Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back from Vacation

Back from vacation in Maine. We ended up seeing three (actually more like THREE!!!!) bald eagles. Amazing.

I did a lot of reading. Author Walter Dean Myers (who spoke at the last VCFA residency) said that by reading, we are "doing mental push-ups." My brain must be getting fairly jacked. However, it's a challenge to "read like a writer" while on vacation. By that I mean that it's hard to read a book for more than just the pure joy. As a writing student, I have to use the books I read to inform my own writing. A technique that a given writer uses may help me figure out an aspect of my own piece, or, more frequently, I will see something that either intrigues or confuses me, and I will write an essay for school on that topic.

For example, I'm currently thinking about books that feature an unlikable main character. How does an author keep the reader's interest when the main character seems to have no redeemable qualities? I'm not sure, that's why I'm planning to write an essay about it. Immersing myself in a topic for an assignment helps me to form an opinion and reach a better understanding.

Reading List:
Just finished: The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
Currently reading: Gold Rush by Chris Lynch
Up next: Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher

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