May 14, 2008

6 Unspectacular Literary Quirks: v. D_C

(Snagged from LK!)

The first 3 quirks are about me as a reader; the last 3 are about me as a writer.

1. I am a slow-ass reader with an embarrassingly short attention span that's been further stunted through the years by too many ed psych textbooks. The best way to ensure comprehension on the first go-around (e.g. so I am not reading the same graf over and over and over) is to read aloud. This is effective but inconvenient. It is why only the noisiest coffeehouses will have me, and why I look like one of those people (pause while you conjure Einstein-haired girl with canvas book bag and mouth moving in a perpetual mumble) while sitting in traffic.

2. Yes, I read in heavy traffic. I know: escaping to the Washington Zoo while operating heavy machinery, even in the slowest of "rush" hour crawls = bad.

3. I like reading to people and being read to. Introducing literature by reading to students is one of my favorite things about being an elementary school teacher. This year I've read: Sharon Creech's Replay, Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, and countless beginnings of other stories (with the hopes of drawing the kids in to read the novels independently). You can read picture books to fifth graders. You can read novels to fifth graders. Fifth graders can read to you. It's awesome. One of our favorites, which has been read aloud countless times this year: Double Trouble in Walla Walla, by Andrew Clements (the!) - a wonderful mess of onomatopoeia and repetitive, rhyming, alliterative and assonant words and phrases. You can't not read this one aloud.

4. As far as fiction goes, I've only ever finished four short stories. I've stashed countless beginnings, middles, and ends; I have notebooks upon notebooks of, well, notes - on the humanity contained in stolen conversations and constantly-upset assumptions based on trivial observations. I have written seven pieces published under the Features and Editorial sections of the local paper. I blog daily. But finished pieces of fiction: just four shorts.

5. I do my best writing when I'm not supposed to be writing at all. When I should be grading papers, washing dishes, getting in the car to go somewhere important, sleeping because there are only four hours left to the night - these are the times I get the really, really good ideas.

6. I've never even attempted NaNoWriMo. There, I said it. Now go away and leave me alone to wallow in my shame.


LK said...

#1: yes, yes, and yes. I am embarrassed as other bloggers chalk up a hundred books each year on their blogs, while I twitter at about 30 or less.

Oh, I get ideas in the shower, driving, and either when I immediately wake up or before falling asleep. Re the driving/dishwashing syndrome: The mind is free to disengage while the body must remain alert to produce these tasks. Hence, this may be why we tend to be creative while engaging in such activities.

damned_cat said...

I know! I feel the same way looking at some people's booklists.(By the way, your 30 books are nothing to sneeze at.)

Donigan said...

Check this one out and let me know what you think.

Site Meter