Reading, writing, watching, and so forth

Winter has settled in now, well and truly. Although we were spared the snowstorm that hit the eastern US coast, we have a good accumulation of snow already and the past week or so has been, for the most part, very cold. I feel utterly chilled and the most annoying cold I am still not completely over is not helping at all.

Despite this, this month’s focus on short story writing is going well. I have already submitted one story (a science fiction-y one with a climate change focus) and have two well on their way for end of the month submission.

I am debating whether to focus solely on short stories again in February or haul out the novel and begin serious, focused editing. I may return to the almost-novella length mystery instead and get that polished up (although I am not sure that there is much of a market for it in its current length).

What I am reading

Still reading The Treacherous Net, although I am almost finished. I think I need to set a new goal to specifically set aside time for novel reading. (Or, I suppose, I could alternatively talk about the reports and such on things like sexual violence in conflict that I read for work, but I think I am devoting enough brain space to that as it is.)

So, I think a reasonable goal is to aim for an extra hour, 3 or 4 times a week. We’ll see how that goes.

What I am watching

Our current comedy (re)watching is Scrubs, which is an exquisite example of both scriptwriting and character development, and our current mystery series continues to be Agatha Christie’s Poirot (we’ve skipped ahead to the novels, which come in around two hours and are wonderfully faithful — although I am thinking of re-reading a couple of particular novels prior to watching the episodes to compare).

Last night, we watched The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It was, in many respects, a worthy successor to the first one. There was a nice continuity in the character development from the first film and the more important new characters slid easily into the story (Richard Gere and Tamsin Greig, who is so excellent in Episodes). I found the plot to be much lighter than in the first film, which is saying something because the first one was not particularly deep. Although the film is ostensibly about big ideas — relationships in general, marriage in particular, death — everything comes together in a rather obvious and sweet way (even the death part, if you can believe it). It is all a little much, but it is a very nice story nonetheless and an enjoyable couple of hours.

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