Sad, Yet Inspired by Choices

I want to talk about a small publisher, Mercury Retrograde Press. The founder, Barbara Friend Ish, made the announcement recently that she’s closing down the press at the start of 2014. You can read her post here. I’m saddened by the news because I was introduced to this publisher, and it’s amazing group of writers, earlier this year by another blogger (Elizabeth at Darkcargo) and I’m sad to know the press won’t be around to continue publishing great books. That said, I’m happy to hear that the closing of the press will actually mean more books to read. Strange thing to say, I know.

One of the reasons Barbara gives as part of her decision (which I’m sure had to be heartbreaking) is to have more time to continue her own writing. Writing I very much enjoyed earlier this year when a group of us got together to read and talk about The Shadow of the Sun, her first book in The Way of the Gods series. As a means of disclosure, I also offered to help give this press some bloggy love this year — something I’m still going to do by means of reading another of the press’s authors and buying (stocking up!) a few books before the end of the year. I may also see if I can get Barbara to answer a few questions for me that I’d post here. I need to see if she’d be willing. Barbara?

Here’s the thing. Change is something we all need. I’ve been feeling this for a long while, and though there are significant parts of my life that probably won’t change, but one of these changes I want to enact is more writing. I’ve been saying for a very long time (even I’m sick of hearing myself say it) that I want to expand my writing. I want to look for new opportunities. I’ve started writing some fiction of my own; it all sucks, thanks for asking, but it’s fun. I want to keep doing it because I’ve been told it will (should/maybe some day) get better. Either way, I need to give up a few things in order to do more writing.

Lately, I’ve been reading slow. Incredibly slow. I mentioned last week that I finally finished George R.R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons (the 5th book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series) and instead of rushing to finish it, I spent over 10 days with this book. Yes, I was rushing to finish it in the end (just to be done for the love of god — it was 1100 pages) but not because I needed to write a review of it. In fact, I’ve been thinking and I’m not sure I’m going to write a review. And if I do, finally, write a review, it’s not going to be a traditional review. I’m stepping away from that. I’m not going to do it anymore. It’s my change.

I’m still writing reviews for another site (The BookReporter), and I plan to continue that because I enjoy it but I don’t want to repeat what I do for another group for myself. I also stopped accepting review books for this blog. NOTE: If you sent me an email and never heard back, this is why. I posted this months ago and I’m tired of replying with the same email and you’re tired of reading the same email. Good? Good. Nothing personal. If I’m interested in the book, you’ll get a reply. 

Read slow. Write more. Repeat.

This has nothing to do with anything but I’ve gone back to practicing yoga. It’s been phenomenally freeing. I never thought I’d be able to find solace in 75 quiet minutes of breathing, and yet, I have, in a most extraordinary way. I found I’m full of ideas; ideas that want to be on paper instead of in my head. And, these thoughts, are not about books. I kinda like that. It’s not that I don’t love me some books (hello!?) but there are topics that need to be explored. I want to see where the path leads.

Basically, this means that while this will remain a book blog (primarily) you might be seeing some other things like posts about cooking (I do a lot of it), yoga, and probably a few podcasts. It might also be about my writing because I’m finding truth in that old saying — when you finally start calling yourself a writer, you start treating yourself like one. That means writing. I plan to do it.

So, it means I won’t be going back to a regular posting schedule and there won’t be standard reviews here anymore. If I love a book, I’ll still tell you all about though.

Finally, what changes are going on in your lives? I feel I haven’t talked to all of you in a long while. I guess taking time out to contemplate does that. 🙂

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11 thoughts on “Sad, Yet Inspired by Choices

  1. I am SO HAPPY to hear about all of this! About you finding and nurturing your creative center, about the yoga (getting back to my own lame little practice is high on my list now), about the writing. Of course it sucks. It will never stop sucking. But it will also be beautiful, magical, inspiring, and I’m looking forward to reading when you feel ready to share.

    Secondly, THANK YOU. For your understanding and support of what I must do, for your continued interest in Mercury Retrograde authors. I championed none of them lightly, and I want nothing more than to see all their stars rise into the heavens.

    Lastly, it would absolutely be my pleasure to talk more with you. Shoot me an email? Tell me how you want to proceed.

    I wish you much joy in your new direction. I understand how hard-won this decision has been.

    • 🙂 Thanks for that. Writing is a strange journey but a fun one. One of these days, I hope I have something to share.

      I’ll drop you an email and we’ll get moving on the interview. Thanks for being game!

  2. Sometimes life takes another direction and you find yourself taking pleasure in different things, while other things take a back seat. My reading has been terrible. It has taken me a month to read one book. That doesn’t count all the books I’ve started and dumped but it still means I have only started, read and finished a single book during a whole month.

    My blog’s been quiet because of this lately. I really miss reading but I seem to have found other things taking up my time.

    • It happens and there’s nothing to feel guilty about. I’m reading so much slower now and enjoying it so much more. I think I had to slow down for me to appreciate it again. I was reading, writing reviews, and moving on to something else whether or not I wanted to read it. It stopped being fun so I stepped back and it’s fun again. I still plan to write about books, but it’s going to be intermingled with some other stuff from now on. I’m looking forward to it.

  3. I strongly believe that these changes often happen for the best. I think only good things will come from your new focus.
    And, I love reading about cooking. I also love cooking, actually I’m quite fond of eating too!
    I look forward to your random reviews – all good things to those who wait.
    Lynn 😀

  4. Yay! These are good changes, I think!
    I found myself reading slow…and slower… and slower, and it was the guilt of not reviewing fast enough, of putting all that work into a review and no one reads it, of worrying about people judging my reading speed, etc… Meh. For the birds, I tell you! So, I stopped obligating myself to review every damn thing. Lo! and Behold! I’m suddenly reading a lot more!

    Yoga too, is good.
    You are an inspiration! I’d also love to read what you are writing!

    • Thanks! It might be a while before I share anything but it will happen. 🙂

      Slow reading is wonderful, and without the guilt of a review, I’m having fun reading again. I’ll probably still review a book here and there but I like the idea of just talking about a book without any pressure. Giving up on deadlines for the blog is really freeing. I actually think I might write more but we’ll see.

  5. Pingback: Part three of my interview with Barbara | Just Book Reading

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