Let's begin with:
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Hurrah! I've finished it! I may have been endlessly distracted by lighter reading and/or my own laziness, but I'm proud I've finished it. A lot of the subject matter made my mind wander a bit, though if anyone can captivate my attention with things I don't understand fully, it's Hemingway. Even when he's describing the Spanish Civil War, the history of which I have surely not brushed up on recently, I love his artful use of words. No one does it like this guy, try as I might. He made me fall in love with Robert Jordan, and left me saddened by its ending. I really wanted it to turn out differently. Like Hemingway's quote you see to the left of this page, I feel like this happened for real. To me. And I literally felt that grief as if it were my own. If you like books, READ THIS.
by Steven Herrick
Picked this up at Half Price Books having never heard of Steven Herrick. Glad I did. Another young adult novel in free verse that I gobbled up. The thing about telling a novel length story in free verse poetry is the air of mystery. There isn't as much description, there just isn't the time for it. I feel like you only get a taste of what you'd get from a traditional novel, but I kind of like that, when I'm in the mood. Like a short story, it leaves a lot to the imagination. And I like the way Herrick switches POV without so much as a warning. He does it with a grace that doesn't piss you off or confuse you. You just get this sort of light bulb and figure it out, and it's fun to see. It's like, ah, we're on this character now. Nifty. Only problem here is that I wanted more. It was too short.
Fifty Shades Darker
by E.L. James
Don't care what anyone thinks, I plow through these books like nobody's business. Feel free to leave a comment about my literary integrity, but I think you should be able to read Hemingway and follow it up with some Fifty Shades without fear of persecution. I'm a female and a romance junkie with a dark side. Yes, I love this story. I admit when I started the first Fifty Shades novel, just like Twilight, I wasn't much impressed with the beginning couple of chapters. I wondered what all the press was about. But I was generous enough to keep going. And, just like so many others, I became enraptured. Hooked me pretty good, there. I'll always think Anastasia Steele needs to blush about Fifty Shades fewer times than she does, but I'm still hooked. Thank you, E.L. James. When you can write a story that addicts people like this, you know how to write. Even if it's not in everyone's particular taste. Sometimes, I just like to read something Fun. Yay, FUN.
On Writing Horror
A Handbook by the Horror Writers Association
There's no question that, just like a highly contagious, flesh-rotting, people-eating virus, I've caught the horror bug. With my shorts that have appeared in Trembles Magazine and Dark Gothic Resurrected, I've been encouraged to devote a lot of my craft to this genre and I'm having more fun doing it than I would have imagined. I'm really scaring myself with the piece I'm currently finishing, so I think I must be on to something. This book is a really useful tool if you want to write horror of any length. With great articles on style, plot, characters, and how to market your stuff.
As far as the writing end of things, I've just submitted my latest and most serious attempt at a romance short to Ravenous Romance and I'm so excited to hear back. It's called Quenched, and it's definitely something I would have a hard time letting close, personal friends and family read, because of it's detailed erotic content. So again, I figure I'm hitting the mark there. Ha! I'll wait and see.
Tethered is the short horror piece I'm currently getting ready for submission. I'm really proud of this, and I'm thinking of adding a possible page of my own fiction samples or something to that effect, because it would encourage my motivation, especially with my novel-in-progress.
All and all, a busy time for writing, even with all the rejection letters. I've built a shell that barely let's in ANY disappointment! That must mean I'm making progress. Right? I'll leave you with my new found literary policy, inspired by none other than Hard-On Harry--one of my favorite characters from one of my Top Five Favorite movies, Pump Up the Volume: