Thursday, August 15, 2013

Book Reviews yada yada... yada... *snore* ...I'm awake!!! I'm awake!!!

I've posted a couple book reviews on Goodreads if you feel the great urge to read them.  The first is on Star Wars: Heir to the Empre by Timothy Zahn which is the next installment of my retrospective series.  This book is great.  It's the first book written in the Star Wars Expanded Universe (novels that come before/after the original trilogy).  It's written by Hugo Award winning author Timothy Zahn, and if you're like me, you know that a Hugo Award is an indication of the absolute best that the science fiction and fantasy genres have to offer.  If you'd like to dive into the Star Wars Expanded Universe, but are intimidated by how many books there are, and don't really know where to begin.  This is where to begin.  It was the first, and it's one of the best. 

The other is The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter.  This book is a collaboration piece between a guy who writes hardcore sci-fi, and a guy who writes satirical fantasy.  What a combination, eh?  It's about the exploration of infinite alternate versions of Earth, and what impact a mass exodus of the lower class has upon the world.  Yeah, I know it sounds kind of boring, but it's really a very good book, and told in a very unique and refreshing sort of way.  It is far from either writer's normal fare, and they work very well together.  Check it out if you're looking for a very interesting a thought provoking book to read.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What have I been doing lately?

Woooooooooooooooorking, that's what I've been doing lately.  Aren't hiring freezes awesome?  The post office I work at has 17 rural routes, including my own not quite route.  Normally every route will have a substitute carrier that knows it and can carry it on Saturdays, other days off, vacation and sick leave for the regular carrier.  And normally, a lot of people quit, because it can be a pretty craptastic job if you don't know what you're doing, or don't have the seniority to get work regularly beyond that one day off you cover every week, or when, like now, a lot of people have quit and have not been replaced due to the hiring freeze.  There are now 7 substitute carriers covering 17 routes.  13 of which take the same day off every week.  To make matters worse, one of our regular carriers doubles as a fill in supervisor, and has been filling in for supervisors all over utah the entire summer so they can get their summer vacations in. Worse still, I have my own not quite route that I deliver every day, so I am effectively off the list for being able to come in and just do another route.  And even worse, another carrier has been out all summer due to shoulder surgery and will not be returning until the end of September.  So our 7 becomes 4 pretty quickly.  And there's only so much that 4 people can do.  On top of that, the regular carriers also get their vacation time and have been taking it throughout the summer.  Which means, on top of my own route, which takes about 4-5 hours per day to sort and deliver, I also have to sort and deliver another route on top of it.  Adding another 6-7 hours per day.  I've been putting in 10-12 hour days 5-6 days a week all summer long and it is not fun. 

On the bright side, I have money.  When your wages are upwards of $25 p/hr, overtime looks pretty sweet.  On the not so bright side, I'm so exhausted from work I can't even begin to think on how to spend any of it.  I get up a 4:30 in the morning to get an early start and come home most days after 6 and crash, unable to do much but take a shower and stumble to bed.  I'm so worked to death that even if I wanted to go postal, I'm too tired to bother.

And on top of all of that, I've been slowly, but surely, doing another major draft of I Am Nobody when I can stay awake long enough to put any real effort into it.  I have the first five chapters of this new draft done, and am liking the changes I've made.  I'm trying to flesh out the world and the character both to make them more interesting and likable, and give them both a bit more personality, which was the biggest criticism I have received thus far on it.

I've also found the time to write enough book reviews to narrowly hold onto my job as a book critic, but not the time to bother posting them as of yet.  I'll get to it... sometime... maybe... I guess...

And that has been my summer, and why no one has heard much from me during it.  Joy.