Thursday, December 10, 2009

(Totally Random) This and That

So, yesterday was a very bookish day for me. Remember Alexander and the No Good Horrible Day? It was a lot like that. I started the day in the dentist's chair getting a brutal teeth cleaning, then got my blood drawn by a phlebotomist named True, and it only got better from there. Of all the no good horrible things that happened to me though, guess what was the worst? I forgot my book at home. I know, right? Stuck flipping through magazines when I could have been doing some real reading. Not that I don't love magazines - I do, as you'll see in a moment - but books always come first. Ah, well. That's just the way my day went. Hopefully, today will be better.

I'm still feeling overwhelmed and scatter-brained - I'm afraid this post is really going to reflect that. Sorry in advance. I just wanted to mention a few "bookish" things:

- If you caught my review of Saving Sammy by Beth Maloney (you can read it here), you will want to watch The Bonnie Hunt Show today. Beth will be there to talk about her experience with her son's OCD, which she detailed in her book. You can find more info here.

- I've only had a few people enter my giveaway for Donna VanLiere's The Christmas Secret. Click here to sign up, then tune into Lifetime, which will be playing the three movies that were made out of VanLiere's Christmas books. On December 13, The Christmas Shoes will air at 4, The Christmas Blessing at 6 and The Christmas Hope at 8. You can see the full schedule for its holiday movies here.

- Remember how fascinated I was by Dave Cullen's Columbine (read my review here)? The only thing I still didn't get after reading it was how the shooters' parents could have been so oblivious to what was happening in their sons' lives. According to Cullen, those parents refused to be interviewed; thus, no one knew much about them or their relationships with their sons. In November's issue of Oprah Magazine, Susan Klebold tells her story for the first time. You can read it in its entirety here. Interesting.

- Did you read my extensive response to Shannon Hale's thoughts on the responsibilities of writers and readers? In this month's issue of The Writer, novelist Randall Silvis states my thoughts exactly (and much more eloquently than I did):

... It is not the reader's job to work hard; it is the writer's job to work hard to provide the reader with an evocative experience...

The notion that the reader is in any way responsible for a story's effectiveness simply can't be justified except on a purely egotistical level. Because the truth is,we read fiction primarily for enjoyment - whether it is the delight we take in a writer's use of language, the vicarious pleasure of watching a new world unfld, or the titillation of being perched on teh edge of our seats nad leaning forward with all senses cocked. So why should we as readers be forced to struggle to comprehend a story when we can be quite confident that the writer, unless she has spend the last 30 years in Tibet learning how to levitate, is probably not going to reward our labors with some startling insight?

The best that any of us can hope to do with our writing is to present to the reader a piece of the world, and to do so with honesty and clarity and gratitude. The best we an hope to do is to extend an invitation to the reader to see and feel the worlds we create inside our heads. The irony of writing is that , although conducted in solitude, it is an act of communion between the writer and her readers. Not a contract that impries a conscious mutual agreement, but an inexplicable connection between hearts that will probably never meet. (15-16)

- Speaking of writing, I mentioned The Marshall Plan for Novel-Writing by Evan Marshall in my last post. I discovered this book a couple of years ago while browsing for writing books at Borders. It's quickly become my favorite, because it boils the whole mysterious process of fiction writing down to an easy-to-follow formula. I have used the workbook several times to outline stories. Well, Marshall let me know that he has now developed software that makes the workbook even easier to use. I'll be reviewing it soon, but you can get a sneak peek here. I told Marshall that chatting with him is like meeting my favorite rock star - really, I love him that much.

- Finally, check out Bookreporter.com's Second Annual Holiday Blogs feature, in which a bunch of authors - including Barbara Delinsky, Sandra Dallas, Kristin Hannah, Donna VanLiere and more talk about the holidays.

P.S. Yes, some day I will post a real, live review of a work of fiction ...

See, totally random. Have a great day, anyway!

1 comment:

  1. Hello!
    I really, truly, deeply, reccomend The Mysterious Benedict Society!!!
    These are books for kids, and they are my favorite series!!!!!!
    Please, please, please read The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart!
    Thanks!
    Sam

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