Tag Archives: John Steinbeck

Three Thing Thursday

  1. I am reading Fahrenheit 451. For the first time. And quite liking it. I’m not sure if I’m surprised by this. My sister loved Ray Bradbury as a kid (she always out-read me). She read Stephen King, Tolkien and Bradbury long before I did. I was stuck in Steinbeck, Faulkner and Twain.

    This summer I’m reading a lot. A lot more than I have since school

    What have you read recently that you’ve loved?
    What have you read that you missed out on as a kid or teen?
    What is a favorite book that I should read?

  2. I am gathering books for the Hopi Reservation. If you would like to donate, please email me at carolthewriter@yahoo.com. These books must be gently used or new. I just looked up at my shelf and saw several novels I will never read again. It’s time to let those go. I have space only for the ones I want to keep forever. Or, maybe not space, but you know.
  3. In August, Ann Dee and Kyra and I might be having a writing marathon again. It’s been awhile. Will let you know as we get closer. If you are interested in playing a long, let me know.
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Monday, Monday!

Many years ago, I read John Steinbeck’s novel THE GRAPES OF WRATH. I love JS and I loved this book.

I remember one scene where the Joads stop for gas and there’s a man who pumps the gas at the station. He had a missing eye and he didn’t wear an eyepatch. I don’t remember if JS described that open socket or if I added my own bits and pieces to it. But 100 years later, I still remember that one detail.

 

#26

Give one important detail for each of your characters that sets them apart, that makes them unique.

 

Remember, good writing is in the detail.

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Filed under Exercises, Life, Plot, Uncategorized, writing process

The Day of Accountability AND Day Twelve!

So far we have five people in for lunch and the reading on April 8.

Or dinner. It might be dinner.

I’m not sure when we are meeting yet. Waiting to hear from the boss. But we do have our venue!

So how has the writing gone for you all?

We are nearly done with our marathon. We have just Friday (today), Saturday, Sunday (if you write on Easter) and Monday.

Will you reach your goal?

Will you reach your secret goal?

It’s a for sure that I will not reach my secret goal, which was start a new book.

But I will finish this novel, and I will do the rewriting of another. And maybe even another one, maybe, if my writing partner can come over and work with me.

That’s what I think right now.

Now, a note to Sue–I saw on Facebook that you are a little nervous about learning more and more and more about writing and how to put all you learn into action.

Remember what John Steinbeck said: “When I face the desolate impossibility of writing 500 pages, a sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it. Then gradually, I write one page and then another. One day’s work is all that I can permit myself to contemplate.”

Just one day at a time is what you have to do. One day at a time of learning something new and then seeing how to implement what you have learned, one day at a time of rewriting, one day at a time of  whatever you are doing to make yourself the best writer possible.

This really goes to all of us.

One day. ‘Cause that’s how life is, huh?

 

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Filed under CLW, Writing Marathon, writing process

Several Bits of Inspiration to Help Improve Your Wiritng

1. After all this time, we are ready for registration for Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers.

Please tell your friends about the conference. And for those interested in advanced classes, you need to go through me.

http://www.wifyr.com

2. Kyra received Martine Leavitt’s latest novel, My Book of Life by Angel. All I can say is, “read it.” The reason I can’t say more is because Kyra is planning on doing a review of the book. Plus, guess what? Martine is teaching an advanced class at the conference this June. Wish I wasn’t teaching so I could sit in her class. She’s pretty darned amazing.

3. Coming the next few weeks and months on Throwing Up Words: interviews from faculty from WIFYR.

Plus, interviews from many agents and editors and authors. Plus a few writing marathons.

Several writing exercises.

And Ann Dee’s baby.

4. John Steinbeck died when I was a very little girl. I can remember, as I read his books growing up, how I wished he had stayed alive long enough for me to meet him. John Steinbeck was one of my first writing teachers. I read just about everything I could get my hands on that he wrote. Here’s a great quote from Mr Steinbeck: “When I face the desolate impossibility of writing five hundred pages, a  sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it. Then gradually, I write one page and then another. One day’s work is all I can permit myself to contemplate.”

5. This week, put yourself in a situation to listen in on another person’s conversation. The mall is a good place to linger and and keep an ear out. Go somewhere there are a lot of people.  Wait till you hear what you need–just a tidbit that will make you want to write. When I visit BYU campus and listen to the people in the hallways, I wonder what I can use from what I see and hear.  Jot down the words, the emotions, the way YOU feel. Now, how can you change that up, that whole scene, and make it work in your book?

6. For me, emotion in writing is what connects the reader to your book. Here’s what dictionary.com says about emotion:

noun
1. an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness.

7. Allow yourself to really feel something that you are experiencing this week. Maybe it’s taking care of a young child. Maybe it’s helping an older teen. Maybe you have a friend that needs you. Maybe YOU need you. As you are in these moments, connect with the emotion the incident brings up. Feel it all. Experience that emotion. Later, when you get a moment, write that emotion down, exactly as you felt it. Every bit of it. Now you have something you can use later in your writing. Borrow that emotion for a scene that you may be struggling with.

8. Ann Dee still hasn’t taught me how to do the blue letters.

9. My deepest sympathies go to the Kristyn Crow and her family at the loss of her father-in-law this last week. You all are in my heart and prayers.

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Filed under CLW, Editors, Exercises, Interviews, Kyra, writing process