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Surprises of various sorts

Renegade Magic2
Whew. Well, that didn't go quite as planned.

Thursday night I spent the evening googling directions from the Cardiff train station to the Apple store, all set for my trip on Friday. Then Friday morning I woke to a text from MrD's childminder letting us know she had stomach flu, so...no Cardiff. I'm hoping to make it there sometime next week. Instead, MrD's having a five-day weekend (what with the continuing spring break and many Bank Holidays this month), and I haven't gotten much else done (apart from one really lovely surprise writing session yesterday afternoon, courtesy of a relative).

I think every parent has been in this kind of situation at some point. You have all these ideas for things you want to do, all this creativity bursting to be let out...but there's this adorable, bright-eyed child tugging at your hand, needing your full attention and focus. So everything else has to be shifted to one side for a while.

On the upside, I've discovered a really wonderful new-to-me author, Julia Green. I'd read good reviews of her books on a few different British book blogs in the last year, but the subjects never appealed to me, for embarrassingly wimpy reasons. When I'm tired, or when I'm stressed, the last thing I want to do is read a book about really dark or serious subjects, like grief. I read to escape, to have fun, and if I'm lucky, to laugh.

And yet...well, here's another lovely moment to make me appreciate having a Kindle. I was surfing through the free books available for Kindle yesterday, and I spotted Julia Green's Breathing Underwater on sale for only £1.14. Well. I downloaded the sample chapters, just in case (because, really, £1.14...)...and ohhhh. I fell in love. It didn't matter that I was tired, it didn't matter that it's a novel about a girl learning to deal with the loss of her brother, a subject that normally would not make me lunge to buy a book. It was beautiful, and I absolutely needed to read more. So I bought it, for £1.14, I've just finished reading it, and now I'm going to buy her latest book, which is not £1.14 but will definitely be worth the normal, higher price!

In different ways, Julia Green's writing reminded me of both Jo Knowles and Margaret Mahy. It was a lovely, magical combination.

What about you guys? Have you read any books lately that surprised you?

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
triciasullivan
May. 1st, 2011 07:35 pm (UTC)
I can so empathise with the way you are feeling vis a vis childcare. There is this sense of bursting desire and ambition, but it'a constantly being thwarted by things that are nobody's fault. Small children have a way of draining every scrap of time and energy away and childcare is so dependent on everybody being healthy. The things they don't tell you, going in!

I haven't read anything but I'm really looking forward to getting my Kindle. I wonder if I could wear it in a pouch around my neck? :-)

Edited at 2011-05-01 07:35 pm (UTC)
stephanieburgis
May. 1st, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
I love our Kindle! We actually made a practical decision earlier this week that, since we can't afford any new bookcases right now, we HAVE to start buying ebooks rather than paper books whenever we can. I felt really gloomy about that...right up until I clicked onto Amazon and was reminded that buying ebook versions means saving SO much money - and therefore getting more books! Score! ;)
jayphoenix
May. 1st, 2011 07:45 pm (UTC)
"I think every parent has been in this kind of situation at some point. You have all these ideas for things you want to do, all this creativity bursting to be let out...but there's this adorable, bright-eyed child tugging at your hand, needing your full attention and focus. So everything else has to be shifted to one side for a while."

Completely empathise with that senitment; writing, for me, is unfortunately fourth on my list of 'must dos':

1 - children
2 - work
3 - martial arts (and only 'cause I have to be there as I teach the classes)
4 - write

Thankfully, however, it is still on that list and not relegated to a 'maybe dos' list with other things (like playing the mandolin, riding my trike, etc)!

... if you are wondering why my wife isn't listed on there it is simply that she is my number 0 - transcends any list, obviously :D
stephanieburgis
May. 1st, 2011 07:53 pm (UTC)
Yes, so many other things end falling to the wayside, don't they? For me, it's playing musical instruments, knitting...all the fun hobbies that don't serve either my family or my writing. Having so many constraints on your energy/time really forces you to ruthlessly prioritize!
chant_1
May. 1st, 2011 09:07 pm (UTC)
That's disappointing about the trip to Cardiff! I think that sometimes that happens specifically when you plan something out so carefully...like the tricksy Universe says "Oh, she thinks she's going to actually make plans, does she? We'll just see about that!" Or something like that. But yes, the child-rearing is incredibly time-consuming and the pay and vacation both suck. But we love our little kidlings anyway, don't we?

As for surprise books, I'm almost always surprised. Or rather...I think sometimes when you read a book that's been hyped up, you often end up surprised if you find you react differently to it than the reviews suggest. But also, I've read a few steampunks lately that have surprised me as I always resist that subgenre. And well, Holly Black's White Cat, which took me by surprise with how much I loved it, because con men? Crime families? Not usually my cuppa.

Enjoy your Kindle!
stephanieburgis
May. 2nd, 2011 05:49 pm (UTC)
But yes, the child-rearing is incredibly time-consuming and the pay and vacation both suck. But we love our little kidlings anyway, don't we?

We really, really do. :)

And I am really enjoying my Kindle. Thanks!
jbknowles
May. 2nd, 2011 12:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the compliment! Wow.

And yes, I know well the tug and pull between wanting to do this and needing to be that. HUGS. :-)
stephanieburgis
May. 2nd, 2011 05:50 pm (UTC)
You are definitely my gold standard for YA fic. I love your books so much! :)

And *HUGS*!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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