Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Writing to Tell Your Story: Making It Personal


Communicating to others can often come up against misunderstandings and, at times, unfair judgements; yet, today’s re-blog author can say:

“Writing to me, is a place to work out yourself and share these pieces as you figure them out. Your morals, ethics, and understanding of the world shine through, and that is a big responsibility for a writer.”

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

zz oxleyMG_0908By Holley Oxley

In sixth grade, I sat in the classroom, reading the genetics chapter in my science textbook, and in looking at the sex-linked chromosome section, I saw my specific genetic disorder, called Turner’s Syndrome. I had been diagnosed at five, and while certain characteristics gave some indication of something going on with me, it wasn’t necessarily easy to tell I had it.  After class, I walked up to my teacher and excitedly explained that I had found this in the textbook. She was also excited and asked if I wanted to share with the class the next day. Shocked, I explained that while I understood that I was diagnosed with the disorder, I did not know enough to talk to the class, but my mom, a lab technician, might. I then agreed to talk to my mom and see if she could come to talk to the class…

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Blog Conversation about How and Why Writers Write . . .


Our last conversation, about libraries, ended July 16th because that post had no comments… How and Why Writers Write

I began the whole conceptual plan of Blog Conversations back on February 12th, after a month of doing only re-blogs; and, I quickly adopted the practice of continuing any particular conversation topic as long as each post had at least one comment.

As it stands now, our Blog Conversations are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays…

Today, we’re starting a very broad topic—How & Why Writers Write—and it might spawn many posts’ worth of conversation and commentary and interaction.

We shall see…

How writers write is a vastly wide topic and may or may not receive deep discussion here…

Why writers write is also quite a wide arena of discussion…

Why are the How & Why of writing so roomy?

Primarily because writers are such independent folks.

Well, most writers are staunchly independent; though, there is that contingent of writers who slavishly follow the “trends” and “genre-trenches” of “popular” fiction…

Yet, to be fair, many of the trend-following writers still find ways to inject individualistic traits into their work…

And, lest non-fiction writers are overlooked, that broad field of writing also has trend-huggers and trend-makers.

Let’s back up a bit to writers being highly independent people.

Why would I say that?

First, because I’m a writer; second, because I know quite a few writers; and, third, because it just makes sense.

Unless someone is a mere copyist, writing is something that demands using an individual mind and imagination.

So, the How of our topic must include some quite individualized methods and manners…

I’d expect any comments from readers of this post about how writing is done to be extremely unique; unless, of course, a reader feels writing is some mere formulaic activity…

Certainly, the Internet is full of step-by-step how-to articles about writing—most being hopelessly useless for serious writers…

So, my first comment about how writers write (and, I earnestly hope for more comments) is that they read everything they can get their hands on; and, “read everything” doesn’t refer to books about “how” to write…

Then, that independent writer develops, from that extensive reading, their own ideas and methods of how to write…

And, I should mention that the development of a particular how to write happens concurrently with the extensive reading…

Also, the What and the How of any written piece are deeply intertwined—topic and treatment depend on each other in unique and sensitive ways (again, this is an explanation from the standpoint of serious writing {which can definitely include writing that’s quite exciting and dramatic…})…

Now the Why

I suppose it could be generally (and, probably redundantly) stated that writers write to “express” themselves…

Yet, even though the root meanings of “write” are “carve, scratch, cut”; and, even though merely scratching something could just be “copying”, being a “writer” indicates expressiveness (of some sort)…

Still, the bare fact of a writer expressing themselves falls short of describing the deeper sources of the particular writer’s Why…

Why the writer Needs to express themselves is the “real” Why…

So…

There’s my beginning of our conversation about How and Why Writers Write

Let’s flesh out this discussion…

It only takes one reader comment to continue the conversation…
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message

Deluge


leaf and twig


rain on the window
the field
a painting

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Still More Conversation about Libraries . . .


This conversation began on July 9th and continued on July 11th and July 13th

Village Library

~ Village Library in Greece ~

It began with me remembering a few of my library escapades and interests, continued through four readers’ experiences in libraries, then on through a focus on a particular “library-charity-shop” in the UK…

Now come the reader comments that enable this continuation of the discussion…

Concerning my trying to locate a particular place in the UK, an author from Australia said:

“Well, I loved looking up the link to The Corner House and reading about the Oxfordshire community and I wished I lived in a small town in that community with a local library. Even if it was only in a novel—I wanted to live in: East Hagbourne, Toot and Marsh Baldon, or Long Wittenham. Thinking about libraries took me to these places in my imagination :-) “

How delightful to have a search in a small UK community for the resting place of donated books propel a woman in Australia into imaginative visits to libraries in other small communities in the English countryside :-)

And then, the author from the UK, who facilitated the search for the donated books, said:

“I’m glad you liked the link to Oxfordshire, but to get back to your initial discussion. In Worthing the mobile library brings books to a street ten minutes walk from our house so I don’t have to get the bus downtown. The main library is full of computers but has plenty of talks and events going on as well as a large children’s section. Each week I select four novels at random, unless I have read a recommendation.
“Certain authors always delight, Stephen King for one, and I try to mix thrillers and sagas. I get put off if I see a pretty woman in period costume on the cover. I try to keep a record of all books read on Goodreads; but, I have been known to pick up one a second time, just because I found the cover attractive.
“I donate copies of my own books to the local library after about three months, just to find readers; but, the latest one isn’t in there yet.”

So…

An author in Australia has imaginative visits to local libraries in the UK, while an author in the UK describes her library access and reading routine…

Have you imagined visits to libraries in another country…?

Have you made a visit to a certain library in another country…?

Do you want to visit any particular libraries…?

Do you use bookmobiles (mobile libraries)…?

Does your local library supply most of your reading…?

What’s your relationship to your local library…?

Can you tell I’m trying to encourage you to share a comment about libraries…? :-)
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message

Ambushed at Ten: The Book I Can’t Forget by Ben Guterson


Today’s re-blog certainly can let you know (in case you’ve forgotten) how much books can affect us…

Nerdy Book Club

My fifth-grade teacher—kindly Miss Black, who’d taught my oldest brother a decade before me and who, not long after I was her student, retired from a lifetime of teaching—settled our class daily by reading to us after lunch.  I’d like to claim I recall the many books she shared that year. But only one, The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs, has stayed in my memory—has, in fact, remained fixed in my memory like a first crush: I’m devoted to the story, find in it much of what I love about children’s literature.

A few details.  The House with a Clock in its Walls came out in 1973, was Bellairs’ first novel for young readers (it remains his most popular), and featured a dozen shadowy illustrations by eventual Goth favorite Edward Gorey.  Best of all, the house in the title was based on an…

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