Movie Review: Tolkien

I may be a little under the weather. You hate to admit such a thing in a pandemic, because not only is it panic-inducing for you and your loved ones, but it also comes with a certain amount of ostracizing. Rest assured, my children and I—who are very mildly ill (probably a cold)—have cancelled all…

Movie Review: Saving Mr. Banks

During the Stay-at-Home order, I have had the opportunity to watch more movies than I usually do. Still, it’s not a tremendous amount, as I have a lot of cooking, cleaning, schooling, and writing to do, not to mention projects here and there and everywhere. But that is the reason I have been able to…

Movie Review: Knives Out

I’m allowed to review this movie because it has something to do with writing. The inciting character is an (uber-successful and famous) writer and the whole plot takes place securely in the genre of murder mystery, which is what Harlan Thrombey wrote. Nevermind that he had the kind of fame and notoriety (and also quirkiness)…

Suddenly Writing

One day last month, a writing friend contacted me by email to inform me that there was an affordable writing conference taking place in a couple weeks’ time in the next town over. For only something like $20, I could spend most of my Saturday learning and workshopping in a group that would consist of…

Music as Inspiration

When I write a novel, or basically anything, I keep the volume around me at zero. Or at least at white noise, like the dull roar in a cafe. If I’m home though, there is no music that I listen to when I write. When I get asked that question, I just answer honestly: I…

Movie Review: Arrival

Yes, this is a writing and reading blog. I do take the liberty of reviewing other entertainment, however, when I feel it is applicable to either the writing or reading life. Sometimes something is so good, that I might be stretching it a bit, and when I saw Arrival I knew that I wanted to…

Headed to Camp

If you have been following this blog for forever, then you should know what NaNoWriMo is. If you haven’t, you may anyhow, but my experience has been a lot of blank stares where I mention it. If you are a writer and don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, then it is time I introduced you. NaNoWriMo…

Lessons in Unusual Places

I am in the middle of a blog-blast, reading a book a day (read: one-two days) and blogging about the books. I took a day off because I was using up my whole evening to attend a local reading, and I figured that had to count for something. Plus, I couldn’t reach my house without…

Book Review: 365 Journal Writing Ideas

It is true. My review of Rossi Fox’s 365 Journal Writing Ideas is not without its problems. The truth is that I am working on a similar project for Owl and Zebra Press, titled The Beginner’s Journal. I’m sure that project and this particular journal will have plenty of overlap, but only because we have…

Book Review: Olive Kitteridge

Is it a novel? Is it a book of short stories? Personally, I have it filed on my bookshelves in the short stories section, but you could really go either way with this Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Elizabeth Strout. I came across this book several years ago, when it won the Pulitzer and landed on…

Book Review: No Pretty Pictures

No Pretty Pictures: a Child of War, by Anita Lobel. Published by Greenwillow Books, New York, in 1998, with an unfortunately drab and unexceptional cover (especially considering that the author is known as a children’s illustrator). The more recent 2008 reissue cover is much better. DISCLAIMER: I do not see this as a children’s or…