For some of us, summer is a time to spend extra time reading. (Yay for you!!)
But for others, particularly those of the parental persuasion, we find that suddenly, our quiet time has vanished into humid air. We’ve got a house full of neighborhood kids in need of snacks and supervision and soap. Distractions galore!
For me, summer is goodbye routine, goodbye chunk of quiet me-time. Hello late bedtimes!
I’m not complaining. Summer is fun! I just need to re-adjust. I’m accomplishing different things over these next few months, and that’s okay.
But I need to take my reading and writing in little spurts when I can get away with it.
If you find yourself in the same boat, may I suggest something easily digestible, such as…..
Good Poems, a collection edited by Garrison Keillor
This isn’t a collection of flowery/cryptic poetry that requires a fireplace and a pipe for proper appreciation. It’s accessible. I like to read poetry that consists of a strong image or a punch of emotion – something I can apply to my prose. And all of the poems in this collection are short, which means you can sneak one in a spare moment. You know, like that chocolate you ate in the closet while the kids were watching TV. (shh!)
Stories NOT For The Nervous, a collection of short stories, edited by Alfred Hitchcock.
This is an old book that I bought from a thrift store years ago, but I LOVE it. Summer’s a great time for yard-saling and thrifting, and people often sell their old books CHEAP. Good news for treasure-hunters like me!
If you want to focus on how to craft suspense, this is your handbook. It’s full of classics by famous people, so the writing is spotless and the suspense is perfect. Reading short stories of any genre can be a great way to think about structure and craft in general when you’re short on time.
Got any recommendations for good collections? Let me know! I’ll try to squeeze them in 🙂