Saturday Summation – 13 February 2016

Bits and pieces of things that caught my eye not only for my own interest, but enough to want to share with you, too…

Reading Stuff:

This post is probably my favorite of the past week. It’s a lovely story about a memory of a parent’s understanding not only of his child’s struggles, but of his joys. Some of my fondest memories are of going to the library with my mother and reading stories with her – that’s what this post from Josh Hanagarne is.

Not sure what to read next? Don’t care about the Goodreads challenges for how *many* books you will read (not that I’m disparaging those goals) – check out this fun way to find different things to read and discover in Sarah Davis’ library scavenger hunt.

 

Writing Stuff:

Agent Janet Kobobel Grant says that the one thing that every writer needs is “belief”. Belief in self, others, and purpose. That’s pretty much what it comes down to because honestly, even if a writer never publishes, she still has to believe that what she’s doing is what she wants, right? If you need a little inspiration or reassurance, this post is for you.

For an article that is meant to humorously show the “it only takes one yes” aspect of querying, I thought it was funny that the takeaway line for an agent who tweeted this article by Ken Pisani was “never feel pressured to give an agent an exclusive”. It’s good advice and I agree with her, but it was just an add-in to a post that was much more about the process of querying that those of us who are still journeying through this stage can appreciate. Form rejections? Yes (no grudges towards these – at least there’s a response!). Specific rejections? Yes (kind of useful, sometimes). Knowing that sometimes there’s a “hey, I’m interested”? YES. That is, indeed, the cherry. Keep at it, my friends.

Jenny Hansen says “dirty fighting [between characters] makes great fiction” and she’s right. When we get into arguments, we’re not always rational, though we might learn to get “better” about fighting. In fiction, however, we can learn a lot about a character in the way they fight. What do they say in the heat of the moment that they would normally never say out loud? How do they attack or insult? How do they react? Hansen touches on this, but even more so on specific “tactics” that our characters might use that can effectively heighten tension.

 

Recommended Reads:

A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara (A) [my review]

One Plus One – JoJo Moyes (A)

All American Boys – Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely (YA) [my review]

The Great Greene Heist – Varian Johnson (MG) [my review]

 

Video of the Week

I’d just as soon the floor routine for women’s gymnastics not have to include dance-like stuff, but I won’t begrudge those who can actually do that and still show off the athletic skill. Cheers to UCLA gymnast Sophia DeJesus for modernizing the dance moves in her floor exercise.

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