So there was this article a few weeks back in The Washington Post: The death of reading is threatening the soul. Pretty heady stuff. Their subhead is Commitment to reading is an ongoing battle.
And I read it at a most opportune time. Continue reading
So I’m signed up for NaNoWriMo, the annual “let’s slap down 50k words towards a novel in 30 days” insanity this year. My profile can be found here. Of course, I’m actually not a fan of the fest, I think it can actually do more harm than good, but I understand the concept and I’m signed up with a book idea ready to go.
Naturally, this is the exact moment when the day jobs decide to spring extra work and it’s the end of the semester so there’s lots of grading to get done and blah blah blah, excuses excuses.
In any event, I’m there. If you’re participating look me up and I’ll add you back. And hey, I’m an amazing cheerleader even if I’m not able to race alongside you.
DAVID • Speak: Pet Sounds
It’s February, so this month’s issue of David is all about relationships. And while I tend to be fairly private about my relationships in general, there is one I have absolutely no problem talking about.
And that’s just what I’ve done this month for the magazine. So here’s a story about me and my best four-legged friend, Laika Wonderdog!
Love that pain-in-the-ass pup!
Killing the Top Ten Sacred Cows of Publishing by Dean Wesley Smith
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
If there’s only one thing to take away from this book it’s that Dean Wesley Smith has traditionally published over 100 novels. Seriously. He tells us this repeatedly in order to prove his bonafides. This makes sense when you remember these ten essays were originally published on his blog (and are still there, among others) so you weren’t getting them all at once. Might have been nice to reformat or go over the collection in advance of compiling them into a book, but one of the other bits of advice we get is (in other words) never look back – keep moving forward. Continue reading
Actually, it’s not even about money. We all like money. We can all appreciate money. Hell, we all want money. No, the issue recently isn’t about money itself, it’s about getting paid. It’s about how we get the money that’s coming into question. I first thought of this when I saw Sean Penn‘s adaptation of Jon Krakauer‘s Into the Wild. In the film (and book, but I hadn’t read the book then), there’s a scene where Chris McCandless decides to burn all the money he has because it’s not “honest” money. He didn’t earn it himself, it was given to him and so he didn’t feel entitled to it. Now, he understood the need for money, he gets various jobs along the way, but that was honest money, necessary money, so it was okay. Continue reading
So I’ve been having a crisis of confidence of late. I’m still going through it but it’s getting a little better. Mostly it’s because I haven’t written much for me lately. I’m not complaining (too much). I like what I’ve been writing (and hopefully will continue to write) but there’s some creative stuff bouncing around and trying to get out so I’ve been trying to write creatively on a daily basis, even if it’s just a little, even if it’s just a blog post or movie review, something to get the mental juices flowing a bit. Continue reading
As a writer, I love knowing how much I’ve written every day, week, month and for the whole year! Svenja Liv has written a great little Excel spreadsheet which does all the work for you, once you put in the digits. And it’s free!
The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When you “spell” a word correctly, you are in effect casting a spell, charging these abstract, arbitrary symbols with meaning and power.
Christopher Vogler’s book is, in effect, a “Hero’s Journey” for dummies, with a screenwriting angle thrown in for good measure. He makes no bones about the fact he’s basing his research on Joseph Campbell’s work, with a touch of Jungian philosophy,, all set against a Hollywood background. This makes sense, though. As any good teacher, Vogler uses a more modern language (film) in order to teach a concept which is thousands of years old. Continue reading