Author Talk: Margaret Atwood

Sometimes, seemingly out of nowhere, an opportunity arises that you just can’t pass up. The opportunity in this instance was a visit from Margaret Atwood, award-winning author of bestsellers such as The Handmaid’s Tale, Alias Grace, and many others to date.

I personally have not read any of Ms. Atwood’s work, nor have I watched the Hulu production of The Handmaid’s Tale. The reason is because my blood pressure can’t handle it under the current political climate — I’ll just leave it at that. I have, however, admired her work for a long time.

So, imagine my shock when I heard that she would be coming to Tuscaloosa as part of the University of Alabama’s Distinguished Writer’s Series! Little did I know, Margaret Atwood was the writer in residence at the University of Alabama in the mid-80’s. She actually finished her manuscript for The Handmaid’s Tale while she was living in Tuscaloosa. With all honesty, I would not have believed that if I had not heard it straight from her mouth last night.

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We were all treated to readings from The Handmaid’s Tale, Alias Grace, and Hagseed. She gave us the background of each, how each came to be, the inspiration behind the works, and insight into the process of writing each. She kept us all laughing with a dry wit and optimistic view of the future. Many a cheer from many a Doug Jones supporter were heard from the audience last night — myself included.

She also shared precious few details about a secret manuscript she completed for Norway’s Future Library Project, which will remain unread for a century. As a participant of the project (which you can read more about right here), she was sworn to secrecy about the details of the manuscript.

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Margaret Atwood, handing over her boxed manuscript for the Future Library Project in Oslo, Norway.

However, she did give us the name: Scribbler Moon. When she explained the premise of the project, she commented that she felt compelled to do it because, basically, there are two types of kids in the world: 1) the kinds who bury bottles in their back yards and hope that someone, one day, will read the message inside and 2) the kinds who don’t.

I like to believe that I’d fall into the first category. What about you?

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(The best I could get from my back row seat!)

Thank you all for reading!

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Latest Reads/Inspiration: What I’m Up To

Hello all! It’s been a while but I have been reading and have kept up with writing. This is largely due to a writing group I have been a part of over the past year — they inspire me to keep going. It’s a lot like group exercise classes, which are also crucial to my overall physical health.

I’m still working on my novel, and getting close to seeing the whole story written out on paper! It’s a good feeling. I started writing it during a low, pretty lonely point in my life and the story has grown with me, in a way. I’ve got the beginning, most of the middle, and the very end written. Now just have to bang out the part between the middle and the ending. After that, my plan is to print off the draft and get it bound with plastic rings then go in and get down to the nitty gritty.

I’ve learned that my process is to get the bones of the story on the page, then add the detail, beauty, and ambiance after the bones are there. Like Anne Lamott said, put the sand in the box and build the sandcastles later.

In other news, I’ve read some good books!

Continue reading “Latest Reads/Inspiration: What I’m Up To”

Book Celebration: You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Hello, all!

I haven’t posted since January. Haven’t been working on the Short Story Challenge at all and will have to offer a hearty #NotSorry for that one. I have kept writing, though! And reading! I have lots of things I’d like to share with you all.

Today I’d like to add a new theme to content on here — Book Celebrations. As writers, wasn’t reading our first love? I get such a high when I read a book that resonates with me, or when I hold a new paperback in my hands with a bright cover and turn pulpy smooth pages with my fingers.

I was intrigued when one of my friends sent me “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero, the title alone is enough to demand your attention.

Badass - Jen Sincero

Source: www.amazon.com

The book is divided into Five¬†Parts and 28 Sections. The names are funny and help you ease your way into openness to changing habits. All of those are available on the free preview.¬† Continue reading “Book Celebration: You are a Badass by Jen Sincero”