Is It A Bird? A Plane? WHAT IS IT?

It’s Memoir Monday – a self-proclaimed hashtag that isn’t a hashtag, to be honest. In the last two years, I decided to open my mind to memoirs, biographies, and other books by celebrities. To think that they already make a lot of money by appearing in our favorite movies and TV shows, now they write books to bring in more of an income! I wanted to see how much of their lives they actually want to share with their readers.

Now, I haven’t made a dent in the collection of celebrity novels. I’ve only come across three that peaked my interest: The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer, The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fischer (RIP to that beautiful woman), and Yes Please! by Amy Poehler.

Now the reason why you’re looking at Amy Poehler’s face here is because I have this undying love for her but heard mixed reviews on her book. I’m a sucker for needing to know every detail about a person’s life as well as every detail about their book (i.e. who published it, where was it produced, what is the ISBN number). This one definitely threw me for a look when I saw it didn’t have a genre.

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Originally, I found this beautifully crafted book (if you own it or have at least picked it up in your hands, you know what I mean) in the “Humor” section of Barnes and Noble and I was pretty confused because I read that it was a recollection and reflection on Poehler’s life…I understand she’s a funny woman but was the joke on me for looking in the “Biography” section?

I’m a little over halfway done with it and I’m all over the place, but still enjoying, the life of Amy Poehler – both past and present. She’s made me reflect on my own choices in life without actually sitting down and telling me to do so, or maybe there was a chapter in the book that told me to do that…WHO KNOWS! Ultimately, I do enjoy it as a read where I can pick it up even after I finish to revisit some pick-me-up chapters. It’s also really interesting to know the backstory and introduction of comedy changed Poehler’s path (spoiler alert, ha!)

I do want to ask though, has anyone ever picked up a book and had been previously misled to think the book was something else than what it actually was? If so, sound off in the comments, because I need a bit of forewarning before I buy others!

P.S. I have heard the audiobook to this is much better than reading the actual book but I like physical books so do what you will with this information, hehe!

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That Awkward Moment When…

michael scott.gifEvery writer has an awkward moment. Whether it comes to them in the art of writing their poem, short story, novel, or thinking about their next project. It’s always good to be reminded that you’re never alone in your writing endeavors. Here are my five favorite awkward moments, inspired by some Tumblr posts:

  • Writing until 3 am
    This incident is Dangerous with a capital ‘d.’ Some people are prosperous (and courageous) enough to quit their day job to become a fulltime writer. Some people haven’t gotten there yet and instead set aside an hour or two every night to dedicate to their WIP (work in progress). Sometimes, those people lose track of time and end up writing a lot later than expected, spending much longer on their computer, feeling their eyes grow heavy and their brains turn to mush. Then when that person is actually coherent and looks back on their so-called “progress,” they realize they wrote a bunch of nonsense for six hours. I feel as though that would make a good book in itself: collecting the sleep-deprived rambles of one person and calling it The Sleep-Deprived Rambles of the Working Person: A Collection.
  • Clearing Internet History
    The internet is a broad and informative world. This world teaches us much more than 10th grade algebra and that one biology course in college we are required to take and pass with at least a ‘C’ average. The internet becomes a writer’s best friend to help teach and inform them of things they don’t know about. Things such as different ways blood spatter occurs, the blueprints of the Pentagon, or how much rain falls during Monsoon season. Writers want accurate portrayals of concepts they aren’t informed about, but I one question for you: have you cleared your internet history yet? Because Big Brother is watching and he knows you Googled how to break into a government-owned building last night.
  • Drinking Your Choice of Poison
    Coming across a writer who chooses to drink and write is always a fun time. Just ask them. Similar to writing when exhausted, writing while slightly intoxicated can spring ideas into writing some never thought imaginable. We’ve talked about what to drink while reading on this blog previously but never have we thought about talking about writing and drinking. That’s crazy talk. Writing and drinking could be amusing, only if done responsibly – so why not try it out and check in the following morning to see what drunk you had to say about the plot.
  • Doubting the ability to spell
    It’s happened to all of us at least six or seven times. Writing the same word over and over and over and over again triggers something in the writer’s brain where that word starts to look wrong. Having a dictionary on hand or on the computer is always necessary in instances like this. It becomes even funnier when the person reaches out to a friend or their editor and says, “Hey, I think I’m spelling ‘please’ wrong, can you double check this paragraph so I can keep going?” only to hear, “Why are you spelling it ‘pleese’ or ‘puhleese’ or in 100 different incorrect ways?”
  • Writing about how to cure writer’s block
    We do our best to help those trying to overcome their latest bout of writer’s block. From writing about tips from other authors to simple words that can be used in texts, we try to cover it all. Even on social media, we often share a captivating prompt or two that we find could be helpful in at least getting a writer back on their computers and typing away. So, we know some writers are familiar with that awkward moment where they sit down with their drink in hand and fingers ready to type…and end up not being able to produce anything at all. Not even a single word. Then they spend their allotted hours on Googling ‘how to cure writer’s block’ as if there was a medicine or natural remedy on WebMD or something.

Emotion in Writing

Laurie Halse Anderson:

“Write about the emotions you fear the most.”

The Santa Claus of Publishing

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Jolly old Saint James Patterson has returned this holiday season to grant 300 booksellers and owners with a well-deserved holiday bonus. For the last three years, Patterson has donated money to indie booksellers, in hopes of getting more books into more hands. Information to send in forms for bookstore and sellers can be left on the website. As the forms come in, Patterson, himself, reviews the possible candidates on a one-on-one basis. To be considered, the bookstore must have a children’s section and the business must already be in business and be successful.

In 2014, Patterson teamed up with the American Booksellers Association and gathered over $1 million to the first round of recipients. In 2015, he gave $250,000 in bonuses to 89 employees – which was the same dollar amount he gave in 2016 to 149 employees. This year, Publisher’s Weekly confirmed Patterson increased the amount by $100k to $350,000 – giving away bonuses to 300 bookstore employees, especially those who have been affected by hurricanes and wildfires in the past year.

Patterson has even been quoted saying, “These bonuses are my humble acknowledgement of [booksellers’] commitment to putting books into the hands of readers, and I hope these grants make that possible.

During this holiday season, we want to thank James Patterson for helping those who genuinely enjoy their careers to continue doing what they do, as well as help young people get their hands on the books they deserve.

Writing Revelation

Diana Athill:

“Read it aloud to yourself because that’s the only way to be sure the rhythms of the sentences are OK (prose rhythms are too complex and subtle to be thought out – they can be got right only by ear).”

Lifestyles Of The Rich & The Famous

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While browsing through the latest publishing news on Twitter, I came across Cara Delevingne’s cover reveal for her debut novel, Mirror Mirror. I do enjoy her work in modeling and the few films I have watched her act in, but the track record for celebrities and book-writing has always been iffy.

Just like Good Charlotte sang, “always see it on T.V. / or read in the magazines / celebrities want sympathy,” we are constantly shrouded with the latest celebrity gossip in some way, shape, or form. In more recent times, many celebrities have taken to writing novels, or hiring a ghost writer to fulfill their dream of writing a book. Unfortunately, some of those works don’t end up becoming literary moguls.

When reading an autobiography, like the late Carrie Fischer’s The Princess Diarist, there’s always a sense of closeness to the author which is what makes it appealing to consumers. Carrie took down walls, made me laugh, and even published her own diary entries to show how lovesick she was during the production of the famous “Star Wars” series. Or comedian Amy Schumer and her debut practically reiterating all her stand-up in word format. I imagined her standing on a stage in front of me, reading from her book and acting out the stories she told about how she came to be a successful comedian. You even have actors and actresses who executed creatively executed novel-writing, such as Steve Martin and B.J. Novak. Successful books like these, make us want more and get us excited for the next big celebrity book.

Then, you have the work that should not have made it past the editor’s desk…

We all know them, and in some cases, we might love them too.  The ones we need to be most wary of are the celebrities known for being TV personalities and singers who write a novel (or two). Fabio, Tyra Banks, David Duchovny, James Franco, Farrah Abraham, and even Snooki made it onto a list of “cringeworthy” novels written by themselves. And I must say: I agree. I didn’t get the chance to read the full-length novels, but reading the summaries made me cross my legs twice, eyes bulging out of my head with my jaw stuck to the ground.

Like most readers, I take pleasure in reading the creativity produced by authors. Sometimes, it becomes too much and in this case, it has become way too much. Most stories are fictional representations of the celebrity’s life, something we don’t care to know about since we already have probably watched multiple documentaries of their life on E!. Even with the use of a ghostwriter, celebrities have come out with crazy ideas for novels – most of them not making any sense. Just read the summary for Modelland by Tyra Banks and tell me what you think.

But who knows, maybe Cara Delevingne has produced a coming-of-age novel worth the read.

We will give her the benefit of the doubt for now.