Thursday, October 31, 2019

Out of Dreams: Nightmares

Most years I do a little more for Halloween than I've done this year. I have been busy writing, though, and some good things should start to show up pretty soon. In the meantime, I wanted to take Halloween to make an official announcement of the publication of Out of Dreams: Nightmares, a collection of short stories based upon the weird dreams I've had over the years. 

This has been out for a little while now but I haven't really promoted it. There was going to be a post from another blogger that was going to kick this off but they seem to have disappeared from the scene for the moment. I didn't want to wait longer. 

Some of these stories have been published elsewhere but not previously collected. Others are brand new to this publication. There's also a lengthy essay toward the end of the book on how to use dreams to enhance creativity. It's something I've given presentations on before but I've never written it up for publication before. 

Out of Dreams: Nightmares is available in print and ebook on Amazon. The print version is only $6.00, which is pretty cheap these days. The kindle version is $2.99. I hope you'll check it out. 

Friday, October 11, 2019

Book Report for October 2018 to October 2019

I've done a reading report each of the last several years here on my blog. Time for another one. I've mentioned it here before but my way of keeping records is kind of unusual so I'll quickly explain again. I keep my yearly reading records from October 14th of one year through October 13 of the next. October 14th is my birthday, so that's why I do it that way. 

This was a good year for me. I read 129 books, up from 106 last year. I'm pretty sure I owe the increase to taking it a little easier at my job in the aftermath of last year's heart attack. It also seems I found a bunch of books I really liked this year and so I tore through them at a fast pace.

For the first time in quite a few years, Westerns led the parade. I read 29 of those. This is certainly due to me writing a lot of western related material this past year, including the novel The Scarred One, the short stories for Scott Harris's four 500 word anthologies, and some stories for another western collection that I plan to put together in the next year or so.

Second on my most-read list was Mystery/Thriller, with the main emphasis on the thriller side. I read 23 of these, due mostly to Harlan Coben, whose books I've been devouring at a high rate of speed. An interesting development (at least to me), is that for the first time I separated Men's Adventure from other types of Thrillers. This is because of the Men's Adventure group on Facebook, where I've been having a lot of fun talking about this kind of book. I didn't start separating these out until late in the year, however, so I only have 5 official Men's Adventure books on my list. That'll probably go up next year.

Non-fiction was next on my list, with 14. These generally fall into three categories: science books, books on writing, and books on heavy metal music. I separate these on Goodreads but not in my word processing list, which I like to keep to one page.

SF and Fantasy took slight dips this year, ending up at 9 and 10 respectively. I also read 7 classics (meaning books by folks like Hemingway etc), and 7 poetry books, both slight increases over last year. I got sent several poetry books this year from folks who know I do reviews and that's probably why that number went up a little bit.

I could go on but I may have overstayed my welcome on this post already. I do love talking about books. Here's to a great 2019-2020 reading year for everyone!

Saturday, October 05, 2019

The Color of the Day is Yellow

The trees and ditches are spattered with yellow along my walk this morning. In the woods it’s mostly leaves changing into their autumn attire. There’s still a lot of green but here and there a yellow flag flutters, pale or lemony or tending toward brown. And poking through the litter of leaves and twigs on the ground are a few yellow sprigs of fern. I suspect the ferns and some of the leaves on the plants in our backyard are yellow because it’s been dry.

Yesterday we had some rain, though, and the ditches are yellow with blooming flowers. There are at least four different species, the bouquets of duller yellow that I call ragweed, tiny little yellow starbursts about the size of a pencil eraser, bigger five petalled yellow flowers, and the biggest of all, standing on stems two to four feet high, yellow-orange blooms half the size of your palm with multiple petals that make them look like sawblades.  

Even the sunlight is yellow this morning. I guess it’s that kind of day. I think I’ll have a couple of eggs with yellow yokes, toast with yellow butter, and maybe some lemonade.