reading list

graffiti of a cat, tall and long, tail waved up over her headGood Wednesday morning to you — what is the quiet like where you are? Peaceful? Noisy? I woke up hearing the garbage truck go by down a ways in my neighborhood, and thought to myself, “The garbage truck doesn’t come at 4am — dang it.” My 4am alarm was going off, but I couldn’t hear it. I’m having a very hard time moving back into my early morning writing schedule, especially after those ten days on the road. But, here I am at the desk, and it feels good that I get to be here for at least an hour or so before the first day-job work day of the new year begins.

My desk is covered with books and papers at the moment, as I gather materials for the workshops beginning soon. Thank goodness the keyboard is beneath the desk — I might run out of room for it otherwise.

On Monday, New Year’s Day, I went out to the cafe at Book Passage — I picked up a coy of Poets & Writers Magazine, which I often don’t like to read because I feel so frustrated and self-shaming — look at all these people living their writing dreams, and here I am not doing the work I love, I think to myself — a clear sign that I need to spend more time actually writing — yikes!

However, I’m glad I snagged the Jan/Feb ’12 issue, because there’s a whole special section in this issue about inspiration — including an article about attention, about how our attention is fragmented by internet tools and social medial, and ways to think about and honor our need (if we have it), as writers, for long stretches of uninterrupted creative-work time. I felt so much permission in this piece, and also want to share it with the folks who come to the manuscript/project-workshop, as we think about crafting space in our lives for our writing projects.

I also found several new (to me) books, in the Book Passage’s used book section: FruitFlesh (great for prompt ideas and inspiration), Writing the Mind Alive (about the Proprioceptive Writing Method), and John Gardner’s On Becoming a Novelist. I feel like I’m building my own syllabus, as I work to craft possibility for this new workshop.

I’d like to add a reading list to the website — annotated, where possible. Do you have favorite books about writing, or books/media that inspire you as a writer? Will you leave a comment with a bit of information about this book, and let me know if it’s ok if I share your suggestion (along with your first name) on the site?

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A prompt for today? Was there a book or person or experience that made you want to become a writer? Do you remember how old you were when you had that meeting of possibility? Can you give ten minutes today to that resource, that ‘muse,’ that legacy?

Thanks for the history that led you exactly here today, to exactly where you are. Thanks for the flame in you. Thanks for your words.

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