I have not been reading fiction lately. It is so funny because it does not feel like I am reading at all! In the past I have always been able to remember titles and authors but this winter the fiction reading I have done this part winter has not inspired me to even notice these things. A couple of fiction books about Navajo culture set in the context of mysteries by Tony Hillerman have interested me but not because they are Pulitzer quality. Rather they were like going to the movies…pure entertainment. A Thief of Time and Skinwalkers were both fun reads.
My reading has mostly been online posts of varying types and books on the life of writer and how they go about perfecting their craft. I won a book at Nathan Melcher’s blog , The Scrawl and when I arrived home from the desert earlier this week, it was waiting for me. The book, the War of Art is also available online, at least in part. If you will click on this link you will find the book. Go to page 27 and read the chapter called “Resistance and Victimhood”. This is one of those books that is quotable and interesting but not very well written (in my opinion). My take on it was; get the quotes and do your own writing using them as the starting point. Maybe all self help books are like this…a starting poin
Then I went to the books store and bought 2008 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Now this book is worth the money. Articles by authors as well as listing of places to be published and where to get guidelines for publishing are all between the covers. I have no idea whether I will ever be a published author but if I can come to a place where I feel that the quality of my writing might attract a publisher I would be very proud. I suppose that is why so many of my posts are labeled ….it’s the journey.
I wrote last fall about reading The Writing Life. As I remember, this author loved a cold shed or an isolated library reading room to write in. That would drive me nuts. The point is we have to find the place not only in our heads but in reality that makes us work at what we love. It appears, as I read more and more about authors, that they love procrastination and find reasons not to do what they need to do… ( You know how that is…we all had term papers that did not make us want to sit at a desk. We would put it off until we were truly afraid that we could not do it and then the challenge made us do better work.). Parts of this book can be read online too. It is, I think, a good thing when we can get a taste for what we are buying. If you will click on the Amazon link at the side of this page I think you can find these books for you to purchase. (I actually have not tried this yet. I just love to see all the books scrolling through when I come to my blog!)
The first book of this type that I read was Mary Pipher’s Writing to Change the World. A friend comments to me about a year ago that she would write to change an injustice or correct misinformation or even if she felt she to make the world a better place. We all have those moments when we just need a good rant. We can complain or we can propose a positive solution for the problem. That is what Mary Pipher is all about. The book is a bit fluffy in some spots but in the end it is enough to get you going! Pipher is a clinical psychologist that treats adolescent girls and the author of Reviving Ophelia. The book is about helping teen girls live in a materialistic and image conscious world. Because her life has always been about helping others deal with big problems, this book has a tone that makes you want to just do something…start what you have been wanting to start… today.
I am also spending part of every day reading websites. Writer’s Digest is a great source because I am able to read writing by people that are learning their craft. Ink Workshop, a part of the website Flask and Pen Literary Magazine, is very interesting. I am just learning how to around on this site and cannot get into the registration yet but I will figure it out!
So there you have it. I hope there is a gem or two that you might be interested in. Have a great day.