Reading at Vroman’s Bookstore on August 6

I'm so excited about being one of twelve authors picked to read at this IWOSC event on Sunday, August 6 I just had to share it with you. If you live in the Los Angeles or Pasadena, please come on over to Vroman's Bookstore. Come hear what other members are working on. "IWOSC Reads Its Own" is Sunday, August 6, from 2 - 4 p.m. View this email in your browser IWOSC Reads Its Own   Sunday, August 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. – Everyone is invited! Twice a year IWOSC presents a special FREE event, “IWOSC Reads Its Own,” a spellbinding afternoon of eclectic, eccentric, and exemplary works – from poems to true stores to hilarious monologues and beyond, read aloud by distinguished IWOSC scribes. A dozen of IWOSC’s talented member writers will read short excerpts from their work. Their selections may be published, unpublished, or w … [Read more...]

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A month of culture

After seeing the movie “A Bigger Splash” yesterday, I felt the need to discuss some of the cultural events I’ve been to lately. Though reading is a huge part of my writing life, so are opera, theater, museum exhibits, and films. I think authors can gain perspective and insights from watching as well as reading. The events we watch “show” us life, which may be harder to discern from reading a book. “A Bigger Splash,” starring Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes, is a treat for the senses besides being a complicated love story. Fiennes, who barely stops talking, is a bundle of energy and movement throughout, while Swinton captures our attention by hardly uttering a word. The remote Italian island of Pantelleria where it is set is spectacular. Unfortunately, that’s all I’ll tell you – except that the food looks so beautiful and delicious, you’ll walk away very hungry. I don’t want to spoil it for you in hopes you’ll see it yourselves. “Disgraced,” a Pulitzer Prize and Tony winning pl … [Read more...]

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What happened in November

Since returning from our three-week trip to Central America, Raleigh NC, and New York City on November 6, I’ve been intent on getting back into my daily writing routine. Here’s what I did in November to start moving in that direction. Please note that I didn’t spend this month just writing. I think reading and seeing movies, opera, and plays are all grist for the mill and great learning devices. In November I: Wrote a poem every day to fulfill Robert Lee Brewer’s November 2015 PAD challenge – wrote the last one today Wrote a journal entry every day to fulfill my personal writing challenge Wrote a piece for Naturally Savvy – I have a blog there called Savvy Over 60 Wrote a piece about how I got my book published for an Authors Publish anthology - not accepted yet Read: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Marilyn by Gloria Steinem, Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee, and Room (the second time) by Emma Donoghue Started to read: The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr, … [Read more...]

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What I’ve been reading

Although my reading time has been limited since I’ve been working a full-time consulting job, I have managed to complete several excellent books. Here’s my list since April. Rabbit Remembered by John Updike – A novella that Updike wrote in 2000, several years after he finished the Rabbit quartet. It’s about the interjection of Annabelle, the illegitimate daughter to the now deceased Harry Angstrom, into the life of his middle-aged son Nelson, now separated from his wife Pru. Other key characters from the Rabbit series appear: Janice, Harry's widow, who has married Harry's old nemesis Ronnie Harrison; Judy, Harry's granddaughter, now nineteen, who plans to become an air hostess; and his fourteen-year-old grandson Roy, with whom Nelson communicates via email. It certainly was very satisfying to read how these characters turned out and to learn Rabbit did indeed father a daughter, which he suspected all along. This was a page-turner for me as were the four other Rabbit books. Man’s S … [Read more...]

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Why reading is important to writing

I'm thrilled to host Ava Louise while she tours her Intergalactic Matchmaking Services series with WOW! Women on Writing. She discusses one of my favorite topics - how very important it is for an author to read. I'm always reading something - lately books by Philip Roth and John Updike. I'm notorious for buying a new book or two before I've finished the to-be-read pile on my bedside table. Before I introduce you to Ava, please make sure you enter to win the Intergalactic Matchmaking Series by commenting here about your own reading list. Here's Ava: Thank you, Madeline, for having me as a guest. I feel safe in saying that for most authors, the road to writing is paved with books. As my bio says, I came to this writing life much later than many authors. While I joke that it took me over 40 years to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up, I’ve always known I needed books in my life. I don’t recall a time when I wasn’t an avid reader. Reading allowed me to escape “nor … [Read more...]

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John Updike writes love

I’ve been reading John Updike’s Rabbit quartet since December 2014, and I’m finally about finished with the fourth: Rabbit at Rest. I’m dragging the last fifty pages out because I know Harry (Rabbit) Angstrom, the main character, is going to die before I turn the last page. However, I’m happy to say I have one more Rabbit book to go – Rabbit Remembered – a 2001 novella still there on my book shelf. I’ve learned a lot from reading Updike. He’s a master of description – and very long and detailed descriptions at that. His characters are perfectly drawn. I’ve gotten so I can almost predict how each of them will react to certain situations. He also knows how to write about love and sex. While he can be very graphic at times, I found the following passage quite lovely and tame. I’ve always felt we can write erotically without having to go into all the gory details.   From Rabbit at Rest by John Updike: “…Her eyes widen in the dim face inches from his on the pillow. Ti … [Read more...]

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Summer reading blog hop

I’m so pleased that Susan Weidener invited me to participate in this blog hop and was so generous in her praise of my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On. I'm now paying it forward by recommending a few traditionally and independently published books for your summer reading enjoyment. Please include some of your favorite reads in the comments below. Adventures in Mother-Sitting by Doreen Cox. In this love story Author Doreen Cox shares her experience as a "care bear" during the last three years of her mother's life and how she learned to live with her mother's slow progression from a viable, interesting, lovable, and happy woman to a woman overcome by dementia unable to handle even her most basic bodily needs. And Doreen doesn't shirk away from those details. She repeatedly quotes her mother's mantra: "You just do what you have to do." Doreen gave up her as a career group counselor at an alternative school for at-risk and SED high school students to care for her mother, and she never re … [Read more...]

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Support an author month

This is a reblog from Cate Russell Cole's wonderful site: CommuniCate Resources for Writers. Books have been on my mind lately, and this is just the push I need to buy some more. Next on my list is something by John Updike. I've decided to catch up on his and Philip Roth's work in the next few months. There's a little used bookstore up on Main Street in Santa Monica, called Angel City Book Store and Gallery. I plan to be browsing there one day this week. Now here's Cate: Support an Author: Grab that Book You’ve Been Wanting ~ #saam14 Posted on May 23, 2014 by Cate Russell-Cole There is a pie shop near here that has the slogan, “Buy one so we both don’t go hungry.” It is one of the best advertising slogans I’ve seen. Books feed both the reader’s and the writer’s soul in so many ways. So, you know you’ve been meaning to… this week, your love task for Support an Author Month is to go buy that book you’ve planned to get, but didn’t get around to. Don’t forget, wherever you … [Read more...]

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