What Would You Do?

No, I’m not talking about the ABC program. Although, now that I think about it, the premise of the program sort of fits here. We’re all living a scenario that most of us would never have considered trying to write six months ago. A “pandemic” that really isn’t. (Yes, I know. Covid-19 is real and people have died. But it isn’t the doomsday scenario politicians have tried to paint it as.) A death toll that is easily manipulated. And no zombies or EMP to destroy our infrastructure. Still, we are being told by many in government and most in the media that we should huddle in our homes, cutting ourselves off from the rest of humanity. It has all the makings of a farce, perhaps a tragic one. And it’s not something any publisher would have bought a year ago.

It is interesting reading some of the pro-traditional publishing sources as they report on how the lock-down has impacted their sales. We’ve seen the increase in the sale of e-books. Of course, that’s come with the same poo-pooing of ebooks as a viable form of reading material. We’ve seen the increase in online sales even as trad publishing and the major brick and mortar stores say things really aren’t as they seem.

This morning, I read an article in Publisher’s Weekly about how half a dozen indie publishers were navigating the Covid business stream. I’ll admit, my first thought as I read the article was to wonder how hard they had to look to find six publishers who’d say what they wanted. I’m not going to link back to the article because, well, it’s PW and the bias is there.

Basically, it was the same ole same ole with a twist. Several of the publishers reported they’d seen a decline in fiction sales. What the article didn’t tell us is what sort of fiction these publishers normally sell. I could see a decline in certain fiction (coff:award winning: coff) but that’s about it. After all, we’re in lock down and people are looking for escape, even if only through a book. In other words, through fiction.

I know my reading has increased lately. Of course, so has my writing. This is the start of the second week of the month and I’ve read six books so far and started on a seventh. This is on top of writing six to eight hours a day minimum, with the exception of yesterday. (That was my day to play German hausfrau and wash crystal, rearrange shelves, etc.).

Of the six books, five were fiction. The other was non-fiction and my go-to when I want to read something a bit heavier–Thomas Sowell.

If you go to Amazon and do a kindle search for best sellers, you’ll se a mix of fiction and non-fiction. Of course, if you ask me, a lot of the so-called non-fiction is actually fiction, repleat with anonymous sources and biased writing that takes it from fact into fantasy. But that’s just me.

So, what are you reading right now? With us entering month whatever the hell it is of the lockdown, are you reading more fiction or non-fiction and why?

And don’t forget, I have a novella coming out later this month.

A Magical Portent

Storm clouds gather. An unknown danger nears, one that may spell the end of Mossy Creek, TX, and all those who live there.

Dr. Jax Powell and her best friends, her sisters from other misters, are determined to do whatever it takes to protect their town and loved ones. Each of them, once considered the town’s wayward children, have returned home. All but one: Magdalena “Maddy” Reyes. She’s not refused to return to Mossy Creek, but she appears to have dropped off the face of the Earth—or at least from the streets of London.

Can they find Maddy and save their town or is it already too late?

Featured Image by currens from Pixabay

19 comments

  1. I’m reading British mysteries from the 20’s. They’re in a distant time and a distant place. I started out with Dick Francis, took a recommendation for Karen Baugh Menuhin’s Heathcliff Lennox series, and have started reading the Lord Peter Wimsey series by Dorothy Sayers, a wickedly clever writer.

    On the non-fiction front, I’m steeling myself to read the opinion from the international arbitration panel on China v Philippines. I did finally find it, so step 1 is accomplished. Step 2 requires getting through 500 pages.

  2. Am I the only person who looks at that zombie-like city-scape (at the top) and thinks Destroy It With Fire? 😉

    I’ve been reading plenty of old favorites and spent most of the night reading the latest Eve Dallas book. 😀

  3. I’m going through the Kindle stack. It’s a mix of classics and getting further into series: Starship Troopers, Fenton Wood’s Yankee Republic Book 3, and am at the middle of Peter Nealen’s Escalation. The last is a little close to current events, minus the all out war in Europe.

    I have the last of the Niven/Pournelle/Barnes Heorot novels in the queue, along with other series to finish up. I’ll probably get to Yankee Republic Book 4 next, then delve into Jean Rabe’s Piper Blackwell mysteries.

    If Old NFO publishes the WW-2 story he started recently, that would go high in the queue as a “Read Me Next”.

  4. My reading reflects less a desire to escape, and more a desire to improve, or be amused… but then, my life is fairly back to normal. Work, gym, dinner with friends. The only place I bother to wear a onion-bag-mesh mask that I can drink through is standing in line at the coffee shop, and half the time I take it off there. Which startled the hell of out of a woman fresh off the plane from NYC yesterday, and dude, was she surprised when I explained that the laws are different between where she’s from and Texas.

    Anyway, lately has been Deborah Chester’s Fantasy Fiction Formula, and Lawrence Block’s from plot to print (trying to improve my openings), along with things that look interesting: Mat Best’s Thank You For My Service (hilarious), Becky Jones’ Academic Magic, Doherty & Webb’s Navy Seal Sniper: An Intimate Look at the Sniper of the 21st Century (this one is full of dry humour, inbetween descriptions of barrel whip and cartridge performance), MCA Hogarth’s Father’s Honor, Lindsay Buroker’s Fractured Stars (not as good as some of her others, am forcing myself to finish), Alma Boykin’s latest Familiars novel (still awesome!), Peter Nealens’ Spotreps anthology, F. Paul Wilson’s book of collected repairman jack shorts and some LitRPG and Romantic suspense on KU that I quite frankly can’t remember the names of within 8 hours of returning them, even if I got all the way through.

  5. Also, your first line completely threw me. “Alcoholic Beverage Commission program? What program are they’re running about the pandemic? Oh! It might by a TV show! There’s an ABC channel on tv!”

  6. I’m poking through this cool digitized manuscript, with all kinds of pictures of Old St. Peter’s in Rome, and all kinds of accounts of what they found and where they moved stuff when it was demolished.

    There’s an account of finding (in a coffin in a martyr burial area, but not necessarily a martyr, and in fact very close to the porphyry circle in the nave where kings were crowned, after Charlemagne was) — an unknown, unidentified dead body of a youth, not recent since he was mostly dust, with bones, but his clothes still good (they couldn’t tell if it were wool or some kind of silk). And his clothes were bloodstained. And there was congealed blood around still. (Which wasn’t unheard of, with the martyrs’ relics in coffins that they’d been excavating and moving to the new building; and they pick that moment to tell us that some of the martyrs even had vein-shaped blood without the veins. Um….)

    So I gather they moved him too, but they never figured out who he was.

    1. Look up “time capsules.” Most of those were clearly marked when they were sealed, and everyone knew where they were; often there were news stories with photographs. But they were quite often lost to memory, and people have been astonished when they accidentally cracked one open… after only twenty or thirty years.

  7. I should be reading mostly non-fiction for research.

    I am reading Pam’s Wine of the Gods series, which for some reason I never got around to before, other than book one. (44 2/3 books to go now…)

  8. I’m reading some non fiction for research.

    Fiction? Mostly a mix of Japanese LNs, fanfic, and stuff found via MGC contacts. I’ve fallen a little off the ‘given up reading original fic off random web pages’ wagon, and gotten into a website called royal road.

    Probably reading much more fiction than non-fiction. Mostly, I’m only reading the non-fiction when I think I’m together enough to follow it and absorb whatever is going on in it. I have about ten titles that cover what I’m trying to prioritize working on, and another seven that I haven’t put away to avoid distraction. I’m counting today a good day, because I found the energy and sense to re read/skim some more of one of the seven, for the first time in months. That particular title is a bit more advanced than I’m really up to, so the skimming will hopefully pay off down the line when I am ready to start tackling it seriously.

  9. “So, what are you reading right now?”

    Mostly web sites, looking for news about what the hell is going on, since the “news” sites are uniformly lies.

    Books, I have purchased only two lately, both woodworking books about how to do things without electricity. Because at the back of my mind I’m concerned that the government may find a way to F- the electrical grid.

    Entertainment, -all- escapist all the time. Either Japanese anime or Netflix shows from China and Korea.

  10. I would be reading more…if there was anything good to read that was coming out new.

    And, if I wasn’t stuck dealing with daytime talk shows and CNN and their Orange Man Bad obsessions, I would be writing more.

    TV programming? Going through my DVD/BluRay collection. Don’t need any streaming services, I already have so much…

  11. A book about how Muscovy took over the ideas of Rus (Kiev) to create the All Russias Empire idea; a collection of academic papers on the giant settlements of the Cucuteni-Tripilia (or Tripolya) culture [novel research], and T. H. Breen’s last book about the American Revolution. My brain is so full with Day Job that I can’t read fiction, oddly enough.

    1. What’s the title and author?

      That’s essentially what I was taught in high school; I’ve occasionally wondered how true it was, though at least it wasn’t the same school system that taught us that the Pilgrims discovered America.

      I took pre-Soviet Russian history to fulfill part of my American History requirement; apparently the teachers were signaling their compliance to their eventual Commie masters.

  12. I reread the Harry Potter series and the Chronicles of Narnia. I’ve also been reading a lot of Heyer as well.

  13. March Upcountry, in dead tree version. Go-toubun no hanayome (a high school romance manga, in fan translation). My own epic fantasy first in series, because I let it sit too long and am having trouble writing the sequel. >.<' Also reading through Chris Fox's writing habits series, and Craig Martelle's successful indie series.

  14. I tried some new-to-me Holly Lisle, but it’s too dark for my mood. I don’t remember why, but jumped back to an older Wine of the Gods (25ish) and I’m just finishing up today. Cracked is waiting for me. Trying to do a “make the house better” task every day. Today’s is to finish cleaning up the mess I made tuck-pointing on Monday (inside, so the snow is not a factor). Why was that not Tuesday’s task? Well, I did say “trying” – I blame Pam.

  15. Having just read “Rainbow Six” for the first time, not realizing it dealt with contagion. Then overreacted by picking up some good wholesome non-fiction “The Coddling of the American Mind”. Now I’m afraid nothing but Laphroaig will snap me out of the funk.

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