It’s the day before Thanksgiving here in the US, so it seems fitting to do a quick stock-take of what’s going on in my world right now. If you want to join in this blog meme, check out the sites of its creators: Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. There you will find how to participate, and a Linky List of today’s participants.
What I’m Reading
I finished EVEN by Andrew Grant (see my Goodreads review HERE), and started into SECRET WINDOWS by Stephen King. This is a follow-up to ON WRITING published by Book-of-the-Month Club back in 2000 which gathers together in one book various articles and lectures from King on the subject of writing. It even includes two pieces he wrote for his brother’s “rag” back in 1959. As with ON WRITING, King is very unpretentious and up-front when discussing his success and what he goes through to produce a novel. Let me throw out a paragraph for you from the essay “On Becoming a Brand Name” (p. 47), where he’s talking about writing his first published novel, CARRIE:
I persisted [writing CARRIE], not out of any noble motivation, not out of any glimmerings into the future, not even because my wife had asked me to, but because I was dry and had no better ideas. If I had had one, I would have dropped CARRIE in a flash. I pushed my way through scene after difficult, sticky scene, taking little if any pleasure in any of it, only doing the most competent job that I could. When I finished, I had a novella that was nighty-eight single-spaced manuscript pages long. I think it would be fair to say that I detested it. It was neither fish nor fowl; not a straight story, not strictly a fantasy, not strictly science fiction. The length was wrong and the ending was terribly downbeat. My considered opinion was that I had written the world’s all-time loser. The only thing I could say about CARRIE was that it had a beginning, a middle, and an end, and that for some crazy reason my wife liked it better than anything I’d written before.
I’m thankful for books, the ability to read, and living in such a literate country and an age where there is an abundance of good books to read. And for the fact that many of those books are on my shelf.
What I’m Writing
As I mentioned last week, I’m taking a little hiatus, writing only flash fiction, and concentrating on catching up with reading while my short story percolates for a while, and while I decide what my next novel will be.
I’m thankful for the ability to write, regardless of how well my skill compares to that of others. Being able to compose thoughts and ideas, and create stories and worlds out of words is a divine gift unique to us. May I never take that for granted.
What Works for Me
Again, as I said last week, this time of reading and learning from what I read is much needed, and definitely works for me. I’m taking stock of my writing journey thus far, and charting a course for the future. I’m not going to say everyone should do this because each person’s journey is as individual and unique as each person. But it certainly helps me.
I’m thankful for all the writers, both in print and online, who take time to share their wisdom and stories that I might learn and grow, both as a writer, and as a person.
What Else Is New
I’m taking the week off work, so it’s been nice to relax, get up late, spend more time with the family, and not feel the pressure of trying to accomplish my day’s goals in a few short hours. Tomorrow, I’ll enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with my wife and kids, and later we’ll play Doctor Who Monopoly and watch some Marx Brothers movies. My youngest is especially excited about that (she loves playing games AND the Marx Brothers).
I’m thankful for family and friends, food and fun, and having the time to enjoy them all.
I’ll close this week with a cat video. This is Sam, the latest addition to our family, digging in the water bowl. There is nothing in the water bowl except for water, so I have no idea what he thinks he sees. He either has a very lively imagination, or maybe they’re putting wacky weed in Iams now… who knows!
Have a wonderful week, everyone. And a happy Thanksgiving to my US friends!