Being the Reader I Used to Be

I’m not the reader I used to be. Ever since I stopped being a student, I struggled with reading as many books as I did in my youth. Partially it was because of my limited time: I didn’t have gaps between lectures or workshops to fill with reading. Being employed full time meant 9 hours a day at my workplace. After that, I had to take care of my food and house chores. It was also the fear of losing sleep over a book – something I confessed to two years ago, and something I couldn’t afford being an employee. But lately, I realized the problem is more complex than just less time to read. Continue reading “Being the Reader I Used to Be”

A Month in a Writer’s Life – August 2017

August was another month that whizzed by faster than a speeding car. I found myself torn between taking it easy after the Camp NaNo’s final rush, and keeping the general progress, so I finally settled on writing three short stories I’ve been meaning to get ready. It seemed like a reasonable goal, but things didn’t go exactly as planned. Continue reading “A Month in a Writer’s Life – August 2017”

Sex Scenes: How Did It Happen?

I read sex scenes for the first time when I was about 11.

It came at me quite unexpected, in the Arabian Nights book which I bought for my own pocket money. The Polish title of the book that could be translated as “The Tales of One Thousand and One Night” promised me exotic fairy tales from the lands of sand and sun. I was prepared for them to be dark, maybe even cruel sometimes, as I was very familiar with Brothers Grimm tales and works of Hans Christian Andersen, but I wasn’t prepared for sex scenes. The description was very vague and brief, but for a girl who already knew what was what it seemed pretty obvious what the sentences were talking about. Continue reading “Sex Scenes: How Did It Happen?”

Reading Books: to Finish or Not to Finish?

For a while now, I’ve been struggling to read more. Part of the problem is what I’ve written about before: the fear of getting too immersed in the book which would result ditching everything else (books have kept me from sleep, eating, and many other things). At the same time, I found myself getting more and more picky about the books I read, so it’s getting harder to find a book that would actually enchant me enough for the first fear to be true. Continue reading “Reading Books: to Finish or Not to Finish?”

Novels Aren’t Coloring Books

Novels Aren't Coloring BooksSome time ago, I read a book series. I think I was already reading a third or fourth book in the series, when I some point I fell the pace slowing down and losing my attention. I checked what page I was at, and I immediately thought: “Oh, it’s page X. It means that there will be the big reveal or the main battle in about ten pages.” That gave me a stumbling pause, killing all my reading pleasure as I realized all the author’s books are exactly the same in their structure, and therefore very predictable regardless of the story that author is telling. In the end, reading the series became boring and lost most of its appeal. Continue reading “Novels Aren’t Coloring Books”

3 Books For a Desert Island – Blog Hop

Yesterday, as I lie in our Evil Bed (named this way because it’s so villainously comfortable that you don’t want to get up), I looked at what I’d consider rather a meager but nonetheless special bookshelf. Back in Ireland, and before that in Poland, I owned many more books, but my moving over to the USA forced me to be very picky of what I’d be taking with me (and believe me, I spent a lot of money to get those books over the pond), and what I might need to buy again in the future.

This got me thinking of the memory game from my youth, “What would you take if you were to go to a desert island?” in which one person mentions an item, and the next person has to repeat that item, then add another one to the list. After a while, the list would be quite long, and the loser would be the person who failed to list all the items in the right order.
As I looked at my precious books, I couldn’t help wondering: if I was to spend a year on a desert island, which three I’d pick? I was limited only to paperbacks and hardcovers, as an e-book reader would be useless without electricity, and to my surprise, instead of pondering the choices for hours, my list presented itself in an instant. Continue reading “3 Books For a Desert Island – Blog Hop”

A Month in a Writer’s Life – March 2017

Before I even realized, another month passed by. After not so positive February, I was hoping to catch up with my projects, finish things from my to-do list, and be generally more productive than I was. How did it go? In short: not bad, though definitely not as well as I hoped for. Continue reading “A Month in a Writer’s Life – March 2017”

Research Matters: Why I Don’t Read Novels Set in Ireland

Last year I had a chance to read a series of urban fantasy novels set in Ireland. I did it partially by my friend’s recommendation, and also as a part of my own comparative research for the novel set in Dublin I’ve been working on. And even though I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the story, reading each chapter of these books made me die inside a little. Continue reading “Research Matters: Why I Don’t Read Novels Set in Ireland”

5 Reasons Why Writers Need to Read

5 Reasons Writers Need to ReadAlmost every advice out there tell aspiring writers they should read a lot. But the key is not really devouring as many books as possible, but making the reading into a lesson: studying plots, characterization, even the style. There’s much more to reading as a writer than it is to reading as a book lover, and even though writers mostly enjoy reading as much as any other bookworm, aside from entertainment, good story, and food for thought, we have other reasons to read too. Continue reading “5 Reasons Why Writers Need to Read”

Lessons Learned from Reading The Witcher Saga

Lessons Learned from ReadingSome of you might have heard about a successful video game series by CD Project called The Witcher, but probably not many know it all started with a short story sent to a contest organized by a Polish speculative fiction magazine. “The Witcher Saga” by Andrzej Sapkowski that grew out of this one story not only became a source of inspiration for the games, but is also a series on which a whole generation of Polish speculative fiction fans grew up, myself included. Continue reading “Lessons Learned from Reading The Witcher Saga”