Friday, October 9, 2009

Next up

Friday, October 9, 2009

OK. Here goes.

When I first retired, a goal I set for myself was to read one book a week, fifty books a year, as long as I am able. Another goal was to write at least two 60,000-word books a year.

I've kept to those goals.

Ordinarily, I don't read massive commercial bestsellers for two reasons: (1) Mostly, I don't like them. They are too canned. Sometimes I liked the early ones where the author created the character. Those books were new and fresh. But often the later ones are stale. They re-plow the same ground to keep the books selling.

And (2) Commercial series blockbusters crowd out a variety of voices. I like to write different kinds of books, and I like to read different kinds of books. Nowadays (at least in the U.S.), it is getting harder if you are a good writer whose books aren't narrowly targeted to a specific audience or whose books won't sell quadzillions.

If your name is not J.D. Robb, Dan Brown, Sarah Palin, or Edward Kennedy, or if you didn't write your book to target some narrow audience, your book might not see the light of day. Didn't they used to have something called Chick Lit (now out of style), for example?

Well, I don't write that way, and I don't read that way.

But that said, I'm setting out on The Lost Symbol. Mystery novels with religious themes (though often hokum) interest me. I read The Da Vinci Code and was amazed that such a bestseller could be built on an old canard passed around among religious people forever.

And, in some ways, I enjoyed The Da Vinci Code. I viewed it in the same way I view a movie like Indiana Jones.

I started this blog to give people who had read my book a way to communicate with me. Now I write it as a personal journal. I start the day with a little writing, and I keep track of how I am carrying out the goals for my retirement.

Those who look in on what I'm doing are welcome, but mainly now, I do this for me.

It will take me a while to wade through The Lost Symbol.

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