Here it is October, and I haven’t posted since July. I sure haven’t been a faithful blogger. I’ve been reading, listening, and writing, though.
Highlights on My Reading Map This Month
I read my book club’s October selection, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. It’s a YA novel about the too-often deadly consequences of fear, poverty, and racism. But it’s also a book about listening and reaching out to our neighbors no matter where they may live. It’s about finding common ground and being proud of where you come from, while also learning how to grow and move forward. Yes, it made me angry, and it made me cry, but it also made me laugh out loud on plenty of occasions. It’s a case study in phenomenal character development. It offers dialogue you can hear even if you’re reading the e-book rather than listening to the audiobook.
Speaking of audiobooks, I just finished listening to The Mystwick School of Musicraft, by Jessica Khoury. The audiobook is available on audible.com. The e-book/print book is available for preorder and will be released in January. The audiobook features excellent narration and a great musical soundtrack. If you love the Harry Potter books, I think you’ll love this book. At Myswick, spells are cast, not with wands but with musical instruments. This is a book about a girl who has lost her parents and feels like an outsider. She lives with her loving grandmother but dreams of going to Mystwick like her parents did. Can she get in, and if she does, will she fit in there? This is a book about the power of music, friendship, love, and loss.
Highlights On My Writing Map This Month
I took part in StoryADay September this year. The challenge was to write a short story every day of the month. Some days I wrote stories inspired by Grimm’s fairy tales but told from the perspectives of minor characters. Other days, I wrote stories in the world of the novel I’m working on. I may post a couple of those excerpts on my blog, or I may stitch versions of them into my novel. When I wasn’t playing with fairytales or writing stories about love in the face of race and class prejudices, I wrote stories inspired about Aubrey. You probably will see those on my blog at some point.
StoryADay taught me that when I work on some aspect of my writing process as soon as I get to my desk in the morning, I feel so much better about the day that follows. So these days, I wear my invisible writer costume (it looks like regular clothes.) for forty minutes each morning. In September, I drafted a story first thing every day. Today, I’m working on this blog post. Once I get this out, I think I’ll do research for an essay. I hope you’ll see that column on The Mighty in the coming months. After I submit it there, I’ll continue revising and submitting the poems I set aside to focus on StoryADay September.
One of My Favorite Months
Meanwhile, October is one of my two favorite months. (May is the other. More about that in May.) I’m all about cider, pumpkin flavored things, and caramel apples. I’m all about old houses, the stories they hold, and the desire we have to face fears in safe, fun environments. Maybe when we face fears, they have less power over us. So when I’m not writing or teaching, I’ll be reading some Poe, Dickens, and Lovecraft. Care to join me on a journey into some spooky classics?