Posts Tagged ‘guest blog’

catching fire, writing odds and ends…necessarily in that order

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Whew! That was a long title, my goodness. Let me take a breath…

‘kay.

catching fire

catchingfire

On my fifteen last Friday I mentioned that I read Catching Fire. That wasn’t a lie. I did, and I loved it. It left me hanging more than The Hunger Games did, so now I’m angry  with Suzanne Collins until the next book comes out. BTW, READ THIS BOOK. But make sure you read The Hunger Games first, of course.

writing stuff

This is really cool – MIT’s (that’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology) FREE online writing course. No grades, but you get the syllabus, assignments and course materials (downloadable).

This is where I got that link. There are also free courses offered by Purdue University, UCLA, and the University of Utah to name a handful (minus two fingers).

I learned a lot about writing this weekend thanks to my pal Jenny Martin. She is the librarian who guest blogged for me last week, remember? I learned that one of those courses mentioned above would be a great idea for me. Passive voice, who knew! (It seems like everyone I know knew. ugh.) Also, this one space between sentences is going to take some getting used to. It was the only thing that stuck from 7th grade typing class.  There!  I did it again. oy.

fifteen for friday 9/18/09

Friday, September 18th, 2009

soggy Texas edition

These monsters range in size from 3 to 6 inches in diameter

These monsters range in size from 3 to 6 inches in diameter

1.  It has been raining/overcast/blah outside for a week…this is not normal and makes me feel that something more ominous than rain in Texas is afoot.

2.  I’m aware that these feelings are a product of an overactive imagination…but just LOOK at all the mushrooms!

3.  Hubby won’t quit saying “The phong is ringin’!  Is it Michael Trabtree?”

4.  Speaking of phongs, my new LG Xenon is due today! woo hoo!

5.  Read: Catching Fire…finally!  More on that later.

6.  Reading Dead Until Dark.

7.  Did I already tell everyone that I like this blog?  I think I did.  It’s been a soggy week.

8.  Cats are already fattening up for the winter.  You’d think they were getting ready to hibernate or something.

9.  #FF (follow friday feels so nice.)

10. @calistataylor is so helpful!  I know I mentioned her before, but seriously…she gave me a soup recipe for my angry stomach.

11. Thanks thanks thanks to Jenny Martin for being my first guest blogger.  You rocked it!

12. Completed my 500th tweet today…what an accomplishment.

13. Ugh.  Where’s that soup?

14. Oh yeah.  I have to actually make it.

15. I promise a better list next week. *doubling over queasy mid section*

guest blogger: jenny martin, librarian extrodinaire

Monday, September 14th, 2009

bookstack2When Jen asked me to post about advice I’ve gleaned from writers’ groups, I wasn’t sure what suggestions to give. After all, as a writer, I’m a novice. I have zero expertise to offer on the mechanics of writing.

But I am a librarian. As such, it’s my job to read widely and well. I’d like to think I’m acquainted with the transaction between reader and book. Perhaps an examination of this exchange could be helpful. After mulling over the helpful hints offered at AQ and writer’s workshop, I’m struck by a single question.

What happens when I read a good story?

Reading is an interactive experience, an emotional communion between the reader and the tale. If a story reaches me, touching my intellect and psyche in a meaningful way, I consume the story.

Or does the story consume me?

After reading a really good book, I absorb the emotional core of the plot and carry it with me. Although I may never read it again, it never leaves my subconscious. Like a talisman, I examine the tale each time I devour something new. I compare its characters, its setting and its message against those inside the novel in my hands.

A good story haunts the outposts of the soul.

If this is true, what implications does it have for the writer?

Simply put, if the writer’s setting, characters, themes and plot do not spark an emotional connection, the story dies. It is not carried on, it is not absorbed, and it does not take root in the consciousness of the reader. The story slips away, a vapor. It’s lost.

If your story is does not yet live in the heart of its reader, do not lose faith. Return to your characters. Reach inside of them and extract the essence of that which makes them real and vibrant. Close your eyes and experience the story through their eyes. Transfigure this experience until it fits comfortably on the page.

Then, with any luck, your story will either break the reader’s heart or heal it.

About the blogger:

Jenny Martin is a school librarian in the DFW area. She holds a Masters Degree in Library Science from the University of North Texas. She also reviews books and writes YA.