Children dress up
Teens do too
What about you
And vampires and ghosts
It’s hard to say
Which scares me the most
And haunted houses
That are sure to scare
Lots of screams
You better beware
But it’s not just
For kids and teens
Universities and employers
Celebrate via other means
An anticipated day
You get back here
Photo Credit: USA Feast
Photo Credit: Alanah Leger
This post is by no means meant to be disrespectful. Just a question that I’ve been thinking about. See, I can tell you right now that I only read as much as I do because of WordPress. I couldn’t even tell you any prominent poets writing today. I mean, are there individuals who only write poetry as their job? I have no idea. I also wonder the same thing about short stories. Are there short story writers out there still? But that’s a question for a different day and post.
Every other article you read is about the changing landscape of publishing, right? I mean, we’ve all been told how difficult it is for publishers of any size to make money off their books. Hm. If publishers have a hard time making money off novels, then one would assume that it would be a whole lot more difficult to do so by publishing poetry collections.
I’m sitting here trying to think (without using Google) of poets who are writing right now and I honestly can’t come up with one. All the ones I know wrote in completely different eras. Wordsworth. Plath. Keats. Coleridge. Maybe I’m just out of the loop on this one? I don’t know. I’m not going to sit here and say that poetry is dying or anything like that, but could that really be happening? You tell me.
Do you read poetry outside of an academic setting? Perhaps a better worded question is whether or not you buy poetry collections that are traditionally published.
PS: I just tried to find some current poets and it was rather difficult. I could not find anything about poetry on HarperCollins’s website. And the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning collection has 9 reviews on Amazon. Tell me I’m wrong and I’m just not seeing the light here. Cause it seems to me that poetry may be disappearing.
Photo Credit: Angelena Pierce/Pinterest
This is something of a companion post to yesterday’s post in which I admitted that I’ve finally decided to reread a series of books for the first time ever. I think the timing is perfect with Mockingjay Part 1 fast approaching release.
See, I’ve never had to answer this question myself. I just started the Harry Potter series this year, so obviously I never had to go back and read any books. And I’m not interested in all the YA adaptations released each year. Cause I’ve never read them anyway. So this is the first time that I’m kind of having to answer this question. I’d just read The Hunger Games before the release of the first movie and then read the other two books in the series shortly thereafter. But I didn’t reread Catching Fire last year, though I did think about it.
Now we’re here. 2014. And I AM going to reread a book before its movie adaptation is released. Why? Maybe this is a normal thing that people do all the time and I’m just catching up. Or maybe I just want to read SOMETHING.
Also, I’ve never had to ask myself this question because I never go to the movies. Ever. I saw one move in theaters in 2013. And two in 2012. The one and only this year comes out on November 21. The tickets are over $10 here. Forget that.
So tell me, do you reread books before the movie adaptation is released?
Yep. I’m going to do it. It’s hard to believe that I’ve never once gone back and read a series from start to finish a second time. I mean, I know my last two years of reading have been a joke, but since 2010 I’ve read a good number of books (128). I don’t know exactly how many different series are in there, but there are a few. And never once did I tell myself that I wanted to experience it again. Eh. Oh well.
But now I am telling myself that. Why? Because why not. I’m not going to make a habit of this, but there’s really no difference between never having done something and having done it just the one time. So now I should probably tell you which series I’m going to reread, right? Hm. If you’ve read my blog long enough to remember who my favorite character is, then you know the answer. If you’ve read my blog long enough to know my favorite series of books, then you know the answer. Or if you’ve read my short bio on my About Me page, then you may or may not be able to figure out the answer.
Still wondering? Okay. I’m rereading that kinda sorta popular trilogy written by Suzanne Collins. There’s this girl named Katniss, maybe you’ve heard of her? I’m not doing this to refresh my memory of the series. I know it. I know the story. I know the characters. I know what I think of Katniss. I’m doing this because I simply feel like rereading three of my all-time favorite books. That’s it.
I first read the series in the first half of 2012. I loved every book, though I definitely have a favorite of the three. And oh by the way, I’m also doing something else for the first time…I’ve never read a series straight through all at once. I always jump from author to author and series to series in order to diversify my reading habits. I’ll also be continuing that practice, but only after I finish the series.
I’m sure you’re well aware of the fact that Halloween is this week. Well what better time to read a horror story or something that might keep you awake at night than this week, right? But no, I’m not going to be doing the suggesting here…you are! Y’all know I never recommend books or take recommendations because my taste in reading is my taste and yours is yours. But I’m making an exception. I don’t read horror stories or anything remotely scary at all. I’ve just never really been interested, so I have no idea where to even begin. But I’m hoping some of you have a better idea than I do, and you can pass along your knowledge.
So tell me, what are some books that are sure to get me in the Halloween spirit?
I’m not talking about characters and their favorite sports to watch, I’m talking about characters and the sports they’ve played at some point in the past. I know not every genre does this, but it seems just about every detective novel I read the MC has played a particular sport at a younger age. I don’t see anything wrong with this, but I’m wondering if it’s just what I read or if it’s a bigger thing.
The two sports I know some of my favorite characters have played/participated in are baseball and boxing. I can think of one character who was a minor league baseball player until injury ended his career. And another character who was the top amateur boxer in his state. Maybe you’ve even read or written a character who still plays a particular sport? I haven’t seen that because after all, how many people are still playing a sport after being done with school.
Have you read or written characters who have played sports?
Wake up early
And on your way
Dressed to impress
Nerves under control
You rehearse some answers
And calm your racing heart
And talk yourself up
In the mirror of your car
Then you’re ready
With nothing more to do
Photo Credit: Ben Stansall/Getty Images
From 2014 onward, the Man Booker Prize will be awarded to any book written in English. This year was the first in which authors from the United States were included. The prize is one of the most prestigious in the world.
This year’s prize was awarded to Richard Flanagan for his novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve never read anything he’s ever written. I haven’t. This post is about something else. It’s about literary awards.
Flanagan’s book was one of those well-received works that struggled to find an audience. In fact, his previous books have also struggled to gain traction in the ultra competitive publishing industry here in the US. It was because of the poor sales of his titles that he was considering going to work in the Australian mines. Yes. An author who I can’t seem to find a bad word about online was going to work in mines because he was broke. He wasn’t a middle of the pack author with decent sales, he was broke. Until October 14.
October 14 was the day he won one of the most prestigious literary awards in the world. The cash prize is about $80,000, which isn’t bad in itself, but there was more on the way. Last week, Flanagan earned about $220, 000. That total is more than his previous ten years of BookScan sales. You’re talking about $300,000 to a man who had next to nothing.
I know plenty of you are thinking that writing isn’t all about making money. Okay. You probably say that as you have your “real” job that pays all your bills. Writing is a hobby to you. No matter what you say, but it isn’t for Flanagan. This is his job. His career. So don’t sit there and say literary awards don’t matter, because they do. Because there’s one writer out there who almost had to give up on writing because he was no longer able to support himself. He’s no longer facing that decision.
“In essence, this means I can continue to write.” -Richard Flanagan at the awards ceremony.
Photo Credit: Pinterest
We’re all writers here, right? I know most of you have several manuscripts complete at the moment. Some of you probably have dozens. Well then that means you have some experience bringing your stories to a close.
Before I begin, I first want to say that I have no issue with happy endings. Fiction is not supposed to be 100% believable, otherwise how could you have all the crime series that never seem to end? Now let’s talk about ending your story. Personally, I’m a big fan of the ending that fits. So if the main character must lose someone close to him/her, then I’m okay with that. If the main character gets seriously injured in heroic fashion, then I’m okay with that. Or even if the story leaves you with a cliffhanger. I have no issue with any of these as long as it fits.
I think writers can be guilty of writing a happy ending just for the sake of doing so, at times. I’d say that’s the only issue I’ve had with story endings. The ones that leave you scratching your head like “whaa?”and thinking how in the heck did the author come up with that. I’ve never once had an issue with a story ending in a manner that forces you to read the next book in the series. Or ending badly for a main character in the book. I honestly think it’s more difficult to write these kinds of endings. Because readers have almost come to expect a positive resolution to the events throughout the book.
When it comes to my own writing, well I have just the one story that certainly had a happy ending. But I have every intention of continuing the series and absolutely throwing in some curve balls when it comes to the endings. Am I going to have Andrew killed in a shootout with a bad guy during his last case? Eh, probably not because I don’t want him to go out like that. But you never know, right?
What about you? In your writing do you have any preference when it comes to endings? Or perhaps in your reading.
PS: I apologize for not replying to comments at all recently. I have a giant orange number staring me in the face right now of pending comments. I’m going to do something about this. Finally. But I always read what you guys say. Always.
Photo Credit: GoodEReader
This question ultimately asks if you read self-published books, but not all self-published books are free at some point. In my experience I’ve found that people are typically “I read a lot of free books” or “I will not ever read a book if it’s free.” I’ve rarely found someone who sometimes reads free books and sometimes doesn’t. I’ll never sit here and say that one person’s reasoning for their decision is wrong while another person’s is right, so this is just me repeating what has been said about why people do or don’t download books that are free.
“If it’s free it must be bad”
This goes along with the stigma that still exists for self-publishing. Maybe self-published authors are making strides when it comes to their literary merit, but talk to someone who knows nothing about the publishing industry about your book. One of their first questions is sure to be who published your book. I mean, there are MANY great books out their that have been self-published, but some readers will never find them because they don’t give them a chance. Like when they’re free.
“I have too many books I actually WANT to read”
There’s no doubt in my mind that when said in this context this statement is an excuse not to read a particular book or perhaps a book that is free. I understand that most avid readers have dozens and dozens of books they want to read, maybe hundreds cause some people are crazy, but the notion that reading one book that’s not necessarily on your never ending TBR list is going to mess with the alignment of the universe is simply absurd. After all, you have to keep adding new books to your TBR list if you intend to keep reading, right? Just say you don’t want to read the damn book and be done with it.
“I have too many books on my Kindle”
This is probably more valid than you might think. There are plenty of readers out there who navigate the Kindle free store on a daily basis just downloading books. This isn’t bad and I’m not going to knock anyone for it, but this really does create the dilemma of having too many books. I’m talking hundreds of unread books just collecting figurative dust in the depths of your Kindle. From what I’ve been told and understand, many of these readers just pick titles almost at random once downloaded because there’s no easy way to pick which book to read when you have hundreds at your fingertips.
I’m quite certain that I could continue the list here because the likelihood is that you’ve had some experience with this question. Maybe you’re a reader who never downloads free books. Or maybe you’re an author who has offered your book for free through KDP Select. Me? I’ve never actually downloaded a free book. And I have offered my book for free a couple of times. I think my best free promo garnered 6571 downloads in a couple of days, but obviously I don’t have a gazillion reviews of my book.
Do you download free books?