Wednesday, October 2, 2019

IWSG October

Happy Fall! How's the weather in your neck of the woods? We're supposed to have record highs (almost 90)  on Oct. 1 followed by cool, cool 50s and 60s. Sounds perfect to me. The only thing better would be to live in Browning, Montana! 


What's better than 4 feet of snow in September? Maybe four awesome co-hosts for this month's IWSG bloghopRonel Janse van Vuuren, Mary Aalgaard, Madeline Mora-Summonte, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor.

And a big thanks, of course, to our host, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

October's Optional Question: It's been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don't enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?

Image: Amazon

I went to an author talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the author of Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, The Thing Around Your Neck, Americanah, and We Should All Be Feminists. She told the audience that she didn't read fiction while she was trying to write fiction, because she didn't want another author's voice in her head. 

I was both impressed and horrified. It takes me months, if not years, to complete a book. (I am a tortoise). 


Hmm, now what? 

I can't imagine giving up fiction. I need to read like I need to breathe. I'd sooner give up toilet paper. Now, I don't fault any writer who does stay away from reading to focus on their own work. Their writing could very well be amazing. Adichie's books certainly are. I just couldn't live that way.

Speaking of tortoises, I've been slowly working on a new manuscript and am approaching the end of the first draft. I'll be super happy to reach that milestone, because I love to edit and expand. Right now, I've got a plot and a ton of dialogue, but almost no scenery or reflections/feelings from the characters. My first draft is an empty house waiting to be furnished and decorated. Oh, the possibilities. 

And yes, I've been reading constantly, including Stephen King's The Institute and Margaret Atwood's The Testaments. Just following my bliss.



Have you read any of Adichie's books? Did you know Half a Yellow Sun was made into a movie? (I didn't.) Read or write anything awesome lately? How do you find your bliss?


  1. It takes me forever to write a book as well, so it would be very hard to go that long without reading fiction! I always find reading makes me want to get back to writing.

  2. We are on the same page, Tamara! Must read books . . . a lot. Just wish I had more time (Stephen King is teasing me from the corner of my desk . . . "Read me . . ." Words beget words and stir the imagination.

  3. It was only on a recent creative writing course that I realised I’d been neglecting my reading, and I was hoping to be an author 😳

  4. This made me laugh out loud - "I can't imagine giving up fiction. I need to read like I need to breathe. I'd sooner give up toilet paper." And I feel the same way! :)

    Did you like The Institute? I enjoyed it. And I am totally talking up The Whisper Man by Alex North - so creepy!

  5. I can somewhat understand about not wishing to invade another authors words, if they were writing the exact same genre. But, that's not me. I have to read.

  6. I can imagine not reading your genre when first crafting a story, but not all books.
    Our temperatures have been the same. I don't think I want four feet of snow but some fall weather would be nice.

  7. I'm glad I don't have the problem of not being able to read when writing like that author. Congrats on finishing your draft! I can't wait to get there in mine so I can edit like you. Love it way more than the first draft.

  8. You are not the only one who takes a loooong time to write a book. However, I don't love the editing part, which is where I spend most of my time wandering.

  9. I haven't read any of Adiche's books, although I may now add them to my TBR list. Can't imagine my life without reading either.

    Cheers - Ellen

  10. Good luck on finishing your book. Each book takes a different length of time to complete. Some can have a first draft finished in a few months, while others can take a decade or more.

  11. Adiche's Purple Hibiscus left a scar on my psyche. She's an engaging and descriptive writer. I couldn't give up fiction for an extended period of time, either. But, I do need to focus more on my own writing of it!
    Happy IWSG Day!
    Mary at Play off the Page

  12. It's taking me forever too so we can be tortoises together. It's been in the 90s here all week and I am dying for fall temperatures. Keeping my fingers crossed for the weekend.
    Happy fall to you!

  13. I couldn't give up fiction for as long as it takes me to finish a project. I'd probably never read another book as long as I'd live.

    And I would love some cool 50 and 60 degree weather. Maybe not the four feet of snow, though.

  14. The decorating and furnishing is so much fun.

  15. Not sure I would want to read someone who doesn't read herself. Fast or slow is not important, but Yes or No is.

  16. I have one of her books on my TBR shelf. I can't imagine not reading. I do it every day.

  17. I don't think I'd have the patience to wait to read something new while busy with my own writing...

  18. I'm with you, not reading feels like a punishment. And I only WISH that I could copy a great writer so well as to read their book and then write like them. That would be sweet.

  19. Love the decorating a house analogy. I write the same way--mine is all dialogue and stage directions, though. Following your bliss is a lovely way to describe reading. I'm always following mine.


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  21. I cannot imagine not reading, even for a day!

  22. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is my on my TBR. I cannot imagine not reading.


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