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My Jane Austen Summer
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Author Archives: Cindy Jones
Please help us welcome Adiba’s Baby Girl into the world. We are volunteers, gathering baby items to help this refugee mother prepare for her new baby, and we’ve made it easy for you to help. Just go to Adiba’s baby registry at Target, checkout online by May 18, select “deliver to Adiba’s address” and we will get it, wrap it, and deliver it in time for the baby shower.
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Kathryn Stockett spoke to a standing room only crowd in a huge church sanctuary because there wasn’t enough room anywhere else in Dallas for her rock-star crowd. We were totally with her when she began reading from a pile of rejection letters. She named names, and what could we do but laugh at the stupidity of the agents and editors who rejected THE HELP. We loved imagining how they must be kicking themselves, no longer able to trust their judgment, mortified and embarrassed before the entire literary world.
by Rebecca Reynolds
In her book The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, Janet Malcolm talks about reading a biography of Plath by Anne Stevenson. Malcolm found that the quotations from Plath’s poetry in the book spoke more strongly than the biographical part: ‘the voices began to take over the book and to speak to the reader over the biographer’s head. They whispered “Listen to me, not to her. I am authentic.”’
I have been telling my husband: if I had one week of total isolation I could finish my novel. Well, I got my chance to prove it. As of 8:00 am last Monday morning, I was HOME ALONE. For five days it was just me and my novel.
Day T-1: I wanted to hit the ground running so I cleaned my office (for the first time since 2013) and cleared my desk of everything not related to the novel-in-progress. The result was exhilarating and I decided I should do that more often.
Previously published on Girlfriends Book Club
Since we are discussing setting I will reluctantly work past my discomfort to share, not only how I obtained realistic details to create the manor house in my novel, but also how a sense of poetic entitlement caused me to behave badly. Ahem. (Sound of me clearing throat). I avoided arrest and have purposely omitted names in this post in order to protect myself.
Mikaela Shiffrin is a world champion downhill skier. I’m a struggling novelist. Think of it this way: she races at tremendous speed down snow-covered mountains, I mosey across pages while sitting in a cushy chair. Her body moves at 80 miles per hour while mine can spend 80 hours not moving at all. Although we both work on steep white spaces (consider the angle of the white page on the screen), how could a slowly writer like me find resonance in the words of a young super athlete?
Why do people start sentences with the word ‘so’ and why do I feel compelled to understand this linguistic trend? At first, I was only dimly aware of the word ‘so’ popping up at the beginning of non-interrogatory sentences. So, I’m not going to the party at the lake. Then I read this post on Facebook: So we had dinner at the museum.Finally, when a young woman stood at a podium and said, So we’re having a fundraising event…, I said to myself: what’s up with ‘so’?
In two days, seated around a table with my extended family, each of us will take a moment to say what we are thankful for, and I will say what I always say: my family, not because I have no imagination to vary my response from year to year, but because nothing else even comes close. But, if I were seated at, say, a Thanksgiving Dinner for Writers Only, I might venture into new gratitude territory, like: my agent, my website, and my writing sweater. Depending on how long I had the floor, I might eventually express thanks for things like the forward delete key, subtext, and yes, failure.