Pick Your Prince


Harsh, yes… but the question is, have you picked your prince? Because that is what you do, you choose him, and you know what he is. And then, when you have chosen, you say to him—yes, that is possible, yes that can be done. Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel Read on, Reader!

The Book Will Not Bite You: Dune in June Read-Along Week 1


SCENE: A set for a cooking show. COURTENAY BLUEBIRD and JOE THE CAMERAMAN. Courtenay Bluebird is wearing a black jumpsuit. Joe the Cameraman is dressed as a space nun. He is so angry he can’t see straight. Read on, Reader!

Our Sunday Best: Who Is Driving This Story, Anyway? POV in Writing

C.W.A.Scott Binoculars

I crave books I love the way I crave certain foods.   I will stop cold in the middle of a task during the day with a single line from a novel or poem written in fire over my head, and the craving is so strong that I know, before the day is out, I will have that book tucked open in my right hand as neatly, and as tightly as a well-made bed.

The moment that drives my ordinary reader’s desire into the swerve of a bibliophilic craving is the artistry of the writing itself. (There are stories, and there are stories, after all.) What keeps me turning pages is my fascination with the person (or persons) whose story is being told.

But who is telling the story?

I’m not talking about the writer/author, per se.

(We know s/he is telling the story— sometimes s/he tells us right in the middle of the story— disruptively— but we’ll get into the fiddly bits of postmodern literature in just a bit.)

What I’m trying to ask you here is who is the actual voice telling you the story?

POV, or point-of-view, is one of the most necessary structural details you need to consider as you prepare to write your own stories.

Because, for every story, there are a thousand, thousand ways to use POV as one of the pistons pulling the action and motivation and meaning along.

There are no shortcuts to figuring out the POV question to help you sort out the structural details of your story.   

What should be helpful is to know what your options are in the POV world.   (Some structural details of a novel are setting, plot, tense, time frame and so on. There are many architectural elements necessary to provide your novel with a solid structure, but POV …. Read on, Reader!

5-Minute Dance Party [Sonnet 116— Chicken Shop Shakespeare]



(Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds) Sonnet 116
Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove:

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle’s compass come:

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me proved,

I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Remember I said I would have a few surprises for you this week?

My friend K— introduced me to Chicken Shop Shakespeare, a collection of short selections of Shakespeare’s works set in ordinary locations.

I think it’s brilliant.

I realize the sound quality may be a little earthy, which is why I have provided a copy of the famed “Sonnet 116″ as a read-a-long guide. (I use closed captioning a lot, personally, anyway, for everything, as I have a mild hearing loss.)

I would argue in this one case, though, that the sound editing adds a sense of immediacy and reality that you don’t often get with Shakespeare. (It’s nice to have the text in front of you though, isn’t it?)

Chicken Shop Shakespeare takes requests. REQUESTS!

I think we should make a Shakespeare sonnet or soliloquy request! The question is— which one?

Essentially, all of Shakespeare’s sonnets are about some facet of love.

This sonnet is complex in its allusions and metaphors, but it’s fairly direct in its meaning.

Want to discuss the meaning of “Sonnet 116″ …. Read on, Reader!

Our Sunday Best | Lit From Within



When writers explain the writing process, they categorize writing as both art and craft. The words themselves are the art medium used to create worlds. The shape and structure of those words on a page are the result of craft.

All professional writers learn the same process of putting words to paper, then learning that there are better ways to put words to paper, and finally, realizing that words to paper are the beginning of a long road of crafting and refining draft after draft into a final result.

Whether that result is a poem, a story, an essay, or a novel depends on the temperament of the writer and her/his chosen mode of communication. These disciplines have one thing in common— they seek to communicate the mysteries of experience.
Here are a grouping of glorious websites to help you consider both the art and the craft of the writing process (Plus one extra for fun!) :
Harvey Fergusson 1921


Wordnik is a new website on the scene that approaches words, and language, in a revolutionary way. Unlike a dictionary, Wordnik does not merely define a word, it gives you a full experience of the word. The search engine button, to give you an example, says “I always feel lucky.”

I looked up “book” and was given every definition that could be culled from five different dictionaries.

On the right-hand side were examples of “book” used in context grabbed fresh from the internet.

Below that, Wordnik listed a basic etymology (history) of “book” in a single sentence with a pronunciation key.

Beneath all of these pleasures, the page explodes with lists of synonyms, hypernyms, hyponyms, and …. Read on, Reader!