There are a couple of writing challenges that begin in April. One of them is Camp NaNoWriMo. This is part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) , also known as “let’s try to write an entire novel during the business month of the year for everyone who is not an accountant.” Think about it. People are preparing for a variety of holidays. Students are ramping up for finals or midterms. No Bueno.
April, on the other hand, is usually pretty open for me (sorry tax preparers). I considered participating in this challenge, but I literally finished and submitted a large writing project on March 30. I’m sketching out my next one, but I could use a break from sprinting toward the finish line.
I did come across a challenge that could be more my speed this month. The Blogging From A-Z Challenge. The premise is that beginning tomorrow, April 1, you blog a letter a day. Any topic, just follow the alphabet. Sundays we get a break.
Here’s the signup and rules. My badge is there ========>
Tune in tomorrow to watch me make an A of myself.
I’ve been a big reader for as long as I remember. The last few years I have been slacking off though. Mostly because there are a million distractions from binge watching Vampire Diaries to live tweeting reality shows to trying to find the end of the internet.
I think another problem is that I tend to read multiple books at once, so I never get really engaged in a single book. If I’m not dying I find out what happens next, when I have down time I’m more likely to fool around on my iPad than I am to crack open a book.
But I have stacks of unread books, so the first step will be to power through them. A couple of self-imposed rules:
1. One book at a time.
2. Non-fiction books don’t necessarily need to be read cover-to-cover.
3. I don’t have to finish every book, but I need to give each one a chance, then let it go if I don’t want to finish it, I can just let it go. Donate or whatever, but I don’t need to add it to the guilt pile.
Here are the first ten I am starting with:
This is your Brain on Music — Daniel j Levitin
The Falls — Joyce Carol Oates
Last Train to Paradise — Les Standiford
Highland Fling — Nancy Mittford
The Flu Season — Will Eno
The Ultimate Sales Machine — Chet Holmes
Behan, the Complete Plays — Brendan Behan
A First Rate Madness — Nassir Ghaemi
Content Marketing — Rebecca Lieb
American Buffalo — Daved Mamet
What are your strategies for making reading a priority?
Off Duty Cab
I was reading an interview of David Sedaris in the October 2013 (I know) edition of Writer’s Digest and he mentioned a conversation he had with a woman at one of his book signings:
“I heard on the radio that you were going to be here. Normally I take my bra off and it’s off for the night. I put my bra back on for you.”
He asked the next woman in line, “When you take your bra off, is it off for the night?”
“Oh, hell yeah,” she responded.
Hell yeah indeed. And it made me think how common it probably was. It’s like the lingerie equivalent of the off-duty sign on a yellow cab.