This is that time.
With every friend and colleague who publishes a book, I become more and more motivated to actually start writing mine on paper (or rather typing mine on computer) and stop merely musing about it in my head.
I recently read a friend‘s manuscript and it wasn’t good. It was freaking brilliant. I couldn’t put it down. Sure it needed some polishing and shaping, but she wrote a novel. And she did it while working part-time, mothering three children, wifing a husband, cleaning a house, caring for two dogs, a cat, and I lost count of how many chickens. She has me beat. I have no excuses.
Here’s David Sedaris’ advice for aspiring writers: “Write every day and read everything you can get your hands on. Write every day … with a pen that’s shaped like a candy cane.”
I don’t have the candy cane-shaped pen, but I’m going to start the whole every day thing. It might not always be on the blog. I’m also going to keep a journal handy — Lord knows I have enough half-filled ones lying around.
I have my main character. I know her pretty well, and I know what she’s been up to. I just need to figure out how to introduce her to you. She’s pretty sure you’ll hate her, but she doesn’t give a shit. (She actually does give a shit, but she pretends she doesn’t.)
As I write this, I’m in a cafe listening to three middle-aged women in the booth across from me talking about their writing and their works-in-progress, and I just know it’s time for mine to be in progress. The woman on the left says she doesn’t care if hers becomes an NYT Bestseller. She’s a big fat liar. I want mine to be a success. And I want it to happen while I’m young enough to go on a book tour without an oxygen tank in tow. A nitrous tank would be cool though.
I love the library. And with the amount of late fees I pay, I’m guessing the library loves me, too. One of my latest finds is this yoga book for kids by Taeeun Yoo called You Are a Lion! And Other Fun Yoga Poses.
Jed loves doing yoga with me. Up until now, I’ve been winging it and trying to remember all of the fun animal poses off the top of my head. This book not only picks some great ones, it also illustrates them beautifully and rhymes, starting with a “namaste to the morning” and going through a series of poses including butterfly, snake and mountain before ending with savasana and a “namaste to each other.” I say namaste. Jed says, “Happy birthday!” Hey, it’s his yogic journey. Whatever floats his boat pose.
When he grabs the book and runs to his mat (which is always, always out on the floor) saying “Let’s do yoga, Mommy!” it makes my heart melt. Having a boy, I pretty much knew my child wouldn’t likely share my love of vintage clothing and shoes, but boys can like yoga. And, well, Jed does love wearing my shoes.
One of the best ways to increase your vocabulary as a writer is to simply read. I’m always making mental notes when I stumble across great words in books, but I have horrible recall skills and never remember them. So I’ve started marking pages with noteworthy words as I read through books, starting with the most recent one I finished, Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult, in which I found these three gems (definitions from Dictionary.com). A couple were new to me (As far as I can recall), one an SAT flash card flashback:
Gustatory: adjective. of or pertaining to taste or tasting. Example: “Care to share a piece of gustatory paradise from Federal Hill?”
Meretricious: adjective. 1. alluring by a show of flashy or vulgar attractions; tawdry. 2. based on pretense, deception, or insincerity. Example: “One [legal allegation] that calls me meretricious and deviant.”
Mollify: verb (used with an object). to soften in feeling or temper, as a person; pacify; appease. Example: “But hearing that Zoe hasn’t left for good seems to mollify her.”
I’ve also started a Lindsey Reading widget from my Goodreads account in the righthand sidebar. I have read more than seven books in my life, but decided recent reads and favorites were a good place to start. You can read my review of Sing You Home by clicking on the book cover in the sidebar.
What are some great words you’ve found through books? Any good book recs? I need some to add to my to-read shelf!