Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday Weekly Spotlight

Whoa! Day three of NaNo is here .. Tell me how those overworked brains, cramping wrists, and aching arses are holding up? I feel pretty good considering I've been working at 3am and writing in between. (For the record, I work from home and take calls from UK/Ireland while it's their regular hours.)

Sapphire is coming along nicely ... so much so that if I only had more time to write, I could get it all out with days to spare.

Time is my challenge, never story.

So as usual I'll post my Weekly Spotlight today. If you're new to my blog, each week I shine the spotlight on a blog I follow and tell you why I follow it. Due to the constraints and limited blog activity from NaNoWriMo, this will be my last Weekly Spotlight til December. I'd hate for the blogger in the spotlight to miss possible new followers because so many are concentrating on NaNo right now.

But in the spirit of all things writerly, I thought today would be the perfect opportunity to tell you about a blog I stumbled upon a couple of months ago. How did I stumble upon it? Found the web address right on the back flap of her book ... easy as pie.

And the Oscar goes to .....

JESSICA PAGE MORRELL   of   The Writing Life Too

*applause*   *whistles*    * cheers*

Have you read her book, Thanks, But This Isn't For Us?  Funny story, I was waiting for the doors of B&N  to open so I could write in the coffee shop one morning, and they had their clearance book racks out front already. I hadn't planned on shopping, wasn't even looking, but by chance my eyes fell upon the binding of Jessica's book at the bargain price of like $4 or something ridiculous. Flipped through it, couldn't stop reading it. Bought it. Devoured it over the next few days. No joke.

I don't know if it was just the right time or what, but everything she writes about why writers get rejected just clicked and resonated like nothing else ever has. I've read the usual writing guides and gained something from each one (list on my Writers Bookshelf link to the right) but Jessica's book just spoke to me.


This is the book cover. Click on it and it will take you to Amazon where you can purchase for a really great price. If you haven't read it, do yourself a favor.

What's more, is you can get Jessica's sage advice from her blog as well. I am serious when I say she always has something helpful to writers on her blog. She is a writer. And editor. And she lays it out in a real, down to earth way ... plus, she's funny and witty. I could champion her to you all day, but don't take my word for it .... check out her blog and read for yourself. Buy her book (one of a few) and take the opportunity to polish your craft just a little bit more. She's got all the inside secrets and she tells it like it is.

On a separate note, I'll be on reduced blogging schedule for the remainder of the month, so if I don;t make it to your blog to comment, I apologize in advance. I plan to get around as much as I can in between work, family, and NaNo project. But I'll be swinging in full force again once this first draft is out.

Is there a particular writing guide that's spoken to you about craft? There are so many, and it can;t hurt to read them all, but I imagine it's like the feeling you get when you find the right agent ... the feeling that someone gets you, even though they have no idea who you are.



salarsenッ said...

Jessica sounds wonderful! True, there are a ton of great writing books. One of my favorites is Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell.

Rachael Harrie said...

Great post, loved finding out more about Jessica. Best of luck with NaNoing :)


Matthew Rush said...

I like A Dash of Style by Noah Lukeman.

Summer Ross said...

I've read a few writing books. I like "On Writing" he has some great advice in there. I actually liked it better than his

The blog you are showing off sounds terrific when I have more time between classes, homework, kids, NaNo I'll take a look.

Thanks for posting.

William Kendall said...

Good blog; Jessica sounds intriguing.

Good luck with NaNo!

Quinn said...

To tell you the truth, I haven't really read any writing guides -- other than the ones for writing research papers when I was in high school and college. Maybe I just haven't found one that's spoke to me. i downloaded a sample of Stephen King's ON WRITING on to my Kindle and just didn't get why everyone raves about it (maybe it gets better later, but based on the first part, I didn't buy the book).

I'll check out Jessica's site. Thanks!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Pk -- I'm visiting by way of Rayna Iyer's blog -- two books I think are helpful are Sol Stein's "Stein on Writing" and Chris Roerden's editing book, Don't Sabotage Your Submission."

Margot Kinberg said...

Hi, PK - I just thought I'd pop in and say, "Hello," and "very nice to 'meet' you." You have what looks like a great blog!

F. Escobar said...

I also found Morrell's book riveting and instructive. After the catchy cover and the catchy title snared me, I started reading it and I couldn't put it down either. Morrell's blog is filled with useful stuff, from bits of inspiration to snippets from what looks like her next book on writing (she's written a few).

I found King's On Writing disarmingly funny and honest. What you'd expect from a seasoned author of bestselling novels.

The writing how-to book I'd recommend, hands down, is David Michael Kaplan's Revision (sorrowfully out of print right now). Depending on how long you've been writing, and how committed you've been, other titles are helpful too: both by John Gardner (On Becoming a Novelist and The Art of Fiction), the Gotham Writers' Workshop Writing Fiction (especially the final two chapters), and Noah Lukeman's The First Five Pages (especially chapter 2, which I recommend emphatically). Of a slightly different nature, but fun and provocative, is Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird.

With regard to both NaNoWriMo and writing manuals, I couldn't help mentioning this polemical article by Laura Miller published in Salon.

Pk Hrezo said...

Thanks for all the great suggestions! And welcome to my new followers! Glad you're here!

Tracy said...

Hi PK. I'm one of those new blog followers, so I love hearing about this feature. I'm going to check out Jessica's blog as soon as I'm done here.

As far as writing books, I love "The First Five Pages" by Noah Lukeman.

Good luck on your NaNo. I'm rocking and rolling myself, but there is plenty of month and plenty of distractions left to overcome. :o)

Julie Musil said...

I haven't yet heard of this book, and I'll check it out for sure. And her blog. One of my favorite writing guides is Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell. I pull that puppy out each time I'm plotting.

This is funny...I just now read your profile (why didn't I read that before?) I'm also a firefighters wife (in So Cal) AND my married last name is also Czech. It's like we're kindred spirits! (HA! Got that from Anne of Green Gables, in case you think I'm totally weird)

You're cooking on your nano project...awesome!