Recharge Winter Writing Retreat: Day Four

 

Day Four. It’s been a long but productive week. Many words have been born while many others shuffled off this mortal coil. A moment of silence, please, for all of the words we’ve lost.

*cues up Boyz II Men*

Thanks, y’all.

 

Today’s icebreaker: What book you would grab if you had sixty seconds to escape a burning building–assuming your family, pets, and manuscripts are safe, of course.

I don’t really own any antique books or out-of-print rarities. I have a few autographed books that I cherish mostly because they’re proof that I overcame my fear of meeting people I’ve admired from afar.

But if my home was ablaze, I’d grab as many of my Norma Klein paperbacks as possible. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read them. A few have been replaced because I’ve loved them to death. Those books unlocked my dream of being a writer. Those stories let me know it was okay to have doubts and fears and that “normal” was an illusion. Even though most of those characters’ lives barely resembled mine, I saw myself, I heard my friends, and I recognized my family. That’s definitely worth saving.

Today’s topic: STRETCH. In which I break out of my YA contemporary zone and read something different. Sara recommended that we delve into short stories and that’s good advice. If you want to learn about sparse prose and careful word selection, definitely check them out. The last time I tried writing a short story, it expanded into a novel. Obviously, I need more practice. But I love reading them. So back on my TBR pile:

  • “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson.
  • A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND AND OTHER STORIES by Flannery O’Connor
  • I, ROBOT by Isaac Isamov
  • THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O’Brien

What’s your favorite short story? 

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5 thoughts on “Recharge Winter Writing Retreat: Day Four”

  1. Good choices! Tim O’Brien is a genius. Also he is from Minnesota. 🙂 His story “The Lives of the Dead,” which is the last story in THE THINGS THEY CARRIED, changed me as a writer. So powerful, so moving. I’d love to be able to do what he can do with his words. I also really love Kate Chopin and James Joyce.

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