Author Archives: Keenan

Do I have writer’s block?

So, I wrote myself into a corner and can’t get out.

The story is stuck.

My little band of adventurers has once again failed to locate Agrimon, who is never where he’s supposed to be. But I feel that they’ve been chasing after him for far too long now. Something else needs to happen. I need CONFLICT!

But I have conflict, don’t I? After all, they DID get attacked once on the way to some city!

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What do people read on their commute?

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My recent obsession is to spy on other people’s reading habits on the commuter train. On my way to work I first take a bus, then a tram, and then another bus. My way home is timed so that I can catch an express train, ond only have to take one bus afterwards.

Despite the amount of cellphones, tablets and ebook readers we see every day, I constantly notice how many people still read actual books on the commute. And not just small pocket books. Some carry big, large tomes around with them.

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The Moon Princess

Today I decided to write a fairytale that’s been on my mind for a while.

Fragments of this tale are from a story I heard as a child, and have stayed with me for many years. However, as much as I tried I could not find the original story, nor could I remember how the bulk of it went. All that remained in my memory was the impression the moon princess made on me, more a fleeting feeling than anything else.

So I decided to try and re-tell it with a new story.

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Project Bible

Recently I came across a discussion about writer’s tools and tricks that they use for writing. Among the slew of dictionaries and grammarly links, one author said that she has a “book bible” – a notebook or folder where all her notes about her current project are kept.

I write using Scrivener, and it serves pretty much the same purpose digitally. You can keep notes, character sheets, maps, images and all sorts of documents organised within a writing project, alongside the actual manuscript.

But I liked the idea of having an actual physical copy, too.

I might make myself a folder and see if I actually accumulate enough hardcopy stuff to call it my project bible. Beats handwritten notes in trouser pockets!

The pitfalls of bad research…

In my current story there was a country called Kelvar.

It is covered in dense forests and has a population of tree-dwelling people who have produced some of the most skilled druids on the continent.

Last week a friend of my mother saw a preliminary map of said continent lying on the table, read the word “Kelvar” and exclaimed: “You’re a Tolkien fan, aren’t you!”

Uhm, yes, I thought, I like Tolkien, but I would not consider myself a hardcore fan who can count off all the character names down to the horses. “Why?” I asked.

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BookCrossing or BookMooching, anyone?

I have too many books.

I have whole walls covered with floor-to-ceiling shelving filled with books. I have stacks of books occupying my desk, side-tables, dressers, windowsills, kitchen counters and sideboard. There are books on my washing machine and on the floor.

I need to get rid of some of these!

However, I hate having to put them in the recycling bins. Firstly, I paid money for them. Secondly, someone else might want them. And I hate the whole notion that books are ‘rubbish’.

So I tried to come up with a few ways to reduce my book piles responsibly.

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SFF Author Bingo

I was bored the other day, and was looking for some new things to read.

My bookclub seems to be revolving around the same handful of books at the moment, and I wanted some fresh inspriation, so I played author bingo.

This was my card:

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My TBR pile is getting out of hand

A while ago I decided my bookshelves need re-organizing. They used to be more or less in order (separate shelves for mystery, fantasy, gardening, and so on), but since the last time I moved house a lot of books have just been shoved into random shelves. SciFi next to non-fiction, French next to English, Aaronovitch next to Young – you get the picture.

As I pushed books around the shelves, I came across a paperback I had bought a while ago but hadn’t gotten round to read. And then another one. And another one. Turns out I’m pretty much good for the rest of the year when it comes to reading material. After scouring my entire house for books I have not yet read, this is my current To-Be-Read pile:

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Malazan

I’m reading Gardens of the Moon, the first book in the Malazan series, as a group read with my book club on goodreads.com.

This is the first time I’m participating in a group reading, and it’s definitely different from reading on my own. I read differently, more observant. After the first few chapters I got up and got myself some paper and a pen to scribble down notes and questions to discuss with my fellow readers. And their input during the discussion after the sections was very interesting. Details that completely escaped me during reading, and other things that I noticed but they didn’t – it’s a pretty cool process.

I did not like the first part of the book much (Pale), and it was a bit of a slog. But in the second part (Darujhistan) it picked up for me and got interesting.

Translations

I’ve been translating fairytales lately.

Some went well, others not so much – when I choose stories to translate, I don’t always take into account how well they work in another language, or, as was the case here, in another cultural environment.

It’s a learning curve, but I’m having fun 🙂