Posts Tagged ‘authors’

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MFA or not?

April 13, 2015

Today I tried my best to study as a writer: I read a book about sentence construction, pulled out my highlighter, and did my best to discover the secrets of a sentence. Then, I fell asleep.

There are times when I lament the fact that I grew up in a world where MFA’s did not exist. If they did, I certainly was unaware, clueless about the world of fine arts. It wasn’t until after I’d worked in Boston, then founded my own business, and finally wrote my own companion piece that I realized people go to school to learn how to write. By that time, I had three kids under the age of five and going back to school was not an option. So, I read. I read and I read and I read. Then I went to a workshop and then another. I began to study blogs and authors’ websites. I went to more workshops. I began to edit and critique and finally, to teach.

The book on sentence structure wasn’t necessarily boring, but for me, I realized the best way to learn and improve my own writing was by reading other books within my genre. I studied books that I loved and even those I didn’t. I rewrote authors’ sentences, plagiarizing their rhythm, not to copy into my own work but to learn. And I did.

Not everyone needs an MFA. As the cliché goes—we all have our own path, a journey to follow. As a non-MFA graduate, I know that I’ll always be studying the craft of writing, forever a student. And, I’m okay with that. It’s a fabulous way to grow.

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Books with Impact

March 1, 2015

About six months ago, I was nominated to list 10 books that impacted my life. Unlike the ice bucket challenge, this was one task I could handle. Although narrowing it down proved difficult, I managed to create a list of great reads that, after reading them, left me ready to step into action and/or personally changed my beliefs in some way.

In no particular order, here’s my list; six months late.

The Year of Magical Thinking: Joan Didion
Zeitoun: Dave Eggers
Phenomonal Woman: Maya Angelou
Stolen Lives: Malika Oufkir
Olive Kitteridge: Elizabeth Strout
Speak: Laurie Halse Anderson
Two Boys Kissing: David Leviathan
A Christmas Carol: Charles Dickens
Awakening: Cate Chopin
The Little Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings: Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

I nominate YOU to share your list here!

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Best of 2014

January 5, 2015

In the spirit of last month’s year-end, best of lists, I’m doing my own top ten YA favorites that I read in 2014. Note that not all these titles were published in 2014 (although most were), but rather, I read them in 2014.

In no particular order:

I’ll Give You the Sun: Jandy Nelson
The Butterfly Mosque: G.Willow Wilson
Noggin: John Corey Whaley
Reality Boy: A.S. King
Two Boys Kissing: David Leviathan
Tease: Amanda Maciel
Belzhar- Meg Wilitzer
The Ocean at the End of the Lane: Neil Gaiman
Fangirl: Rainbow Rowell
Pointe: Brandy Colbert

Share Yours!

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Summer Reads: Contemporary YA

May 18, 2014

I love offering good reads. For me, the most difficult part is knowing when to shut-up already.  I have a hard time limiting my list. With summer here, I’ve chosen a dozen books to recommend in the same genre that I write: contemporary, young adult fiction. However, you don’t need to be seventeen to enjoy these reads. I’m not a book reviewer, so search the internet for best reviews, but I promise—you won’t be disappointed reading any of these books.

 

Two Boys Kissing:  David Levithan

Fangirl: Rainbow Rowell

Wild Awake: Hilary Smith

Hold Still: Nina LaCour

Virtuosity: Jessica Martinez

Just One Day: Gayle Forman

Roomies: Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

Panic: Lauren Oliver

Doll Bones: Holly Black (this is actually middle grade)

Out of the Easy: Ruta Sepetys (this is historical fiction- but recent history)

Sex and Violence: Carrie Mesrobian

Charm & Strange: Stephanie Kuehn

 

Happy summer reading!

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What’s your Favorite Book?

December 6, 2011

My senior year in college I was on a quest to read everything I’d missed in my education. Well, kind of.

By asking my friends, family, and colleagues to give me the names of their favorite reads, I created an incredible reading list. What was curious was that friends, who did not know each other but had similar personalities, had some of the same favorite books on their lists. I haven’t updated the project in years. So, I’ll do it now.

If you’re willing, post your favorite fifty right here. Try and mix it up. If War and Peace really is your favorite, definitely add it to the list. But give us your favorite kid-lit as well. Hop on Pop?

If you don’t have fifty, two will do. Or ten. It doesn’t matter; just post some favorite books so we can all get reading!