In case you’ve missed it, a collection of links to the Ghost Week on Tor dot com.
It’s a feast of articles, short stories (some favourites like Lovecraft and M. Twain) and more to entertain your dark, scary side 🙂
I’m (obviously) enamoured of books. I learned to read quite early, and I’ve never stopped. I’m never bored: there’s always a book there ready to tell me something, teach me something, explain me something, show me something, scare me, amuse me, entertain me.
I’ve read some difficult books, and some light ones, and those in the middle: all can excel in content and form, a thriller is as good as a chick lit as a contemporary post-modern novel as a sci fi dystopia, and so on.
There’s a book for every moment 🙂
I came across a Top Ten of Difficult Books (of which I’ve read three): you can read it here.
Now I’ll have more to add to my To Read list on Goodreads: ops 🙂 Up to now, one of the most difficult books I’ve been reading, stopped reading, started reading again and again is Michio Kaku’s Hyperspace.
Now I have more to face. And yet, isn’t it exciting, now and then, to read something that challenges you? That’s the beauty of books, you can move from world to world, according to your mood, your inclination.
What’s the most difficult book you’ve read?
A few days of silence, my apologies. I have tons of links and things to discuss (steampunk, writerly and possibly also a rant on male fashion), but I’m dealing with a family situation, so I’ll be absent for a few days. Posting will resume on Monday.
The title of the interview is: The Art of the Essay N. 1. I like writing essays, and I’ve written everything from strictly academic essays to creative essays, and as in many other things, I’m always learning and improving. I knew E.B. White as the White in Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style, which is a must-have elegant and precise book on style and grammar and many other tips on the use of English language in writing. But I never made the connection with the White of Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web. Silly me.
It’s a long interview and it paints an interesting portrait not only of the writer but also of the times and ideas of his writing. I’m looking forward to read some of his other work, now, even though my List of Things to Read gets ever longer.
In particular, I fell completely in love with this passage:
Delay is natural to a writer. He is like a surfer—he bides his time, waits for the perfect wave on which to ride in. Delay is instinctive with him. He waits for the surge (of emotion? of strength? of courage?) that will carry him along. I have no warm-up exercises, other than to take an occasional drink. I am apt to let something simmer for a while in my mind before trying to put it into words. I walk around, straightening pictures on the wall, rugs on the floor—as though not until everything in the world was lined up and perfectly true could anybody reasonably expect me to set a word down on paper.
See, see? It’s not procrastination, at all! That’s what is, the waiting around for the right words to come in, the looking out of the window, the desperate sudden need to wash the previous week’s dishes, and yes, that too, the blurry windows have to be cleaned, now, and the mud on those shoes, look at that, can’t possibly be tolerated, and, and! I have to go buy groceries, right now.
Okay, yes, I’m being facetious. But I love that paragraph, I adore the sense of ‘me’ as a writer, the refusal to bend for someone else’s expectations of how writing happens.
Writing is hard work, and it’s different for each of us.
We shouldn’t let someone else’s expectations dictate how and when we write (every morning, every day, three pages per day, from 3 to 5, in chronological order, following an outline, mind mapping, and so forth). We need to experiment, yes, and listen to advice, and pay attention to our circumstances: for example, no point in pretending to write each day 10.000 words, if we have a day job, or a family, or other responsibilities. We’re just setting us up for failure, or for complaining.
But most importantly, we need to discover and then nurture and support how does writing happen for us. I still haven’t found a reliable routine, but I’ll keep experimenting.
Have you found your way to make your writing happen? I’d like to know 🙂