The Geek’s Guide to the Writing Life by Stephanie Vanderslice

Stephanie Vanderslice has always been spectacular, but this time she’s really outdone herself. If you like books about the writing life (and honestly, who doesn’t?) get ready to fall in love with this book. Stephanie gives us insider tips, treats us like friends, explains the mysterious process of submission (that amorphous time after they said yes but before your book hits the shelves). She talks about literary citizenship and platform and tribe, and how our mindset really ought to be “us,” not “me vs you” or “me vs them.” Reading these pages you feel the growing certainty that what you’re doing matters, intrinsically, and this author is absolutely cheering you on in your successes and, in spirit, ready to hand you the kleenex and ice cream through the tears. Stephanie is one of those rare writers (teachers, mothers, humans) who is truly good to the core! She genuinely cares, and that’s what makes her words so special to hear.

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the exciting momentum of good writing days

 

jetpens
(It’s like they know me. Jetpens)

I have recently happened to have several good writing days back-to-back. A good day for me looks like: spending quality time (ie a lot) doing the work (butt in the chair) and coming away with a positive feeling, that the work in progress has been improved. My boyfriend gave me a new notebook (The Crossfield from Nanami Paper) which prompted me to dig back into my fountain pens. (I’m using my big fat Jinhao 159s from Jet Pens with my rainbow of Diamine inks from Vanness.) Handwriting is just one more way I can change the pace and see things anew. The goal should always be to distance enough from the work that we can cut mercilessly! In order to get it in the best shape we can.

vanness
(Seriously, it’s like they know me. Vanness)

I decided to incorporate a previously separate piece (3rd person fictionalized memoir set during junior high) into the larger manuscript I’m crafting (1st person memoir set during high school, college, etc.), which has been an exciting breath of life into the whole project. Writing new connective tissue, dropping into scenes with dialogue instead of breezing past with narration, changing perspectives from third to first! And you’d best believe I’m droppin’ bombs on Google Search like a mumma frumma. (I’ll include some of the fun ones in a separate post.)

Significantly, I was also able to pick back up the commentary from A Famous Author I received a couple of years ago, and receive the positive and negative notations without the emotional smack I experienced when I first reviewed them. That’s a great sign, because it’s another indicator that I’ve gotten farther from the material emotionally and will be able to chop it up till only the good bits are left! Welp, that’s the goal.
On my drives to work I’m listening to the audiobook Killing Commendatore, the latest from Murakami Haruki (one of my all-time favorite writers), and the synchronicity (or utter chaos) of the Universe just so happened to lead me to this timely point in the book where two main characters are discussing creativity:

“Menshiki said, ‘It’s like an earthquake deep under the sea, in an unseen world, a place where light doesn’t reach, in the realm of the unconscious. In other words, a major transformation is taking place.  It reaches the surface, where it sets off a series of reactions and eventually takes form where we can see it with our own eyes… The best ideas are thoughts that appear unbidden from out of the dark.’ ” —Murakami Haruki, Killing Commendatore

 

Meanwhile, I’ve had that itchy thought in the back of my head for a while now reminding myself to find “that beads quote,” because I couldn’t remember exactly how it went or who said it but I remembered thinking when I read it that it was really good, and that I should hold onto it. So I finally remembered while at a computer instead of, say, behind the wheel, to do just that.

“I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten—happy, absorbed, quietly putting one bead on after another.” —Brenda Ueland, If You Want To Write

 


Isn’t that just too good!? I love it. Not surprisingly, it’s everywhere all over the internet, but now it’s here too, so there. I hope your writing is going well. I hope you’ve found your flow and you have happy, easy days where the words just pour from your fingertips. But if that’s not the case right now, that’s okay too. Just don’t give up. Bad days don’t last forever, and the act of always coming back is so much more important than the results of a single session. “The master has failed more times than the beginner has tried.” Let’s always keep trying.

If you need encouragement, read Dr. Mrs. Stephanie Vanderslice‘s new book, The Geek’s Guide to the Writing Life. I absolutely adored it and it may just contain the exact words you needed to hear.

Love,
Jobe

geeksguide

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan

Reading Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan is going to be tiring and distracting—because you won’t be able to put it down, and when you do, you won’t be able to stop thinking about it!! This book is absolutely fantastic. It’s a fast read, but that doesn’t detract at all from the beautiful moments of raw humanity, compassion, and sincerity. This book isn’t about flawless heroes; it’s about characters with histories and secrets and struggles and fears. Put another way, this book is about people, and you will fall in love with them, believe in them, and mourn for them. Sullivan has created an entire world within the lives of just a few characters. In addition to telling the story of the characters, this book is a love letter to its city of setting: Denver. Walk its streets, feel its chill, be glad to duck into your bookstore and feel the warmth of home, here in the pages of Sullivan’s debut novel.

She noticed that his windshield was growing little laces of ice, the night outside working its way in.

Reading Challenges
Here we go for reading challenge updates:

Below are the hashtags of the challenges that had them:
#popsugarreadingchallenge
#rockmytbr
#diversereads2017
#whatsinaname2017

Love you guys.

Jobe

Wednesday Readers w Jobe

Welcome to Banned Books Week here in Little Rock, AR. I thought it’d be fun to compile a collage for great banned books I’ve read and another for great banned books I haven’t gotten around to reading yet! Since Banned Books Week has been celebrated nationwide for 34 years (since 1982), I decided I’d showcase 17 books for each of my 2 categories. Hope your week is fantastic!

Here are a few I have had the great pleasure to have read:

 

And here are 17 more I’m embarrassed to admit I haven’t read yet, but definitely want to!

Wednesday Readers w Jobe

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Okay, sorry, I know this has nothing to do with reading (necessarily). I just couldn’t resist. ^_^ // Source Two Drunk Ladies

 

Earthables wanted to make sure we heard about this glorious library, and Goodreads boosted the signal.

If Game of Thrones is your groove, check out this guy’s comparison of the show to the books.

 

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An oldie but a goodie. Source Coffee and a Good Book

Wednesday Readers w Jobe

Just what you always secretly longed for, a website that takes your to-be-read list seriously…well, mainly it just tells you how many years it will take you to read them all. Thanks to Read it Forward, also on Facebook. (I couldn’t get it to work at first but I figured out that you have to change all the fields before you can calculate, even if your answers match their presets.)

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Source The Reading Room
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Source Goodwill Librarian
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There’s my two cents. Made with Be Happy