meh way and those to which I have not reacted that way. For example, I really really enjoyed Lone Survivor even though I vehemently disagree with his take on the evil Liberals and/or Liberal Media. Would I have liked it better if he’d toned that down? Maybe. But he didn’t need to. The story is fantastic with or without that, and at least he was honest (wrongheaded, but honest!). Then there were other stories that felt to me like they ought to have been more exciting. Lots of stuff was going on. The stakes were high for the characters but gosh I was just not taken away as I should have been. Perhaps, I’ve been thinking lately, because they didn’t face any moral difficulties. They faced outside evil but were never morally threatened by it. There was no chance of the characters making the wrong decision.

And, I am now compelled to add this thought. Lately, I’ve read some books by big authors that are not as well-written as they should be. I read them and felt the author was rushed or careless or that she/he needed another month or two of work. Deadlines help get the work done, but they can also keep a book journeyman good instead of awesome. This problem probably also has something to do with most writers having to have a day job to pay the bills. Sigh.

I like my literary landscape fraught with moral ambiguity. Write me a story where I’m reading something that ought to be evil but I’m cheering for it anyway. Someone do something reprehensible and yet have that be fascinating. Anyway, I was just thinking about that. Kind of half-baked. And thinking about baking, Scandal awaits.

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