Sunday Post – 22nd November, 2020 #Brainfluffbookblog #SundayPost


This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.

This was a much quieter week. I spent part of Thursday afternoon at my sister’s place, because she’d woken up in the morning to no heating or hot water – so I went along to let the heating engineer in, armed with my little plug-in heater as it was rather on the nippy side. Fortunately, it was a case of topping up the boiler with water, which was a huge relief – she doesn’t need the expense and upheaval of replacing the boiler in the runup to Christmas… So I popped back in yesterday, after she returned from work, to show her where the relevant taps are and for a natter. She is part of our bubble, as she lives alone. On Friday, I taught Tim. He’s working on a lovely project – making a song by using words from a variety of films. He’s already some 30 secs into it and having huge fun. My grandson is isolating, as one of the children in his class tested positive for COVID – I’m hoping that he will be fine, and that the school will find a way for him to resit the GCSE Drama exam that he and the rest of his class have now missed. Who’d be a teacher right now??

My big news this week – I’ve finally completed the first draft of Picky Eaters Part 2. I got a tad carried away, to I’ll need to split it. The manuscript has ended up at a monster of 115,500 words, which is far too long. But that will be a case of reorganising various narrative arcs and subplots so it all makes sense and hangs together. I will probably be writing an article about that in due course. In the meantime, I’m still thoroughly enjoying Sci Fi Month and topping up my wish list of authors I want to tuck into.

No photos this week, I’m afraid. Every time I looked up, intending to get out for a walk – it was raining!

Last week I read:

Nophek Gloss – Book 1 of The Graven series by Essa Hansen
When a young man’s planet is destroyed, he sets out on a single-minded quest for revenge across the galaxy in Nophek Gloss, the first book in this epic space opera trilogy by debut author Essa Hansen, for fans of Revenger and Children of Time.
Caiden’s planet is destroyed. His family gone. And, his only hope for survival is a crew of misfit aliens and a mysterious ship that seems to have a soul and a universe of its own. Together they will show him that the universe is much bigger, much more advanced, and much more mysterious than Caiden had ever imagined. But the universe hides dangers as well, and soon Caiden has his own plans.

He vows to do anything it takes to get revenge on the slavers who murdered his people and took away his home. To destroy their regime, he must infiltrate and dismantle them from the inside, or die trying.
I thoroughly enjoyed this full-on, action-packed space opera adventure. Not only does it deliver a great deal of enjoyable, nail-biting action, but also asks questions about the nature of revenge and coming to terms with the hand you’ve been given.

The Sculpted Ship by K.M. O’Brien
Starship engineer Anailu Xindar dreamed of owning her own ship, but she didn’t find the courage to actually go for it until she was forced out of her safe, comfortable job. She goes shopping for a cheap, practical freighter, but she ends up buying a rare, beautiful, but crippled luxury ship. Getting it into space will take more than her technical skills. She’ll have to go way outside her comfort zone to brave the dangers of safaris, formal dinners, a rude professor, and worst of all, a fashion designer. She may even have to make some friends… and enemies.
This gentle story about likeable young engineer, Anailu Xindar, was a complete contrast to the adrenaline ride I had with Nophek Gloss, but no less enjoyable or readable. At present, there isn’t another book – but I’ll be keeping an eye out. I had far too much fun with this one not to want to dive back into this world. Review to follow.

Aftermath – Book 5 of the Sirantha Jax series by Ann Aguirre
Sirantha Jax has the right genes—ones that enable her to “jump” faster-than-light ships through grimspace. But it’s also in her genetic makeup to go it alone. It’s a character trait that has gotten her into—and out of—hot water time and time again, but now she’s caused one of the most horrific events in military history…

During the war against murderous, flesh-eating aliens, Sirantha went AWOL and shifted grimspace beacons to keep the enemy from invading humanity’s homeworld. The cost of her actions: the destruction of modern interstellar travel—and the lives of six hundred Conglomerate soldiers.

Accused of dereliction of duty, desertion, mass murder, and high treason, Sirantha is on trial for her life. And only time will tell if she’s one of the Conglomerate’s greatest heroes—or most infamous criminals…
I let this series lapse for some reason – and I’m so glad that I got back in touch with it! This is a lovely episode, providing a poignant and moving time where Jax does her best to try and make amends for a terrible decision she was forced into during the heat of war. Review to follow.

My posts last week:

Castellan the Black and His Wise Draconic Sayings

Review of AUDIOBOOK Finder – Book 1 of the Finder series by Suzanne Palmer

Review of Perilous Hunt – Book 7 of the Fallen Empire series by Lindsay Buroker

Friday Face-off featuring Artemis by Andy Weir

Thursday Treasures

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Nophek Gloss – Book 1 of The Graven series by Essa Hansen

Can’t-Wait Wednesday featuring Doors of Sleep: Journals of Zaxony Delatree by Tim Pratt

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Angel Six Echo by Robert Appleton

Review of The Valhalla Call – Book 4 of The Hayden War Cycle by Evan Currie

Sunday Post – 15th November 2020

Interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last week, in no particular order:

You Just Won a Giveaway – Now What? Tammy raises the issue of what happens if your anticipated prize doesn’t materialise…

The World Is Still a Pretty Awesome Place Photos It’s worth swinging by and taking a look at this post if you’re slightly in despair over the way things have panned out during this year…

November 19 – Children’s Grief Awareness Day Wanda’s thoughtful post here highlights a hidden problem. And a statistic that I found horrifying…

Escape… If, like me, you love looking at wonderful photos of nature, then Cindy’s blog is always worth a visit…

The problem with (space) debris During Sci Fi Month, I thought this was a timely reminder of some of the issues we are stacking up for ourselves when we do want to make that big push out into the stars…

Thank you for visiting, reading, liking and/or commenting on my blog – I hope you and yours have a peaceful, healthy week. Take care.

43 responses »

  1. The water in the heater, a classic ! Had the same here too. In winter, of course. I hope your grandson will be all right ! This week was very sunny here, but no walks : we’re on lockdown, but hunters are on the lose, so no walks :/ Thank you for the link to The world is still an awesome place, I got a little teary-eyed watching this but it felt really good 🙂

    • Glad you enjoyed looking at the link, Izabel:)). And yes… the business with the boiler is annoying, because if I’d seen the dial, I would have known what the problem was. But no… it was tucked away behind a dropdown panel, which I think is really unhelpful! My boiler has it displayed on the front so you can see when the water level is getting low! Ah well…

      Have a good week and stay safe:)

  2. Oh my gosh, is that old post still floating around?🤣 Congrats on finishing your draft! Sounds like you have some fun editing ahead. Hope you have a lovely week😁

    • Thank you, Tammy! *hangs head in shame* I somehow missed reading it when it first came out! But I thought it would be of interest to other people.

      And yes – lots of editing ahead – not so sure about the FUN bit, though. Teach me to get stupidly carried away with a first draft! Newbie mistake to make! Ah well, I’ll just have to roll up my sleeves and get on with it:))). I hope that you have a lovely week, too!

  3. Hopefully your grandson will be ok and that he tests negative.Our schools are open too. Some are closed due to the virus but it depends on the area and how often kids or teachers turn out to be positive. Don´t worry about the missing pictures *smile* Stay safe and well and good luck for your grandson.

    • Thank you, Vi. The annoying thing is that he won’t be tested unless he presents with symptoms, which I think is nuts given how many children are asymptomatic. My nephew’s school has just shut because so many teachers are isolating they cannot run it. I’m just hoping he continues to stay well.

      Have a great week, Vi:)).

  4. So nice that you guys take care of your sister! My sister isn’t married, but she lives over a 1000km away from us. Luckily she does have a strong community to help her, but I always get a phone call as well!

    Congrats with Picky Eaters Part 2. But yes, I can guess it will take a long time to edit it down now… I still need to read Picky Eaters Part 1! Will get to it.

    Hope you will have a good week Sarah and hopefully your grandson will be okay too.

    Lots of love,

    Mareli & Elza

    • Oh… that’s a long way away. But this is the first time since I was 20 that we have lived in the same town. And I just love it that she is only a 10 minute drive away – because she’d do the same thing for me, too…

      Thank you for your kind congratulations:)). I’m absolutely thrilled – and no worries. You need to read what you feel like picking up, right now:)). It’s got to be all about wanting to, rather than having to, these days. Have a lovely week, Mareli and Elza:))

  5. I’m sure your sister was relieved, definitely not a good time to be arranging the installation of a new boiler I imagine!
    I hope your grandson remains well, the wait must be draining.
    Congrats on finishing your draft, that a lot of writing!

    Wishing you a great reading week

    • Thank you, Shelleyrae:)). Yes – we were all very relieved my sister didn’t need a new boiler in the middle of winter!

      Thank you – yes, I’m just waiting to hear that he’s all fine with no symptoms…

      And to be honest – writing has been such a blessed escape, I think that’s probably why I have got a bit carried away!

      I hope you, too, have a lovely writing week:))

    • Yes! But those edges are in the process of being smoothed into something far more nuanced and complex – and it’s that process I’m finding so enjoyable. And unusual! The only other character I feel whose journey went so far is Miles Vorkosigan – and while I don’t think this series has the scope and heft of that one, there are similarities…

      • Yes – I’ll agree that there is lot more lightness of touch with Bujold’s writing. That light touch pervades all her work – it’s evident in the Penric & the Demon novellas, too.

  6. How nice of you to help out your sister! And doesn’t that song project sound fun.

    I’m terribly glad that I have retired from teaching. How ever would I function right now?

    The Sculpted Ship looks compelling. I wonder why it is that science fiction books are rarely stand alones.

    Thanks for sharing The World is Still a Pretty Awesome Place. I wish there was a channel on the set for Happy News.

    • Thank you, Deb! But my sister would do the same for me – she’s a diamond:)). And yes – I’m really looking forward to hearing Tim’s project once it’s completed – he’s got an amazing talent, his song remixes are just extraordinary!

      The Sculpted Ship is currently a standalone and works quite well like that. There are a fair number of really fabulous standalone sci fi books – but I tend to enjoy reading series:). If you ever want a list of memorable standalone reads, just ask:)).

      Glad you found The World is Still a Pretty Awesome Place such a help – I certainly did! I hope you have a great week, Deb.

  7. Ah yes, rainy England. Well Belgium as a lot alike! I hope your grandson does not have COVID indeed! And congrats on writing so much!!!

    • Thank you, Sophie. Yes… so much rain! I appreciate your kind good wishes regarding my grandson. And yes – I now have a fairly hefty editing task ahead of me, but it serves me right for getting too carried away:))

  8. SJ, I am sorry you have not been able to get out for your usual walks this week and that your grandson has had to go into isolation. I hope he will be well and back to school before he knows it. 🙏 I have also been asking myself who would work in a school right now?! 🤪 Take care and happy reading in the coming week. 🙂

  9. Sounds like a good, but busy week Sarah. So, I have a question for you. Is it harder to write the first draft or to edit it? I pray your grandson is fine and all does well with rescheduling their exam. Enjoy your upcoming week.

    • Thank you, Carla for your kind concern regarding my grandson. I’m hoping all will be well, too! As for your question – it’s SO much easier to write the first draft than edit! For me, anyhow. That said – the editing phase is vital. You can turn an indifferent first effort into something polished and readable with adequate and skilled editing. And it isn’t something I can rush, either…

      • That was what I thought. It is so important, but can be time consuming and frustrating. I have heard of people that give up on editing and put a draft away for years before getting back to it. Good luck to you with this upcoming step in publishing your book Sarah.

      • I’m very lucky in that I’ve now had a lot of practice with this – and I also will be getting in another pair of eyes once I’ve sorted this one out to a certain level. And I am confident in that the initial planning was directed and followed strong narrative arcs and although it overran my predicted word count by quite a margin, I didn’t wander too much from that plan. So I haven’t mucked about with my initial intention for the book – and that’s half the battle!

        I have another book that has frankly defeated me – because my initial intention wasn’t clear. I will go back to it in due course and have another go!

  10. Oh no I hope the boiler doesn’t cause any more trouble, and hopefully your relative doesn’t have any problems with Covid.

    I haven’t posted anything for SciFi Month but I’ve been trying to keep up and the posts have been excellent this year.

  11. I really hope your grandson will be okay. We had a similar situation at my son’s school recently, where two of his classmates that were actually going to the school building tested positive. It made me all the more glad we opted to keep Ian on the 100% virtual school plan a while longer.

    • Thank you, Laurel:)). Yes – I’m still up to my eyes with Castellan, my grumpy old grandfather dragon, as I’ve immediately plunged into a major rewrite. 117000 words is just RIDICULOUS for a light, entertaining novel!

  12. I’m glad you were able to help your sister. You had a productive week even with the rain. It’s mostly still nice here. Every time we are due for a few days of rain it seems mostly less. I’m feeling the wide difference between the scifi books I’m reading for Scifi month and the holiday books I’m reading for HoHoHoRAT. It doesn’t help that I picked a dystopian scifi book to read. I hope you have some lovely days this week!

    • Ah… yes, I’m avoiding the dystopian sci fi reads at present – it’s a genre that can get awfully dark. And I’m absolutely not in the mood for all of that malarky right now! Or if it is bit dark, there has to be lots of fast-flowing action so nothing stays bleak for too long!

      I hope you can enjoy your books – thank goodness you have your lovely Christmas reads – and have a wonderful week:))

  13. How awesome to read that you got your first draft of your new book done. It sounds just wonderful to be able to write a book. I’ve always wanted to do that.. but I just never had any inspiration.
    I’m glad you were able to help out your sister. We definitely have to help each other out.
    Stay safe and happy reading.

    • Oh yes – my sister would do the same for me in a heartbeat. It’s what we do for each other, isn’t it?

      And thank you for your kind congratulations – it took a while before I had the headspace and confidence to write, but it has been an ongoing joy in my life. And I cannot imagine now managing with it… I’m now right in the thickets of rewriting, etc – and having a high old time with that, too!

      I hope you are able to relax a bit this week and stay safe, Maureen:))

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