"Muse and Reverie" is another anthology of short stories by one of my favorite authors - Charles de Lint. It's one of his newest books, published just last year, and it's set in the town we all know and love, Newford. I was kind of sad reading the forward though, he tells us that he's taking a break from writing about Newford, and I love his stories set there! But he's not taking a break from writing, he's going to move on to explore new things, so I can still be excited about that. Also, he tells us in the forward that he has a folder of stories about Newford left that can fill another anthology, so even if he never goes back to writing about Newford we might still get some more stories!
"Muse and Reverie" contains 13 stories. All of them have originally appeared in other places, and that meant that one of them was familiar to me. I didn't mind though, because "Somewhere in my Mind Their Is a Painting Box" is part of a series of short stories that I love! So I was more than happy to reread it.
All of the stories were great, but there were a couple that stuck out at me in particular. I really enjoyed "Refinerytown" because it toyed with the idea that our imagination can bring fairy tale creatures into being, but that doesn't mean they will do what we expect once they are "real!" It's an idea that de Lint has used before, but while the last one I read was haunting, this one had me laughing!
"That Was Radio Clash," is a sweet and yet complicated story about a man who gives others the chance to go back and change their big mistakes. What made the story so interesting was the complex weave of alternating realities, and how magic tied them all together. I like the idea of second chances because we all mess up at one point or another in our lives, and magical second chances are even better!
"The Newford Spook Squad," amused me because he borrowed from other writers! In this story the police force in Newford has decided to create a "spook squad" to investigate some of the odder occurrences in their town, and guess who helps them? None other than Hellboy himself! Having seen the Hellboy movies I was entertained by the marriage between his story and the Newford story. This story first appeared in an anthology called "Hellboy: Odder Jobs."
I've dreamed for a long time about making money off of my writing skills. Now, of course, the ideal would be to get a work of fiction published, but I'm more than happy to do other writing as well. I've been thinking about doing trying to pick up some freelance work for a couple of years now, but never really had the time or the health. Well, I'm finally getting through my migraines, so I can write again! I have a lot of fiction writing I want to do, but I also really want to pursue bringing in a few dollars to the household. To that end I've signed up for www.freelancer.com and I plan on pursuing opportunities on other web-sites as well. I'm taking it one step at a time so that I don't overwhelm myself (or overwork) and I'm excited about the journey!
One of the most exciting things is that I've already had two tentative nibbles on the bids I put in yesterday, and I only bid on six jobs! Nothing concrete yet, but just getting any response is encouraging.
Next I need to focus on making sure I have good examples of my writing prepared for potential employers. Well, that's at least on the list of things I need to work on in the near future. Pretty high as well.
Now to keep from splitting myself in to many directions...
"I am Apache" is the story of a young Apache girl who chooses to walk an unusual path. At only 14 years old she watches her little brother brutally murdered by Mexican raiders. It was the last straw for Siki. She had already been through the loss of both her father and mother, and now she was left alone. Well not entirely alone, she still has her tribe, but she has lost her family and that leaves her raw and angry.
Siki had never really been a normal Apache girl anyway. She wasn't very good at any of the women's chores, to her shame, but she tried. Until, that is, she decides to walk the path of the warrior. It is allowed for girls to walk the path of the warrior, although it is unusual, and she faces resentment from some for her choice. Others choose to help Siki though, and she slowly but surely proves her value as a warrior.
While Siki is busy learning the ways of the warrior, her tribe is in ever increasing danger from both the Mexicans and the White Man. Siki goes along in raids to revenge her people, learns that things aren't always as simple as they seem. She battles on valiantly though, fighting to protect her people, and preserve their honor.
I really enjoyed reading Siki's story. Watching her grow up, watching her learn, and following along with her journey. The choices she made sometimes surprised me, and by the end I found myself unable to put the book down, totally gripped in the story.
So lately it seems like I'm stuck in a cycle of one bad occurrence after another, and even in-between those, I'm so busy recovering and fighting depressing that I still haven't gotten much done! Do you ever go through periods like that? The only good thing is I have some inspiration from everything I've got through recently. I've already written one poem! And there's another piece floating around my head. I don't know if it'll get written right now or if it'll just get stored away for something later, but that's always good right?
Anyway, I'm doing better right now, at least I seem to be. I guess with my life I can never really promise that, but I've had a pretty good couple of weeks and I seem to be getting on track again. I can't promise that I'll truly be on track immediately, but I'm hoping to be able to blog regularly again, write, and work on my jewelry business again. I shall persevere!