It’s been longer than I usually like since my last update on here, and that is entirely because of my day job work. I’m short-handed and stretched thin, and subsequently working weird and long shifts to fill in the gaps until I can get some help trained and ready to go. Fingers crossed that’ll happen in August so I can have a little breathing room again.
Or at least for something to change for the better.
As far as writing goes, there has been so very, very little of it lately. My energy levels have been all but depleted on a day to day basis, and a lot of my days off have been spent working on more crafting things.
I did have a spark of inspiration for what could be a neat little short story (and I really do intend for it to stay at “short story” this time), so I’ve been brainstorming about that. I also have been slowly unraveling more answers for my Doom Tree story–which I realize I haven’t yet talked about!–and for the Embrosi series.
I also have a couple posts in the works for here talking a bit about my Wolf’s Eye novel more in-depth, and a few other writing or writing-related topics. It’s been tough to find the time to sit down with these topics and organize all my thoughts and such about them, but I do eventually want to get to them.
Otherwise, I also picked up a book titled Deathless spoken highly of by an acquaintance of mine, and I devoured it in about two days flat. Not only do I like this acquaintance’s taste in reading, but the subject also seemed like it would serve as good inspiration to get back into the headspace of the Wolf’s Eye story. Since I (rather unfortunately) don’t have much in the way of actual writing update to give, how about a little book review instead?
Deathless is a novel written by Catherynne M. Valente, and it is among one of the best books I’ve read in recent history.
It combines Russian folklore and interposes it along with the events and aftermath of the Russian Revolution, and it does a phenomenal job of it. The writing is visceral and evocative, and paints a stunning picture of the despondency of what happened to many Russians in day to day life, and imagines in a very real way just how folklore would intersect with life.
The book follows a young heroine through a modern re-envisioning of a particular tale, Koschei the Deathless, and pays excellent homage to the storytelling style of traditional Russian folklore stories. The descriptions are beautiful even while sometimes being a little uncomfortable.
I really loved how evocative it was, and how different and perfectly suited the style and tone were throughout the book. The fact that it was Russian folklore that it effortlessly integrated and wove together against the seams of real events was definitely the cherry on top of the cake for me; I’ve recently been feeling more than a little connected with my own Slavic familial roots, and it’s quite refreshing to see that in a very well done and well written fantasy.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys folklore, who enjoys Russian folklore and tradition, and who simply enjoys a good, visceral blending of fantasy and reality.