I finally had time to read since I left on my research trip. I found a copy of Decision At Doona (Science Fiction, 245 pages) by Anne McCaffrey and I thought it was a perfect book for my current situation. I was absolutely amazed that this book was written in 1969. Oddly, the book I picked up appears to actually *be* the 1969 book and it’s in pretty good condition, too.
I picked this particular book up because the Crystal Singer Trilogy is my one, single deserted island book. Also, Decision At Doona looked like a small book and I was looking for something I could read while accomplishing other tasks. It fit nicely into my pocket and I finished it the day after I started it. Of course, I also neglected some of the things I should have been doing so that I could read the book, but that’s what us writely types do from time to time.
The thing I like about science fiction stories is that if they are truly done well, it’s not just a made-up story about some people dealing with life on another planet. It’s a story about the human condition. It’s about building bridges between cultures to try and learn how to work together for common goals. I think this is a story that really reaches me here because I’m sharing it with one of my non-American friends. After I finished the story, I then let someone from the most opposite culture as mine read the book. He is working on his Enlgish and I thought this story was a great way to introduce him to science fiction. He says his culture doesn’t really have any science fiction books so this is completely new for him. It’s interesting to see his take on all of this, but he’s reading at a very high level and I’m enjoying the brief conversations we’re able to have about this book. He agrees with me that the whole idea behind the book so far is about building bridges. That’s such a symbolic term and idea that I’m really glad I picked this book up. If more people tried to work together for a common goal, to not make their way the only way, then I think humanity as a whole would be a lot better off.
I’m hoping I’ll get caught up enough with things soon so that I will be able to get more writing and revisions done. I think I’m about to the point where I can look at my novel with fresh eyes. I also think that I’ll be renaming Accept Fire and Blood to something like Affinity. I don’t quite know for sure yet, but I like Affinity much better. I think it fits the plot and storyline a little bit more clearly.
Meanwhile, I continue to put huge amounts of words on the page here. I do think my writing style has improved because I now actively avoid all passive everything. I can’t really tell you exactly how or what this learning process entails, but I can tell you that it takes about 9 hours of my night, all night, every night, to put my 1200 to 1500 words on the page per night. I guess the moral of the story here is that it doesn’t really matter what kind of words you’re putting on the page, so long as you’re doing it every single day. So long as you continue to practice your craft and learn new skills, even if you can’t write about flesh-eating demons and magical kanimas, that every word on the page matters.
It doesn’t matter what you write. Tell a story. Tell a thousand stories every night. And don’t forget to read.