Writing and Reading — February 2013
Even snow days look pretty at my new place!
It has been a little over a month since I moved in to my new place. I still need a few more bookshelves, a chest of drawers, and some nightstands, but all in all, I am moved in. The biggest change has been how much more productive I have been. It may not seem like it, but I have actually done a lot more writing.
Which is good, because my class this semester is a fiction workshop class. Over the course of the class, I have to turn in three pieces. All of them cannot be things I have used in workshop previously. So I went through my stuff and found one finished piece that I haven’t looked at in a few years. I have one that is about 1/3 finished. Finally, I have a new piece that I just started, but is so interesting, I’ll be done writing it in a week or so. I’ll save that one for the end of the semester.
Almost as exciting is the news that I have been steadily working on my novel. After years of believing I had no more novels in me, last year I found myself wanting to start a new one. I tried the NANOMO. But we all know how that ended… Still I’ve been plugging away and now have a few thousand words.
It’s amazing what a little piece and quiet will do for your writing soul.
I do have one more work that I am almost finished, but I don’t want to talk about that too much. It is not for class. It was just something fun I decided to do, with a very personal motive. Once it is done, I’ll make an announcement.
I didn’t talk about this last year, but I did have a reading list. After sorting through all my books, I realized that there were a few I never got around to reading. Kate Vaiden was one of them, but there were quite a few more that I read and crossed off the list. Let me give you a rundown of those I can remember:
- The Windup Girl – by Paolo Bacigalupi
- His Dark Materials Trilogy – Philip Pullman
- Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes
- Origin Stories – Kelly Link
And of course there were the five I read for class:
- A Visit from the Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan
- Charming Billy – Alice McDermott
- Isaac’s Storm – Erik Larson
- Unbroken – Laura Hillenbrand
- Kate Vaiden – Reynolds Price
Of those, my favorite was Flowers for Algernon. I thought that was a wonderful, unique story. For those who don’t know, it is the story of a man with a very low IQ, who volunteers for an experimental surgery to make himself smarter. The story is told through his diary entries and charts both his joy and sorrow in his new life. It was a great read and I recommend it.
Infinite Jest is still sitting in the to be read pile. I packed it early and just didn’t pick it up over the break. Now? I just started reading Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. She is one of my favorite writers, but I never got around to reading this series. I’m only thirty pages it, but I’m having a hard time putting it down.
But I must. I have writing to do.
Anyone else found a new favorite book last year? Let me know!