Book Badass

Book Badass

Hello to all of my book-loving friends,

This is a shameless self-promoting blog post for a new venture I have embarked on with some friends. Its’ so much fun and I’m really excited about this!

If you’ve read my blog or my book, Prophecy, then you know that I love, absolutely adore, badass main characters, especially the female ones who can take care of themselves or go against what is expected in order to remain true to themselves.

That’s where this new business fits it. It’s called Book Badass, It’s a book box subscription with a difference — each month we select a badass book to highlight. What is a badass book? It’s a book with kick ass protagonists who can save themselves, daring themes, books that make us think, or take us out of our comfort zones and push our boundaries. Books you stay up reading all night because you can’t put them down. These books may be inspirational, tragic, funny, sad, or magical. Or all of those. Always, the books we choose have spoken to us, lingered with us even after we’ve turned the last page.

We are pairing these books with several items that compliment or enhance your reading experience — and all delivered to your door every month.

And wait until you read January’s selectionEleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. This book will make you laugh and make you cry. Eleanor is an endearing badass who’s lack of social skills mean that she doesn’t mince words or suffer fools. She’s literally walked through the flames and has survived. Join us in the new year as we cozy up to this remarkable debut novel from Gail Honeyman. The rest of this box’s contents are still secret for now.

Murder on the Orient Express Badass Specialty Box.

We also have Specialty Boxes with a current book and several items that set you up for a luxurious reading experience.

These boxes make a great gift for you or for the book-loving people in your life.

Our website is BookBadass.com. And if you sign up for our newsletter, you will receive a coupon for 10% off your first order.

Thanks for letting me share this exciting new business with you!

Subscribe to the Book Badass mailing list and receive 10% off your first order.

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New Writing Practice

Yesterday, as I was scanning my Facebook feed, I found this article called How to Write Your Best Story Ever With One Epic Exercise by Jennifer Manuel.  My curiosity was piqued, and I have to say the article really resonated with me. Basically, she advocates finding a book you enjoy or admire the writing of and copy it out by hand every day before your other writing.

By Unknown – Original: Blades, William: Pentateuch of Printing with a Chapter on Judges (1891)

The idea fascinates me. I’ve always thought about how painters learn to paint by copying the masters, but I had never thought to apply this to writing beyond reading good writers. It makes so much sense to me to physically copy out other author’s writing in order to learn from it. It slows us down and makes us pay attention.

And, Manuel sites a tradition of authors copying out other writers to learn their craft, from Robert Louis Stephenson to Benjamin Franklin.

Manuel said that she has been copywriting for a year and has seen stunning results — and has written the best story of her life during this time. I highly suggest visitng Manuel’s page (click on the link in the first paragraph) as she lays out three different ways of practicing copywriting.

So, I’m going to give it a go.  I also have had trouble lately getting into the creative flow, so I am hoping that copywriting will help by getting my brain gently into writing mode. Even if I have writer’s block, I can still do something towards my writing, which I love.

I’m going to start with one of Thoreau’s essays from Walden because I think he has interesting sentence structure. I started today and found the exercise soothing and meditative. I’ll keep you updated.

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Book Review: Writing the Natural Way

Writing the Natural Way: Turn the Task of Writing into the Joy of Writing

For those who yearn to write but falter at the sight of a blank page, the unique, student-proven techniques in Writing the Natural Way will help unlock natural writing style and storytelling abilities. First published in 1983, this popular classic has been revised with five completely new chapters and a wealth of field-tested exercises. Since 1973, Dr. Gabriele Rico has pioneered a dramatically different approach to writing that releases creative potential by tapping a rarely accessed part of the brain. Writing easily, meaningfully, and spontaneously is a simple matter of flowing with, rather than resisting, the mind’s natural cooperative rhythms. By abolishing formal rules and quelling the painful inner critic, Writing the Natural Way helps writers of all levels acquire the spontaneity and ease of uninhibited self-expression.
Review:
I absolutely love this book. I’ve actually had it for years and have dabbled with it off and on, always finding the exercises useful, but recently decided to read it cover to cover and do the exercises at the same time. I really enjoyed it and found something useful in every chapter, and even ended up with some decent work. More importantly, I kept my creative juices flowing.
Rico bases her work on right and left brain differences, what she calls Sign and Design mind. She uses a process called clustering to access that part of the brain that sees patterns and to (temporarily) bypass the internal editor in order to get ideas down on paper. She is a proponent of playing while writing and trying to re-discover that child-like wonder that many of us have forgotten.
For me, this is a wonderful approach, as I like to get my ideas down, get the words on the paper, play with words, and then edit it later. I found myself often coming full circle and making interesting, just like she said natural writing often does. And most of the exercises take 5 minutes or less.
I highly recommend this book for new and experienced writers. Rico’s approach is fun and easy — deceptively so, teaching us to trust ourselves and our brains to make connections and write from a natural place. As she illustrates in her book, this method works for both children and adults. If you are a writer and have ever experienced writer’s block, don’t know where to begin, or are looking to explore your creativity, I highly recommend checking out this book.

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