2) Read 1 book a week.
And this past week has been:
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Heartless by Gail Carriger
The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
The Shadow of the Wind is interesting because it’s not the kind of book I usually read. It’s more along the lines of literary historical fiction, taking place as it does in Barcelona over the course of about 10 years right after World War II. And it took me quite awhile to finish, in a large part because it’s not what I’m used to.
That being said, Ruiz Zafon has some absolutely beautiful language, an artful way of phrasing things so that you can feel the ideas and emotions he’s trying to get across. That’s what I admired most about this story: the use of language.
In this manner, secretly, the Fortuny family let the years go by, silencing their hearts and their souls to the point where, from so much keeping quiet, they forgot the words with which to express their real feelings and became strangers living under the same roof, like so many other families in the vast city. –p. 129
“Look, Daniel. Destiny is usually just around the corner. Like a thief, a hooker, or a lottery vendor: its three most common personifications. But what destiny does not do is home visits. You have to go for it.” –p. 225
She wandered off into the shadows, carrying her bucket and dragging her shadow like a bridal veil. –p. 252
It just resonates with you, makes you pause your reading and actually consider what he’s saying, reading the sentences again and again to make sure you suck all the meaning out of them.
Reading The Shadow of the Wind reminded me that it’s a good thing to branch out of my normal genres. Each genre has its own style, language, and tropes, some of which you’d never know if you didn’t dip your toe into the pool occasionally. And the more you read, the more you can bring those disparate tropes and styles into your own stories and give them a twist that may not have occurred to you otherwise.
The Writer’s Journey was also well worth reading. One of these days I’ll make up a list of best books for writers, which ones are good to read at least once and which ones you should own and read over and over.
3) Update blog twice a week.
Done and done, and I usually managed to make it three times a week.
And now, I’m going to enjoy some #writemotivation cookies and rest up for August and Camp NaNo.
Hope July was just as good for you guys!