Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Telluride fun, and my new Goodreads policy

Hope everyone had a terrific weekend!  My husband, son, and I had a wonderful 4th of July in our favorite town in Colorado: Telluride.  It's our favorite for good reason.  In winter, the skiing is incredible (assuming there's enough of a snow base to properly cover the steeps), and in summer, the valley remains utterly gorgeous - the town is deep in a box canyon surrounded by towering peaks whose slopes are covered in aspen and wildflowers.

Town of Telluride beneath the San Sophia ridge - you can't see it very well in this pic (our good camera died so this was taken with my cell phone!) but the ridgeline is gloriously jagged.  
Telluride is so small you don't need a car, the houses are cute brightly painted Victorian things (as opposed to Colorado's usual "squat, ugly box" mining-heritage architecture), the locals are both friendly and hugely outdoorsy, and scads of amazing hiking and scrambling awaits right outside your front door.  I have this wistful dream of one day renting one of those cute little Victorian houses and spending a year living in Telluride, exploring all the San Juan Mountains have to offer.  (Sadly, first I'd have to win the lottery.  Telluride's housing prices make Boulder's seem like a bargain.)  We didn't get to enjoy any fireworks this year - the San Juan Mountains are tinder-dry right now, so Telluride and all the other towns in the region had to cancel their planned displays.  But my son thoroughly enjoyed the parade and town barbeque, and I thoroughly enjoyed the chance for some hikes with spectacular views.

Waiting on main street for the parade to start.
Anyway, while I was off enjoying some quality family time in the mountains, The Whitefire Crossing was also having a good start to the month: the brand-new r/Fantasy Goodreads discussion group voted to make Whitefire their inaugural Book of the Month group read.  It's not the first time Whitefire's been nominated for "book of the month" in a Goodreads discussion group, but it's the first time it's ever won out in the decision poll, so I can't help but grin in delight.  My fingers are crossed that people have fun reading and discussing!  And hey, that's not all - Whitefire also picked up a nice new review from the Coffee, Cookies, and Chili Peppers blog.  Hooray!

Speaking of Goodreads, I'm trying out a new approach to using the site. I adore Goodreads as an author, but after an initial flurry of rating/reviewing books back when I first joined, I quickly found that I felt pretty uncomfortable as a reader about rating books on a 5-star scale.  Part of it was that I felt really awkward about rating fellow SFF authors' novels, period.  But most of it was that I found it so hard to rate books on such a compressed scale.  I mean, how do you rate a novel which you LOVED in spite of some hiccups of craft, compared to a book that you were deeply impressed with craft-wise but didn't actually enjoy?  I kept wishing there were multiple categories to rate, like theme/craft/character/plot, and agonizing over the rating decision.  For a long time I stopped rating/reviewing, or even adding books to my library on Goodreads at all.  But darn it, I really like the idea of having a detailed record of what I've now I'm trying a new policy.  I'm still not going to rate books, but I'll mark what I'm currently reading, and when I finish, I'll leave a few sentences with my impressions of the book.  I've started already with the books I read over the holiday weekend; so far, I'm feeling good about my new approach, but we'll see how it goes.            


  1. Looks like a great place for a hike.

    And about Goodreads, I get it - you just don't want to give my Han Solo romance three stars. : p

    1. You've found me out, Steve. :P Heh, but truthfully, it was after the first time that I rated a book 3 stars that I decided to stop rating entirely. It's funny, because I totally don't mind other authors rating my books brutally honestly...but I guess I know not every author's got my equanimity and I hate the thought of making someone feel bad. (In case I haven't posted it before, here's what many authors feel is an accurate depiction of Goodreads: . I myself love Goodreads, and I still laughed so hard I nearly cried when I first saw that link.)