Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tea & Read: Fear No Evil

Title: Fear No Evil
Author: Robin Caroll
Rating: One Cup of Tea

This book introduced me to Robin Caroll books, even though she has authored more than twelve books. Fear No Evil is the second book in Caroll’s Evil series.

With his father in a nursing home and his mother needing support, former Great Smoky Mountains park ranger Lincoln Vailes moves to the bayou town of Eternal Springs, Louisiana, to become a police officer. Recent college graduate and eager social worker Jade Laurent has also moved there to try and right the wrongs of an abusive past. But someone is running her car off the road and pointing guns in her direction. As Lincoln investigates her case, he uncovers ties to big-city gang warfare up north that appears to be making its evil way down south.

Books like this are hard to review. It was neither great nor horrible. It had equal parts of things I like and things I didn’t. I liked Lincoln and Jade’s characters. Even thought Lincoln was a little bit stereotypical with is good cop demeanor and his view on God, I have a big soft spot in my heart for law enforcement. I also enjoyed Jade’s quirky habits. I also loved the effect she had on the other characters in the book.

The biggest problem I had with this book was the plot. With the characters as likable as they were, they didn’t seem to fit the storyline. Like something else should be happening to them. At a few places I had to will myself to suspend my disbelief and accept them in their setting. I had a difficult time keeping myself engaged in the events of the plot. There were a couple of places of interesting head-hopping (POV changes) that left me confused.

Another issue I had with this book is the antagonist. I had figured out who it was before I’d read half of the book. Once I figured out who the villain was, all the suspense was gone. Certain points of the plot were very predictable and at times cliché, which was a shame because I liked the characters.

I would read another one of Caroll’s books (I’m not sure but I think I already own Deliver Us From Evil).  Fear No Evil  wasn’t bad enough to keep my from reading another one of her books.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

WIP-itis, Part Deux and Personal Best

Sometimes you’re words come back to haunt you.

So I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this year. I participated in 2007-2009 and took 2010 off. I plotted my novel last month and started writing first thing in the morning on November 1st. But by the 10th, my drive had fizzled. The story wasn’t interesting to me, and knew that was a big problem. If my novel doesn’t interest me, then I know it won’t interest anyone else.

I knew the story was dragging, but I didn’t want to give up on it. I’d put a month’s worth of research into this thing. My heart, however, wasn’t in it. There were days were I didn’t write at all. My novel was the Titanic and going down.

Then something happened. I got an idea just as I was falling asleep one night. It was just a flash of a scene. It was not an idea to fix my current novel, but a fresh new idea. Now, every writer knows that new ideas will come while you’re working on your current WIP, but you’re supposed to take notes on it and finish the one you’re working on.

But I couldn’t. I couldn’t let the new idea go. And each day, more and more of the pieces fell into place. The lead character was so intriguing and funny to me that I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I still wasn’t willing to start all over.

Then one day I was talking to my friend Linda about my dilemma. Linda is my ideal “audience” and has been reading and editing my work for years. She is the exact target demographic for my writing. I told her about the new story idea and lamented that I didn’t love the one I was working. I told her that I didn’t know what to do.
She said, “I think you already have your answer. WIP-itis.”

Talk about a sucker punch.

You see my “target audience” Linda reads my blog. And she read my previous blog post about the cure for WIP-itis in my knitting. The cure is to love the project I’m working on. She used my words against me…but that so like Linda. So I chucked the previous novel and started over. Well, not completely over. I used the same setting and time period as the previous one, so at least all my research wasn’t a waste.

I started over. I spent several hours pouring out the scenes that already filled my head. And guess what? I hit a personal best record for number of words in one day. I wrote 10,364 words! I could have written more by my shoulder and thumb started to ache and I had to quit.

So I can testify that the cure to WIP-itis is love. I love the new storyline and hope to put down another 5,000 words today (I got them in my head. I just have to write them down). And it doesn’t even matter if anybody else ever reads this story. I am enjoying writing it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

My Life in Stitches: The Cure to WIP-itis

I try not to have more than one knitting project going at once. There are times that I have two projects going at once, but it’s for a good cause (see previous post) but not often. I also don’t have hibernating projects. If I don’t like them, I rip them out. But I think I figured out why. I think I’ve discovered the cure for WIP-itis.

First, let me give you some more information about WIP-itis (Work-in-Progress-itis). It’s a debilitating condition that causes you to have more than three knitting projects going at once. These projects sit for months, and sometimes years, untouched. It occupies spare needles everywhere and causes great distress when unfinished project are spotted around the house. It afflicts both new and seasoned knitters all over the world.

My current love affair. Jared Flood's
Daybreak made with Spud and Chloe,
color 7803 (brown) and Sweet
Georgia's Autumn Flame.
Now that you know what it is, are you ready for the remedy?

The cure to WIP-itis is love.

The Bible says that love covers a multitude of sins, but it also cures WIP-itis. When you love your WIP and everything about it, you won’t start another one. It’s the same principal with marriage. No other man can catch my eye because I’m completely in love with my husband. And for me, I am completely in love with each of my knitting projects, and if I'm not, I rip it out and make something I love.

And you have to love everything about the WIP, the yarn, the pattern, and the needles.  I don’t buy yarn unless I love it. If I just like it, then it will just sit in the bin. But if I love it, it will hold my attention through the entire project.  And I love the patterns I make. If I just like them and then I come across something I love, I ditch finish the first one. And I'm not talking about infatuation. I talking about full-blown-puppy-eyed-I-am-comitted-to-you-for-the-rest-of-project-till-blocking-do-us-part love.

Now I realize that this cure might only work for people like me, but it’s worth a try. Love your WIPs. 
*Love cures writing WIP-itis. If you don't love your novel, you won't finish it.