Friday, September 11, 2015

NEW BLOG UP



ALL THE POSSIBILITIES . . .

Please check out my new blog

For now, this blog will remain up so that people who may have followed it in the past will be directed to the new blog.

Monday, August 31, 2015

UNDER REVISION AND REVITALIZATION

As you can see from the lack of posts, it is time to rethink this site. I was so excited to start a blog, but I'm afraid my heart just hasn't stayed with this particular theme. That doesn't mean I've given up on blogging--I just need to find a new direction. Until I do (and hopefully that will be sooner rather than later), please consider this site UNDER REVISION AND REVITALIZATION.

Monday, September 8, 2014

LETTING GO OR GETTING A GRIP?




Adult novels are about letting go. Children’s novels are about getting a grip.—Tim Wynne-Jones

An interesting thought, but isn’t the reverse just as true? Isn’t part of every adult novel about the MC struggling to get a grip? On their relationships, their job, their addiction of choice. In the same way, doesn’t the MC in a children’s novel have to let go of something in order to gain something else? Even the stubborn pigeon reluctantly lets go of his dreams of driving the bus to focus on the possibility of driving a fire truck. 

Then I read Wynne-Jones’s quote again and wondered if I hadn’t missed the point. I needed to think about where the MC in each of these types of novels is on their life journey. Children are just starting out on this journey. They are learning the ropes when it comes to dealing with relationships, responsibilities, and the sometimes cold, hard realities of life. The challenge is getting a firm enough grip on those ropes to clamber up them into adulthood.

Adults, on the other hand, have (for the most part) learned those ropes. Learned them so well, in fact, that they have added walls, and facades, and a plethora of rules to keep their death grip on those ropes from slipping. Now the challenge becomes discovering how to let go of those constraints or risk hanging by those same ropes.

So, are adult novels about letting go and children’s novels about getting a grip? I’d say “yes.” What are your thoughts?
 
 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

THE MANY LIVES OF A READER


It is not true we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. –S. I. Hayakawa

 

I’ve always believed that reading was a doorway into other lives, other worlds, but I’m not sure I ever really considered the implications of that until my friend Marie entered a nursing home. Active all her life and still doing volunteer work at 90 some years old, Marie now has limited mobility. To many in her situation, this would mean a life, a world, defined, for the most part, by the four walls of her room.
 

But Marie is a reader. And that reading knocks down those four walls. With a book in her hands, Marie faces the perils of a Montana winter while homesteading, foils the raiders of a vast airship, or soars dragon-back to fight another insidious threadfall. She inhabits bodies that walk, that run, that jump from windows or out of the way of oncoming traffic. She lives in the present, the past, or the far distant future. Transported by reading, she can be anyone and travel anywhere. And that beats the hell out of where you can go with a wheelchair or a walker.
 
 
 

Friday, July 4, 2014

LOST IN READING?

Elend: I kind of lost track of time…

Breeze: For two hours?

Elend: There were books involved.

― from THE WELL OF ASCENSION by Brandon Sanderson



Two hours is nothing! Put a good book in this bookjunkie’s hands and I may not surface for days at a time. Well, except for things I can’t get out of—like work or sleep. Luckily, reading while eating is just bookjunkie efficiency in action. I do draw the line at taking a book into the shower or bathtub, but only because I haven’t discovered a good water-proofing method. I have heard of listening to audiobooks while sleeping, but I’m not convinced it’s as restful as true sleep. I like sleep.

I also like my job. So, tempting as it might be, I resist sneaking in a chapter when no one is looking. I’d end up like the character in the quote, losing track of time. Nor do I read that book on my breaks. Same reasons. Breaks are for books I don’t mind reading in bits and pieces. And remember, I work in a library. When not helping patrons with their various questions, I have collection development duties on the adult side plus duties on the children's side that include our weekly toddler/preschooler story time. In other words, between research, book reviews, and the books for story time, there’s very little work time when this bookjunkie isn’t reading. And while it’s not that good book I can’t wait to get lost in again, but it does take the edge off the craving. Kinda like nibbling on appetizers while you wait for the main course to be served.

 

Friday, June 13, 2014

FIGHTING THE REJECTION BLUES

“Every rejection is incremental payment on your dues that in some way will be translated back into your work.”  —James Lee Burke

I must not consider a rejection as personal. It’s a memo to my muse that there is still room for improvement in my work. My job is to apply it like fertilizer in order for my writing to grow.

“We will not allow rejection to beat us down. It will only strengthen our resolve. To be successful there is no other way.” —Earl G. Graves

I am allowed to be sad after receiving a rejection, but not for days on end. Instead, I must plunge back into my work. Many famous writers had their work rejected for years so I’m in good company.

“Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil – but there is no way around them.” —Isaac Asimov 

When we are learning to walk, we think nothing of falling down again and again. We just get back up and try again. Lord, give me the tenacity of that toddler when it comes to my writing.

“A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.” —Bo Bennett

I must remember that a rejection is one person’s opinion—not a rejection by the masses. And as one person’s opinion, I can heed or ignore it as I please.

“Rejected pieces aren’t failures; unwritten pieces are.” —Greg Daugherty

While unwritten pieces cannot be rejected, neither can they be read and enjoyed. And I admit that I am one of those egotistical writers who wants her words to be read. And enjoyed.

“Failure is success if we learn from it.” —Malcolm Forbes

Did you ever burn your toast? I bet you didn’t keep on burning it.

“No one put a gun to your head and ordered you to become a writer. One writes out of his own choice and must be prepared to take the rough spots along the road with a certain equanimity, though allowed some grinding of the teeth.” —Stanley Ellin

Just be sure your dental coverage if paid up in case you end up needing a set of dentures.



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

THE RIGHT WORD

Mark Twain


“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
― Mark Twain, The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain

   
 
A lightning bug is a glow in the dark. Lightning sets the skies on fire.

 
You can squash a lightning bug. Lightning knocks you on your butt.

 
Lightning bugs interest us. Lightning leaves us gobsmacked.

 
 

Your turn.