|A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25||The Mysterious Affair at Styles||Agatha Christie|
|A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65||News of a Kidnapping||Gabriel Garcia Marquez|
|A collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people)||For the Relief of Unbearable Urges||Nathan Englander|
|A book published by an indie press||Rolling the R's||R. Zamora Linmark|
|A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ||Becoming a Man||Paul Monette|
|A book by a person whose gender is different from your own||The Face of a Stranger||Anne Perry|
|A book that takes place in Asia||Red Azalea||Anchee Min|
|A book by an author from Africa||The Power of One||Bryce Courtenay|
|A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans,Aboriginals, etc.)||The Bean Trees||Barbara Kingsolver|
|A YA novel||The Prince of Mist||Carlos Ruiz Zafón|
|A sci-fi novel||Fahrenheit 451||Ray Bradbury|
|A romance novel|
|A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade||How Late It Was, How Late||James Kelman|
|A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.)||Wicked||Gregory Maguire|
|An audiobook||Death of an Expert Witness||P.D. James|
|A collection of poetry|
|A book that someone else has recommended to you||Patron Saint of Liars||Ann Patchett|
|A book that was originally published in another language||The History of the Siege of Lisbon||Gabriel Garcia Marquez|
|A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind (Hi, have you metPanels?)|
|A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure (Read, and then realize that good entertainment is nothing to feel guilty over)||Any of the 413,417,491,274 mysteries I've read|
|A book published before 1850|
|A book published this year|
|A self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self-improvement”)|
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Saturday, February 14, 2015
There's also the issue of making it interesting. If it doesn't hold a person's attention then there's really no point in writing fiction. From my years of reading I would say that the key to this is really in the characters themselves. A writer can make errors in time, accidentally have contradictions or other problems that editing should have caught, but if the characters are real and engaging, then the work will still hold my attention. The character himself can be a bore, but as long as he's handled by a competent writer then he can still be interesting.
This is where my problem lies. I want my characters to be happy, but then they end up being flat. I find myself making my characters react to situations the way I would like to react, and that's not particularly believable, nor is it particularly interesting. It borders on preachy if I'm not careful.
A character should have a past, even if that past isn't discussed in the work. But, I'm too kind to mine. I don't want to subject them to a childhood spent fending for themselves because their parents were crack addicts who didn't have enough strength to put their children before their addictions. I don't want her to have been lured by a high school hottie into a small room just to have him cajole her into letting him touch her, and then force himself on her for his own pleasure, only to discard her once he'd relieved himself. Or for him to have sat at a lunch table in Jr. High, focussing on his cold sandwich while other students ridiculed him, laughing among themselves at who could say the most hurtful thing, standing behind him with their mouth close to his ear almost shouting, "Why are you here? Nobody wants you here, just go somewhere else. Can't you see that nobody wants you here?" All the while he can only look at his cold sandwich and eat it at fast as he could, his face burning with shame. Knowing from experience that looking around the cafeteria for an ally would be pointless, knowing that even the teachers would not intercede.
The things that make a person interesting and real are not just lovely experiences and coddled childhoods. Experience makes a person who they are, and experience isn't always pleasant. A well-adjusted, perfectly mannered man who respects everybody around him and handles adversity with a calm, pleasant demeanor before washing his hands, drying them neatly on a towel, which he hangs on the rack where it belongs, followed by a cup of tea in an immaculate house among delightful friends is not exactly riveting. People have faults and faults come from and cause unpleasant experiences. For a person who has spent the better part of his adult life being kind to others, creating characters who have suffered is not easy. But, if the goal is to write fiction, then the requirement is to have characters who have lived in the world. My biggest challenge so far.
Monday, January 19, 2015
That's not to say that I've been lying around reading. I mean, lying around reading is a favorite pastime of mine, but I haven't indulged in a while. We do yard work, we clean, we take care of 12,429,347,230,947 animals. (This might be an exaggeration.) We have also been regulars at local thrift stores. Not that there's room for anything else. After getting my Room under control, I up and moved. More than half of what I own is still in boxes because we haven't worked out exactly where it's all going to go. Sometimes it's so overwhelming that we go to thrift stores just to get out and away from it all.
So, while I wait for further inspiration I leave you with a collage of pictures taken at my favorite of all – Top Drawer. Ladies and gentlemen, I present... The Trannequins.
Saturday, August 9, 2014
Sunday, July 13, 2014
I'm sitting in Corporate Bookstore drinking coffee. I don't have my laptop with me; I'm writing on my phone so it will be quick.
Having visited my family recently - and particularly one niece and her children - I felt the need to re-read a book. Having just moved back in with Nameless all of my books are packed. However, I just discovered I don't own the book I want to read anyway. I own Sleeping at the Starlight Motel. What I want to read is Quite a Year for Plums. Both are by the same author, Bailey White. She's from South Georgia and I don't suppose it gets more Southern than that.
I've already started the justifications in my mind. I'll take three books tho the Salvation Army in exchange for this one. And I've started reading it, though I could feel the atmosphere in my head - I've been feeling it for weeks.
So I shall go make my purchase. Maybe I'll do it before Nameless sees me. I don't suppose it could surprise him much at this pointn though.