I guess I've said this about 19 times now; however, I feel I must say it again.
Reading is paramount to writing. If you fancy yourself a writer, well, then, read. I'm not meaning to be harsh here. I'm just saying, if you want to write, if you are serious about the craft, you must, you MUST, read. Absolutely. The two cannot be separated.
Besides that, isn't it nice to lay back in your easy chair or your lawn chair and just retreat from everything you have to deal with in your real life? Come on.
Well, listen. You may think of me as a fiction writer, albiet the womens' fiction writer, the light stuff, the fluff, the happy ending stuff. Okay, yes, I do that. I do it with wild abandon. There is something about the idea of finding love, love working out, love being the catalyst for a happy and productive life, that I really like. Yes. I'll stand on my soapbox about that always. But.
Lately, I've been venturing out of my shell. Maybe you've noticed with the post on "Winter's Bone" and a few other works that aren't necessarily in my proclaimed genre. Can I tell you I have a couple of writings, out of my usual realm, for you to consider?
You didn't respond in the affirmative but, nonetheless. I am going to deliver here.
I borrowed a book from a friend recently, "Lucky Jim," written by Kingsley Amis. You know, I don't usually go for so much prose but, in this book, it's well done. The hapless James Dixon, the non-tenured professor, the lovable loser, eternal prankster, well, he's just a great character. The women in his life, his boss, his adversaries, it's all totally hilarious. At first, I thought about putting the book down because, as I said, I don't go for a lot of flowery prose but, out of respect for my friend, I thought I needed to give this book a go and I'm glad I did. It's a great read.
The other book I want to mention is "Little Bee" by Chris Cleave. This story haunted me for days after I put it down. A young woman, a teenager actually, left in a country not her own, with nothing? Nothing but a phone number and a driver's license of someone who may have helped her once but, who bears so much guilt about earlier circumstances that he takes his own life when she shows up at his home out of the blue. Wow. It's a really good book. I highly recommend it.
So, once again, I am imploring you to read. It's been said it's fundamental. I agree. It's fundamental but, if you want to write, please, please read.
That's all folks.