Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

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38 in 10

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot…reading is the creative center of a writer’s life…you cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.” – Stephen King

38 in 10
35 booksThirty-eight in ten. It wasn’t easy. But it was fun!

My local library wraps up its annual Adult Winter Reading Program today  The program began in January and ran for ten weeks. My goal? To read and/or listen to 40 books during that time frame. I came within a cat’s whisker of reaching it.

“How in the world did you manage 38 books in ten weeks?” you ask. “Where’d you find the time?”

Truth? I didn’t “find” the time. I made it. Yep, it’s amazing what you can accomplish if you bring a book to the dentist or doc’s office. Read at red lights. While standing in line at the post office or grocery check-out. Hibernate in the library. Listen to a book on CD while doing dishes. Double as a Himalayan hermit.

Why Is That?
The best writers I know are also voracious readers. Why is that? Check out some of the links below to find out.


What were the best books I read/listened to in the last ten weeks? Answer: It depends.  Mostly on which day you ask.  Those that were particularly memorable, in no particular order, include:

These Strange Ashes – Elisabeth Elliot
Epic- John Eldredge
Dawn – Elie Wiesel
Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbitt

Noteworthy: Cry, The Beloved CountryAlan Paton; Zia – Scott O’Dell; War Horse – Michael Morpurgo.

Kristine Lowder and friendAre you a writer who reads? Share some of your favorite titles below.

Up next: Books to Grow By. How Many Have You Read?

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The Hunt

“Writing is like hunting.  There are brutally cold afternoons with nothing in sight, only the wind and your breaking heart.  Then the moment you bag something big… You think, ‘This one is a keeper.  This is a trophy brought back from the future realm, the kingdom of glistening night where we know ourselves absolutely.  This one goes on the wall.'”  – Kate Braverman

What have you “put on the wall” lately?

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Write Away: Attitude (Part 1 of 5)

“Everywhere I have sought rest and not found it, except sitting in a corner by myself with a book”

– Thomas a Kempis

Most people think “writer” is a noun and “writing” is a verb.  Not quite.  Writing is a talent, a skill.  Writing well is a gift.  But it’s also a calling, every bit as much of a calling as is the “call” to be a pastor, missionary, doctor, lawyer, butcher, baker, or candlestick maker.  What kind of “calling” is writing – and how do you know if you have it?  Let’s start with some of the differences between “Writer Wannabees” and “Real Writers.”

It’s not unusual for Writer Wannabees to fancy themselves the Real Deal.  Lord love ‘em, these are the folks who dabble in, play at, or “write” bi-annually, “whether they need to or not.”  Their version of “writer” is anyone who can bang out a few semi-coherent sentences or pages to wow the fam or undiscriminating friends and associates.  Some think their attempt at cranking out the next great American novel earns them the appellation.  Or their degree in English.  Or landing a book contract.  Or getting published.

I beg to differ.

Call me old-fashioned, but my version of Real Writer – as opposed to hobbyists or the occasional, haphazard Writer Wannabee – doesn’t have so much to do with talent as it does inspiration, motivation, and attitude.

More later, so stay tuned.


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