Sunday, May 27, 2007

What's with the book reviews?

I'm sure all three of you have been wondering what's up with the book reviews-for-entries lately. Well, you'd be right that it's a way for me to keep blogging here at A Vocational Duality, in the absence of pithier how-I-do-it posts. But it's also about the fact that book reviews are getting short shrift lately in print publications. My thinking is, we mothers are busy people. We don't have the time anymore to browse bookstores looking for that perfect book or series, so we need recommendations. At the same time, many of us are seeing our own books published, and need the support. With newspapers cutting back review space, blogs will become ever more important for these reasons.

So, I'm helping to buzz books that moms will like. Oh, and in the interests of full disclosure, the $20 gift certificates to Amazon.com don't hurt!

In other news, Poynter.org's Chip Scanlan discusses the "brief, daily session," which can be seen as a huge boon to busy writing mothers. “Learn to accept the planned outputs of brief, daily sessions as all the writing you need or want to do for the day," he quotes. "Being able to enjoy evenings, weekends and vacations without supposing you should be writing is an essential pleasure.” For himself, Scanlan writes, "For writers, granularity can serve as an approach to successfully breaking up writing projects, from deadline stories to more ambitious projects such as essays, articles and books, into multiple and manageable tasks, literary grains of sand, if you will. Otherwise, you may end up buried by the mountain of sand you think you have to climb."

That's helpful. I've found myself writing in 300-word spurts - whether blog entries for Family.com, a piece of flash fiction, or a paragraph or two in a short story or novel. The brief, daily sessions help me retain a sense of success in my fiction career while I'm caring for my boys. That I continue to work toward my goal even though I don't have a six-hour block of time to write in each day.

Speaking of flash fiction, you can find new stories at Powder Burn Flash and Flash Pan Alley. Happy reading!

2 Comments:

Anonymous Kelly said...

It's great that you plug away at the fiction. I have a project (YA novel) that languishes on the laptop, the first draft MS sitting in a desk drawer full of notations, waiting for me to give it some attention.

I think I need to get over feeling like I can only do it if I have big chunks of time.

4/6/07 4:50 AM  
Blogger Christa M. Miller said...

Kelly, I struggle with that feeling every day. Especially with regard to novels (both the one that's almost ready to go, but for one more revision, and its sequel[s]). The PDA helps but isn't a perfect remedy for those longer projects, even going chapter by chapter. And then there are all the projects the husband wants to get done, but he needs me to watch the kids... yeah. It's hard to make that kind of time!

4/6/07 10:00 AM  

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