Out Now! Bookish Plaza eZine DECEMBER Issue

28 11 2018

                                                                                                     Image: Bookish Plaza

The DECEMBER issue of BookIsh Plaza eZine is out now!
BookIsh Plaza is your online bookshop for (Dutch)Caribbean literature.

In this issue:

  • Celebrating 40th Anniversary of Writing & Performing
  • Book Launch ‘WEES GELUKKIG’ by Irma Grovell
  • The Formation of Caribbean Identity in Literature
  • And more ………

BOOKISH PLAZA eZINE nr.78 DECEMBER 2018

Fine reading to all our readers. The next ezine will be out in January 2019.

Visit BookIsh Plaza for our New Arrivals!





On Time & Writing

28 11 2018

                                                                                                    PHOTO; centrum.org

Harnessing The Power Of TimeIn Your Storytelling

About a month ago, riding the train home from work, I looked up and through the window, the sky was low and turning to a dirty purple twilight.

Just before the train and all her tired and distracted passengers started the final narrow stretch to our station, past the smoke stacks of the coal power station and the factory that makes disposable baby nappies, for a few moments I watched thousands of tiny lights that were already on across the suburb below us, forming a shiny cheap-jewellery crust over an area of town houses, the malls, office parks.

It is still winter and where the lights stop, the grass starts and ripples towards the train window: dry, stripped of colour, patches burned black by veld fires.

What does time mean to you?

In those moments, just minutes really, shaken gently from side to side in my seat, between dusk and the lights, as the train rushed breathlessly through the last of the day, I was conscious of time—not as anything artificial and clear as the white digits on the face of an iPhone, but as something moving us all along, me along. Something moving within me, inside of me, even as it moved outside of me.

Time on its own tracks.

That night, coming home from work, time didn’t hold its usual terror for me.  I was content to just be carried along, too exhausted to fight. In many ways, those moments on the train helped me grasp the ‘ungraspable’ nature of time itself: that time is ‘now’, that it is behind us, in front of us, everywhere.  It’s just you moving, being moved, threaded invisibly through time.

It is hard to get your head around ‘time with a capital T’, from the fact that vast millennia existed before us to the idea that it will exist for millennia after us.

Read further @ Writers Write





How to Get (Young) People Reading

28 11 2018

                                                                                                  PHOTO: lITHUB.COM

WHAT ONE PERSON CAN DO TO GET PEOPLE READING

THE STORY OF ALVIN IRBY AND BARBERSHOP BOOKS

Alvin Irby never wanted to become a teacher, the same profession his mother held for over 30 years in the Little Rock, Arkansas school district in which he grew up. But the adults in Irby’s life saw potential in him that he couldn’t see in himself. “My high school principal, one day during my senior year, he told me, ‘You’re going to be a better principal than I ever was,’” Irby recalls. “And I remember looking at him and saying, ‘Never! I will never go into education!’”

Yet his principal proved prescient. Irby did go into education, and after teaching for several years, he founded Barbershop Books, a reading incentive program that connects young black boys, ages four to eight, to books in male-centered reading spaces. “Barbershop Books’ primary goal is to increase the out-of-school reading time among black boys and to help young black boys identify as readers,” Irby says. “A lot of reading programs are focused on reading skills. That’s not what Barbershop Books is about. Our program is about connecting fun books to a male-centered space, and involving black men in boys’ early reading experiences.”

The seeds for the idea were planted when Irby was a high school sophomore. “In tenth grade, I was in regular English class,” he says. “We were reading short stories and doing spelling lists. This is what we were doing in tenth grade English. And I remember being bored out of my mind.”

So he went to his guidance counselor and requested a more challenging class. “When I switched into this pre-AP class, one of the first things that I noticed when I looked around, or a question that popped in my head, was, ‘Where did all of these white people come from?’” Irby says. “My regular English class was all black. When I switched into this advanced class, all of a sudden, there were white kids everywhere. I didn’t even know they were in the school! And then I started to wonder, why are these classes divided along racial lines like this? What is that about?”

Read further @ Literary Hub





Struggle with Fictional Characters

28 11 2018

                                                                     Illustration: Academic Life

How to develop engaging fictional characters

Creating fictional characters is a struggle for even the most experienced writer. Here, author and PWA and Faber Academy course director Tom Bromley offers tips and advice on creating engaging characters with unique voices and discusses questions such as whether they should be likeable and how many your story needs.

Wrestling with your fictional characters is a familiar pastime for experienced as well as new writers. It’s an ongoing struggle to create realistic characters who fulfill all the functions of story and resonate with the reader as real, engaging people.

Here, experienced author, ghost-writer and tutor on both Faber Academy and PWA courses Tom Bromley looks at the basics of writing characters, and suggests ways to form and maintain realistic, entertaining individuals to inhabit your a stories.

Read further @ Professional Writing Academy





Writing Advice of a SciFi Author

28 11 2018

                                                                                                   PHOTO: Tavistock Books

RAY BRADBURY’S GREATEST

WRITING ADVICE

“I’VE HAD A SIGN OVER MY TYPEWRITER FOR OVER 25 YEARS NOW: DON’T THINK!

Ray Bradbury, the greatest sci-fi writer in history, who (by no small coincidence) also happened to know a thing or two about writing. Like many American children, I grew up on Bradbury—”The Veldt” remains my favorite of his stories—but as I became a writer myself I began to cherish not just the great author’s work, but his attitude towards it. Bradbury loved writing. He took intense pleasure in it, and it shows on every page. This is, of course, not possible for everyone, but still, I find it to be a lovely antidote to all the hand-wringing and hair-tearing and sit-at-the-typewriter-and-bleeding contemporary writers seem to do (or claim to do, online or otherwise) these days. If that’s what happens when you write, Bradbury taught, find some other way to spend your time. Which is a pretty good tip. So now, without further ado, I present below an incomplete but illuminating collection of some more of Ray Bradbury’s very best writing advice.

Read further @ Literay Hub





Out Now! Bookish Plaza eZine NOVEMBER Issue

1 11 2018

                                                                                                   Image: BookIsh Plaza

The NOVEMBER issue of BookIsh Plaza eZine is out now!
BookIsh Plaza is your online bookshop for (Dutch)Caribbean literature.

In this issue:

  • Alternative Nobel Prize goes to Caribbean writer
  • Writing the Storms of the Caribbean
  • Writers & their Books for the St. Martin Day
  • And much more ……….

BOOKISH PLAZA eZINE nr.77 NOVEMBER 2018

Fine reading to all our readers. The next ezine will be out in December with a special festivities issue.

Visit BookIsh Plaza for our New Arrivals!





Is imagination necessary to read?

1 11 2018

                                                                                                           PHOTO: Camistok

CAN IMAGINATION GET IN THE WAY OF READING?

Some time ago, I was confronted with a major aspect of reading, something we aren’t conscious of. A friend of mine – a non-reader, by the way – explained to me how he could never get interested in reading. Simply because he had the worst difficulty ever: in his mind, he couldn’t imagine the universe, the characters’ physical qualities or any room that was being described in a book. Therefore, he eventually just gave up picking up books.

This intrigued me. So I started thinking about it. I’ve read books since I can remember, so I can say that my imagination is “well-exercised,” right? As readers, what can we say about these non-readers and the people who choose watching TV over reading? We say they choose to do so because they’re lazy – they refuse to use their imagination because “it’s so hard.” And that’s what popped into my head when I heard my friend complaining about this. But then, something stopped me.

Read further @ BookRiot





And the Nobel Literary Prize goes to……

1 11 2018

                                                                                                      Photo: Lalibre.be

Alternative Nobel literature prize goes to Maryse Condé

The New Academy prize, organised to fill the gap left by the cancellation of 2018’s official award, goes to Guadeloupean novelist.

Guadeloupean novelist Maryse Condé has been announced as the winner of the New Academy prize in literature, a one-off award intended to fill the void left by the cancellation of this year’s scandal-dogged Nobel prize for literature.

Speaking on a video played at a ceremony in Stockholm, Condé said she was “very happy and proud” to win the award. “But please allow me to share it with my family, my friends and above all the people of Guadeloupe, who will be thrilled and touched seeing me receive this prize,” she said. “We are such a small country, only mentioned when there are hurricanes or earthquakes and things like that. Now we are so happy to be recognised for something else.”

The author of some 20 novels, including Desirada, Segu and Crossing the Mangrove, Condé is, according to the chair of judges Ann Pålsson, a “grand storyteller” who “belongs to world literature”.

“She describes the ravages of colonialism and the post-colonial chaos in a language which is both precise and overwhelming,” Pålsson said. “The dead live in her stories closely to the living in a … world where gender, race and class are constantly turned over in new constellations.”

The winner was announced at a Stockholm library – a stark contrast to the baroque splendour of the Swedish Academy – after a three-fold judging process. Unlike the secretive deliberations of the Nobel jury, the New Academy prize saw Swedish librarians nominate authors, who were winnowed down to a final four by a public vote, the winner decided by an expert jury.

Read further @ The Guardian





Drink tea and get into the flow of writing

1 11 2018

                                                                                                      Photo: Stocksy

Put the kettle on: does a cuppa

beat writer’s block?

Research suggestions that drinking tea might help creativity have received endorsement from a number of successful novelists.

Being British, we have all seized on a report about how drinking tea improves creativity. The researchers – led by Yan Huang, from the Psychological and Cognitive Sciences Department of Peking University – recruited 50 students, who were assigned to two groups and given either tea or water to drink. The students were then given tests, the first being to build an “attractive” design with toy blocks, the second to come up with a “cool and attractive” name for a new ramen noodle restaurant. (“An example of a name that received a low innovativeness score is Ramen Family, and an example of a name that received a high score is No Ramen Here.”)

Those who drank tea performed better in both – and so the humble beverage has been hailed as a means to combat writers’ block by the Telegraph. The researchers don’t go that far – and indeed, the creativity of the participants is called somewhat into question by the detail that the academics had to delete more than 200 suggested restaurant names for containing only the word Ramen, or for including location names. Perhaps it was down to the kind of tea they gave them: it was black, and Lipton (the horror).

Read further @ The Guardian





Learn to Write a Short Story

1 11 2018

How to Write a Short Story from Start to Finish

To some extent, the process for writing a story is different each time. In the introduction to American Gods, Neil Gaiman quotes Gene Wolfe, who told him, “You never learn how to write a novel. You only learn to write the novel you’re on.”

This is true for short stories as well.

And yet, there are certain patterns to writing a short story, patterns I think everyone follows in their own haphazard way. I’ll call them steps, but they’re more like general paths that may or may not apply to your story. Still, it’s these patterns that I want to present to you in hopes it will make your own short story writing easier.

Read further @ The Writer Practice