Recently I’ve been on a bit of a short story kick. Over Writers’ Day I went to a workshop with Bret Anthony Johnston, the super fabulous director of creative writing at Harvard. I’ve known Bret for a while and every workshop he does he uses Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” for an example.
So I re-read that the other day. I read it in a compilation of all of her short stories so I’ve been reading more to look for common threads. I don’t have much exposure to Flannery’s work which I think is quite a gap in my literary education. So I’m educating myself! I was surprised to see there don’t seem to be any movie versions of the story out. It’s such a well known and well written story I’m surprised no one has taken the concept for a movie. But that’s probably for the best, most movie adaptations don’t turn out so well.
I’ve also been reading some of Chekhov’s short stories. I’ve always liked “Lady With The Dog” so I was interested in checking out some more of his work. Interestingly enough, there was just an article in this month’s Mental Floss about Chekhov’s play “The Seagull” and how it launched realism in modern theater. I’d like to read that as well. It’s not in my book but perhaps I can find it at the library. I really like short stories because I don’t have a ton of time to read so reading a short story makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something when I get to the end. I also believe short stories are really good to analyze and learn from as a writer. While there are many techniques to be observed in a novel, a short story is a nice condensed way to see how a writer makes characters vivid and plot flow. I’ve been writing a lot of short stories lately and sending them off to literary magazines so I’m finding this to be a helpful exercise.
The weather is warming up! I know it doesn’t look like spring is coming, what with all the snow in the background, but it is! Tomorrow is going to be 56 and sunny, I can’t wait! That seems cold but for here it’s warm at this time of year 🙂
Whew, goodness! This past weekend was Writers’ Day, the biggest event of the year for the New Hampshire Writers’ Project. I’m an intern for the Writers’ Project so I was busy all weekend! The weekend started on Friday night when I went out to dinner with a group from the project and Erika Goldman who heads up Bellevue Literary Press and happens to be Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Harding’s agent. Erika is a doll! The dinner was a great way to kick off the weekend, this is what I wore:
Dress: TJ Maxx Tights: Wet Seal Shoes: Payless Neckless: Charlotte Russe
Saturday we have all of our big events. Now before you say anything I know this is a super crappy mirror picture and I’m sorry! I was up at 5 and didn’t get home until really late so this was my only opportunity to snap a quick photo. But here’s what I wore for the actual day:
Sorry again for the crappiness of this photo.
Tunic: Forever21 Tights: Century21 Flats: Payless Belt: Thrifted Cardigan: Aeropostale Necklace: Forever21 (it’s kind of hard to see but it’s a pair of glasses)
Basically at Writers’ day we have lots of workshops and pitch sessions and things that people can attend and then at the end of the day we have Literary Idol. It’s a lot of fun and this year was definately one of our best yet!
A book post! Victory! I like to read multiple books at once, usually from a variety of genres. These are my current selections:
War and Peace<3 One of my all time favorites. Generally I’m more of a Dostoevsky fan but I love this book. I’m re-reading it because it’s just so gosh-darn enjoyable. It’s going slowly, for obvious reasons. I don’t get much time to read but luckily Russian lit tends to have short sections so I can at least feel like I’m accomplishing something even if it’s just a few pages a night. Remember how I said shoes are one of my vices? Well Russian lit is the other. Nothing cheers me up like Russian lit, particularly War and Peace.
The Gospel According to Coco Chanel My current fashion book! I’m actually equating this to something of a self help book. Beyond style tips it really talks a lot about Chanel’s outlook on life and personality and it’s got some really good stuff. The writing style can be a little tedious at time (it’s got nothing on War and Peace for sure =P) but overall I like the message it’s sending. It’s definitely inspiring some of my more classic looks lately.
White Noise I’m counting this as my more modern fiction. I usually stick to the classics but I took an American lit class last summer that opened me up to some really good modern stuff. During the course we read Mao II by Delillo and I really enjoyed it. I picked White Noise up at a discount store and I’m only a few pages in but it has that same stylistic qualities that I loved about Mao II. I would definitely recommend Delillo for anyone looking to experience modern lit, I’d also recommend Pynchon. But we’ll get to him later.
What are you reading these days? Any good recommendations? Happy reading!