Friday, October 30, 2015

Book Review: Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah Hepola

"It's such a savage thing to lose your memory, but the crazy thing is, it doesn't hurt one bit. A blackout doesn't sting, or stab, or leave a scar when it robs you. Close your eyes and open them again. That's what a blackout feels like."

For Sarah Hepola, alcohol was "the gasoline of all adventure." She spent her evenings at cocktail parties and dark bars where she proudly stayed till last call. Drinking felt like freedom, part of her birthright as a strong, enlightened twenty-first-century woman.

But there was a price. She often blacked out, waking up with a blank space where four hours should be. Mornings became detective work on her own life. What did I say last night? How did I meet that guy? She apologized for things she couldn't remember doing, as though she were cleaning up after an evil twin. Publicly, she covered her shame with self-deprecating jokes, and her career flourished, but as the blackouts accumulated, she could no longer avoid a sinking truth. The fuel she thought she needed was draining her spirit instead.

A memoir of unblinking honesty and poignant, laugh-out-loud humor, BLACKOUT is the story of a woman stumbling into a new kind of adventure--the sober life she never wanted. Shining a light into her blackouts, she discovers the person she buried, as well as the confidence, intimacy, and creativity she once believed came only from a bottle. Her tale will resonate with anyone who has been forced to reinvent or struggled in the face of necessary change. It's about giving up the thing you cherish most--but getting yourself back in return.- Amazon Description

I do not remember exactly how I came across the title of this book, I do remember reading the look inside on Amazon. Instantly wanted to read the rest and immediately placed a hold. 
Enjoyed probably isn't the best word to describe reading Blackout, it was an interesting and brutally honest story about a girl and her love affair with drinking. I have known a few alcoholics and much of the story rang true to me. While there are tough bits to read, that I am sure were pure misery writing, there is a ton of humor and sarcasm that I did enjoy.
Go give the look inside on Amazon a read to see if you like the authors style.

This book is available for checkout through the Lake County Library System.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

National Novel Writing Month Come Write in!

I updated the previous post to reflect the time available change from starting at 5 to 5:45 until 7pm.

Friday, October 23, 2015

9 Writing Books for National Novel Writing Month

 How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card shares his advice on how to break into this field, how to develop fantastic story ideas, and evolve fresh plots. –Amazon Description

Novelist’s Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes by Raymond Obstfeld

The core dramatic unit of any novel is the scene. Writers use scenes to contain the novel's action and explore its characters. In this book, novelist and collegiate writing instructor Raymond Obstfeld vibrantly explains every aspect of constructing these vital elements and shows how to apply those techniques to create specific types - action scenes, comic scenes, sex scenes and more. He then reveals how to link these scenes to form powerful novels. Obstfeld delivers advice born from years of writing and teaching experience in a fresh, witty voice perfectly suited to today's busy reader. Writers of any type of fiction will find quick remedies to their prose woes with his unique exercises and gorgeous use of examples from contemporary novels and films. Accessible to beginning writers, yet also appealing to more seasoned authors, The Novelist's Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes will be the next classic writing manual all novelists will want on their shelves. – Amazon Description

On Writing by Stephen King

 “Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told. – Amazon Description

Shut Up and Write! by Judy Bridges
Shut Up & Write! is the winner of four national awards and the indispensable companion of many successful writers. Written for fiction and non-fiction writers at all levels, it demystifies the process of writing with easy-to-access tools, instruction, examples, and inspiration. It includes tips on writing fact and fiction; making characters come alive; selecting a point of view; the "get and give" of critiques; how to keep going when the going gets tough, and how to get happily published. Encouraging, humorous, straight-talking, Shut Up & Write! is filled with such practical information about the craft of writing and advice about the care and feeding of the Inner Writer that it's destined to become every writer's best friend. – Amazon Description

Wired for Story by Lisa Cron
Imagine knowing what the brain craves from every tale it encounters, what fuels the success of any great story, and what keeps readers transfixed. Wired for Story reveals these cognitive secrets--and it's a game-changer for anyone who has ever set pen to paper.
     The vast majority of writing advice focuses on "writing well" as if it were the same as telling a great story. This is exactly where many aspiring writers fail--they strive for beautiful metaphors, authentic dialogue, and interesting characters, losing sight of the one thing that every engaging story must do: ignite the brain's hardwired desire to learn what happens next. When writers tap into the evolutionary purpose of story and electrify our curiosity, it triggers a delicious dopamine rush that tells us to pay attention. Without it, even the most perfect prose won't hold anyone's interest.
     Backed by recent breakthroughs in neuroscience as well as examples from novels, screenplays, and short stories, Wired for Story offers a revolutionary look at story as the brain experiences it. Each chapter zeroes in on an aspect of the brain, its corresponding revelation about story, and the way to apply it to your storytelling right now. – Amazon Description

Write Away: One Novelists Approach to Fiction and the Writing Life by Elizabeth George

Bestselling author Elizabeth George has spent years teaching writing, and in Write Away she shares her knowledge of the creative process. George combines clear, intelligent, and functional advice on fiction writing with anecdotes from her own life, the story of her journey to publication, and inside information on how she meticulously researches and writes her novels. George's solid understanding of craft is conveyed in the enticing manner of a true storyteller, making Write Away not only a marvelous, interesting, and informative book but also a glimpse inside the world of a beloved writer. – Amazon Description
Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink by Gail Carson Levine

Bestselling author of Ella Enchanted and fairy-tale master Gail Carson Levine shares her secrets of great writing in this companion to the popular Writing Magic.

Have you ever wanted to captivate readers with a great opening, create spectacular and fantastical creatures, make up an entire country, realize a dastardly villain, write an epic love story, or make your characters leap off the page? If you answered yes to any of these questions, Gail Carson Levine can help you achieve your goals.

Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine offers a behind-the-scenes take on writing and teaches you how to become a world-class author. Drawing from her popular blog, Gail answers readers' fiction- and poetry-writing questions and dives into how to make a story come alive. If you're interested in writing prose and poetry or just want to be a better and more rounded writer, this book will help you on your creative journey. -Amazon Description

The Writer’s Idea Book by Jack Heffron

Writers will jump start their creativity with over 500 unique idea-generating prompts, from clustering to role-playing to automatic writing, that get the words flowing. – Amazon Description

The Craft of Writing Science Fiction that Sells by Ben Bova 

Guides writers step by step through the major elements of SF storytelling, showing how to construct strong, editor-attracting stories and novels. –Amazon Description

All of these books are available for checkout at through the Lake County Library System.