Am I in a Reading Rut?

If you follow my podcast, you know that I read, like, a lot. Usually 1-2 books a week. As an adult trying to do adult things, that’s a lot of books, but truly nothing compared to teenage me. I just finished Eragon (again) because I was looking for a cozy re-read. I remember loving Eragon when I was younger. Now that I’m finished, I’m like… where do I go from here?

It seems like out of the millions of books out there, not a single one of them is really calling to me. I’ve thought about reading Dune since it’s supposed to be iconic science fiction. I’ve thought about reading Shadow and Bone both because I love Leigh Bardugo and because the Netflix series seems like a good one. And yet, I feel like I’m in a rut. You know when you’re hungry but nothing sounds good? Yeah, it’s like that.

I wonder if my reading rut and my writing rut coincide. Because I’ll be honest with you guys: my writing has been seriously slow going. A couple hundred words a day, max. On a good day I can crank out four or five thousand, but I haven’t had one of those days in a while. I think I might be in a mild depressive episode, so I’m trying to be gentle with myself, productivity-wise. If motivation and inspiration strike, I pull up my document and get to typing. Even if I’m neither motivated nor inspired, I still pull up my document and get to typing.

I really should do the same with reading. Reading is just as important to being a writer as the actual act of writing. I use reading as a way to formulate new plot ideas, and to learn new ways to phrase things. Lately though, I’ve just been….blah.

The thing is, if we only ever do the things we must do when inspired or motivated, nothing would ever get done. Is my progress, like, impossibly slow? Yes. But am I still making progress? Also yes.

So, readers, I just bought Dune for my Kindle, and I have Scrivener up and ready for my horror novel. We’re making progress today, even if we have to do it kicking and screaming.

The Terminal

The air in the train station was still. It flowed around the two of us like water before settling back to its original shape: full, yet nothing. The shuttered windows of teller stalls glared as we passed, muttering about being in places after hours. Overhead, the night sky burned with stars and galaxies through a glass dome.

Our feet thudded against the concrete in unison until we reached the platform. The dome ended at the platform, and the open air reached in and ruffled his long black hair. Moonlight shone against a hand studded with silver rings, btu disappeared into the midnight of his clothes.

We looked up at the empty schedule board.

“Did you miss it?” I asked. My voice sounded minute, with an edge like hope.

He shook his head. “Not this time.” He leapt lightly down onto the tracks.

“Will you be okay?”

Instead of answering, he turned to gaze down the track; it disappeared into velvet blackness. In the distance, a train whistle screeched and a tiny white light raced toward him. It grew bigger by the moment.

He faced me again, and said, “Looks like my ride is here.”

The train’s whistle blared, loud as a nightmare. Its light was almost close enough to touch.

He closed his eyes.

Everything went white.

The Creature in the Mirror

I’m always watching.

I watch the way you paint your face each morning, only to scrub it off each night. Why do you do that? Do you feel safer with your paint on? You’re never safe from me.

I’m the shadow at the corner of your eye in the middle of the night. I see you avoiding the mirror when its dark. You can’t avoid me forever.

I’m the prickly feeling at the back of your neck when you wake up at three in the morning on the dot. I can see you from my mirror in the bathroom. You should really keep your door closed.

Will you ever learn? Will you cover your mirrors like your grandmother did when she lived with you? You thought she was crazy, but she was the sanest person in this house. You shouldn’t have taken the sheets off the mirrors.

When will you join your grandmother and I in the mirror? She says she misses you.

December’s Picks

What I’m reading: Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace

I know. War and Peace? The giant one with the little writing? By that Russian guy? Yep. That one. It’s definitely not something I would normally pick up. I’m more of a sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery type of gal. So this historical novel that is more of a tome than anything falls well outside my wheelhouse. But, hear me out. I try to live by the idea that you can learn something from everyone and everything. Yes, even that guy in traffic that cut you off – he can help teach you empathy. Working from this idea, it would be naive of me to think I could not learn something from this epic. Thus far, Tolstoy’s descriptions of the people and settings are phenomenal, and he doesn’t go on for 18 pages describing a rose bush (looking at you, Nathaniel Hawthorne). I can definitely take something away from that. Reviews on the book that I’ve read also mention how human and real his characters are – something I am hoping to learn more about as I progress in W&P. Will I finish it? Maybe not. If I learn something, it was worth it.

What I’m watching: Jurassic Park Series on Netflix (US)

No, it’s not a tv show series. It’s the movie series from the 90s! I’m a huge dino nerd. Since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated (and a little terrified) by dinosaurs. How did such enormous creatures die off? How did they exist in the first place??? Anyway, enter Jurassic Park. In my opinion, totally worth a re-watch. They hold up for me. The CG – especially for the time – still looks good. The jump scares are there, not to mention the iconic movie score. Trust me. Watch ’em before they’re off Netflix again.

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What I’m listening to: 2020 Spotify Wrapped

Whoever thought of the Spotify Wrapped playlists at Spotify deserves an award. I love these things. It’s so fun to look back at music you discovered this year, as well as old favorites that played on repeat. Are you a Spotify person, too? Check out my 2020 Top Songs here: