Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Growing up, if I was reading a book, you can bet the cover either featured a dude in armor, a dragon, a wizard or some combination of the three.

I lived for fantasy! I was in second or third grade when the local librarian recommended A Spell For Chameleon, by Piers Anthony. Before that, I'd read any kids books I could find, especially loving books like Half Magic and Castle In The Attic, but once I realized the breadth of books available in the "grown up" section of the library, I went crazy.

I read everything I could, important books, long books, short books, elaborate series and collections of short stories. I loved it all, but I eventually found myself drawn towards light fantasy. Tolkien was great and all, but it all seemed so important. I wanted to have a good time reading and it didn't take long to hone in on a few faves.

Lawrence Watt-Evans is my favorite author, bar none. His books are fun and good hearted and always clever. I started with The Misenchanted Sword and enjoyed it so much that I stole the book from the library (I later donated a new copy, wracked by the guilty thoughts that I was depriving others from reading it) and I own every book he's written since. I buy any copy of his I can find and give them away to people because I don't think enough people read him.

Some other faves from that time  - C. Dale Brittain (Funny, fresh takes on wizardry) Piers Anthony (Who I don't really dig anymore) Terry Brooks (Which I haven't read in a long time) the Dragonlance Series (This either) and Terry Pratchett (Who took me a while to warm up to, but is at the top of my list now, naturally)

And I stayed pretty faithful to the sword and sorcery set for a very long time. Every once in a while, I'd pick up some sci-fi and even rarer, a horror of some sort, but it was usually all shining armor, all the time.

In recent years, I found a new appreciation for thrillers and crime novels, eagerly devouring old 60's pulp and recent authors like Marshall Karp and Victor Gischler, and for the most part, my fantasy addiction retreated to it's underground lair, to languish on the paperbacks of yore. But every once in a while, I feel the urge to dive back in. I've read three Watt-Evans novels in the last week and just downloaded Brittain's catalog (Or what's available... She's devilishly hard to find!) It's been a lot of fun and kind of a palette cleanser.

Is this normal? Have you always read the same genre of books, or do you bounce around a lot? What were/are some of your favorites?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. It happens every winter to some. Its a general sense of depression and discomfort that comes on with the short winter days, the closed up houses, the decreased activity and added stress.

I've never really been affected before but this year I think I'm getting a bit of the SAD action. In our old house, we used to be able to walk a block to get to a shoveled walking path we could take our dogs on and we had a nicely fenced yard. We have a nice yard here... somewhere under the three feet of snow out there. So I guess I could get some outside experience if I wanted to play Donner Expedition...

I've been having a hard time concentrating on my revisions and I think part of it is a lack of energy. So spring needs to get here soon so I can shed my hibernation weight, get some exercise and get my book finished!