Books Read in 2011

Tessa's books-read-2011 book montage

Clockwork Angel
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer

Books Read in 2011 »

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Creative Writing

Okay, I know I said I was only going to blog once a week, but I'm just too lazy to do anything else this late evening. The weather has been unusually good in Iceland this summer, and there was another T-shirt weather today. That kind of heat always makes me a little drowsy. 

I'm extremely excited about starting school. I've changed my course selection three times already. I think I made the final change today. I decided that since I'm a mature woman now and know what I want, I wasn't going to follow the cookie-cut way of taking classes. I'm only taking two classes with the rest of the first year students, and then I'm taking English Syntax (an optional class for second or third years) and Creative Writing (!!), which is meant for students in the master's program!

I wrote to the teacher, explaining how much I already know about the subject, that I've written a full-length novel, that I've started the second one, that I've researched a lot about genre, styles, voice, rise and fall of tension, that I've read books on writing. I both emailed her and talked to her face-to-face (while buying course material from her for another course) and she sounded genuinely excited to have me join her class. For Creative Writing, we have; Holes, by Louis Sachar; On Writing, by Stephen King (I've heard so much about this one!); and Stein on Writing, by Sol Stein.

I decided to go my own way in course selections because the courses I've chosen will help me with my writing. It's something I would never in a million years consider doing if I was starting uni for the first time at age 18. I realized that if it's possible (and I'm so glad that it is!), I need to get the things I want out of this education, in the sequence that best fits me and my writing. Yay for being older and wiser!  

I'm sure that all the courses will help with my writing, in some ways or another, but English Syntax, Creative Writing, How Language Works I (need it to be able to take the useful part II next term), Foundation Course in English for Foreign Languages: Methods (again, part I of II for next term), and English for Practical Purposes (mostly learning to speak well in English - there are a number of presentations throughout various courses during the studies), are the courses I really need to take right now.

The first-year courses I'm saving for Fall 2011 are: The Talking Animal (No, it's not an MG kid-lit), British History and Culture, and Brit. Lit. I. All exciting, but all things that can wait :) 

The courses scheduled for Spring 2011 are very exciting. I'm trying to get into a master's class called "Fantasy". Yeah, that's right. We'll read popular fantasy books and discuss. Dreamy-creamy fantasy course *pats course*. But yeah, it's for master's level, so I'm not sure I can get it. I sent the teacher an email today to see if I can get an exception.

I got my delivery from Amazon yesterday. In it were three self-publish books (hey, I had a gift certificate from mileage points) Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing ManualSelf-Publishing for Dummies, and Become a Real Self-Publisher, by Michael N. Marcus ,  The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan, and The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. The problem is that I have so much to read before the classes start next week, and I need to revise the first five chapters of my manuscript. I have very little time to read my choice of books! I do like to read in bed, before going to sleep. I might do reviews on these once I've finished - you know, just for the fun of it ;)


  1. I loved the Forest of Hands and Teeth. If you like zombies, then I think you'll like it!

    Good luck with your classes!

  2. I love King's On Writing. I've read it four times so far, and I am sure I will re-read it every couple of years. I can't say that about any other book about writing.

    The fantasy course would be great. I would hope they would mix in some older classics with new stuff. Earthsea, Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser, Conan, and so on, shouldn't be neglected just because they are old.

  3. Aubrie: Thanks :) I read the first chapter on Amazon before buying it, and it was interesting enough for me to buy. I've been stealing a read every now and then.

    Ted: So glad to hear that King's book is that interesting. I was surprised to see that it came in a novel-paperback form, instead of those larger book forms. I've heard great things about it and it has over 6000 5-stars on Amazon - which is huge for a book on writing.

    I'd love to read Conan again. I really enjoyed that one. The course description says: The consept of "Fantasy" will be disussed in historical as well as contemporary perspective. We'll read fantasies representative for various subgenres and discuss their literary qualities. The course will focus on literature for children and young adults and "cross-overs".

    I'm hoping to get into the class next term because Fantasy is "in" now, so the class might not be there after a couple of years.

  4. Hey girl-

    I'm so excited that you get to start taking classes again. I fully hope to live vicariously through your blog on this. I'm also so facinated with the fact that you live in Iceland. I think that is the coolest thing ever. You have to tell more about this. Sometimes when it's 100degrees with 100% humidity here in KC, I wish I was on the North Pole!

    I think I'm just going to march over to B&N tonight and by "On Writing" everyone swears by it.

    Oh, and best of all, I only have 50 more pages on my first read through of B of B. I'm loving it. After I've finished the first read through, I'll go back through again and be able to make some sensible comments.

  5. I'll definitely post things from the creative writing class on my blog. It's very relevant to writing, after all. I'm so stoked about it.

    Glad you like the manuscript :) Would you mind, though, if I send you the most recent edition before you start critiquing? I haven't changed anything at the far back and the story is the same, but I've changed the first few chapters quite a bit. They're much better now, I promise ;)

  6. Wow that sounds so exciting! And I LOVED Stephen King's "On Writing." So inspiring! :)

  7. That's great to hear! I'm actually getting kind of excited to read it.

    I'm reading Holes now (one of the books we have to read). I'm not far in, only 40 pages or so. It's a "meh" so far, but I'm sure it'll get better. It reads like an MG. That might be the reason I'm having a hard time getting into it.

    Not that I hate all MG's! Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was MG for goodness sakes. Just saying that it's not my usual read (especially since there's no fantasy/paranormality in it!) As I said, I'm sure it'll pick up soon. It has over 2000 5-stars on Amazon.