Reading · Writing

Saturday Summation – 01 February 2014

Bits and pieces of things that caught my eye not only for my own interest, but enough to want to share with you, too…

Okay, so this isn’t quite a real Saturday Summation – and it is barely even a post, but since I had a couple of things to share that sort of fit the bill, I figured the category was close enough.

Writing Stuff

I launched a new blog this past week, and I’d love for you to check it out. It’s a showcase one for other unpublished writers (not my stuff, I figure I already have my own venue for that). I’ve been running into more and more people who are just starting to experiment with original fiction – and also many others who have been doing so for quite some time, but haven’t made the leap to sharing it with the world. It’s called Fiction with Friends, designed to be a safe venue for just this kind of sharing. Take a look at the purpose, the submission guidelines, and a couple of stories that have already been published. If you are one such writer, too, I’d love to see your work. There are prompts there and if you follow @FictionWFriends on Twitter, more will show up there, too (if you want them – but it is NOT required to submit a prompt-based story). Thanks!

Reading Stuff

I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about this issue before (and probably more recently than I think – apologies for my poor memory and lazy searching skills), but I will throw it out there again: are you able to separate artist from art? Yesterday I was sharing one of the books that I planned on reading, but a friend of mine told me that she couldn’t get past the personal behaviors of the author. When I looked the author up, I quickly felt inclined to agree. This isn’t the first time this has happened for me and won’t be the last. I don’t always feel like it can get in the way – it rather depends on how egregious the words or actions by the author are. If an author’s words or behaviors are insulting to a group of people at large, it sticks. In other words, if the author is just making personal choices that I don’t agree with, I can usually let it go. However, if those personal choices leave that personal realm, well… not so much

On the flip side, I tend to enjoy books by authors I really like and respect even more because of how I feel about the authors. I’ve made no secret that John Green is one of my favorites. It doesn’t hurt that the first book of his I read was The Fault in Our Stars. It’s rightly gotten a lot of acclaim. It’s beautifully written. I’ve read a couple of others of his, which I’ve enjoyed to a lesser degree. But I tout his books so much because he seems like such a genuinely good person. The same goes for Sarah Dessen. I really love her books, but after following her on Twitter for a long time and also reading her blog, I want to be friends with her. That being the case, it’s hard not to love her books that much more. Laura Drake. Miranda Keanneally. Henry Winkler. LeVar Burton.

Who are authors that fall into this category for you – ones you like their books even more because you just like them?

Some final reading “stuff”… I mentioned in my last Saturday Summation (like, a MONTH ago, I have really disappeared from here lately, haven’t I?) that I was discontinuing my Reads and Recs posts, but you can still find me on Goodreads for what I’m reading and I’m still rating books over there. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least indicate a couple of books I really loved this past month: This Is Where I Leave You, by Jonathan Tropper (adult fiction) and Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan. (young adult fiction)

Video of the Week

It seems appropriate for this post to just leave this movie trailer here…

5 thoughts on “Saturday Summation – 01 February 2014

  1. Very interesting post! I’d be curious to know if you’ve ever read a book you enjoyed, and then when you searched the author, were displeased with what you found. That is, I’m wondering if the artists themselves can live one way and create art that is bigger and better than they are, that can stand on its own.

    I’ve also enjoyed the work of Jonathan Tropper for years (he grew up in the next town from me, though I only discovered him a few years ago). But I worried that he was a lot like his protagonists. That is, guys who always seem to be victims, drawn into ridiculous situations that turn their lives upside down but who, upon closer inspection, have no real tools to deal with any of it, as if they’d never grown up. Reading about him started to confirm some of that immaturity, so I let it drop for fear of it coloring my love of his work. But I admit I haven’t read any of his books since.

    Thanks for getting me thinking!


    1. Yes – my opinion of a book after I’ve read it has been tainted up later knowledge of an author (which has bummed me out at times) – and recently I stopped watching a TV show because one of the main actors who everyone told me as SO NICE made some disconcertingly racist comments not long ago and I just couldn’t go back to watching his stuff.

      Re: Jonathan Tropper – I don’t think that would bother me quite as much, because it doesn’t seem like he is being outwardly offensive (interesting info, though!). I don’t know, though – as I get deeper into the writing profession, it gets harder to figure out where my own line is. Fortunately, books and authors are prolific, so to make a personal decision to quite reading an author is not quite as difficult as it needs to be.


  2. Finding out personal information about an author (actor, performer, etc) really does impact the way I view that person’s work. I don’t know if that’s fair. I don’t know if I should be bigger than that, but I’m coming to peace with the fact that, for me, the art and the artist seem to be inextricably linked. As it is for you, the opposite is also true. I enjoy Sarah Dessen even more because I like how real she is on twitter. My love for Harry Potter grew when JK Rowling started a charity to work on family preservation (but then was evened out by her comments about Ron/Hermione- whatever, J.K.)


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