Monday, July 04, 2011

The Month That Was - June 2011

The Month That Was - June 2011: Another busy month. I now have a tenant in my old condo and so am officially a slumlord, of sorts. I've been working on repairs of the old place and maintenance and doing minor upgrades -- the hardest part of which is trying to get everyone's timing right. But by and large, that's going well, which is good because if I tried to sell the place now I'd take a big fat loss. On the other hand, it might be better to take the loss, and the tax benefit, and start getting return on whatever money I could get out of it. I could debate the prospects endlessly, simultaneously curing your insomnia.

Here in the greater Dexter area, the big news this month was the appearance of a bear. Just a young'un. They are guessing about a two year old, probably just recently off in the world on his own. There were reports of a momma, but that hasn't been verified. Of course we were immediately inundated with public service messages about how to handle encounters. It was a minor pop culture phenomenon and most everyone I know was thrilled. (Me? Not so much. See below.)

I am effectively done with the first draft of my latest writing project. I'm not ready to talk about it extensively, but I will say it's not like what I have done before. In fact, it isn't really even original fiction. It will be Kindle only, I know that. And if the audience for my novels was in the dozens, the audience for this will be lucky to crack double digits. With each passing work, writing makes me feel like Don Quixote.

Speaking of books, I read a ton this month. You get hit with the standard two reviews but there was a third book I finished which was solely to indulge my inner child. A while back I read the entire series of "independent reader" books by Rick Riordan featuring Percy Jackson and the Olympians. (All my adult friends were reading Harry Potter, so I had to be different.) Like all such books, they are completely manipulative and contrived (which is what young readers need), but so what, they were entertaining. He's started a second series in the same universe, The Lost Hero being the first. I won't bother to review it until I've completed the whole series which will probably be years away since the second book doesn't come until fall and there will probably be five total. Still, highly recommended for a young reader (say 10-12) or as a bedtime series for a younger child (say 6-8).

I do realize I've been deluging your with book reviews the last few months. Maybe next month we can get some TV reviews going. Or something else new. Worse comes to worse, I could go back to writing about football (oh, wait...).

[Books] Book Look: Positively Fifth Street
[Books] Book Look: How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
[Rant] A Day in My Life
[Dexter] Bear Bearings
[Detroit] Spitting on the Hand that Feeds It