Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Rankings and Reviews

I saw something that bothered me a bit and I want to see what everyone else thinks about it. I read some reviews for a book on Goodreads. One reader had given the book only two stars but her review seemed to say she enjoyed the book. At the bottom of the review she had a definition "Good books are books for entertainment. Interesting books are books that educate". So, she only gave the book two stars because it was interesting and educational, but not "good".


In case you wondered, I'm all for reading for fun, but I can't imagine putting that kind of limit on a book. Does something have to be a beach read to be good? If a book broadens my mind is it suddenly interesting but not good?  I'm appalled that someone would give a book they enjoyed and learned from only two stars, just because they didn't read it solely for entertainment.

I'm glad she had her little disclaimer at the bottom of the review.  It helped me gauge where she was coming from so I knew how much weight to give the review. Still, I'm disturbed. And worried.  Do other reviewers have such random categories?

Is this normal and I'm missing the boat? How do you classify good? Is it quality of writing, interesting plot? Fun vs educational? Some combination of everything? Or just a gut feeling of "this touched me".

I'm starting to get an idea of how agents feel, and I'm glad I don't have to do their jobs.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Computer curse

I'm trying to get to everyone's blog but as I'm still under the computer curse it will be difficult. I'll be around as soon as everything settles down.

I got locked out of blogger. For no reason I could find. It just wouldn’t let me log on. Still won’t in my normal browser, even after clearing caches and passwords. I have to log on in explorer. Also, I mysteriously lost two days of work. Fortunately, it was only two days but it’s very hard to understand why I lost it when I save it Every. Single. Time. I use it. And why only two days? I didn’t lose the documents. One of them was saved on my computer; one on dropbox but each has the same problem. I’m perplexed. I have to put it down to the curse.

Yes, really I’m cursed.

Electronic devices hate me. They toy with me. My computer teases me, taunts me, and does crazy things. When I try to describe what happens to The Engineer, he says it’s impossible, that a computer can’t do that, that he doesn’t know what is happening  and am I sure I wasn’t asleep at the computer again? Of course when he sits down and looks at it, it works fine. Usually he doesn’t even have to look at it. Just his walking into the room makes whatever electronics I’m having problems with work fine.

Maybe my computer is a cat, one of those cats that is a perfect snuggly angel for one person but a conniving, creepy, stalker cat for others. 

It’s not just my computer though, tablets, phones, my car. You name it I break it. Just by being around it. It’s not a comfortable curse to live with.
Do you have a curse? Or maybe we should call it an amazing talent. That sounds a lot better than curse.

Monday, September 21, 2015


I owe my mom an apology.

Yes, there are so many things I need to apologize for.  Sorry, mom.

But in this instance, I need to apologize for reading.

I realize this because now I'm that mom. The one who tries to get their kids to stop reading, put down the book and become a functioning member of society. Granted, society is overrated, but they do need to know how to function enough to stay alive, fed and dressed.

I remember quite a bit of my youth was spent finding ways to read. I would ditch chores, leaving them half done, or done poorly just so I could open up that book again. I held my book open on my lap during dinner so I could read between bites. For some reason my parent's didn't like that. I remember leaving my siblings working hard (sorry guys) while I sneaked upstairs or hid in a corner, just so I could read. Books were a comfort, a promise that no matter how much life changed and demanded, the book would always be there, waiting, a friend. I remember that nothing else seemed as important as what came next in a novel.

I remember because just the other night I stayed up way too late to finish Barbara Rogan's HINDSIGHT. 

So, now, when mini-engineer says he can't pass a certain book without dropping everything to read it, when he says he can't get ready for school until he's finished a book, I smile.  I remember.  My heart glows because I've taught him to love reading and books. Then I tell him to put it down, that the book will be here waiting for him when school is over, and for the love of the written word, please put on some clothes.

What have you ignored, put off or ruined, just so you could read?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Worlds without end

I'm looking for resources on world building, do you have a favorite or something that has helped you greatly?  Or maybe resources on how to layer the world building into the story.

When you need help, where do you turn?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


It seems like everywhere I turn people are downsizing. Many people because of the economy, others because they want to simplify their lives. Still others because they're pursing a dream, or different life goal. For whatever reason, I know many people who are giving away their books. 

I know, it makes me want to cry.

But, I can also understand it. Even before the move I had boxes of books I didn't have bookshelf room for.

I know these people, they like books, they still buy books, but they're downsizing their libraries. How does that work?

I came up with only one answer.


Now, I love ebooks. I also love book books. They give me different reading experiences and they both help in different situations. But, I have to ask, are ebooks contributing to the  downsizing of personal physical libraries?

The answer I come up with is, yes.

My move would have been a lot harder if I didn't have a kindle. I don't have room for all, or even many, of my books in our interim apartment. I miss them, but I can deal. Mostly because I have a few hundred books on my kindle. Without those, this would have been a lot harder. A lot.

Ebooks are wonderful.

Except I still see a problem.

With books, when a person dies, their libraries can be shared, passed on to future generations. With ebooks, you're only buying a license to have a book. When you die that license expires and your books are gone. You could spend a fortune building an ebook library only to have it electronically disappear on your death, leaving the other readers in your life inheritance-less. So in a way, you're still downsizing.

Nothing is ever perfect, I guess people will do what adjust their library needs to their own situation. I'm still working on my situation but I expect it will be a mix of the two different formats. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Long Journey

We did it. We finally sold our house! 

Signed, sealed and done.

We started this journey 8 months ago and I'm super excited to finish that very long first step. Now I can look forward to finding a new home for our family.

Whew, it's such a relief.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

email change.

I think I've got all the settings changed on the blog and comments but I wanted to inform everyone, my email is changing. sara(dot)bowers(at)cox(dot)net will no longer be working.  My new email is sarapbowers(at)gmail(dot)com.