Review: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I really wanted to read this book since it was the inspiration for one of my favorite sci-fi movies, “Blade Runner.” And while this was an interesting and well-written book…. this is one of the rare instances where I liked the movie better. This book had depth and asked complex questions, yes. But the movie… actually felt like it went deeper and dove into more complexities. The basic theme of the book was: What is life? (Particularly in terms of artificial life and especially in relation to empathy.) The movie, however, took that idea even farther, diving into these creator-vs.-creation themes and leaving us with that mystifying ambiguity at the end. While this is a classic sci-fi book and delivers everything a well-written sci-fi should (thought-provoking commentary in a what-if setting that exercises both the analytical and imaginative sides of your brain), if I’m being honest… the movie did all that even more for me. This book was also a slow read; I never had a moment where I couldn’t put it down. I was intrigued, but not necessarily riveted. But with the movie, I was both. Again, still a solid book and one I would recommend reading, especially if you’re a sci-fi nerd like me. It’s definitely worth having in your repertoire.



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Best Made Plans….

Often go awry. I didn’t get as much time to write this past weekend (and week) as I would have liked. At the risk of sounding like I’m making an excuse, I was a bit under the weather. And then, once I felt better, I had to catch up on the fallout from being sick. But today, I did finally get the chance to sit down and write.

I am now up to 38,018 words. Not a ton of progress… and I am running out of days for NaNoWriMo.

But I have made progress. At the beginning of this month, I had barely started part 2 and had no idea how I wanted the third and final part of my manuscript to go. Now, part 2 is done, and part 3 is completely outlined and also started.

I have 11,982 words left to write to hit 50,000. (Reminder: This NaNo, I didn’t start from scratch; I continued my project I began last year. My goal was to get this manuscript finished.)

With that amount left, I need to write 1,997 words each day to hit that 50,000. That doesn’t mean the manuscript will be finished–which is the ultimate goal–but I will at least hit that very important marker. (Though I’m still holding out for the ultimate goal of, you know, actually finishing.)

It’s doable, if I leave myself time to write. With Thanksgiving coming up, and work scheduled 4 out of the 6 days, it will be difficult.

But not impossible.

So here we go… crunch time!

I Haven’t Forgotten NaNoWriMo….

But….

Last week, I went on vacation!!

My husband and I vamped up our nerdy levels to 9,000 and went to the Grand Rapids Comic Con in Michigan!

So much fun ensued! One of the biggest highlights was a panel featuring the original voice cast of Pokemon! Plus the costume contest, so comics and collectibles, a LEGO city, panels with comic artist Jae Lee and the voice of Courage the Cowardly Dog, a special 100th anniversary viewing of Nosferatu, and a live riff of The Super Mario Brothers Movie with Channel Awesome.

And that’s honestly just the very tip of the nerdy iceberg. We also visited an amazing museum that was right next to our hotel—and saw a real mummy!!!

Writing was not forgotten amid the fun though. I went to two different panels on publishing—which were very informative. I have new tools ready for my next round of query letters! (Whenever I get to those….)

And now I have a long weekend coming up. And that means… back to the keyboard! Cue the song from Mulan: “Let’s get down to business….”

(But in the meantime…. Pictures!!!)

NaNoWriMo, Days 3-6

It’s been a few days since I’ve updated—mostly because not a lot of writing has been happening. The brainstorming I’d planned on… wasn’t really a thing until yesterday.

But I was determined to do at least something yesterday. So I set an alarm for 30 minutes and started outlining. I decided I’d list each chapter and write underneath that hearing what needed to happen during it. I write better with a road map, so my goal was to, hopefully, force myself to make one.

And it worked. What was once a skeleton of an idea is now starting to grow some muscle. I still have more outlining to do, but now I at least have a direction.

It’s turning out to be darker than I first intended, and also pretty “heady” in the sci-fi department. But, they also say write what you’d want to read… and this would definitely have me turning the pages. I hope, one day, it will with readers, too.

The goal today: Write for one hour. Let’s do this.

NaNoWriMo, Day 2

Alright, two days in a row writing. So far, I’m on a roll. (An itty-bitty-baby roll, but still a roll.)

Yesterday, I wrote for 30 minutes. Today, an hour. I’m up to 34,412 words. (I started around 31,000. I didn’t think to actually write down my starting number.)

I’ve hit a bit of a roadblock, though. I am now officially on Part Three of my manuscript.

And this is where I stopped knowing exactly what I wanted to happen. The directions on my map have faded away into the ether. I’m left with nothing but blank parchment.

And that’s partly exciting, but mostly… frustrating.

What do I write next? How am I going to reach my goal and actually finish this story that has been floating around in my head since college (and that I’ve actually been working on for a year) if I don’t know what comes next?

Which means that, tomorrow, I will likely not be writing, but will instead be brainstorming.

I’m thinking a cup of tea, a comfy chair, and a favorite journal are in my future.

NaNoWriMo, Day 1

My family and I have a tradition of wishing each other a happy first of the month. I’m not entirely sure when or why it started, but I’ve always liked the sentiment of it: Happy First. We made it through one month. We have a brand new start ahead of us.

So, in that spirit: Happy Nov. 1, everyone!

What that also means for writers: Day one of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

If you’re not familiar with it, NaNo is when writers challenge themselves to write 50,000 words in one month (about the length of a short novel).

It’s definitely quite a feat, and not something I’ve ever technically accomplished. (Several years ago, I did manage to finish a novel, but it was short the 50k mark. What can I say…. The story was just finished.)

This year, though, I’m doing something a little bit different. The novel I started for NaNo last year is still unfinished. I’ve worked on it throughout the year, made some decent headway, hit a roadblock—lather, rinse, repeat.

So my goal for NaNo is not to hit that 50k. It’s just to finish this particular manuscript.

I’m hoping NaNo will give me a kick-in-the-pants and that blogging about my progress each day will keep me motivated and honest.

Because lately, I haven’t had much time to write. I’ve been focusing on other goals…. Namely, losing weight.

I feel like I kind of need to explain why this blog about writing has had fewer updates about me… you know… writing. All year, I’ve been exercising and adjusting my eating habits. And for the most part, I could still squeeze in time to write. But I kind of hit a point where I needed to kick my routine into high gear if I still wanted to see the scale decreasing.

So that has been priority one. I’m hoping with NaNo, though, I’ll be able to re-find that balance and make progress with both of my main goals: Writing and being healthy.

And, in case anyone is curious, I started the year at 162 pounds. (Not great for someone who isn’t even 5-foot.) My most recent lowest weight was 136.6. (Though trick-or-treat kinda got in the way…. Darn you, delicious Halloween candy!!!)

To sum up: NaNo = Finish last year’s project. Blog = Hold me accountable. Weight = Keep going down!

Wish me luck. With all those goals and only so many hours in a day (and a full-time job), I kind of feel like I’m going to need it.

Halloween, Librarian Style

Happy Halloween, everyone!

At my library, we take Halloween very seriously—which translates to: Costumes all week!

It seemed only appropriate that I share mine: Ash from Pokémon, Lydia Deetz from Beetlejuice, Velma from Scooby-Doo, Green Arrow, and 1950s.

Hope everyone has a spooky-fun holiday! I know I have a real terror ahead of me starting tomorrow: NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). *Insert horror movie scream*

A Howlin’ Good Time at the Library

Growing up, my favorite fictional character was Remus Lupin (from Harry Potter). He was a werewolf, and that meant that I automatically loved anything related to werewolves.

The Werewolf by Night comics? I searched for them every time we went to a flea market.

Warren Zevon’s one-hit wonder “Werewolves of London?” You bet I downloaded that and burned it to a mix CD. (And yes, I’m old enough that I made mix CDs.)

The Stephen King movie Silver Bullet? You know I watched it!

Of course, most other werewolves weren’t as lovable as Professor Lupin, but that didn’t stop me from devouring any lupine story I could find.

And it’s little wonder that one of my favorite animals quickly became the wolf.

Majestic and misunderstood and utterly beautiful…. What’s not to love about wolves?

And this week…. We had two wolves visit our library! (And you know I have to share.)

Review: The Midnight Library

From Goodreads.com

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


One of the best books I’ve read this year. The whole concept of parallel universes absolutely fascinates me, so if you take that idea and shine it through a very philosophical lens, you get this wonderfully thought-provoking story that is also perfectly summarizes what it means to be alive: It means to love and be loved, but also to hurt and be hurt; it means success and failure; it means mundanity and turbulence–it means experiencing the entire spectrum of emotions. No matter what choices you make in life, you will feel it all, good and bad. This book is about all of that–about learning to accept and move past regrets, and about the road not travelled–and about, ultimately, how that untraveled road may not matter as much as the road we, ourselves, are actually on. A beautiful book that I couldn’t put down and that I don’t want to say any more about: You just have to visit the Midnight Library yourself.



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