Procrastinating (again)

Tomorrow I'll be starting the third week (of six) of my first rotation. The first two weeks already went by super fast. As is evidenced by the time period between posts. Though I'll readily admit that I'm not that great at actually posting regularly.

My rotation is keeping me super busy, though my preceptor, the staff pharmacist, and techs are awesome. It's definitely a different environment than the pharmacy that I get paid to work at. I'm learning a lot and learning more when I get home. Unfortunately, that means no writing for Ashley. *tear* I haven't even been able to muster up enough enthusiasm to tackle the empty whiteboard on my wall. Okay, there are three post-its on there so it's not totally empty, but it looks very lonely. And yet, all I do is lie in bed and stare at it.

I'm working on finishing Sandman Slim and I'm right in the middle of the big fight scene at the end, but I haven't brought myself to finish reading the book either. It's a very different book--present tense is generally not my thing at all, but I have to say Kadrey handles it pretty well. The MC is delightfully screwed up and full of general badass-ness and he's got enough backstory to make you root for him.

Argh, I can't even string together a coherent blog post tonight. I guess I better get back to my assignments I need to get done before tomorrow. Hopefully next time my ramblings will make a little more sense...

Dawnbreaker Review

I don't normally do reviews, but having just finished a book and having free time on my hands, I figure I'd give my thoughts...

I just read Dawnbreaker by Jocelynn Drake and it certainly entertained. There's something to be said for Danaus. To be honest, I think I almost like hearing about the part-bori/part-human more than Mira herself. The mystery that's integral to his character remains fascinating to me, probably because it's fascinating to our narrator.

Ms. Drake gave Mira enough strengths and enough weaknesses to make her a believable MC. However, there were a couple moments in this book (as in Dayhunter which I just read this past week as well) that I wanted to scream at her. I mean, Mira has control over fire, people! After 600+ years, I'd think that using her fire is second-nature to her... which I believe it says something like that in the book itself. If that's the case, then why, on several occasions did she wait until either she or one of her compatriots are injured to burn those naturi to a crisp? I just don't get it.

Of course, I realize, that for certain plot points/scenes to work, then certain things have to escape our heroine's notice. And maybe that's the reason behind it, but as a reader it's a tad frustrating. And at the end... well, I don't want to give away the end, but Mira has it within her power to end this whole drama, but she doesn't. In the epilogue, she laments the choice, which, yeah. I would too. And if "this whole drama" were to have ended, then there wouldn't be another book now would there?

I can see that the next books in this series have plenty of room for some great plots and I'm excited to see that. It took me a couple books to get into this series, but I think Danaus has finally captured my heart. I think it's the brooding, dark-haired, blue-eyed thing he's got goin' on. :)

One thing that I do think Jocelynn has done very well is balancing Danaus and Mira's relationship with one another. On every page I can feel the tremulousness of their alliance. But at the same time, I can tell by her thoughts (and his actions) that when it finally does come time for them to have a showdown that things won't be as easy as both of them constantly joke about. I am SO looking forward to that. And the romance-reader in me wants to see them both get some action!

I've noticed that Ms. Drake's books (at least the most current two, I haven't read Nightwalker in a while) have a rather different kind of pacing from what I'm used to reading. In the Dark Days series, Dayhunter and Dawnbreaker center around an event that will be happening. Because said event is mentioned so much throughout the book, I feel almost like, "Okay, are we there yet?"

By reminding the reader so constantly of the timeline, I find myself impatient. It feels like every event that happens in the book is getting in the way of the climax instead of leading up to it. It's not bad, per se. It's just... different. And the climax happens at the very end (I mean like VERY end) of the book. There's perhaps ten pages after the big showdown and I just don't get enough closure for that. Granted, that is probably what works for Mira's story, but I'm just not used to it.

Overall, I really did enjoy this book. Plenty of action and I can't wait to read more about our enigmatic Danaus (and Mira, of course).

The Dark Days series by Jocelynn Drake:

Freedom, Frustration, and Fun

How do you like that alliteration, hm?

As you can tell by the title (or maybe not) I've been busy. I finished my last didactic (aka classroom/lecture) quarter of pharmacy school on Tuesday. I passed all my classes and actually I avoided C's this quarter! Bam said the lady! However, on Monday I will start my first rotation at a local Target pharmacy. It'll be great experience to learn my counseling points for the drugs I'm not totally comfortable with yet. However, I might not be getting home 'til 8:30 M, T, W, F. I think my preceptor wants me to work 4-10's with her since she has Thursdays off. *sigh* But then, it's only for six weeks. I can live, right? ;-)

And onto writerly things: I've spent the better part of the past two days writing up a chapter play-by-play document for Untold Secrets. Let me just tell you... ARGH! As I was lamenting to my wonderful CP, Cari, there is just so much that as I was reading through the MS all I could think was, "This is complete crap." Or, "This is SO not necessary". Or, "Where the Hell are all these adverbs coming from?!"

I never noticed adverbs (whether in narration or dialogue tags) until Cari brought it to my attention. And now I see them everywhere. In my writing, in published works, or in MSs I'm helping to edit. Some of 'em I leave b/c they're what I needed, but seeing the empty adverbs are the worst. And boy did I have a lot of them.

Regardless, my reason for doing this play-by-play is to visualize my story via post-it/whiteboard!!! That's right! I got that aforementioned whiteboard and it's now hanging on my wall. Tadaaaa!Yes, I blurred everything out again, though you can probably make out the name Isaac. And yes, it's upside down. I put on the pen-holder thingy upside down just to see if it would go on and lo and behold, it wouldn't come off. So I've gotta rearrange, but that's all for the best since Untold Secrets will be going on there now instead of its sequel, which is up there at the moment.

Anyway, writing out all the scenes via the play-by-play onto post-its will help me visualize the book. More importantly, it will hopefully help me see what can come out. B/c at 138K, US is just WAAAAY too big. I'm aiming to get it down to 115K and that's on the high side for a first Urban Fantasy novel. Still, that's 23K to whittle down. However, based on this brief skimming I've done, I'm going to have a lot to switch up and remove so I just might actually make this a workable novel soon. Which would be ideal since I told myself I will start querying once I graduate in June.

Nevertheless, I still like working with these characters and I love em too much to just chuck the whole MS. Plus, it's proof that I've grown as a writer since I started writing/developing US two years ago. So that's where the "fun" part of the title comes in. Writing is still (and I hope will always be) fun for me and that's all I can ask for. :)