When I was in first grade, my mom walked into my room to find me looking at Little Women. “Honey, are you looking at the pictures?” she asked. I barely glanced at her. “I’m reading it, Mom.” Three hundred pages later, I was finished with that novel and on to my next, and the next.
My novel-reading habit soon led to my desire to write novels. In high school, I made it to page 60 of my first oh-so-brilliant (and, sadly, unfinished) novel. After graduate school, I made it to page 30 of my second even-more-brilliant (and, tragically, unfinished) novel. Writer’s block+perfectionism=paralysis at the sight of a blinking cursor and the death of both books.
Hit the fast forward button, skip a few years, and I’ve written four novels. None of them are published–yet.
I’m a former ESL teacher, and spent every Thursday morning for four years in the basement of a local Baptist church, teaching internationals how to speak and read English. They taught me to love foreign foods (seaweed wraps, bread with green bean paste inside), while the other teachers and I offered pumpkin pie, etc., each Thanksgiving. I also learned how to say “thank you” in Korean but five minutes later, I forgot.
I usually get my writing ideas:
- reading other people’s blogs
- while running on the treadmill or pumping iron at the gym
- listening to music
- reading the newspaper, Christianity Today magazine, or CNN.com
- during one of my frequent bouts of insomnia
What I’ve read recently:
- Gone for Good, by Harlen Coben
- Boy, Snow, Bird, by Helen Oyeyemi
- The Triple Bind, by Stephen Hinshaw
- There Is Life After College, by Jeffrey J. Selingo
- The Runaway Jury, by John Grisham
- The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, by Phaedra Patrick
- The Last Coyote and The Black Ice, by Michael Connelly
- Shelter, by Jung Yun
My favorite books include Moby-Dick, Things They Carried, Gone Girl, Beloved, Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment. (Dark, brutal, brooding type of books with lots of intellectual depth. And yes, Gone Girl has depth.)
I’m also a fan of Louise Penny, even if she did steal the title of my first novel, The Cruelest Month. (Well, technically, she used the title first, long before I started writing . . . and the phrase comes from a T.S. Eliot poem . . . and Eliot got it from Chaucer . . . and my novel isn’t published. So I’ll let her keep the title–how generous of me!–and rename my book if publication ever happens.)
I’m attempting to post three times a week, and I would love to have you subscribe to my blog through the RSS feed or email. I also do Twitter @lauradroege
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Thank you for reading.