No Post This Week

Sorry, everyone.

I’m on about Day 8 of a migraine (partly induced by weather, and partly lack of sleep) and have maxed out my good meds, so I’m having some trouble stringing words together right now.

Hopefully it’ll all pass by next week and I’ll have something interesting for you.

Have a Happy Easter weekend, if you celebrate it! (And a happy weekend if you don’t.)

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No Sleep + No Writing Makes Kaye Something Something

In case last week’s post (or absence of a post) didn’t tip you off, I’m not dealing well with the whole sleep-deprivation-via-puppy-thing. I’m cranky, and exhausted, and having real trouble stringing words together in a way that makes any sense.

It’s not even like she’s up all that much. I mean, compared to a baby or babies (yay twins!) one awakening a night should be a breeze.

Maybe it’s the time change. Or the concussion. Or maybe it’s that I’m 7 years older now than the last time I had my sleep disturbed this routinely.

Or maybe it’s that when I had babies I wasn’t also trying to do anything else, besides keep the kids alive.

Whatever it is, this sleep deprivation is killing my productivity. Words are not coming easily, and my concentration is awful.

I’m dealing with it the best I can. I’ve adjusted my writing goals from the usual 2,000 – 3,000 words/day to a mere 700. And I try to spend the days my brain is too tired to create new worlds, to do things I find easier, like critiquing and writing blog posts (on the weeks when I remember how calendars work, at least).

I know this stage won’t last forever. That I’ll back at full speed as soon as the pup settles into a pattern and I start getting regular sleep again.

But, man, for now, it’s a good thing she’s cute.

Oops! Wrong photo.

(Seriously, though, I think my dog is actually one of those stuffies that turns into a snarling monster when you squeeze it.)

Anyway, I’ll try to be better about remembering to post from now on.

Oops!

So sorry everyone. Between March Break, having a kid on her second week of illness, fighting a gastro bug myself, *and* dealing with a still-refuses-to-be-house-trained puppy, I totally spaced on writing a post this week.

(Honestly, I didn’t even realize Thursday had come and gone until a few minutes ago.)

Promise to post something next week. Hope you’re all having a better week than me.

 

TO BE CONTINUED – A Rant

The very first novel I wrote was (as should be expected) bad. It was slow, there was no character development for the MC, and – perhaps the most common criticism I got – it didn’t have a satisfying ending.

Publishing is uncertain. There’s no guarantee any book will get a sequel, so you can’t leave (major) questions unanswered.

Think of the first Harry Potter book. A young orphan finds out his parents were killed by an evil wizard who was trying to kill him, goes to magic school, and defeats a teacher who is working with that evil wizard. If the next book had never been written, that would have been a satisfying story (although it likely would not have developed into the huge franchise it is today).

Of course, there were threads left open for the sequels: why did the evil wizard try and kill Harry? How did baby Harry beat him? After losing at the end of the book, will the evil wizard try again to return? But, overall, the main points in the story got their closure: we found out who was trying to steal the stone, and he was defeated.

Can you imagine if the book had ended just as Harry arrived in stone’s final hiding place? If the last line of book one had been, “There was already someone there – but it wasn’t Snape. It wasn’t even Voldemort.” TO BE CONTINUED…

Would you have read any further?

And yet…

Of the 23 books I’ve read this year, 2 have ended like this.

Both books were by established, well-known authors* (although these were the first books of theirs that I’ve read). Both were well-written, engaging, beyond excellent books…until their TO BE CONTINUED endings.

I suppose I can see why the authors and publishers have done this. Since the authors have such good track records, they can assume the books will sell, so the sequels will come. And they probably even assume that readers waiting anxiously for the next books will be more likely to go check out the authors’ other works while they wait.

But.

Leaving me on a cliffhanger did not make me excited for more. In fact, it did the exact opposite. I felt like I had just wasted hours of my life. I was so frustrated by the non-ending of the first book, the fantasy, that I plan to actively avoid all books by that author.

Let’s face it, I’m impatient, and I have a bad memory. By the time the next books come out in 2019**, I’m not going to remember the nuances of the stories enough to read the sequels. All I will remember is the disappointment and anger the books left me with. If the books had been twice as long (yes, even the twenty-plus-hour-long fantasy), but ended satisfactorily,  I would have been fine.

Maybe part of it is the fact that both books were audiobooks – I don’t follow along with the tracking, so I had no idea how close the endings were until the narrator announced the dreaded: TO BE CONTINUED.

All I know is that these books left me with a bitter taste in my mouth, and a sense of apprehension about every audiobook I’ve listened to after (maybe that’s why the betrayal of the second book didn’t hit me quite as hard as the first, because the first had already scarred me? But still, who ends a mystery novel on a cliffhanger?)

I NEED CLOSURE, PEOPLE!!!

Ahem. In conclusion, TO BE CONTINUED endings suck, especially when they come without warning and you have to wait 2-4 years (or more?) to find out what happens/whodunnit.

As you were.

*I’m not going to name either the authors or the books, because this is an industry I have to work in. All I will say is that one was a Fantasy and one was a Contemporary Mystery (seriously, who writes a mystery with a TBC ending???).

**And that’s assuming the stories wrap up in 2019. Some research revealed the mystery is slated as a trilogy, which means no closure until 2021, and I’m not sure how many books the fantasy is scheduled to include. 

Top 10 Things Audiobooks Make Better

The more audiobooks I listen to, the more I think I may have been a little harsh on them in my earlier post.

Don’t get me wrong, I still miss actually getting to see the words in print, but since my concussion makes that difficult, I need to look on the bright side. So, I give you, my Top 10 Things Audiobooks Make Better:

  1. Housetraining a puppy – the first two days of standing outside for up to an hour at a time waiting for our new pup to do her business were miserable. Until I remembered to bring my audiobook out with me. Now the time just flies by. (If only the snow would go away too, it’d be downright enjoyable.)
  2. Laundry – I *hate* sorting laundry, but it’s a much more interesting chore when my brain is absorbed in a fictional world.
  3. Making Dinner – while I love baking, most nights making dinner is definitely a chore. Less so, when audiobooks are involved.
  4. Picking up the Kids from School – I turn off the recording when they come out, but audiobooks help entertain me during the walk and the wait.
  5. Bus Rides – even before my concussion I couldn’t read in a moving vehicle. Now I can.
  6. Waiting Rooms – the doctor is running late? No problem.
  7. Cleaning Bathrooms – once again, distraction is the key to enjoying this awful chore.
  8. Dishes – see above.
  9. Sick Days (including migraines) – so long as I can stay awake and stand the noise of the reader, audiobooks are a relaxing way to entertain myself without leaving the couch or bed.
  10. Basically, my whole life? – I mean, if you add up the other 9, that’s pretty much everything except writing and hanging out with my family.

 

As you can tell from above, I’ve had a lot of time to listen to audiobooks recently, so my February reading stats are pretty impressive (if I do say so myself).

  • YA Contemporary (11)
  • YA Fantasy (1)
  • YA Historical Fiction (1)
  • YA Short Story Anthology (1)

February Total: 14

Year to date: 22