The Visions of Grandeur Short Story Collection is Finished!
Today’s the day! Visions of Grandeur (and Other Stories) is finally finished.
And doesn’t it have a fantastic cover?
I love the work that my cover designer did for this short story collection.
And, of course, there are four brand new illustrations inside as well.
Here are the titles for the final two stories contained in the collection (in addition to the seven others I’d previously published):
Finishing My Short Story Collection
Over the past several years, I’ve written a variety of short stories for my Visions of Grandeur short story collection.
I’ve occasionally added new stories to the collection.
But next month, this collection will come to a close.
On March 16th, I’ll be releasing two final stories:
Top Ten Books Read in 2022
This year was a squeaker for me in my ability to reach my Goodreads goal by the years’ end. But I managed to squeeze by with one book to spare in hitting my goal of hitting 75 books. I’ll blame my September move from small town North Carolina to river town Pennsylvania for why things came down to the wire this year.
I find myself re-reading books more often as the years go on, so the list of new titles I read each year is slowly shrinking. But there were some deeply moving and resonant new works I read this year. So here are my 10 favorite books I read for the first time this past year (book titles linked to my longer Goodreads reviews).
10. The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
This was a rather eye-opening look at the very physical ways that trauma can affect people—and what true healing really looks like. Both as a writer and as someone who wants to know how to best help others who may struggle with trauma in my own life, I found this book quite helpful.
Rings of Power isn’t a Terrible Adaptation. It’s Just Disappointing
The first episode for Rings of Power may have been one of the more surprising first episodes of a TV show I’ve seen.
Not because of any shocking plot twist within the episode itself. But because of how low my expectations were going into the show. A bad marketing campaign made me quite worried that the show was just being used as a cash cow with little intent to meaningfully adapt Tolkien’s world. And the fact that the screenwriters’ only prior experience had been as uncredited writers for Star Trek Beyond didn’t give me much trust either.
But then the first episode intrigued me. It was slow. But Tolkien didn’t often write fast-paced fiction, and I was quite open for a slow-burn approach. The showrunners seemed to have a deep passion for Tolkien. Middle-Earth looked stunning. And by the end of the second episode, I at least liked Elrond/Durin & Arondir/Brownyn’s plot lines. And my dismal hopes turned into rather rosy expectations.
With slow shows, however, you can’t really measure how good they are until you see the ending they’re building toward. So aside from a few side tweets here and there on Twitter, I intentionally avoided saying much about the show until I could see it in its entirety.
Now that I’ve seen the ending, though, while I didn’t hate the show, I can’t help but feel that the showrunners made a colossal mistake.
Top Ten Books Read in 2021
This is certainly a fashionably late time to still be posting book recaps of 2021. It’s been a rather busy end of 2021 and beginning of 2022 for me over here in North Carolina. But lest I break the tradition I’ve been sticking pretty regularly to over the past several years, I did want to post about my top ten books from last year before the month of February rolls around.
As has been the standard for these lists, I generally keep re-reads off this list (unless it dramatically changed my view of the book), so those won’t be represented. But without any further commentary, let’s dig into my favorite new reads I’ve done this past year. (As always, titles are linked to my longer reviews.)
10. Truman by David McCullough
I’ve always enjoyed David McCullough’s biographies of different presidents. This book was no exception. A great work that really did an admirable job in bringing the 33rd president of the United States to life.
Top Ten Books Read in 2020
Well, what a year this has been. I’ll spare you the obligatory comments about the craziness of 2020. Needless to say: despite everything else, I’ve managed to continue my standard reading pace I’ve kept up these past four years, including a lot more re-reading than I have for a while! Most of my re-reads were of classical works of literature, but there were a few non-classics as well.
Because I generally keep re-reads off this list (unless it dramatically changed my view of the book), those won’t be represented on this list. But without any further commentary, let’s dig into my favorite new reads I’ve done this past year. (As always, titles are linked to my longer reviews.)
10. Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseni
Khaled Hosseni was on my TBR list for a while before I finally got into him this year. I went back and forth on whether to include Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns in this slot, but ended up choosing Kite Runner since it was my first introduction to his beautiful prose and haunting themes.
Top Ten Books Read in 2019
With the turning of the year, it’s about time for my annual post on my favorite books I read over the course of this past year. I’m posting it a bit later into the new year this time around due to living pretty internet-free over a couple weeks I spent in Greece (which was amazing!) during the holiday season. But without any further ado, here’s my favorite works I read this past year (book titles are hyperlinked to longer Goodreads reviews for interested parties).
10. Demon in Democracy by Ryszard Legutko
I got the privilege of reading this book for a book club, so the discussion may have biased me a little on this book and I’m not sure how much I agree with all of its points. But as a book questioning the sustainability of Enlightenment-era liberal democracies, it sparked a lot of thoughts on my end and was quite good, nit-pickings aside.
Short Story: A Wish Fulfilled
The god-blessed was hunched in the corner of the tavern again, his body shrouded by a gray cloak. His breeches disappeared underneath tall boots, and his tunic’s sleeves extended to the fingers of his gloved hands. Perfect garb for winter.
Yet, outside, oppressive summer heat drove travelers to the tavern in search of a drink.
“Nothing good can come of him being there,” Erich muttered as he sized the god-blessed up. “You don’t linger in another god-blessed’s town unless you’re a troublemaker.”
“You could report him.” His daughter Erin cleaned off a glass. “Tanner would send men pronto.”
“And if this god-blessed retaliates and ransacks our tavern?”
She shrugged and filled the glass with ale. “Better than facing Tanner’s wrath if he learns you housed a god-blessed.”
“He’s not lodging here.”
“He slept in the stalls the last couple nights. I doubt the authorities will care for nuances.”
Erich dug his fingernails into his palm as Erin left to bring ales to the patrons. She was right, of course. If Tanner found out, their livelihood would be at risk.
But he couldn’t just evict a god-blessed.