There is an old maxim that everyone has at least one book inside them. I think sometimes that there may be one book for everyone and many books are locked up inside the heads of those like Rowling and King.
Do you have a book inside you? Do you want to write something, but you haven’t figured it out yet.
Sometimes you just need to dive in and get going.
Have you spent years planning, but getting past the blinking cursor feels impossible?
Join the group!
It is 7 o’clock at night and your first free evening in a week or more. You have a cup of tea and uninterrupted quiet time. Lucky you. All you have to do is pick a book. You go to your bookshelf. At the front are three books from the bookstore you picked up that you know you should read. They are sitting in front of half a shelf of books that you’ve been meaning to read. You push them aside and pull out the well loved Agatha Christie, Elizabeth Peters, or Terry Prachett. Just in case you were wondering the ‘you’ in the scenario is me.
I love to reread books, but reading The Curse of the Pharaohs for the seventh time may not be the best use of uninterrupted evening reading time. So, once I realized what I was doing, I came up with a system. Continue reading “Read What You Mean To”
Some classics are obsessed over. I was recently at a classic car show where people of all ages were ogling the many vehicles on display, some predating World War I. They were beautiful.
Then, some classics cause panic, like War and Peace.
When it comes to books, many readers assume they have to be at a certain level to read, appreciate, and understand what was written.
Take thirty days and think about this. These books have lasted because, for the most part, they are accessible and relatable.
We talk about five page classics, the purpose of classics, and the importance of quality over quantity.
You might make a friend who has the wisdom of the ages.
I remember watching a learning show when I was a kid. There was a bear who always sang, “There’s always one more thing to learn.” I only remember that line and it plays over and over into my brain. It has scarred my subconscious. That ear worm may be to blame for my jaunts into many disciplines.
The last time it was physically possible for one person to read every single book in the world is estimated around 1500. Since then we have had to choose what we read and what we don’t read. There is a subjective list of books that includes the Iliad and Moby Dick most people say makes up a well read person. But what is a well read person? And can someone spurred onward by a half forgotten song apply?
If it is the time spent reading, then my two-year-old who spends an hour a day pouring over Richard Scary and Good Night, Moon might be well read. If it is pages read, then at 15, when I didn’t read much other than thriller and gothic horror, I covered a lot of ground. Continue reading “Well Read”
If ten thousand hours makes you an expert, then there is something I’m an expert in.
The problem is the more expertise I gain, the more I realize how little expertise I have. Maybe everyone who has a subject they are good at sees things that way. I’m an expert in reading. Technically. I have been paid to teach it, which makes me a professional. So, let me share a simple path to developing a habit that can give you access to many realms of expertise.
Reading is a skill that will reverberate into many areas of life, bridging the personal and professional. Over the course of thirty days, we’ll discuss the essence of habit, the scientific value of reading, and how to vary your reading speed among other things. Join the Facebook group. Print out a punchcard. Most importantly, grab a good book and enjoy it.
The ideas hit me right in the center of other writing projects. It is classic ‘greener grass’ syndrome. I dabble in memoir while drafting my fantasy novel or write blog posts when I should be editing.
The more I write, the more the ideas flow. Some are great, like my current novels (Spoilers!) and some are like my brilliant short story idea where teens manifest abilities through physical growths. He grew the third eye! Need I say more?
While you might not have a supportive husband who will look at you and say, “No,” in a horrified manner, there are a few simple ways to see whether an idea has traction or not.
Continue reading “Building Ideas Worth Writing”
The setting is France. A man unjustly imprisoned is finally released. A young woman, long cared for by the man as a father, finds herself in love. The one she loves is a noble hiding himself in the masses because of his politics. Her love is saved from death by an unrequited love.
The story we find ourselves describing could be either our 1042 page giant or its Dickensian counterpart. Both Les Miserables and A Tale of Two Cities feature similar plot points. Les Miserables is often abridged due to Victor Hugo’s tangents on everything from a fifteen chapter section on Waterloo to a fascinating diatribe on nunneries in the 18th Century. Victor Hugo was a Renaissance Man with a deep understanding of almost ever topic he wrote about.
Continue reading “Towers of Terror: Les Miserables”
It was a warm languid day in the classroom. Our teacher was saying something about history or finals. It was really too warm to pay attention. I fidgeted with my pen, curled up in my chair. Taking it apart. Putting it back together. Clicking it open. Clicking it closed. Starting all over again.
Continue reading “You, Me, and: A Slap in the Face”
The ideal place to write is different for everyone. For some it is Starbucks during the midmorning rush, others enjoy long summer days with a notebook in a park, and some want the dark of night and a typewriter. The truth is you don’t need a special place, you need a functional place. If there is a way to get words on to paper, you are in a writing space. But it may not be your
When you have the option, creating your writing space helps short circuit your brain. When you sit down, you are focused, prepared, and able to delve into your writing.
Continue reading “Finding Your Writing Space”