The Girl in the Picture by Kerry Barret tells the story of a present-day mystery writer moving to a small, England town only to discover an unsolved murder surrounding the family who lived in her house in 1855. Quite simply, this is a good, clean read. I finished the book in about two days, so be prepared by getting other tasks done first!
Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth is the definition of an epic epoch. Not only is this book centered around a specific time period–The Middle Ages–during the building of the cathedrals in Europe, it is a stunning volume of intrigue, scandal, and history-based story-telling. Do not be discouraged by the almost 1,000 page length. This book is one that consumes as you consume it.
This book contains graphic language, violence, and sexual content. Be discerning.
Sometimes I can edit my works-in-progress on the computer. But, honestly, my best editing happens on the printed-off page with a pen in my hand. Why?
- I can be messy. Sometimes editing on a screen is too clean. I need to be able to manually circle, underline, and scribble. This is also when I can be the most blunt with myself and ask “What were you thinking?”
- I can measure word count. Feeling the heft of a manuscript–regardless if it is too short or too long–creates a sense of accomplishment, especially for the rough draft. Simply filling the paper tray of the printer can provide the illusion of completion. There is much more to do. But, at least something has been done.
- I can manipulate the pages. It is highly possible–even with an outline–that parts of the story are misplaced. A hard copy makes it possible to read from beginning to ending and find out where the story needs to be shifted. Or maybe there is part of the story missing all together. Now is the time to see the gaps and add to the outline.
Of course, the next task is to enter in the edits. But, the beauty of that is reading through the manuscript again and making more decisions. On with the process!
After reading The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, I am intrigued by the landscape and lifestyle found in Alaska. The wild beauty of this last frontier comes through with exquisite clarity. The rugged realism, profoundly protrayed through the characters, reveals survival instincts after the trauma of the Vietnam War and the terror of an unforgiving land. I’m not sure I would survive under such conditions, but I am better for literary journey.