Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Funeral Pyre of My Reading Habits

by Cari Silverwood

This is my first post on OGG and I’m thinking they may boot me out. You see I haven’t read a full book in quite some time. The best I could say I’d completed would be beta reads on stories by Leia Shaw, Candace Blevins, and Cherise Sinclair.

The rot set in when I first became a published author, about two years ago. I went from someone who read perhaps two books a week to someone who opens a book, begins to read, and then finds herself dissecting the writer’s style, plot and words. Or sometimes I simply become bored for no apparent reason.

I shut the book. Horror of horrors.

Now that’s not to say I’m not in-the-middle-of reading many wonderful books. I’m in the middle of the entire Game of Thrones series – the box set takes pride of place on my book shelf, and on a smaller shelf is another amazing book, Blind God’s Bluff by Richard Byers, and there’s a PNR ( I’m rarely in-the-middle-of reading PNR) by Carrie Vaughan. In my eReader, Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter is waiting for me, along with My Liege of Darkhaven and several other whimpering volumes.

They torture me daily.

I hear my neglected books whining at me. I know I should have read them by now.

I’ve been told quite severely that an author needs to read books to feed her/ his muse. Otherwise the muse starves to death. It’s a bit like cannibalism without the crunch of bones and leak of blood. You instead get crushed nouns and eviscerated verbs to swallow. Though the adverbs and adjectives I tend to squish under my heel before they scurry away into my brain. I’m cruel, I know.

Well, I was.

Now I ignore my books as best I can. I think I do feel the lack of new words. When you write a lot of erotic stories certain words seem to become too easy to grab – pussy, cock, and clit, and moans, gasps, and whimpers. I have a feeling that if I don’t cram some non-erotic fantasy or scifi into my brain soon, I’ll be left with nothing but a pile of naked people having an orgy in my head. And I’m sure that isn’t good for me.

Soon I will have another go at girding my loins and reading a whole big fat book.

I marked a stack on my Goodreads profile recently – Beyond Shame and a YA called Partials, and some time back in history, I marked another called The Windup Girl by an author with a name I have to copy and paste, Paolo Bacigalupi. These all look scrumptious. And they might remind me that there are other words in the English tongue apart from penis and writhe, lips, and well, tongue.

There is hope for me yet, as some books do still make me salivate. Just being able to remember the word salivate is a good sign…I think? If the day ever arrives when all that drips from my pen is drool, it will be too late. Well, strictly speaking it will drip from my keyboard but that’s too gross an image even for me. *shudder*

So I’m mixing up a new batch of metaphors, strapping on my caving helmet, getting out a hammer, and a bunch of pitons, and I’m going way down deep into a book. Wish me luck.

To welcome readers back to the new and improved Grip, we're having a contest. Everyone who leaves a comment during the next two weeks (other than Grip members, of course) will be eligible for an ebook prize pack of titles from a bunch of the Grip participants. Comment on multiple days and you'll have more of a chance to win.

So come on by and tell us what you're reading – or comment on what we're reading. (Don't forget to include your email address in your comment.) You might just get some free additions to your TBR list.

If you like, tell me your own sob stories about books you've read. I love tragedy. Dropping a book on your toe doesn't count. Something with blood will do nicely. 


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  2. haven't started the Game of Thrones series yet but everyone keeps telling me it is really good and I need to read it. Good luck with Oh Get A Grip it should be a lot of fun. :0)

  3. Cari - Wishing you luck, as instructed. ;)


  4. Sounds like the whole put-the-book down thingy is going around these days. I have a bunch of half-finished books on my nightstand too.

    Loved your words, Sacchi- especially pussy, cock, clit, moans, whimpers; not to mention writhe, lips, and well, tongue.

    Be well-
    Daddy X

  5. Yeah, I feel a lot of self-reproach about not reading enough, too. I'm a slow reader to begin with, but a lot of my reading time gets consumed by writing time now (along with my cleaning time, social time, being involved in the world time, washing my hair time, etc). Writing devours everything.

    You are not alone. ;-)

  6. Hi, Cari,

    First of all, a huge welcome to the Grip. I invited you because you've done such fabulous posts on my personal blog in the past. I can see that I did the right thing!

    I pretty much avoid reading erotic romance, and I don't read much erotica either, except stuff that I'm reviewing (or a few things by my favorite authors) - for the very reasons that you cite. I can't turn off the inner critic.

    But other genres are a different story. Still, I don't read as much as I used to, because I'm too busy, and by the time I get into bed, too tired!

    If you like science fiction, you should DEFINITELY read *The Windup Girl*. It's one of the best books I've read in years, truly amazing - especially if you've spent any time in Asia.

    Actually, I wrote about it here at the Grip a couple of months ago.


    Once more, welcome! This is going to be fun!

  7. Good luck spelunking! A favorite author of mine wrote a serial recently. I am too scatterbrained and ADD like to keep up with a serial. Each time a new episode came out, I had to start the series over, from the beginning. I finally lost track of where I was--book 4? Book 6? Fortunately the author finished the series and published it in one book. Serials are not for me; no matter how much I like the story, I get lost. The same is true for series, to a lesser extent. Confetti brain! Makes me cry sometimes....

  8. Cari! Cari! Cari!

    Welcome to the band. Lisabet and I have been chugging along here like an old married couple since 2009 and its exciting to see so many new names. Don't under estimate the possibilities here once you get going. You can experiment, air out your thoughts, write weird poems or stories. The topic is there, we just riff on it. Many stories and poems I've had sold or published were lifted straight from blog posts here. You can have a lot of fun on this stage.

    I'm in a similar` state as yourself when it comes to books, I don;t know why. I strongly suspect its because we have too MANY choices. There are so many books and so many ways to read them that's harder and harder to commit and see it through before the next hot thing shows up. Who would have thought such literary lushness would slow us down?


  9. Hi Cari,
    i know you said didn't count drop the book on my toe. i didn't do that, but i did drop the oak t.v. tray i had been using as a table. dropped it from waist high right on my baby toe, broke that sucker in at least 2 places although i thought there was a break in the knuckle too. because of the toe it was we knew the Dr. couldn't do much so we just taped it really tight to the others and cut my shoe to give it room and i walked a bit slower.
    So here is my advice: IF you are reading a Stacey Espino book (any of her book are awesome,love the Ride'em hard series),and it's at the "good part" DO Not carry anything that can hurt you if you drop it on your foot! LOL

    tammy ramey

  10. I don't like to read erotic romances because I write them. But I've been on a cultural Anthropology kick lately, and I've read everything by Desmond Morris that I could find, and now I'm reading "The Ape That Spoke" by John McCrone, about how humans developed words and how memory works. I've also read some of Jared Diamond's books, and I'm about done with Mental Floss' Forbidden Knowledge, which is in my bathroom because it's written in short, easily digestible snippets.

    Reading non-fiction seems to allow me to read and absorb, while also giving my sub-conscious some grist for new stories. Now if I can just get some time off from my multiple jobs to write...

    I also judge in the book contest every year for the publishing org. I belong to, so during that time I "power-read" as many books as they send my way. But as an English major I learned to read quickly.

  11. Welcome, Cari! I sympathize about having too many books in your TBR pile. I keep learning (& relearning) that there are only 24 hours in a day, and whatever I'm doing is taking me away from something else I could (or should) be doing. What you do instead of reading is prob. a good use of your time.

  12. hey, who says we have to finish books. i think it's totally great to read snippets of this & that. carry on, my dear. i enjoyed your first post. shall be a tough act to follow :)

  13. I love reading Erotica especially BDSM as I live in the lifestyle with no one I can talk to! It makes me feel I am not alone as all my friends live in the vanilla world.

    I am reading your books Cari and also Cherise and Sierra constantly. Also Belinda and Kalypso! I never leave any of them unfinished as the Doms would never allow that!

    I also read a lot of mysteries but nothing this week so far.

    Thanks for your stories and your post!

  14. I decided to read two books at a time and I can't keep up. I'm a one book at a time reader.



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