Monday, November 25, 2013

Fun in Sonoma

A couple weeks ago, my wife and I spent the weekend up in Sonoma in the beautiful Wine Country. A fascinating town full of history, art, and good food, Sonoma has a little something for everyone. Jack London built his house there, some of the best grapes in the world are grown nearby, and the California Bear Flag was first raised in the Sonoma town square during the Bear Flag Revolt.

Needless to say, my wife and I had a great time. We we’re only gone one night, and it was our first evening away from the baby, but fortunately all turned out well. Between the bookshops, a great pub, and some awesome restaurants we didn’t need to think twice about wanting to come back.

So how have your last few weeks been? Gearing up for Thanksgiving? How are you enjoying the fall season?    

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Passing of Doris Lessing

Yesterday, the writer Doris Lessing passed away after a long career as one of the foremost authors of her generation. Feted for being a feminist writer and recipient of the Nobel Prize, she was never comfortable with either label, and constantly refused to be put into specific categories in either her writing or in her personal life.

Lessing’s The Grass is Singing and The Golden Notebook are a couple of my favorite works written by this truly unique author. Her experiences in Africa during the height of imperialism, and her disillusion during WWII in Europe shaped the writing in all her books, which drew heavily from her personal life. I certainly didn’t always agree with everything Lessing said in her books, but many of her ideas definitely struck a chord in me as I’m sure they did in many others. In interviews, she also spoke out against creative writing classes (which she said would have dissuaded her from becoming an author if she ever took them), and she also didn’t pay much heed to book awards even when she received the Nobel Prize.

What are some of your favorite works by Lessing? Or which ones do you plan on reading now? Who are some of your favorite contemporary authors?  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Reading 4 Books A Week

For the past few months, I’ve set a personal goal of reading 4 books per week. Needless to say, it’s simultaneously been a perpetual struggle and a constant joy. So, why am I doing this to myself?

A while back I set myself a lifetime goal of reading 10,000 books in my lifetime (a feat that many great authors, statesmen, and philosophers have done over the ages). I realized that in order to reach that goal before death (and assuming I lived for many decades to come) I would have to average three to four books a week for the rest of my life. Sounds straightforward, but trying to balance in work, marriage, a new baby, mortgage payments, and just life in general tends to make finding time for reading a real challenge. Not to mention finding time for writing. Despite it all, I’ve found it an invigorating experience and my reading pursuits continue to keep me on my toes.

So what favorite books have you read lately? About how many reads do you manage per week? How do you make time to read in addition to setting aside time to write?   

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Why, oh, why did I decide to try and do NaNo WriMo this year? Yup, I’m only five days in and already behind on my daily allotment of words. Not that I’m not still trying, but man, oh, man is November a busy month!

But I always like to show the bright side during my monthly Insecure Writer’s Post, and the bright side is…hey, at least I’m writing. I’m also reading a lot, and even though I’ve not quite focused my powers (so to speak) I am feeling inspired after reading works by Paulo Coelho and Deepak Chopra, just to name a few. I feel like I have new ideas brewing under the surface within my subconscious, but they need to steep a bit more before they’re ready to come to life on the page.  

So, how’s your NaNo month going? Making any progress on your work? What’s inspired you lately? 

Friday, November 1, 2013

NaNo WriMo & All I Want for Christmas Bloghop

As per J.A. Bennet’s blog, I’m promoting the All I Want for Christmas bloghop and stating my own NaNo WriMo goals for this month. Needless to say, I’m already questioning my overly ambitious writing goals, but I am enjoying the season and the challenges it brings. Between short-stories and a sequel to my latest manuscript, I’ll be attempting to write 50,000 words this month. Yikes!

November really isn’t the best month for me to be writing, especially since my family has lots of November birthdays, Thanksgiving is coming up, the Holiday shopping season starts, and I’ll probably be putting up Christmas lights/trees before the month is out. Not exactly all conducive to writing. But the flip side is that I love this time of year and I love writing, so what’s one more challenge in an already challenging schedule?

So what are your NaNo goals for this month? Any cool projects in the works? Make sure to check out All I Want for Christmas on Amazon!