Posts tagged ucsb

Reading as a Profession.

Girl reading by Charles Edward Perugini

Girl reading by Charles Edward Perugini

Like most avid readers, I’ve had a dream since I was young to be able to read for a living.  Of course, anyone who really does read for a living knows it doesn’t quite look like the fantasy—which is lying around on a comfy chaise of some sort in the middle of a vast library of leather-bound books (or hot bestsellers, take your pick).  What it generally looks like, especially in today’s climate, is sitting in front of your computer a lot and skimming word files, and unless you’re lucky enough to be a book reviewer, those word files are probably only submissions, meaning that the quality of the work is not guaranteed.

I’ve known this for a while now.  In college I edited on a poetry magazine called Into the Teeth of the Wind.  The magazine is known for having a quirky, transitive sort of audience, so the poetry that came in to us really ranged from brilliant to outright drivel (or outright weird).  In fact, if anything has taught me to appreciate conciseness and good poetry, it would have to be the masses of extremely poor poetry that I read in my four years of college.  Reading bad poetry (along with some very good poetry, of course) really turned me into a better poet myself.

Reading submissions for other things is no more likely to mean particularly good reads.  Submissions for an online publishing house (or any publishing house, I would imagine) are just as likely to attract questionable writing as a small print-run college lit mag.  Does this mean reading a LOT of bad starts? Yes… it certainly does, but it also makes you appreciate the writing that is good, where the author has clearly honed their craft and done all they can to make the story the best it can be.  This is a great learning experience for me, too… because just as reading a lot of bad poetry made me a better poet, reading questionable writing can make me a better writer, because I can see in other people’s work the mistakes I might be making myself, and that’s a golden lesson if ever there was one.

So, reading as a profession isn’t quite the fantasy that it was for me as a kid… but as I’m starting out in this new journey, it’s certainly a fun and exciting thing for me.

Not that I plan on giving up on the massive TBR list I have stacked up, of course… To share a quote by a brilliant man…

“Read for pleasure. Never forget to read for pleasure.” – W.S. Merwin

~Lisa, who can’t wait until she’s a professional author and can write book purchases off of her taxes.  What?  You know that’s a sizable perk…

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Things I’ll Miss, Part I

SDC12340 There’s no denying that one of the things I’ll miss most about Southern California is the ocean.  Bonfires on the beach, fishing off the pier.  Some of my best memories involve walking the beaches at night, or wandering around the harbor with a few good friends.  There’s something about the sound and the breeze and the salt in the air.  In college (UCSB) I lived a stone’s throw from the beach, and slept with my windows open as often as possible, just to get a whiff of that air.

This past weekend, I’ve been to the ocean twice, both as failed attempts at Grunion running.  Alas, we saw no grunions either time, but it was very nice getting out there and walking the various beaches near Oceanside.  Without grunions, we spent most of our time digging up sand crabs (of some truly impressive sizes), and SDC12441walking the pier.  I’m sorry we didn’t get to see any fish, since it had been my first ever grunion run, but we had a pretty good time anyhow, trying, and ultimately failing, to avoid the sweep of the high tides.

Tonight or tomorrow I’m off for a roadtrip to Salt Lake.  Not the road trip, bound to leave me there, but just a week trip, so I can scope out the area and my brother can look at the colleges.  Internet access on this trip is highly doubtful, just to let you know.  But I’ll be thinking about you.  And I’ll come back with pictures.

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