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Posts Tagged ‘reading’

Reading was my favorite pastime as a child and teen. Even today, a good book and the time to enjoy it make me happy. Which is one of the reasons I write.

When I write, whether a story, poem, or entire book, I try to create something I want to read. It seems a waste of time to create something which you, as the writer, don’t want to read! On the flip side of the coin, when I read an amazing book, I always think, “I wish I’d written this book!”

So what were my favorites as a child/teen? Mysteries: Nancy Drew mysteries (which I swapped with several friends, so we all had a chance to read many of them) -plus, I must confess to reading quite a few Hardy Boys mysteries, too! Magical tales: from the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and others. Folktales. Stories tinged with history, like Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series and Lucy Maude Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables books, plus books of “real” history. JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit, CS Lewis’s  Chronicles of Narnia, L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz books, Lewis Carroll’s  Alice in Wonderland, Andre Norton’s Witch World series… The list goes on and on.

And the best part of loving to read, was the adults in my life (parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles, cousins, dear family friends) encouraged me to read. They allowed me to be me, and didn’t force me to join a sports team or other activity just because everyone else was doing it.

I’ve tried to encourage my sons and daughter to find activities they enjoyed, and celebrated the differences between my kids. I try to do the same with my grandkids. Each grandchild is sure to find a path which suits them – and I’m happy each of the paths will be unique. And I’m not the only one. Here’s a link to Home and Garden Channel’s Fixer Upper and Magnolia Market, Joanna Gaines’s post on celebrating her child who’s a reader.

So on this warm July day, no matter your age, enjoy a book! Better yet, share your love of reading with a child.

 

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One of the most exciting and scary things an author has to do is the “Author Talk.”

I’ve been to many “Author Talks.” Some were so wonderful, I recommend attending this author’s events to fellow readers/writers (Sherman Alexie, Neil Gaiman, and Alice Hoffman come to mind). Some were so awful, I recommend not attending this author’s events to fellow readers/writers. (No, I’m not going to name names). Most were just “okay.”

Which beings me to a good article by Matthew Dicks, Re-imagining the Author Talk in Three Parts, published in Huffington Post. I hope you find the article as informative as I did. Here’s the link.

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green angel I had the great pleasure of hearing Alice Hoffman read her work and speak about her writing at a Maryland library last year. I went to the reading/talk with a friend who is crazy about Alice Hoffman’s work. (Even crazier about it than me!)

I think there’s nothing quite like hearing the words of a writer in her (or his) voice. To listen to the emphasis the creator places on a word or phrase, and notice the slight changes in facial expressions or tone of voice when the writer comes to a favorite part of the story is like peeking behind the curtain in Oz. It lets you see a bit of the person behind the words.

I have quite a few Alice Hoffman books on my shelves: Practical Magic, Green Heart, River King… plus, my autographed copy of The Museum of Extraordinary Things. I find wisdom in many of her books, and great truth in this Wednesday’s quote from her:

“It is the deepest desire of every writer, the one we never admit or even dare to speak of: to write a book we can leave as a legacy. And although it is sometimes easy to forget, wanting to be a writer is not about reviews or advances or how many copies are printed or sold. It is much simpler than that, and much more passionate. If you do it right, and if they publish it, you may actually leave something behind that can last forever.” – Alice Hoffman

Here’s to writing something worthy of good reviews, an advance, lots of copies printed and sold – and most importantly – a book worthy of leaving behind when my time has run out.

Like my posts? Why not stop by my Amazon page and buy one of my books? Thanks, and have a magical week. – Vonnie

 

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Vonnie2 The end of May is always a busy time for me. Why? Balticon, the Baltimore Science Fiction Society’s annual convention, is held on the Memorial Day weekend: http://balticon.org For more than 20 years, I’ve helped with the Poetry Workshop with the encouragement of my friend and this year’s con chair, Patti Kinlock. (Of course years ago, Balticon was held on the Easter weekend – and I must say I’m grateful it’s in May nowadays).

Many writers don’t bother to attend conventions and conferences, but I find it’s a good idea to interact not only with readers (and fans), but with other writers. Sometimes you just chat and listen to what others have to say about writing, publishing, and editing on the various panels, but often writers have the opportunity to network. In my case, several invitations to submit to anthologies have come about because I attended a con.

I encourage writers (and would-be writers) to attend conventions and conferences. Soak up as much information as you can and take the time to network. I encourage readers to attend cons where authors and illustrators are talking about their craft, autographing their books, and happily meeting their fans. Maybe one of your favorites will be there, or perhaps you’ll discover a new author whose books are just up your alley!

As for me, this Saturday and Sunday, I’ll be at Balticon in Hunt Valley, Maryland. I’ll be reading with 2 other Young Adult authors at 10AM on Saturday, May 25th and autographing at 5 PM. Plus, I should be at the Broad Universe table www.broaduniverse.org for most of Saturday if you’re interested in chatting or purchasing one of my books. On Sunday, May 26th I’ll be participating in the Broad Universe Reading at 9 AM, leading the Poetry Workshop at 12 noon, attending the Poetry Awards at 1:50 PM, and spending an hour with Cold Moon Press at 8 PM. So please stop by and say “Hi!”

For those who can’t attend Balticon, here are links to 2 guest blogs by me on the Young Adult Cross-Over Market: http://patriciastoltey.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-young-adultcross-over-market-by.html and The Wisewoman Archetype: http://sandywriterblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/guest-post-from-vonnie-winslow-crist-the-wisewoman-archetype/ I hope you enjoy the guest posts.

Skean copy I’ll be doing more guest posts and interviews this spring and summer as I promote The Enchanted Skean. And I’ll be hoping for good reviews from readers, bloggers, and reviewers alike. As for cons – I’m planning on participating in Hallowread: www.hallowread.blogspot.com , Darkover: www.darkovercon.org and maybe one more. Have a Happy Memorial Day Weekend and keep on reading!

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I’ve been going through the books on my shelves, and slowly entering ratings on Goodreads.

I’m amazed by how many books I’ve read. Since I was a little girl, I’ve been a reader. Every time I could find a book and a little hideaway spot, I’d slip into a story or try to digest some factual information.

book-case-door-after In the house where I grew up, I shared a bedroom with one of my sisters. Our dad had desks and bookshelves built into the walls in our second floor bedroom so we’d always have a place to study and store our books. But the part of our bedroom I loved the best was the area under the eaves accessed through hidden doors in our closets.

Supposedly for storage, countless books were read in those hidey spots by flashlight’s beam or by lamplight. I was so enthusiastic about reading in my hidden room that I smuggled in an old lamp and a rug to sprawl upon.

I had a room of my own for a couple of years before I married and moved out. When the remaining part of the second floor was converted into a bedroom,  my father had hidden doors to access the eaves added in that bedroom, too. But what was even better, he had a window seat built in the alcove created by two large closets. Nestled in that alcove with the sunshine or moonlight pouring through the window, I traveled many worlds curled up beneath a blanket, leaning on a pillow, with a book in hand.

Deepak Chopra said: “You will be transformed by what you read.” And I agree. Every book we read changes us just a bit. And after we’ve read them, a few books leave their mark on us for life.

As a writer, I hope something I’ve written will connect with my readers. Perhaps my words will bring them joy or help them smile. Perhaps my words will tug at their heart-strings or help them look at their world through new eyes. And maybe if I work hard enough on my craft, my words will make a difference.

Please stop by my page on Goodreads and become a Fan or Friend or Both: http://www.goodreads.com/vonnie_winslow_crist  Then, pick up a book, find your favorite reading spot, and be transformed.

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