Saturday Edition: What we’re writing and reading

Welcome to this Saturday Edition of What We’re Writing and Reading in which 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! 


headshot_jw_thumbnailJamie Wallace: So, last weekend I went in to see the traveling exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The curation and presentation were very well done, and the crowd was well managed so my mom and I had plenty of time to explore the artifacts and the remnants of these ancient writings.

dead sea scrollsI am neither a particular history buff or interested in the religious importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but it was fascinating to me to think about the enormous impact these stories – simple words recorded on pieces of animal hide and parchment – have had on so much of the world’s population. From over two thousand years ago, these writings still reach out and make a difference in the world today.

The story about their discovery also reads like something a writer would have concocted for the mystery and adventure of it all. In 1947, a young goatherd was throwing stones into a cave along the banks of the Dead Sea when he heard the sound of pottery shattering. A young man’s idle game, most likely prompted by youthful boredom, wound up uncovering one of the most significant archaeological finds of the last century. Doesn’t that sound like a great opening for a book?

What I’m Writing:

All work this week. All work. I did, however, get to work on a fun project for one of my business-to-business clients. They needed help branding an upcoming event – coming up with a name and theme that would help tell a story. Story? Right up my alley. I love when I have the opportunity to put story crafting skills to work for my copywriting projects. I can’t reveal anything more about this one yet, but I had a great time getting really creative with the ideas for this one. I’ll share later.

old wishing well

… even things have stories …

I also re-published my most recent column: The World is Made of Stories. I wrote this piece in the context of place – specifically, the small town where I grew up and still live. But, I believe that the idea of the world being built on stories applies to everyone everywhere. We are the stories we tell. They are not only the frame through which we view the world, they become our world. You tell a story long enough, and it becomes a reality. That is the power of words and of stories. We think we are crafting the stories, but the stories are crafting us – changing our perspective and opinion, changing our beliefs and memories.

Is there a story in your life that you tell with creative flair? You know – the kind of story that gets slightly embellished over time. You know it didn’t happen exactly as you tell it, but the things you’ve changed make for a much better story. Only, after a while, you begin to remember the event based on the story. The reality of what actually happened and the “reality” of the story you’ve created begin to blur. You’ve created a new reality.

What I’m Reading:

Affiliate Link

As usual, I have a few books underway, but the only one I finished was a short children’s book by the inimitable James Thurber called The 13 Clocks (affiliate link). Thurber’s The White Deer (also an affiliate link) is one of my all-time favorite books. It’s funny, but thoughtful; entertaining and an example of fine writing at it’s best.

The edition of The 13 Clocks that I read was published as part of the New York Review’s Children’s Collection and includes an introduction by Neil Gaiman who says, “This book, the one you are holding, The 13 Clocks by James Thurber, is probably the best book in the world. And if it’s not the best book, then it’s still very much like nothing anyone has ever seen before, and, to the best of my knowledge, no one’s ever really seen anything like it since.”

Not exactly a fairy tale, but something like one, this is one of those books that you will probably enjoy immensely on the first read, but even more so on the second and third and every reading after that. Thurber’s delightful sense of the absurd will make you laugh and then make you think new and interesting thoughts – two of the best thing any piece of writing can do.

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:

quote Philip K Dick

And that’s all I’ve got for this week. Have a wonderful weekend. Read, write, be merry. We’ll see you on the other side! 

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.

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

  1. I’m trying to write a novel which combines the actual neurological complexities of the human brain and the fictional idea of aliens. I guess I’m trying to combine a philosophical look at how humans ignore or marginalize things their minds can’t easily classify. Since of the science fiction angle of what I’m writing I decided to read Orson Scott Card’s novel “Enders Game” to get me in the sci-fi mindset..

    • I’m a little embarrassed to say that I’ve never read “Ender’s Game.” (It’s SUCH a classic!) I just saw a preview for the new movie starring Harrison Ford. Looks intriguing.
      Your combination of neurology and scifi sounds completely sensible to me. Scifi is often used to hold a mirror up to humanity, even while it explores seemingly alien or high-tech subject matter.
      Good luck with the project!

  2. Great post! I especially liked The World is Made of Stories. My friends always tell me that I tell the best stories. Each time, the story changes slightly (I never intentionally change the story, it happens naturally) and they love hearing them over and over again because they always hear something new. Pretty soon, I can’t remember what actually happened and what my brain conjured up. It’s very fascinating.

    • Thanks so much. And – yes – your experience is exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about. I guess that’s at least part of what people mean when they say, “The story took on a life of its own.” 😉

  3. The writing, my blog – Getting It Off My Chest – works of word, describing the life of an abused childhood, sometimes painful, sometimes insightful, and always full of thoughts. I can’t even say what I’m reading right now because I have an MS memory, and thus can’t remember the title of the book, but it is a mystery!? My latest artful undertaking is my latest blog which is devoted to photos only, mostly taken by me, with only the title for a description – “lookandseethepics.wordpress. Oh, and one undertaking in which I’m hoping to build into a career for one who is homebound, are the classes, “Website Design using WordPress 1” which I have only two classes left, to be followed up by Design… 2. What I have learned thus far, has enriched my current blogs.

    • Hi, Karen.
      Thanks for sharing what you’re working on. Sounds like you have a full plate! I love the diversity of images on your photo blog – always so interesting to see the world from someone else’s perspective.

      Good luck with the web classes! Thanks for coming by.

  4. I loved your post and am anxious to hear more about the project you’ve been working on. Thanks for all the good info!

    Our book club just read Jojo Moyes’ “Me Before You.” It was a great discussion book. In fact, I ordered another of her books, “The Last Letter from Your Lover” to share with the book club members.

    I’m getting ready to self-publish my book entitled “Women of Class”–it contains the stories of 30 women who battled breast cancer with hope, humor and courage. As soon as I have that out of the way–I want to start a children’s book regarding learning disabilities.

    • Thanks for your interest. Sara. 🙂

      And thanks also for the heads up on Jojo Moyes. She is prolific, isn’t she? As a rider, I’m especially intrigued by “The Horse Dancer” and have added it to my Audible wish list for later purchase. Yay!

      Best of luck with “Women of Class.” That sounds like a lovely project.

  5. What a wonderful post! I’ve just discovered your blog, and I greatly enjoyed your piece on stories – I think we all have stories that we embellish, and beyond that, I think any story must necessarily be different in the telling from what truly happened. In order to make it a story, we have to break it out of its context and transform it into a piece with a beginning and an end, remove from it excess bits that we don’t think contribute to the telling, pull in details that we do think contribute to the telling, and in the end, we end up with something unto itself. The experience of the event exists in a flow of continuous experience, but story is something we rescue from the passage of time and attempt to crystalize for posterity. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I loved your piece, and I loved your description of it here – very thought-provoking!

    • “…story is something we rescue from the passage of time and attempt to crystalize for posterity.”
      I LOVE that. 🙂
      So beautifully (and accurately) put.

      Thanks much for stopping by & for your encouragement and support.

  6. Pingback: Food for Thought | Soliloquies

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