Chances are, you’ve seen on other pages of this website the kinds of content I used to post on this blog. I thought, what can I blog about that I’m not going to share somewhere else? The answer: groups. Info about the groups I’ve been active in lately.
A women’s book club that meets at my neighborhood library. For July, August, and September, the club selected read the following books:
a. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin: I’d call this book a wonderful example of commercial-literary crossover. It offers romance, mystery, and expertly developed characters. It’s a novel-length tribute to booksellers, books, and short stories.
b. Mount Vernon Love Story by Mary Higgins Clark: This novel is an endearing look at the relationship between George and Martha Washington. This book was Clark’s first, and it does a beautiful job of honoring the humanity of these historical figures. I recommend this one if you’re looking for a relaxing summer read.
c. The Wife between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen: This book features a man with money and his fiancée. Oh, and an ex-wife desperate to stop the impending wedding. I haven’t finished this one, but it’s keeping me on edge – in a good way. I recently arrived at a major plot twist.
2. Scribophile: This is an online critique and discussion community for writers of novels, short fiction, flash fiction, and nonfiction. You can even post your query letters for critique. Writers may understandably be nervous about posting their work online. I like that this site dates every post , so if there’s ever a question about who posted something first, the data is right there. The site is also carefully moderated and requires participants to critique several works posted by others before they can post their own work. For me, these components make me feel more comfortable about participating in an online critique group than I did before I became a member of the community. So far, I've posted a poem there for critique. Since then, I've revised the poem, and I'm working on collecting enough points from critiquing to post my revision.
As for the next two websites, I think I’ve discussed them before on this blog, but I didn’t feel right leaving them out. The last few weeks, I’ve been active on forums these sites offer.
3. StoryADay.org: On this site, I post my monthly writing goals. On the SWAGR (Serious Writers Accountability Group) Forum. This site offers a number of other writing-related resources. I find the ones on writing short fiction to be particularly helpful. This site is also the home of the StoryADay challenges. Twice a year, for thirty days, the challenge is to write a story a day. I participated in the challenge once, and it was liberating to know that the constraints of the event didn’t allow for self-critique and editing. If you’re completing a story every day, you just have to produce, no matter how silly or sloppy the result is.
4. DIYMFA: This site offers articles about all kinds of writing-related topics, online courses, forums, webinars, and other features.
At all three websites I listed above, some features are free; others come with a fee. However, in all cases, I would say that when you pay, you get your money’s worth. I hope to find time in the midst of my writing projects and teaching to keep participating in all the communities these sites offer.
I'm thinking about making the reading selections a regular feature of this blog. What you think?
For now, I'm signing off. A boy and a girl who live on opposite sides of a fence are waiting for me in my imagination.
Until the next post — happy reading, writing, wayfaring, and “wheelfaring. “