What’s Your Read: September 2016

Some weeks I’m itching for a good mystery. Others I’m craving an emotional roller coaster. Or fantasy. Or historical fiction. Or goodness knows what. It might be brand new or something ancient or anywhere in between. In any case, it’s nice to share, so …

What’s Your Read?

The Fiction Class
Susan Breen

2016-09-28-fiction-classNo, there won’t be information on getting an agent. Yes, you really should do the assignments. Sorry, not sorry, the rabbit stays in the classroom.

Arabella covers the basics as usual, but something is different during this term’s fiction writing course. It could be that this is the first time that a student has run out of her class when asked to contribute. It could be the distracting older man flirting with her in the front. Or it could be the fact that her mother is dying.

Every week brings a new topic, a new assignment, and a new visit with the same difficult relative.

Find Your People

Ever play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon (or Separation, if you prefer the classic version)? Actor A was in Movie A with Actor B who was in Movie B with Actor C, etc. Actor A might never have worked with Actor C, but they do have someone in common in Actor B.

Apply the general principle of Six Degrees to writing. Having a community to rely on and contribute to is a valuable asset. One person might not have the answer to a question, but someone else that person knows might. The hive-mind is a powerful resource.

Find a local writers group, an online forum that talks about your genre, or an old-school pen pal. Don’t join something that doesn’t fit your needs, and certainly don’t break your bank on a membership. There are lots of free options from bigger organizations out there. For example, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) have a great resource page that’s accessible without membership.

Can’t find exactly the community you’re looking for? Start one! Chances are someone else is searching for the same thing.

Promptly Creative: Going Somewhere?

How many different directions can you take this little prompt?

“I’m going to need to check your bag.”

The man in front of her handed over his case for the uniformed officer to search while she clutched the handles of her tote a little tighter. They wouldn’t check two people in a row, would they?

WYR: To Thine Clone Self Be True

Some weeks I’m itching for a good mystery. Others I’m craving an emotional roller coaster. Or fantasy. Or historical fiction. Or goodness knows what. It might be brand new or something ancient or anywhere in between. In any case, it’s nice to share, so …

What’s Your Read?

2016-4-29 And Again

And Again by Jessica Chiarella

If your mental identity – memories, knowledge, likes and dislikes – was transferred into a clone of yourself, a body grown to be medically superior but without all of the mileage of the life you’ve lived to date, would you still be you?

The SUBlife program has offered a second chance at life for terminally-ill patients like Hannah, David, Connie, and Linda, but now they’re experiencing a whole new context for the cliché “life goes on.” Jessica Chiarella’s And Again explores the nature and frustrations of identity, relationships, old habits, and new opportunity.

 

Happy Finals Week!

To all folks who are finishing classes, cramming like mad, sitting those three hour exams, and writing page after page of caffeine-stoked brilliance through the night, I salute you.

If you’re one of the lucky few who can snap in and out of writing styles with expert survival skills, then good on you, you magnificent chameleon! However, if you’ve been specifically toning your creative writing muscles and now have been slapped with a standard essay, the transition back to academic writing can be a bit tumultuous.

Below are a few links to some great writing resources for the academically inclined. Your institution might have a writing center, too, so be sure to dig a bit around campus if you’re in need.

Amherst – Writing Center’s List of Online Resources for Writers

Purdue – Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Harvard – Writing Center Resources

Library Love

I’m taking a break today from my usual What’s Your Read post to celebrate National Library Week. Sounds a bit weird to skip talking about a book to celebrate a magical place that houses books? Yeah, okay, that’s fair.

2016-4-15 imcpl college

Also, my library has tropical fish. (And majestic sun rays emanating from the mass of sheer literary glory contained within.)

However, I want to take one post to say a very quick thanks to all libraries and the incredible people who work in them.

Thanks especially to the small town, county-wide library where I read both Reading Rainbow selections and John Brown biographies growing up, the university libraries where I studied (and never slept, I promise), the inter-library loan office where I was employed and learned to wield a packing tape dispenser, and the city library branch that I now take my son to and ransack on a regular basis. Regardless of what state or country you’re in, a library feels like home.

 

WYR: The Start of Something Bigger

Some weeks I’m itching for a good mystery. Others I’m craving an emotional roller coaster. Or fantasy. Or historical fiction. Or goodness knows what. It might be brand new or something ancient or anywhere in between. In any case, it’s nice to share, so …

What’s Your Read?

I had not yet chosen a book for this weekend when a certain used paperback crossed my path while I ran some errands. How could I say no to a beloved favorite like this?

Before Ged was known across Earthsea, he was simply Duny, a child of the island of Gont with little family besides the disinterested aunt who taught him his first rhymes and lore. His raw power and quick wits saved his village from invaders, but he had only begun to learn the cost of such control. The search for adventure and knowledge would lead him into far more dangerous waters than those near his boyhood home.

2016-4-1 Wizard of EarthseaUrsula K. LeGuin’s classic cycle begins with A Wizard of Earthsea.

 

 

Happy (Early) Birthday!

April 1 - 1st birthdayI’m two days early, but considering How Novel Editing’s birthday is also April Fool’s Day, perhaps it’s best to post on a different day anyway.

One year ago, HNE officially launched, so today I’d like to take a moment to say thanks to all of the folks who have supported, hired, and put a good word in for this freelancer.

I may have been editing for years, but a story-loving friend and a determined spouse were key players in getting HNE off the ground. The former wanted to pay me, and the latter helped me figure out how to make it happen. I’m a pretty lucky gal.

My goal in starting How Novel was to provide writers with an affordable option to take their ideas to the next level, and I’m humbled and excited by the work of each and every one of my clients. The writers I know are an impressive lot, and I’m grateful to them for allowing me to come along on their journeys.

There are also a whole slew of generous individuals who have asked for a few extra copies of my business card to pass along, re-tweeted a post here and there, mentioned my name to a friend, and asked just what exactly it is I do. These people have made this adventure possible.

Thank you all, and here’s to many more years of telling stories together.