Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Focus on the good

It's been an emotional roller coaster week at work, so I am coming to this space in need of peace and a re-focused outlook.

A former student of mine came back to visit this afternoon, and we spent an hour talking about literature. I am thrilled and proud that she has started flexing her creative writing muscles, and I have a little teeny tiny bit of a feeling that my class had something to do with this. In fact, there are a number of my students who I have seen begin to write fiction while in my class. Dream, children, because you have so much more creativity than you realize! Nothing can stop you if you give yourself permission.

In book news, I finished two great books this week, but I've decided I REALLY have to stop reading author's notes: so far this year every author's note I've read has left me with a sour taste in my mouth. Soapbox: your story should be able to stand on its own. If you feel the need to write a note to your reader pointing out the theme of your story, you haven't done your job as a fiction writer.

Award-winning "Stuck in Neutral" by Terry Trueman is a high-interest, low-level YA read. The narrator has Cerebral Palsy and is considered a "vegetable" by his family. The ending is ambiguous, leaving the reader...well, read it and tell me how the ending left you!

"The Poe Shadow" by Matthew Pearl
is a delicious historical mystery about everyone's favorite brooder, Edgar Poe. I just finished this and I thought it was funny to hear about this while driving to work this morning. If you find Poe interesting at all, this is a great cozy mystery.

So what else are you reading this month? My exciting quest to conquer two books a week continues. A student let me borrow "The Lost Hero" and the first "39 Clues" book, both by Rick Riordan, so watch for my thoughts on these titles in the coming week.


  1. Stuck in Neutral is one of my favorite books -- thought-provoking, unusual perspective, makes one look a little longer, more thoughtfully at and think a little harder about those with special needs.

  2. The ending left me...unsteady. It was a great read!

  3. I'll have to check it out.
    Still making my way through "The Book Thief," at the moment. (It's great...just haven't had enough time/energy to sit down and read as much as I'd like!)

  4. Lory-
    I haven't read that one yet! Let me know what you think when you finish it!

    How's the writing coming?