Book Signings; Ideas From Ray Bradbury; Work In Progress: La Traviata

Hey, everybody–I hope your summer’s going well. It’s pretty hot here in the lovely state of Pennsylvania, but I’m loving it.

It looks like I’m going to be involved in a couple of group signings next month. The first will be at Chester County Books, 975 Paoli Pike, West Chester, PA, on the afternoon of August 18th, and the other will be for the 2012 PAYA Festival, also in West Chester, PA, on August 25th, at 1585 Paoli Pike at the PA Leadership Charter School’s Advanced Ideas Center. I’ll be signing at noon for that one and will also be involved in a writing workshop that morning. I don’t yet know exactly what time the Chester County Books event will be. More info as we get closer.

You can find out more about PAYA, which focuses on young adult novels, at I’d love to see you at either event.

When Ray Bradbury died recently, I heard about his book, ZEN IN THE ART OF WRITING, and immediately found a copy at the library. What a wonderful writer he was! His joie de vivre was apparent throughout the book, and he had me laughing out loud on the first page. You just have to love him.

One of Bradbury’s writing strategies was to create giant lists, many lists–elephant, pajamas, jam sandwiches, mockingbirds could start one–and when he couldn’t think of anything to write about, he’d choose a noun from one of those lists and write a prose poem about it. By the time he’d get to the second page, a character would appear and take over, writing his story for him. So that’s what I’m going to try the next time I’m looking for a story. Sounds like a shorter way than what I do, which is just writing and writing and writing randomly until that character shows up with his incredible story. The end result is probably the same, but I’m wondering if Bradbury’s method gets you there faster. I like the ideas of both the lists and the prose poem.

If you’re looking for inspiration and ideas on writing, get this book! Bradbury has some interesting takes on the writing life, but the main thing seems to be about his gusto for life. The read is interesting and entertaining even if you aren’t a writer. Then you might want to move on to his novels or short story collections if you haven’t already read them.

I’m working on a new book, so far called LA TRAVIATA, about a teen rock star. I’m having a lot of fun with it. I hope it gets to a point where you can have fun with it, too.

Catch ya later.

Hugs and thanks for reading–

By authorsusanshaw