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

Published: A Kentish Summer (The Vignette Review)

“For the present, I have done all my parting. A big, fat family wedding celebration ended this morning. It has weathered me some more, this long week of my sister’s brood dashing against me ceaselessly like frothy waves. But I have raised a strapping, fair son to her three short, dark daughters. A healing man, he is doing his bit for the country in distant places. There’s something to be bitter about: him not coming home for over a year. I am easily cast off for others. All we ever seem to do with people is meet and part, meet and part.” Continue reading Published: A Kentish Summer (The Vignette Review)

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)