Things and More Things

In the future, I will try to arrange it so that I read before I work at the Southern Festival of Books, if I’m lucky enough to get this opportunity again. I’m feeling completely like I want to stay in and see no one and I need to get revved up to read some stories. I saw everyone and their uncle yesterday, which was so nice. I saw my friend, Tom, who I haven’t seen in a million years among them, which was awesome.

And I saw Jim Ridley, which was nice because I was telling him all about my Ben and Sue Allen piece and I realized I had to move the “so what?” to the beginning.

I also decided that I’m going to stop reading this book I’m a hundred pages into. I don’t really like it, even though it’s gotten a lot of buzz. But the plotting is really good. The story itself is really solid, but the writing somehow feels like every other word is extraneous. Like if there’s a tree, the tree is “magnificent.” Which, fine, I guess. I’m not opposed to description, but either give me some concrete description–the tree towers ninety feet above them–or there’s just a tree. Magnificent really doesn’t tell me anything.

But the thing that really bugs me is that part of the premise of the book is that this guy gets sent his daughter when she’s six. He, until then, didn’t know she existed. He begins to train her for this task only she can accomplish. In order to train her, he repeatedly cuts her fingers open and breaks the bones in her hands. The book specifically says that she has a temper, perhaps an uncontrollable temper.

And yet, never once are we told that she hates this stranger who abuses her. We never see her even daydreaming about getting good enough at her task that she can turn her power on him. And we’re never told why, if she doesn’t think those very natural things, that she doesn’t.

It truly bugs me. Like I don’t feel like she’s a real person, just a cartoon.

And I met @kimu, this woman I follow on Twitter. I recognized her right away, but then floundered as I tried to figure out how I recognized her her.

It was cool, though.

And I am exhausted. But I need to get over it pretty quickly.