Everywhere I go I see ads for Storytel, a Swedish app that provides books in audio format, similar to the app Audible. I see these ads on the backs of buses, in subway stations, plastered above the seats on the train, and anywhere else they can get away with advertising.
When I speak to other authors, it feels like ‘audio’ is the new buzzword. The word that takes on a life of its own. It shows up in conversations like an unexpected lurker. One minute you’re talking about a female treasure hunter and the next you’re talking about audio books. Later you look back and wonder how the subject wormed its way into the conversation. Read more
I ordered this on my Kindle about a week ago and I’m still reading it. I find the premise of an AI machine program cloning people fascinating and perhaps a bit larger than this book and it’s that sense of scope that’s lacking that sometimes pulls me out of the story. Read more
In 2017 a couple of members from the Stockholm Writers Group participated in a writers conference in the United States. When they came back, one of them took a look around and wondered why we didn’t have anything close to that in Stockholm and decided to do something about it. Read more
One thing you need to know about me is that I’m reading polygamist. I normally read at least two books at one time. In my past, I could be at various stages in more than five books at a time, but I’m trying to keep my limit to three these days. Those three include one physical book I can open up, one on my Kindle that I read while I’m putting my son to sleep, and one craft book that I read during the weekends.
Last year I read 23 books. By my standards, that number was completely unacceptable. I normally read at least one book a week, if not more. Books are what keep my creativity flowing, they are what I study to hone my storytelling abilities, in other words, they are necessary. So when I see how few books I read last year, I cringe.
As for writing, I only wrote three poems, two halfway completed short stories, two completed rough draft short stories and one novella last year.
As some of you know I’m a member of the Stockholm Writers Group, a select group of writers founded over twenty years ago to provide feedback, encourage each other, and support each other with their writing goals. We meet on a regular basis and offer feedback to those who’ve submitted their work. In addition, we pair up with a writing buddy. Some terms we switch buddies, some terms we keep the buddies we have. At the moment, my buddy is a wonderful writer named Rebecca, and this past week when we met, the conversation turned to blogs.
We’ve decided to both revisit our blogs with a concentrated focus. She’s studying craft books and enjoys the exercises these books provide. She’s decided to focus her blog on those exercises, or insights she’s gained from the process. Read more
What do you like in a story? Have you ever thought about it? And by that, I mean more than for a few seconds. Have you ever sat down and made a list of the things you enjoy about the stories you read?
I read Chris Baty’s book, No Plot, No Problem last week. For those of you who didn’t know, Chris is the guy who started NaNoWriMo and I was curious to see what he said about writing a novel in 30 days. If you’ve never written a novel before, you would benefit most from the book, which gives you tips to keep track of word count, how to tell your family you’re writing a book, along with advice on how to stay sane during the month-long challenge. Read more
My post last week recapped the books I’ve read in 2015. In that post, I was excited to try to reach my goal of a book a week for 2016. With that in mind, I’ve created a reading challenge because I think they’re fun. I’ve based it on the alphabet =). Here it is:
Read a book with Animal characters.
Read a book by a best-selling British author.
Read a book with Cooking in it.
Read a Dystopian book.
Read a book with a character who’s an Engineer.
Read a book about Freedom.
Read a book about a Gift. Alternatively, read a book you received as a Gift.
Read a book about a character with memorable Hair.
Read a book where a character is Innocent.
Read a book written by an author whose name begins with J (first or last).
Read a book a King has read.
Read a book with a Long title (more than five words).
Read a book your Mother recommends.
Read a book by an author you’ve Never read before.
Read a book that has a character crossing an Ocean.
Read a book Published in 2016 and one Published the year you were 16.
Earlier this week I wrote a blog post about the smell of books. Normally I try to use my own photos on my posts, mostly because it takes forever to find royalty-free photos. For that post, I knew I wanted something book-related, so I pulled out a few of my older books, and in one case, one older-looking book, The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo, took a few photos, chose one I liked, and added it to the post. When I was finished, I put all the books back in the bookcase.
Fast forward an hour later and the kids are eating their snack. My five-year-old son picks up the one book I apparently did not put back and in his most incredulous, I-can’t-believe-people-actually-want-to-read-words, voice asks, ‘Why aren’t there more pictures in this book? What kind of book is this?!’
I told him the pictures are trapped inside the words. He has to read the story to release them.