Editor’s remorse… it’s a thing right?

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I have so many articles and posts sitting on my desktop ready to go, but I think I’m having a bout of editor’s remorse. Every time I re-read a document to decide if it is publish-ready, something is holding me back from giving it the tick of approval. Heavens to Betsy – am I boring myself with my own writing?

There is an instinctual feeling I get when I read through a piece of work that says ‘done.’ Though lately it has not been happening as much as I’d like. Sometimes my sense of humour is not translating, sometimes the subject matter feels a little stagnant, and others, well… I’ve seen so many articles posted about the same thing I don’t want to feel like I’m regurgitating identical stuff that is already out there.

My novel writing hasn’t suffered – that is still going strong. And I am still loving taking my shelfies and working with PhotoShop. So, maybe it’s time to come up with a new concept, or a new take on things?

I’m not bothered too much about posting to a schedule, because I’d rather publish things I’m passionate about and happy with. Maybe editor’s remorse is a real mental condition… hmmm, doctor says take three shots of your favourite top-shelf alcohol, dance to some music with your dog in the front yard, and repeat until the blockage is gone. Sounds like a fun remedy to me. But I don’t want the hangover, or my neighbours thinking I’m any crazier than I already am.

So I keep writing new articles until I feel one is worthy to publish, and keep staring at the others trying to work out what it is that has me hesitant to press ‘print.’ If they sit there long enough, I’ll get fed up and simply delete them. Problem solved!

How many of you out there have the same issues as me upon re-reading your work? I pray I’m not the only one.

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© Casey Carlisle 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Book Review – ‘Fly on the Wall’ by E. Lockhart

A cheeky contemporary for younger audiences that has commendable insight on injustice.

Fly on the Wall Book Review Pic 01 by Casey Carlisle.jpgGenre: Y/A, Fantasy

No. of pages: 182

From Goodreads:

At the Manhattan School of Art and Music, where everyone is unique and everyone is ‘different’, Gretchen Yee feels ordinary. It doesn’t help that she’s known as the girl who sits alone at lunch, drawing pictures of her favourite superhero, just so she won’t have to talk to anyone. Her best (and only real) friend is there for her, but that’s only if she’s not busy – she’s always busy! 

It’s no surprise that Gretchen isn’t exactly successful in the boy department. Her ex-boyfriend is a cold-fish-sometimes-flirty ex who she can’t stop bumping into. Plus, she has a massive crush on a boy named, Titus but is too scared to make the first move. One minute he seems like a sensitive guy, the next, he’s a completely different person when he’s with his friends. She can’t seem to figure boys out!

Gretchen has one wish: to be a fly on the wall in the boy’s locker room. What are boys really like? What do they talk about?

This is the story of how one girl’s wish came true.

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Fly on the Wall’ is a fun contemporary with a magical realism twist.
Gretchen, our protagonist, feels like she is on the outside of everything and everyone at school. Like she’s in a holding pattern for life. Stagnant. Biracial and not quite arsty enough to be one of the Art Rats, and not generic enough to fit in to a normal crowd at a regular high school, Gretchen feels trapped.

fly-on-the-wall-book-review-pic-02-by-casey-carlisleWhen her parents break some big news, and she is frustrated about things going down at school. Gretchen  wishes she could see what goes on behind closed doors, get answers that seem hidden from her… and then it happens… literally! She becomes a fly on the wall, stuck in the boys locker room. She gets to see them naked, their “gerkins” up close, and all their emotional politics laid bare. It’s pretty hilarious and cool.

It gives Gretchen perspective. A look into other people’s lives at their most
vulnerable. And she learns some lessons. As well as some valuable truths that will help her out of the rut she’s been in.

I love the language and narrative style. Though, ‘Fly on the Wall’ has a simplistic plot and targeted to younger audiences. The storyline is not much of a mystery and fairly predictable; but fun and witty. This was an enjoyable quick read with loads of character development.

I loved how it tackled discrimination, machismo, and archaic views on patriarchy, and ultimately instigated change.  Also, I liked how it explores female sexuality and how it’s okay to feel want. To feel horny or sexual attraction. Not an awakening, just an awareness and acceptance that we are all humans and have desires. Refreshing for a YA novel to deal with sex, desire and body image without being sexualised.

Overall feeling: weird and surprising.

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 © Casey Carlisle 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

#bookporn

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Finished this novel last month and was surprisingly impressed – looking forward to the next in the series (though there is no news of it yet.) Review to come soon.

Baillie loves his science fiction too – I always catch him stealing my books.

Book Review – ‘Slide’ by Jill Hathaway

Interesting.

Slide Book Review Pic 01 by Casey Carlisle.jpgGenre: Y/A, Paranormal, Mystery

No. of pages: 250

From Goodreads:

Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth–her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting distant lately, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.

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I really enjoyed this book, but there was something about it that felt juvenile and incomplete. This is a short novel, but I really had to force myself to read it at times… and others, I couldn’t put it down. The pacing is all over the place.

I can’t help but compare it to the ‘Wake’ trilogy by Lisa McMann. The same concept, similar characters (but less profanity.) Where the Wake trilogy was gritty, dark with flawed characters, ‘Slide’ was light, easily read, and skimmed around the edges of the difficult. It could have been so much more gripping, but the author did not take us down these dark alleys, favouring an after-school-special feel.

Sylvia “Vee” was a likeable character for our protagonist, her inner musings relate to the thoughts all of us have through the torturous teen years. I’m not sure if she was meant to come off as grungy or emo with chipped black fingernails and pink hair, but none of that came through in the narrative. She was more Katy Perry and Avril Lavigne.

It still astounds me that she did not even attempt to speak to an adult, whether it be her father or a police officer when faced with the seriousness of a murder of someone close to her. And with the events that happened after that, it’s a wonder she was even able to function. Especially since she was eating caffeine pills like candy – do you have any idea what those things do to your body and brain chemistry with long-term use? It lost the magic and realism from that point.

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While I loved the mystery of this storyline, and the pacing finally being sorted out in the second half of the novel – there was too much wrong with it contextually. Facts that should have been researched. Maybe this should have been set in an alternate universe to give a better, more impactful setting for the novel to take place.

I really loved Sylvia’s younger sister Mattie – how she behaved and coped with the shock of her friend’s death. That was painted so realistically that I just about applauded. Two thumbs up.

Zane as the leather jacket clad best friend (and outsider) was a little cliché. At least he wasn’t brooding or controlling or overly jealous. He was right on the cusp of me rolling my eyes. On the whole, I like him, but there was no stand out attraction to his character. I felt there could have been a bigger altercation between him and Sylvia so we could see what he was made of.

Sylvia’s Dad – NOW let me do an eyeroll! He annoyed me from start to finish. That’s all I’m going to say, not only to avoid spoilers, but to stop me from devolving into a massive and unflattering rant…

One thing that really annoyed me is that every time Sylvia did her thing, sliding into someone’s head, it always seemed to be at the exact right moment for her to grab a clue to the mystery she was trying to work out. It is a kind of surveillance right? What happened to those times where the subject was doing nothing of consequence? It felt too convenient for me. Detective work is a lot of long hours researching and waiting for something to turn up. Sylvia had all of the clues handed to her. *face palm*

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I was waiting to find out about the mythology of Sylvia’s ability, or even her theories as to how she came to have this ability, but there was nada. I do like how she finally started to embrace it and begin to get a modicum of control. That was pretty cool.

For me to give it a higher rating it would need a few tweaks, a dash of tension and angst and about a hundred pages longer to explore the themes and mythology. Maybe it gets touched on in the second novel ‘Impostor,’ but guessing from the title, it may just be another light mystery.

I’m on the fence about whether I’d recommend this, with so many other engaging books out there, it’s not a big miss. But I’ll reserve judgement until I read the second instalment to see if it can sway my opinion either way.

Overall feeling: Of two minds

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© Casey Carlisle 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.