Regarding trains

I’ve gotten to be fond of train travel. There’s a significant difference on my usual line between the Boston>Chicago and the Chicago>Boston in enjoyability. Something about starting at night on the way out makes the whole thing much more pleasant. So, I’ve found, does traveling alone and in a mostly empty car, which may not be very good for the environment or the train company, but which is very nice for me. Excepting a really loud family that boarded around four in the morning, I enjoyed the trip.

There were books! I finished another Tanya Huff book. I’m starting to find that I love her, now that I’ve gotten away from her more teenaged vampire angst stories, rather than just finding her a diversion. She is not great literature, not a wonderful wordsmith, but she’s a damned good storyteller. I care about all her characters and if the plots are a bit hackneyed, well, there are only so many stories in the world. The writing is pleasant and clever. She has lots of protagonists who are divergent in one or more ways from white-male-heterosexual-Christian. It’s good times for everyone. The one I just read, The Firestone, does a rather clever thing where the main cast are a Fighter (dissipated but kind-hearted prince with a sword), a Rogue (traumatized, twitchy thief), and a Wizard (rebellious princess, but, y’know, a good one), and the whole thing feels like a really good dungeon crawl with really good players.

I then dipped into Catherine Jinks’s Evil Genius. Am not enamored so far. It feels like the whole thing is trying really hard to be Artemis Fowl, and there have been some really icky moments. The whole premise of the book is that most perpetrators of the ickiness are evil, but the narration has been completely on their side, too. I haven’t gotten that far, though. We’ll see.

I also started (on audiobook) Fly By Night by Frances Hardinge. I’ve barely started, so I have little to say so far about the plot or characters except that they seem to be wiggling their way into existing pretty well. The language is the really fun part of this so far. It’s word soup! Delicious word soup!

…That was a tangent. Didn’t really mean to go all book review on this entry. The big observation? Trains make me write. I got most of a chapter of the novel done on the way out, didn’t write much at all while I was home, and then spent this afternoon writing a short story about fairies and some other stuff. Pretty complete story. Obviously needs tweaking (I was thinking of edits in the bus station), but it’s a rough draft. About five-thousand words in an afternoon. Go me. I need to take the train more often.

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~ by badandfierce on January 14, 2011.

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