Book Review: Killing Floor by Lee Child

My introduction to Jack Reacher was reading 61 hours after hearing Lee Child speak at Bouchercon in 2010.  After finishing  the book, I had to find out what happened to Reacher and continued reading forward in the series.  Once I reached the end, finally decided to go back to the beginning to read the book that started it all - Killing Floor.

Reacher finds himself in a big mess when he wanders in to a small town his brother had told him about, looking for history on a blind blues singer, Blind Blake.  Within minutes of sitting down to eat breakfast in the local dinner, he is arrested for murder and things snowball from there. Imagine small town politics, town tough guys masquerading as do gooders, horrific murders, as well as a blooming attraction with Roscoe, the only female police detective as Reacher attempts to prove himself innocent. Six months out of the military and he's tough and doesn't back down for anyone. There are plenty of twists and turns while he tries to help the good guys expose and stop the bad guys. He has no qualms about ambushing the bad guys and taking them out anyway he can.

Writerly Wednesday: Persistence and Practice

I'm currently reading Jordan Rosenfeld's A Writer's Guide to Persistence: How to create a Lasting and Productive Writing Practice.   Every year I find an inspirational book that lights a fire under me, spurs me on to continue writing. I have a tendency to let family and work demands, stress and worry, all life's obligations short me out. I read about the writers who write through thick and thin, like the postman who works no matter the weather, those who have been writing all their lives and I start comparing myself to others. The well dries up and I escape into a book, the internet, television avoiding the page. Which leads me back again to the question, "Why do I write?"  

Probably because I get all crotchety and grumpy when all those thoughts, feelings, ideas, and characters are waiting in the back of my brain festering, wanting, needing to be expressed. Why do I resist instead of persist?  Then call it what you will - God or coincidence, synchronicity - I'll stumble back to the page and the well opens up again.  

This time I found Jordan's book who encourages writers to persist and practice their craft.

..."Writing is not just a means to an end but a way of life, of processing information and experience and expressing oneself on a regular basis...   Writers must write. How you do it, where, when, and why are all up to you. Excuses are a way of keeping yourself 'safe' from the demands of a writing practice... Writers are the people who find a way, no matter what, to keep writing, polishing, and persisting.  No excuses.  No one will do it for you. Your writing practice is in your hands."

Rosenfeld then takes it a step further with asking 'what is the value of your writing?"  

"If your burning reason to write is because it makes you happy or releases the wild voices from your head or helps you analyze the world around you, you are exactly where you are supposed to be.  You must learn to please yourself in the process of your practice or you will become vulnerable to discouragement, despair, and giving up. At the end of the day 'writing must be its own reward' as  Anne Lamott famously said."

"The moment you see it as a 'practice' that derives from an authentic place inside you, you step outside the bounds of success and failure and enter a wholly new, deeper territory in which everything you do for and with your writing is a part of the greater sum.  No words or work are ever wasted. No failure is ultimate, instead everything is another step further on the path of your writing practice."

"Everything counts as long as you choose to see it in that light. The value of your writing practice is ultimately up to you. And once you know what the value is, no one can take it away from you through rejection, criticism, or competition." 

And the icing on the cake of life, again synchronicity, is Laura Benedict's post over on The Kill Zone - Quit Trying to Write  and her very simple statement 'If you're writing, you're a writer. Keep writing' and quoting Yoda's sage advice. "do or do not, there is no try."  I love Star Wars. *grin* 

No procrastination, no resistance, no excuses as I persist and practice, spilling words onto the page on a regular basis.  At the beginning of the year I joined the 10 Minute Novelists 365 Writing Challenge and set writing, editing, consistency goals for each week which has helped keep me on track as well.  

This month is also Mytwoblessings 12th Anniversary and I'm looking forward to sharing my continuing journey on a more consistent basis.  

"Let perseverance be your engine and hope your fuel."
 ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Book Review: Circle of the Moon by Faith Hunter

Circle of the Moon


Faith Hunter 

Witches, vampires, bloodlust, Soulwood, love, pain, life, reading the land, vampire trees, and Occam...sigh! 

Faith Hunter hits it out of the park again with her fourth installment in the Soulwood series. I read it once, way too quickly because I just had to know what happened. Then read it again, savoring, absorbing, melting into the story and experiencing the action along with Nell, Occam and the PsyLed team. Man against man as well as man against nature. Soulwood and the vampire tree are characters in their own right, with major roles just as complex as Nell or Occam or Rick. Circle of the Moon takes you on a whirlwind adventure with unexpected twist and turns which will keeping you reading long into the night.  Totally enjoyed it and going back on the shelf for a series reread. 

If you haven't read anything by Faith Hunter yet, check out her website and the first book in her Jane Yellowrock, Soulwood, or Rogue Mage series. I've read and reread them all.  She creates engaging, strong characters and action packed story lines that capture you from the moment you start reading and make you want to stay in their worlds for as long as possible. 

A to Z Poetry: Epiphany


Two things on your mind today.
One says pay attention to life at all times.
Eyes and ears and senses
 open wide. 

Another says it's all in your head, 
Rule nothing out and spill it all.
Fill up the page with your rage 
and your fear and the blame. 

A word becomes a sentence,
a paragraph, a page.  And
an idea is born with the 
change of a name. 

Fake people and places to 
perplex and harass.  
Cause a fuss, make them dream
Give them purpose, create a scene. 

Not true, says one character.
You give us life to live. 
None are you and you are all. 
We live through you and you through us.

 We breath, we eat, we love and
experience the profound to the silly. 
We delve into the deepest ocean of your mind 
and pull out what we find.

Tears and fears, imaginary and real.
Firsts and lasts, life and death,
Sweet and fierce, cold and soft.
You give us room to spread our wings.

You give us meaning,  
A face and a place. 
You give us space  
to be.