Book Ratings Are Tricky Things

Book ratings are tricky things. I think the thing which contributes the most to their trickiness is time.

How much I (or you, I’m betting) enjoy a particular book has a lot to do with when I read it. How old I am, what’s going on in my life, what book I read just before it. These are all things that alter how I feel about a book. For example, when I set up my Goodreads account however long ago, I couldn’t stand having an empty virtual bookshelf but I certainly wasn’t about to go through and add every book I could remember reading. My compromise was for me to add the books from the shelf nearest to me (or maybe the two nearest me, I don’t remember). Adding the books was easy enough, but rating them was a little trickier.

Between about the ages of 11 and 13 I read a lot of VC Andrews. A LOT. I devoured them. Now, if I were to read them today I suspect I would like them only slightly more than I did Twilight, which is to say, not very freaking much. But I’d loved them then, so how should I rate them?

I think, in the end, I gave them 5 stars because when I read them, I loved them.

Thus, I say again, book ratings are tricky things…and if you look at my Goodreads bookshelf and the stars I gave a particular book make you scratch your head because it seems out of character? Remember that time totally has to play a part.

Book reviews are also tricky things. I am not very good at writing them but there are loads of people who are. One of those people is Fate, the blogger behind The Fickle Hand of Fate. Fate agreed to review Shades of Green.

Rhonda’s strength definitely looks to be in the area of plotting, (Twists! Reversals! A totally unexpected ending, but still a square peg in a square hole!) and worldbuilding…

Fate didn’t love it unconditionally, however. You should read her complete review here. She makes a lot of very good points, which I should totally address in another blog entry because this one is getting a bit long 😉

Oh, and the picture? I took it. That flower is the result of some ‘blooming tea’. I like tea while I read…and um…yeah, that’s as strong as the connection gets to the content of the blog I’m afraid. It’s pretty though, no?

Coyote Con

Coyote Con is a virtual convention run by Drollerie Press. It will take place over the month of May and in addition to the usual con fare there is also a MayWriMo challenge which is quite a bit like NaNoLJers Writo de Mayo except, I presume, bigger. Registration opened up yesterday and is free. They are having a limited number of memberships though, so if you’re interested in attending you ought to register sooner rather than later.

I’d planned to register from the first time I heard about it, so you can imagine how pleased I was when Deena Fisher emailed and offered me a spot on one of the panels. Would I like to sit on the panel about ‘Zine Evolution. Um, lemmethinkaboutthat-YES. Yes, I really would. Thank you 🙂

So I am. I’m nervous. I’m not really an expert about ‘zines, but I’m more than happy to share what I -do- know based on my personal expirience. Hopefully that’s enough and I don’t end up looking like an idiot. If you’re going to Coyote Con and want to see if I manage to get through the panel without inserting my foot in my mouth, the ‘Zine Evolution panel is on May 29th at 5PM EST. In addition to yours truly, JA Howe, Karen Newman and Megan Arkenberg will be panelists.

It should be an adventure, and the flutter of nerves I feel in my stomach when I think about doing it tells me that doing this is a good thing.

Don’t Look Now…

You know my ‘if I go and start writing maybe a plot will just magically appear’ plan? Don’t look now, but it may have worked. I didn’t get any writing time yet today, but I think I can sneak some in tonight after meeting with my critique group.

Also, do you know what’s awesome? Finding people who want to pick up some of your responsibilities (this time at NaNoLJers) thus making them happy and freeing up more time for you to write.


I took this picture last night from my back porch. I’m quite fond of it so I thought I’d share.

Now I need to go write something for Round 4 of the Whittaker Prize. I have a character and um…a character…

Frankly I’m kinda hoping if I just start writing a plot will come to me.



What? It could happen.

April Newsletter

I’m sitting here listening to Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley (who make up Evelyn Evelyn) perform even though they are separated by an ocean courtesy of the giant ash cloud. It’s remarkable what technology makes possible, isn’t it? Someday perhaps it will inspire me to write something techno-y. In the meantime, I’ve found some inspiration in the deadlines and prompts offered via the Whittaker Prize. I included one of the stories I wrote for it in my newsletter, which yes, I did get done and sent out today.