Sunday, November 16, 2008

Suspended for NaNoWriMo/ Amazon Best Books of 2008

It's getting to the pointy end of NaNoWriMo, and I do want to reach 50,000 words, so entries here may be sparse for the rest of November...

You might like to toddle over to the book section at and see their picks for the 100 best books of 2008.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Quote: Nathalie Goldberg

I read Nathalie Goldberg's two books about writing, Wild Mind and Writing Down the Bones years ago.  Still have them on the shelf, and did a quick squizz through them the other day.  Some of what she says I can still see influencing my writing process and habits.

I was reminded of her again by this quote, which Ali Edwards used on her blog (here is her page of Collected Quotes).  While playing along with NaNoWriMo, I find myself harvesting from the day.  Blue birds, meals, glimpses, people, words, phrases.  Noticing, then remembering is so important.

Learn to write about the ordinary. Give homage to old coffee cups, sparrows, city buses, thin ham sandwiches. Make a list of everything ordinary you can think of. Keep adding to it. Promise yourself, before you leave the earth, to mention everything on your list at least once in a poem, short story, newspaper article.
Nathalie Goldberg

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Michael Cunningham on writing

Visiting a writing class in Maryland, author Michael Cunningham spoke about his writing and his writing process.  Read the whole blog entry here .  My favourite quotes:

We’re not smart enough to write novels. We have to outgrow the modest idea that inspired the novel and allow it to take on a life of its own. We have to work until something passes through our consciousness. Try to get out of the way of the book.

Write the best goddamn book you possibly can. There are more books than anyone can possibly read. You only feel different when your work is published if what you published is good. Trust your instincts and write what is most compelling to you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Urban fiction

In New York, urban fiction is finding keen readers in libraries and on the street.  Read more about it in a New York Times article here , including one mama who insists that her entire family reads for an hour every day.  Yay!

found via Smart Bitches, Trashy Books 

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Free audiobooks

LibriVox offers free audiobooks of books published before 1923.  And you can become a reader for them too, if you're interested.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Writing advice from Scott Westerfeld

YA author Scott Westerfeld (Peeps is a favourite book of mine) blogs about various things, including some writing advice - mostly written by Scott, occasionally by a guest blogger.  Catch up here .

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

First Tuesday in November + authors

Political action by authors?  Check out YA for Obama .

Sunday, November 2, 2008

NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month has started. .  Although the server's pretty frantic at present, so it might not load for you straightaway.

I've undertaken the challenge this year, and am aiming to keep myself honest and on track by blogging about it.  My NaNoWriMo user page is here , with an extract from The Bluebird CafĂ©.

Typing words for this confirms something I've learned and taught about fiction writing - you don't necessarily know what you're going to write about until you start putting words on the page.  So, you need to write, to unfurl what is waiting in your mind and heart.

And then you edit a lot.  But first, write the stuff you're going to edit.