I have taken too long a break from my writing. I have not worked on my novel since Riley died. I have not posted here in weeks. I have wallowed in this depressive funk and made no real efforts to get better.

I didn’t realize just how bad it had become until CJ thanked me for performing a mundane chore before his parents arrived for Q’s birthday.  It had unknowingly gotten to a point where my husband felt the need to thank me for doing my job as a wife and mother. It’s hard to come to terms with that.

Progress, by definition, requires effort. I have been allowing CJ to put forth all the effort while putting forth none of my own. I have taken solace in my obsessions and compulsions. I apologize to my family for this.

It has become clear that my “coping mechanisms” were grossly inadequate. Writing however, seems to be the one outlet that has never failed me, yet I have failed it. Why do we avoid things that can help make us well? Why not dive headfirst into the things that can make us happy?

So, here’s the schedule. Mondays will be for updates. Thursdays will be for reviews. Surprise posts are always an option and are free from restriction. Editing will occur at least three times per week, for however long I can dedicate to it. I hope that giving myself these deadlines will help. I am a queen of procrastination, but I like a good due date. I will read more. I will continue therapy. I will do my job. I will strive to be able to return the extraordinary care I have received. You can count on it.

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Good or Bad Reads

Ever since I discovered Goodreads, I have stopped writing book reviews here and leave them on that site instead. I am pretty good about doing a review for basically everything I read. I figure, if I want others to do it for me, I have to return the favor.

The book I just finished April 30th has left me so frustrated that I needed to vent here; even after leaving my review on Goodreads.

On Goodreads, I try to leave objective reviews. Of course I avoid spoilers, but then I try not to overly sway others with my view while at the same time being honest. This book was difficult for me to not go into great detail about why I almost gave up on it. This is why what I said simply writing there didn’t fulfill my need to complain about this book.

When a series sets up certain parameters, it really bothers me when they don’t stand by them. This can go for plot, character growth and development, rules of the established universe, or even narration style.

In books one and two of this series, the female protagonist is the only point of view we get to read from. In this third installment, a new narrator is added. Then ANOTHER on page 318. But that one we will come back to.

The two narrators we have for a majority of the book, I feel are terrible choices. One is imprisoned. She was whiny and intolerable before she had this to content with. Now she was worse. The second does not want to be where she is. This leads to severely harsh, biased, and SELECTIVE narration. One can only tell us what she overhears. Two can only tell us what she chooses to hear. Neither of them SHOW us anything. I hated how all the battles and intrigue where dictated to us instead of displayed.

The addition of the third narrator was frustrating as it further broke an already broken stricture. Just because you’re the author and it’s your story, doesn’t mean you can do anything you want. I mean, you can. But you can’t.

So, the part of me that longs for structure didn’t like the addition of this narrator, but the reader in me was excited because this point of view had to be better than the others. Third’s first few chapters were meh, but her last was just like the others. Whiny.

I just can’t feel sorry for these girls. They are both progressive and regressive, depending on what could cause the most conflict. This lead to a host of inconsistencies. Also, for all their complaining, none of these girls made active choices to change their circumstances. I felt as if thy just didn’t care about themselves. And this made me not care. How am I supposed to want to keep reading if I couldn’t care less about what is happening to them?

But now that I have put in the time and effort of reading and reviewing three books, I suppose I will have to read the fourth one anyway, just because now I will need to know how the story ends. Hopefully this fourth one will end the series like the third was supposed to. This was not the first time I read books that were meant to be a trilogy.

It’s a good thing it’s not meant to be out until February though because I have made a promise to myself and to you, my readers. I will not start reading a new book until the current draft I am working on is complete. It is close to being done and I want to avoid the extra excuse for distraction that an intriguing book can be. I will be posting updates on my Twitter and my Facebook page. I am thinking of having a contest for beta readers, as I do not have enough at the moment. Getting excited!

I am currently rereading Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter. For my birthday, CJ got me Perfect Scoundrels and before beginning it, I felt compelled to read the book that came before it again.

When I get a new book, especially if I have waited a long time for it to come out, I have a bad habit of blowing through it as fast as I can because I just cannot wait to see what the ending is. I did this with Uncommon Criminals when it first came out and after having read the first few chapters of Perfect Scoundrels, I realized that I really needed to remind myself of what had happened.

I remembered liking the book a lot, but I could not recall exactly how it ended. When the new book reference how the main characters were now a couple, I did not know how that had happened, and I am fairly certain that it will be important in the new book.

I had planned on just skimming the parts I remembered and therefore taking a short time to read it so I could get to the book I really wanted to read. However, this has not happened as there is an awful lot that I cannot skim…and all I really want is to read my new book.

It is hard to read as much as I like, but after all the reviews I have heard about Perfect Scoundrels I cannot wait no read it.