Between the Stacks: Shake off writer's block at library

  • Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I quit reading 'The Casual Vacancy' (by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling) after only 57 pages, barely surpassing super-librarian Nancy Pearl's Rule of Fifty.
I hadn't expected magic, but this story is so disjointed that after 50 pages I still wasn't sure who the protagonists were.
If a talented and world famous author like J.K. Rowling can fail to synthesize her ideas and characters into a compelling story, how can a fragile and busy clod like me - with a spouse, three children, a dog, and a full time job - master her demons (characters) into decent fiction?
Well, poor Ms. Rowling doesn't live near the Mount Pleasant Regional Library!
Mount Pleasant Regional will host a smorgasbord of writing programs in 2013.
We'll kick off with local writer Susan Sloate, author of 'Mysteries Unwrapped: The Secrets of Alcatraz' and co-author of 'Forward to Camelot.' On Jan. 12, 2013 from 1-2 p.m. and on Jan. 16, 2013 from 6:30-7:30 p.m., Ms. Sloate will focus on the new paradigm in publishing: How to get published in today's market, including the crucial influence of new electronic distribution, marketing your book to the right audience and creating an Amazon bestseller (yes, you can do it on your own), and there will be time for Q&A from the audience. If you're a beginning-to-intermediate-level writer, ready to share your work for feedback, and willing to spend time critiquing the works of other local writers, please join me on Jan. 12, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. (following Susan Sloate's self-publishing presentation) for an informational session about our library's new critique group.
Writers of all levels and interests are welcome.
If you have questions, please e-mail mcqueenj@ccpl.org or call 849-6161.
Ready for a head start on your 2013 writing goals? Check out 'No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-stress, High-velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days' by Chris Baty, 'Is Life Like This?: A Guide to Writing Your First Novel in Six Months' by John Dufresne, or 'On Writing' by Eudora Welty. National Novel Writing Month - nanowrimo.org - is just 15 days away. Are you ready to participate this year?
In the meantime, please enjoy a library program.
During Teen Read Week (Oct. 15-20) you can test your knowledge of Young Adult literature for a chance to win books or a sweet treat (grades 6-12).
On Saturday, Oct. 20 at 10:30 a.m., come read aloud to a certified therapy dog. These friendly pups love a good story (all ages).
On Halloween (Oct. 31 at 4 p.m.) kids ages 5–11 can visit the library for a story, a fun Halloween craft and a snack. Read 'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Brontė; then join the library's Reel Club for our showing of 'Jane Eyre' (PG-13; 120 min.) starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 2 p.m. Stay to participate in a lively discussion of both book and film, with popcorn and soft-drinks included.
(Jen McQueen is a reference librarian at the Mount Pleasant Regional Library, 1133 Mathis Ferry Road. She can be reached at 849-6161 or by e-mail at mcqueenj@ccpl.org.)

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