Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for January 23rd, 2014

Just Reviewed Ann Leckie’s “Ancillary Justice” at SBR, Plus an “Elfy” Update

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Folks, I just reviewed Ann Leckie’s ANCILLARY JUSTICE over at Shiny Book Review (SBR for short, as always). I enjoyed this novel thoroughly, and said so . . . in fact, I couldn’t find one single thing to nitpick about, which is so rare as to be worthy of celebration in and of itself.

That ANCILLARY JUSTICE is Ms. Leckie’s debut novel makes this accomplishment even more impressive.

Go read my review, then be sure to read ANCILLARY JUSTICE.

Now back to my regularly scheduled blog.

Since I owe y’all an update, here ’tis . . . I’m working on the first half of my novel, ELFY. (No, it hasn’t been retitled. I don’t know if it will be, or if my publisher at Twilight Times Books is going to leave it as ELFY, part 1 and ELFY, part 2.) I’m trying to get everything in train for an April launch; I don’t have cover art yet, but I’ve been told I will soon, and I have some quotes from several gifted authors who’ve read ELFY and enjoyed it.

This last-round editorial lookover, by me, is nerve-wracking, yet it must be done.

For those of you in the writing community who know the stages a book goes through before launch, I’m one step short of the page-proof stage. I’ve made all changes required. I’ve done what I need to do . . . yet as this is my story, something I’ve spent much of the last ten years trying to get published, I want to make sure everything is right before it gets published as an e-book.

And as my publisher asked me for my very best efforts, I intend to give them to her. (Not that I’d ever do anything less, of course.)

Work proceeds more slowly than I’d hoped, but every day, I get some progress made. I believe I’ll be able to turn in the first half of ELFY by the end of January, and still hit the window I’ve been aiming for — April — if all goes well.

(And it had better.)

Anyway, that’s why I’ve not blogged much lately, and it’s why my blogs may be scarce (aside from announcing book reviews and such) over the next week.

And in case you’re wondering why, if I have so much going on, that I’d spend some of my precious time writing about the Milwaukee Bucks — well, it’s simple. A friend asked me to write about them, and I told him that I’d only do so once the Bucks broke their losing streak. Which they did, on Wednesday night, so I wrote about them.

If the Bucks win on Friday night, they’ll have won two games in a row — a seemingly Herculean feat — and I’ve already said I’ll write about them again.

Anyway, now I need to get to getting, as there’s editing to be done (a bit for a friend, a bit of ELFY, part 1), sleep to be had, and more books to be read and reviewed.

Stay warm, folks.

 

Written by Barb Caffrey

January 23, 2014 at 3:31 am

Bucks Beat Pistons, Break 9-Game Losing Streak

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The 2013-2014 Milwaukee Bucks have not been a good team, to put it mildly. Going into tonight’s game against the Detroit Pistons, they were by far the worst team in the league with a record of 7-33, and had lost nine games in a row.

Because the Bucks hadn’t won any games in 2014, the team has been in an ugly mood.

So have the fans, who’ve taken to booing home players after they’ve missed free throws. Which is very bad behavior on the part of the fans, of course, but can you blame them? It’s no fun to go cheer on your favorite team, only to watch them creatively find yet another way to lose.

The Bucks, in short, have been pathetic.

But tonight’s game against the Pistons was a bit different from the start. The Bucks actually made their first basket, a nice change. They were competitive at halftime, losing by only six points, 56-50. And they were actually ahead for much of the fourth quarter, where they outscored Detroit, 23-16.

Even with all that, the Bucks barely squeaked out a win against the Pistons, 104-101. The game was in doubt until the final 1.4 seconds of the game, though to be fair to the Bucks, there were some extremely debatable calls by the referees — the worst of the lot being a no-call after Brandon Knight was actually thrown out of bounds by a Piston player, yet the ball somehow went back to Detroit. Had those calls been more understandable, the Bucks would’ve taken a comfortable five-point lead with thirty seconds to play . . . instead, there were multiple opportunities for the Pistons to win.

Instead, the Pistons fell to 17-25. (Check out the Bucks’ Tumblr page if you don’t believe me.)

This was an interesting game for many reasons besides the odd decisions from the referees. First, it was Caron Butler bobble head night — as Butler is a native of Racine, and as this is his first season with the Bucks, he had many friends and family in the stands to cheer him on. This may have been one reason why Butler played exceptionally well this evening with 30 points, seven rebounds and a season-high five assists.

Second, Milwaukee’s PG Knight used to play for the Pistons, while PG Brandon Jennings, of course, used to play for the Bucks. So there was a lot of hard-fought action on both sides from those two men, because they were playing for pride. Jennings finished with 30 points, four rebounds and four assists, while Knight countered with 16 points, seven rebounds and nine assists.

Third, there were two Bucks players out with illness, C Larry Sanders and SG O.J. Mayo — both are normally in the starting lineup — while a third ill player, PG Luke Ridnour, did well off the bench, hitting two of his four three-point attempts and finishing with eight points in 19 minutes.

Any way you slice it, the 2013-2014 Milwaukee Bucks have been dreadful. But it’s nice to see them scratch and claw their way to an unexpected win for a change, rather than lose, fight with each other in the locker room, lose some more, fight in bars and get injured, and, of course, lose.

It’s hard to know what to expect on Friday, when the Bucks will take on the Cavaliers (15-27) in Cleveland. Will Milwaukee show some moxie again, as they did this evening? Or will they go out and lose yet again?

The smart money is probably going to be on the Bucks losing as many games as they can, as they seem more interested in getting a high draft choice than showing their fans that they actually care about winning games. But I have a funny feeling that the Bucks might actually beat Cleveland, just to be contrary.

If they do, I’ll be glad to write about them again on Friday . . . because if the Bucks can win two games in a row, that’ll be a verifiable hot streak, thus a story, thus something I can blog about without wanting to fall asleep.

Written by Barb Caffrey

January 23, 2014 at 12:02 am