My parents always told me stories as a child. Here’s a picture of all of us soon after I was born.
Normally, I don’t read YA books. It was never something I was into even as a high school student. Actually, I don’t even know if YA was a thing back then.
I happened to read Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell recently because I’d heard good things about it and liked the cover. I didn’t realize it was YA until I started reading it and when I did I almost decided to set it aside and read something else. High school was a nightmare for me. I’d rather not read anything that would bring up those terrible memories. I decided to soldier on and read the book despite my misgivings and I’m glad I did. Eleanor & Park is now on my favorite book list. [Read more…]
I’m planning on releasing the Barista at the beginning of the year. It was on this site for free for a while. Maybe you got a chance to read it then. I’ve made a lot of changes and corrections since that original book was on this site. I thought it would let you read the first chapter as a preview of the new book.
The Barista (A Starlight Cafe Novel)
Lisa swirled the foamy milk in the stainless steel pitcher as she hummed along to the remake of Across the Universe that floated through the tinny speakers in the ceiling behind her. The music was barely audible above the buzz of conversation in the coffee shop. Her father used to sing this song to her when she was little. It was then that she’d discovered the beauty of language. Before she had even known what a poem was, she had been searching for the perfect combination of words to express her feelings. In the large blocky scrawl of a child she’d write about her love for animals or her favorite teacher. She’d found that some words nestled into the lines on the page more comfortably than others. Their sounds all conveyed feelings beyond their meanings. It was only natural that she’d gravitate toward poetry, writing it, reading it, and recognizing it in the snippets of conversations she heard in the coffee shop she’d worked in for years. The Starlight Café was busy like it was most mornings. The air was overflowing with interesting words that captured Lisa’s imagination. [Read more…]
It’s back to school time. Now that the children are back in class you have more time to crack open a book. Check out these back to school reads that will remind you of being back in class.
Kathy looks back on her childhood in an exclusive boarding school in the English countryside. The innocent memories of childhood hide a sinister truth about the future of the students at the school who are constantly remained by their teachers about how special they are. As a young woman Kathy’s childhood friends Ruth and Tommy reappear in her life. I enjoyed this book tremendously. You can read my review here.
On Beauty is a witty novel that focuses on the lives of two college professors and their families. Howard Belsey is a white Englishman who teaches at a liberal college in the fictional town of Wellington Masschuettes. He lives with is black Floridan wife, Kiki, and their two children. Their marriage has had their ups and downs and they are struggling to hold things together.
The Kipps family is a Trinidadian family living in England. The father, Monty, is also a college professor. Unlike the Belseys the Kipps are very conservative and Christian. Throughout the book, the two families’ lives become increasingly intertwined.
Frontera is the elite school of the future dedicated to educating the worlds very best. Jennifer Ramos Kennedy is from an influential family suffering from loss who is starting her freshman year at Frontera. Jenny is eager to forget about the problems on an Earth ravished by climate change and have a normal college experience: dating and hanging out with friends. Jenny starts to notice that things are amiss at her college and has to step forward to help save the world.
So you saw me do the 30 Day Flash Fiction Challenge and you’re feeling like you want to give it a try too. Good for you. I think we can always use more short fiction in the world and one of the best ways to improve your writing is to write … a lot … Every. Single. Day. To be honest, before the challenge I hadn’t been doing that at all. That’s why it came about. It was a way to whip my lazy behind into shape. It worked. If you want to establish the habit of writing fiction this challenge is a good place to start. Here are some things I learned along the way.
I’m very much influenced by what other people are doing. Constantly looking around at what everyone else is doing to see what I should do is my weakness. Most writers I read about wake up early and write in the morning. I’ve tried to force myself to do that too. It doesn’t work for me. In the morning, I write garbage mostly. Waking up too early makes my brain hurt. I’m useless in the morning, but after dinner, once the rest of the day is out of the way writing is a breeze. It stops being torture and starts being magic. [Read more…]