Writers as Reader (WaR) April Book Selection, The Professor’s House by Willa Cather

Willa Cather
Willa Cather, born in Virginia in the 1873, is an author and a poet best known for her works depicting frontier life on the Great Plains, O Pioneers! (1913) and My Ántonia (1918) being two of her most recognized novels. One of Cather’s lesser esteemed but no less admired novels is The Professor’s House (1925).

The Professor’s House is a slice of life narrative about a middle aged professor, Godfrey St. Peter, who finds himself, at what should be the pinnacle of his life, despondent and disillusioned. Continue reading

5 Years of In Print

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the I Am In Print 5 Year Celebration. In Print is a premiere writer’s organization in the stateline area along the ipt1Illinois/Wisconsin border. We meet most month’s in Cherry Valley, a small community tucked around the I90, bypass 20, I39 interchange between Rockford and Belvidere. Continue reading

Writers as Readers

As a technical writer, I get paid to analyze technical documents; that is what I do all day. I can do it in my sleep, actually many nights I DO do it in my sleep, but that’s another blog post.

So why is it when I try to analyze something artistic my mind shuts down.

What, what are you doing? We were just reading that story.

I just want to analyze the writer’s use of language and her character development.

No, no you don’t! It’s a good story, let’s just read it and admire it. We like it, don’t we?

I do like it, but why do I like?

Who cares whyyyyyyy we like it. We just do.

But I would like to know more about how she built the story. Understand story arc and tension and scene construction.

Story arch? Tennyson? Scene of the crime? Aaaaah, sure. Let’s do that with the next book. Now, what page were we on?

And so it goes.

I even started a book club, through my writing group In Print Professional Writers Organization, for the express purpose of reading as writers [hence the name Writers as Readers (WAR) book club] to learn more about the craft of writing. The ladies in my group are much more literate about literature than I am. I am way out of my league.

During our discussions, members bring up such insightful observations about the books that we read while I just nod my head saying, “Oh yea, that was well done.”

My problem is I am so into the story (if it’s good) that I’m not paying attention to the nuts and bolts of the structure. I really have to work on that.

Still, I persevere. I have even thought of reading a book once for the sheer pleasure of it, then reading it a second time to study and analyze. Yea, that’s not happening.

 

 

A Discussion of “The Language of Flowers”

My guest post on the In Print Blog.

In Print Writers

womens_book_clubHave you ever read a really good book or managed to finish a really bad one and wanted to talk about it, dissect it and figure out what makes it work or what doesn’t? Several fellow writers and I felt the same way, so we formed the 1st Tuesday Book Discussion Group. Our intent is to learn and share with fellow writers.

We meet once a month. Take a guess when……go ahead, guess……..you got it! The first Tuesday of the month! You are just so clever.

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