How Much of Myself Should I Put Into My Novel(s)?

This probably the main question I’ve been asking myself since beginning my MFA program in the fall. As an over-thinker after many months of considering this question I can now make pretty strong arguments for both sides.

Sometimes I think that, being a writer means putting yourself in many different perspectives. Writing just from personal experience would be repetitive and potentially boring. Does the world need more books about upper-middle class, cis-gendered, straight, white girls? Is there less creativity involved when writing from experience? Continue reading

Top Ten Books I’d Love to Read With a Book Club

toptentuesday Between graduating college as an English major and starting my current MFA program, I belonged to three different book clubs. At times, these felt like my saviors. People who all read the same book and want to talk about it! So much like English Lit classes! Heaven! As I became more and more invested in YA, they were also anchors that helped me keep up with adult fiction at least a little bit. I’m not in a book club now, but if I was here are some books I’d suggest. Some I’ve wanted to read for a long time and would love a book club to force me to read, and others I just think would spark good conversation. Let me know your thoughts on my picks in the comments! Continue reading

Burn, Read, Rewrite: Shakespeare Plays

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Some people, mostly English teachers I’m guessing, might act like they are about to have a heart attack if you would suggest burning – or for that matter rewriting – any of Shakespeare’s plays. For the sake of history and the literary cannon I guess I would agree. But for the sake of this game this is exactly what I’m going to ask you to do. Pick any of Shakespeare’s plays and let us know which one you would read (favorite), rewrite (something needs to be tweaked or changed), and burn (come on some of them are pretty messed up and/or boring). Whether it’s making Juliet live and end up with Benvolio or your secret hatred of Hamlet and his whiny ways I’m excited to see which plays you choose for which spots and why!  Continue reading

Book Review: Life by Committee, by Corey Ann Haydu

17693452In the fall, I read Corey Ann Haydu’s debut novel – OCD Love Story – and was really blown away by how good the writing was. So, I definitely had a lot of high expectations and excitement when I saw her newest novel, Life by Committee, in the library and quickly pulled it off the shelves. These expectations were exceeded if anything and my excitement about the book continues to build as I keep mulling over the unique character depiction and themes woven into this story about a girl who loses her IRL friends and turns to an online community for connection, understanding, and guidance.

To give a little more detail, the story is told from the perspective high school girl Tabitha, who (to borrow the words from the jacket copy) might be the only girl in history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. As she explores her appearance and sexuality in ways her friend group shuns her for she finds an online group called Life by Committee.
Continue reading

Welcome (back) to New York

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Me in front of the Brooklyn Museum (on a much warmer day than today).

After a long break at home, I got back to New York City last night. I’m definitely excited to see my friends and begin my new classes, where I’ll be reading books like Inside Picture Books, by Ellen Handler Spitz, and Show Me A Story, edited by Leonard Marcus . I’m also missing my family already and feeling more homesickness than I remember from when I first moved here. But it hasn’t even been 24 hours so I guess that’s to be expected. To get back into the swing of things I’m going to check out this bookstore this afternoon. Time to start a new semester of writing, readings, and hopefully a lot of fun!