Monday, February 29, 2016

Two Month Update - Checkpoint #1

In January, I set some goals for the year and promised to check in every two months. Now on this wonderful leap day, I give this first report.

In general, I have increased the amount of writing, compared with before. I've written a few posts in this blog as well as a couple on my other special-interest blogs. I'm also doing more editing of my book than before.

However, I'm still behind in my goals.

The novel Justice: I had to go back and fix some earlier chapters, and I had a few struggles with scheduling and technology, but I did finish everything up through Chapter 7. I expected to be closer to Chapter 10 at this stage, but I'm still on target to finishing way before October, so I won't try to catch up. By next check-in (April 30), I should be up to Chapter 16.

Short-story submissions: I had set the goal for 26 submissions this year. The good news is that I got one out there two weeks ago. Bad news is that I should be up to 4 already. I'll shoot for 6 submissions over the next two months to start catching up.

How are you doing on your writing goals?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Pratchett: Going Postal

Terry Pratchett's recent death reminded me that I had yet to read one of his books. I had tried The Colour of Magic a couple of years ago, but couldn't get past the first couple of chapters. Back then a friend said, "Perhaps you should try Going Postal." At first I thought she was crazy, as I couldn't do that to my friends, but then I realized she was saying the name of another Discworld book.

Hearing of the author's death, I finally took up my friend's suggestion, and was pleasantly surprised. Well, maybe not that surprised. Could all my fantasy-loving friends be so wrong in their love for him?

Going Postal is full of out-loud laughing moments, so be careful reading around solemn people. Even though this book is written late in the whole slew of Discworld books, I only came across a couple pieces of mythology I didn't understand. I've found that my friends were happy to explain without spoiling anything.

The book features Moist Van Lipwig, one of the most successful con artists ever born. This is until he was caught and hanged, and then ... brought back to life? I'm not sure how that part worked, but Lord Vetinari, the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, saved his life so that he could be voluntold into becoming the new Postmaster. The only problem? The Post Office had gone defunct decades before, with letters piled high, busting through walls, and all that good stuff.

Moist comes across a motley crew of unforgettable characters, a sorting machine no one can touch because someone accidentally built it such that pi equaled only three, golems who never sleep, and even a cat.

Torn between trying to find a way to escape and actually wanting to do some good in his life, Moist tries his best to resurrect the past, even if it means using his awesome con skills.

Overall, it was a satisfying read, though I thought the ending was a little too easy. Maybe it was just that I didn't want it to end.

If you're looking to enter the worlds of Pratchett, I concur with my friends. Going Postal is a good place to start. Plus ... I just learned that there's a TV series based on the book, and with high-ish ratings. Maybe I'll check it out ...