Wicked Wildfire Read-a-thon 2013

WW Read-a-Thon

Wicked Wildfire Read-a-thon hosted by My Shelf Confessions

The Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon is a time when we all get together to dedicate the days of June 7-14 to as much reading as possible. You read as much as you can in order to get yourself a little further through that huge to-read pile! We know real life gets in the way and even if you can’t participate more than one day, you’re welcome to join in on the fun!


It was a slow week for reading. I wasn’t feeling too spiffy for a couple days, but wanted to keep up with my writing. Therefore, the amount I read suffered. I also became preoccupied with doing some other research for the novel I’m working on. I managed to add 6151 words to my manuscript, spent too much time playing around with GIMP to make a suitable desktop wallpaper for the project, and taught myself how to back palm a card. The finest in procrastination on many levels.

I did manage to read 612 pages, finishing one book (The Last Greatest Magician in the World by Jim Steinmeyer) and one long article (The Marvelous Creations of Joseffy by David P. Abbott). Also read a good chunk of Smoke and Steel, a book of poetry by Carl Sandburg, and the beginning of Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian. I took a shot at a few of the challenges and popped into the Twitter chats, though briefly. All in all, a good readathon, especially at the beginning and at the end.

Goals / Reading List

600 pages seems to be my lucky goal (at least according to my selective memory). Other than writing *cough* I have nothing going on this week. I should be able to hit one of the Twitter chats and do a few challenges.

joseffy From the Land of Fear Cobweb Bride (Cobweb Bride Trilogy, #1) Carniepunk The Last Greatest Magician in the World: Howard Thurston versus Houdini & the Battles of the American Wizards

  • The Marvelous Creations of Joseffy by David P. Abbott, a very short research re-read. Done! (It is a *very* short work.)
  • From the Land of Fear by  Harlan Ellison, a short anthology.
  • Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian, the next ARC in my queue.
  • Maybe read a story of two from CarniePunk, another ARC.
  • The Last Greatest Magician in the World by Jim Steinmeyer, if nothing else is working out. Finished!
  • Weekly reading: A couple of chapters of A Storm of Swords, some Smoke and Steel
    by Carl Sandburg Checked off these goals too!

(Already Subjected to Change)


Friday, June 14, 2013

16:38, Updating while Twitter-partying while drinking. Nothing good can come of this. Finished up Steinmeyer’s The Last Greatest Magician in the World and finally hit my page goal. Health and writing haven’t been the best this week.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

10:28, Not sure that I’ll get more than my morning reading done since I’m behind where I’d like to be writing-wise. But, we’ll see…

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

11:45, Didn’t get much reading done yesterday. A small amount of sleep and my venture into the elements (the Arizona heat) left me kind of goofed up. Today, I’ve had a little more sleep, broken up by going out to play some ultimate frisbee at 7am when the weather is still cool. Need to write today. Didn’t get much of that done yesterday either.

For the last few days, I’ve been looking for a good version of the Zenda Waltzes, which was The Last Greatest Magician Howard Thurston’s “theme” song during his early career. It’s a surprisingly under-recorded piece of music. This is  video of a music box that plays the tune. The music starts around the 1:20 mark.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

13:30, My brain disagreed with me yesterday and I went back to Steinmeyer in the moments I wasn’t querying, writing, and researching. This morning I went up to the mall (a mile walk), but took the bus back home due to the heat. Read Cobweb Bride on my Kindle during the trip since I lack any portable magic literature.

Not sure what I think of Cobweb Bride yet, but it did bring very specific music to mind for Songs of Summer: Fever Ray’s “If I Had a Heart.” If you watch Vikings (and why wouldn’t you?), this is their chilly, droning title music. Perfect for a fantasy set in winter about the dead not dying.

Monday, June 10, 2013

9:40, Laundry day and a work day. I might attempt to go back to From the Land of Fear to give my brain a magic break. Finished the Cover Lover Challenge though the Title Scramble still haunts me. 11:41, Or I will continue where I left off on Saturday, now that Open Library has fixed their Inside Text search function: books research and Sandburg. Ransacking encyclopedias, if you will. 12:38, Well, until their search function breaks again…

Sunday, June 9, 2013

09:04, Never quite got back to reading yesterday. Ended up rereading the last few chapters of my manuscript and doing some rewrites. Today, probably more of The Last Greatest Magician in the World and more Sandburg. 20:44, Been suffering from an ear ache all day so no headphones and therefore no Songs of Summer pick. But lots of reading done.

I hadn’t intended to read more than a few of Sandburg’s poems as part of my weekly reading, but I’m very much enjoying him. My favorite thus far:

Old-fashioned Requited Love

I have ransacked the encyclopedias
And slid my fingers among topics and titles
Looking for you.

And the answer comes slow.
There seems to be no answer.

I shall ask the next banana peddler the who and the why of it.

Or—the iceman with his iron tongs gripping a clear cube in summer sunlight—maybe he will know.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

08:08, Good sleep was good. Skipped around between several books yesterday. That’s just the way I roll. 11:45, Read my first Carl Sandburg this morning while doing more Joseffy research. Planning a trip to a bookstore today. Tried my hand at the Title Scramble Challenge. 16:27, Twitter chatted until my husband said, “Didn’t you want to go to the bookstore?” Ended up buying nothing!  Work-wise, I’m cleaning up a few things in the first eight chapters.

Today’s music/book pairing is Steel and Smoke and Jack White. This is a deleted scene from the highly-recommended-by-me documentary It Might Get Loud. The film begins with White building a guitar out of…stuff. This clip picks up there and moves on to White playing some blues. The poems in Carl Sandburg’s Steel and Smoke are often about the juxtaposition of the industrial and the pastoral, which pretty much sums up cities like Sandburg’s Chicago and White’s Detroit.

Friday, June 7, 2013 

00:15, Starting at midnight? Oh, yeah! And also because I want to reread The Marvelous Creations of Joseffy before I write the next scene I need to write. 02:03, Finished Joseffy. Did the jigsaw puzzle challenge! Very fun, but now, to bed. Thursday was a long day. 11:35, Read some more this morning during my bouts of insomnia. Need to get some frisbee league stuff taken care of and write. 22:08, 1813 words added to my manuscript. Walk taken. Back to books!

For today’s Songs of Summer challenge, I’ve picked Rasputina’s “State Fair” to accompany The Marvelous Creations of Joseffy. Joseffy was a magician/engineer and violinist that frequented the Chautauqua and Lyceum circuits in the early 1900s. These institutions were not state fairs but instead a traveling entertainment and lecture series. The electric cellos of Rasptuina remind me of the maverick quality I’d like to give my Joseffy character. I’d also like to think of him as swoon-worthy for his time.

9 thoughts on “Wicked Wildfire Read-a-thon 2013

  1. Carl V. Anderson

    Really like the cover of the Ellison book. Does it say who the artist is? I need to read more of Ellison’s short fiction. He is known as such a colossal jerk that I have been hard pressed to actively seek out his work, but I’m also a proponent of, in most cases, judging the work by the work and not by the author’s personality/behaviors/etc.

    1. Katherine Nabity Post author

      My paperback didn’t list the cover artist, but I could make out his (or maybe her) signature: O’Brien. Internet Speculative Fiction Database turned up http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?77057 Not to be confused with current popular cover artist Tim O’Brien, who was 9 when the book came out.

      I have a weird fondness for Harlan Ellison, as acerbic as he is. It’s always seemed to me that if this short, very angry man can get by in writing, I might have a quarter of a chance. Plus, he’s pretty good at it. I’d recommend Angry Candy as a good anthology.

  2. Pabkins

    That was a crazy music video?? hahah – I really want to read Carnie Punk! so jealous Thanks for joining us! did you try my Jigsaw puzzle challenge?

  3. Pingback: End of the Year 2013 #ReadingCram – The Writerly Reader

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