Avid writer not avid reader

I am an avid writer but not an avid reader. I spend much of my evenings and weekends (when not at work) posting to blogs or working on my novel. I’ve read that to be a good writer you should read, read, read. I have lots of books on Kindle and in paper format but I have a habit of starting them and not finishing them. I’m the queen of half-finished books.

Some of the half-finished books on my Kindle or nightstand:

  • The Scarpetta Factor by Patrica Kornwell
  • Geek Love By Katherine Dunn (I read it so long ago that I consider this a fresh read)
  • Until I find You by John Irving
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • Another Bullshit Night in Suck City: A Memoir by Nick Flynn
  • Finding Hanna by John R Kess
  • By Reason of Insanity by Randy Singer
  • The Judas Goat by Robert Parker
  • Finders Keepers by Stephen King

I do spend lots of time reading blogs and web articles. I would say that almost counts except that it’s a reflection of my short attention span. Anything longer than 5000 words and it’s TL;DR (too long, didn’t read).

I used to speed through books. Umberto Eco. Nathaniel Hawthorne. Thomas Hardy. Chaucer. When I moved to poetry I lost my tolerance for long novels. William Carlos Williams ruined me for reading novels.

Maybe I haven’t found the right novels to capture my interest. Many years ago (almost twenty-five years ago!) my favorite novel was Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. I read it so long ago that it feels as though I’m reading it for the first time. The last book I really loved and read all the way through in recent history was Stiff by Mary Roach, but even that was a few years back. I read a few others by Mary Roach. Packing for Mars was quite good.

Since then my reading has atrophied. I might read a chapter before forgetting about a book. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an easy read or a denser, higher quality read. Stephen King is easy reading and I still can’t get past the first few chapters before neglecting it.

Does anyone else have this problem? Do you even consider it a problem? Are you an avid reader? Tell me what books you like best.

Avid

Harmony – Starting Over

I have spent the last year or so writing a novel. It’s currently at 70,000 words. It needs work, as I imagine all good (or not so good) novels do.

Previously, my blog was all over the place: photos, travel, cartoons, you name it. Anything but writing.

I need a purpose. I need harmony. I need a connection between my blog and what I do nearly every day.

So here I am, starting over. All previous posts are hosted somewhere, but not here. This blog is going to be about the novel and the novel-writing process.

Here’s the synopsis:

Washing off the Glue is a story about art, madness, love, and loss.

Marie’s mom, a compulsive hoarder and drinker, certainly doesn’t make life easy on the family. It’s no wonder Marie’s dad leaves so abruptly. Heartbroken at his departure and determined to reconnect with him, Marie makes a youthful pact with her best friend Rachel. Together, they spend the next ten years searching for her dad.

As Marie’s artistic future blossoms, the search for her dad becomes an obsession. Letters to far-flung relatives, a trip to Vegas, countless Internet searches, and private investigators bring her numerous clues and even more numerous disappointments.

At the same time, the debilitating ups and downs of Marie’s mental condition, mysterious to doctors and Marie alike, threaten to derail everything she’s worked for. Enigmatic dreams lead her in unexpected directions—some good, some not so good—until a suicide attempt nearly ends it all. It’s only through finding her dad, with Rachel by her side, that she learns how to grieve and let go.