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!
Jamie Wallace: Hello, again! How’s everyone doing this fine holiday season? I’m still not quite all-the-way in the spirit. I found some lively Celtic holiday music on Pandora that helped a little, but I’m still dragging my feet. I was feeling guilty about this until I learned that this year there are fewer days than usual between Thanksgiving and Christmas. No wonder everything feels extra rushed!
Anyway, this weekend we will buy and decorate our tree in the company of my parents (Dad is the expert on putting up the lights) while watching The Muppets Christmas Carol (“Light the lamp, not the rat! Light the lamp, not the rat!” ). We’ll play some holiday music and maybe even do some baking (I make a mean Snickerdoodle). I’m also looking forward to finding a special way to celebrate the winter solstice which occurs on Saturday, December 21st.
In the meantime, the beat goes on. There are words to be written and words to be read. So, without further ado, here are a few things I’d like to share this week. I look forward to hearing what you’ve been up to as well!
What I’m Writing:
Over on my marketing blog I took a detour from my usual topics and posted about how to give unique and personal business gifts. Giving gifts to my clients is something I actually enjoy. I believe in the power of gratitude and abundance, so giving back in thanks for the trust they have placed in me feels good.
I also published a piece on my crazy, geeky love of composting. We have a curbside composting program where I live. I jumped on the bandwagon early and now couldn’t live without this service. It’s a small thing, but the world is changed in big ways by small things.
I’m also continuing to limp along in my daily fiction writing practice (a very modest goal to free write on a prompt for ten minutes). I confess that I’ve been slacking a little this week, but I’m hoping to ramp it back up over the weekend.
What I’m Reading:
This week I read a quirky little book called Snapper (affiliate link), the debut novel of Brian Kimberling. This is one of the free books that I claimed from the bin of leftover ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) that my daughter and I happened upon one happy morning this past summer. I picked the book because I liked the cover. I have been an amateur birder since the age of seven, so all those songbirds caught my eye.
Happily, I liked the book even more than I liked the cover. I’m no expert on all the genres and sub genres out there, but I guess this would fall into the category of a fictional memoir. Amazon describes it as, “A great, hilarious new voice in fiction: the poignant, all-too-human recollections of an affable bird researcher in the Indiana backwater as he goes through a disastrous yet heartening love affair with the place and its people.” There were some laugh out loud bits as well as some beautifully rendered sentences that made me, as a writer, sit up and take notice. My favorite character is the German Shepherd who sings backup vocals.
I’m lending it to my daughter’s riding instructor who was also struck by the cover and said, “Ooh! What’s that?!?”
And let’s not forget the blogs. Here are a few of my favorite writerly posts from this week:
- 12 Fascinating Facts About Famous Literature (I didn’t know any of these!)
- The 7-Step Business Plan for Writers by @angelaackerman via @janefriedman
- 5 Rules For Conquering Chaos That Every Writer Should Know by Claudette Young via @JonathanGunson
- 9 Books on Reading and Writing via @brainpicker (Want.)
- There Are 2 Kinds of Writers: Architects and Gardeners via @99u (Interesting re-take on plotters vs. pansters)
- Making the Decision to Self-Publish Your Series by William Stadler (Great points on why it’s a good idea)
- Nuts and Bolts: “Thought” Verbs by Chuck Palahniuk (This is a VERY challenging assignment, but one worth trying.)
Finally, a quote for the week:
Today’s quote comes from T.A. Barron’s Instagram page. Congratulations to the winner of the Barron book giveaway, Simon Tata. Enjoy your books!
Thanks for being here. Happy writing (and reading!) and we’ll see you on the other side.