Sunday Salon: Whale of a tale!

I finished that whale of a tale, Moby Dick by Herman Melville.  It was long and yes ended up skimming some parts. It was educational, poetical, dramatic, and for the most part interesting. Now know more than I even wanted too about whales.  I honestly couldn't have read this book in high school and done it justice.  I would have been bored to tears and given up on it.


Speaking of giving up - I picked up Story Engineering by Larry Brooks based on some great reviews.   Started reading it and could not separate the wheat from the chaff. It seemed to be one long infomercial with very little substance.  One book that is short on chaff and full of wheat is James Scott Bell's Revision and Self Editing.  I'm learning much from it.  And talk about synchronicity.  Yesterday I was pretty disgusted with my opening chapter of Blue Steel. The beginning is just not popping and rethinking the whole thing.  What do I come across in Bell's book....

A quote from Randy Wayne White on page 78:  " The most debilitating thing about writing is that the voice inside us, the voice we trust more than others, says, "You're not good enough, you're not smart enough, what you wrote yesterday really stinks."  What aspiring writers should keep in mind is that we all hear that voice, and sometimes that voice lies to us.  In fact, when it comes to writing, that voice almost always lies to us.  Midway through a book you are going to read back and think, "this is awful."  Now it may be awful, but it also may be wonderful and you've simply read it so many times your ear has gone deaf.  Don't listen to that voice."

Thank you. Just the kick in the butt I needed.  Two steps forward, one step back. Time to quit rowing upstream for a while.  Goals for this week are to do a reread for content and write down thoughts on what needs to be improved, eliminated, or added.  I outlined the chapters, but didn't do a thorough read through. A must do.

Check out my fellow ROWERs here.  We are coming to the end of round one on March 22nd.  I've volunteered to be a sponsor for round 2 which starts April 2nd.  Time to start getting more specific with my goals. Plus it will give me a kick in the pants which will help me meet my goal of visiting at least 5 rowers a day. 

The Sunday

It's week 11 in our quest to read 52 Books in 52 Weeks.  Highlighted G.K. Chesterton and his novel The Man Who Was Thursday. Coincidentally just finished reading about a character named Thursday in The Eyre Affair by Jaspar Fforde.  She's a great character and the story line was quite interesting. Looking forward to reading One of our Thursdays is Missing soon.  On the nightstand to read this week:  Bond Girl - Erin Duffy (courtesy of William Morrow) and Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Did you remember to set your clocks forward last night!


  1. That quote from Bell's book is amazing! I have that problem all the time-that voice makes me want to just throw in the towel when I am re-reading what I have written. I so was in need of that message so thank you so much for sharing that and good luck this week with your goals!

  2. Bell's works are always excellent reads - haven't read the Editing one yet, but it is on the list. As for Brooks - his system is scattered throughout but it was too "preachy" and the eternal rant on pantsers was a major drag. It would have been better to get to his points (and would have made the book an afternoon read). Find the "Single Most Powerful Writing Tool That Fits on One Page" (page 217 in my copy) and you'll get the entire thing in about five minutes (just so you get your money's worth from the book).

    Have a fantastic week, Robin :)

  3. BRAVO!!!!!!!! So weird that I was just talking to a teacher today about Moby Dick and how the only version of that book I'll ever read is the kid's Great Illustrated Classics!!! have a great week with your writing!


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