I recently broke down and created an author Instagram account, and it was certainly eye-opening. From perfectly curated pages to bookstagramers who treat reading like a competitive sport (yes please) it's a colorful new world of book promos and reviews. And damn, those people make books look good! But even with the pretty fairy lights and colorful knee socks, I always find myself asking what lurks just out of frame.
When I was a freshman in college, I discovered Nanowrimo. Excited, I emailed my creative writing professor about mentioning it in class, thinking it might be a fun extracurricular activity for the other students. Although I didn't save her exact response, it went something like this: "Nanowrimo is silly, because there's no way a person can write anything but complete garbage if they only give themselves a month to do it." At the time, I felt ashamed and embarrassed for even suggesting something so foolish; but I've grown up a little since then, and now I know she was wrong. If you never write garbage, you never write at all.
It's worth noting that we readers are usually pretty solitary creatures. We spend our free time curled up in nooks and crannies wearing the coziest clothes we can find, and we rarely "go out," because nothing is as exciting as the worlds we find tucked between the pages. That being said, we are human, and sometimes it's important to socialize. So if you're an avid reader, who spends too much time alone, starting a book club could be a great opportunity to make new friends and find new books!
On Sunday, I made a terrible mistake. At the time, I had no idea that it would affect me for the rest of the week, but it has. My mistake? I went to the grocery store. The result? I've had "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" stuck in my head for three days straight. But what's even worse is that my brain created a monstrous hybrid with "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts."
Over the past few years, trigger warnings have become a pervasive topic of discussion in higher education and pop culture; and as I've worked to finish revisions on my novel, Pieces of Pink, the question of their efficacy has crossed my mind more than once.