Thursday, August 11, 2016

Stuck In The Middle

As the sorry state of this blog can tell you, I’ve been neglecting my writing something fierce. Don’t worry, this isn’t a pity blog. I’ve just chosen to go in different directions for a while.

Direction One: Cuteness

I had a baby! She’s pretty fantastic.

Direction Two: School! 

I’m back in college. It makes me feel old (which is pretty sad when I’m only 27). That doesn’t matter, because this time around I’m going to get that certificate.

Those things mean that I’m not spending a lot of time on writing. I miss writing like crazy but it’s going in my opportunity cost folder.

The hardest time that I’m having with it is that my story ideas aren’t moving forward. I’ve been in the middle of the same draft for two years or more, and I’ve been workshopping another for a year. That’s a lot of time to spend frozen in the middle of a single project. Like many writers, I struggle with losing interest. I’m torn- do I abandon these projects and find something smaller (and more exciting) to work on, or do I keep plugging away? On the first project I’m about 70% through, so I’m planning on sticking that one out. On the second- well, we’ll see. I start school soon, and if it’s another year before I get to it that idea may end up in the ‘wish  I could of’ heap. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


I’ve been doing some math recently and it hasn’t been pretty. Over the last few months blogging time has been beating out writing time by roughly three to one. That is not good. I love blogging a lot more then I thought I would, but that doesn’t stop it from being time consuming. I think it might be time to reevaluate.

It’s not that I’m quitting forever. Obviously that wouldn’t help me much! It’s just that a combination of bad health, limited time, and boredom (from the blog posts) have meant that these four posts a takes me a week or two to write. I keep hoping the next month will be different but it never is. It’s killing me to admit that I can’t do it all. Even as I write this post I’m rethinking posting it. After all, blogs are vital to a hopeful writer like me. But so is free writing time.

I’ll probably still pop in every now and again with ideas that catch my fancy, but it won’t be anything regular like it has been. Hopefully in a few months I’ll be able to bring my focus back here in a way that doesn’t cause problems with the things I started this blog to promote- my books.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Jennavier Recommends: The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
Once upon a time an elderly professor asked me what I liked to read. I was eleven, so the only book I kept track of was the one I was reading at the time. It was an overwrought preteen drama about the Civil War so I told him I liked Civil War books. Since my mom was his employee he benevolently decided to get my siblings and I gifts. For me he got The Killer Angels.

I was hideously disappointed. My sister, who was an adorable toddler with endless curls, got finches. I got an indecipherable book. Four years after the finches were dead I gave the book another shot. I muddled through it, resulting in a generally favorable impression, but didn't really get it. So the fact that I held onto it for the next decade or so makes no sense at all.

I might be a book hoarder, but even I have my limits. When yet another move loomed I culled my hoard. But before I finally got rid of The Killer Angels I decided to give it read it one more time out of sentimental value. And you'll never guess what happened. It was AWESOME!

Michael Sharra has a way of making Gettysburg vital and real. I was invested in the characters, the people, that lived and died there. I understood what was at stake better then I ever had in class. Shaara was meticulous about historical details. While no work of fiction is a substitute for actually being there I felt like I was being told about it from the very people who had lived it. I also love the perspective they had on war. After coming of age in the War on Terror I have little ability to understand other types of conflict. Using some of its major players as vehicles Shaara gave me the ability to understand what the war meant to those people, and how it changed the fabric of the country they left behind.

It helps that in between reads I grew up, took a lot of history classes, and visited Gettysburg. But as a self-described hater of military historical I'm tough to impress. Gettysburg is definitely something worth reading. I'm hanging on to my copy.