I have read an astonishing array of books since September: Shakespeare’s Sonets, Robert J. Sawyer, George Orwell, Guy de Maupassant, Nathaniel Hawthorne, J.F. Englert, Constance Beresford-Howe, Mary Lawson, Kate Morton, Charles Atkins, Erika Robuck, Molly MacRae, Garth Stein, M.J. Rose, Lisa Cron and, on the “To Read” or “Currently Reading” table: Annie Proulx, Orwell, Neal Stephenson, Carol Shields, and a couple more. Phew! Genres all over the map. That is the point.
Backstory: I spent most of my life reading fantasy and the occasional mystery, thriller, or romance thrown in for variety. I never focused on poetry, essays and short stories. Many of the authors mentioned above are new to me – and so they should be. Of course friends and I share titles of our favorite books. This is the first time I deliberately mined their minds for their essay, shorts, and genre faves.
I feel like I’m standing at a busy intersection in Paris. No longer traffic hurtling towards me at breakneck speeds, it’s a cacophony of words. It’s exhilarating!
For the most part I attempt to follow Ray Bradbury’s suggestion of reading a poem, essay and short story a day, which means I read more novels in genres I’m not so familiar with. Bradbury suggests we write a short story a week. I admit to writing one, and got a bit bogged down. My abbreviated posts attest to that. Uh-huh. Hmmm.
With twenty-four hours in the day, I am back to the old song and dance routine – how to find balance. To read the plethora of books, not nit-pick at a short story, juggle the day-to-day stuff, and get to my novel.
Yes! The wip! No longer sulking in the corner, I have dusted the ms off and spread it about the table. This weeks’ goal: Review the scenes, sit my ass back down in the chair and get on with the rewrite.
Tell me what books you are reading? When you read an old-world book, does your speech become more formal?