The Value of Reading

You may have noticed in the right hand column that I’m currently reading Passage by Connie Willis.

It’s a thick book, over 700 pages, and it’s hard to put into words my thoughts on how this book started. The first 300 pages was a series of events that repeated themselves over and over again. Now, normally I would have given up on a book that did this because I find it boring but there’s no way I can say this book is boring. I kept reading because it grabbed my interest. I won’t give reasons why because that would spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read the book yet, but there are definite reasons for why I continued to read on.

Then…I remember saying to myself that I was beginning to grow tired of the repetition and if nothing happens … and soon … then I’d have to give up. The next chapter changed roads, and there’s no way I could put the book down after that. No way!

Each chapter drew me further into the web. Each chapter ended at a crucial part of the story, making me turn the page and continue to read. When I did put the book down, I couldn’t stop thinking about where I was up to and what might happen next. This book has me captivated 100%.

I’m currently around page 580. Last night I thought I’d read a chapter before going to bed but I couldn’t stop, and then something happened that caught me completely off guard and to put the book down after that was unthinkable. It was almost 2am when I *had* to put the book down and go to sleep – or risk having a migraine today. I couldn’t sleep because the images wouldn’t leave me alone. This morning, I got up early and continued reading.

This is truly a remarkable book and as an author I would be proud to have my own writing affect a person to the degree Passage has affected me. There are still quite a few pages to go before I reach the end and I have no idea where it’s going to end up but I’m going to enjoy the journey – I know that for a fact.

If you haven’t read the book…do so! The subject matter is morbid – near death experiences – but the storyline and characters are fantastic. Connie Willis must be a great writer because of the two books I’ve read by her, both have had me wanting more.

Rewrite: Chapter 2

Chapter 2 was also an easy chapter to edit. This is good because it means I’ve got something done and that will inspire me on. This second chapter is basically setting up my fantasy world and introducing the characters.

There is one section that I need to redo, but I have to look up my Judo research and find something that will be impressive but won’t allow my main character to win. Should be interesting, and I’ll do that tomorrow. (It’s Australia Day, so I’ve got the day off work.)

Today’s wordcount: 3554

A Discovery!

I just found out that the verification code is working. I had the settings for comments sending me notification when a comment comes in, but I hadly ever check that particular email address and have been coming directly here to check the comments in moderation.

Today, I thought I should check that email address and there were nearly 700 notifications about comments – and that was from yesterday alone! Those comments have not been coming here though, which means I’ve won the battle and the war.

I intend to turn off the notification thingy now. I don’t need it but I’m so glad that I now know for sure that the code is working. Yoohoo!

Rewrite: Chapter 1

I’ve started! Finally!

Chapter 1 was quite easy to edit and didn’t need to be rewritten. Only some of the information had to be adjusted, and that was mainly to do with my main character’s change of personality. I always worry about the opening line because I think it needs to grab the reader straight away.

This is the opening sentence. What do you think?

β€œIt’s a six minute walk, what can possibly go wrong?” Nikki said, pushing her best friend closer to the car.

Today’s wordcount: 1665

A talk by Garth Nix

Today, I went into Sydney and listened to Garth Nix talk about his books and more importantly his writing. He said nothing that I didn’t already know, but it was good to listen to someone who has been through what I’m going through now.

He wrote for 15 years before he got published, and as I watched him talking I could see that he was nervous and that he was just a normal person who happened to find success. I daydreamed about the time I might get to do a book signing – and I know that, apart from the actual talking in public, I would dread reading from one of my books (because my voice would drone on and on…) and I’d fear the question time.

There wasn’t a huge gathering, and my friend and I felt like over-aged teeny boppers (we had a giggle about that), but it was an interesting hour and we did get our books signed.

Garth said that stories can come from anything and everywhere, the only thing holding you back is your own imagination. He demonstrated this by telling a story that was true but it was laced with untruth. I could tell the untrue parts, but it’s all in the telling because he made it sound believable – and that is the key to writing fantasy.

On another note. A dear friend of mine, Lermy, said the following in an email:

I’ve always been of a mind that you can only write so many words every day. What form they come in doesn’t matter – non-fiction or fiction, emails, forum posts – we all have our limit and once we’ve reached it for the day we’re written out.

I agree with this statement. It makes perfect sense and I think we all need to save the energy we use on emails and forum posts etc for our actual writing. And now, having agreed to that statement, I’m going to put it into practice and go start my rewrite. πŸ™‚

Official Judo Information

This is the Official Judo Information Site at and since I’m research Judo, I thought I should add the links here so that I can find them again later when I need them.

This page includes some of the techniques, the rankings for juniors and seniors and some interesting history.

My character must sound like she knows what’s she’s talking about. This page deals especially in self defense which is one of the reasons my character enrolled into the course.

Moving to another location

No, I’m not shifting my webspace again. I’ll be at this location for, at least, the rest of this year but I’ve got this web address for three years so…I’m going no where.

I’ve been complaining about the internet and how much of a distraction it can be. Well, yesterday afternoon I moved all my files onto the kitchen table and finished off my planning…in long hand! Actually, it was good. I write heaps slower than I type which means my brain has time to sort out where its at as I write. I should do it more often.

I completed the history, I adjusted my other notes (for the final time), I wrote a rough story plan then made up a chapter plan from it, I calculated a timeline, a key points list and, finally, a distance list. No great planner is set unless she has everything printed out and neatly placed in a folder, so I did that too.

So…all planning is now 100% complete and writing can commence as soon as I do some research on judo. I’ve made my main character a judo expert and I don’t know the first thing about judo. How crazy is that? I do insist on making life difficult, don’t I?