Saturday, December 31, 2016

Favorite books read in 2016

Here's the top ten:

1. Omega Men
This is a graphic novel from Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda that's an allegorical look at how the Iraq War happened.  It's the smartest comic book storytelling I've ever seen and to my mind an instant classic.

2. Go Set a Watchman
This "controversial" resurrected precursor to Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is to my mind unmistakably the greater literary achievement.  No matter how it ended up finally being published, I'm absolutely glad it was.

3. The Third Reich
A chilling examination on the lingering effects of an actual Nazi's grip on a nation's pysche, by the masterful Roberto Bolaño.

4. At Twilight They Return
Greek literature from Zyranna Zateli that offers a glimpse of what life was like for an extended family a century ago.

5. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Between this and the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them script, this was an extremely good year to begin seeing what the future of J.K. Rowling's great creation might turn out to look like.

6. The Girl in the Spider's Web
David Lagercrantz's follow-up to the superb Millennium Trilogy is worth it.

7. The Tin Woodman of Oz
Having read all of L. Frank Baum's Oz novels this year, this late look back at one of the most iconic characters in the series is probably my favorite.

8. Primary Colors
Joe Klein's satire of Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign was a true revelation to finally read twenty years later.

9. The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair
This Joёl Dicker mystery is probably the most conventional thing I read this year, at least that I really liked.

10. The Blood of Olympus
The last in the "Heroes of Olympus" series of Percy Jackson novels from Rick Riordan to my mind is probably the most satisfying of them.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

IWSG December 2016

The Insecure Writers Support Group consists of people who post things about their writing lives on the first Wednesday of every month, and also about conga lines on a Wednesday of the month if it happens to fall on February 29th of a leap year (2020 is a leap year, but the 29th, alas, will be on a Saturday, which is when the Insecure Whittlers Support Group meets; in 2024 it falls on a Thursday, which is when the Insecure Winners Support Group meets; in 2028 it falls on a Tuesday, which is when the Insecure Worriers Support Group meets and generally discusses their concerns about life, the universe and everything; in 2032 it falls on a Sunday, which is when the Insecure Winkers Support Group meets; in 2036 it falls on a Friday, which is when the Insecure Wallabies Support Group meets; but good news, 2040, it falls on a Wednesday! so in exactly twenty-four years we'll all be talking about conga lines!). 

So, now that I've driven you mad with gibberish, let's state the question of the month:

In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what's your plan to get there?

I would very, very much like to have finally established myself as a paid writer of fiction.  It would've been a long time coming, ever since I foolishly waited until I was just about graduating from college in 2003 and asking my poetry professor if he had any idea how that sort of thing worked.  Thirteen years after that I can sort of see how stupid that was.  Stephen King used to submit material all the time when he was still in high school.  Clearly I was already well behind the curve when I started out.

But I've been trying to correct my errors ever since.  Still not vigorously, but I keep trying.  Currently I'm waiting to hear about the results of a couple contests.  You never know where those will take you.  I'm also waiting to hear back from a comic book publisher who could potentially hire me as an editor.  I can think of a few well-known comic book writers who started out as editors.  The funny thing is, I would actually be happy just to be an editor.  It's a vastly underrated and highly important function in the publishing process.  A bad editor will make things worse.  A good editor will make things better.  A bad editor will make your life miserable.  A good editor will make your life a sheer delight (probably; that and not having to read gibberish like what I wrote at the start of this).

Also, an aspiring comic book artist just asked me permission to draw a script I posted online.  So maybe the future has weirder ways forward than I can conceive at any given moment. 

So more of this sort of thing, and maybe hoping that the self-publishing route will eventually turn a corner.  Who knows, really?  But that's the idea, that whatever I'm doing now will at least contribute to where I'll be in five years, in a positive sense.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...