Dining With Authors: Part One

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I have written before about dining with characters, and I was thinking recently of what it would be like to do the same with authors. For this series, I will restrict the invitations to a maximum of three writers.  Any more than that, and the  conversation could be, well, difficult.

For this first gathering, I would invite the authors to join me in an old-fashioned pub, because they are from the 19th Century, and I would want them to be comfortable. They would be able to have beer, wine, tea, or coffee and order food with which they are familiar.

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My invitees are Samuel Clemens, otherwise known as Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, and Charles Dickens. All of the writers are very well known in their time and have been firmly established in the canon of literature.

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These authors  created some of the most important works that have been written; among them: Leaves Of Grass, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and A Tale of Two Cities. These works are only a few of what would be a massive collection of writings from these authors, but they are a good representation of their creations.

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I would hope that I could guide these creative and brilliant minds into a productive and exciting interchange of ideas and of a wide and innovative discussion of writing. I would like to ask them what they believed their major contributions to literature were and what pieces  they viewed as their best work. I would also ask what they would recommend for reading. This would be an extraordinary evening of conversation!

With which authors would you like to have dinner and a conversation?

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving! Remember to recognize the positives and the blessings in your life.

Enjoy your feasts, your gatherings, and your traditions.  And please remember to give thanks to those who help us in many ways. So many are away from home, friends, and family, and we should all give them a moment of thanks for their service.

To my friends and family–thank you!

Three Quotations in Three Days: Day 3

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“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.”

― Joyce Carol Oates

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This is the final day of this challenge, and I wanted to speak to the power of reading. Ms. Oates’ quotation illustrates the effect of reading of creating empathy in readers. Reading pulls us into the lives and minds of the characters in the books we read. We feel their emotions and experience their lives, and by doing so, we are enriched as people.

Reading is not only one of the great pleasures but also is one of the essential experiences of a full life. From the time we are children through the range of our lives, reading gives us the opportunity to experience, consider, and attempt to understand the lives of other peoples, often in very distant places and times.

My nominees for today because I interpret the rules as meaning nominate 3 new bloggers each day of the challenge:

RaineFairy https://tweakandshout.wordpress.com

Stephanae V. McCoy http://boldblindbeauty.com

Eddie Two Hawks https://eddietwohawks.wordpress.com

The Rules:

1.) Once a day for the next three days, choose a quotation, and write a little about it.

2.) Thank the person who nominated you, and link back to their site.

3.) Nominate 3 other bloggers for the challenge, and let them know about it.

And thank you to Zanthee https://tasmatron.wordpress.com , who nominated me and who writes an excellent blog.  Please take the time to check out her blog, and thank you so much for the nomination, Zanthee!

 

Three Quotations In Three Days: Day 2

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“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” Cicero

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I am a lover of books. I read them, study them, teach them, own them, and now write them. Books are a central part of my life, and I own more books than most people do, and I am delighted that I have them.  But, I am not  a collector–these are for reading and for use. I do not care about first editions or the monetary value of books.  I care about them as objects to be held, felt, and read.

And I feel most at home in any room if it has books. They do not have to be organized, but they should be there.

And yes, I will always prefer the physical copy of a book over an ebook. That is a post for another day!

My nominees for today because I interpret the rules as meaning nominate 3 new bloggers each day of the challenge:

Yinglan https://yzhengblog.wordpress.com

M. C. Tuggle http://mctuggle.com/

Kas https://afellowzebra.wordpress.com/

The Rules:

1.) Once a day for the next three days, choose a quotation, and write a little about it.

2.) Thank the person who nominated you, and link back to their site.

3.) Nominate 3 other bloggers for the challenge, and let them know about it.

And thank you to Zanthee https://tasmatron.wordpress.com , who nominated me and who writes an excellent blog.  Please take the time to check out her blog, and thank you so much for the nomination, Zanthee!

 

 

Three Quotations in Three Days!

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I have been invited to participate in the “3 Quotations in 3 Days Challenge” by Zanthee https://tasmatron.wordpress.com , who writes an excellent blog.  Please take the time to check out her blog, and thank you so much for the nomination, Zanthee!

The Rules:

1.) Once a day for the next three days, choose a quotation, and write a little about it.

2.) Thank the person who nominated you, and link back to their site.

3.) Nominate 3 other bloggers for the challenge, and let them know about it.

“Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream things that never were and ask why not?” George Bernard Shaw

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I have used this quotation previously on my blog, but I value its meaning so highly that I will begin with this one.  Shaw said it first, and then Bobby Kennedy used it in his 1968 run for the Presidency of the United States of America.

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This quotation shows idealism and the understanding that the world need not be as it is and that not only is it possible to imagine other ways, often better approaches to problems, but also that such idealism represents the morally correct approach to life.  As a society, we need to imagine a better future and then try to find ways to implement a more positive society.  We need optimism, courage, hope, and strength to face the challenges of our world.

My nominees:

Purpleanais http://arwenaragornstar.com/about/

Mitch Teemley  http://mitchteemley.com

Kate M. Colby http://katemcolby.com/

Once again, thank you to Zanthee!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Are the REAL Odds of Success? Extreme Ownership & the Best-Selling Author

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This blog post offers excellent advice for writers.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Original image via Lucy Downey from Flickr Creative Commons Original image via Lucy Downey from Flickr Creative Commons

Many of us are doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). If you’ve been following this blog the last two weeks, then you probably know I’ve had a horrific case of the flu. While this does mean I’ve sidelined editing (have to have higher thinking skills) and teaching (kind of need a voice) this has not excused me from writing.

In fact, it’s been pretty good for my writing since Robotussin apparently chloroforms the internal editor and is like Skittles to the Lizard Brain who is now running around in my head with scissors.

Oh God! It has the glitter! Hold on! Back in a minute….

Where was I? Yes, Lizard Brain is great for creating, and if I keep my pace, I should finish my 50,000 words tomorrow. Right now I am at almost 41,000 words and have been averaging about…

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A Conversation With Neil Gaiman

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I just returned from an event from the Living Writers series at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA called “A Conversation With Neil Gaiman.” Muhlenberg College is an excellent, small liberal arts college with a thriving English Department, and this event was featured in coordination with a class on Living Writers that is offered typically every 3 years.

I was delighted to find out about this event and to be able to attend it. I teach English Literature at the Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College, which is the adult degree program.

Mr. Gaiman, sat in conversation which the host, Professor Francesca Coppa, and he spoke at length about his career as a writer and about writing itself. This talk offered something for a wide variety of people, including scholars of literature, writers, and readers of Mr. Gaiman’s work. I include myself in all three categories.

I was especially interested in his view on not being branded as one kind of writer. He has written fantasy, horror, children’s novels, graphic novels, and short stories, among others. He deals with a wide variety of topics and ideas in his works, and that appeals to me greatly as a writer.

Mr. Gaiman discussed his treatment of mythology and his refusal to be put into one box in his writing. I think this is a huge problem for writers today, because we are encouraged to brand ourselves for marketing so that readers know what to expect. I certainly understand the need for marketing, but it can potentially damage writers to be viewed as writing just one kind of work or restricting themselves to one specific genre or type.

I am a writer of speculative fiction, which really can be applied to all fiction. I am a writer of  horror, YA fantasy, and will be writing a romance novel, several historical novels, and a thriller.  These ideas are in my head, and I will explore them all. I hope being a diverse writer will be my brand.

Mr. Gaiman is certainly a talented, skilled, and accomplished writer of a wide range of material.  If you have never read his work, you should. My favorite work of his is American Gods, which I have taught in several classes. Among his other work is–Coraline, the Sandman Series, and The Ocean at  the End of the Lane. Read his work!

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