Saturday Edition: What we’re writing and reading

Welcome to this Saturday Edition of What We’re Writing and Reading where we share some of what we’re up to with our writing (when we’re not here) and what we’re into with our reading (around the web). We’ll also pull back the curtain a little to give you a behind-the-scenes look at what went into a piece.

We hope you enjoy this little diversion and encourage you to share your own posts and picks in the comments.

Happy writing! Happy reading! 

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fall riverWhat a gorgeous, gorgeous week we’ve had around here – quintessential New England fall. I must admit that it makes it a wee bit tricky to focus on anything so mundane as sitting at my desk. All those clear blue skies and frisky winds seem bent on luring me out of doors. I’m really no match for the temptation.

Despite my definite lack of butt-in-seat-time this week, I’m not feeling too guilty. First of all, it was my birthday on Tuesday, so I figured I deserved some time off what with being (according to my daughter) so old and all. Second of all, fall is my favorite season and I know there will only be so many of these perfect days. I want to enjoy as many as I can. The Farmer’s Almanac says we’ve got a long, hard winter ahead so there will be plenty of time for hunkering down at keyboard once the snow flies.

For now, I’m writing things in my head while I’m out enjoying the season’s best. 😉

What I’m Writing:

Well, not so much in the writing department this week. I did put together an ode to fall for my column (I’ll share it here next week), but that was really all the writing I accomplished.

I’ll get back in the saddle next week.

What I’m Reading:

On the flip side, I enjoyed quite a bit of reading this week. (It was my birthday and that was part of my birthday present to me – several uninterrupted hours of guilt-free reading … curled up on the couch, with tea … and a cat.

into wildernessThis week, I finished Into the Wilderness, written by our very own Deborah Lee Luskin. This is a survival story, but not the man vs. nature kind of survival story. The book’s main character, Rose Mayer, is a sixty-four year old jewish grandmother who relocates to the “wilderness” of Vermont where her son and his family have a summer home.

This is another “quiet” story that grew on me the way a relationship takes root and blossoms.  By the time I reached the last page, I felt like the characters were real people whom I might run into at the grocery store or down at the coffee shop. I cared about their happiness. I also really enjoyed hearing the story told from the perspective of people older than me. It was a refreshing change.

I’m really looking forward to Deborah’s next novel. 🙂

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On a completely different note, I also read a collection of short fantasy stories curated by one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman. Unnatural Creatures (affiliate link) includes tales about griffins, sunbirds, carnivorous plants, time-traveling unicorns, and many other fantastic creatures. I was both delighted and dismayed at how quickly I tore through these stories. I was reminded of the way I used to consume books in my youth – tearing through them as if their words were my only sustenance.

The stories in this anthology cover a lot of ground in the fantasy genre, some verge on horror while others are definitely humorous. I loved the fact that the collection includes stories from as recently as 2013 and as long ago as 1900. The variety of voices was particularly intriguing to me. It was very interesting to study how each author handled the narrative elements.

This book felt like a perfect indulgence.

SST inviteFinally, I took some advice from a reader (Andrea Badgley) and subscribed to a great short story email list called Short Story Thursdays. The brainchild of author Jacob Tomsky, this service delivers one short story (“All classics. No garbage.”) per week. On Thursdays. So far, I’m loving it. I especially loved the intro email that made it perfectly clear that if you can’t make time to read one short story a week, Tomsky doesn’t really want you on his list. This guy is very serious about short stories.

I’m still learning to appreciate the short story, but this subscription feels like a great way to immerse myself – one story at a time – in the genre. I’m enjoying the education.

And let’s not forget the blogs. Here are a few of my favorite writerly posts from this week:

Finally, a quote for the week:

dont like books

Reader snobbery. SO justified.

Thanks for sharing part of your day with me. Happy writing & happy reading & happy all things word-y and bookish! 🙂 

Jamie Lee Wallace is a writer who also happens to be a marketer. She helps her Suddenly Marketing clients discover their voice, connect with their audience, and find their marketing groove. She is also a mom, a prolific blogger, and a student of the equestrian arts, voice, and trapeze (not at the same time). Introduce yourself on facebook or twitter. She doesn’t bite … usually.

17 thoughts on “Saturday Edition: What we’re writing and reading

    • Thank you, Luis. It was a lovely birthday with lots of cheer. 🙂
      Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for coming by.

  1. I’m so glad you signed up for Short Story Thursdays! I loved this week’s story – bizarro. I’ve been wanting to read Deborah’s book ever since I subscribed to Live to Write – Write to Live, and now I think I’m going to have to nudge it up the TBR list. I always love the quiet books you recommend.

    And also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I’m so happy you gave yourself the gift of uninterruped reading time (and can totally relate that that’s the kind of gift you want on your birthday).

    • That WAS a weird story. I’m not sure I’ll ever understand what makes for a Nobel prize winning piece. Sometimes, I swear it must be weirdness. 😉

      I hope you enjoy Deborah’s book. Love to hear your thoughts.

      And, thanks for the b’day wishes. It was so nice to just sit with a book. Such a treat! 🙂

    • Lord of the Flies and The Hobbit – that’s a one-two punch! 😉

      I only read the first of Martin’s Game of Thrones books, and then I switched over to the HBO production. Have you seen the HBO interpretation? What are your thoughts?

      Hope things are going well with the new book.

  2. I just started following your blog not too long ago and I love it! I am so glad I came across it. You have such great tips and advice for people. Keep up the good work!

    • Welcome, Lisa!
      We’re happy to share & love hearing that what we’re up to is helpful to other writers.

      Thanks for the note of encouragement!
      🙂

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