I know I’ve been quiet lately. At least blog quiet. I’ve taken a long break from the submission process for Cheater, but plan to start up again this month. And the most important thing is this: I have been writing. A lot. I’ve found a great rhythm and balance between working part time and writing part time, and have been happily delving into a YA novel I wrote as a 13 year old. It needs a lot of work – but the bones are good. It’s been fun (yet angst inducing) to return to the teenage world. Mostly fun. And I have to say, I love the voice I’ve found, and it is so easy, scarily easy, to slip into my inner teenager. This character is flowing over with potential, and I can see myself writing many, many stories with her. Changing my focus from searching for an agent back to craft has been rejuvenating. Just what I needed to do some revising on Cheater and jump back into the toil of the querying process!
Leaving a Book Unfinished June 26, 2009
It’s been a good week. It’s amazing what I can accomplish when I cut myself off from the internet. But here’s what I want to talk about: putting books down. Do you do it? Up until now, I haven’t been able to. Once I start a book, I can’t not finish it. It’s a compulsive habit, I know. And more than once I’ve dragged my feet through a novel just in order to finish it. I don’t know why – part of me wonders what I might miss out on, I suppose, and part of me doesn’t want to leave something unfinished, loose threads and all. But I’ve come to the enlightened conclusion that there are far too many great books out there for me to waste my precious time with the ones that just aren’t speaking to me.
So I have a new rule. It’s a 100 page rule – which is still quite generous, I think. If, after 100 pages, I still don’t care about the characters, or the writing grates on me, or (choose your demon), I will put that book down and leave it unfinished.
I’ve tried it once already, and wow, was it liberating!
How about you? What do you do when you don’t like a book? Finish it anyway? Throw it across the room? Use it for kindling? Toilet paper?
Currently Reading: I’ve actually nearly finished GOOD OMENS, which is absolutely not a book I would throw across the room or sacrifice to any vile purpose. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett together, writing about the apocalypse – what more could a girl ask for?
Five Questions You Must Ask Yourself May 2, 2009
Writer’s Digest puts out an online magazine that I get via email. A recent magazine had an article that listed five questions you, as a writer, must answer in order to succeed:
1. Who are your favorite authors and why?
2. What do they do that grabs your attention and keeps you turning pages?
3. What keeps you coming back to your favorite genres?
4. What compels you to write fiction/ memoir/ poetry?
5. How will you make sure that your own work grabs and keeps your readers’ attention every bit as well as your own favorites capture you?
At first glance, it seems easy enough. Any time reading or writing comes up in conversation, I light up and babble away. Storytelling and stories are easily my favorite subjects. But now I’ve found myself really pondering these questions; trying to dig deeper. The article emphasizes that we writers should answer these questions with relish and in great detail. So, writers, have at it.
Best Books I’ve Read This Year – So Far November 21, 2008
I may have a huge stack of books in my to-read pile, but it’s not because I haven’t been reading. Oh, wow, do I love to read – typically a book or two a week. It’s amazing what one can accomplish without cable. I’ve picked three favorites. They are quite different in genre and tone, but all of them kept me up late at night, made me ignore the phone, and had me walking around the house while reading, addicted to the pages and dying to know what would happen next. I’m not going to do a book review on each of them because, well, it’s Friday. But here they are, in no particular order. I highly recommend each of them, and if you do read them, come back and let me know what you think!
I loved this book. An original twist on WWII – narrated from the perspective of Death. The characters are strongly drawn, their relationships and interactions rang true, and the setting was intense and believable. I was immediately swept up by the story. It’s a book I hated to finish.
I don’t read much chick lit, but I will definitely read more from Marian Keyes. She handles the obviously touchy subject of addiction with humor and poignancy, allowing us to see the world through an addict’s eyes. It was a tad long – too many scenes that seemed to cover the same basics, but I still could not put the book down.
LOVED this book. Fat Charlie, Spider, and Mr. Nancy take us on a wild ride through a world where gods walk among us, and may very well be singing on a karyoke stage somewhere nearby. The story works on themes similar to those in AMERICAN GODS, but with a more playful tone. Neil Gaiman has quickly become one of my favorites. He’s absolutely brilliant.