Sunday, July 27, 2014

Burning the Manuscript

Writing is supposed to be a work of passion, so it should not be weird to wish to set a manuscript I spent months on, possibly year or more, on fire. I am sure Hemingway did that, or somebody. I am at that point tonight, looking at the messy, boring, ill connected collection of scenes I called a novel.

Four months ago, I thought that novel was amazing. A year ago, I was sure it was ready for publication. A perfect work of art that needed minor tweaking.

I was blinded by love of the story. Truly blinded. It took two years for me to see the flaws. TWO YEARS! I often hear the advice of setting the work aside for a month, three months, maybe even six months. I set it aside for a year, and still thought it was brilliant.  

Now you understand why I don’t have another book out. If it was out, it would be crap. It needs a major renovation, but I can see it now. I see the flaws I didn’t before. I can make it sing. But how lovely it would be to see the old version set on fire and burned into ashes. Like a phoenix, the story would rise again and be way better than before. It has to be. That version was crap. I don’t know why I ever liked it. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer Reading List

How are you doing on your summer reading list? 

Summer days are filled with baseball games, swimming lessons, and supervising small people at the pool, giving me plenty of time to read, but nothing too heavy as I need to pay attention to the game and keep children from drowning. 

I recently read a translation of Dante Alighieri's Inferno, which is the first part of a trilogy depicting a descent into hell, then purgatory, then paradise. I didn't bother to read the last two parts of that comedy. Reading his depictions of hell are quite fun and decadent, and involve a lot of gruesome things. I read this in preparation to read Dan Brown's Inferno. That book is not as fun, and quite frankly, the mystery is getting annoying. Maybe I am not a mystery lover.

Also on my reading list: 

Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell. I hear a lot about this author. She may be the next John Green. There is talk of a movie coming out on this book. I better read it first!

Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. I have had this on my list for awhile and it was chosen by my local library system for their reading program, so there are plenty of copies available. The main character has a craniofacial deformity, which is a problem that has pulled at my heart. In school, it is hard to look different, and I want to read this kid's experience when looking different is part of who he is. 

Splintered, by A.G. Howard. The main character is the descendant of Alice, in which Alice in Wonderland is based. I am a fangirl of Lewis Carroll's creation and love to read about crazy people. 

So, what is on your reading list?