23 May 2010

Writer’s Block . . . or lack thereof


I read an interesting phrase yesterday.  While surfing around some book lists of authors I want to read, I came across the website of Jodi Picoult.  While I’ve never read anything of hers, I did surf around her site because it seemed interesting.  And because she’s said to be one of the greatest authors of the day. 


Did you know Jodi Picoult doesn’t believe in writer’s block?


I find that interesting.  And I encourage you to stop believing in writer’s block.  Even if you feel you can’t write, write anyway.  It’s better to edit something that’s horrible than completely write something else entirely.  So go ahead and write a piece of crap.  Edit, cut, revise, cut, edit --- like crazy!!  And when you’re done, the worst thing in the world will be a the prettiest diamond you’ve ever written.


Stop believing in writer’s block.  It does not exist.

12 May 2010

Paradise Lost in summer reading


Yes, I’ve been gone.  No, I haven’t been particularly busy --- I just a). kept forgetting about blogging, b). did not find anything worth blogging about since Spring Break, and c). had to deal with reading Paradise Lost for a class.  And now I’m writing a paper on that same poem.


As an epic poem read by the literary, I can appreciate Paradise Lost for its beautiful prose, marvelous phrasing, and the subtle hints and references throughout all twelve books.  I can appreciate it as the only epic poem written in the conventions of Homer and Vergil and quite possibly Chaucer and Spenser, but in a language that does not require translation into the modern vernacular . . . yet.  The subtle language, the references to itself, to previous written epics, to the Bible . . . it’s all amazing to have been written by a blind man in hiding from the government.  Can you imagine?


And yet, as with Homer, it’s quite boring.


Seriously, I attempted to read it.  But to read nine hundred (!!!) lines of intense poetry where little if anything happens in a large amount of space is so trying, especially in these modern times where it’s “direct language or bust!”  You really have to enter another mindset to read it.  My way of dealing with that mindset is patience, which takes quite a bit of time, which is not allotted in class.  So I would try, fail, try again, and still fail.  And now I’m writing a paper on it (not my failing, the paper is about Eve). 


This week is finals week, and I’m getting through the week with the promise of television shows, books, and a to-do list for the summer.  Here is my list:


(to watch)

- Buffy the Vampire Slayer

- Pushing Daisies

- FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

- Avatar the Last Airbender

- Lost

- The Tudors

- Carnivale (though I’ve seen more than half of it already)


(to read)

- Neil Gaiman

- Ray Bradbury

- Arthur C. Clark

- Laini Taylor

- Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (this may prove to be harder than it sounds)

- Y: The Last Man (books 3 – end)

- Astonishing X-Men (part 3 – end)

- graphic novels in general



I always add an extra point just in case.  If you have any suggestions for things I might enjoy, please leave a comment below and I’ll look into it.  Wish me luck on my paper!