First off, Happy Independence Day to all our fellow Americans! Please be safe, and don’t blow any fingers off if you’re playing with fireworks. It makes writing a tad difficult.
My pick for my classics rant is… probably a tad controversial (similar to Lissa’s pick with Invisible Man).
A Classic I Loathe:
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer/The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
I’ve heard great things over the years about Mark Twain’s stories. Some of his books are still on my ‘want to read’ list, such as The Prince and the Pauper. I picked up The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn years ago because I’d heard that they were some of the best American literature (and Wishbone made it sound like a neat story!)
I didn’t make it very far, and what I came away with was a lasting impression of:
Mark Twain is why the rules about dialogue tags, and using dialect and colloquialism in fiction, exist.
I’ll be honest – I was tempted to do this as a video post. But then I realized I would have to clean way more than I was willing to. I think I swept up all the stray dust/fur bunnies, but if not, just ignore any you see in my photos. The bunnies are shy. 😉 Continue reading
My introduction to the classics was completely voluntary. I was homeschooled, and my mother decided not to require a literature course from me at all to graduate high school. (To be fair, the course teaching me how to balance a checkbook was probably far more useful, and a skill I am very grateful for now.)
There were a few reasons to her decision about literature. First, I read a lot on my own. I read encyclopedias for fun, even, and it was clear even at a young age that my critical thinking skills were not lacking. Until puberty hit, at least. Second, there was a lot going on in my home life as a child, much of it not good (though not horrendously bad, compared to many other people). We learned the important things, and sometimes there wasn’t time or energy left for anything else. Third, I don’t think my mother had a good introduction or experience with literature during her own school days – either grade school, or college – and she probably was at a loss of how to teach it to me or my siblings. I know one of her most memorable moments was in one of her literature classes in college, when she had to read The Two Towers. But she hadn’t read The Fellowship of the Ring, and so I’m sure you can imagine that was more than a little… confusing.
I read a few classics in my school days (The Scarlet Letter, and several of Jane Austen’s works, for the most part) but didn’t start branching out into the ones that had always caught my eye (the ones I sometimes set back because I didn’t know if my mom would let me read them because she might think they were too scary) until I was in college.
My ‘rave’ for today is one of those. Continue reading
‘Brain fog’ is not considered to be a medical condition in and of itself, but the medical community has begun to recognize its affect in recent years.
So what is brain fog?
Writing is not easy on us – either mentally, or physically.
Depending on the type of content we write, it can mess with our mood and put us in a strange sort of head space where our characters are more real than anything else – and that’s not always a good thing. The act of writing can also inadvertently dig things up from our past, things we didn’t realize still needed to be dealt with, if we even knew about it at all.
And those hours we spend staring at an artificially lit computer screen, hunched over a keyboard, pounding away until our fingers and wrists ache. And our heads ache. Because we weren’t made to stare at a computer screen only inches away from our face all. day. long.
But we do.
And we forget to eat. Or we get so busy with a story that we simply decide not to eat because it’s always “I just need to get this last thought onto paper.” And that thought grows and grows and grows… and suddenly it’s been five hours.
This isn’t even taking actual illness – chronic or acute – into consideration, because we writers think we’re immortal because of our words. Sadly, our bodies don’t work that way, either.
And so we need to counter the abuse we put our bodies and minds through.
That’s what “The Writer’s Pursuit of Health” is going to tackle, starting next week. Stay tuned!
Writing rules – and our favorite ones to break – has been a topic that repeatedly comes up at Ferret Business Meetings when we’re just chattering. (Yes, we have business meetings! Those are what keeps this blog on track!) One of the more common sayings in the writing community is that you have to know the writing rules before you break them, so you know how and when to break them properly.
But sometimes writing ‘rules’ are really writing pet peeves, and so much of it is dependent on genre. (Note: we are not talking about grammar rules here. Those are necessary, and while they can be bent, most of them cannot be completely broken. Learn them. Know them. Become one with them.)
In the last few years in the writing world, especially those who write/read fantasy, I’ve heard a lot of negative comments about flashbacks. It took me a bit by surprise. Continue reading
When you’re a writer, it’s easy to be inundated with advice. Most of it is well-meant, and much of it works for many people. Some of it, though, can come with a somewhat… demeaning edge.
You aren’t really a writer if you don’t write every day.
That’s probably the one I’ve struggled with the most.
But… that’s ridiculous. Because that’s like saying a doctor isn’t a doctor unless he sees patients every day. Yeah, right.
Yes, that’s right, it’s time for another series from the RRFS! (Please note, we created the lovely banner with the picture Lazy Limbs by Michael via Flickr’s Creative Commons with the CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license. The image was slightly resized, and our text added. No other changes made.)
Do you ever feel like, no matter what you do, you can’t find creative balance? There’s always chores to be done, meals to be cooked (and, most importantly, eaten!), people to see, places to go… How does one do it all?
Well, sometimes you just don’t. And we Ferrets have, appropriately, not even started on this particular series yet (I’m writing this the evening of April 25th, and it will go live on April 26th). We usually have a series mostly written and pre-scheduled at least a couple of weeks before the introduction goes live. Oh well!
The fact is – sometimes you can’t do it all. But you don’t have to lose your creative balance just because you’re overwhelmed, but it’s okay if you falter a little.
So every Tuesday in May, we will take turns discussing how we deal with being creatively off-balance. Stay tuned!
Is your creative life on- or off-balance currently? If you could change one thing about your creative struggles right now, what would it be?
I was supposed to have a Ferret post up, well… last Tuesday. Last Tuesday came and went, and Friday arrived, and I looked at my blog calendar and went, “Oh. Oops.”
I had originally planned to do a post on… something else. Probably worldbuilding. But I kept hitting a stumbling block. And then I decided to write about my stumbling block, and realized it fit quite well with ‘The Middle Years’ series we’d just finished up, so… bonus post!
Warning: this post is very long. But I suspect there’s a lot of people out there, besides me, who need it.
It’s been two and a half years since I had a consistent writing habit. Usually, I go weeks at a time without picking up a piece of fiction I’m working on. Continue reading
Hello, readers! Welcome to 2016! We hope the year has been treating you well. It’s been a mixed bag for the Ferrets so far, it seems. But life is life.
Today, we’re kicking off our 5-week series about ‘The Middle Years’. If you missed the intro, or need a reminder about what we’re tackling with these posts, you can read that here. Continue reading