All posts tagged: books

Top 5 books for a creative walkabout

Whenever I hit an obstacle, my first inclination is to read all about it. Rationally, I want to read and learn in order to do better. (The “do better” part is the most difficult by far.) So yes, I’ve heap upon heap of books. Here, I list 5 books I love and keep returning to in my creative walkabout. These books inspire me, help me keep my humor and optimism intact, and provide expert advice. 1: The Joy Diet – Martha Beck Martha Beck is a genius! Whether you are in an emotional slump or just looking for a pep talk, Martha is for you. My volume of the Joy Diet is dog-eared, flagged, underlined, and scribbled in. In 10 menu items she describes the steps to a happier life. During my creative walkabout, the Joy Diet has once again become a fixture on my bedside table. I’ll leave you with a bit of Martha-wisdom: “Every time you voice your thoughts to a loved one, or cook a meal, or choose a new bar of …

Contemplating NaNoWriMo 2016

Are you doing it this year? NaNoWriMo, I mean? If there is anyone among us who doesn’t know by now, I’m talking of National Novel Writing Month. It’s November by the way and almost at our doorstep. First of all, let’s hear it for the People at NaNoWriMo.org. They deserve the capitalization. They are smart, witty, and inspiring while coordinating thousands and thousands of volunteers and participants around the world. You’ll love the NaNoWriMo community. I have participated in other writing fora, but none of them reach NaNoWriMo’s ankles. There are actually pep talks worth reading and they actually leave you feel pepped. The statistics and motivational badges are addicting as is the acceptance that as long as you are putting pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard), you are doing something right. Then there’s the writing part. Yup, you still need to sit down and pound the keyboard, croaking out word after word. The result may or may not be a finished story – or the much coveted novel – but simply working …

Words, words, words

I often emphasize a book’s story as the primary feature of a given book. The story is the initial joy in a reading experience, especially when it draws the reader in and along for the ride. However, in deconstructing a book, it all comes down to words. A story is in essence one word after the other. In some stories, the words are simply the medium of communication, but in other stories, the words themselves are an art form. These stories beg to be read slowly with minute concentration or even read aloud. Many books that achieve that lyrical quality are written in bygone times, before the speedy writing on computer keyboards, before autocorrect, and without the competition of TV and the internet. The old-fashioned words and their voluptuousness are part of these books’ charm. The term ”slower times” is on my lips, and perhaps there is a modicum of truth to that term. There was no constant word count to strive for and perhaps more emphasis on finding that specific word with all the …

Closer look

Take a closer look. Behind the dusty facades, magical worlds unfold. Flecks of dust dance in slanted rays. Light illuminates slices of the interior, moving from left to right. This magical world exists undisturbed and in silence. Hold your breath. Be truly present. You will hear the faint whispers from faraway. They bear witness of extraordinary happenings. Pain. Sorrow. Death. Birth. Joy. Love. Go ahead, step inside. Feel the wooden floor creak beneath your soles. Run your fingers over the spines, holding worlds together, until you make your choice. Take a closer look, and delve into a magical world.