Books

This is my decision. For this year I’ll record every single book I’ll read.

Every technical book about writing I’ve read so far says that it is essential for a writer or aspiring writer read a lot.

Besides, many of them say that they should read more than they write. I agree with that because I’ve realized that since I started to read more my level of English is improved a bit.

As soon as I can I’ll bring some of the hundreds volumes I left in my old room here to Ireland. So I can read in Italian too, because I’m quite forgetting my own language sometimes.

What is sure is that, at the moment, I’m reading only in English because I decided that if I know the language I’ll read the books in the original. This will help me to improve my level of language and to appreciate them better.

For example, let’s consider The Lord of the Rings. I’m aware that is an endless book and more than one gave up in reading it, but I can assure you that in English it is really much better. Ok, if you don’t like fantasy as a genre or the story itself or really detailed descriptions, I guess you won’t like it anyway, but I’m pretty sure when I tell you that the style itself is better than in the Italian translation. At the very beginning it seems a fairy tale that becomes more complicated and darker as the story goes by.

Coming back to my blog, you’ll notice that the first book reviews will be just children books. Why? Because many of that books I was mentioning before say that you should write what you like, but also something you have a good background on.

So, I have to tell that I’ve always loved everything that was fantasy and for children, but what I don’t have is the real basis. I’m learning now that abroad there are more children books and that to them are dedicated loads of structures, that let them read if they want to.

Besides, I have in my mind a huge project about children stories and a book, so I need to read to learn more on the style, vocabulary and create a good background.

When I was young I read The Little Prince, the classic fairy tales and also Salgari, an Italian writer.

Growing up I read the book for my studies and for my personal pleasure.

I’ve always loved read, but to be honest I’ve never read so many children books like I’m doing now! And, even if on a certain point of view I feel too old to read this kind of book, on the other hand it’s a good quality literature. So I was left behind and I want to catch up!

Here and, as far as I know, in all the other countries than Italy there is a huge choice for a kid, not only depending on the age but also in the genre.

For the moment I’m borrowing books from the library. Every single time that I go there I have to enter in the children library which is inside the adult one. Everything is children size and it is there that the little ones can stay and drawing read or study. I haven’t ever seen something like that before. A girl that works with me said that once a week in the library they’re doing a lecture section as well, unbelievable!

The books, like in the adult section, are divided in fantasy, adventure, classics and so on. The same happens in the book shops and I say ALL the book shops, even the smallest. It never happened to me to see something like that.

But I’ve already sorted this out. Every single time I’ll finish a book I’ll do a short review and I hope that children or their parents who’ll happen to read these pages will be curious to read the books as well.

I have to thank for this my dear friend Christina, who had the delicacy and diplomacy to drag me in the library and introduce me to all the children books that will follow. In my wallet I have a list of writers she wrote for me “that’s just as a start!” she said with a smile.

Of course in the meantime I’ll review other books, considering that I cannot possibly read one at a time. I hope to meet the taste of everybody!

Besides, the number of book regarding a genre will vary depending on what I’m writing at the moment.

Anyway what I can say is read! Read! Read! It always helps, like Roald Dahl would have confirmed! And you’ll hear often about him!

Talk to you later!

Update n°2

Hi all,

Here I am again! The original post for this week wasn’t this one, but then a couple of things happened and I wanted to share them with you!

First of all I started my children’s fiction workshop at the Writers Centre here in Dublin. It’s a seven weeks course run by a writer and illustrator of children/teens books, Oisín McGann.

We’re just 6 people and, apart from me and a Swedish lady, the rest of us are Irish. But all ladies! Good for him! The course is amazing, and the teacher is very good. He actually destroyed the idea I’ve always had of the writer. I mean, when you think about a writer, the immediate thought that comes to your mind is a solitary, grumpy hunchback person sitting at his/her desk. Nothing could be more wrong than this or further from the truth. This guy is a performer honestly! If you just happen to pass behind the door I think you’d be sure that on the other side they’re holding a theatre class not a writing one!

But it is actually one of the things he told us immediately: you can forget to just stay at your desk and write, after that you have to go around, read your book and face the public. Wow that was exactly the explanation I had given to my colleagues at work: “I have problems with the microphone because I’m panicking….but I’m not worried, I’m a writer so I don’t need it!”…well it seems I was wrong and that I’ll have to face this problem eventually! That’s why I have to learn to sell myself and my writing! What is sure is that I have to work on it!

What I can tell you for sure is that now, considering the reason why I have to defeat my panic at the mike, my determination in doing it will strengthen!

The toughest part in attending this course was writing and reading on the spot, by the way. I’ve already put something online and I gave some of my stuff to some friends of mine to read, but in those cases I wrote the piece, I thought about it and eventually those people corrected the errors I made! Only after that I was able to put my stuff on the web or show it to a bigger audience! But here it’s different! You have ten minutes to create something and bang, you have to read it. I tell you, it’s scary and I’d prefer to sink into the ground and be swallowed by the floor!

But on the other hand I guess it’s a good exercise for me, and I hope that my self confidence will improve a bit after this.

The second thing I mentioned was that it was held at the Writer Centre again last Saturday. I’m talking about the publishing day. It was basically a one day conference. Five people connected with the publishing and writing world spoke one by one and answered to a lot of questions.

I arrived there and I felt a bit lost: people seemed to know each other, at least the majority of them. I looked around to see if at least I could find someone from my course but I didn’t spot anybody or at least I think so! The bad thing in doing the job I do is meeting too many people, and personally I cannot fix people’s faces in my mind so quickly!

Even if I felt lost anyway I didn’t feel the kind of oppression I’ve always felt going to a new place. At the Centre people are nice and welcoming and know perfectly well that a kind smile doesn’t cost a fortune. And it is amazing because this is one of the last things you’d expect from the writing world! Maybe it’s not always and everywhere like this but I guess it is a good start.

I found all the speeches very interesting, full of useful information. There were so many things I didn’t know and for sure there will still be many things I have to learn. But I have to calm down now and proceed one step after another.

The speech that maybe affected me the most was Dermot Bolger’s. He’s a very nice man, the typical mad writer (mad of course in a good way! This is a compliment!) who said that it doesn’t matter if you’ve already published a book or not, if you wrote one you are a writer. It’s weird because I’ve always said to people that I’m an aspiring writer, maybe because I’ve always had the idea that you’re a writer if you get published or when you have arrived! But arrived where exactly!? What I found out the other day was exactly this; you never finish learning, improving and evolving! I daresay I’m just at the very beginning!!! I have lots more to do, BUT I’m a writer!

And I’ll leave you here with this new consciousness!

Talk to you later!

Ghost trick-short story

This week post is “Ghost trick” in “Short Stories” page of this blog.

It is something I wrote few months ago.

I work in a bar similar to the one described in the piece and it was an awful day. The weather was exactly the one I described in the story and it gave me the inspiration.

This is one of the first pieces I wrote in English so if you find any error please contact me. Every comment is welcome!