Required reading…

Yeahhhh, it´s Wednesday again…my second post for YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday does not make me a pro yet but I´m getting there one week at a time 🙂 This week’s topic: In high school, teens are made to read the classics – Shakespeare, Hawthorne, Bronte, Dickens – but there are a lot of books out there never taught in schools. So if you had the power to change school curriculums, which books would you be sure high school students were required to read?

My first thought was “Wow! So many books to choose from!” My eyes were shining and my fingers were itching to type away…until my second thought stopped me cold “Wow, so many books to choose from…”, my heart started beating faster, my fingers could not find their way to the keyboard…

This is indeed quite an important task. A reading list is not just about reading, it’s about learning, developing critical and social skills (yes I went as far as saying social skills) and to find out more about oneself.

I started to think about the novels on the curriculum in High School for me …more than 12 years ago and I found myself clearly remembering the one I disliked the most: Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (a clear hint for the poll on where I am from which you can find here :-))

I hated it, I hated the fact he was trying to find excuses for his mistakes (society was at fault). And then, it hit me. Yes I hated it but I had feelings towards it, I remember passionate discussions in class or with friends over a cup of coffee. It did fulfil its goals but it was more painful than with the ones I had true passion towards. This is what high school students should read: books they either love or hate but which get them talking and coming back for more.

So how about the reading list I would choose?  I wish students everywhere could discover the joys of classics which open up the mind so there would be some of those (including my favourites: Victor Hugo, Albert Camus, Shakespeare, Homer, Arthur Miller).

Now trying to limit myself to just a very few including some not conventional 🙂

Anne Frank Diary (this one is a must I think)

 Hate List – Jennifer Brown, Go AskAlice- Beatrice Sparks, Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson, Gone with the wind – , The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks

High school students should be encouraged to discover other worlds and themselves through literature, not only how the word itself is constructed…

What would be YOUR list?


Superpowers and kryptonite…

YA Highway is a great place. I usually look around, read some posts and comments, just dipping my toe in the water but today I decided to dive right into it for “Road Trip Wednesday”.  Road Trip Wednesday is a “Blog Carnival,” where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. The question this week made me smile and reflect.

 Are you ready to find out what my writing superpowers are? How about my kryptonite?

Interesting take – superpowers…My MC has some she is not aware of, some other characters in
my WIP may not have superpowers per se but their their true nature with their qualities and their issues is a power on its own.

What about me as a writer?

My kryptonite(s) (yeah I may have several if I am brutally honest with myself):

–   Fear that my English is just not good enough. English is not my mother tongue and sometimes it makes me insecure about the words/expression I may use.

–   Time. I know it´s an elusive concept and my superpowers find a solution to this particular kryptonite but still, I just wish I could sit down hours at a time and just type away. I don´t do that enough.

–   Showing vs telling. Why? Well because right now this is the topic which bothers me, which I am improving day by day but  I know when I will finally be in the revising stage that there WILL indeed be revising to be done on that front 🙂

My superpowers…

–  Dialogues. I can make them flow. The voices are real and they just work. I am grateful for that

–  Plot and subplot. I have several subplots in my WIP but they all serve THE plot. They do not appear to be out of control (yet) and I can still remember little details so that I do not contradict myself between one subplot and the other.

–    Patience – this goes  back to my kryptonite “time”. I know I cannot dedicate more than a certain amount of time to writing per day and that´s ok because my goals are realistic and step by step I am getting there.

–  Love,passion and dedication (they all go into the same superpower pack :-)) I love writing, I simply do (with the ups and the downs)

So what is YOUR kryptonite? And what are your superpowers? Don´t forget to let the other
peeps at YA Highway know!