Sunday, June 30, 2013

Open Pipes and a Smile

I had the best time today.  Cruisin' Gulf Shores in my '51 Chevy with the side pipes wide open.  It's fast and it's loud.  How can you not love it?

And the best part.  Six people stopped me to tell me how much they liked my car and the way it sounded in the hour I was out and about.  If I had driven all day. . . well, my heart couldn't have taken that much love.

Makes the small boy in me grin from ear to ear.

Friday, June 28, 2013

I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman

Today I finished reading I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman.  It was a 2011 nominee for the Edgar Award.

This novel is one of the best examples of how to control pacing and backstory revelation I've ever read.   I caught myself reading forward eagerly to find out what really happened in the past.  SUSPENSE in all capitals.  Laura Lippman can write it with the best.

I'm definitely reading more of her work.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

LaBrava by Elmore Leonard

Today I finished reading LaBrava by Elmore Leonard.  This novel was awarded the 1984 Edgar Award.

When I think of what other's have said about Elmore Leonard's writing, the first two things I recall are a master of dialogue and no adverbs.

I know he wrote a list of 10 rules for writing, but "no adverbs" is what stuck.  So I decided I would find where he used an adverb and cite it for you.  Got tired of looking eventually.

And as for dialogue.  Well it's good that he's good at it because LaBrava is at least 96% dialogue.  And I loved it.

I hadn't read any of Leonard's novels since my cowboy stories era many years ago.  He's good.  Really Good.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Ridge by Michael Koryta

Today I finished reading The Ridge by Michael Koryta.  It was nominated for the 2012 Thriller Award.

I almost didn't read it.  I'm a big 'fraidy cat.  I don't read scary stuff.  I don't watch scary movies.  Not since being scared slap to death by The Incredible Shrinking Man's fight with the spider.  I just don't go there.

The dust jacket proclaims, "Will make you shiver in the sun."

But I put my game face on and began to read.  It is a fascinating tale told by a master.  Michael Koryta is among the best there is.  Truly

Friday, June 7, 2013

Crossing the Line by Leonard Critcher

 Today I read Crossing the Line by Leonard Critcher.

I Thoroughly enjoyed Crossing the Line, the sequel to Drawing the Line. I began to cheer when the full cast of the love triangle were re-assembled. I really like these characters and their story. I'm looking forward to the next installment.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Intensity by Dean Koontz

6/6 Today I read Intensity by Dean Koontz.  This novel was #65 on the NPR listeners list of Top 100 Killer Thrillers.

It lives up to its title.  It is intense.  A good read.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Story Physics by Larry Brooks

Today I read Story Physics by Larry Brooks.

Inside "Story Physics," you'll learn how to: Understand and harness the six storytelling forces that are constantly at work in your fiction.Transform your story idea into a dramatically compelling concept.Optimize the choices you make in terms of character, conflict, subplot, subtext, and more to render the best possible outcome. These literary forces will elevate your story above the competition and help you avoid the rejection pile. With "Story Physics," you won't just give your story wings--you'll teach it how to fly. ~Goodreads

I've been a fan of Larry Brooks for a long time.  I've read all of his books.  I read his blog Storyfix.  I've paid him to review my work in progress.  But, I confess. I'm not sure I really understand what he's talking about throughout this book.  He's calling us to write the best we can.  Perhaps to not waste our time writing something that is doomed in the beginning at its very core.  I'd like to write the next To Kill a Mockingbird or The DaVinci Code.  Sure.  Who wouldn't.  But the chance of doing that is very unlikely.  My goals are much lower.

I'll keep re-reading the book.  I know the truth is there as Larry understands it.  It's just difficult for me to get my head around.

If I understood everything, I'd give the book 5 stars.  But I don't.  I'll give it 4 stars for what I do understand.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Death Without Company by Craig Johnson

Today I read Death Without Company by Craig Johnson.  The sophomore novel in the Walt Longmire mystery series.

It is a good read.  Most of what I know about the characters is at this point is from the TV show Longmire, I found exploring their backstories very interesting.