In addition to (and sometimes in lieu of) writing I have been reading. Every month because of my addiction to books and literature in general, I have to set myself a limit on my Amazon spending. This month however, that limit didn’t work out so well because once I had hit that particular limit I convinced myself that I could part with a bit of cash and reserve another book at my local B&N…Quick, I think it’s beyond time for a trip to book rehab! Although, a trip to the bookstore seems much nicer and they have coffee and treats…That’s it, I’m completely won over. As you can see by looking at the stack, the first book to be read in this month’s spree is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I’m already one hundred and seventy-one pages in and I can already feel myself becoming smitten with it. The descriptions of setting are beautiful and the only way I can describe it is a dreamer’s playground. There is so much for the imagination to paint! The Night Circus received quite a few bad reviews on Amazon, some saying that the characters aren’t described in very much detail and that the writing seemed a bit amateur…But I however, do not mind that the characters aren’t given too much description. I believe that the way they are perceived through their mannerisms, habits and the few physical descriptions were enough so that my mind was able to fill in the blanks and create my version of what each character looks like. I find that I don’t mind this way of writing at all and as for amateur writing…If it is better than certain books that I shan’t name whose writing I simply couldn’t get through, then that’s okay by me also. The very last thing I will also give Ms. Morgenstern credit for is her use of vocabulary, using French, German and many terms from other areas that I was happy to read.
Another piece that I am excited to read came by mail today. It is the Spring 2012 issue of Colorado Review. I first heard of Colorado Review when I was looking to submit some writing to different literary magazines via NewPages. Hoping to figure out if my writing style was something that they published I started reading this issue and read a story in there that really stuck with me. Even now I can’t figure out why, but I liked it so much that I decided to purchase a copy. When my Papa saw the envelope he jokingly asked if I was considering going to school there, but I’m pretty much staying local for the foreseeable future. Maybe when I finally decide to go for an MFA I’ll end up somewhere else. I know that I have definitely been considering adding an extra two years to my educational goals to pursue one, but I have to find a way to get to my Bachelors degree first. Anyway, I only have one more book on its way to my house and to my to-be-read stack and that is Zora Howard’s Clutch. (Psst, C.M., if you’re reading this you get a copy too). Personal side note: She will kill me for that later. And she has a Zora Howard post on her blog, in case you have no idea who I’m referring to. Go check it out and thank me later. I searched forever for that book and finally had to speak with Ms. Howard herself to track one (well actually two) down. Yay for determination! In case you have lost track or are curious to what all is in my to-be-read stack, (I know that picture isn’t too clear on the titles), here is the list:
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
- The Heart’s Desire by Nahid Rachlin
- Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
- A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
- The 3 A.M. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises that Transform Your Fiction by Brian Kiteley
- 4 A.M. Breakthrough: Unconventional Writing Exercises That Transform Your Fiction by Brian Kiteley
- Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success by K.M. Weiland
- The Writer’s Idea Book 10th Anniversary Edition: How to Develop Great Ideas for Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Screenplays by Jack Heffron
- Ulysses by James Joyce
- Colorado Review (Spring 2012 – Volume 39, Number 1)
- Clutch by Zora Howard
As you can probably tell, the stack is half fun reads and half serious reads this month. One of my best friends asked me, “don’t you have enough how-to writing books?” My opinion is: No, not when everyone writes differently, has a different writing process and because I’m just starting out could have found out something I’ve missed. Besides, I find a lot of the titles just plain fascinating and once I’ve done that there’s no way I can’t read it. Being a night owl as I am, finding books about writing inspiration hitting at three and four A.M. seems like it was written especially for me. I will have plenty of time to read and write tonight anyway because it is my grandfather’s monthly card playing night. That means from seven-thirty to about two in the morning the upstairs is completely mine, muhahaha!
Writing wise: I am still working on two books, a few singular submissions to lit. mags and I’ve now signed up for Nanowrimo in November. If you’re wondering, yes, I am possibly crazy. Nanowrimo is short for National Novel Writing Month and refers to a program where writers from all over agree to write a fifty thousand plus word novel from November first until November thirtieth. Why try it? Along the way all the writers read and critique parts of your novel, give you moral support, procrastinate with you and at the end if you complete the challenge you get a job well done, a certificate and a finished first draft that you can hopefully use to query agents. It’s free, fun and a challenge. Have I mentioned that I have a desperate need to occupy my time? You can find out more about the program here.
So do any of the titles I’ve mentioned seem interesting to you? What’s in your own stacks? Everyone have a great weekend! Until next time:
- Camp NaNoWriMo: I’ve Been Writing! (mollybuffington.wordpress.com)
- It’s Never Too Early For NaNo Dares (chyrondave.wordpress.com)
- Did Erin Morgenstern Infringe on Copyright with The Night Circus? (janetboyer.typepad.com)