Read-A-Thon: My Own Challenge

A little morning coffee with your favourite book

A little morning coffee or tea with your favourite book

I took a BBC quiz recently and was very disappointed by my results. I had only read 11 of the listed classics, just over the average of 6.

That’s when I realized I don’t read as much as I used to, or as often as I should. Stephen King says that if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time or tools to write.

Books are how we writers learn the craft–they were our first teacher and mentor, showing us the ways to excite, thrill, terrify and capture our readers. It was through reading Nancy Drew mysteries that I learned about the magic of cliffhangers, through Anne of Green Gables that I learned about the power and beauty of descriptive language, and through Tolkien that I learned about the philosophy of words.

That’s why I’ve taken it upon myself to read as many classics as I can over the next few months and post my thoughts about them. I enjoy reading and have read a fair amount, but I haven’t read nearly enough classics in my opinion.

I’ve set a goal for about 15 and September as a deadline, as I think the summer months are the perfect time to kick back and enjoy some reading outdoors on a nice patio. I plan to start April 28th.

The only read-a-thon I’ve really tried is Canada Reads and that was a great experience in discovering new books that I might not have chosen to read.

Coincidentally, Dewey’s 24-hour Read-a-thon happens today and on a day in October. People read books for 24 hours, post on their blogs about their experience and visit other people’s blogs.  Maybe I’ll try Dewey’s read-a-thon in October.

Do you read as often as you’d like? Do you participate in any read-a-thons?

http://24hourreadathon.com/

http://www.cbc.ca/books/canadareads/index.html

http://www.listchallenges.com/kaunismina-bbc-6-books-challenge

 

Camp NaNoWriMo: A Lakeside Retreat

Canoes bobbing on the water.

Late-night bonfires.

Soft, gooey marshmallows that stick to your fingers.

These are some of the images that come to mind when you think of camp, right?

Well, that’s exactly what Camp NaNoWriMo has been like for me so far. Relaxing and steady, like the beat of a wave against a boat.

This is my first April doing Camp NaNo and I find it’s not as daunting as NaNo in November.

First, you set your own word goal. I’ve always fallen short of the 50, 000 word-mark and always thought personally, that 25, 000 words is a more achievable goal for me.

Second, a lot of NaNo writers have hibernated for the spring. It has a more close-knit, intimate vibe, especially with the cabins. You are bunked with cabin mates, based on your similarities and interests. In that cabin,the message board works a lot like Twitter, with username handles and short messages so you can chat about your progress.

And third, your mind has had a time of renewal. It’s gone through the new year, there’s no cold, wet snow or gray, cloudy days (or there shouldn’t be- it’s spring!) , and summer fun is just around the corner.

It’s reawakened my love of writing after a busy winter and helped me start a fantasy story that’s been brewing in my head for a while now.

I’d like to leave you with an inspiring quote from a writer I admire and hope it inspires you not just this month, but every month.

“Our lives are busy, and April is always a busy month, but why not indulge? You can treat yourself to a writing vacation where you visit a project you love, make time with it, get to know it.” -Nika Harper, writer and YouTube personality