Monday, October 22, 2012

Fall Reading

Fall is by far my favorite time of the year. Not just for all the standard reasons; fall colors, colder weather, wool sweaters, fall foods, pumpkins. Aside from all those wonderful reasons it is also the time I read certain books. Most of the year I’m not that specific in matching my reading matter with the season, but for autumn, I’m particular.

As a caveat, I must say that I can only read War and Peace when it snows. Needless to say, with Seattle’s limited exposure to snow, it will be a few more years before I finish that tome.

But back to fall.
I can still vividly remember the fall storms raging outside on the October nights I read Wuthering Heights when I was in my teens.

I also have very fond memories of reading Dragon Rider with my son one lovely, soggy October some years back. And only a few short years ago I spent October and November - it was a thick book - deeply ensconced in Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.

But this year I’m still looking for just the right book, that book that blends just the right ingredients into the story. While I search I’m keeping entertained with Terry Pratchett’s Feet of Clay, but it’s not quite meeting my autumnal reading requirements. Sigh.

The book I’m looking for has to be a little spooky, a little paranormal (I suppose that’s the right term), an exciting adventure, and must be well-written.

If you know of any such book, please let me know. It can be middle grade, YA or adult.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Ego

Ah, the Ego... a troublemaker since well before Freud ever decided to label him, or her, or it. One day when I was in need of a boost to my ego I chose to take a look at all the sites where my story “The Fountain Pen” is available. Such a lovely way to boost flagging spirits on a gloomy Seattle day - even if it wasn't raining for a change.

I was happily clicking along, my spirits rising with every new page-view, though I’m not entirely sure what the Japanese site was trying to tell me when I entered my story title in, what I sincerely hoped, was the search box. And then it happened... I went to the Dutch site, by then lulled into a falsely inflated sense of self-importance, and entered the name of my story.

A spinning beach ball of only few seconds in which I felt a slight twinge in the pit of my stomach, thoughts of ‘what if they didn’t carry it after all?’ trying to claw their way up my ego balloon. And then, glory of glories... there it was. My story. A warm glow was about to wash over me when it changed to a distinctly cold shower.

The reason for the sharp intake of breath, the abrupt sitting up in my chair and the nearly spilling of hot tea was the fact that the story had been attributed to a different author!

Oh sure, they got the last name right, in The Netherlands they can manage Hooghiemstra, but I got lumped in with another author with my last name! Suddenly my story had been written by Erna Hooghiemstra. I’m sure she’s a lovely person, but she did not write my story.

Once the first shock and outrage had worn off, I sat back and laughed. Served me right for seeking such cheap ego gratification when I should have been writing and submitting books and stories.

A quick set of emails back and forth to the Dutch site and a few weeks later, it’s all fixed. Phew.