Why Writers Should Read

mark twain readingYou’ve heard the advice often enough: To be a writer, you should write, because that’s how you get better as a writer. But you should also read as much as you can.

For those of us who never met a school reading assignment they didn’t like (Lynne raises her hand), this is the best news ever. But those of us who regarded their college-prep reading list with deep suspicion are going to be less than thrilled. Continue reading

Writer, Reader, Reviewer

3starsSometimes I hate being an author.

No, that’s not true. I never hate being a writer or an author. I love writing; I love reading. I love supporting other authors and especially, obviously, my friends. What I hate is writing critical reviews. Recently my buddy, Yvonne Hertberger, wrote about a similar situation where she was called on to assess a book. It wasn’t pretty.

Case in point. Recently I read a friend’s latest. I wanted to like it; I really did. But I didn’t. I didn’t have a lot of sympathy for most of the characters, I found the pace slow and therefore frustrating, and there were many things that it seemed I was supposed to implicitly understand but did not. Whenever I read a book that affects me like this, I have to wonder: is it not grabbing me because I’m not giving it enough time and concentration, or am I not giving it time and concentration because it’s not grabbing me? Continue reading

Newsbites: Men Don’t Read

NewsBitesGreetings from the IU news desk in the prestigious but entirely fictional BlackBox Tower Complex. It’s our job to track down the news, grab it by the ankles, and hold it upside down until the truth drops out of its pockets.

It’s a dangerous job that takes our staff to far-flung corners of the internet. Our crack team of reporters wade through a digital jungle of pop-up ads and 404 errors to get to the bottom of whatever it is that got their undies in a bunch in the first place.

Remember, NewsBites is the official news snack of the junior auxiliary astronaut team, whose proud motto is: We may not have been in space, but we are willing to go. Continue reading

My Year of Reading Indie

At the end of 2012, I mentally perused the books I’d read in the previous twelve months and realized that except for revisiting Anna Karenina and enjoying The Maltese Falcon as part of my community’s Big Reads program, not a single traditionally published title sat among them. That was quite a revelation for this bookworm who once got herself kicked out of a library at closing time and feels a magnetic attraction toward bookstores. Continue reading