I was once a voracious reader. I loved nothing more than to completely lose myself in a good novel, or even better, a good series of novels. I would get so into the books that I would fall into that brief depression that all serious readers feel once the book or series ends. I have read almost every single Stephen King book at least once, as well as all of Sharon Kay Penman’s fantastic novels, and of course, John Steinbeck and Charles Dickens.
However, I have also been going to school these past 12 years, earning a BA in History, a Teaching Credential, the majority of an MA is International Relations (all but Thesis), and about half of an MA in Teaching (I know, I have commitment issues). During this time, I could only read during semester breaks and the summer. Once I started my student teaching for my credential, I had no time at all to read anything except students’ work. All the reading I had to do for grad school sort of ruined me for ever wanting to read for fun again.
I have lately found myself going numb in front of the television, or worse yet, wasting away on my Smartphone—hangovers from my student teaching days last year and horrible habits that I want to finally nail away in a coffin, and bury forever.
Whoa, that was heavy!
Anyway, the whole reason that I am here in the Blogosphere is that I want to see if I can become a writer. I have talked about this in my first entry from last week, and I have been practicing the art of writing consistently every single day since. I blog a little here, and I work on my novel there, and I just try to find a voice and get comfortable with the process.
Yesterday, I lamented that I have not been writing any dialogue, and I think part of the reason for that is because I have not been reading anything, or at least I have not read anything with dialogue from developed characters. I do not want to go so far as to make a New Years Resolution or anything (that’s really not my bag), but I do want to get myself back into some serious reading.
I am repeating myself here, but one of my favorite quotes on writing comes from Stephen King’s book, On Writing. He says, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” I guess that means that I need to start reading again.
In the same book, he also says, “The road to Hell is paved with adverbs”, which is seriously something that I really do very, very often, so I guess that I have my work cut out for me.
About a year or two ago, I stole a bunch of books from my parents that have been collecting dust on my shelves, and I think that it is high time that I get busy with them. Many of the following books that I plan to read this year includes those that I already have in my possession, while others will need to be procured somehow.
Books I Want to Read in 2013
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister – Gregory Maguire (currently reading)
Son of a Witch – Gregory Maguire
A Lion Among Men – Gregory Maguire
Out of Oz – Gregory Maguire
Mirror, Mirror – Gregory Maguire
Lionheart – Sharon Kay Penman
Under the Dome – Stephen King
11/22/63 – Stephen King
The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole – Stephen King (and maybe I’ll just re-read the series again, anyway)
1356 – Bernard Cornwell
The Burning Land – Bernard Cornwell
The Death of Kings – Bernard Cornwell
Stonehenge – Bernard Cornwell
The Kings of Winter – Cecilia Holland
Lords of Sunset – Parke Godwin
The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
Pigs in Heaven – Barbara Kingsolver
The Lacuna – Barbara Kingsolver
Fallen Skies – Philippa Gregory (of which I am very skeptical since I hated The Other Queen)
Life – Keith Richards
Grumpy Old Rock Stars – Rick Wakeman
Stone Alone – Bill Wyman
The Dirt – Motley Crue
Walk This Way – Aerosmith
Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock – Sammy Hagar
…and other various Rock-n-Roll biographies for research for my own book.
That is a good start, I think. I would like to go back and re-read a few books like Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Stories Series, The Grail Quest Series, and the Warlord Chronicles (all trilogies). I would also like to re-read Sharon Kay Penman’s Welsh Trilogy (Here Be Dragons, Falls the Shadow, and The Reckoning, which I read in backwards order the first time). In addition, perhaps I will revisit Helen Hollick’s wonderful Harold the King and A Hollow Crown.
I do not know if any of these will make me a better writer, but I would like to find myself lost in a good novel once again.