Weekend Reads #71: On Writing

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend.

Again, I hopped over to Sara Letourneau’s blog for inspiration because I couldn’t think of anything. In a recent Weekly Writer Wisdom post, she asked this question inspired by a William Gass quote (I focused on the questions rather than the quote in my response.):

How do you view the act of writing? If you could compare writing to other activities or process, what would you liken it to? Why? What other thoughts do you have when you read this quote?

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Weekend Reads #70: Water, Hot Water

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend.

Once again I’ve turned to Sara Letourneau’s blog for inspiration. In a recent Thursday Thoughtfulness post, she asked:

What was the last object you were grateful for, no matter how small, mundane, or insignificant it might seem? How would life be different if you didn’t have this object, or if it didn’t exist at all? How easy do you think it is for us to take everyday items or occurrences for granted? Finally, how often do you remember to view situations in a pragmatic way (i.e., to look at the good as well as the bad)?

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Weekend Reads #69: Reading and my beliefs

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend.

I often run out of ideas for discussion posts so along with Sara Letourneau’s Thursday Thoughtfulness and Weekly Writer Wisdom posts, which inspired my last Weekend Reads post, I’ll also look to the Book Blogger Hop feature for ideas.

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly book discussion meme that was created by Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and is now continued by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. It offers bloggers the chance to find new blogs, gain followers, and discover new books. It also provides a long list of discussion topics that stretch well into 2018, so no need to cast around for topics if you can’t think of any.

This week’s question was submitted by Maria at A Night’s Dream of Books:

Would you stop reading a book if an element of the plot strongly clashed with your personal beliefs, or would you continue reading until you finished the book?

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Weekend Reads #68: Cinderella

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend.

This weekend’s post is inspired by a Weekly Writer Wisdom post I saw on Sara Letourneau’s blog that asks:

What stories (novels, myths, legends, etc.) have taken up residence in your soul? How or why do you think they moved you to this degree? Has a story ever inspired you to do something new or different, change your worldview, etc.? Is this something you hope to accomplish with your own work?

Instead of focusing on several books/stories that have resonated with me, I’ll instead discuss one that has stuck with me since the first time I read it as a child, Cinderella.

We’re all familiar with this fairy tale about a girl who’s abused by her evil step-mother, attends a ball with the help of her fairy god mother, and is later rescued from her horrible life by a charming prince. I can’t recall having the story read to me, but I do recall reading it over and over again as a kid.

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What’s On Your Nightstand: January 2017

What's On Your NightstandWhat’s on Your Nightstand, is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books on the last Tuesday of every month that summarizes what you’ve read for the month, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan to read next. For my posts, I also include articles, music, art, TV shows, and whatever else I did in the month.

January was rough for me. After all the wrap-ups and reflections and look-ahead posts, I was drained and wasn’t in the mood to read or blog. I instead spent much of my time watching movies and TV shows and now have so many TV shows I want to keep up with that I’ll have to make a schedule for them. I also read a couple interesting articles because of the divisive administration currently in power in the U.S., but I didn’t keep track of them so unfortunately, I won’t be able to share much in that section. But, enough of my rambling. Here’s what I did in January.

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“Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination” by J.K. Rowling

very-good-livesGoodreads summary:

In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Now published for the first time in book form, Very Good Lives offers J.K. Rowling’s words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life, asking the profound and provocative questions: How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others?

Drawing from stories of her own post-graduate years, the world-famous author addresses some of life’s most important issues with acuity and emotional force. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Toward the end of last year, I visited the library and unsure of what to get, I grabbed whatever caught my eye. Very Good Lives was one of the three books I left with.

Very Good Lives is the published copy of a speech J.K. Rowling gave at Harvard’s commencement in 2008. It’s not the first that I’ve encountered it. I watched a video of Rowling giving the speech a couple years ago on Brain Pickings. There were several other commencement speeches in that post, including one by Steve Jobs, and all were uplifting.

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Reflecting on 2016: Life

Since getting my first job in 2012, I started assigning themes to my new year. For 2012, the theme was Hope because with getting a job, I hoped that my circumstances would improve and I would be able to manage my student loan payments. I forgot what the theme was for 2013, but for 2014 it was Progress. I wanted to build on what I attained in 2013 and continue to move forward.

For 2015, I wanted to Improve. I did well professionally in 2014, but not so great in my personal life. I needed to improve my health, relationships, and finances, and though I tried, I failed miserably in some areas and by the time 2016 rolled around, I was so angry with myself that I constantly berated myself for my failures. By reading Pema Chödrön’s Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better, I learned that such internal dialogue isn’t healthy and that failures can help us to improve. Sometimes they are blessings in disguise, but it’s all a matter of Perspective, which was the theme for 2016.

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