Author: Chuck Palahniuk
Publisher: Doubleday (2005)
From the back of the book:
“Writer’s Retreat: Abandon your life for three months. Just disappear. Leave behind everything that keeps you from creating your masterpiece. Your job and family and home, all those obligations and distractions – Put them on hold for three months. Live with like-minded people in a setting that supports total immersion in your work. Food and lodging included free fro those who qualify. Gamble a small fraction of your life on the chance to create a new future as a professional poet, novelist, screenwriter. Before it’s too late, live the life you dream about. Spaces very limited.”
Author: Sherman Alexie
Publisher: HarperPerennial (1994)
“In this darkly comic short story collection, Sherman Alexie, a Spokane/Coeur d/Alene Indian, brilliantly weaves memory, fantasy, and stark realism to paint a complex, grimly ironic portrait of life in and around the Spokane Indian Reservation. These twenty-two interlinked tales are narrated by characters raised on humiliation and government-issue cheese, and yet are filled with passion and affection, myth, and dream. There is Victor, who as a nine-year-old crawled between his unconscious parents hoping that the alcohol seeping through their skins might help him sleep, Thomas Builds-the-Fire, who tells his stories long after people stop listening, and Jimmy Many Horses, dying of cancer, who writes letters on stationery that reads, ‘From the Death Bed of James many Horses III,’ even though he actually writes them from his kitchen table. Against a backdrop of alcohol, car accidents, laughter and basketball, Alexie depicts the distances between Indians and whites, reservation Indians and urban Indians, men and women, and most poetically, between modern Indians and the traditions of the past.” – from the back cover of my paperback 1994 edition
Author: Stephen King
Published by: Scribner (2010)
King’s latest work of fiction consisted of a novella titled, “Blockade Billy” and the short story, “Morality.”
Not being a baseball fan, there was much terminology, slang, and basics of the game I couldn’t grasp or was interested in learning about. However, the story, “Blockade Billy,” will entertain lovers and non-lovers of baseball alike because King never only writes about one subject. We meet William Blakely, who is from Iowa, and a damn good ball player. When one of the players is nicked on his ankle during a game with Blakely on the mound, one of the coaches becomes suspicious of the kid. The story contains typical King suspense, which was an absolute pleasure.
Every time I sit down to write something, I start yawning. My body wants to sleep or is signaling me to turn off the computer so I can put off putting the words on the page.
As soon as I overcome the yawning fit (four or five in a row), the yawning subsides and I’m able to write briskly and with precision.
What is it about doing something that you love that you can be lazy about doing sometimes? I do this to myself all the time and wonder, “How will I ever get anything accomplished this way?” but I do, as I showed myself last weekend when I completed my short story in a few hours (of course with many breaks in between).
Every writer has their process. For this writer, turning on my laptop at night makes me work better than turning it on first thing in the morning. I’m a night owl; I cannot deny this. The trick is to plow through the yawning before it becomes my writing demise.