Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer reading!

I am happily astonished by how many great novels are out this summer. I'm not sure why I feel so much more freedom to read when the temperature rises (you'd think that here in New England the long cold winter would be the best time to read) but like clockwork, each summer my heart turns to the fiction section of the bookstore. So far this year has been one of the best ever.

If you're looking for recommendations, I just updated the book log over at Boston Writing Consultants with my four most recent favorites. Now I'm staring down my TBR pile, exited to open a new story.

Are you reading anything spectacular? If so, please share...summer is just getting started!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Abandonment issues: Reader Edition

Yesterday, I got bogged down in a mediocre novel. I blogged about it here, describing how I made lemonade out of that little lemon, so I won't re-cover that territory. But today, I read a different novel, a story that swept me up into a captivating group of friends and their unfolding lives, leaving me at the end of the book wanting more, and wondering about the characters: how are they doing? where are they now?

I love and hate this feeling of escaping into another world for 300 pages or so, then being jerked back into my real life once I reach the end. (And I like my real life, so it's not as if it's a sacrifice to spend time here.) Good novels make me feel like I've made new friends...and then lost them, forever. It's angsty stuff!

I'm thinking about this because one of my favorite authors, Ann Patchett, is coming to Cambridge tomorrow night to read from her new novel, State of Wonder (Porter Square Books, 7pm) I've read almost everything she's written, including her spectacular memoir. Her writing is brilliant, and so she ALWAYS leaves me in that, "Wait...don't go!" place at the end of every book. I think I'll need to gear up emotionally before I dive into another group of characters with captivating/enthralling/infuriating stories who are certain to abandon me. Still though, I'm willing to assume the risk. It's worth it.

And as I turn the last page, I'll stare at the cover longingly, wishing I was back at the beginning, with this story (and these characters) still ahead of me, waiting to draw me in. Then I'll force myself to move on to the next adventure!

What was the last book you read? How did you feel as you turned the last page?

Monday, June 06, 2011

The Weekend

Hello again! How is everyone doing today? It's Monday, which is usually a little fuzzy for me. And we have TWO dogs this week (dog sitting for friends of ours). So I've spent the past couple of hours watching THAT DOG alternate between having fun with her little buddy and then being horrified by the audacity of it all.

It was a fun weekend. Saturday was a day trip to the beach, which reminded me (again!) that there's nothing like sand, sun & ocean to convince me that life is wonderful, God has a plan, and the earth will continue spinning whether or not I cross off every item on my to-do list.

And Sunday I read Sarah Dessen's latest Young Adult novel, What Happened to Goodbye. It's vintage Dessen: well thought-out characters, interesting setting, challenges and life struggles that drew me in. I love reading her stuff. And the timing was interesting, given the HUGE dust-up in YA circles over this article from the Wall Street Journal. Twitter was ABLAZE with fury over this reviewer's suggestion that YA books are trending toward dark themes in a way we might want to be careful with.

So pretty things to look at, deep issues to contemplate, and a well written story to provide a bit of fun escape. What did you do this weekend?

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Like a reunion :)

Hi All,
It's been awhile! Am feeling a bit choked up as I type this, thinking of how so many of you emailed to check to see if I was okay, letting me know you still stop by from time to time to see if I've posted something new. Thank you!

Please forgive me for disappearing. I didn't plan it. But life got a little un-bloggable there for awhile. Not because it was horrifying or anything like that. It was just...dull. I was frozen, and feeling numb from writing, truth be told. Sometimes you just need a break to let the creative reserves build up again.

The good news is, I'm thawed! And I wanted to let you know of a couple of other places where we can connect online.

First, some author friends and I have a fun new project, Boston Writing Consultants. Here's a secret I've discovered: when I'm between books, I still like helping other people with their writing...I just can't think about my own stuff for awhile. So at BWC, we coach new writers, helping them build momentum, complete projects, and navigate the business side of publishing.
We blog! And recommend books! So if you're inspired/amused/entertained/motivated by thoughts on writing, check it out.

We also Tweet, so come follow us...we can hang out together :)

Speaking of twitter, most of my thoughts on life, love, THAT DOG, and various episodes of The Real Housewives of Wherever now land on my Trishryan twitter account. All the same stuff as Trish's Dishes, just more succinct :)

Here's to an amazing summer of great reads, inspired writing, and goals met, one by one :)