For some strange reason, I didn’t read that much as a kid. It might have been because my “rich great-uncle Frank” owned all the movie theaters and I spent my youth hanging out at the movies: my grandma sold tickets, the neighbor lady ran the concession stand, her husband took tickets at the door, and my mean cousins were the ushers. As soon as I left home, I started joining book clubs right and left, and developing my tastes and relentless, insatiable, joyous reading habits. When I sunbathed (which was always), I read. As I rode buses in San Francisco, I read. Standing in lines and waiting in doctor’s offices, I read. I returned to school at age 50 to earn my BA in English, and in doing so, broadened my reading to include essays, classic literature, the Beats, and of course the required dense reading of criticism and theory. After graduating, I developed fibromyalgia and spent days on end for many months confined to my bed. I became a autodidact, setting out to master the Beats and devouring everything they wrote, inspired, or were inspired by; biographies and criticisms about them; books by their wives, lovers, friends, and children; and books by people they mentioned in their own writing. Relieved that those horrible days are over, I’m a bit nostalgic for the days I had time to read a book a day and still want more. I read all of Iris Murdock’s fiction (28 books I believe), became a fan of Thomas Merton, and often fell asleep with two or three books open in bed with me. When I was sick, I bought used books from Amazon Marketplace, but now I use our public library. I can search for the books from home, put them on my request list, and pick them up all at once when they’re ready. I’ve compiled a list of authors whose works I plan to read in order (I hope I live long enough). Daphne, I fear your 62 books last year seems a bit paltry to me! Then again, I’m not maintaining a blog, inspiring thousands with a writing course, and writing books as you’re doing. Thanks so much for your constant inspiration. Let’s both aim for 100 books this year! I’ll start counting. I think I’m already close to 10 this month.
Welcome to . We don’t say that lightly—we’re thrilled you’re here. At The Rumpus, we’ve got essays, reviews, interviews, music, film, short fiction, and poetry—along with some kick-ass comics . We know how easy it is to find pop culture on the Internet, so we’re here to give you something more challenging, to show you how beautiful things are when you step off the beaten path. The Rumpus is a place where people come to be themselves through their writing, to tell their stories or speak their minds in the most artful and authentic way they know how, and to invite each of you, as readers, commenters or future contributors, to do the same. What we have in common is a passion for fantastic writing that’s brave, passionate, and true (and sometimes very, very funny ). ( more )
Contending with the decision-making, linearity, social context, subjectivity, and objectivity that constitute writing is a process that takes place over time and through language. When producing a piece of writing for an audience, experienced writers use systems they have developed. Each writer has an idiosyncratic combination of thinking, planning, drafting, and revising that, for him, means “writing” something. No matter how an individual describes his process (., “First I think about my idea then dump thoughts onto the computer,” or “I make an outline then work out topic sentences”), each person (usually unconsciously) negotiates the series of choices required in his individual context and produces a draft that begins to capture a representation of his ideas. For most people, this negotiation includes trial and error (this word or that?), false starts (beginning with an example that later proves misleading), contradictions (I can’t say X because it may throw Y into question), sorting (how much do I need to say about this?), doubt about how the idea will be received, and satisfaction when they think they have cleared these hurdles successfully. For most people, this process happens through language. In other words, we use words to discover what, how, and why we believe. Research supports the adage “I don’t know what I think until I read what I’ve said.”