Half-Way Nano Point
Outside the Reviews / November 16, 2017

Every Nanowrimo I’ve done so far has brought some new experience with it. This year, so far… this year’s record is “most re-starts”. I didn’t hit it off with my first story idea, persisted for about 14K words, and then when I still didn’t like any of it I decided to start a new story. That one didn’t work either. I’m working on my third beginning now, and this time I love the story-idea. I’m still not confident in my own ability to write it, or at least write it as well as it deserves – but G. K. Chesteron once said, “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly,” and besides, I’m not about to break my Nano-win streak. So, current wordcount for my Nano novel: 3448 words. Someone send help. (A new muse would be good, or a box of writing ability. Failing that, chocolate.) Actually, speaking of chocolate, I decided to participate in the Nanowrimo swap this year: a participant-organized parcel swap, where writers trade small packages of useful things. Like chocolate. I got an absolutely wonderful partner, who sent me (among other things) an amazing ravenclaw hat, a new TARDIS notebook, and, yes, chocolate. The day that…

Brace Yourselves, Nanowrimo is Coming
Outside the Reviews / October 25, 2017

  Have you ever heard the writing advice, “Write the book you want to read” ? Well, that’s basically why I write things. A lot of things. Often, when I read a particularly good or bad book it inspires me to start something new, to play around with my own world and characters and FIX THE HORRIBLE MISTAKES okay sorry I promise my stories aren’t anger-driven but I recently read The Invisible Library and it’s The Reason I’ve revived an old idea about Libraries because I was so disappointed. (There are other reasons I write too, I just don’t feel like writing up a dissertation on Creative Writing right now.) I still have some notebooks filled with badly-spelled short stories from years and years ago (the first evidence of story-writing is from a journal entry dated in 2007), so maybe it’s not fair to blame everything on reading books? On the other hand, I was reading back then too. So what’s all this about NaNoWriMo? Well. *deep breath* NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month (November), and is also the name of a non-profit organization that encourages people to participate in the month. The official goal is to write a fifty thousand…

The Anatomy of Curiosity
Young Adult / July 22, 2016

Authors: Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, Brenna Yovanoff. Summary: In an unassuming corner of Brooklyn, a young woman learns to be ladylike, to love context, and to speak her mind from a very curious sort of tutor. // In a faraway land convulsed by war, a young soldier hears the desert’s curious hum as he disarms bombs with the person he doesn’t know how to love. // In a place so shriveled by drought that any drowning is a curiosity, a young writer tries again and again to tread water beneath the surface of a vast and unusual sea. (Published summary.) My Thoughts: This story collection is designed for young writers / those interested in writing, in that each author explains a little about her writing processes and includes notes in the margins of the stories. These notes were quite interesting, but the stories stand strong alone whether or not you’re interested in the writerly side. The stories were unusual and vivid. Each had a different style, as is expected in a collection of different authors, but they all employed an unusual premise and striking imagery. An excellent, imagination-catching collection with bonus notes. Content Review: Sexual content: “As Petra disembarked the…