Saturday, September 28, 2013

Just In Case You Missed It...

Here is a link to Pandamoon all-star Rebecca Lamoreaux's fantastic blog post, recapping last Saturday's Panamoon Facebook party (which was all kinds of awesome). Her post also includes links to all of the other fabulous Pandamoon authors, as well as a link to the event itself (in case you happened to miss it). Thanks to everyone who came out and to all those who show their support. It means a lot to us.....

Come on, who doesn't like a good party?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Review: "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle"

I will have to say that Haruki Murakami's epic novel, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, isn't for everyone. It's imposing, prosaic and, at times, convoluted. It's a mind-bending reading experience that is somewhat akin to staggering through a labyrinth and not knowing whether you want to leave or travel deeper into the mystery. It is also a novel that made me want to come home and immediately delve into its pages, rather than relax in front of television, although at times I wasn't sure if I was swimming along the surface of the story, or drowning.... for the duration of the read I felt like I knew the characters intimately, though they were unlike anyone I've ever met and I was aware of many universal truths being unveiled before my eyes, though I wasn't sure what to make of them. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is challenging, but worth it: a complete contradiction back upon itself and well worth the time and mental energy needed to understand its secrets.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Stress and Writing

It's no secret that I've been a little overwhelmed lately. Physically, mentally, emotionally. It's been one of those months where I swear I've been put on some kind of hit list at my job and my body just wants to give up on me. The kind where all I really want to do is eat my weight in chocolate, drink a bottle of wine a day and sleep for fourteen hours at a time. You know what kind of stress I'm talking about....

I've been trying to keep it all together and not let the feeling that I'm drowning every time I take a breath affect my writing. I'm staying mostly on schedule with writing the first draft of my latest novel, but always, in the back of my mind, is the worry that I'm somehow letting all the stress ruin the writing. Which, of course, stresses me out even more and thus the vicious cycle continues.

Last night I couldn't sleep because I was obsessing over theme development in my book and then today was an especially hard day at work. This afternoon, I caught myself staring vacantly into the fridge for about five minutes without even realizing it, as if I somehow I would be able to subconsciously find the answers to all my problems hidden behind a half empty jar of pickles and a Tupperware of leftover gluten free spaghetti. I closed the refrigerator and suddenly it hit me: maybe I can USE these feelings in my writing. Maybe I can cash in on the frustration, anger and desolate sense of helplessness. I mean, those are perfect emotions for the characters I write about- why not let the stress work for me instead of worry about it so much?

This is probably easier said than done, but it's my new goal. If any writers out there have suggestions on how exactly to do this, I'd love to hear your thoughts. The stress isn't going away (any time soon, it seems) and the writing isn't going away (ever), so I've got to figure out how to make peace between the two. Wish me luck.

I don't want to be stressed out... I want to be like Vegas and not have a care in the world....

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Book Recommendation: "The Secret History"

If serious literature were to be marketed and sold next to the trashy gossip magazines at the supermarket check-out lines, it would take the form of Donna Tartt's The Secret History. This novel was guilty-fun, deliciously wrapped sordid scandals juxtaposed with Greek philosophy and ethical arguments, all set against the backdrop of an elite, small-town collegeThe novel clocks in at around four hundred pages, but you'll never notice because it reads with the pace of pulp fiction- it's near impossible to put down because the characters will burrow into your skin and haunt you whenever you're not turning the pages. You certainly won't love them- but you won't be able to walk away from them either. The Secret History reads like the illegitimate love child of E.M. Forester and Bret Easton Ellis. If that makes sense to you, then this novel should already be in your hands.