Tag Archives: Ray Bradbury

Booker Award: I Am a Bibliomaniac and Proud Of It!

Thanks to my blogging buddy, The Other Watson, I have been nominated for yet another award. I am so happy to accept this award as books are vital to my existence as a writer and human being. My love for books has transcended hobby and soared to a life time commitment. I respect the art of writing/storytelling as one of the finest arts known to all of life.  Receiving the Booker award is truly gratifying, as I strive to write my own stories.

First, I must once more thank The Other Watson for nominating me for this award as he sees so much promise in my blog. We ironically started out blogs within days of each other, and we have been great support for one another.

Next, I’d like to nominate other bloggers for being as book fiend-ish as I am.

1) Wings and Water-One of my dear friends has a fantastic blog about her writing journey speckled with bits of politics, and fun topics of discussion. She loves fantasy books with her entire being, and will be a published fantasy writer someday.

2) Write to Perfect-This a fantastic blog dedicated to insightful advice/tips on writing. Of course, these are the stepping stones, which have made our favorite books great. It is only fitting that I should choose a blog that helps writers to create great books for us to read.

3) mywithershins-This blog is a lovely little outlet for an amazing writer. She has tons of tips for writers after having two novels published. Her ideas are interesting and fresh, with extremely well-written posts. Please check her out because it is definitely worth the trip to her page!

4) 101 Books– Since I received the Booker Award, it is only just if I nominate another blogger who appreciates books in all of their glory. He aspires to reading the 100 greatest books according to Time magazine, which has become the center of his blog. He has witty, interesting posts that always keep me coming back for more.

5) wanton creation-The man who nominated me deserves even more face time. His blog is full of  creative ideas in addition to his love of books/writing. He always makes jokes, and he has plenty of anecdotes to pull you in to each post. I suggest reading his blog at least once.

Now onto the main event–MY 5 FAVORITE BOOKS!

The following are five books that I have deemed well-written and entertaining for anyone who loves a story that will capture your heart.

1)  Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire- This dark novel follows the life of the Wicked Witch (Elphaba) throughout her life as she struggles to fit in with the people of Oz when she was born for something more extraordinary.  I fell in love with Maguire’s writing after I experienced the musical that was made from the book of the same title. The story you know from the movie The Wizard of Oz is not the whole story. Maguire gives us the dirty, and sometimes scary details of what happened before Dorothy came to Oz. In my opinion, one of the best books to expand upon an already popular story in an inventive way.

2) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury- This book is one of the most fantastic pieces of writing that I have ever purchased. The late Bradbury created a horrifying and realistic future where books are illegal and burned. It depicts the life Bradbury thought would come to pass if television became more popular than books. It subsidiary themes include love, censorship, and the power of knowledge. I will always hold this book close to my heart because I hope one day to create a novel that rises above my expectations, and inspires other in this field.

3) Being a Green Mother by Piers Anthony-  As one of the seven books in the Incarnations of Immortality series, this book should not be read outside of the series. While it is alright as a standalone, it is truly phenomenal as part of the series. What begins as a book about a woman trying to find her place in the world, it soon becomes a mystical place where ordinary people can become incarnations of the world such as Gaea (Mother Earth) and Thanatos (Death). It is a complex plot intertwining characters throughout 8 novels, and I hope that you enjoy it also!

4) Under the Dome by Stephen King- Ah, the man of my nightmares and dreamscapes. Stephen King may be known for gruesome horror fiction, but what his fans truly love him for is the character development he slaves over to achieve in every book. With around 6-8 central characters, the book creates a story that will never bore you. What would happen if you were trapped under an invisible dome and cut off from the world? Would people start killing because there was no one, but local people to enforce? The realistic quality of King’s writing allows your mind to melt with his ideas as if they were your own. His books are always exciting and hair raising, but this one tops them all!

5) Ender’s Game/Xenicide by Orson Scott Card-  My all-time favorite series to be published is the Ender series by science fiction writer, Orson Scott Card. He has mastered the genre of science fiction in these two books with gifted children, aliens, politics, and love. It is a culmination of what it means to be human in a world where aliens can potentially destroy the entire race or vice versa. Card flawlessly creates a world that you will get sucked into and love up until the final book (I have yet to read).

I can’t explain how much each and every person should read Ender’s Game, the first book in the series. If you can appreciate science fiction in any sense, you will most likely fall in love!

 

Hope you check out these books and the wonderful bloggers who have made a name for themselves through their fantastic blog posts. Happy reading/writing!

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We are more than the person behind the curtain

What are writers, but mysterious figures behind the gargantuan stories they tell. For some like Shakespeare, they stay a mystery for readers hundreds of years after the stories were published. Others like Ray Bradbury step out into the world, live in the spotlight, revealing secrets of the trade to budding dreamers of the future.

A depiction of Charles Dickens giving a reading

One of the most terrifying and enjoyable aspects of being a writer is the interaction with our readers. It scares the wits out of writers because we are compelled to be loners. At the same time, the first hand experience of seeing the reader’s reaction is indescribable. Yet, for two bloggers the ability of a writer to be a performer is a heated debate.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2099962/Writers-performers-despite-preferring-avoid-limelight.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

The author of the link above defends the writer’s perspective wholeheartedly, while Amitav Ghosh disagrees. As Ghosh is a novelist/blogger, who is convinced the act of reading one’s work rips away the relationship between the reader and the book.

“The reader related in the first instance to a book, not to its writer; and writers, for their part, did not confront their audience directly in the manner of musicians, singers, actors and so on.”

The statement above made by Ghosh are powerful, but not necessarily true. Ghosh believes that the author is not meant to read his writing out loud, but simply write it only to retreat back behind the curtain. The author of the blog disagrees with the above statement because for centuries, writers have been the rockstars of the world. Not only novelists, but poets have an obligation to their writing to speak publicly.

Without the performance in front of the audience, poetry doesn’t have the power it could just read in silence.  Poetry almost solely relies on the use of sound and delivery to provide the emphasis in lieu of the extra words.  What Ghosh doesn’t appreciate about writing is the feel of the words on your lips. In addition to poetry, words flow in a beautiful way with prose. Hearing the one who created the story read it aloud is an experience that can’t be replaced.  As a long time reader, I have never had the opportunity to see my favorite authors read their work in public.

To me, it feels like I’m missing an entire part of the entertainment. Because as much as Ghosh and other authors would like to admit, stories are entertainment. They have been entertainment since the beginning of human history. Whether it is read from a printed book or spoken from memory, the author can bring the characters to life in a way no one else can. The author is the expert source on whatever he/she has written. There is no one else more qualified to bring the characters to life.  It is a privilege and a responsibility for a writer to express their excitement through a public performance.

I chose the picture of Dickens’ before I finished the article only to find that the article mentions Dickens as one of the proudest performers in writing history. He was working on his performance as he wrote the novels, creating the characters with his face. It is an amazing site to hear a poet read their writing or hear an excerpt from a novel you’ve read. The performance made is not just a money opportunity, but a responsibility to the give the story all of the potential it has. The reader deserves every possible viewpoint of the story, and nothing beats the author reading their proud work to you.

Don’t forget, the writers are not just the people behind the curtain.  They are the creators, the magic makers, the entertainers, the teachers, and the inspiration. Writers don’t just write the stories, they live them, and finally they pass the story on as if it were livelihood given to millions of loving children.

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To be or not to be: The Stereotype of a Writer

Stereotypes have plagued mankind since the beginning. It is a way to be comforted in each other’s silly likenesses and ridicule other people’s weird differences.

But where did stereotypes develop? Here’s one idea. Someone sat down one day angry at a person or most likely a group of people. He wrote down all the embarrassing or annoying traits of the people he hated and started sharing them with his friends. His friends began using these specific traits to mock and ridicule people they didn’t like and the idea spread.  Typically, a stereotype focused on a group of people with a common background or even coming from the same country.

Yet, stereotypes for writers have transcended normal reasons for grouping them together. We come from every spot on the planet, every ethnicity, every shape and size. Even what we write varies not only in type (poetry, non-fiction, fiction) to the genre in which we write (sci-fi, romantic, Latin American History, etc). The one thing we have in common is the act of writing. We all have a need to write something every second of the day either in our heads or down on the computer. So, how did someone find all of these things in common that we now associate as stereotypes of writers?

I don’t have an answer for that, but I decided to go through all of the stereotypes and see which ones I fit in and which ones I don’t. To be honest, my guess as to how stereotypes began is not how I view them now. Not all stereotypes are bad and sometimes they are true indicators of that person or group.  For me, I see the stereotypes of writers as funny misunderstandings as well as badges of courage we must push past.

Here is my list of the most common and funny stereotypes:

1.  Writers are alcoholics/drug addicts or both-Now see here, not every writer has to drink to get inspiration or be high to write. However, it is a pattern. Maybe it is the sensitivity of artists, struggling with questions about life that no one else bothers to think about. Or maybe it’s that the booze takes the edge off the fact that we have to work three jobs just to pay for bills and still have to make time to write the next chapter. Anyway you look at it, the greats have sometimes needed a shot of whiskey to get them ready to write and a group of writers are always more enjoyable after placing a bottle of wine (or several) between them.

2. Writers always drink coffee and smoke profusely–I don’t have either of these qualities, but I know many that do. I think this a vastly overrated stereotype because each person is different. I prefer tea, but the result is the same. You’re all warm on the inside and it tastes amazing. As for the smoking, I don’t smoke because I want to be as healthy as possible to spend the next 70 years writing.

3. Writers are loners- This one is mostly true, but we have to be. Because at the end of the day if you can’t have some peace and quiet to do the writing you need…you don’t get paid or get the voices of those characters out of your head.

At the same time, we yearn to be social butterflies. While social interaction may not be required during the writing process of a story, the process before and after allows us to interact with as many people as we want. In this digital age, publishers are doing less of the marketing side of publishing and are laying the task to the writer. So, we not only have to come up with the idea, write it all down in a creative way, and market it to billions of people in hopes of them buying it.

It isn’t always a bad thing. As my one writing friend just said, “The plus side to being a writer is that going on Facebook is part of my job.” And it’s true. Writers are becoming more social creatures out of a need to network. Social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and blogs like these are important to creating a fan base before you are published and famous. I’m constantly checking Facebook and my blog to see how my work is being received. It is important to know that writers can come out of our shells and interact with “regular” people.  It’s such a different sight to see a bunch of writers get together because you would never imagine a writer being a loner after witnessing all of them together.

4. Writers are crazy-Yes, there is a stereotype that writers are insane. They have to be after writing things no one else can imagine. Bi-polar, schizophrenia, and depression have graced the brains and personalities of the most famous writers ever to exist. There will always be studies done until the end of time on the connection between creative minds and mental disorders. It could be the substance abuse or the isolation that creates crazy writers, but there is one fact that goes unnoticed. Even if a writer is 15 kinds of crazy, they still have a better grasp on the human condition than the completely sane readers that buy their writing.

Sometimes padded rooms are perfect to get that last paragraph done

We write because we need to write. Because something inside us compels us to tell a story no one else has come up with yet. Because our hearts say that the world needs to read this character, this situation and only I can write it. Whether we do it alone in a make shift office in the attic or have a bottle of Jack Daniels besides our laptop, the result is the same. A story or perspective on life that only sensitive artists can produce for the world.

No matter if you end up killing yourself like Sylvia Plath or live a long life like Ray Bradbury the need inside you to write will always push you to give the world what you have to offer. A story never told before from your eyes. So, I may be a loner who drinks too much tea and could eventually become bi-polar. At least I know my purpose in life…to be now and always, a writer.

Feel free to share other stereotypes of writers or which stereotypes you have. The more stereotypes we have means the more people we are affecting as a group, which is always a good thing. Bad press is better than no press. So stereotype away!

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Idea of the Day: The Irony of Technology

The Idea of the Day is dedicated to a topic, article, or video that stirs a discussion in me.

Today’s idea is focused on one of the most influential fiction writers anyone has ever read. Ray Bradbury. Now in his 90s, Bradbury has changed the way readers look at books and censorship from his book Fahrenheit 451.

For those who haven’t read the book, it depicts a world in the future where print books of any kind are illegal and burned on sight by firefighters.

Ironically, the famed book has finally been made into electronic book form.

The article on the subject describes Bradbury’s previous notion of e-books and his dislike of them. The irony is not only that the Fahrenheit 451 is a book about burning print books, but that Bradbury is a futurist entirely against the progression of technology.  He has made negative comments about e-books and internet in general.

What I find the most compelling aspect of this story is that Simon &  Schuster purchased the rights to this intriguing novel for over $7 million dollars. The cost of making an e-book may be a positive one for self-publishing writers, but to keep a classic book available on the internet costs a pretty penny.

So, I pose another question, dear reader. Read the article…Who would you side with, Bradbury who resisted the temptation of the new medium or the publishers hell bent on putting the classic as an e- book?

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jacketcopy/2011/11/simon-schuster-releases-ray-bradburys-fahrenheit-451-as-an-ebook.html

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