Reading to write

readerI love to read good writing and last week I hit a bonanza.

First, my name finally came up on the waiting list for Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. I’m desperately trying to stay awake at night to find out of the husband is just a jerk or a murderer, and I’m not having much luck – keeping my eyes open, that is. I think I’m reading. Then I realize that my eyes have gotten so heavy, they’ve closed. Very annoying. Particularly, since I’m enjoying the book. I might have to put my own writing aside this week to find out what happened to Amy (the girl of the title). Next week, I can pick my story’s thread back up. In the meantime, I’ll just leave Father Francis in his study pondering life in Clifton.

In addition to reading Gone Girl – or at least trying to – I was one of the judges for the Charlotte Writers’ Club Members Prize in the fiction category. The Members Prize, as you probably figured out, is open only to Club members, and submissions cannot have been published previously or won other prizes. I was completely blown away by the entries. It’s really going to be tough to choose a winner. The dialogue in some of the stories was so natural, it made me feel that I’d actually dropped in on a conversation. The characters in other stories were so well drawn that I felt I knew them. In my favorite, the writer expertly intertwined the main character’s state of mind with the setting.

I always feel torn – write or read. Ideally, I’ll do both. My writing is better when I read good writing, and last week – and this – I’ll do just that.

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