Tag Archives: Grisha

3 reasons I love my library

Libraries are a hot topic in the UK at the moment, with the government and councils seeming to view them as pointless moneypits which can easily be dispensed with without any derogation to life or culture. I’m not going to add anything dramatic to the debate, but I wanted to articulate why libraries full of books are important to me.

For books I want to read

I discovered Leigh Bardugo recently. I bought Six of Crows after reading the first few pages in Waterstones, and it is utterly superb (check out my review if you want to know why I think so). I then bought Shadow and Bone, the first of the grisha trilogy (same author, same world, different story and characters) and consumed it with equal haste and delight.

Leigh Bardugo's Grisha trilogy
Just ask for books and your library will get them for you. Magic!

Finances then drew me to a bit of a stop, but I requested Seige and Storm and Ruin and Rising from the library and I’m halfway through Seige and Storm already.

Without a library, I’d be broke or bereft.

For books I might want to read

When I bought Six of Crows I also scanned the blurb and first few pages of Snow Like Ashes on the promotions table in Waterstones. It had caused quite a buzz on my twitter stream, and I liked the sound of it. But I wasn’t quite convinced in the bookshop and Six of Crows won the day.

So when I saw Snow Like Ashes in the library, I snapped it up … only to set it down again after reading a couple of chapters. Not for me, I’m afraid (too much backstory for my taste).

I’ve just picked up The Sin Eater’s Daughter for very similar reasons. I like the sound of it (and I’ll review it as it’s shortlisted for the YA Book Prize), but I’m not convinced enough to buy it and keep it forever.

Read without risk - I might like this, I might not...
Read without risk – I might like this, I might not…

For books I have no idea I want to read (but I do!)

I have found so many treasures in my local library. Browsing in the “just returned” section has brought books to my attention that I would never have read otherwise. Charlaine Harris’s “Grave” series was one of those finds. It’s completely out of my genre because I don’t read crime (ordinarily) – but I liked the cover, picked it up, enjoyed the first few pages, took it home and fell in love.

I’ve checked it out of the library about half a dozen times, so with Christmas book tokens this year I finally bought my own copy, and it’s now on my (overflowing) “keeper” shelves.

A cool premise, and never mind the crime, it's the relationships that keep me reading.
A cool premise, and never mind the crime, it’s the relationships that keep me reading.

There are so many other happy discoveries made through my library it would be worth my taxes just for that.

So that’s why I love my local library – do you love yours? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments.

Is this writer’s block?

I don’t hold with the concept of writer’s block. There isn’t a special flu that only writers get which stops us writing. If you’re a writer, you write and (in my view) that’s an end to it. There are good days and bad days, but saying you have writer’s block is akin to getting a note from your mum to excuse you from the work that needs to be done, and that’s simply not happening.

So I don’t have writer’s block, I’m just finding my present project a pain in the backside to write.

There is no try

I’m trying to write (and as I put that, Yoda is on my shoulder telling me, ‘there is no try, there is do or do not’), so I am writing a short story as bonus content for readers of my next novel (out in June – OMG, that’s starting to feel a bit close!). I only need 5k words or so, which should be a doddle compared to 70k+ in the novel.

So many words, so little plot

Except that it’s the entire opposite of a doddle. I’ve got plenty of words, just not a lot of story. I’ve just had a scrape around my PC and found that the different versions of different stories I’ve started and abandoned amount to – oh my giddy aunt – 18,310. Maybe I should have written a sequel, instead.

A blank, brick wall
Roughly: the contents of my imagination right now.

I keep persevering, since that’s my default response to any setback, but I can’t deny that the odd moment of despair is swimming over me (June – did I mention?!). I’ve tried ignoring it and working on the garden instead (you should see my beautiful strawberry patch!), and I’ve tried bribing myself with chocolate, or staring at a blank screen while the timer ticks along in the background, forcing myself to scribble down something. But still no (useable) story.

New story, new format

My last ditch attempt (inspired by Shadow and Bone, thanks, Leigh Bardugo!) is to try a different format. Maybe (definitely) I’m bored of all my first person linear narratives. I’ll shake things up and try a letter or a diary for a change. I just really, really hope that’ll get the story flowing.

Otherwise, my bonus content might just be a note from my mum!