Books: Morgenstern, Mieville, Jung, Cline, Enright

Or… New Classic? (Exhibit A)


The books I’ll be looking at are:
Erin Morgenstern’s Night Circus,
China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station,
Carl Jung’s Red Book (There are cheaper versions out there; this one is full-size),
Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One,
Anne Enright’s The Gathering.
As a note: I have only finished Night Circus and The Gathering.

Another aspect in a writer’s dedication to improve on his (since I’m referring to myself) writing ability is the importance of reading. I’ll be the first to say that between my bouts of college, I didn’t read much. When I was younger, I simply wrote what I wanted to read. I went on grand adventures, and for some reason all my characters started to sound the same: little me’s running around doing me things as magical people, as witches, as generals, as parents, orphans. You get the drift. Before that, in grade school and high school and college try 1, I read voraciously.

I have to force myself to read now. I don’t like the writing styles of a lot of writers, I don’t enjoy the shortsightedness of storytelling arcs, I have to force myself to read a lot of recommended reading. Nothing against anyone, but I don’t pleasure read. I don’t know if I can ever go back to it either. But I’m trying.

So! I have a short list of books I’m reading, books I’ve finished reading over the past semester/year, and I want to talk about them. If you’re interested, please come along.

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Tradition and the Individual Talent

No pic this time: all business.

I might have to take a step back and clarify a little about what I wrote in the article Joyce and Modernism: Why is it Important? I’ll try and iron a little of this out while also explaining a little more in-depth what’s going on with what I’ll refer to as the Living Body of Work. Or, to be more specific, the texts one studies while learning about literature, writing, and the human condition that constantly changes due to visualizing through other lenses. Examples of lenses could include structuralist focus, mythic method, cultural upbringing, fresh input or opinions on specific topics, or life experiences such as war or death of a loved one. I see it as a kind of time-stamped sociographic pattern. Reading texts in parallel that are written with previous texts in mind, creates an alternative narration for both.

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Joyce and Modernism: Why is it Important?


The text outlawed in the United States when first released in full.

Before I dive into Joyce’s modernist writing style, I must start with definitions. (All definitions used while focused on writing only)

  1. Modern – characteristic of present and recent time; contemporary; not antiquated or obsolete.
  2. Modernist – (in literature, structuralist) a deliberate philosophical and practical estrangement or divergence from the past in the arts and literature occurring especially in the course of the 20th century and taking form in any of various innovative movements and styles.
  3. Postmodernist – (in literature, poststructuralist) any of a number of trends or movements in the arts and literature developing in the 1970s in reaction to or rejection of the dogma, principles, or practices of established modernism, especially a movement in architecture and the decorative arts running counter to the practice and influence of the International Style and encouraging the use of elements from historical vernacular styles and often playful illusion, decoration, and complexity.

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Writer’s Block Blog

Yeah. I feel like that today.

Yeah. I feel like that today.

I sit here, uncertain what to write. I follow some pretty prestigious blogs on WordPress (prestigious to me, I guess), and writer’s block tends to filter through their posts like a shoulder shrug and a head shake. For the serious writer, the professional, who has a career in writing with bills, family, food, shelter hinging on what he writes, writer’s block is a joke. For the professional, writer’s block is either a profane form of laziness or a reason to take a short break before returning to work.

I am a professional, and I currently suffer from writer’s block.

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Guest Post: Emily Russell

*Taken with implicit implication and con permisso de Emily Russell.

*Taken with implicit implication and con permisso de Emily Russell.

I haven’t been on this blogosphere for very long–two months, give or take? During this time I’ve had the good fortune to get to know quite the charismatic and compelling writer. Given tomorrow (11/13/14) she will have her very first novel (Aurian and Jin: A Love Story) available for purchase, I decided it’d be nice to get to know her a little better VIA A GAUNTLET OF FLAMING SWORDS.

Oh. Didn’t pay gas last month. I guess this questionnaire will have to do.

First off, I think she’s awesome. She writes my brand of conflict, my brand of fantasy. Anyway. Onward.

?) Before we get down to serious business, tell us a little about yourself. I’d love to hear about hobbies, passions, foci outside the book writing business. Anything you want to share.

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Why I Read, As a Writer

Again... I've read all of these. Not really.

Again… I’ve read all of these. Not really.

This’ll be a short post. As a writer, and as a seasoned critic (well seasoned. Old Bay is my favorite), I’m constantly fighting a tug-of-war battle with reading and writing and other forms of research. We all have jobs. We all have passions outside our jobs. And we all love to write (or want to love to write). It’s not easy for me to read for long lengths of time, mostly because I have so many other things going on (like diligently testing new video games as they come out. haha I could manage my time better).

The good news is I take as well as I give, and although I’m a pretty hard critiquer, I’m not a jerk. I’m actually a really nice guy. So, every writer should read. It’s powerfully important. Why SHOULD I be reading?

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Why My Beta Readers Saved My Life.

Symbolic of last night's epiphany.

Symbolic of last night’s epiphany.

I had a big hiccup yesterday. What was it?

I started reading the novel I just finished proofing, and I realized the whole first two pages were pointless expo and nothing the reader can sink his teeth into. I nearly had a nervous breakdown. Never fear! I did not. I drank some Starbucks coffee and watched Fringe for an episode, then after my thoughts were composed and amazing (AMAZING), I looked at the whole big picture.

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