Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Tag: Reading (page 1 of 2)

Gaming and Writing

Today was a pretty good day. I played MTG with some friends, wrote, and read a bit.  Also had a good chat with my sister. Yes, a good day all ’round.

Lots of Reading

I wrote a little, but spent most of the day reading. Some stuff by other authors, some of my old incomplete stuff with an eye to deciding what I may be able to reuse in newer projects. Or see what I may be able to push for progress on.

Difficult Day

My headache continued through today, and so did the queasy feeling it brought. I bowed out of MTG this evening because I’m afraid I might be contagious, though this reminds me of a much more severe seasonal allergy I had some years ago in North Carolina, when my family moved out to a rural location near an airstrip populated with lots of blooming weeds. Pretty flowers, but what they did to me was downright awful. What I’ve got now is like a much milder version of that illness.

Today started out difficult. When I tried to login to the site’s backend, I found myself blocked. When I finally made it into the backend, I discovered some random jerk had basically stolen my account. I’ve done what I can to patch it so they can’t affect anything, though I’m not sure how effective it is. Still working on workarounds for it all, since I can’t actually access the Gravatar account the jerk apparently used to change the username. The entry codes go to a phone I no longer have access to, and I’ve lost any backup codes I had, as well as the original login password. So, yeah, I’m pretty well screwed there.

I’ve managed to write a bit today, though. Not a lot, but enough. I’m bouncing from one project to another, all of the damn things gay romances, but, eh, I’ll go with it.

And I’ve been reading a favorite book by a favorite author. Need to get more of her stuff . . .

Long Day

I slept not a wink last night. Been writing all day. And reading. So it’s been a good, productive day, which pleases me.

A Better Day

Sunday was a better day. I was better rested, and had a fun time gaming. Wanted to write too, but that never actually happened, though I did read a bit.

A Day Full of Writing

I slept not a wink last night, so got up. Ended up spending most of the day writing on a new project. Wrote 10,743 words in all today. Also read a book. And saw my mom. Now I’m going to go tip myself into bed.

Rough Start

My Pillow!

I sleep on this thing.

Though my mood is generally up right now, I do occasionally experience spots of depression. That happened Friday morning, so though I woke naturally around 09:00, I didn’t actually find myself able to get out of bed and face the day until almost 10:00.

After the productive day I’d had yesterday, I wasn’t expecting much of myself. Days after I do a lot of writing tend to be ones I don’t do much writing at all. So I settled in to read a bit, finishing one book I’d started yesterday. I also read through the wips I’d worked on over Thursday.

Tried reading one particular book that I especially liked. It’s got a good story. Characterization is strong and consistent. Technically, it’s well-written (probably due to a good editor, I think). Unfortunately, execution is definitely First Book level. Not nearly as bad as I remember my own early books, but definitely not up to the standards I write at this point in my life. Still, I enjoyed the book—and its sequels in the series—enough to reread them all several times when I had them on my Nook. On my Kindle, however? I find myself skimming passages that get a little silly, and it’s not the ereader’s fault. However, I suspect if this desire to read goes on much longer, I’ll eventually be able to read the book without any problem because it really is an enjoyable book to read.

I chatted with Mom for a while. Not sure how long.

Also tried to coordinate D&D hosting with my friend Katie, but got no answer and no response. She hasn’t called back yet. Will try again over Saturday.

Poked another friend to see if he’d gotten an email I sent requesting a ride to groceries. Ross responded that he had and we arranged to go at 09:00 on Sunday.

And I did eventually write. Thursday, I bounced between two stories, but Friday I worked only on one of them. They’re gay romances. Actually enjoying writing them. Basically took a couple of favorite characters from a series of gay romances I’ve read and told my creative mind to spit out a couple of different versions of them. It looks like one of these is going to be about a novella, but the other one seems like it’ll go longer. I’ll be happy with whatever length these turn out to be, mostly because I feel so optimistic about finishing them. LOL

Trying a New Thing

Nosedrool

My D&D Character for Lynn’s D&D group, Nosedrool the Gnome Monk

I’ve been considering trying a new thing on my website for a while now. Daily posts. Little mini-updates. Mostly for myself, to make me accountable for doing things like actually doing something with my writing daily, sitting down to read a bit, getting to my crafts and things. We’ll see how this goes. Gonna start this with a post tonight.

Reading

I’ve been saying I want to read, but I never actually do so, and I didn’t do any today. Just figured I’d start this report off with a (mildly) humiliating fact about my day. I really have no excuses for not reading. I could have done some when I got home around 17:45 tonight.

Writing

Didn’t actually do any writing on my fiction, either. I honestly hadn’t planned on doing any today, so there’s that. Today’s slated writing task was Blog Post. Which I’m doing now. And hopefully daily from now on.

Gaming

Figured I’d include this since this is a major part of my life now. Most of these updates will be about D&D, I think, but I’ll probably also have stuff to say about other games I’m playing on occasion.

I’ve mentioned that I’m DMing for a group of friends and that I’m in one group with a bunch of friends I met at the pride center. Well, in the last week or so, I’ve joined another gaming group made up of people from both groups and a square dance friend who’s DMing.

We woke up in what was apparently a slavers’ camp. Fought our way free. And then the DM started referring to my character Nosedrool as “Nosebleed.” LOL

The Sunday group is, so far, composed of myself playing a Gnome Monk named Nosedrool, my friend Phil playing a Human Ranger named Ander, my one pride center friend Cayden playing a Halfling Cleric named Page, and Kit playing a Tiefling Bard named Eskel. Our group currently has two NPCs running with us, a Dragonborn Barbarian named Dval’lhk who was captive with us, and a Diviner-Drow youth named Malicene whose family was massacred by unknown baddies.

I’m still cracking up over how Lynn kept referring to my character as “Nosebleed.” Yeah, she’s a bit too short for doing that to the humans who captured us. LOL

(Nosedrool is in nonstandard clothing ’cause I hated what HeroForge had to offer for monks.)

Reading Goals

I used to be an avid reader. Literally any book had a chance of catching my attention. I checked out books from the library, bought books, borrowed books from friends, picked them up at flea markets and from FREE BOOKS bins and boxes. Recently, though? Especially the past several years? I haven’t been as avid for books. I don’t know what changed in my psyche, but I now spend more time reading my own work than I do reading others’ writing. This is something I don’t like.

Despite my lack of enthusiasm for books, I do want to read more. This is more a conscious decision than anything else. I’m in a place where I have to be conscious of my reading habits, since they aren’t natural to me any more.

So this is what I’ve done:

Right now, I’ve got a number of books I haven’t finished readin. My goal this year is to finish reading at least some of those books. There are eleven books I need to finish reading, but I’ve set my reading goal on FM to twelve. One book a month is doable, even for me.

My sister got me a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas this past year. I’ve already added some new books onto it, and I’ll be taking it with me wherever I go. These, I’ll start reading after I finish a few of those incomplete novels. Also, I’ve set up an Amazon Allowance of five dollars a month to use for getting more books. In addition, I’ve created a Goodreads account since it sort of “comes with” the Kindle, and I’ll be reviewing books I’ve read there. For those I’ve purchased at Amazon, I’ll be reviewing them there too—basically copy-pasting my review.

I also own a Nook, and it’s got a number of those books I’ve not finished reading on it. This year, I’m going to read those books, and review them on Barnes and Noble’s site, as well as on Goodreads.

Also, I’ve signed up for a Wattpad account. In part, this is to post some of my own writing, but it’s just as much to expand my reading. Since there was a smartphone app, I downloaded it to my phone. I’ll start reading the books I’ve selected on Wattpad after I’ve finished those I need to finish reading.

Lastly, there are a number of print books I need to read. They’ve been sitting on my bookshelves for years in some cases. I haven’t read them in part because my hands cramp and grow tired with holding print books these days. So I can read them, I must set them on a table or my desk—something that holds the book for me. Doing this requires me to bow my head over the book, which in turn causes a tension pull headache, where a muscle at the back of my skull tightens until I have difficulty moving my head. As a result, I don’t often read print books. I think I’ll be looking for them as ebooks and purchase them as I have the funds.

In this way, I’ll never be without a book at hand. So far, it’s worked this year. I’ve read more of others’ books than I did by this time last year.

Reading Habits

All writers who want to grow and improve in their skill should read. Many of the writers I know do, and those are the ones whose skill improves. I also read. But, with me, it fluctuates.

I go through cycles with my reading. While I enjoy doing it, my interests change. Not necessarily in what I read genre-wise, because I read widely, but in what I read project-wise.

Most of the time, especially when I’ve been in writing downswings this year, I’ve been spending a lot of time reading a variety of books written by other authors. Right now, I’ve got one I’m reading for edit notes for one of my friends in progress; there’s a fantasy book I’m rereading for pleasure; I’m also reading a book about the Bible (its origin and history); and I’m reading a steampunk fantasy that I checked out from the library. However, for the past week, or so, I haven’t touched any of these projects much (and I really must read a number of chapters o the book I’m going through for edit notes).

Recently—just the past week or so—I’ve been reading my own projects. This is in part because I’m really wanting to read something I’ve got in prework stages. Most of the reason why I’m going through all my own projects, though, is because I’m wanting a break from all the “extroverted” reading I’ve been doing.

I go through periods like this every so often. It’s a method which allows my creative mind to stew on things for my own projects, but it’s mostly a reaction to being too extroverted in my reading habits. This is something that developed as I recovered from being wrongly-medicated under the misdiagnosis of schizophrenia. I used to be almost-all extroverted in my reading, going through literally six to eight books a month, depending upon length. This was before the Navy and my breakdown. I checked out tons of books from the local library system, bought even more books, and, when I wasn’t writing, read to my heart’s content.

These days, my heart is content with quite a bit less such reading. I finish maybe two to three books by other people a month, frequently rereading things for various reasons—not just for pleasure, in other words. Often I’ll reread something to study how an author handled a particular scene or technical issue in their work to try and emulate in my own writing; most often, I’m looking for how an author handled character emotions.

But lately I’ve been reading more for pleasure. More books that are new to me, in genres outside of my current favorites. I’m rediscovering a love for mysteries, for one. The book about the Bible is one I’ve had for years and read way back when I first became Catholic; I’ve forgotten most of what it had to say, though, so I wanted to refresh my memory because if I stay with the Episcopal church, I plan on getting the version of the Bible it uses and reading through it so I’m familiar with the reasoning they’ve put into the Bible. I need to finish the steampunk mystery I checked out from the library before, I think, the 28th, because that’s when it must go back—I don’t have any more renewals on it.

Generally, I step away from my computer, tuck myself on my sofa, and read with my legs stretched out on the seat, pillows propping my knees and the book/device I’m reading from on my lap. I do this because I spend way too much time at my computer each day, and it’s a nice break. I put my headphones on, situate, if I wish, my home and cell phones nearby—a rarity for me because I generally ignore them when I’m reading (or actively putting words down)—and get lost in whatever book I’m reading.

I have learned not to put my own completed books on my ereader, though. If given an opportunity, I will read those instead of new books, so I don’t add them any more, not even for edit passes. This is another reason why I physically move away from the computer. Sometimes I read, usually from my ereader, while sitting at my desk, but not often. Generally, me at my desk is for online social time, writing, or reading my own works—mostly writing and socializing, to be honest.

One thing I never do is read in my bed here at home. It interferes with my sleep. I may do it if I’m stuck at the hospital overnight, but I’m usually so exhausted by whatever I’ve undergone there (typically some sort of surgical procedure), reading doesn’t affect me too much. But at home, my bedroom is mainly for sleeping, and I do little besides sleep at night, nap during the day, and spend a few odd moments dressing/undressing before/after bed and showers there. My bedroom is a sanctuary from the stresses of the real world, including reading, which, while not usually stressful, is definitely something I don’t want to associate with my bedroom.

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