To You Who Are Doing Rejection Wrong

I’ve been rejected more than you. I don’t know, maybe I haven’t. But I’d be willing to bet I have and I hate gambling. I’ve been a writer knocking on the door of the publishing game for nineteen years, nine books, dozens of short stories, articles, and poems. My failure to success ratio is about one hundred to one and that’s all I’m going to say about that.  The only reason I’m mentioning my rejection rate now is because my long history of hearing “no thank you, not at this time” gives me authority to say to you this: You are doing…

Read Books

At an interview today, a lovely journalist asked me if I read all the time. Answer: I do. I read every day. But reading isn’t a chore. This isn’t a blog for Puritans, despite the writer’s distaste for fun and compliments. When I was a kid, I loved the library. I spent hours there. I came home with piles of books. I read them with great pleasure. I love the library in the same way now, except that I can order books ahead of time and find them waiting for me there with my name tag attached. That’s like Christmas…

What Are You Reading? NaNoWriMo Edition.

On Facebook today, National Book Award Finalist Karen E. Bender (of the excellent Refund, among many others), suggested that during National Novel Writing Month, every participant buy a novel as well as write one. If each one of the estimated 300,000 NaNoWriMo writers bought a novel as well as wrote one, that would be awesome. “Just a thought,” Karen said. A great thought, I say. NaBoReMo I will call it, because short story collections are my obsession right now. Also, I like to spice it up with some nonfiction once in a while too. With reading, I flail around. To get your book buying show…

What Are You Reading?

My favorite question in the world to ask and answer is, “What are you reading?” I stepped up my reading game as I finished my graduate school program last spring. For a long time my answer to my favorite question was probably an article about successful strategies for teacher mentoring in Australia. Australians are doing a lot of interesting research on this topic, if you want to know. My reading list since spring has been much more varied. My reviews are always four and five star because I don’t continue reading things that don’t interest me. I am a very rude…

I Heart YA

I decided this year to make my students read books for fun. If they aren’t having fun reading their books then I instruct them to pretend they are having fun so effectively that I am unable to tell the difference. In discussion about their books, one student admitted that the YA novel she’d brought was so poorly written it was getting in the way of her fun. She read the first two sentences aloud. Total clunkers. We had to agree that the writing was no fun. We couldn’t even pretend it was fun. Yet some of my favorite writing occurs in the YA novels I…