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Musings and Meanderings

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What cha been reading Mike?

Thank you for asking.

First of all I've been reading this amazing series by Writers Digest Books called Write Great Fiction. There are four books in this series written by either successful authors, writing teachers, or both. They cover Dialog, Plot, Characters,Emotion and Viewpoint, and Description & Setting. All are extremely well well written and engaging. In addition I have a few other books from that printing house that I have ready to read, and I joined the Writers Digest Book Club and got four new books for 21 bucks, and promptly quit the club.

So why am I reading them? The reasons are two.. ok no Monty Python I promise. One reason is fairly simple. I want to write fiction. So I'm boning up on the subject. Also which leads nicely to the next paragraph: I'm an "interested reader" for a friend's unpublished works.

So I can't tell you much about what he is writing except that it is genre bending and very well written. He has a excellent grasp of cinematic writing, you really see the action as you read it. Great (and lots of) characters and characterization, and some extremely challengeing ideas which power the novel. So far it is Six novels in all, five of which I have read second drafts of. Guess thats all I can write about this.

Next up are the classics. I have a PDA which doubles as a book reader, so I am reading at this moment The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway. I had forgotten how great that book really is. Got inspired to read some great fiction by the aforementioned books about writing. I also have Dumas' Three Musketeers and a host of other "classics" either on the PDA or on my HD.

I am also, in a tribute to the author, re-reading all of my Jack Chalker books, at least the ones I have in ebook for now, as I don't wish to dig through the attic for my book boxes. I finished his "Well World" series which if I am not mistaken is 8 books. I'm now reading his 5 book "Spirits of Flux and Anchor" series. Mr.Chalker was always a mind bending reader, and since his passing last year, I've definitely missed reading his new series'. He specializes in people who are in unique situations where their minds, bodies or both are changed in some way during the novel. He is not a one trick pony mind you, but this theme of how these challenges are handled are pervasive in his writing. He writes everything from Hard Science Fiction, through Sword and Sorcery Fantasy to very humorous takes on this large genre.

When I started the school year this year I decided to bone up a little on any theories or practices of teaching. So I went to the local library (yea you can sit back in your seat now) and checked out a small stack of books on theory and practice. I've definitely read some fascinating books, the most recent of which is unfortunately finished and returned, or I would mention it here. I read the Essential 55 and the Excellent 11 by Ron Clark. I also have in my book bag The Elements of Teaching by Banner and Cannon and Teach With Your Strengths by Liesveld and Miller.

So four books at a time at any one time is probably enough. Its easier when it is two fiction and two non fiction.

Thanks for listening!
posted by Mike 8:16 PM


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The musings and meanderings of an overworked and underemployed mind