Life is busy right now. Its that time of year where my job is on my mind 24-7, and I'm dashing about from landlord to landlord, frantically slotting tenants into accommodation like the worlds worst jigsaw puzzle, haunted by the ever-ticking countdown to ARRIVAL DAY. (This the day where all the planning and paperwork, time and energy, finally culminates in an explosion of Opera singers arriving into the country, expecting to be shepherded into their new homes for the next three months.)
Its the ordered chaos that signifies the beginning of this years Opera Festival, and is a welcome sight after all the months of watching it draw ever closer; an ominous blinking warning light on the dashboard of my working life.
Unfortunately, there will be six more ARRIVAL DAYs over the next eight weeks, but this first one, to paraphrase Churchill, does herald the end of the beginning of my working year - bringing with it, an extra day off in the week, and the coveted return of my WRITING DAY.
Oh, how I love my writing day. A whole day just for me, where I can write, research and edit to my little heart's content. It is the blissful silence where my pyjama-clad muse can work her magic, transforming the pictures in my head into words on paper (text on screen, technically, but allow me a little poetic licence.) It is the solitude that I, the eternal recluse, crave - broken only by the fortnightly expedition into civilisation to join my Grandad for lunch; an event which is often a welcome distraction, a chance to rest the ever-whirring cogs of my imagination, and always a cherished event. (Even if I do have to actually get dressed for it...!)
What this WRITING DAY also brings with it, is an entire weekend left to devote to other things. Things that I find I don't have time for in these frantic first few months of the year.
Things like reading, for example. (There! We are finally getting to the point of this post!)
I don't read much at this time of year. Goodreads tells me I've read a grand total of 10 books so far - a miserly 19% of my reading challenge for 2018. And when I do, its a sporadic ten minutes squeezed in and around all the other things that I do. Which is why I've only got as far as the end of Book 2: The Dream Thieves, of a series I started reading on March 7th.
But, (And, here we are! Actual relevant blog time!) despite my promise that I would post a review for the whole series of the Raven Boys on completion, I find myself needing to tell you all about it - or, a little bit about it, at least.
The Raven Boys is a story about Blue Sargent, a seventeen-year-old girl who becomes involved with a group of privileged private school boys (Locally known as The Raven Boys) on a quest to find a source of mythical and mysterious power hidden deep in rural Virginia.
It is, quite frankly, fantastic, in a very grown-up sort of way that is helping the YA genre move into more adult streams. I've been a big fan of Maggie Stiefvater since I read Ballad about a hundred years ago, and have always loved her trademark style and signature prose,and this ticks all the boxes in so many ways...
But what I want to talk about, are the Ley Lines.
For those who know my work from Wattpad, Ley Lines play an important role in Testament, so to see them used to such effect in the Raven Boys, touched a special place in my heart. Its one thing to know how well the idea sounds in your head, and entirely another to read it through the perspective of another author - albeit, in an entirely different scenario (thank the writing gods for that!)
But then it gets better - with the idea of repairing the Ley Lines becoming a pivotal development arc for one of the many well-developed characters in the series.
As for the rest of the myriad plots so expertly woven around these wonderful characters - I'll do a proper review once I've finished them all, and will leave you with only one request. I know I'm a bit late to the party on The Raven Boys series, the first having been released in 2012, but if you've not already, READ IT. You wont be disappointed.
Which is exactly what I'm off to do now... with Blue Lily, Lily Blue (Book 3)