My long list of books I’ve loved… These are books from all genres and none, for all ages. It’s not a snob list of books I pretend I’ve read – I have actually read each of these, to the end, at least once. And I think everyone would enjoy most of them, too.
I’ve adapted a list I filched off Facebook, removed some, added some. There’ll be lots I’ve missed off or *shame* forgotten. I’ve stuck to one (max 2) books by any author, even though it pained me to resist temptation.
I invite you to do the same and pass on your list. But before you do, please let me which of these you’ve read (or your top 5 or 10 favourites off the list) and which titles you’d add or delete.
And which of these have you hated? Or tried to read and gave up in boredom or disgust? I junked Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, and the Shipping News, for instance. Got bored by the first, and enraged by the second.
This isn’t a contest and there are no right or wrong answers. It’s just fun to see what people read, what they like and what they don’t.
There are two which you might think I’ve chosen just because of their titles. You’ll know when you see them… But genuinely I love these books for much more than the title (although they are little extra bonuses).
Tell me about your books and whether they’ve changed your life in any way. And what are you reading right now?
Grant Snider’s comic strips make the perfect 30-second brain break between chapters for overburdened writers…
I get too many ideas to handle, but when I try, or think about it, my imagination is shoved aside by the enemy to creativity – the rational left brain. The bit of our brain that thinks and analyses and keeps tight control.
How to free your imagination
Shutting up the left brain isn’t easy. It helps enormously to have someone else lock it out for you. Handing over control to them for a few minutes at a time, the left brain has nothing to do and your right brain can let loose and the damned-up torrent of creative imagination can flow straight from your unconscious mind – a deep ocean of rich inner life inside every human being.
Are you aware of what education is about?
We are taught from the cradle to control our bodies and our minds, to think and learn, to conform and perform to expectations. School, university and employment reinforces the importance of left-brain control. No wonder most of us end up thinking we have no imagination, or are not the creative type!
You can choose now
You’re grown up and out in the world. You can choose how to use your mind. I want you to realise that you’re not going to run amok and cause chaos if you let your imagination loose… And I’m sure you understand how good it is for your mental and emotional well-being to give your left brain a rest and exercise your right brain now and then.
A change is as good as a rest… so change your mind (at least change sides) and get all you’d have from a holiday – fun, novelty, relaxation, stimulation, new sensual experiences. You come back refreshed and ready for new challenges. Fresh ideas, new directions, new possibilities, new opportunities.
- Valentine’s Day – half a dozen ideas (wheredoyougetyourideas.net)
- Characteristics of Highly Creative People (creativitypost.com)
- Are gifted and special-needs students being left behind? (denverpost.com)
- The Unconscious and Your Creativity (catherinekaputa.typepad.com)
- Why we write – a novel answer (dewaddell.com)
- Dr. Ron Stotts: The Creativity Crisis (lugenfamilyoffice.com)
Here are the confirmed dates for full-day workshops in February and March.
[Click on any date for booking details.]
Saturday 16th February in Brasov, Romania.
March – UK
Friday 1st in Bath (alongside the Bath Literary Festival)
Tuesday 5th in Liverpool
Friday 8th in Manchester
Sunday 10th in Oxford (a week before the Oxford Literary Festival)
Tuesday 12th in Saffron Walden, Essex
Thursday 14th in Rye, East Sussex.
Autumn in Transylvania
From Thursday 26 September to Thursday 3rd October, I’m running a week-long intensive writers’ workshop in Magura, Transylvania. Read more…
Crime writers and gritty romance writers… have a look at this story from the BBC website today. It just shows how small an act can provoke vicious murder.
An angry man, a control freak, with a knife in his hand. A woman’s petty act of annoyance. Now she’s dead and he’s doing life.
Find the story here, and let your imagination fill in the back story, the investigation and whatever else leaps to your writer’s mind.
First post of 2013: I wish you happy writing, smooth revising, and joyful publication. May all your plot lines run true, and your characters surprise you.
Now for some stimulus to kick off your fictional year.