Booknotes: Oscar and Lucinda

Screenwriting guru Syd Field often wrote/said: When you’re writing a scene, look for a way that dramatizes the scene “against the grain.” My book notes today are related specifically to this technique of going “against the grain”, using Peter Carey’s 1988 Booker-winning ‘Oscar and Lucinda’, as example. I have loved this novel since I first read it and still dip into my favorite bits from time to time. Continue reading Booknotes: Oscar and Lucinda

Booknotes: Jane Eyre

Originally posted on indiatopia:
In my book circles, the Austen vs Brontës debate has come up often. And, though I’ve come to appreciate Austen’s finer points over time, I have always preferred the Brontës. With the three Brontë sisters, there’s the Charlotte vs Emily debate (Anne, sadly, doesn’t get much airtime). This has been harder. For years, I stuck with Emily because I found ‘Wuthering… Continue reading Booknotes: Jane Eyre

On Supporting Writers

Recently, I watched a writer-editor friend run a crowdfunding campaign for a book anthology featuring works by promising writers of color and get barely any response. I must confess I was not in a position to contribute monetarily myself. It got me thinking, however, of what else I can do, non-financially, to support writers. So here are ten things I try to do to support other writers — both as a reader and a writer — beyond buying their books and without spending money I don’t have. Whether you’re a reader or a writer or both, you might also want to consider some of these. Continue reading On Supporting Writers

Social Media for Writers (Part 2)

In Part 1, at the end of February, I shared why, as a writer, I prefer Facebook as a social media platform and the ten ways I organize and ration my usage time to avoid that brain-as-scrambled-eggs scenario that makes it impossible to write. In this post, I am sharing ten ways of how I use Facebook as part of my overall writing practice. See, as writers, if we really want our writing to express our way of being in the world, we need to be careful about the words, ideas, opinions we put out there. That is all I am trying to do. Continue reading Social Media for Writers (Part 2)

5 short stories

Top Five Short Story Reads From March 2017

Fiction from real world events has been done since our cave-dwelling ancestors drew crude wall graphics or sat around fires telling each other embellished and exaggerated personal anecdotes. So, the first step for me, before I began my own such short story, was to look at examples of outstanding short fiction primarily inspired by headlines or real events. Below, you will find five such stories (free to read online, just click the story title link) from Roxane Gay, Robert Olen Butler, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Susan Glaspell, and Meera Nair. From quietly tragic to cleverly satiric to magically surreal, these stories do a whole lot more than tell us what simply happened: they show us the textures, shapes, and densities that might exist below the superficial layers and what that might mean for our own lives. Continue reading Top Five Short Story Reads From March 2017