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Archive for the ‘On Writing’ Category

And Next Up…Book #10 For Week #11

March 11th, 2009

I finished the Stephen King memoir tonight and gave it the highest rating yet. King mentions the book The Elements of Style frequently and it got me thinking about my own writing. So I bought the book and it arrived today. I also purchased Click by Bill Tancer, and The Book of Dahlia by Elisa Albert. You can see a complete list of books that I’ve read and will be reading by checking out my Goodreads account.

I have all sorts of things that I would like to write about, but I’m just waiting for that spark to come. Once I have my office up and organized maybe it will come more freely. All I really need is a desk. I haven’t had one since 2003. Not since the day before the bombs dropped on Baghdad. Don’t read too much into that, merely a coincidence.

I think I’m a week behind but I’m not at all worried about the resolution. Considering how this year has gone so far, I’m optimistic about what I’ve accomplished so far. Plus, little nuggets like The Elements of Style will help my progress.

Bill Tancer, Book of Dahlia, Click, Elements of style, Elisa Albert, On Writing, Stephen King, William Strunk

Resolution80?

March 7th, 2009

Stephen King says he’s a slow reader, being able to read only about 70-80 books a year.

I have no idea what to say about that.

But how about this little tidbit:

Where else can you read? There’s always the treadmill, or whatever you use down at the local health club to get aerobic. I try to spend an hour doing that every day, and I think I’d go mad without a good novel to keep me company. Most exercise facilities (at home as well as outside it) are now equipped with TVs, but TV – while working out or anywhere else – really is about the last thing an aspiring writer needs. If you feel you must have the news analyst blowhards on CNN while you exercise, or the stock market blowhards on MSNBC, or the sports blowhards on ESPN, it’s time for you to question how serious you really are about becoming a writer. You must be prepared to do some serious turning inward toward the life of the imagination, and that means, I’m afraid, that Geraldo, Keith Olbermann, and Jay Leno must go. Reading takes time, and the glass teat takes too much of it.

Amen Stephen.

On Writing, Stephen King

Sleep Apnea + Stephen King = This

March 7th, 2009

It’s 4:40 AM and I’ve been awake for 3 hours. I’ve been desperate for sleep and I still find myself waking at oddball hours with words and thoughts racing through my head. Today is a perfect example.

I worked normal hours, got a haircut, dinner, and then spent an hour or so with my parents. We watched TV, sat in the hot tub, and eventually I bid them a goodnight. It was probably 9:00 PM. I read my Stephen King memoir for a few minutes before becoming suddenly, and unavoidably, exhausted. I’m asleep within seconds; lights on, book in hand, no blankets or sheets. Just…completely…out.

Now, historically I’m a terrible sleeper. It normally takes melatonin, GABA, valerian root…I could go on because, really, I’ve tried everything to help me sleep. Not only is it impossible for me to sleep without help, but once I’m asleep the slightest sound or movement wakes me. Also, I have sleep apnea. Major sleep apnea. And I refuse to wear a face mask contraption thing because, quite simply, it’s impossible to sleep with that thing on my face. I won’t even get into the sex appeal aspect of wearing a fighter jet’s oxygen mask at night. It’s not Iron Eagle sexy. It’s nowhere near Top Gun sexy. It’s closer to Bubble Boy sexy. Which is to say, of course, not at all. I digress.

I awoke shortly after midnight with my book on my nightstand, lights off, and several warm blankets on top of me. You may be thinking, a Mom is always a Mom, but no, sometimes Dad is Mom, and even though I have nothing to backup my theory, I know it was him who checked in on his 34 year-old son, who is estranged from his wife and kids, and had words of encouragement ready for me before finding me asleep, and tucked me in. And I don’t feel embarrassed, or as if I’ve regressed. I’m thankful for their strength and willingness to step in and let me know they are ready to catch me, if needed, from this free-fall.

And Stephen King is talking about process and method and the familiar spark hits and ignites the writer in me.

My room is cold. I move upstairs and it’s dark. And even though the book I’m reading is a memoir, it’s still Stephen King. And part of me thinks about Carrie, about Cujo, and about Jack Torrance. And because of that, my surroundings are transformed into what he would create, and I’m nervous. I stretch out my arms to feel for a wall or a light-switch and I think about the possibility of touching something else and examining this object a split second too long, as I realize too late, that it’s the arm, hand, and blade that brings about my violent demise. And all this despite the fact that I don’t read horror.

But this is how my early morning goes. There is no blade, no midnight intruder, and I grab a bowl of chips and some milk and return to my reading. But not before I publish this.

Happy Saturday.

Book Thoughts, On Writing, Stephen King

Stephen King Stars In Book #9

March 4th, 2009

Another recommendation from a resolution52.com reader and also from my father. The Alchemist came from a reader of res52 and from my brother, so we have a nice little trend happening here. I come from a family of writers. Hobby writers, I would describe us as. We have dreams, and the dreams are sometimes enough. Stephen King has written “A Memoir Of The Craft” and tonight I start, just a little after midnight. Today I begin book #9, Stephen King On Writing, A Memoir Of The Craft.

On Writing, Stephen King