Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Books, books, and more books.

Four months in our new house and we finally got the last of the bookshelves in and ready. I got to spend a glorious afternoon sorting through boxes and boxes of books, putting them on shelves, organizing, touching.

Only it wasn't so glorious.

Torturous might be a better description.

See, we don't have enough bookshelves for all our books. In fact, we could only get out about half of what was still in boxes (some books were already in the home)

There are these, 



and these.


How do you choose what stays out and what gets shut away? There were books I love that I had to groan and put back in the box. Part of it was easy. My first priority was the kids. I want to raise them to read. So anything that might interest them anytime in the next ten years, it got an automatic get out of the box pass. After that, it was a guessing game. 

Half of them went back in boxes in the garage. But at least I still have them, and they're not too hard to access. It's not goodby forever.

Until we meet again. 






Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Great Expectations.




While watching a movie the other night, a characters said of a novel “I hope it didn’t end happily” someone responded “The good ended happily, the bad unhappily. That’s why it’s called fiction.”





The character that had been looking for an unhappy ending, was one who had led a relatively happy and sheltered life. The one who believed that good and bad would get their just rewards only in fiction had led a difficult life.   

Many people read to escape life, and they look for those happy endings, something to give them the faith and hope that they don’t find in their own lives. Others may read to experience life, the depths, the tragedies, and the travel that they won’t encounter in their own.  



There are things that happen in real life that if they happened in a story the reader would throw down the novel in disgust saying it was too contrived, too convenient.  There are impossible things that happen in a story that seem plausible and right, given the context.   We each bring our own background into our reading, our own experiences and expectations.  People who read the same book may be overcome with opposite emotions or reactions to the events of a book.


I think this is important for authors to remember. We work hard to make sure our book says what we want, but we don't know and can't predict what readers will bring to the experience. There is no book the absolutely everyone will like.  All we can hope is that people will be able to find something to connect with.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Linkage

I've got a couple links for you. 

First on the list: 10 writing rules you can (and should) break. Okay, so some of the things he's listed as a 'rule' I'd never heard of before. While I can see the wisdom in them I'm all in favor of breaking them judiciously. Are there any you've never heard of?

Next: Ways to declutter your writing. I thought this had some great suggestions of things to watch out for.

Hope you enjoy them.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Focus


I often see writers asking each other how to stay focused. It's easy to get distracted by internet, laundry, life. Sitting down and writing a tough scene isn't always the favorite thing to do.

There are as many solutions as there are writers. For me, it's all about wanting it. If I keep my goal in mind, how much I want to be published, have a book in stores and libraries, have something that others will read and love, then it's easy to prioritize. Because I won't get that without putting in the work.

Writing is hard, you have to want it, and, if you want it enough, focus is easy.


Friday, July 7, 2017

Summer

Sorry about the silence, we took some family time. I'm getting back into a regular routine and should have a post next week. See you all then!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Onward

Having trouble with a scene? Try mixing it up.

Write it in a different POV.
Or a different setting.
Add characters.
Subtract characters.
Throw in an antagonist.
Drop a bombshell revelation.
Provoke a fight.
Have them make up.

Or maybe you can skip that scene all together. What is it really doing for your novel? Can reasonably get any important info to the readers in scenes you already have?

No matter what, keep writing. Don't give  up. If you need skip it and come back to it later.

Just. Keep. Writing.


Monday, June 5, 2017

libraries

I'm a huge fan of libraries. Some of my best memories from childhood were family trips to the library. I still remember getting my first library card. 

I've been getting most of my books through the library e-book lending system. It's worked pretty well. They had a half way decent selection and it fit my schedule. They've had notices up for months that this summer they will be changing systems so when I checked in the other night and saw the new system was up, I couldn't wait to check it out.

I was disappointed.

Turns out it is the same system I had had in a previous state. I hated it. I never used it. It had no selection and it wasn't user friendly. It looks as if the selection has expanded since then but of the 25 books I had had on my wish list in the old system, I could find only three of them in the new system. I was really upset and angry. It seems as if they library had traded systems for one that was worse than the previous one.

I know this is a first world problem. There is a lot that goes into these decisions. I know they have to try what works for the majority of people, not just me. And I would never want to be the person who had to make that decision. Still, I'm sad. I can't afford to supply my book habit solely with purchasing books. I rely on my library to stay sane, and in a busy world, it's just easier to use digital checkouts, rather than ILL, waiting for a book to ship, then having to drive to the library to pick it up. The closest library is very small and has weird hours (It is actually inside the high school so can't open during school hours.) the next closest library is 1/2 hour away.

Guess I'll have to go old school again, suck it up and ILL everything (My librarians in my previous state didn't like me much) Or, I'll have to sell a book for enough to supply my book habit.

I like that option. 


Do you use the library digital check out system? What do you think of it?