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Do you Read Poetry?

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Photo Credit: Alanah Leger

This post is by no means meant to be disrespectful. Just a question that I’ve been thinking about. See, I can tell you right now that I only read as much as I do because of WordPress. I couldn’t even tell you any prominent poets writing today. I mean, are there individuals who only write poetry as their job? I have no idea. I also wonder the same thing about short stories. Are there short story writers out there still? But that’s a question for a different day and post.

Every other article you read is about the changing landscape of publishing, right? I mean, we’ve all been told how difficult it is for publishers of any size to make money off their books. Hm. If publishers have a hard time making money off novels, then one would assume that it would be a whole lot more difficult to do so by publishing poetry collections.

I’m sitting here trying to think (without using Google) of poets who are writing right now and I honestly can’t come up with one. All the ones I know wrote in completely different eras. Wordsworth. Plath. Keats. Coleridge. Maybe I’m just out of the loop on this one? I don’t know. I’m not going to sit here and say that poetry is dying or anything like that, but could that really be happening? You tell me.

Do you read poetry outside of an academic setting? Perhaps a better worded question is whether or not you buy poetry collections that are traditionally published.

PS: I just tried to find some current poets and it was rather difficult. I could not find anything about poetry on HarperCollins’s website. And the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning collection has 9 reviews on Amazon. Tell me I’m wrong and I’m just not seeing the light here. Cause it seems to me that poetry may be disappearing.

Do you Reread Books Before The Movie Adaptation is Released?

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Photo Credit: Angelena Pierce/Pinterest

This is something of a companion post to yesterday’s post in which I admitted that I’ve finally decided to reread a series of books for the first time ever. I think the timing is perfect with Mockingjay Part 1 fast approaching release.

See, I’ve never had to answer this question myself. I just started the Harry Potter series this year, so obviously I never had to go back and read any books. And I’m not interested in all the YA adaptations released each year. Cause I’ve never read them anyway. So this is the first time that I’m kind of having to answer this question. I’d just read The Hunger Games before the release of the first movie and then read the other two books in the series shortly thereafter. But I didn’t reread Catching Fire last year, though I did think about it.

Now we’re here. 2014. And I AM going to reread a book before its movie adaptation is released. Why? Maybe this is a normal thing that people do all the time and I’m just catching up. Or maybe I just want to read SOMETHING.

Also, I’ve never had to ask myself this question because I never go to the movies. Ever. I saw one move in theaters in 2013. And two in 2012. The one and only this year comes out on November 21. The tickets are over $10 here. Forget that.

So tell me, do you reread books before the movie adaptation is released?

I’ve Never Reread a Series of Books…Until Now

Yep. I’m going to do it. It’s hard to believe that I’ve never once gone back and read a series from start to finish a second time. I mean, I know my last two years of reading have been a joke, but since 2010 I’ve read a good number of books (128). I don’t know exactly how many different series are in there, but there are a few. And never once did I tell myself that I wanted to experience it again. Eh. Oh well.

But now I am telling myself that. Why? Because why not. I’m not going to make a habit of this, but there’s really no difference between never having done something and having done it just the one time. So now I should probably tell you which series I’m going to reread, right? Hm. If you’ve read my blog long enough to remember who my favorite character is, then you know the answer. If you’ve read my blog long enough to know my favorite series of books, then you know the answer. Or if you’ve read my short bio on my About Me page, then you may or may not be able to figure out the answer.

Still wondering? Okay. I’m rereading that kinda sorta popular trilogy written by Suzanne Collins. There’s this girl named Katniss, maybe you’ve heard of her? I’m not doing this to refresh my memory of the series. I know it. I know the story. I know the characters. I know what I think of Katniss. I’m doing this because I simply feel like rereading three of my all-time favorite books. That’s it.

I first read the series in the first half of 2012. I loved every book, though I definitely have a favorite of the three. And oh by the way, I’m also doing something else for the first time…I’ve never read a series straight through all at once. I always jump from author to author and series to series in order to diversify my reading habits. I’ll also be continuing that practice, but only after I finish the series.

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Suggested Reading for the Week of Halloween

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I’m sure you’re well aware of the fact that Halloween is this week. Well what better time to read a horror story or something that might keep you awake at night than this week, right? But no, I’m not going to be doing the suggesting here…you are! Y’all know I never recommend books or take recommendations because my taste in reading is my taste and yours is yours. But I’m making an exception. I don’t read horror stories or anything remotely scary at all. I’ve just never really been interested, so I have no idea where to even begin. But I’m hoping some of you have a better idea than I do, and you can pass along your knowledge.

So tell me, what are some books that are sure to get me in the Halloween spirit?

Characters and Their Sports

I’m not talking about characters and their favorite sports to watch, I’m talking about characters and the sports they’ve played at some point in the past. I know not every genre does this, but it seems just about every detective novel I read the MC has played a particular sport at a younger age. I don’t see anything wrong with this, but I’m wondering if it’s just what I read or if it’s a bigger thing.

The two sports I know some of my favorite characters have played/participated in are baseball and boxing. I can think of one character who was a minor league baseball player until injury ended his career. And another character who was the top amateur boxer in his state. Maybe you’ve even read or written a character who still plays a particular sport? I haven’t seen that because after all, how many people are still playing a sport after being done with school.

Have you read or written characters who have played sports?

The Interview (poem)

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The Interview

Wake up early
Lie awake
Get showered
And on your way

Dressed to impress
Nerves under control
Up until
Your arrival

You rehearse some answers
And calm your racing heart
And talk yourself up
In the mirror of your car

Then you’re ready
With nothing more to do
Except conquer
This interview

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Why Literary Awards Matter

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Photo Credit: Ben Stansall/Getty Images

From 2014 onward, the Man Booker Prize will be awarded to any book written in English. This year was the first in which authors from the United States were included. The prize is one of the most prestigious in the world.

This year’s prize was awarded to Richard Flanagan for his novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve never read anything he’s ever written. I haven’t. This post is about something else. It’s about literary awards.

Flanagan’s book was one of those well-received works that struggled to find an audience. In fact, his previous books have also struggled to gain traction in the ultra competitive publishing industry here in the US. It was because of the poor sales of his titles that he was considering going to work in the Australian mines. Yes. An author who I can’t seem to find a bad word about online was going to work in mines because he was broke. He wasn’t a middle of the pack author with decent sales, he was broke. Until October 14.

October 14 was the day he won one of the most prestigious literary awards in the world. The cash prize is about $80,000, which isn’t bad in itself, but there was more on the way. Last week, Flanagan earned about $220, 000. That total is more than his previous ten years of BookScan sales. You’re talking about $300,000 to a man who had next to nothing.

I know plenty of you are thinking that writing isn’t all about making money. Okay. You probably say that as you have your “real” job that pays all your bills. Writing is a hobby to you. No matter what you say, but it isn’t for Flanagan. This is his job. His career. So don’t sit there and say literary awards don’t matter, because they do. Because there’s one writer out there who almost had to give up on writing because he was no longer able to support himself. He’s no longer facing that decision.

“In essence, this means I can continue to write.” -Richard Flanagan at the awards ceremony.

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