So it’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog. I started working on January 23, and getting used to an 8:30am to 5pm full-time shift has been difficult in terms of energy when I get home. I’m happy to be working and I love my job, I just wish that I could be more willing to read when I get home.
I still plan on writing an essay on Dispatches, I just need to stop falling into the TV trap when I get home from work. Hopefully I can get started on the book sometime this week, even if I only read a few pages a night. I’d like to have it done by Saturday, so I’ve just got to find the motivation to get it done.
Thanks for your patience. I hope you are continuing to read. If you have any advice as to ways I can remind myself to read, please let me know in the comments.
“And because I often fold down page corners and scribble in margins, it is best to keep me away from first editions.” – Annie Proulx, “Inspiration? Head Down the Back Road, and Stop for the Yard Sales,” Writers on Writing, pg. 186
Writers on Writing
Give me used books. Give me paperbacks with worn spines, with name and title cracked like old fresco. Give me hardcovers where the pages peel away from the binding, yet still find themselves together. Give me books with all of their pages. Give me first editions, second editions, anniversary editions, and editions you detest. Most importantly, give me a book where someone wrote comments in the margins, where someone underlined a vivid image, where text was annotated with stars and exclamation points. Continue reading
This has actually turned out to be a bit of a busy week for me. I actually haven’t finished reading the book Writers on Writing because it’s a series of essays and I don’t want to feel like I’m rushing through any. I want to actually digest the information in this book and really consider if the perspectives of each writer is something I agree with or could apply to my life. I do plan on finishing it this week, hopefully by Tuesday. So ideally, I will have an article about my own perspective of writing up by Thursday.
After that, I’m not quite sure what book I plan to read. I actually went to the Goodwill yesterday and bought five books for seven dollars. I picked up Dispatches by Michael Herr, Flags of our Fathers by James Bradley, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, The Last True Story I’ll Ever Tell by John Crawford, and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. All of these books are new to me, except for The Road. I sold my copy of The Road a few years ago. I’m not quite sure if I want to dive into one of these new books or if I want to read a collection of short stories. For once, I’ll let the choice be a surprise.
On an unrelated note, sometime this week I’m going to go back through all of the update posts and edit the titles. Truthfully, “Update” doesn’t sound all that inviting. Maybe “Now reading” or “This week’s book” or some other title would be better.
As always, thanks for reading. Have a great week.
“Well, look, I’m a lawyer too, and a woman, like your character, but” –and her expression became urgent as if she had clamped her hand to my arm–“the book was no help to me. It didn’t tell me how I should live my life.” – Rosellen Brown, “Characters’ Weaknesses Build Fiction’s Strengths,” Writers on Writing, p. 29
Writers on Writing
In the spring of 2009, my roommate and I enrolled in a philosophy class centered on utopias and dystopias. We had both agreed that the class seemed interesting, and it also fulfilled part of our core requirements for graduation.
While we had expected the class to involve lectures and discussions on philosophical terminology and arguments, we realized that the class was really an English literature class. We discussed the utopias or dystopias presented in books like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland. We examined societal and character flaws and strengths using plain language instead of modus ponens and modus tollens arguments. Our understanding of perfect harmony and perfect chaos came from fiction; we did not speak of real world examples of those who had sought to create utopias. Continue reading
As I scan the books on my bookshelf, I realize that there are several collections of essays and short stories that I have never read. One book was actually a gift from Christmas 2010 and is called Writers on Writing. It’s a collection of essays from The New York Times. When I’m finished reading this book, I’m going to create two entries: one entry will be my perspective on the art of writing, and the other entry will be a piece of fiction or a standard essay.
As always, thanks for reading and have a great weekend.
‘Since I survived that year,’ he always said, ‘I shall survive anything,’ – Things Fall Apart, pg. 19
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
I’ve been fortunate enough to not have to endure a year of absolutely terrible circumstances. Call it the ease of youth or call it luck, but the number of good days has outweighed the bad days for me. As I get older, that balance might shift toward the other end. It might not. Either way, the years will progress and I will have some bad days and some good days and I understand that.
Not everyone is so lucky. Continue reading
“I would count infinity by counting days that I’d have to wait. X = infinity, find the value for x. I’d count how many days I had left of high school. How long I’d have to spend with the girls who had once led me on the scavenger hunt, with boys who made cracks about my stomach, my breasts. There’s that day, and that day, and after that day, there’s another, and after that one, another, I’d tell myself.” – And Now You Can Go, pg. 186
And Now You Can Go by Vendela Vida
How many ways can you measure distance? Centimeters, inches, feet, yards, meters, miles, kilometers, and everything else in between, above, and below, expanding across the vacant patches of grass, asphalt, and dirt, to separate living beings from other living beings. Of course, we don’t have to think in terms of length.
Time is so much easier to consider. Five seconds from the bedroom to the bathroom. Thirty minutes on an unheated bus with single-pane windows to a public school. An hour in morning traffic crossing two construction zones, which are marked off purely for show since no work is going on, just to sit in a cubicle and stare at a flickering computer screen for 8 hours in order to keep the lights on another month. Continue reading