Word Winding

attempting to spin cacophony into sanity

Archive for the tag “Patrick Rothfuss”

Holy Rothfuss Fans, Batman!

Oh, ok, um… is this thing on? (screech) Well, first I would like to welcome the hordes of stampeding Rothfuss devotees. More people have stopped by in the past two days than in the last two months, and I think this may have something to do with a mention on a certain writer’s blog.

I wish I had a few more book reviews for you already. I have a couple in mind, and will try to get to one in the next couple days. After you’ve all gone, of course. Oh well.

Anyway, if you have small children, a love of music, and/or like to wax philosophical when you ought to be in bed, I’d be delighted if you’d take a look around. I’ve only been writing since mid-August, so you could get really gung-ho and read everything I’ve written in a few short hours. Here are two posts with descriptions of my first two months of writing if you’d like more of a guided tour: A Fantastic Opportunity… and September’s Haul. And please feel free to add yourself to the small but devoted band of followers on my Facebook page.

If you like what you see, or hell, even if you don’t, you may enjoy this blogger I just found the other day: Mommy is a Nerd.

Anyway, glad you’re here! It was quite an amusing surprise yesterday when you began arriving in earnest. Hope to see some of you again sometime!

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Spinning My Threads on the Interwebs

Looks like I missed my own blog’s two-month birthday! Do you mind if I gush briefly anyway? (If you prefer, go twiddle your thumbs somewhere instead and come back when I post something more meaty. No hard feelings.)

Lately I’ve been marveling at how writing here has been unexpectedly expanding my experience (haha, say that three times fast) in other arenas. When I created this space I mostly just wanted a butterfly net to capture the thoughts Owlet and Platypup had been constantly generating within me but were not yet old enough to receive. Preggo/mommy brain had been leaving me rather inarticulate in real life and I wanted to share those musings with friends and family and even a few strangers. I’d also been feeling a bit one-sided and relished the opportunity to track other mental pursuits unrelated to mothering. But somehow I pictured it all happening in a vacuum, in my little nook of the internet called Word Winding.

What I didn’t expect:

– The very day I opened my blog up to the world, the 15th person to “like” me was the lady behind The Leaky Boob. (I had sent humble little tendrils via Facebook to a handful of my favorite bloggers.) I squealed like a Beatles fan and may have awakened one or more small children in the vicinity. My blitheringly sophomoric status update included the following choice phrases: “Ok, major nerd-meets-semi-celebrity-in-cyberspace moment” and “Well, color me giddy as a schoolgirl.”

– She was the first, but not the only — three of my favorite bloggers have, also: Mama Raw, The Single Crunch, and The Hands Free Revolution. I am truly honored and cannot recommend their work to you highly enough.

Patrick Rothfuss liked my review of his amazing book The Name of the Wind. I mean, of course he would, because I pretty much hand him an award for best writer ever, but still. He took the time (probably out of writing the third book, sorry everyone for delaying its release another four and a half minutes) to read it, reply, say he really liked it, and ask for permission to share it. Recommence shrieking scene described above. Perhaps with bells on. You know, the velco kind you attach to your baby’s flailing limbs. Or am I the only one who does that?

Of course I love the heady feeling I get when someone whose writing I’ve admired likes mine back, but more than that I love the connection.

This is extending away from my blog and into other “virtual” interactions. Recently I sent a brief email to author Debora Geary (review coming soon, I promise) to let her know about a couple typos in her latest book since it had just that day been released on Kindle. I almost never do things like that, but thought maybe there was an easy way to correct it since it was a digital format. Typos are like toothpicks in my brain, and she’s too delightful of an author to have her work marred needlessly if I could ride in on my gallant steed and rescue the situation. She thanked me, which was nice of her, and that was that… until a little over a week later when out of nowhere she wrote again to offer me what she called “an informal proofreading gig.” Um, you mean, instead of me buying your book, you’ll pay me to read it? Yeah, I think that’d be ok…

The point is not to brag. That’s just a side perk. Feel free to slap me for bragging. The point is this: I used to come for the story only, whether to blogs or to books. Despite knowing a few spectacular authors in real life — and loving the extra nuance my personal knowledge brought to their already impressive work — I’d still been buffered from the rest of the world’s writers without realizing it. In starting my own humble blog I have somehow inadvertently sliced through that not-so-impenetrable barrier to the creators behind the words. I have no illusions about “actually” knowing these people as friends (yet! haha… I will try not to stalk these worthy wordsmiths, but I do not promise to succeed). Still, these connections are way more nourishing than my old impersonal, one-way, glazed-eyes speed-reading. It’s refreshing, just as two minutes on the phone with a friend is refreshing compared with any amount of Facebook scrolling.

And now for some recent stats:

– My own sister was rather late to the party as the 50th liker. She’ll never live it down! Relentless teasing shall be hers.

– Five of the last eight people to “like” Word Winding are strangers… or soon-to-be friends? Welcome aboard!

722 Pages Worth Reading Aloud (even if you’re covered in small children)

I had The Name of the Wind in my Amazonian cart for over a year, ever since a friend glowed about it on Facebook. Reviews lavishly recommended it to lovers of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, two of the best works of fantasy ever. When my in-laws gave me a birthday gift card, one of the first things I knew I’d use it for was this book.

The book arrived, and I vanished.

I have a toddler, a baby, and a job. I do not always find time to shower, have all the laundry you might expect from someone cloth-diapering a then-newborn, and my house generally could use a good vacuum. This book immediately jumped ahead of showering on the to-do list. When I blistered to the 722nd page and looked up for what felt like the first time in days, my bleary eyes spotted Thor. I knew he had to read it, and I was just as certain that he’d never get around to it on his own. It was even worth postponing my attack on the second book, The Wise Man’s Fear, just to make sure he came along for the ride.

“This is the best book ever, and we’re going to read it out loud,” I declared rashly.

Thor was a tad less enthusiastic, remembering our lackluster track record at reading aloud ever since Owlet was born, but I knew that was just because he was still living in the real world, whilst I was happily residing inside Patrick Rothfuss’ brainchild. I persisted, and once we began, we were golden. We only get to read during those elusive moments where both children are asleep, but even so, we’ve made it to page 553 already. So far my exhaustion has trumped my longing to sneak a preview of the second book behind the back of a sleeping Thor, but only just!

Rothfuss seems to have an innate literary magic, because in this, his first published novel, you will find a mature, consistent voice, none of the awkwardly childish hokiness of early Rowling. The book begins promptly, with a preface steeped in mystery and drama that leads to a more plain-spoken but no less enthralling narration; a far better pacing, in my sacrilegious opinion, than Tolkein. And yet the humor, charm, and well-fleshed protagonist of Harry Potter are here as well as the epic grandeur and endless depths of implied history of The Lord of the Rings. Yet every word resonates as home-grown rather than pilfered.

Perhaps the reason this is already my favorite trilogy without having read books two or three is the spotlight on music. Music is blood in our main character’s veins. He is raised on it. He is sustained by it through unimaginable loss. He craves it like a drug. His love story is drenched with music and many of the story’s worst moments are made more ferocious by their connection to music-making. With musical literacy lagging ever further behind the likewise faltering “regular” literacy, there is nothing a musician like me loves more than for music to appear center-stage.

And something else, besides. Rothfuss starts late in the story first, and then proceeds to the beginning. So that curious but uncomfortable feeling you get when you read about Joan of Arc, Bill Clinton, or the Wicked Witch of the West? Where you are always trying to connect the dots from your point in the story to where you know things end up later? Yeah, that. I hate and love that. You’ll find that here.

I have tried off and on for several days to find my favorite quotes, pluck them out, and bring them here to you. I can’t do it. They are nestled snugly into their pages like the eyes of an embroidered bird. Not only would it spoil your discovery of the bird to have already seen its eyes, but the eyes by themselves just don’t have the same effect. So, as a friend, I refuse to divulge any further details.

Just trust me, go get the book. Read it, get book two, and read that. Then we can help one another stand the wait until book three comes out!

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