Expanding My Horizons

The TBR pile. There are still something like 150 to-be-read books on my bookshelves. I have managed to knock a few off (off the list, I mean, not off the shelves) - after A Kiss Gone Bad, I read The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes, Pride and Prejudice and The Help - but by way of Christmas presents from my mother the numbers haven't changed much (we've added Dragonfly in Amber and Flipped Out to the stack).

Sigh. I do love to read.

The Classics. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love classical music. So the following shouldn't come as a surprise to any of you. Cue segue ...

My lovely and talented sister-from-another-mister and critique partner J.T. Ellison teamed up with equally lovely and talented authors Erica Spindler and Alex Kava to create a unique project - a novella in 3 parts, with each writer's protagonist working to bring down the same serial killer. It's called Slices of Night and is available in ebook format (I recommend the Nook version from Barnes and Noble). At its release on Christmas Eve it was available at a discount, and in order to read it I downloaded the Nook for PC reader. I love this thing. As avid a book (a hold it in your hands, read it over and over until it falls apart, made of actual paper book) lover as I am, having access to thousands of books at the click of a mouse is kinda appealing. With my download, I received 5 free ebooks, one of which was Pride and Prejudice - which, of course, I had just finished reading in the above-mentioned handheld form. Another was Bram Stoker's Dracula.

[Insert maniacal laughter here, accompanied by rubbing together of hands and gleeful skipping about the room.] With one Jane Austen under my belt and Stoker in my grasp, I decided to launch myself onto a classics reading binge. And that's the part that shouldn't surprise you.

Of course, this means the TBR pile has grown exponentially in the time it took me to type out this paragraph.

I have several "collections" heretofore mentioned (if not on this blog, then somewhere) of some of the best-known and best-loved stories of classic literature: John Steinbeck, Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson. I have the complete works of Shakespeare, as well as the celebrated cases of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I'm thinking when I finish reading Dracula that The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a worthy applicant for my attention.

Renovations. In the meantime, the study makeover project I started before Thanksgiving is pretty much complete, and in my new cozy personal space I'm hard at work on the next manuscript. The storyboard is perched on an easel next to my writing desk, and the layout is coming together. I'm spending today (a rare day off alone) doing the kinds of things we writers do ... shaking off the day-job dust and getting back on track. I am inspired by the brilliance of my comrades-in-arms; this past weekend I ran a quick copyedit on JT's latest manuscript (it's amazing), and this morning I read this post about working hard at a job you love.

So here I am again, working hard.

Happy New Year to all, and to all a good read.

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