Posts Tagged ‘reading’

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Quotes!

June 29, 2016

 

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Barn with Art Installation at Djerassi

If you have that unconquerable urge to write, nothing will stop you from writing. –Theodore Dreiser

You can’t crush ideas by suppressing them. You can only crush them by ignoring them. – Ursula K. Le Guin

Writing is physical work. It’s sweaty work. You just can’t will yourself to become a good writer. You really have to work at it. –Will Haygood

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. –Confucius

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Books in Nica

May 17, 2016

Choosing a book, or many books, to read on vacation can be challenging. Will I be in the mood for a mindless beach read? Will I want to learn something and discover personal growth? Should the book be work related? Completely literary? In the end, I almost always choose a bit of everything. In my line of work, reading is as important as writing.

In April, my family traveled to Nicaragua for two weeks. We had lots of time on planes, in the airport, on the beach, waiting at restaurants, siesta-ing, and even during the middle of the night when temperatures hovered near 90 with no air-conditioning. Thank God for e-readers!

Lots of people ask me for reading suggestions, so I’ve listed what I read in Nicaragua. However, I think it’s important to prepare for a trip and read a related book or two before arrival. I began with The Country Under My Skin: A Memoir of Love and War by Gioconda Belli, and while on the plane I devoured a collection of short stories set in Panama: Come Together, Fall Apart, by Cristina Henriquez.

This next selection was chosen because I wanted to read adult literary fiction. I picked A 100 Foot Journey by Richard Morais because it’s set in three different countries. Because I was traveling to a foreign land, I could appreciate the nuances that come with cross-cultural living. Next, I read My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout, which is new and on many best seller lists. I love Elizabeth Strout, and the book did not disappoint. I also love Chris Bohjalian’s and was surprised to find Trans-Sister Radio, a book of his that I hadn’t yet read. Given the debate about gender-neutral bathrooms, it’s a book that everyone should read RIGHT NOW.

By reading, 250 Things you Should Know about Writing by Chuck Wendig, I did a little work, right? And because reading middle grade and young adult is also part of my job, I read I will Save You: Matt de la Pena, The Girl Who Fell From the Sky: Heidi Durrow, and This is Where it Ends; Marieke Nijkamp, but they were all so good that I can’t call it work.

Personal growth and well-being are always part of my routine, and I read parts and pieces of these four books: Awakening the Energy Body: Kenneth Smith, Defy Gravity: Caroline Myss, Courageous Dreaming: Alberto Villoldo, and Dark Nights of the Soul: Thomas Moore.

Did I have a favorite? Nope. Each served their purpose for different reasons, and I enjoyed them all. Developing a selection of books to read takes a bit of planning, but it’s well worth it.

We also took phones away from our kids, and they balked as only teenagers can. But guess what? They read—a couple of books each! Parents shouldn’t be afraid to pull technology from their children. Of course, kids will complain; that’s their job. No one said parenting was easy. But here’s the upshot: reading improves writing skills ten-fold, triggers receptors in the brain, and offers new worlds, an escape, a welcome respite from an overly stimulated world. Parents can’t mandate books like teachers can, but if kids don’t have an alternative; they’ll read. And odds are? They’ll like it.

Happy reading on your next vacation! Summer anyone?

 

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Winter Writing Quotes

February 1, 2016

Need some midwinter inspiration? I hope these help.

Write you story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter. –Neil Gaiman

Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing. –Melinda Haynes

When you go in search of honey, you must expect to be stung by bees. -Kenneth Kaunda

If we have listening ears, God speaks to us in our own language, whatever that language is.-Mahatma Gandhi

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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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Jail Guys

August 27, 2013

Last week I helped build a new library at my kids’ school. It was no easy task. The school moved location, so in addition to collecting over 1000 new books, I moved, alphabetized, and organized genres of books, books, books.

The first night of work, I brought friends and family to help. While I won’t say my teenagers were thrilled with the idea, they brought friends, we ate pizza, and cranked One Direction. They’d never say it was “fun”, but I did get an “it was okay,” which hey, was better than an eye roll. My sites are not so high when it comes to satisfying teenagers.

In spite of the support, we didn’t finish. A few days later I returned, with far fewer assistants. However, the Director of School (a brilliant woman) had found extra help for the day—jail guys who needed to log community service hours as part of their sentence. After saying hi to the two men in orange, I gave them directions how and where to move the books. As we carried stacks back and forth between rooms, one of the guys told me he was reading a great book. I’m ashamed to say—this surprised me. But I engaged immediately and asked him the title. “COLD MOUNTAIN,” he said. Again, shock rocked my body, but I tried hard not to let it show. The guy was maybe nineteen-years old. He was dressed in a tangerine jumpsuit, wore a brown baseball cap, and had a deep scar across his lip. As I caught myself racial profiling, dismay rolled through my thoughts. I loved COLD MOUNTAIN. We got talking about Inman and Ada, and didn’t stop until the last book had been moved.

Some jail guys read. Some know what they’re talking about. Some books can reach across the aisle and shake hands. I hope, from here on out, to do the same.

 

 

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More Quotes

August 12, 2013

The best things happen at the exit ramp of your comfort zone. –Karen Salmansohn

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.  –Cyril Connolly

If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write. -Stephen King

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More Quotes

March 18, 2013

When my horse is running good, I don’t stop to give him sugar. –William Faulkner

 

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer. –Barbara Kingsolver

 

 

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it. –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe