Saturday, February 19, 2011

Random Thought - Follow Friday Follow-Up, Blog Organization, and Haiku

This has been a cyclone of a day. I am reminded of the saying "reap the whirlwind", but that implies something bad, and this day has been anything but. First off, I want to profusely and repeatedly thank Parajunkee for making me the spotlighted blogger on her Follow Friday for this week.

Second, I want to thank all of the wonderful people who have come over and started following my blog. I am so glad that you came by, and so very appreciative of the many compliments that were thrown my way today. If you left a comment, I jumped over and followed you back (except for flashlight reader, for some reason the link you included to your page doesn't work - send me a new one and I'll be sure to follow you back). If I missed anyone, drop me a note and I'll be sure to rectify the situation.

Third, since the blog is still a work in progress, I figured I ought to outline where I am going. The largest ongoing "structure" project is that I have been trying to make it easier to get to my reviews. As most of you probably know, Blogger has some weird limitations, so creating what is more or less a nonlinear database has required a little bit of oddness. For the record, do NOT go back to the posts listed from January 1, 2008. For one thing, none of them were actually posted on that date. For another, they are basically how I have gotten around Blogger's "no more than ten static pages" oddity, so they are decidedly nonlinear, and make no sense if read that way. On the plus side, you should now be able to find my reviews alphabetically by the title of the book reviewed.

I have also created a page for each author who wrote at least one book that I have reviewed, or who wrote a story contained within a magazine or books that I have reviewed. Right now most of these author pages just have links to reviews of all of their books that I have opined upon, but I am planning on fleshing all of them out more - even if it is just to provide some basic biographical information about them. I hope to add pictures to as many of the author pages as I can and more in-depth information where I can. This is, however, a work in progress.

I am going to add a couple new things, some small, and some a bit less small. One thing I am going to start using here are "short reviews". Elsewhere I have used a placeholder "short review" while writing up my long review. I used to remove those, but some people said they liked them. I didn't carry that over to the blog when I started getting serious about it, but I think I'm going to go back to using them. Generally they are short one or two sentence reactions to the book. I'm also going to start reviewing some movies - mostly science fiction and fantasy movies, in keeping with the main thrust of the blog. I'm also going to do some reorganization to make it easier to locate and enjoy the videos that I have linked to at various points on the blog.

Finally, I'll reveal that I suck at poetry. I mean, I really cannot write it at all. This is, in fact, one of the things that convinced me that I was probably not a skilled fiction writer, since it seems to me like just about everyone who can write a good book can also reel off a bunch of poems and songs to spice up their pages. This doesn't mean that I don't enjoy poetry - I loved reading Paradise Lost when I was a high school student, and read Beowulf on my own for fun. Heck, I'm the sort of guy who learned how to pronounce Middle English properly so that we could read Chaucer's Canterbury Tales out loud. But writing poetry? Just not in my skill set. With one exception - I can write haiku. I write them more or less off the cuff about things that happen around me modestly frequently. The other day, I wrote one about the book Dune, which the intended audience (of one) quite liked. This led to a suggestion that maybe I should do this for all the books I write about. The upshot of all this is that from this point on (and retroactively as soon as I can work my way through them), all of my reviews will be accompanied by an original haiku about them. I hope that everyone enjoys them.

Random Thoughts     Home


  1. A Haiku about Dune? Where did you post it? I can't imagine, and yet, I can imagine all too well. Dune is my number one iconic work of science fiction/fantasy. Shaped my life and world view. OCD-ish that I am, I read it once a year.

  2. @Julia: I posted it on twitter. The haiku was -

    On bare desert sand
    Muad'dib rides on Shai'hulud
    Kill the Harkonnen

    I'll probably do another one when I get to reviewing Dune in a month of two (it won the 1966 Hugo and Nebula awards).