Category Archives: reading

books and more books

Today’s advice

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‎”Go be that starving artist you’re afraid to be. Open up that journal and get poetic finally. Volunteer. Suck it up and travel. You were not born here to work and pay taxes. You were put here to be part of a vast organism to explore and create. Stop putting it off. The world has much more to offer than what’s on 15 televisions at TGI Fridays. Take pictures. Scare people. Shake up the scene. Be the change you want to see in the world. You’ll thank yourself for it.” – Jason Mraz ♥ ♥ ♥

Kindle Freebies for Writers-take two!

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More goodies I didn’t fit in the last post!!

Telling Details by Kat Duncan

Meet a Jerk, Get to Work, How to Write Villains and the Occasional Hero

The century Handbook of Writing by Garland Greever

Secrets of Successful Writers by Darrell Pitt

Write Good or Die ed. Scott Nicholson

The Elements of Style by William Strunk

How to Write a Great Short Story: A Beginner’s Guide by Katrina Parker Williams

Secrets Uncovered – Blogs, hints and the inside scoop from Mills & Boon editors and authors

How I Write My Novels by Duchess

Write It Right A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults by Ambrose Bierce

 

Have fun!

Kindle Freebies for Writers

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I got a Kindle for Xmas last year and it was instantly my best friend and constant companion – especially when I discovered the wealth of free content to be had. Who doesn’t like free stuff? I’ve noticed that there are an awful lot of free books about writing and I’m attempting to compile a list. I’m sure it’s not exhaustive- and I have not read them all, so some of them might be worthless, but- they’re free – what have you got to lose?

Essays in the Art of Writing by Robert Louis Stevenson

Weekly Strategies for Writers: Tips on Writing, Editing, Publishing, Marketing & more by Linda A Lavid

Practical Grammar and Composition by Thomas Wood

The Writing of the Short Story by Lewis Worthington Smith

Inspired Creative Writing by Alexander Gordon Smith

How to Tell a Story and Other Essays by Mark Twain

Short Story Writing A Practical Treatise on the Art of The Short Story by Charles Raymond Barrett

Ask the Page, Three stories for frustrated writers by Charlie Close

The Art Of Writing & Speaking The English Language Word-Study and Composition & Rhetoric by Sherwin Cody

Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases A Practical Handbook Of Pertinent Expressions, Striking Similes, Literary, Commercial, Conversational, And Oratorical Terms, … Persons Who Read, Write, And Speak English by Grenvill Kleiser

The Century Vocabulary Builder by Garland Greever and Joseph M. Bachelor

How to Speak and Write Correctly by Joseph Devlin

Greatest Secrets of Successful Commercial Fiction Authors by Robert W. Walker

So you want to write a novel… by J.P. Kurzitza

The Technique of Fiction Writing by Robert Saunders Dowst

How I Wrote My First Book: the story behind the story by Lida E. Quillen, Anne K. Edwards eds

Story Building Blocks: The Four Layers of Conflict by Diana Hurwitz

The Writer’s Idea Book 10th Anniversary Edition: How to Develop Great Ideas for Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Screenplays by Jack Heffron  I HAVE read this one and recommend it!

The Perils of Pauline – Crafting the Female Voice in Genre Fiction by Robert W. Walker (free with Prime -99cents w/out)

And there’s more, but I’ll stop for now. This could become a regular column 😀 If I get any interest at all I’ll keep going 😀

NOBODY procrastinates like me

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I swore I would blog everyday- even if just a sentence or two- and I did! For two days.

In my defense it was a busy week, my boys’ birthdays are April 20th and 21st and there were many festivities to manage, but I can’t honestly say I never got a moment to write because , well…

I did however finally finish the book I was reading ; Just Above My Head  by James Baldwin. It took me a little longer to read then some – it was more of a meal than a light snack. It’s a book that had been on my to -read list for ages and I just snagged a copy from paperback swap.

I really loved this book. I rate it 5 stars-even though it isn’t perfect. The narrator rambles- a lot,  gets sidetracked from his point, takes the long , scenic route around and doesn’t always make it where he was going. But he does it so beautifully, so poetically. I was sucked in.  Several times while reading i would look up and realize I had read several pages and had no idea what I had just read- only the lingering feeling that I had enjoyed it very much!

The story, when he does get around to it, is a moving one. It’s about a man’s love for his brother and his sort of bird’s eye view of his trials as a gay black gospel singer amid the racisim of the 60’s and 70’s. It’s a journey I as a white woman shouldn’t  be able to understand, and maybe I can’t really, but Baldwin almost makes me feel like I can. I can certainly empathize and feel the passion and pain.

The book may seem to lose it’s focus at times (although perhaps that was intentional as a part of Hall, the narrator’s personality?) but it was so worth it for me. If only for passages like this:

When someone you love is happy, you have been given a great gift; you are the honored guest at a rare celebration. If you are burdened, the joy of your brother lightens your burden, if you are crawling on your belly, his joy brings you to your feet. It’s true:my soul is a witness. After days , or weeks, of despair and inertia, you are given the force to go out and contend for the rent money, and to get your watch out of the pawnshop. the happiness of someone you love proves that life is possible. Your own horrors, whatever they may be, must simply await your return from the celebration- there can be no question of your taking them with you. And there they sit, indeed, in your room, when you return, looking baleful and neglected, and you realize that some horrors need you far more than you need them and , mercilessly, you begin to clean house.

Reading and writing

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At the first I am very prolific, gifted even. I read more in a year, than many will read in a lifetime. I’m never without a book and I read everything, literature to erotica. Reading is like breathing for me.

Then there’s writing. With writing I struggle. I procrastinate, avoid, angst, avoid more, get distracted by a dozen other things -over and over until one day I sit down and it all comes pouring out. I have literally sat down and written 50,000 words in a weekend. Not making any claims as to the quality of the writing – but I literally go from nothing to everything.

I live for those days, but unfortunately I haven’t quite figured out what triggers them. I have theories about words percolating in my brain, and stories building up over time until they have to burst out, but I never know just what will turn on the word flow.

I somehow need to learn how to get out of my own way.

Any ideas?