Monday, October 08, 2007

Good News and Bad News

The good news is that I actually have some days off this week. If fact I only have to go to work on one day. WoooHoooo!

The bad news is that I have been afflicted with a nasty cold all over the weekend - one of those virusy things that feels like there is an elephant sitting on your chest. Lovely. Anyway I have managed to pass it on to the Evilpixie. I am so generous with my infections.

Because I've been feeling crap and have been sitting about on the sofa a lot I have managed to finish the Snowflake socks. They are currently blocking nicely over the bath so piccys will follow tomorrow when they are dry.

I've also been reading quite a bit. The time was right, I thought, for the new Val McDermid - Beneath the Bleeding. I had been saving it so I could sit down and read with no distractions as her books are normally the sort that really grip you. I'm sorry to report that this one was a disappointment. Now every writer has books that are better than others, or just books that I prefer because I like the setting or a particular character or situation more than others in the same series. And I was all geared up to like this one as it was set against a football background, with a Premiership player being murdered and then a bomb going off at his team's ground on a match day. (I'm not giving away anything that's not in the blurb by telling you this). But I just felt let down by the plot which didn't seem to use some great ideas that were lurking in the background and, I thought, could have been used to better effect. Also I could see the end coming a long way off. I kept reading as I thought - that's so obvious, surely there's going to be a twist somewhere - and there wasn't. I have to say that it came over more like a plot for the much watered-down TV series than the kind of novel I would expect from a writer of her calibre. Now I'm generally a big fan of Val's books, and particularly the Jordan & Hill series but this one just wasn't up to her usual high standard. I'm hoping it's a blip and that the next one will be better as she's written some really great stuff - The Mermaids Singing is a wonderful book (even if it has bits you want to read with your eyes shut).

So I'm having a short break from crime to read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I'm only a few pages in so it's too early to tell yet. What I can say is that it's different.

The eagle-eyed among you will notice that this post is not about "Writing a Novel in a Month" as billed in my previous post. That would be because the even more eagle-eyed will have spotted that this month is October and National Novel Writing Month (or whatever it calls itself) is not until November. I apologise to Julius Caesar for apparently thinking that his calendar would be improved by the omission of October. I blame this virus.

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