All posts filed under: the power of words

What I’m reading — The Fault in Our Stars

I recently finished The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. The book was OK at best. The writing was a little immature for my liking and although there is this youthful conversational overtone to the book, it all felt a little forced to me. A little empty. There was though some really good lines in the book! Bookmarked passages: I missed the future. Obviously I knew even before his recurrence that I’d never grow old with Augustus Waters. But thinking about Lidewij and her boyfriend, I felt robbed. I would probably never again see the ocean from thirty thousand feet above, so far up that you can’t make out the waves or any boats, so that the ocean is a great and endless monolith. I could imagine it. I could remember it. But I couldn’t see it again, and it occurred to me that the voracious ambition of humans is never sated by dreams coming true, because there is always the thought that everything might be done better and again. On the flight home, twenty …

You are Oceanic by Tapiwa Mugabe

All she wanted was to find a place to stretch her bones. A place to lengthen her smiles and spread her hair a place where her legs could walk without cutting and bruising a place unchained. She was born out of ocean breath. I reminded her;  ‘Stop pouring so much of yourself into hearts that have no room for themselves do not thin yourself, be vast. You do not bring the ocean to a river.’ – Tapiwa Mugabe, You are Oceanic

What I’m reading – The Wind-up Bird Chronicle

I read a lot. My books are riddled with notes and my favourite lines can be found underlined with pencil. I recently got a Kobo and have been reading like crazy but the biggest issue I have with my new convenient reading companion is that I can no longer take part in this beloved reading ritual (The highlighting tool is just not the same). I’m going to start posting my favourite passages from the book that I’m currently reading (minus the really embarrassing books). I finally got around to reading Haruki Murakami, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle — and I’m lovin’ it! It reminds me a lot of Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy. Bookmarked passages: “Which is better” I asked, out of simple curiosity. “Above or below.” “It’s not that either one is better,” he said. “It’s not a question of better or worse. The point is, not to resist the flow. You go up when you’re suppose to go up and down when you’re supposed to go down. When you’re suppose to go up, find the …

An interview with Alice Munro

The Paris Review is one of my favourite literary sites — they have a fabulous section of interviews with famous writers and if you haven’t yet checked it out, you must (and I mean, must!) put it at the top of your list of things to do. Last night, I came across a 1994 interview with Alice Munro. Halfway through the article I thought to myself, my god this is a lengthy article! But when I finished the last line, my mind was exhausted and all over the place. Tangled with thoughts regarding the painful process of writing and the fear of possibility losing “it”; the excitement and thrill of story  —  all I wanted to do was start from the beginning and enjoy it all over again. Here is one of my favourite parts of the interview: INTERVIEWER When you start writing a story do you already know what the story will be? Is it already plotted out? MUNRO Not altogether. Any story that’s going to be any good is usually going to change. Right now …

A note on writing

“When my head is in the typewriter the last thing on my mind is some imaginary reader. I don’t have an audience; I have a set of standards. But when I think of my work out in the world, written and published, I like to imagine it’s being read by some stranger somewhere who doesn’t have anyone around him to talk to about books and writing—maybe a would-be writer, maybe a little lonely, who depends on a certain kind of writing to make him feel more comfortable in the world.” —Don DeLillo, the Art of Fiction No. 135

When a waves comes, go deep

While browsing one of my favourite blogs, Humans of New York, I came across a quote that literally took my breath away. For the last few months, It seems like I’ve been tumbling around in the core of a big, tumultuous wave. Each time I manage to get my head above the water, it takes me a little longer to catch my breath and gain a sense of direction…. I hope it passes soon. “If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?” “When a wave comes, go deep.” “I think I’m going to need an explanation for that one.” “There’s three things you can do when life sends a wave at you. You can run from it, but then it’s going to catch up and knock you down. You can also fall back on your ego and try to stand your ground, but then it’s still going to clobber you. Or you can use it as an opportunity to go deep, and transform yourself to …

An open invitation to all storytellers — tell me something great!

A Solo Affair wants to share your stories! Nothing beats a really good story, eh?  Do you have a uniquely authentic story that you’d be interested in sharing with us? Then get to it and shoot me off an email at Stephanie.payne@gmail.com Some ideas for you: childhood, memories, dating, relationships, goodbyes, new beginnings  — I’m all ears! This is going to be great! I can’t wait to hear from you, Xo. S.