Reading List for an Online Writing Course

51xkvjiyql-_sx312_bo1204203200_My affiliation with Stanford University spans over 20 years.  So, you can imagine my excitement when I received an email announcing an online writing program they offer and if I hurry I could register for the Winter semester. Naturally, I  signed up and quickly got looped in to taking part in the first week of class.

I haven’t been to school for quite some time so getting back into the swing of things isn’t easy. Meaning to say, learning to read for a purpose and writing for a grade, and having to turn in homework  ONLINE.  The only thing I am not worried so much about is peer critiquing my work. I welcome it.

But the reason for this entry is to announce to all of you the list of reads our instructor has selected for the course.  And the fact, that while I turn the pages of each book, what I am finding  is that there is no right or wrong style of writing, as long as the story is told in a captivating manner:

The list of books:

  • John Truby: The Anatomy of Story
  • Lily King: Euphoria
  • NoViolet bullawayo: We Need New Names
  • M.L. Stedman: The Light Between Oceans
  • Michael Chabon: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier &Clay

How A Bad Cold Contributed to this dialogue

100815_mars_face
click on photo for credit

I have a cold: I told a friend over instant messenger this morning.
and her response: oh?
Yeah: I said back, assuming her quietness meant she expected me to elaborate. Or maybe I was feeling lonely and needed to keep talking:
I mixed over the counter cold remedies last night. Which by the way was a bad idea. I told her. My body was twitching, my throat was making funny wheezing sounds and what was worse, I could hear conversations in my ears while trying to fall asleep.
Still no reaction.
So I opened my eyes slowly, as a means to help  decipher best whether I was  imaging the voices or…: I continued,  in what suddenly  felt like a one-person  online conversation. But I didn’t care, I wanted to talk about it even if no one was listening. And when the voice continued, I decided to lay very still in bed and channel in,  hoping to make  sense of the conversation . Which I figured out by this point, was really only streaming in my right ear.  It was a faint voice, frail, a very old woman from ions ago, telling a story. She had so much to say, and while she spoke her heart ached with nostalgia. Was it my grandmother? I thought. Shivers ran up my spine, while I paused just then to see if my friend would throw me a reaction. She sent a smiley face. Which I took as, her not being at all interested in hearing my story. So I stared at the blinking tab on my screen, debating whether it was worth it to go on.
So what happened?:  She eventually typed, adding pulse to our near dead conversation.
Well, I kept telling myself that if I remained ever more still and also held my breath, I may just be able to make out the words.  But the utmost of fears overwhelmed all my senses, and I threw the covers to one side, and while bolting out of bed, unintentionally frazzling my pup who’d been peacefully snoozing lodged against my back. I needed to shut off whatever was going on in my head…
Her answer: (blinking cursor)
After ten minutes in this ugly dead zone with my friend, I clicked to close the instant messenger –  thinking how dreadful of folks who  abandon the online of conversations.  But that voice inside my head last night, be it due to unintentional heavy dosing of medication on my part, or not, needs tapping into….

What do you think? Should I open the Pandora’s box on this new muse I’ve found for my next novel? Or should I get over my cold/flu first and perhaps think clearly?

I’d love to hear your input on this matter at hand. And if you not, then thank you for listening.

 

Scotland In Relation To A Novel

I picked Scotland for WHAT IF… For more reasons than I want to elaborate here. You just have to wait and see when the novel comes out April 16, 2016

Until then, I came across this interesting article on BBC-Earth and wanted to share it with you, and along with the article, some of the most amazing photography of yet another magical place here on earth.

p03l1t8r

Romance Novels Are More Than Just Steamy Sex

I found this article, as expected, online, and felt the need to share with all those crossing my blog by chance or are dedicated followers.

When I decided to write my first novel, I was on the fence about the genre – romance. Because of the bad rap, I know it suffers constantly. I also did my own research and discovered from friends, co-workers and family that romance novels are not their first choice read. They preferred a good mystery or a story based on real life. I shrugged it all off, eventually deciding to hold fast to my dream of writing a romance novel, or two or three (smile), knowing, deep down, that the modern-day genre is much more than the gooey love stories based only around steamy sex. It is…(read the article)

c4f745b563905402971da4caa5c74e64

{photo source}

eBook Sales Versus Paperback – A Debate Worth The Read

A digital book is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPad for a photograph in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, April 11, 2012. Apple Inc. and two publishers, Macmillan and Penguin, were accused by the U.S. Justice Department of conspiring to fix prices of digital books to undermine Amazon.com Inc.'s dominance of the industry. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A digital book is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPad for a photograph in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, April 11, 2012. Apple Inc. and two publishers, Macmillan and Penguin, were accused by the U.S. Justice Department of conspiring to fix prices of digital books to undermine Amazon.com Inc.’s dominance of the industry. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The internet is great, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes the information streamed across the pages or websites can be very misleading, or lacking important facts, making us believe something only half-uncovered.

Case in point. Just yesterday I read via  Facebook an article about the decline of ebooks, and the rise in paperbacks.  I don’t know why I got excited.  Perhaps I was hopeful that once again people  would have to walk into a store and buy a book, which I have always considered the best marketing for an author and their work. (Example: Diana Gabaldon – The Outlander book series, and J.K. Rowling – The Harry Potter series). Otherwise, us indie authors get lost in the shuffle and are seldom noticed if we don’t nearly give our books away for a deep discount/free.

Anyway, today I see this article,  and since it is explained well in dollars and cents, I now understand the topic entirely. Still, I don’t know what to wish for to happen to help indie authors get noticed.