between my sheets

So I joined a book club and I actually attended.

If you are thinking, “so what?”, I explained it here.

All in all, it was a positive experience and I’m glad that I’ve committed to doing it.
But I won’t lie

I hated feeling like the new kid at school and I dreaded what I knew was coming…

Everyone, let’s welcome Marquessa, our newest member. Marquessa, how about telling us a little about yourself?”

I’ll also be honest when I say that the book we had to read was not riveting in any way, shape or form. The only thing that I liked was that the story was “local” and Montreal-based.

Though I bought a physical copy of the book, I would not have finished it if I hadn’t bought the Audible version. The cheapskate in me had no choice but to finish it that way. (Thank you Audible!)

I could write a boring book review or tell you about the eclectic, diehard-reading, seasoned ladies who don’t hold their tongues but I won’t.

But I will share the benefits I’m already seeing for the “writer” in me:

Reading books I normally wouldn’t read. Since a Canadian literature course I took back in university, I don’t think I’ve read any other Canadian-authored books. Guess I need to expand my reading options…and I will.

Going local. I love it when a book is set in a REAL place that I’ve experienced for myself and that is the reason why I’ll be using local cities as a backdrop in my stories.

Listening to likes and dislikes of readers on character, plot, themes. During the discussion, it was like I had jumped into a real live blog comment section. Some people hated the first person narrative, others loved it, some didn’t understand the message of the book and so on and so forth. Quite interesting.

Snacks and free coffee. Homemade goodies, cheese, crackers, tea and coffee. Need I say more?

Accountability. If you can’t share your opinion because you didn’t finish the book, you feel stupid. And to not feel stupid, you force yourself to finish. Why do you think I finished the book when I didn’t feel like it?

Story ideas. A simple comment from someone in the group has already sparked an idea for a scene in a current story. where or the interactions between certain members are sparking ideas for story scenes. The writer’s brain is always on the lookout!

Yeah, I’ll be focusing on the positives of being in a book club until next year.

Do you belong to a book club?

Bisous,

M

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An Introvert’s Commitment

Committing to anything, anyone and everything else is easy but when the commitment involves doing something just for me, it’s freaking hard.  I give up after a few half-assed attempts.

But if I want to get back into the writing groove, I need to shake things up.

Get out of my comfort zone.

Commit to doing something small and see it through to the end.

That something is going to be joining a book club.

I’m not in writing mode so I should at least be reading as writers are supposed to.

But my inner introvert voice is already encouraging me to run in the opposite direction…

It’s a big book club and you’re going to have to talk to people you don’t know. The minute you get there, you know that you’re gonna want to leave…

You can read those same books in the comfort of your home alone in your comfortable pyjamas with a tasty snack…

Why waste money on more books when you’ve got three piles of unread ones next to the sofa?

Y’all, my inner introvert voice is exhausting but I’m going to ignore it.

I’m committing to reading these books below. Book club meets once a month starting in the fall and to get a jump start on things, I just ordered the first book from Amazon.

Who knows, maybe I’ll stumbled upon a fellow introvert in the book club who is also I writer.

Fingers crossed.  🙂

Are you in any book clubs? Do you enjoy it?

I’ve been in hiding…

I wasn’t put in the witness protection program or anything like that…

I’ve just felt the need to make myself scarce and concentrate on things that are completely non-writing-related.

To be honest, I haven’t written anything creative in months and strangely enough, I don’t feel badly about it.

I can’t be creative when my energy is focused on “life” issues that are much more important than writing.

And right now, I’m embracing the people in my life and taking advantage of their presence while I still have the opportunity.

Life is short, the clock is ticking for all of us and the time is “now” for so many things in our lives.

Would you agree?

Go take your kids for an ice cream, say yes to that barbecue invitation you were going to turn down or give someone you haven’t spoken to in ages a call.

I’ll be around here and there over the summer. Take care and talk soon until I resurface again… 🙂

Bisous,

Monday Musings: Judging A Book By Its’ Back Cover

The way my head spun around must have scared that lady to death because she froze with her mouth open starung at me.

Or maybe it was the stink eye I gave her.

“Yeah, I heard that this novel is really good but the author’s Black so I don’t think that I’d relate…

That’s what she said right before she noticed me standing there. And when she did, she was quick to scurry off with her friend like a rat in the light to the far end of the bookstore.

It’s a good thing she did because I might have said something unpolitically correct standing in the middle of the “Romance” aisle.

Mira

Everyone, including that woman is entitled to think what she thinks and to feel what she feels. We are all entitled to our preferences.

I mean, stories that involve vampires, space, historical ship or urban street fiction don’t float my boat so naturally if the book cover represents any of that, I will likely pass.

But never NEVER have I looked at an author’s profile picture on a fiction book and said that I wouldn’t be able to relate to it because of the author’s color or ethnicity.

If anything, because of the “default White” book world in which I grew up reading, I’ve always looked beyond that default – Isabel Allende, Pico Iyer, Amy Tan and the list goes on. Not being from someone else’s cultural background has never stopped me.

There are a bunch of things I could unpack for you that lurk behind that woman’s words but I’ll leave that for another time.

What I will point out is that I curiously flipped through the novel that woman referred to and it was clear that she simply had assumed the book would be… “Black”.

But it wasn’t.

The main characters were White, the book blurb didn’t refer to race and neither did the front cover.

I guess that romance and happily-ever-afters are not relatable if you’re from a different ethnic group.

Judging a book by its back cover will only make you miss out on some great reads and that woman surely did.

(By the way, my inside voice is calling “that woman” by a totally different name… 👀)

Monday Musings: Escape From Reality #amreading

We all have problems.

I love to escape from them by diving into the pages of a good book as a way to do it.

It’s a chance to forget my ish and revel in someone else’s dramatic life for a little while.

Whether it be a friends to lovers romance, contemporary fiction or a memoir, I’m in.

Is reading your escape? If not, what is yours?

M xoxo

Monday Musings: Bigger Is Not Always Better

Another A to Z Challenge is over.

I changed course like I explained in this post but I love how writing challenges always provide me with a base for a longer story and this last A to Z confirmed what I already knew:

Novels may be bigger but bigger is not always better.

Novellas are my “thing”.

I said “novellas”, not “telenovelas”, though I like them too.

With a novella, a story can be told more quickly and it’s a great way to decide if I want to convert a story into a lengthier piece.

And in these days of busy, busy, and more busy, readers seem to want quickie reads.

Novella, novel or a book the size of an old telephone book. What’s your preference?

M xoxo

A To Z Reflections 2019 #atozchallenge

Congratulations to all those who completed the A to Z Challenge!

It was my fourth kick at this challenge and though I changed course part way, I sort of finished.

Sort of finished…

I fell to my “back-up” plan and posted old songs I haven’t heard in years according to the alphabet.

But I’m still going to give my four reflections on my A to Z Challenge experience today like other participants.

Reflection #1: NO more continuous fiction stories. The ones I wrote before worked out since I only had one character. I can’t post any old words just to keep up with a challenge – quality over quantity. But I will be continuing the story off-blog for my email subscribers during summer time;

Reflection #2: “One” word or shorter titles like What Sandra Thinks and The Dream Girl Writes are the way to go for these challenges. I truly enjoyed the lightness, flexibility and variety of their posts;

Reflection #3: If my posts are not prescheduled ahead of time, I’m not participating. I have yet to spend April reading other’s posts and not writing against the calendar;

Reflection #4: April is NOT a good writing month for me. Work deadlines, tax filing month and putting sweat into A to Z posts that are unrelated to my (many) unfinished projects is not a good leverage of my writing time.

Conclusion: I think it’s safe to say that 2019 might have been my last participation A to Z Challenge. But if you’ve never done it, I would strongly encourage you to.

If you didn’t participate but are curious to read the wonderful blogs of those who did, click here.

I’ll be using this as part of my summer reading list!

Bisous,

M xoxo