A Book Lover’s Dream

©Illumination Photographics by Selena Lynn

©Illumination Photographics by Selena Lynn Bullock

Spring is in the air and thoughts of love. Well, I’m in love with reading. It’s not a bad thing and many well seasoned writers point out if you’re going to write, you need to read. Read far and wide, not just your writing genre. You can pick up on many good and bad things in reading, which will help you with your writing. Another bit of sound advice, which I need to take, don’t read so much about how to write, just WRITE.

My daughter has found she has a natural affinity for grammar and writing in her college English class. I don’t think it has much to do with any special curriculum used during her years as a homeschooler. I attribute it more to her being raised in a reading filled environment. Books have always been around our home, many childhood trips to libraries and bookstores, bedtimes filled with stories read aloud, and encouraging her to read books of her own choosing.

We’re both still voracious readers, just have very different tastes in books. I love going to the library and stocking up on books. Caregiving responsibilities have increased, so I hadn’t been in a while. I finally got to go(clapping hands and smiling big) and it was great…I think my enthusiasm may have scared the young librarian at the desk. 🙂 I told my sister it was as good as chocolate or s-e-x.

I checked out a big stack of books I’ve been wanting to get my hands on, as well as a few Mother Earth magazines. I was one HAPPY woman. I won’t bore you with all my books, some are just random ones I have an interest in like gardening and crochet.

Two were writing books : How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead by Ariel Gore(I don’t want to be famous, but it looked interesting on the flip through. I’ve enjoyed the humor the author uses throughout.) and On Writing : A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King(Love this…though be forewarned he is blunt and there is a bit of cursing if you’re on the prim & proper side. It’d be one of those times to not throw the baby out with the bath water as the saying goes…he offers a lot of good advice). The funny thing is this is the only book by Stephen King I’ve ever read…I don’t do scary.

Two other books were just for my reading enjoyment and have been on my “To Read” list a while. One is Interpreter of Maladies, which is a book of short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri. The other was Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. I’m enjoying both of these, but have seen in places first hand examples of how too much detail can slow a story down. There are places with just the right amount of description, which make it easy to picture the story in my mind.

On a side note…if libraries make your heart soar, here’s a link with pictures of incredible libraries.

Simplicity for Writing’s Sake

(Last week I was sick with a very sore throat…only felt like curling up with a good book and doing bare essentials. My voice is back, still trying to kick my writing back into gear. Figured I’d do a post for starters.)

Nice cup of tea and writing

Nice cup of tea and writing

What’s the most important thing a writer needs to do?…WRITE! This can get difficult when so many things get in the way. Any writer can probably list a zillion things which keep them from writing, we’re bombarded with distractions and interruptions on a daily basis. This is LIFE! Many writers will claim, because of all this it’s hard to find time to write.

Now, no one start throwing wads of balled up paper at me…I have TIME…I have time in excess! My problems are procrastinating and getting my head in the right spot.  I’ve become even a more full time caregiver to my spouse. He sleeps many hours a day, due to his health problems, so there’s plenty of uninterrupted writing time. I’m even one of those writers with a job allowing me time to write, though I don’t work many days a month.

The trouble is I feel so overwhelmed at times, it feels as if I’d need a backhoe to start digging my way out. After doing, what I guess you could call some soul searching, I think I’ve happened upon a solution of sorts. I’ve decided I need to start simplifying. It’ll be slow go, but it will feel like I’m getting somewhere and help me to clear my head, so I can write more productively.

I’m not giving up blogging, I’m too attached, but I am trying to reduce some of the other clutter in my life. It’s a reevaluation of sorts. These are some of the steps I’m going to take in an attempt to simplify life :

  • Unsubscribe from email newsletters no longer applicable or useful in my life(example-no longer homeschool, but still get homeschool newsletters)
  • Unfollow some blogs I’m just not so interested in or find helpful
  • Limit time spent on facebook—considering taking a facebook break for a few days as well as unfriending a few groups and people that post so much it’s overwhelming to sort through
  • Limit time spent on pinterest—this is a stress reducer for me—usually good with my time, just need to continue
  • Try not to have internet up if writing on computer unless : 1. need for reference–sometimes use Dictionary.com to look up words I’m not sure about; or 2. to listen to my favorite YouTube playlist while I write–Soothing Music

I’m going to head to the kitchen for a hot cup of herbal tea, hit the play button on my favorite music CD, and sit at the kitchen table writing with pen and paper.  Have you thought of ways you can free up your mind and your life, so you can write or write more effectively? Happy writing… 🙂

Current Reads

Morante with Alberto Moravia at Capri in the 1...

Morante with Alberto Moravia at Capri in the 1940s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Be forewarned, this is an unusually long post, but I thought I’d share my thoughts on a couple of books. Hey, writers have to read! I’m reading two books currently, Woman of Rome : A Life of Elsa Morante by Lily Tuck and Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald. Both are really close to being finished and I’ll have to pick something new to read soon.

Fall on Your Knees is a novel and by far the most interesting of the two, albeit a bit odd. It’s a book about several generations of a family in Canada, mainly the lives of the sisters in the family. It’s a sad novel marked by tragedy upon tragedy, beginning with a thirteen year old bride. I know it’s fiction, but it is revealing about human nature…the sacrifices some are willing to make and the coldness of others.

I can’t say I really liked the book, but the author did do an amazing job writing a intensely detailed novel with a complicated plot. It’s a bit dark for my tastes and deals with some rather uncomfortable subjects including abuse.  It has some really not nice characters in it and it’s hard to get to attached to some characters, because as soon as you do, they up and die. I’m more of a lighthearted, let’s not condemn people to death kind of person.

Oh well, I’ll finish it and I can say it’s definitely something different than I’ve read in a while. It was one of those that sounded intriguing by what was written on the back cover, so I had to give it a try. It has held my interest and made me want to keep picking it up, so I can see what will happen next to the characters. It’s a page turner.

Woman of Rome is a biography about the Italian writer Elsa Morante, born 1912 and died 1985. She wrote novels and poetry, which are discussed in the book in detail. It’s taking a while for me to make my way through this book. She was an interesting writer and seems she was not afraid to voice her thoughts, often at the expense of the feelings of others, but had a rather dysfunctional family during childhood and a tragic love life.

She seems to have had a very free life for a woman. She traveled often, had a complicated marriage, and had numerous love affairs. She loved Mozart and cats. She dressed how she wanted. She was a reader and underlined favorite passages in books. She wrote her thoughts in a diary at times. She had passionate discussions with those in her life and was generous. Despite all of this, it still seems as if she was disillusioned and unhappy with life.

I think it’s taking me so long to read this book, because there is so much information. It is well researched by the author, but I get lost in many of the details about the other people that were parts of Elsa Morante’s life. There is mention of many writers, film makers, and artists in the book; which I am unfamiliar with and makes for a disconnect. I will continue to muddle my way through and finish the book regardless. This has been a very slooow page turner.

If you have a book you’ve enjoyed I’m open to suggestions and if you need a few suggestions I have a board I started on pinterest of books on my “To Read” list you may want to check out.

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I’ve been awarded the Very Inspiring Blogger Award by Vikki over at The View Outside, so I’d like to say a very big “Thank You”. I’m going to try to follow the rules, which of course includes nominating other inspiring bloggers. I enjoy being nominated and I think answering the questions are fun, but if it’s not your cup of tea…just know you brighten my day and don’t feel obligated to be a rule follower.

V inspiring blogger

These are the rules :

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. State 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate other bloggers for this award and link to them.
  5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

It seems you usually have to share some facts about yourself when you do these awards and I’ve done a few before, so I tried to share some facts I don’t think I’ve shared before. Here are 7 things about me…

  1. In middle school I helped paint a mural I designed on the wall outside of the cafeteria entry way.
  2. Pottery is the only craft I’ve ever found I didn’t like…it makes my hands too dry and you can’t get the clay too wet.
  3. I can finally make really good homemade bread…good enough for making sandwiches. 🙂
  4. I’m from the south, but can’t make hoe cake to save my life.
  5. Of the poems I wrote in high school, the only one which still exists in my possession is titled “To a Dear Deer”.
  6. I’m a hopeless romantic and love to burn scented candles.
  7. I don’t know why, but I get sad when it rains.

Now for the bloggers I’d like to nominate, in no particular order :

There is another blog I’d nominate, but it appears her blog has disappeared.  It’s a writer who has definitely inspired me, so if you’re reading this I hope you know I’m talking about you and please don’t let the voice of others discourage you from writing.

Raining Again

Here’s a poem I wrote using many of the words from  the wordle 98 prompt over at The Sunday Whirl blog.

Rainy Day

Rainy Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some days it hits
Somber feelings
With no warning
Just in an instant
Magically appearing
My heart trapped
An unavoidable snare
Seeing but not
Wearing glasses
No rose tinting
Clouds and rain
Only visible sight
No rainbows after
No heart skipping
No joyful delight
I try escaping
Know I am blessed
Yet in everything
There is unbalance
There is not rest
Trying in earnest
Despite all my might
Cannot find wings
To free my heart
Let it take flight