On Reading Deeply and Honoring the Writer

wild rabbit in snowI’ve been working on a new novel and changing content and navigation on another website.

While I was busy with index cards, representing pages on the chat room site, I came here to sit with my personal blog. I needed to see how I managed my static home page. Deadly dull, right?

Well, I’m not getting paid for the work and that freedom makes me happy.

I have been researching, building main characters and settings for my novel.  I am finally past the busy work and settling in to write some scenes.

A novel is a huge, drawn out thing. By the time I revise three times and start earnest editing, my contemporary story becomes historical.

Because of this I am planning on writing some short stories and essays in the coming year. Things I can send out to publishers and wait for contracts to weigh down my mail carrier.

They say, I don’t know who ‘they’ are, but they say a writer needs to read broadly and deeply. She needs to see what others are doing and try to divine the secrets of the best of the best.

I have been reading two books.

The Pushcart Prize Best of the Small Presses XLII, a book of Short Stories. The first story in the book is haunting me. It is Catacombs by Jason Zencka. Well, all of the stories I have read in this book are far beyond my personal writing ability. I could spend weeks dissecting them to see why they haunt me after I close the book.

I’m also reading The Best American Essays, 2017. Today, every emotion was stirred by Eliese Collette Goldbach as she showed me rape and how deeply such a thing scars our souls. The essay is called White Horse and it appeared in the Alaska Quarterly Review.

By reading deeply we honor the writer.  I am disappointed that I may never have the Art and Craft of Zencka and Goldbach. I do intend to learn what I can from their gift to me, a faithful reader.

I will try not to let so much time pass between posts and until next time, don’t touch anything sharp.