Tuesday, August 23, 2011

So it goes ....

"Slaughter House Five! Isn't that an awful name?"

"Slaughterhouse-Five? That's a great book."

"Maybe in another town it's a great book."

"In any town."

Ten points if you can tell me where that come from.

I have been reading/listening to Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Disclaimer, I am not exactly recomending this book. I can definitely understand why it is contreversial, but I am also not, not recomending it. It has some great lines like:
"It is hard when you have to pinch every penny until it screams." Man do I know that story.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that reading classics is a good idea, and everyone should read a few, as an adult. It doesn't count when you are in junior high and highschool and the teacher forces it. It is different when you are grown up and have more life experience. Plus you don't have math and science homework you need to get to.

The reason I read classics is so I know what people are talking about. After I started reading them, I couldn't believe how many references are made to them. Case in point with the Footloose referrence above. I know why she thinks the book is awful and I know why he is defending it.

These books are called classics for a reason. They stand the test of time, and thought they may not be your bag, I still think it is a worthwhile activity to pick up one now and again.

My suggestions are: Wuthering Heights for romantics.
Uncle Tom's Cabin for political and historical interest.
Catcher in the Rye for teen angst.
Anna Karenina because it has a cool ending.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Why I write.

I have heard it said, people who write stories are partly if not completely crazy. Not crazy in the 'I need to be institutionalized' way, but crazy in the I like to do really hard things that I don't actually have to do. I think I can agree with that.

I remember the first time I wrote something. I was in kindergarten and my mom made me enter the Reflections contest. I wrote a short paper about how I wanted to be exactly like my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Fitts, and I won. The next time I wrote something significant was a poem in the ninth grade. Honestly, it was not good, but somehow it caught my teachers eye, and was published in a book of poems by junior high kids. I still have the copy of the book. When I was in high school, I had an assignment to right a short story. My teacher accused me of plagiarism, and it made me feel like a professional.

Still, it took years for me to actually write a book, though I have tons of first chapters strewn around my house in different drawers and boxes. I was inspired by a well known author who wrote about her dream. I had an interesting dream one night, and decided I should write a book about it. I wrote that book from start to finish four times and it still sucks, but it was a valuable experience. It made me realize how much I loved writing, how amazing it feels for words to flow out of me creating an entirely new story. I love the written word, and I love when I come up with something that causes people to feel real emotion.

Because of all of this, and because some day I am going to be a published author, I decided I should start a blog. Few people have actually read what I have written, so I wanted to expand my readership. I will be sharing my thoughts on writing and books I love and even ones I didn't love so much. I hope it is helpful and interesting.