I’ve been staring at my unchanging computer screen for about half an hour. Before that, I was flipping through Facebook pages and Twitter feeds for about an hour. Actually, every time I’ve had any free time in the past month or two–which isn’t always often–I’ve reverted to blind Internet-wandering to the point of large blocks of time spent unaware of what I’m looking at. Why am I numbing my mind? Because I have a job to do, and it’s a doozy.

I have to review a book for Talk Nerdy With Us, and–spoiler alert!–it’s terrible. I’m having a very difficult time sludging through it.

The thing is, I can’t decide which I’m dreading more: actually reading the rest of the book, or figuring out how to write the review without using the words “painful,” “excruciating,” or “unfinishable.” Is unfinishable a word? It should be. I don’t want to have to use it, but it should still be a word.

I think I’m going to ask how far I have to get into the book before I can give up on it and just grit my teeth through the writing of the review. As a lover of the well-written word and a fan of grammar and consistent formatting, I just don’t think I can go on much further.

Small print

I don’t feel quite so bad about my own book having a couple minor typos in it now that I’m reading another book to review for the website.

Now, this book that I’m reading isn’t self-published like mine was. It was published through a publisher–possibly a small publishers, but a publisher nonetheless–and has (theoretically) gone through the editing process and formatting and whatnot. So why are there so many paragraphs without indents, or with indents that are different lengths, or missing commas, or commas that don’t belong there, or… well, there are quite a lot of punctuation and formatting errors, and I’m only two chapters in.

For a book that runs $23, I’d expect much more. (And I haven’t even gotten into the bland sentence structure or terrible analogies.) I’m trying to give it the benefit of the doubt and save the review for when I’ve read the whole thing, but it’s pretty slow going.

The best part? This is the first book in a series. A series of this.

I’m not including the title of the book because I have to review it proper for the website, but man, this is tough to read. It almost physically hurts to read it. It certainly pains my writer’s brain.

I shouldn’t complain, though. I’m certain that there will be those who read my own book and find multiple faults with it, which would make me quite the hypocrite.

But good Gods, this is hard.

Mission accomplished!

Well, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to, but somehow I did it. I finished the cosplays in time for Phoenix Comicon!

Okay…so technically I’m not 100% finished…but I know how I’m going to finish the last little bit, which is an improvement over being completely clueless as I was last week. And the weeks before.

My list of things to complete is dwindling to the point where I have three very minor things left to do. A couple snaps here, a strap there, and boom! Cosplays done. So what’s a girl to do next?

That’s a simple answer: More cosplay! I’ve already mentioned that I’ve chosen my next cosplay (Magik from the X-Men), and since my husband picked our last cosplay theme he’s going along with it and picked another X-universe character that he liked the look of.

This time I’ll have about two to three months to finish, as opposed to the one month I had to get the Naruto cosplays done. There’s more than just sewing involved, though–this time, we’ve got some fabrication (prop-building) to do. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to attend some panels at Phoenix Comicon that will give us some idea of where we’re going as far as that goes. Sure, we made the prop gourd for my husband’s Gaara cosplay, but that had a YouTube video tutorial that was fairly easy to follow. With the characters we’re working on, there’s less on the Internet to find to work with. I found a couple of step-by-step pictorial instructions for my sword prop, but nothing video. Still, it’s better than no tutorials at all.

Since I have a week and a half left til Phoenix Comicon, I’m going to try to read the book I have to review for Talk Nerdy With Us. I’ve gotten about six pages in, but the grammar and punctuation are kind of terrible. I understand that it may just be a small publisher and maybe they just don’t have the editorial resources that some bigger publishers have, but c’mon. I self-published my book and had fewer errors. The sentence structure so far is very bland and repetitive. Subject-verb-object, subject-verb-object, subject-verb-object. Doesn’t exactly make for a thrilling read. But I’m only six pages in, so maybe it gets better. Gotta give it a chance.

I also have critiques to do for the charity anthology. I’ve fallen woefully behind on those (due to the cosplay crunch), so I have to try to get up to speed on those.

A week and a half may not seem like much time…but a month didn’t seem like enough time for those cosplays, so I think I can do it. I think so.

Seeing stars

Out of the three people who have so far purchased my novel (not a lot, I know, but considering I did no promotion ahead of time and only limited posts/tweets since it’s pretty decent), I have gotten two five-star reviews on Amazon.

I know eventually I’ll get some negative reviews; it’s the nature of the business. However, knowing that two thirds of the people who purchased¬†Whispers of Death online had positive experiences with the book is heartening. I worked quite hard on it, and given that it’s my first novel I have high hopes for the next one.

Going to have to research marketing methods. Just tweeting and posting on Facebook isn’t going to be enough. I need to reach out farther. Get more peoples’ attention. Push more.

But dear Gods, I hate research.