March 31st, 2005


Books Read - March 2005

Here's the list of books I read this past month. The numbering is for the whole year, so I suspect that I'll reach 50 books well before the end of 2005. I'm not including extensive commentary in this post, becuase I don't have the time to write about every single book; however, I will make a few individual posts about some of these books later on. (If you have a specific request, feel free to ask.)

#12 Comic Books and Other Necessities of Life by Mark Evanier

#13 Wertham Was Right: Another Collection of POV Columns by Mark Evanier

#14 Superheroes in My Pants by Mark Evanier

(The above are three essay collections about the comic book field and Evanier's obsessions. Quite enjoyable)

#15 Robert's Rules of Writing: 101 Unconventional Lessons Every Writer Needs to Know by Robert Masello

(I gave this one five stars on an Amazon review. If you're a writer, buy it and read it.)

#16 All the Flowers Are Dying" by Lawrence Block

(First post-9/11 Matthew Scudder novel.)

#17 Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure by James Scott Belll

#18 Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief by Bill Mason with Lee Gruenfeld

#19 The Martian Child by David Gerrold

#20 The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain

#21 Try and Stop Me by Bennett Cerf

#22 Seven Spells to Sunday by Andre Norton & Phyllis Miller

(Re-read this one in the wake of Norton's passing.)

#23 Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book by Gerard Jones

Progress Report - Novel and Other Things

I haven't posted any progress reports for a while, because as I mentioned earlier I had to take a break from the novel. So for those of you interested, here are where things now stand.

Two weeks ago Friday I finished the second part of the novel, which now stands at 102,000 words. (That entry can be found here. For the past two weeks, however, I have been working on something else.

Although it's a long shot, I decided to apply for the Boston Public Library's Children's Writer-in-Residence Program. More information about the fellowship can be found here. Although I'm not a children's writer or a young adult writer per se, I've worked most of my career to make sure that my prose was accessible to middle school and high school students. (I have a lot of experience teaching both age groups.) Furthermore, I've had a young adult novel idea in the back of mind for many years -- in fact, I've had it in my files since the year 2000.

So this seemed like a good opportunity to work it out a bit.

The fellowship application is due tomorrow. So for the past two weeks, that's where all my creative energy has gone. They required a five-page outline and a fifteen page sample of my writing, so I finally plotted this book and then composed one of the scenes. I'm pleased to note that I mailed the application in yesterday, so they've probably already received it.

If I get the fellowship, it would be a nice opportunity. There's a stipend involved, but there's also access to the collections of the Boston Public Library, and anyone who knows me knows my love of libraries.

And if I don't get the fellowship, I still have an outline and fifteen pages done for that book. So it's not a waste.

I want to acknowledge stakebait, who pointed me towards this fellowship.

This leaves the burning question, of course: what about the novel? Well, I spent yesterday and today revising the stepsheet outline. I've fixed it up so it now accurately reflects what I actually wrote in part two, and I'm plotting away at part three. I expect to get the final plotting done tomorrow -- so starting Monday, I'll be back at work on the actual first draft.