The Well

I know a lot of random information, and I have the blessing-curse combo of being able to see every side of a problem. I figured I could put all this to good use. So I’ve introduced “the Well,” my contribution of knowledge to the world. Ask me anything–advice on a relationship problem, how to make your own jewelry, what book you should read next, how to properly use punctuation, whether the moon is made of cheese, etc. The world is your oyster, and I want nothing more than to help you harvest the pearl. So ask away!

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12 Books to Read by Age 12

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly link-up hosted by The Broke and the Bookish that’s all about, you guessed it, top ten bookish lists. This week’s prompt is ten books that you’d want your future children to read, but I’ve decided, for the sake of a catchy title, to be more ambitious than that. So here’s a list of twelve books that all children should read or have read to them before they’re twelve, by someone whose only qualifications are a love of literature, a college degree in it, and strong opinions about what makes for good books.

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An Excerpt from My Current NaNoWriMo Project

The words roll themselves around in my mind, bouncing off the places where I’m pretty sure there’s supposed to be the pythagorean theorem and some emotions or something. But it just feels like empty metal walls, the kind that bouncy balls deflect off of with just a bunch of dull thuds, scattering everywhere so you inevitably lose one. Or six. The balls come to a rolling, stuttering stop as my middle finger—a deliberate choice, mind you—holds down the backspace key. When Dr. Kellerman asked for us to keep a journal this semester, I don’t think he meant for us to get that deep. Even if he did say to write wherever the muse takes us. Though, to be fair, I don’t think it’s necessarily my muse steering me toward Graham. Unless of course my muse has some kind of muse mental disorder and never freaking leaves me alone. Seriously, who’s ever heard of a clingy muse? I’ve never been that lucky. I honestly think I used up all my luck winning a rabbit at the county fair when I was six by throwing a ping pong ball into the properly colored floating glass bowl. I’m not kidding. I haven’t won a raffle or game of chance since. (more…)

12 Gifts for the Book Lover in Your Life

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The holidays are coming up quick, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve already started Christmas shopping. (End of season sales, man. That’s where it’s at.) But some people are just hard to shop for. Either they buy everything they want or need, or they have simple tastes and don’t like clutter, or you’ve just somehow missed with every present you’ve ever gotten them. I love shopping for gifts, but those people just frustrate me. And since I hate giving out gift cards or buying directly from a list, I’ve had to get creative.

So, for all of you who, like me, have reached your wits’ end with certain friends or family members, here are a few ideas for your favorite bookworm. (more…)

Six Tips for Better Editing

What’s your process for editing a story after you’ve written and keeping interested in said story enough to edit it?

—Jaime

First, thanks a billion for your question, Jaime. Seriously. A billion.

I’m honestly still working on the process, unless you’re asking about physically how I do it, in which case I have the original draft up on one screen, the draft I’m working on up on another, and a bunch of notes scattered in front of me. As for the actual writing process, I only have one full-length novel draft so far, and I haven’t yet found the willpower to edit it again, though I have a lot of ideas for it. Even my poems are turning out harder than I thought to edit. I just can’t look at my own work objectively enough to know if the changes I’m making are better or worse. But I’ve found a few tricks that have worked for me on shorter stories, so I’ll list those out. (more…)

Nothing But NaNo (Hah.)

I’ve decided to do nanowrimo this month. I have exactly 249 words. So naturally I’m writing a blog post instead of a novel.

I’m just not feeling it. Too many people. Too much to do. Season two of Stranger Things. All the procrastination. And I’m already so far behind, will I ever really catch up? Let’s be real. No, I won’t. Because this month just keeps getting busier. So my personal goal is 20k. It’s just not the same without being able to meet a goal on paper, you know? (more…)

Top Ten Unique Book Titles

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly link-up hosted by The Broke and the Bookish that’s all about, you guessed it, top ten bookish lists. This week’s prompt is top ten unique book titles. Unique is such a vague term, so I’m taking it to mean unexpected and out of the ordinary, which is still hard, because a lot of book titles are crazy unique, we’re just used to them. But anyway, here goes.

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Literary Magazines, or Why I Have a Headache

So, I’ve decided to take this whole writing thing seriously. (Who’s heard that before? Show of hands.) But actually.

For the past few days, I’ve been researching literary journals, trying to decide where the best place to send my poems (and essays and short fiction, if I ever manage to write them) would be. Not only are there literary journals, there are literary magazines and literary reviews and zines and things that vehemently deny labels, and no, I have no idea what the difference between them is. I’m starting to suspect there’s not really a definable difference. But, I digress. (more…)