It’s been a while since I’ve visited you here, my friends. I’m happy to say I’m back on track with my reading – having just finished The Virtues of Aging, by Jimmy Carter, my 28th book of the year. I just started Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace and it may be the last one of the year, gauging by its volume. On the side, I’m finishing up Wired for Story (by Lisa Cron), a book that is really surprising me with its impressive list of sources the author uses to back up her ideas.
The idea that our minds plays a part in how and what we read doesn’t surprise me, but the number of studies conducted on this topic does. She uses data from leading neuroscientists and psychologists and cleverly compares aspects of how the brain works to how story works. As you read it, it all rings true. After all, those etchings on cave walls weren’t for nothing. Humans crave telling and hearing stories. And no amount of pretty prose or compelling characters is going to matter if there’s not a story to go along with it. We pay attention to stories because the books reflect the world around us, and in life, we always want to know what’s going to happen next.
According to science, it helps us explore how we would react in a similar situation, or to explore the options of said situation. Anyway, it’s a fantastic book so far – I highly recommend it.
On the writing front, I’m “x” words (writing in long hand and trying not to put it into the computer just to see how many words I’ve written!) into a new short story and am still at work on a second novel. Truth be told, there are two novels in progress – one much more developed than the other. I waver back and forth between which I want to focus on – a bad habit of mine after I completed my first novel, Oldsters, with no such problem. I logically know the smart path to take…so let’s see if I turn that way.
Until next time, write on…