Tuesday, March 19

Reading... It's a 365-Thing

By Ava Cuvay


Happy March Reading!

The Word Wrangler gals have been writing about various March Reading Month topics. And to be honest, they all claimed the fun days (Dr. Suess!), leaving me with The Freedom of Information Act. Not their fault, since I wasn’t Johnny-on-the-spot enough. However, even though I’m a big fan of the concept behind this important act, my bit of research yielded content as entertaining as a root canal. Even I, with my stellar ability to find humor in just about anything, could not find an angle that didn’t sound like the beginning of a doctoral thesis.

So, I’m going rogue and talking about my own personal reading.

I’ve been fortunate that my substitute teaching allows me some time nearly every day to read, which has been somewhat stifled these past few years as I’ve been trying to write my own books. Granted, I’d still rather be working on my own books, but even my loose moral code balks at writing hot romance when young and impressionable eyes might be around. The beginning of the year had me finishing up a fabulous craft book by the amazeballs Damon Suede. His “Verbalize” book really struck a chord with my own writing, and I’m envious of how he blended humor, positivity, college-level educational explanations and examples, while still being engaging and entertaining. I highly recommend it to any writers, and while I’m recommending it, I’d like to take the moment to also recommend my RWA Chapter’s October 26th Day Conference that will feature both Damon and Geoff Symon, who is a forensics specialist. If you’re near Indiana that weekend, it will be money very well-spent, so mark your calendar!

“Uppercase” by R.K. Gleason. I’ve met and chatted with RK and his wife, Petra, at some regional author signings, and not only are they irreverently funny people, he’s an equally irreverent writer. His novel, “Uppercase” details essentially the beginnings of a zombie apocalypse (started by a Cocker Spaniel, of all things!). It’s not a romance, and the mechanics-purist in me cringes at some of the head-hopping. But it’s an excellent combination of on-the-edge-of-your-seat and humor. Look at your own extended family, and imagine what they might be like in a crises that not everyone yet realizes is a crises… I can barely motivate my own children to hustle when they spill milk; we’d die early in a zombie apocalypse.  R.K.’s short chapter that is a mom texting her son—panic and the ever-present frustration with that ducking auto-correct—is one of the funniest scenes I’ve read in a long while!

“Overload Flux” by Carol Van Natta. I just finished the book this
morning, and… wow. I grabbed a few interesting yet random sci-fi romance ebooks while shopping on Amazon one day. And this one has amazing world-building. A little light on the romance, but the rich universe she's created is just as satisfying. Creating believable worlds and cultures in space is a challenge (at least, it is for me)… it has to be advanced enough to feel “outer space-y” yet not too far out there or you lose the reader. Van Natta does this superbly, and I’m way jealous. She throws out jargon and slang that is common for her universe, yet in such a way that we primitive earthlings in 2019 can still understand. Perfect example: she calls the “bathroom” the “fresher.” Well, why didn’t I think of that??.... Oh, because her world-building is so much better than mine. Her books has inspired me to think deeper about my own stories and universe.

Okay, so those are just a few books I’ve enjoyed so far this year. I didn’t even get into Nan’s “Christmas in a Small Town” that I read in February (wonderful, feel-good story!!). There’s still some days left in March to pick up a book and enjoy reading… and the celebration of reading should be year-round anyway. If you already have a few *cough*cough* books you’re reading, tell me about them!


  1. This probably MUCH more interesting than the FOIA! I'm reading an Elizabeth Berg book right now. It's weird that I'm not sure I love the book, but I do love the people in it.

  2. Fun list! I just finished Magnolia Story (the Chip and Joanna Gaines book); it was a fun read.