Monthly Archives: July 2010

The Joys of Reading

When I woke up this morning, I didn’t think I would’ve spent the whole afternoon reading a memoir written by Jessica Hendra (book review will be up soon). The most exciting thing about sitting down and reading a well-written book is how involved you become in the story. I did not want to put this book down but alas, I have social engagements awaiting me and also, writing assignments to be completed.

I love how I can use my time however I want, with no disturbances and relax. After a crappy Thursday, my weekend is starting on a high note.

Enjoy your weekend everyone! I sure will! 🙂

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Gloomy to Bright

My day started out well enough; I took the remaining two lessons from my driving school package prior to my road test at two p.m. After a shaky ninety minutes, I waited another ninety minutes to be driven to the road test site in Astoria, Queens.

The sky turned gray and the rain drops fell as I sat behind the wheel, prepared to pass my road test. I knew as soon as I signed my shaky signature on the evaluation sheet, I was done.

I didn’t signal when turning into the lane and I frakked up my parallel parking (which I had practiced that morning like five times!) and then I didn’t signal a few more times at the end. The inspector told me I failed and I stepped out of the car, head down in disappointment. My driving instructor was so wrapped up in his possible claim to fame of being cast on a reality television show about bad drivers that I received absolutely no consoling or pep talk for the next time. I wanted to cry.

When we returned to the driving school, I immediately rescheduled a road test and scanned my brain for anyone I knew that owned a car. Not many but I’ll make do.

I walked home slowly, trying to take in the sunshine; I even shared a smile with a guy as I walked home. He returned the smile and tried to “holla” at me but I kept walking.

When I finally reached my apartment, I wrote down how I was in a state of impotence. I tacked on everything that wasn’t going right in my life to my failed road test: rejections from MFA programs, how many people were following me on Twitter (like that really counted right now but when you’re in a funk, you bring it all in), keeping up with my blog, not writing enough, not reading enough, and the emotional turmoil I’ve been in the past few months. All of this had me in the worst head space imaginable.

My brother called and some of that space cleared. I needed to hear: “Yeah, you failed but you’re driving! You’ll do better next time!” which he provided and just like that, the fog had cleared.

Soon after, I met up with a friend to watch a free screening of Dinner for Schmucks and I was in a much better place. The film was entertaining enough to forget about the early afternoon but not enough to erase the remnants of my prior head space.

When I came home, I watched the President Obama interview on The View which was the brightest thing I needed to the start of a gloomy day. My inspiration and drive were re-ignited with Obama’s hope for America. Not many people may agree with everything he’s doing with the country presently but for the moment, his words and energy reached me and I was floating in positivity. The universe was talking to me; I was seeking comfort all day after the road test and I received it.

Funny how a television program, movie, quote, or book can change the mood of a person. This is why I write.

Hush

Author: Nicole Braddock Bromley

Published by Moody Publishers (2007)

The author of this book discusses her journey from the effects of her sexual abuse to healing through the love of God. Her stepfather sexually abused her and when confronted with the repercussions, commits suicide. Nicole starts junior high school with this on her mind but she gets through it with the support of her mother, new stepfather, and God. Continue reading

Christopher Pike’s Vampire

Remember that favorite teen author of mine I thought wasn’t remembered by folks other than my generation? Well, turns out the majority of his novels are being re-issued by Simon Pulse and now teens are being introduced to his work! This is exciting news! And on top of that, he’s still writing furiously with more works in the future. Which brings me to…

Christopher Pike wrote six novels about The Last Vampire which have all been re-released. According to an interview on The Christopher Pike Fan Club website, Pike has written a new set of stories for the series. He mentioned these books are much better than the former. I hope so because I couldn’t even get through book three – the writing did not hold well up for me. The story was fun and fascinating but I could not continue.

There’s more here! According to Empire.com, The Last Vampire will be a big screen movie. All this Twilight madness has made vampires fun again (which is good for Christopher Pike) and I hope whoever writes the script does Pike’s content justice. Additionally, the director and production team. Dates have not been announced yet which means it’ll be another year or so until we’ll hear more about this project.

Here’s to Christopher Pike and all his successes! Before Stephen King, I was all about Christopher Pike all the way and I’m so happy he’s still around!

Can’t wait to see what he has in store for us.

For anyone who’s not familiar with his work – adult or young adult – I’d suggest picking up Remember Me (young adult) which reads well for adults. I recently re-read this story last year and this is definitely a book that gets better with every reading. I’ve got Pike fever! And soon you will too!

Books on Writing

When I read Stephen King’s On Writing last year, my writing improved so much! Then I stopped reading books on writing. I wrote and read novels instead.

Stephen King mentioned that we as writers need to just write. But then I took writing classes and there were always great suggestions of books to own about writing.

The list is quite overwhelming and keeps growing. Recently, I bought three books on writing per suggestion of my current writing workshop instructor at the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center.

They are: The Art of Fiction by John Gardner, Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose, and Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. I also loved Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. There are so many books on writing out there!

What are some books that you have read and have helped you in your writing/process? Any suggestions?

3 Day Novel Contest

One of my fellow intern colleagues (who I found out is currently enrolled in a MFA program at Adelphi College on the island of long) mentioned this 3 Day Contest that happens every year around Labor Day weekend.

Being a veteran of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) that takes place every November across the country, I had to research this contest.

I found the website and saw there was a contest fee. $50 bucks to write for three days? I’m so broke and I’m unemployed; I can’t afford $50 bucks for that. Well, then again, I did just purchase three books about writing (see? I can’t stop myself from buying books especially when I say I’m going to stop) the other day so I’m considering the contest.

There are prizes for first, second, and third place. The contest is based in Canada and you have to print out your story, send it, then you will receive a certificate stating you have completed the 3 Day Novel Contest. This is similar to NaNoWriMo where you can print out your own certificate and post a badge on any of your online websites to let people know you completed a novel in 30 days.

The more I write about this contest, the more enrolled I am in actually doing this over the course of three days. The coolest thing about this contest is you can write an outline prior to the contest so you’re not going in there crazily. Well, the point is to see where your creativity takes you with a very short outline; the possibilities are endless!

I’m not completely committing to this contest but I’m considering this seriously.

What about ya’ll? Who’s going to try this?

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Author: Patrick Suskind

Published by: Vintage Books (1986)

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille was born unwanted, non-smelling, and with the sense of smell a perfumer would die for. Bouncing from orphanage to tannery, Grenouille learns how to use his acute sense of smell to make perfume at a young age. He becomes the apprentice of Baldini, a hack of a perfumer, and learns the procedures to mix scents. After almost dying, he comes out alive and moves forward – living in a cave for seven years. When he re-emerges, he is taken in by a mad scientist then works at another perfume shop where he creates scents for himself and creates the best scent in the world – to be loved – which proves to be too much at the end. Continue reading