Booktube - Why I Don't Post Like I Want To

As a reader, there's really almost nothing I like more than encountering other people who enjoy one of my favorite pastimes just as much as a I do. So imagine my delight when I discovered the Booktube community on Youtube. I lurked for a long time. Mostly, I found a younger crowd that seemed intent on discussing mostly YA books. Few were the horror, suspense, science fiction, fantasy, or romance readers. Eventually, I did discover one or two people who seemed to read more widely.

 A few of my favorites (I've embedded their most recent videos because I don't know how to better showcase their channel):

 

  

     

There are several others that I follow, too, but to list them all would make this incredibly long.

It wasn't long before I felt the desire to join.  I wanted a channel of my own.  So, I set up my Youtube Account with a second profile and recorded my first couple of videos.  They are hideous.  I am nervous and blathering.  I was also using my iphone to record and lighting was a struggle.

Then I stopped recording.  Stopped uploading.

There are reasons, of course.  It's awkward talking to a camera.  And I was painfully aware that my videos were not nearly as visually appealing as they could have or should have been.  I don't have beautiful shelves filled with books.  My collection sits in the basement on top of what used to be my scrapbooking desk, a suspended wooden headboard with shelves in it, and on a small metal bookshelf. Did I mention these are in the basement next to the furnace, water heater, water softener, and well pump?  Oh, and let's not forget the spider webs and their lovely little denizens.  Cement walls, cement floor.

Now, take a look at the rooms those lovely ladies up above are sitting in.  What do you see in each of those videos?  Bright, cheerful decor that highlights their bookshelves or whimsical book-related decor?  Yeah, me, too.

Frankly, I started feel very self-conscious about my library that's not really a library.  My books are in a pile.  Sitting in front of my pile seemed...sad.

So, I stopped.

But I want to start again.  I just need to figure out how to set up a more attractive backdrop in a place where I won't be self-conscious talking to myself  when the hubby and kids are in the house.

Parker's Story: A Writing Update

I'm still plodding along on the rough draft of this story.  If I wrote more consistently - and without months long breaks - I imagine I'd be much further along than the 121 pages I've currently got saved to my hard drive.

Don't worry, it's backed up safely to the cloud. Thank you, Dropbox. 


The pacing seems to be about right.  The call to action came in the first chapter and Parker is motivated and proactive, which means she's not just reacting.  So that's good as I'm not overly fond of reluctant heroes or heroines.  I'm trying really hard to create a character I could continue to write about even after this story ends.  For this reason, I've tried making her a little more complex than previous characters.  Not quite an anti-hero but definitely not the most straight and narrow of characters, either.  I mean, she spent her childhood with a gang of kids, learning how to pick-pocket, burglarize homes and businesses, and hack into computers.  Even though her big brother got her out of that life and encouraged her to be a bit more respectable and socially acceptable, those early years are a permanent part of her psychological makeup. 

Of course, Parker doesn't exist in a vacuum and I don't want the characters surrounding her to be too simplistic, either.  For this reason, I've started writing first person narratives for the characters that will have an ongoing role in the story.  Giving them their own voice, letting them tell their stories and giving them an opportunity to spell out their goals has been helpful.  These journals - that's how I think of them - will never make it into Parker's story.  They're just a tool in the toolbox, a way to help them be more than one-dimensional place holders. 

For example, here's Sakiya's journal entry (she's the owner and pilot of the Chimera, the mercenary space ship Parker is joining).
I didn’t belong in the Nakano family dynasty, so I left it.

I fidgeted too much, I didn’t study enough, and I didn’t behave with the proper decorum expected of someone with my lineage.  I embarrassed my mother, the matriarch in our home and in our interstellar business, even when it was not my intention to do so. My passionate nature made it difficult for her to ignore me as she so easily did my older sister, Yulene, who was frustratingly perfect.

Yulene is only two years older than I am but her poise and sense of responsibility makes her seem more like a spinster aunt than a childhood playmate.

She won’t be a spinster for much longer though. I’ve been invited to the private family ceremony in the shrine my great-great-grandfather had had erected on Esmara upon his arrival to the moon where he would secure the future of the Nakano-Raithile Corporation. It will be a small, intimate gathering and I do not want to attend.

But how does one ignore an invitation to her only sibling’s wedding?

I blame my mother for putting me in such a deplorable conundrum. If not for her, I would be helping my sister plan her special day and getting to know my future brother-in-law as is proper. But I have been disowned.

I haven’t spoken to my mother since that day six years ago when she discovered I had liquidated my trust fund and bought the Chimera. Her shock had turned to outrage when I explained my intentions.  Our family was intellectual, scientists or academics of one kind or another. Discovering I had lied about my studies for the previous three years and had instead been learning how to pilot an intergalactic space craft had actually left the woman speechless for all of ten standard minutes. She made up for her silence over the next two hours as we waged our battles of will across the entirety of the residence. Her wicked tongue had chased me to my room and the suitcase I had not planned to pack for another seven months.

I moved onto the Chimera that night and lived there alone until my pilot’s license had been legally obtained. I ate alone.  I slept alone.  I studied alone.  

I will admit I had moments of uncertainty.  How did one go about hiring a crew?  How would we obtain work?  I knew how to fly the ship but I could not fix it if it broke.  I also needed people who knew how to protect whatever we were hired to transport.  In fact, when I first decided to go into business for myself and leave the dynasty to my sister and her future offspring, I had little more than a concept to work with and no true mentor to guide me.

I began researching various positions that I thought I would need to hire for my own vessel.  I looked at wanted ads and came to the conclusion that I could pay six people’s salaries for one year without the Chimera making any profit whatsoever that first twelve months.  If we were unsuccessful, I would reduce the crew by two people at the beginning of my next fiscal year.  After that, a profit had to be made.

I would not go back to my family with my pride in hand.

I placed an ad for private security with a vague outline of the job duties associated with the position. Alongside it ran an ad for an engineer, a computer scientist, and a co-pilot. I turned away several unqualified individuals, grateful I had arranged for the meetings to take place in a public place far from the only treasure I possessed at that time.

Sawyer was the first candidate that seemed both knowledgeable and harmless. I hired him on the spot and he came aboard that night. He has been with me ever since and plays a more vital role to my crew than even Anya, my co-pilot and lover, knows.  His instincts have yet to fail me. I sometimes wonder if he’s psychic, which is ridiculous.


Sawyer and I have worked with a number of others over the last few years, but I think we’re both in agreement now that we finally have the crew we want to keep together.  There is synergy among the seven of us. We work well together and trust each other as much as a group of mercenaries can. Not that we don’t have our differences from time to time. We do. As captain and owner of the vessel, it is my job to make sure these conflicts are resolved quickly and fairly. 

My Summer So Far

Summers are one of the busiest times of year for our family.  Last year, we had a graduation party to plan, which meant we were redoing flower beds and cleaning up the yard for most of May and June. Sure, we still managed to get some weekends away in our camper, but not nearly as often as we have been able to do this year.  And the summer isn't even over yet!  We've got at least another month, possibly a month and a half, of good camping weather ahead of us.

Our Home Away From Home

Look how clean the campsite appears in that picture!  That's not normal.  Ken and I rarely camp by ourselves, which means there's usually chairs, shoes, and empty cans everywhere.  Normally, there is a group of trailers or even tents filled with our friends and family nearby. In fact, now that I stop and think about it, I think this upcoming weekend may be the first time this summer we're camping solo...unless you count the fact that we're camping at the same place the youngest boy is having football camp.  I'm not counting it because we'll be in one area of the campground in our camper and the kids and coaches will be at the other end in the cabins.  Far from where I'll be reading and sleeping.

Because, other than walking the dog, that's really all I do while we camp.


Okay, so fine, maybe I play corn hole, a frisbee game or two, and enjoy tubing down a lazy river on a sweltering summer day.

And, yes, I'm the photographer 99.9% of the time.

Of course, camping isn't all we've done so far this summer.  We also managed to sneak in a family vacation to the Boston, Massachusetts area, too.  We went with our best friends and their two boys. Driving from Michigan to Massachusetts meant we could stop at Niagara Falls if we took the Canadian route, which is exactly what we did.