Virginia Woolf’s Nine Tips on How To Read a Book [Third]

virginia woolf a writer's life quote over photoVirginia Woolf’s Nine Tips on How To Read a Book

“Perhaps the quickest way to understand the elements of what a novelist is doing is not to read, but to write; to make your own experiment with the dangers and difficulties with words.

To exercise the imagination is itself a special skill.

To read a novel is a difficult and complex art. You must be capable not only of great fineness of perception, but of great boldness of imagination if you are going to make use of all that the novelist — the great artist — gives you.”

Virginia Woolf’s Nine Tips on How To Read a Book [Second]

virginia woolf a writer's life quote over photoVirginia Woolf’s Nine Tips on How To Read a Book

“Few people ask from books what books can give us. Most commonly we come to books with blurred and divided minds, asking of fiction that it shall be true, of poetry that it shall be false, of biography that it shall be flattering, of history that it shall enforce our own prejudices. If we could banish all such preconceptions when we read, that would be an admirable beginning. Do not dictate to your author; try to become him. Be his fellow-worker and accomplice. If you hang back, and reserve and criticize at first, you are preventing yourself from getting the fullest possible value from what you read. But if you open your mind as widely as possible, then signs and hints of almost imperceptible fineness, from the twist and turn of the first sentences, will bring you into the presence of a human being unlike any other. Steep yourself in this, acquaint yourself with this and soon you will find that your author is giving you, or attempting to give you, something far more definite.”

Weekly Writing Prompt #4

weekly writing prompt #4


Feel Free to Use Alternate Words with Similar Meanings

Poetry (suggestions)
Free Verse – No Limits
Haiku (5 – 7 – 5)
Tanka (5 – 7 – 5 – 7 – 7)
Shadorma (3 – 5 – 3 – 3 – 7 – 5)
six lines – no rhymes – multiple stanzas if desired – just follow meter
Flash Fiction (1,500 – 1,000 – 500 – 300 words)
immediate fiction – sudden fiction (500–750 words)
microfiction (400 words)
Any genre: sci-fi – fantasy – horror – literary
***There is room for one main character, so choose her well.
***There is room for one scene, so choose it well.
***There is room for a single plot.
***There is room for a single, simple theme
***Write main conflict of the scene in the first sentence.
***“Show” anything related to the main conflict.
***“Tell” the backstory; don’t “show” it.
***Save the twist until the end.
***Eliminate all but the essential words.

These are TIPS not RULES


The Free Exploring Mind


john steinbeck

“And this I believe:
that the free,
exploring mind
of the individual human
is the most valuable thing
in the world.
And this I would fight for:
the freedom of the mind
to take any direction
it wishes,
And this I must fight against:
any idea, religion,
or government
which limits
or destroys
the individual.
This is what I am
and what I am about.”

― John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Remembrance: Marcel Proust – Part 12

Remembrance: Marcel Proust

Moments from
“Remembrance of Things Past”


“The thirst for something other than what we have…
to bring something new, even if it is worse,
some emotion, some sorrow;
when our sensibility, which happiness has silenced
like an idle harp,
wants to resonate under some hand,
even a rough one,
and even if it might be broken by it.”

― Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way

Marcel_Proust_(Père_Lachaise) side by side hotel - grave

Virginia Woolf’s Nine Tips on How To Read a Book [First]

virginia woolf a writer's life quote over photoVirginia Woolf’s Nine Tips on How To Read a Book

“The only advice … that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions. If this is agreed between us, then I feel at the liberty to put forward a few ideas and suggestions because you will not allow them to fetter that independence which is the most important quality that a reader can possess. After all, what laws can be laid down about books? The battle of Waterloo was certainly fought on a certain day; but is Hamlet a better play than Lear? Nobody can say. Each must decide that question for himself. To admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries and let them tell us how to read, what to read, what value to place upon what we read, is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries. Everywhere else we may be bound by laws and conventions — there we have none.”