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- 4 of 5 stars to A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum goodreads.com/review/show/30… 1 month ago
- 5 of 5 stars to The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui goodreads.com/review/show/32… 1 month ago
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Found via: The Rumpus
Published by: Fence Books
I don’t normally find myself being pulled in by poetry, but this seems intriguing. Hop on over to the Rumpus to read some excerpts within Liz Axelrod’s review – I think you’ll be tempted as well.
Is it humility? The sheer inability to be able to confidently say – “I’m a good writer?” Different than saying I can write. Because I know I can write, which is why I even bother trying in the first place. But in my experience, those writers who say – “I am a good writer, read what I wrote,” tend to be full of baloney. Bologna.
I think the best of us are rather plagued with the potential of writing poorly. Which is why we seek editors and writing classes and feedback. Which is why we’re always willing to change and grow.
This comes up, of course, because of recent experience. I’m working on a short story to submit for consideration to an Anthology. The only criteria I had was – submit something powerful. I knew I wanted to work on something new – it’s been a while since I’ve worked on a short piece and so, rather than edit something I already had, I wanted to create. But – thought powerful stories are inspiring, powerful itself, as a word, hardly does anything to immediately conjure up a plot.
So I thought, and thought, and thought and thought. And the deadline crept closer. And closer.
Friday night, the lightening struck. I was inspired by an article about a 14 year old prostitute who exchanged sex for a hamburger. My story really has not much to do with that actual article, but the article itself was enough of a shock to get the wheels turning. So I opened up a blank sheet and I got to typing, finishing my rough draft pretty quickly, over the course of an hour or two.
That’s when the anti-writer steps in. The confidence shattering devil sitting on my shoulder, effectively driving the creativity angel away. “What did I just do?” I ask. So I send it off to a trusted friend. I know she’ll give me good feedback – positive or negative, she’ll tell me exactly how it is. But it’s Friday night. And, though I know I can’t expect an immediate response, after having sent it off, I would put my life on the line just to get one. Just to know what she thinks RIGHT THEN. As can be expected, I spent the next four hours refreshing my e-mail on both the computer and on my phone.
OH GOD, MY FRIEND IS GOING TO HATE IT.
THAT WAS THE WORST PIECE OF GARBAGE YOU’VE EVER WRITTEN.
WHY DID I EVEN SHOW HER?
SHE’S GOING TO LAUGH AT WHAT A TERRIBLE WRITER I’VE BECOME.
GOD, I COULD HAVE DONE A BETTER JOB EIGHT YEARS AGO.
YOU SUCK AT WRITING!
WHY DO YOU EVEN BOTHER!?
I’m not sure how I find the strength to battle these demons and continue on to write another day. But I do, and I’m always glad for it. Because, I know I can. And so I do.
How do you fight?
I just registered to give away a mere 20 books on World Book Night – as part of the attempt to give away 1 MILLION books in one single night. You have to register before February 1stto be chosen as a book giver. World Book Night happens on April 23rd.
Everyone around the book blogosphere has been sharing this video. It’s pretty much amazing. Watch it.
Rating: 4 stars
This was, I think, my first foray into adult science fiction and I have to say, I found The Left Hand of Darkness to be absolutely wonderful. It’s the kind of book that everyone should read. Its themes of gender, humanity, politics, religion and communication/universal understanding are poignant and thought-provoking.
Genly Ai is an envoy from outer space, on the planet Winter (Gethen) to convince its leaders to join the Ekumen – a unifying faction that hopes to trade goods and knowledge between all known worlds. Because the inhabitants of Gethen are androgynous (sliding into a gender only once a month to mate during a time called kemmer) Genly’s journey is not just one in which he must cross a the unforgiving ice, but also one in which he must shed all preconceived notions of gender and, ultimately, humanity.
Some of my favorite quotes:
“A man wants his virility regarded, a woman wants her femininity appreciated, however indirect and subtle the indications of regard or appreciation. On Winter they will not exist. One is respected and judged only as a human being. It is an appalling experience.”
“To be an atheist is to maintain God. His existence or his nonexistence, it amounts to much the same, on the plane of proof.”
“Neither [a place of reward or punishment], child. There is just the world, it’s how it is. You get born into it and… things are as they are…”