This article has been making the rounds in Libraryland, and I’m sure some of you may have come across it as well. If not, take a peek!
For me, what’s interesting is the way that folks try to explain “Why Austen.” I’ve never been hugely influenced by Austen– I’ve read 3 of her novels, certainly seen more then a few cinematic adaptations, and even read a few Austen inspired pieces– but she was never a go to for me. To borrow a concept from The Little Paris Bookshop, Austen was never a medicine or tonic that squared with my life (mental, emotional, spiritual), and she’s not in my reading apothecary. At the same time, Lucy Maud Montgomery is, and I think there’s a development in English language novels following Austen, and LMM follows on. So I can’t hate on Austen, to be sure. I think Austen is also easier to appreciate the older you get, because you realize how insightfully she can write about humanity, and you have to see a certain amount of it before you can really get that.
Not summer camp (or summer program, if you’re coming to the College), but Camp NaNo! I’m ready to go– new laptop, got my writing program, got a vague idea. For those unfamiliar, Camp NaNo is an extension of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), in which you commit to writing a 50,000 word novel. It can be done (I’ve managed it only twice, granted, but twice! Its not nothing!).
For anyone who’s thought about doing NaNoWriMo in November, think of camp as a good introduction. NaNoWriMo has some fairly strict rules– you’re can write any type of fiction, but you’re writing a novel when all’s said and done and up until the last few years it had to be a completely new work. They now allow you to work on a previous project, but only new words count toward the goal. Camp, on the other hand, can be used for any type of writing or even revising. You set your word goal, but you have a bit of flexibility there.
It’s fun, and you get email reminders as well as pep talks, plus you know you’re not the only crazy out there trying to do this. They also run word sprints on Twitter, and you can engage with your fellow campers on social media. If you’ve been trying to make yourself write, why not give it a shot? Camp starts July 1. Happy writing!
Happy July to you all! The summer here in New England is probably just as it ought to be: warm verging on hot, humid beyond reason, and green, green, green. Being not a fan of humidity, I find myself able to stand the great outdoors for less time than I would like, and since one can’t spend all day at the library (I mean, you could but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing).
For those among us who enjoy writing, I turn your attention to two points of interesting. First, Camp NaNoWriMo starts today! For those familiar with National Novel Writing Month, Camp is a less intense version. You have more flexibility in the type of project and the word goal — its mainly a fun way to hold yourself accountable to your writing goals. After all, if you let yourself slide, you’ll go months and months without putting a word on the page or Word document or whatever your method may be– not that I would know anything about that… ahem… moving on!
Second, 2016 is really a great year for literary anniversaries. Last week we touched on the 500th anniversary of the publication of Utopia. Today, I will draw your attention to the 200th anniversary of the composition of Frankenstein. The general origins of the story are fairly well known: during the summer of 1816 (also known as “The Year without a Summer”), Mary Wollstonecroft not-yet-Shelley wrote Frankenstein on a dare. Since we’ve reached the 200th anniversary, Arizona State University has a number of resources available under the Frankenstein Bicentennial Project. As part of this, ASU is sponsoring The Frankenstein Dare, a contest to write a short story exploring the relationship between monsters and their creators. Check it out!