Six Tips for Starting a Book Club

books-1478715-1280x960It was really quite easy. I was working on my master’s thesis, on Moby-Dick, and thought, “If I’m going to be in this book for the next year, I’m taking my friends along with me!” I put the call out, and had a few friends who were interested. I was going to have us do it as a quick-crash summertime bookclub, four weeks through Moby-Dick, but that proved too much. My friends wanted to drag it out. And they were cool with dragging it out. Nine months later, and three of them made it to the finish line, to the end of the novel, and are much better people for it, of course! Continue reading

Advertisements

Oh, Another Blog

Hi friends! So, I started another blog. It’s called Red Letters | White Whales for – you guessed it – The Scarlet Letter and Moby-Dick. It’s my American literary history blog, and I hope to do some more academic posting over there, and leave this blog for fiction writing and reading. Feel free to give it a read!

Well Hello

Hello there! It’s been a while. I’ve been quite busy. I know we all say that we’ve been quite busy, but I think I can justify, maybe? Working full time (40+ hours) managing a program at a very well-known higher ed institution, finishing up my master’s degree in literature, writing a 70+ page master’s thesis on Moby-Dick and Calvinism. Oh, and I moved! Oh, and I run a book club now. Oh, and I’m helping to run a literary magazine! And I’ve been working on my novel. It’s been a little bit of an intense season, you could say. But I’m done with classes! I’ve moved! I’m finishing up my thesis! Things are calming down, so that means diving back into writing projects.

In the meantime, while I’m getting my bearings back to post more, please check out my friend Laura’s blog. She’s working on a novel for her thesis, which means a novel with a hard deadline only nine months away. The first week involved word count spreadsheets and killing spiders, so… #NineMonthsToNovel #SunsetSultan

Also, please check out my new literary magazine, Pocket Change, and submit yer stuff!!

See you soon!
-jessica

 

New Writing Out in Pocket Change Magazine

Hi everyone – so I have some new writing coming out that you can get your hands on! Actually, if you donate to a good cause, you can get your hands on some of my writing! My friend Jen has started Pocket Change Magazine, a journal of stories, poems, and art dedicated to “making change.” The concept is simple: Each volume chooses a charity or cause as its target. Simply donate and you’ll receive the e-mag in return. The first two issues are up now here, with donations going towards the Syrian Refugees and the survivors of the Orland Pulse nightclub shooting. I have a story in each. Enjoy!

Cultural Appropriation and Fiction Writing

A few weeks ago we had the dust-up about J.K. Rowling’s new story on Pottermore, and it raises the question of how fiction writers should approach writing what they don’t know. As someone who wrote a still-in-the-drawer first novel about another culture (ironically, the Navajo, like Ms. Rowling’s story), I have some thoughts on cultural appropriation and fiction writing: Continue reading

A Thought

I’ll never be able to experience reading my novel like I would experience reading any other novel, because I know everything, I’ve known the end since the beginning, I know the cut scenes, the way the characters breathe, what happens in each moment. There’s no discovery of a first-time reader, there is only omniscience.