It's amazing how much reading gets down when you go on a news diet and unplug from the internet. I decided at the beginning of the year to declare 2021 the year of Nora. After I organized and reorganized my shelves, bringing Nora and her alter ego J.D. Robb's books front and center, I began by rereading the Key trilogy, then dove into her Ireland Trilogies Gallaghers of Ardmore and Born in. What is it about Robert's books? Her writing, the unique characters, the world building, and stories all work together to entertain and pull me in. Every time I sit down to study her writing, to help improve my own, I get drawn in, and forget about the world at large. Every time I read one of her stories, I get something new out of it. Which is what I hope to do with my story writing some day. Make the reader forget about the world and dive into the story world. Now I just need to remind myself to slow down and make note of the parts of the story that stand out and why.
Amidst the rereads, I recently finished Amanda Quick's, (Aka Jayne Ann Krentz) Second Sight, #1 in her Arcane Society series which spans from the Victoria era to the future. Second Sight is set in the Victoria Era and introduces us to Gabriel Jones and how the Arcane Society came about. Venetia, a female photographer with arcane gifts of her own, is hired to take pictures of artifacts Gabriel and the society have collected over the years. While at his home, enemies arrive and Gabriel sends Venetia away for her safety. Thinking he was killed in the attack, she passes herself off as Mrs. Jones to help her photography business, but little does she realize he's still alive and has now put herself in the cross hairs of his enemies. Victorian era culture, psychic elements, and the two characters themselves create a delightful as well as suspenseful story of murder, mystery, and romance.
I've set aside Sharon Kay Penman's When Christ and Her Saints Slept as well as Harry Potter to finish later in the year in order to concentrate on our 52 Books read of The Count of Monte Cristo. I'm ready to jump in with both feet and get absorbed by the story. I'm come to the conclusion that splitting my time on more than one physical and one ebook at a time is not altogether wise. They deserve my undivided attention.
However, all this reading, cut into my writing time, and I didn't accomplish as much as I hoped this month. But I did need to wean myself from the time I've been wasting, checking the news and facebook and all the other things I let distract me on the internet in order to give my characters the time and attention they need. So the beginning of February, plus Lent coming up, serves as a reset and a fresh start to concentrate on my current work in progress.