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December 11, 2012

Read, Compost, Repeat.

If you've never before heard the advice "if you want to write, you have to read," then you're hearing it now.

It's one of the few things that seems to work for me when I'm feeling stuck. I absorb all of the books I can, in whatever genre catches my attention at the time, and the words just seem to mix and meld into something different in my brain after a while. Some people call this "filling the well," but I prefer to think of it in gardening terms - composting.

I add all of this rich material to my brain pile, let it ripen, stir it regularly, and use the results to fortify and enliven my own writing. There's just something about the rhythm and cadence of the written word that sparks something in me and makes me want to create.

A week or so ago, I promised a list of what I have been reading lately, so today I will deliver. In no particular order, I've recently indulged in:
  • Apologize, Apologize by Elizabeth Kelly
  • What Time Devours by A.J. Hartley
  • Half Past Dead by Meryl Sawyer
  • Face of Danger by Roxanne St. Claire
  • Dead Bolt by Juliet Blackwell
  • Storm Front by Jim Butcher
  • The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna
  • The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano
  • Remix by Lexi Revellian
  • Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble by H.P. Mallory
  • The Coffin Trail by Martin Edwards

This is definitely a different mix of genres than I would normally dip into, and I've been pleasantly surprised with the storytelling quality of each so far.

What are you reading? Any recommendations of novels with strong female leads? My next full-length project features a complex female protagonist and I'm extremely curious about other writers' work that contains a woman who drives the story and is well-received by readers.

Do share!

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