Robin Hobb Has My Number
AprilDavila
by April
2w ago
On January 1st I finished reading the Liveship Traders trilogy by Robin Hobb. I’ve already read the Farseer trilogy which (given that each book is about 800 pages) means I’ve read about 4,800 pages of Hobb’s work and now I’m eyeing the third set, the Tawny Man trilogy. I can’t even figure out why I love them so much. They’re not perfect (I skimmed about 100 pages of the third book in the first trilogy), and there’s almost no sex (which is usually a deal killer for me – I like a steamy story), but they just suck me in and won’t let me go. It’s some combination of great characters, life-and-de ..read more
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Setting Goals (and Intentions) for 2023
AprilDavila
by April
3w ago
I’m big on goal setting. I am almost always working towards a specific goal of one kind or another. As the year turns over I like to think about where I want to be a year from now, but honestly, by the time December rolls around again, I don’t really remember what I said the year before. If I had to guess, for the last 15 years, my goal for the year (every year) has been “finish this draft.” It’s more about reaffirming my intentions. Short-Term Goals Much more useful to me on a day-to-day basis are short-term goals. I set them all the time. I use word count goals when I’m trying to get a fir ..read more
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Best Books of 2022
AprilDavila
by April
1M ago
I read 56 books this year. Of those, I didn’t finish eight of them (I’m pretty quick to put books down these days), and nine stand out as excellent reads. These are the books that stayed with me, the ones I thought back on after I’d finished reading. They are the books I’m telling my friends about. Here they are, in no particular order and with no regard to publication date. The best books I read in 2022. (each of the images below links to my affiliate account on Bookshop.org which means that if you buy a book using that link, you support this blog AND indie bookstores – win win ..read more
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Your Story Matters
AprilDavila
by April
2M ago
A student in one my Sit Write Here workshops shared this poem with the group today. We were talking about that feeling we all get sometimes when we’re writing, that little voice that tells us that we should just stop because nobody needs to hear what we have to say. We all feel this way sometimes. But I have long contended that we are none of us unique snowflakes. If you write something that is compelling and important to you, there will be people (perhaps a lot of them) who share your interest/history. Those people are your audience. Write for them. Your story matters ..read more
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On Mastery
AprilDavila
by April
3M ago
There was this idea that circulated a while back about the 10,000 hour rule. It said that, to become a master of something, you had to put in 10,000 hours of practice. I’ve never really subscribed to that idea. While I absolutely agree that we get better at things the more we do them, if you practice doing something poorly, you’re only going to get better at doing it poorly. However, my bigger gripe with the idea is this term mastery. It’s always been a question in my mind: at what point does a creative professional claim mastery? Because it’s not like a language. I’ve been trying to master ..read more
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The Terrifying Joy of Trying to Decide What’s Next
AprilDavila
by April
3M ago
I was out in my garden last weekend. It’s just a little strip of land below the window of my home office where I like to grow things. I have some chard going, and just added some cauliflower. Then I pulled some clover from the edge of the lawn. Then I trimmed back a lavender bush I planted in a pot a few years ago. I watered the redwood tree that is always struggling a little (why anyone ever thought to plant a redwood in Los Angeles is beyond me). Wandering I love spending time in my yard, with the sun on my skin, the dirt under my nails. I always just feel a little calmer, even after just ..read more
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Little Free Library
AprilDavila
by April
3M ago
My kid’s school has figured out that they can get me to volunteer for anything book related. I just can’t say no. But when they approached me about managing the Little Free Library they have on campus, I didn’t want to say no. I was like Hermione Granger in the front row, hand raised. First of all, what they’ve had in the past is a sad little box in the hallway outside the library. But then the fire marshall said they can’t stack stuff up in the hallway so the box got moved INTO the library, which is just frankly confusing for the littler kids. I mean, is it part of the library? Are the book ..read more
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The Title Hunt Continues
AprilDavila
by April
4M ago
Yes, I am STILL trying to figure out a title for my new book. It’s getting down to the wire here, people. Today I’m trying an exercise suggested by a former student, Colleen Titelbaum, who forwarded it from Jessica Brody at the Writing Mastery Academy. Here’s what Jessica recommends: Rip or cut multiple small strips of paper (the more the better!) On each piece of paper write down a word (or phrase) that in someway is associated with the story (these can be related to themes, imagery, locations, character traits, life lessons, catch phrases, key objects in the story, even a character name ..read more
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Eduardo’s Headshots
AprilDavila
by April
4M ago
After studying biology and learning of his own place in the world, Eduardo has decided to expand his sphere of influence. Step one: a few good images for his propaganda press releases. The best thing about this is how many kids took time out of their school day to draw a portrait of Eduardo – and really creative drawings too, some super realistic, some cartoonish, one in bright pink abstract. My daughter took a few of her favorites and made them into stickers that are popping up everywhere. These are just a couple she has stuck to the back of her phone. #LongLiveEduardo ..read more
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Book Mail
AprilDavila
by April
4M ago
I’m such a suckers for books on writing. These two just arrived in the mail and I can’t wait to dive in ..read more
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