Month: December 2010 (Page 1 of 2)

My favorite books of 2010

A lot of people are doing these “best of” lists, and I wasn’t going to, but then JJ blogged about her “best books of 2010,” and I commented on her site, and that was half the work, so I figured why not. (Wow, run-on much?)

Anyway, in order of when I read them, here are my fave books of 2010:

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood Mercy Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3) Eat, Pray, Love The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) The Blue Sword (Newbery Honor Roll) The Hero and the Crown Anna and the French Kiss

What were your fave stories this year? You can mention books, movies, news stories, YouTube videos, TV shows, whatever. Just share the awesomesauce™!

(Note: Awesomesauce™ is not truly a registered trademark of Erin Danehy, but it probably should be.)

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Merry xmas

cardinal-photoshopped

I hope y’all are enjoying a wonderful holiday season with your loved ones.

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Words vs. story

Last night, my friend Sarah and I got into a discussion about “beautiful words” versus “compelling story.” This quickly evolved (devolved?) into a discussion about literary fiction vs. genre. We weren’t really arguing, since we both came from Serious Literary Aspirations and then broadened our scope to include Passionate YA Love. But I was probably harsher on literary fiction than she was.

Sarah and I are both loud and opinionated and like to have the last word, so I probably shouldn’t have been surprised when she continued our discussion via email. She said:

“I feel like I need to justify one point that literary has going for it — it is often a very close reflection of real life, real human thought. Human stories are not always or usually plotted.”

And you know what? She couldn’t be more right.

Part of what makes life so interesting, so compelling, is its unpredictability. A plotted story is expected to have twists (ironic, no?), often at certain points within the narrative. But life, life can throw you a curveball whenever the hell it wants. (And oh boy, will it.)

As a halfie, I’m very familiar with the idea of straddling two worlds, and that’s what I’m trying to do as a writer, too. I want to take the best parts of my literary background and merge them with the best parts of the commercial/genre stories that I love. Why does it have to be words versus story? Can’t they work together?

I think they can. If you’re looking for good reads that live in the middle of the spectrum, here are a few of my recommendations:

Do y’all have any others to add to the list? Literary books that have commercial-style plotting, genre fiction that uses literary turn of phrase, or anything in between?

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Foiled (for my own good)

me: i SO want to redesign my website
b/c it’s a project i can undertake and actually FINISH
and SEE the results

John: or
WRITE

me: ugh i know
that’s what i’m obviously procrastinating

but also, “new year, new look!”
it would make so much sense :D

John: or
NEW YEAR NEW BOOK

me: LOL
DANG IT
YOU ARE RIGHT

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Writerly Wednesday

I told you it was going to be quieter around here, eh?

No worries, everything is fine. I’m just enjoying some down time after a hectic holiday season that started with Thanksgiving and ended with… oh wait, it isn’t over yet! Well in that case, I’m stealing a few moments for myself in the midst of this hullabaloo.

(I’m also resisting a silly urge to redesign this site, and wishing I had the talent to turn even the most boring day into a good story.)

Anyhoot, while I go off to read my friend’s awesome work-in-progress (and work on my own!!) please enjoy these links:

  • First, a reminder: 100% of my December proceeds will be donated to the It Gets Better Project. To purchase either Twenty-Somewhere or “The Eraser” in support of this cause, please visit Amazon, the iTunes bookstore, or Smashwords.
  • Next, via Erin (danke!), author Sherwood Smith gives advice to young NaNo-ers. This quick pep talk is filled with gems like…
    • “There is no wrong method, it’s just finding the kickstart that works best for you.”
    • “‘Action’ doesn’t have to be slam-bang gunfights or space ship chases or explosions, though those can be fun.”
    • “Action and reaction are the bones and sinews of a book.”
  • Last and most amusing, an aspiring poet decided to create a documentary instead. Behold Bad Writing, the movie:

Sadly there are no screenings in my area, but if I were in LA, NYC, Austin, or Madison (Wisconsin? seriously?) I would totally go check it out.

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