Weekly Red Shoes Updatebanned-book-week

September 28, 2016


Last Friday, I walked into my local public library to pick up a copy of Waiting by Ha Jin and saw a display about banned books. The librarian informed me that this is Banned Book Week!


But who would ban books, you ask?

Name a book you don’t like and why you don’t like it, and the answer might come more easily than you think. I don’t agree with banning books, but Fifty Shades of Grey? I start to see the argument. (But also note, the link I shared is to a website where you can purchase the book, so I’m not opposed to you reading it.)

Our librarian had a nice display set up with examples of banned books and the reasons for the banning attempts. Do any of these reasons resonate with you?


I’ve read most of the displayed books and the biggest head scratcher for me was Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich. I read this book two years after it first came out (2001) and I found her experiment/argument about why the minimum wage was not a living wage very useful, insightful and compelling. But poverty is a touchy subject and creates enormous friction when rubbed against the very American belief in “the American Dream.” The book brought awareness to this issue, but as the U.S. currently debates the benefit and realistic implementation of a $15/hour minimum wage fifteen years later, it would seem much progress hasn’t been made on this front. Who knows, maybe the book will resurface and ignite new indignation!

Last week I found some real gems of wonderful writing advice and writerly speculation. Here are three in no particular order.

Jeff Goins: The Portfolio Life

I’ve been following Goins loosely over the last couple of years, but ever since the annual retreat I went on two weeks ago, I’ve tuned into his weekly podcast and am almost done listening to #121: Why You Need to Let Go of Your Ego w/ Ryan Holiday.

Cara Lopez Lee wrote When Outlines Make Revisions Easier over at The Blood Red Pencil.

I pantsed my first novel, Elevator Girl, which worked because I knew where the story started, where it ended, and had a pretty good idea of how I was going to get from Point A to Point B.

With the current work-in-progress, I learned, after writing 25,000 words, that pantsing it wasn’t going to work. So, I put on my big writer pants (oh, an unintended pun!) and started to learn more about it. I was really inspired by Lopez-Lee’s sort of flipped, yet still outlining, approach to outlining and I’ve also been using Outlining Your Novel by K.M. Weiland.

And Jill Swenson asks Are you a binge-and-purge writer? over at Swenson Book Development.

I like this piece because it speaks to my constant (daily) challenge of finding time to write all the things I want to write while managing the rest of life.

What kind of writer are you?

Have a great week, read a banned book or two, and get your word count in!

– Kim

*One thousand nine hundred and fifty-five words real words, because I’m not counting the stuff I didn’t actually put in, which technically makes my word count way higher.

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