I just got told that I need to write, because I'm good at it. It feels odd, having someone tell me I'm good at something. I have a reflexive reaction to deflect praise and pretend I'm not good at anything. I don't know, honestly, if I have any chops as a writer, but I suppose it's worth a go. I'll try to write more updates here, for a start. But less personal stuff. That's changed, there's other things happening that don't allow for the public catharsis I was going for before, and I'm going to try and come up with either more abstract or downright fictional things I can write. Maybe short stories? They're excellent practice, and honestly, my main problem is not practicing. Writing, at least in the crude way I understand it, responds to practice, to putting blood on the line. Moving your mind and your hands to make something. Like any creative endeavor it requires an overall idea, blocked out in large swathes, then whittled down to its essence. Like finding the shape within a block of marble, or some bullshit metaphor like that.
I enjoyed writing about books. I just wrapped up The Twelve, the second book of Justin Cronin's Passage trilogy. It's odd...it didn't hook me in. The world is so insanely stark that I think maybe I ended up with some scarring from the first novel, and The Twelve simply didn't hammer me as hard emotionally as The Passage did. Excellent adventure stories, and some very wonderfully written descriptive scenes. Cronin has an interesting approach to metaphor as well, and I occasionally found myself laughing happily at the imagery he employs...other times kind of skimming over it. A worthwhile read, all things taken together, and I recommend it.
I also not too long ago read Stephen King's The Stand, which came highly recommended (it's been around quite a while I know. I just haven't read much King). I had a good time reading this book, right up til the ending. No spoilers, but I was pretty disappointed with how it ended. I'd read McCarthy's The Road right before it, and was much more satisfied with that read, ultimately, than with The Stand. I'm kind of a homer for Cormac McCarthy, though, so take that with a grain of salt.
Apparently I'm on an apocalypse kick lately. Anyone got any suggestions for good end-of-the-world books? I've always been more interested in the aftermath than the actual whatever happened to initiate it, so bear that in mind.