Parenting is a Contact Sport Review

Like many nonfiction books, including several that we’ve reviewed here on the site, Parenting Is a Contact Sport suffered from a severe case of repetition.  It wasn’t a long book, but however many tens of thousands of words it contained, I could pretty much communicate the same message in a single sentence: have a relationship with your children.  All of the chapters, all of the awkwardly personal anecdotes that were supposed to be hacking my brain and convincing me of the author’s message, could really have been reduced to just that statement.  Granted, some elaboration is useful, but I really don’t think that quite so many words needed to be used.

Youth Characters

realistic, sympathetic, capable, and not-terribly-annoying youthful characters, of which the failure of Wesley Crusher (from Star Trek: The Next Generation) as a character – good in concept, but poor in execution – is emblematic.  It’s something that I’ve been thinking about recently because I’ve experienced several poorly done youthful characters in recent media I’ve consumed, and because I’ve been thinking about a character in Fo’Fonas (Wraith/Revia, for those few of you who have read the rough draft).  I was even thinking about it enough to read a book on parenting, but more on that in this week’s review.

Blood Magic S2:E12: Pifecha, Part Two Release

down now, because the second part of Pifecha, season two’s finale, ended up almost twice the length of a typical episode.  Putting the two parts together, we have a very respectable novella-length story.  I mention this, because the increasing length was among my biggest concerns as I was writing the final episode.  That might seem silly when I publish these on my own website and am beholden to no one as far as word counts go, but the fact is that word count is an important indicator of pacing and plotting considerations.

The Castle of Otranto Review

is how it came to be added to my reading list. However, to be more specific, it is one of the earliest works of Gothic horror, more a precursor to Mary Shelly's Frankenstein than it is to The Lord of the Rings. That is not a genre that I tend to favor, but the idea of reading an early work of speculative fiction was intriguing to allow me to look past that element.

Dialogue Versus Conversation

So I did that. I spent weeks, even months, walking around the school, making mental notes about the ways in which people spoke to different people, how it was different depending on the person and the relationship involved, the different dialects and slangs and jargons that were employed, the patterns to the words. Then I sat down, and in my first serious attempt at a novel length work (which I still intend to finish one day), I sought to incorporate what I had learned about conversation into my dialogue. When I’d written the first sixty thousand words or so, I sent out the rough draft to a few people, and asked for feedback.

Blood Magic S1:E12: Old Blood, Part Two Re-Release

I’d like to consider it a testament to my improved revision abilities that I was going through and making minor changes to Old Blood, Part Two I identified an entire scene that should probably get cut.  I identified it, I wrestled with it, I came to terms with cutting one of the scenes that was the most fun for me to write, and ultimately I decided to leave it intact.

Blood Magic S2:E11: Pifecha, Part One Release

Unlike the first season’s finale, this one does not include as many answers to long-running mysteries, or revelations about Blood Magic, although I am hoping to work some answers to world history questions into the second part.  It is what it is: a dynamic story with a little more plot than character.  Not that there isn’t plenty of emotion and character development contained in this episode, especially with how this first part ends.  Since I do have two parts to work with, I also took the time to do a little more development of side characters and plots than I otherwise would.  Oh, and I apparently have a bad habit of leaving characters stuck on islands in dire straits at the end of books.  Sorry about that.

What’s Next?

We recently announced the upcoming third season of Blood Magic, which will also be the final season, and I promised you in that post some thoughts on what might be coming next.  While there’s still more than a year before it will be time for the next thing, that’s not too early to be thinking about it.  However, please note that nothing is certain yet, and until I make a formal announcement around this time next year, all of what I say here should just be considered possibilities.