Monday, March 26, 2012

Blog Awards!

I am so excited to share that I received a blog award! Thank you to Vanessa Eccles for giving me this award! Vanessa Eccles is the author of a wonderful blog The Writer's Block. I highly recommend her blog to everyone.

Liebster, I am told, means "favorite" or "beloved." The award is given to bloggers with under 200 followers. These blogs are "the best kept secrets" out there.

Now, I get the honor of bestowing this award upon five other "best kept secrets." Here are some of my favorites:

1. Tamara at Book Ruckus.

2. Tinika at By His Design.

3. Joyce at Joyce's Choices.

4. Jean Vogler at Finding Your Gibbee.

Winners, here are the rules to participate:
  1. Thank the person which nominated you in a blog post.
  2. Nominate up to five other blogs.
  3. Let them know via comment on their blog.
  4. Post the award on your blog.

Friday, March 23, 2012

What's On Your List?

I am a constant list-maker. I have a To Do list, Grocery List, and a Reminder list going at all times. The notion struck me this week that I also have a few other important ongoing lists. I am constantly adding to my To Read list as well as my Currently Reading list. Each of these lists then feeds directly into my Read list and Favorite Books list. I love keeping up with the books I have read or am currently reading or that I plan to read. I use Goodreads and this site helps to keep my lists organized and allows me to connect and discuss with other readers and even authors. I want to share a few of the books on my personal Favorite Books list and also share the books that I have on my Currently Reading list.

Ten of my favorite books (series books count as one work on my list):

Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man
A Lesson Before Dying

On Writing
The Midnight Club


The Hunger Games Series

Here is what I am currently reading (for school and for fun):

The Help
The Return of the King
Women and Writing
Psalms of Me
Criticism Major Statements
The Bridge of Deaths

I have had a lot of fun sharing these lists. What is on your Favorite Books list? Currently Reading list?

Happy reading leading to happier writing!

Cover Art for each book obtained via Goodreads.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Read Like a Writer

I have heard the advice in the past “read to write.” I had absolutely no idea what this meant until I found myself reading like a writer, and I didn’t even know it. I try to read many articles on what makes a writer’s work good and what a writer can do to improve this or that. Recently, I have begun to notice a great pattern. Almost every writer’s advice article that I have read in the past month has mentioned this in some way. Read like a writer. Read in order to be a better writer. Read in order to learn. Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz was interviewed in this month’s Writer’s Digest. One of the bits of advice asked of each author featured in the article Eye on the Prize was “No. 1 Craft Tip.” Diaz stated very simply: Read. A fellow blogger posted an author interview with Sarah Allen at The Writer's Block where she asked the question “If you could give any advice to other writers, what would it be?” The first answer again: Read.

This got me thinking. If I could write like any author who would it be? I am not saying everyone should imitate another author. That would be missing the point entirely. So much can be gained by reading a great and successful work. Read someone’s work that pulled you in so fully you couldn’t wait to read what would happen next. Suzanne Collins, for instance, with her Hunger Games Trilogy had me turning pages as fast as I could until I could finally reach the end of the story. I feel that Ms. Collins has a masterful way of creating characters that we, as readers, become emotionally attached to. I want to write characters this way!

All of these things have made me realize that every book I am reading is more than just good entertainment. Every book can be a learning tool. When I am stumped over certain issues, I have begun asking myself “How does (insert author’s name here) do this?” How does Suzanne Collins introduce each character? How does J.K. Rowling make me care for Harry Potter? How does Stephen King create his plot? What can I learn from best-selling authors about telling stories? What can I learn from them about…well, everything?

I am going to keep asking myself these questions. I am also going to keep reading and rereading and learning. Reading like a writer is no chore. You just pick up a book and go for it. All of these authors simply can’t be wrong about this.

Keep reading like a writer, and keep writing your heart out!

Photo by: Emily D. Wood
Copyright (c) Emily D. Wood

Friday, March 2, 2012

Poem: The Library

The following is a poem I wrote for a creative writing class. We were told to describe a place using a poem. This was one of my earliest works that I ever attempted for a creative writing class. I chose to describe one of my favorite places: the library.

The Library

By Emily D. Wood

The red brick building stands as a king presiding over his court;

The glass double doors open to reveal a pure white tile foyer.

Footfalls echo with each step toward the true destination.

The shelves stretch from wall to wall and ceiling to ceiling.

Books resting upon their shelf-home create a menagerie of color.

Wooden sable-colored tables stand in rows between the widest aisles

accompanied by chairs covered with azure cushions

cross-grained with orange and red threading.

The scent of aged book pages lingers in the air

as the tightly-woven gray carpet mutes all footsteps.

The noiseless attitude radiates from wall to wall,

the only sound the crisp turning of pages.

Faint whispers are heard from time to time,

but the voices are practically inaudible.

The stories within books beckon in passing

as they beg for their secrets to be revealed.

Hardbacks and paperbacks nest between bookends

waiting for their adventures to be discovered.

Copyright © Emily D. Wood