Monthly Archives: September 2012

Midweek Read

The Complete Persepolis is a graphic novel, meaning it is formatted like a comic book. I have never read anything like this before and I was a little skeptical at first, but within the first few pages I knew it was going to be well worth my time. This book is a memoir of a girl growing up in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution…it was sad, enlightening, and surprisingly powerful. I say surprisingly because I never expected to be moved by simplistic pictures with captions/word bubbles. Try it out, you won’t regret it.

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Monday Links

I’ve come across a lot of really motivating blog posts lately. Here are a few of my favorites.

8 Rules for Successful Writing– Chuck Barrett

The Anatomy of a Best-Selling Novel–Structure Part One– Kristen Lamb

Pitching Your Potential– Rachel Gardner

 

Happy Monday everyone!

 

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Have You Heard?

I don’t even know where to begin….so here it goes.

Yesterday I came across this article from Salon about Naomi Wolf’s new feminist book, Vagina: A new Biography. Umm yeah, that got my attention too. Naturally, the critics ran with it. Of course I read the article, which led me to more critical articles–all of which caused me to laugh out loud. The titles alone are so perfectly satirical, so even if you don’t want to read about how Wolf thinks a woman’s parts gives her “a sense of connection to the world,” at least get a laugh out of the titles. I think her feminist approach backfired…Wolf basically says that the you-know-what body part is where a woman’s brain resides…thanks but no thanks.  As a woman, I resent that and enjoyed these witty articles. See them here and here.

Midweek Read

Let me start off by saying I almost cried at the end of this book because the ending was so beautiful. (Horses always get me emotional…) Unfortunately, by the time I got to that point my opinion of the first half had already settled in. I don’t want to scare you away, but it was mediocre…but that seems to work for a lot of readers these days. Now before you get all offended I’ll admit that I’ve read all the twilight books too…and those are sub par. Yet, we all enjoyed them! I guess the biggest problem here was it took me half of the book to find anything endearing about the characters. If I don’t love (or in some cases hate) or at least have some emotion towards the characters–something is wrong. If the characters/relationships aren’t captivating, then the story line better draw me in– and that’s not the case then the writing must be so captivating on its own that I don’t care…and that wasn’t happening either.

With that said I will admit that it picked up significantly half way through. The characters finally found their personality, the story got deeper, and I read the last 200 pages in two days…and don’t forget that image of me tearing up in my living room around midnight.

Midweek Read

So I guess what I’m trying to say is it is worth reading (especially the last half), but don’t expect a masterpiece.

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What are your influences?

I recently came across Author Robert J. Lennon’s blog and I had a hate-turned-to-love relationship with what he said. In his post he answered the frequently asked question, “What are your influences?” You really should read the full article, but in a nutshell it’s his opinion that writers should not be the biggest influence for other writers. At first I was skeptical but as I kept reading I felt encouraged and hopeful about my own writing–because it is my own.

“The danger of immersing oneself, completely, in literate culture, at the expense of other forms of influence, is that all your referents end up coming from other people’s imaginations. This is bad. It makes us mannered, cultured, when in fact what we need is to be weird and rough around the edges.”

I can respect that. In fact, I can relate to that. Obviously this blog is proof that I read a lot. But if I really think about it, I don’t read to learn how to imitate or sound similar to another writer; I read because I love that someone else has had a unique experiences in their own life–or in the life of their characters–that I will never have, and that inspires me to write about the things that only I know exist.

So in response to the question above, “What are your influences?” I would have to agree with Robert. I’ve undoubtedly been influenced by books, but my biggest influences have been beanie babies, Parcheesi, a Toyota Previa van, being painfully shy in elementary school and writing notes to myself on the bus, the way my horse came when I called his name, making up dances to NSYNC and being horrible at them, watching the trade towers fall and noticing bodies in the air, the way my dad eats his food in sections, how my mom has dropped every book she ever read in the tub, and the voice of my husband telling me I can do anything.

What are your influences?

Good to Know

I like this.

I like it so much that I’m going to make one to put in the writing room I don’t have yet.


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I have a confession to make…I read this book last year, not last week. But I can explain! The book I chose for this week’s read was a little longer than I anticipated and I’m only half way through it. So to curb your literary appetite I looked through my stack of books and chose this beauty to share.

When I first heard that Tina Fey was writing a book I knew I had to get my hands on it. Not because she is famous, but because SNL taught me that she is above all else a cleaver writer. True to form this book made me laugh out loud more times, and in a louder timbre than you would believe. In fact, my roommate finally came into my room to find out what was so funny. Then when I finished the book a few days later she borrowed it and laughed hard and loud in her room. Now I suggest you go find yourself a copy and do the same.

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Old Week Read

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Workshop

If you’ve ever been to a workshop, you’ll appreciate the humor in this poem. It’s especially entertaining to hear Billy Collins read it (he actually starts the poem at 1:18).  If you want to read along while you listen you can find the full text here. Enjoy, I know I did.

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