Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Minor Rejuvenation, and Some Excellent Fiction by Saintcrow

For the past month, my creative writing has been on something of a hiatus, as work has been busy. (Who would have thought that librarianship could be hectic?) Anyway, I've had one or two decent pieces written in the past few weeks, but this weekend was the first one where I've had time to sit down and do some personal work. I spent Saturday mailing out my taxes (in a veritable monsoon, which I know the IRS won't appreciate), and then writing a ten page paper on Anne Sexton and confessional poetry.

Today, on the other hand, was monsoon-less, and I spent a good deal of it outside, sitting in the grass with my basset hound Otto. It was delicious. There is very little in this world that is as gratifying as a mild spring day and having a sun-warmed dog in your lap. Add that the dog is a basset hound, and really, you can't wipe the smile off.

The real accomplishment of the weekend, however, was not grinding out that paper. (That paper, by the way, isn't due until *next* Wednesday. I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with finishing an assignment early!) Nor did I make any sort of a dent in the fifth and final packet of work due for my first semester in the MFA program at Spalding. No, what I did accomplish was reading the first four books in Lilith Saintcrow's Dante Valentine series.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Lilith Saintcrow for creating the sort of badass, emotionally-damaged-but-not-terminally-annoying warrior chick in a world with paranormal characters that Laurell K.Hamilton almost created in her Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. Perhaps it's because it's still in the first few books, but each of Saintcrow's books is still taut, exciting, and surprising. While Hamilton fell into the abyss of favoring elaborately staged sex scenes at the expense of plot, Saintcrow drenches us in plot and character development. If that is due to her surprising lack of detailed sex scenes, then I will happily turn to my trashy romance novels to keep me set for that.

I am a tiny bit upset that I didn't realize book 5 of Saintcrow's series was already out, but I suppose it's just as well. It's 9pm on a Sunday night, and I simply don't have the stamina to read more than four books in a 24-hour period.

Anyway, this minor indulgence has been extremely satisfying, since I've admittedly read no fiction in the past few months (the horror! My brain weeps at the lack of candy). It has helped to ease much of the stress I've been feeling, and despite the fact that I wasn't doing anything "productive," I feel better. The only thing missing was a pedicure, but I'm still waiting on my tax returns, so one thing at a time.

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