Another blog post over morning coffee. If you’ve followed me long enough, you know this happens from time to time. It helps me to sort out some things so I can focus.
For those of you getting email updates: all of those backdated Audible reviews are finally posted. As a reminder, the comments on those are closed because they’re backdated. The settings on this site does that for anything over two weeks to keep hackers from attempting to access seemingly neglected back doors. *shrug* I’ve learned from experience, but as a reminder, I do accept email commentary, should anyone feel they’d like to reach out to me. There are probably around 40 or so Audible reviews that just aren’t worth posting. They’re so craptastic, I can’t believe I wrote them at all. At some point I think I’ll just revisit the books that I enjoyed and give a proper review. I’ve been looking for an excuse (as if I really need one) to revisit The Dresden Files and A Song of Ice and Fire… But for now, I’m more or less caught up on reviews, and I’ve got a whole bunch of audiobooks in the hopper, all lined up to keep my day job interesting. Thank the Maker for Audible!
This also means that now I can finally move forward on some of these other projects and continue to chip away at some of the research I’ve been doing.
If you’re following my Early Music Explorations project… my friends, the books I’ve been going through are not for the simple enthusiast. Some of this is brain-melting material. And that’s ok, I suppose, but I truly miss the good old days when I could assimilate almost anything I was interested in by osmosis. Of course I spent those days learning all of the truly important things in life, such as the ways of the Force, the interior layout and inner workings of the Enterprise, and all things monsters or dinosaurs. Music theory is difficult enough, which is frustrating, so of course I have to double down and deal with the esoteric side of it too. It does give me the opportunity to raise my game, but I’m just not a musicologist. Sometimes I wish I could be. I’m coming to the understanding that maybe I just don’t want to know how or why it works. Perhaps it’s enough this time for me to know that it does. It keeps the magic in the music that way. Maybe I’ve just crossed that line from knowledge into wisdom, at least on this one point: the wisdom to know that not all knowledge is mine to claim, even when it’s handed to me. I’m pretty sure I confronted that lesson back when I was trying to learn foreign languages too… Spanish, Italian, Klingon, mathematics… *raises eyebrow*
To offset this sort of thing, I’ve got some fun reads in print to help my mind back to some kind of equilibrium state. For someone who keeps a rather low profile on the interwebs, I somehow get found by interesting people, and some of those people are authors. And some of those authors think I’ll enjoy their books. It’s hard to say no to that. I like books.
Let me backtrack a bit. Once upon a time, I used to do such reviews for a sci-fi website, and somehow I ended up in the graces of Titan Publishing. I quickly learned two very important things. The first is I have problems saying no, especially when the content just screams my name and begs for my attention. Titan’s coordinator had me pegged and played me like a fiddle. I loved every moment of it. Even got some high profile author interviews out of it too, including the amazing Kim Newman, one of the most awesome fathers of Steampunk, James P. Blaylock, and a podcast interview with the incredible (and incredibly prolific) Max Allan Collins, who turned out to be as much fun to talk to as he is to read. Best interview ever. Ah, memories… I should maybe someday see if I can dig up those old interviews and reviews and see about posting them here someday, but it’s been a lot of years.
Back on point, the second thing I learned is I have problems keeping up because I’m a slow reader to begin with, with far too many irons in the fire on top of that. But a lot of time has passed, and I’m not associated with that now-defunct website anymore, so the only stacks of books are those I want to read for my own purposes.
Because my projects here are self-inflicted and move at the speed of “whenever I get to them” (which is pretty much the modus operandi of this website because I have no professional agenda whatsoever), it means I’m able to slip in some quality fun reads that I can share with all of you when I finish in the form of reviews. As I say, I’ve recently been approached by a handful of authors who have agreed to abide my rather limited social media footprint and have generously offered me their work. If you’re in that camp (or are about to be) thank you for all of this, and for your patience. Know that even with all the juggling I do on other things, if I agree to review your book, I give that book a higher priority. Not at the expense of things like swordfighting or Star Wars, you understand, but certainly higher than the vast majority of my projects here. Fair’s fair, after all, and I think it’s cruel to make anyone wait too long. I hate waiting. I assume most people do too. I know what it’s like. I’ve written a handful of smaller novels myself, only one of which I’ve passed around to a small circle of friends to read. I didn’t get much feedback, which was disheartening, but was grateful for what I finally did get back and found it invaluable. Honestly, none of it was ever meant for publication, so it’s ultimately not that big of a deal. But I know it is a big deal for those who are publishing. If that’s you, hat’s off. I appreciate your efforts, and I want to do right by your trust in me.
That said… thank the Force I’m not in marketing. I’d never survive. I just like to read.
Since review requests are apparently becoming a thing again, at some point in the very near future I need to make a new page on this site’s menu so people know what to expect from me before they ask instead of being blindsided by it after the fact. Might be kinder.
On the personal front, tomorrow is another visit to Scarborough Renaissance Festival. I was planning it for Sunday, but the chance for rain keeps increasing. This is my last opportunity this season, so I have to take it while I can. This works out because Sunday will be recovery. I can do some more blogging about SRF, and then I can just spend the day relaxing and reading. And maybe playing some Middle-Earth music on my new ocarina when I need to give my eyes a rest. I just bought it on a whim last week. There is no “why” to this, it just called to me. Remember when I bought the baby Celtic harp? It’s a lot like that. Story of my life.
Anyway, it’s shaping up to be my kind of weekend.
Have a good one, everyone, and even though I don’t say it often enough, thanks for reading.