An experiment

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Hollyhock flower, photo taken by Kendra Olson

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything specifically for this blog. Mostly this is because I’ve consciously shifted towards giving more of my energy over to my editing work and writing for my editing blog, when I have the time to. But it’s also because this blog became, primarily, a book blog. When I took on more paid editing work, I made a deliberate decision to shift my focus towards helping authors earlier on in their writing journeys. While the book blog was fun, it also took up a lot of time and energy that I needed to devote to my editing business instead. I still love reading—if I didn’t I wouldn’t have chosen to become an editor—but I (mostly) no longer feel the need to review books for my blog.

However, I do still like to write and not everything I like to write about has a home on my editing website/blog. So I’ve decided to experiment with shifting the focus of this blog (again). I’d like to use it to write about whatever takes my fancy at the moment—general musings on life, or whatever. In one way, this seems counterproductive—this is a reading and writing blog that I began to help promote my novel, then used to help promote other authors’ work. But, in another way, it is a writing blog and it is my platform. So….

I hope you’ll stick with me through this experiment but, if you’d rather not, then that’s okay too.

Until next time. Stay safe and stay well.

Kendra

New posts on my editing blog

I recently wrote a couple of blog posts for my editing website, but then forgot to post them here! The first post I wrote was about something that’s affected my creativity for some time now: fear. When I wrote this post, I wasn’t sure which blog to post it to. It seemed to fit over here better, but then the post came to me while thinking about my freelance editing business, so I added it over there instead. You’re welcome to read the post, if you’d like: https://kendraolsoneditorial.com/2020/02/19/on-fear/

The second post I wrote was simply a short reflection on my editing business and new directions I might like to go in. You’re welcome to read that one too, if you’re interested: https://kendraolsoneditorial.com/2020/02/26/february-reflections-on-new-directions/

All the best,

Kendra

 

My Review of How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

How to Stop Time bok cover

I got her to play two strings, back and forth, plucking at a quickening pace, along with my heart. I touched her arm. I closed my eyes, and felt fearful of how much I felt for her.

‘Music is about time,’ I told her. ‘It is about controlling time.’

Tom Hazard is much older than he looks, having been born in Elizabethan England with a rare genetic condition that causes him to age very, very slowly (at the rate of approximately one year for every fifteen years). While his mother considered it to be a gift, the condition has caused Tom numerous problems in life. Fear, suspicion and heartache dominate his existence. He’s had to endure his losses, alone, for centuries.

When a mysterious woman named Agnes holds him up at gunpoint late one afternoon in 1891, telling him that she’s taking him to Plymouth and, from there, to America, he has no idea what to think. What he learns is that there are others like him in the world, and that they’re part of a secret organisation, which he now must join. The first rule of the organisation: that you must not, under any circumstances, fall in love. Those who are part of the organisation must change their identities every eight years, moving to a completely new location in a different part of the world and becoming an entirely different person. This is, supposedly, to ensure their safety and the safety of others like them.

The story is told in first person from Tom’s perspective and alternates between his present—where he teaches history in a Tower Hamlets comprehensive school—and his various, colourful pasts. Haig does an excellent job of capturing the feeling of history without getting bogged down in detail, while simultaneously keeping the focus on how Tom’s past affects his present-day reality.

How to Stop Time contains all the right ingredients for a highly engrossing and memorable story: romance, adventure, an exciting plot with mounting tension, immersive settings and an empathetic protagonist I rooted for all the way through the book (and then some). Matt Haig has certainly succeeded in stopping time with this novel, not only for his protagonist, but also for this reader.

How to Stop Time is published by Canongate Books.

I bought my copy of How to Stop Time from my local independent bookstore, Ink 84.

How to Stop Time is available from all good bookstores and from Amazon.