May 13th, 2011

Paul Neyron rose 2

Wednesday night's reading

As soon as I finished reading Ink Illusions, I wanted to write down my impressions of it, but I needed to get to sleep.  Still, my memory hadn't faded too much in a day.

I put this on AE:

This is the first book of Val Kovalin's I'd read, though I've read lots of her Obsidian Bookshelf book reviews.  It was different from the usual.  Of course she didn't have what she rates as flaws.  She avoided a good amount of what I consider flaws, too.  The novella was a bit less than 100 pages, and I felt like I'd missed some backstory.  I don't mind some exposition if it's interesting, and I would have liked some.  Other people like very tight writing.  There wasn't anything you couldn't pick up sooner or later from dialogue or characters' memories of events.

A good deal of the book's plot involved a child and child-raising.  I'm not much for children myself, but if you like them, there's some great reading here for you, and some fine shading of the adult characters as parental figures.

I felt like certain pretty big issues and events in Travis' past were thrown in near the end, and I would have liked more of how the characters felt and were handling it.  I would have liked for more focus on the protagonists' relationship towards the end of the novella, and a little more room for it.  Perhaps this was also due to story length.

Those were my impressions.  I'm sure I'll read more of Val's books, and this was definitely high quality writing.  Overall, I felt it was quite a good book.  It didn't have the general problems I sometimes find in m/m romance stories.  To me, it seemed a few parts were rushed, but I like to have things explained outright to me more than some readers do.

It's interesting to me when a reviewer transitions to being an author.  First you see what they say about books, then you see how they construct their own books.  Val's definitely well worth checking out as an author.

Paul Neyron rose 2

Friday day

I was extremely tired Thursday night, and went to bed at one in the morning.  I didn't get to sleep until five-something, which was terribly frustrating.  I woke a little after noon, and worked on an editing job for a few hours.  I had to get back to Philadelphia by six for J.'s birthday party.  I left around four-fifteen, and ran into some traffic, but got to the party on time.  I would have liked to get some flower-planting done, but I had to prioritize the editing, and I'd told J.  I'd come to the party.

The party itself was pretty nice.  It was at a California Pizza Kitchen.  Aside from me, the guests were all from the supported-housing program, but most were relatively well behaved, no major acting out.  I'd gotten J. a card, and gave it to him.  The food was good.  I had several of their small slices of pizza.

I headed back to the apartment after dinner, and spent some time on AfterElton.  I'm dead tired again, but I doubt I'll sleep if I lie down.

Added later: I lay down for a couple of hours, something like nine to eleven.  R.A. peeked in a few times, asking if I was okay.  I'm not sure what was up with that, whether that's what she expects if she goes to lie down, or if she was just concerned, or what other reason she might have had for that.

I got up and stayed up for a while, reading Searching for Soaring Hawk, which was an interesting m/m Western about a man half-Native American and half-white, and his search for love across North America.  I don't think any of the other characters actually called him a half-breed, though they called him other things.  It was really an "OK Homo" book, many of the other characters either being into the man-love themselves or not caring.  I imagine there was a lot of m/m sex out in the Old West, but I don't think most of the men you'd run into would be homosexual themselves or possess what seemed like somewhat of a modern-day liberal attitude towards same-sex relations.  There was one token homophobic character, the Reverend-something, but I don't think any other heterosexual character cared that Soaring Hawk/Sam was a "sodomite," as the reverend so charmingly called him.  There was quite a "noble savage" feel to parts of the book.  If it's any indication, I'll read this one again.

I never got to sleep through the night, but I'll continue that in Saturday's entry.