“The worst tragedy for a poet is to be admired through being misunderstood.”–Jean Cocteau

Since a week or so ago, when I last wrote up some short reviews of other blogsites I’ve been following, it’s time to write up another 4 which have come to fill a good portion of my reading time during the day.  Though they all have some connection with writing, again they are individually very different in tonalities and voices, and I’ve been kept very busy watching some of the action on them.  Most if not all of them have been Freshly Pressed, so congratulations are in order, first of all.  Here’s hoping you find this list useful for your own blogging habits, and that you locate some here you’d also like to follow.  Also (vis-à-vis my title to this blog), I hope none of these gifted people feel misunderstood by anything I represent about their sites.

1).  NATASHA–at http://writerreaderbakerbride.wordpress.com/  .  This is obviously a site for varied (if related) creative interests.  Two are related because both writing (and getting published) and also getting married are validations of self that help to make life brighter; these are some of the things this writer has to report.  They are varied because the author seems equally well at home in passing on tips for several DIY wedding projects, dealing with the oral quirks of a new Nexus 7 program, and writing about editing and getting published.  Also (lest I leave the baker out), she has Scrummy Sundays recipes once a week, featuring sinfully rich and gooey treats which make me gain 10 pounds just in reading the directions.  The author (lest in all the flourish of topics we fail to emphasize this very important fact) has been given an ebook contract by HarperCollins and has what she modestly refers to as a “handful of short story publications.”  And, in the generosity which distinguishes her answers to her readers, she offers the first 4 chapters of her memoir-novel on site as a free read.  I’m very much enjoying this site, while hoping that the author’s many projects don’t drag her in too many different directions at once–but then, I’ve always been a greedy reader!

TheYoungPlum– at http://theyoungplum.wordpress.com/  .  This blog features a very talented young writer who’s soon off to a creative writing program to hone his skills, which are considerable already.  An ironic, wry voice with an appealing Cole Porterish ability with words is what is most consistent on his site, as he visits and re-visits such topics as coffeehouse customs, superheroes, product marketing, and racial profiling.  A word of warning to solemn folk:  this writer is both edgy and daring; make sure your sense of humor is functioning adequately before reading.  His badinage with his audience is also extremely winning, and his writing shows a certain effortless freedom which constitutes a new, fresh voice.  He’s been writing for years now while doing other things, and his proficiency shows.  His motto, placed in the header of his site, is “to be young, to be dumb, and as ripe as a plum,” a more than adequate self-advertisement for the written material and occasional cleverly manipulated photos he showcases.

Sheila Pierson–at http://sheilapierson.wordpress.com/ .  In an adaptation of Descartes, Sheila says in her blog “I write…therefore I am,” surely a claim every would-be writer would like to make for self-verification (sadly, one actually has to do the work to make the claim).  Sheila has clearly done the work.  She writes upon such topics as how two arts (for example, music and writing) can work together, as when one listens to and internalizes music while writing, with an effect on the writing itself.  She also has proposed to become a “certified yoga instructor,” and relates some of the difficulties of this ambition, while asking other writers to respond with what “centers” them in their work.  Just these two topics together show that one of her main interests is very likely the interfaces among writing, other forms of creativity, and finding one’s freedom.  Also, Sheila writes not only prose, but also poetry, and though I haven’t had a chance yet to go through all of her archives, she has been archiving since January 2012.  All in all, I would call this a site well worth keeping up with and researching further.

Annie Cardi– at http://anniecardi.com/ .  When I first checked on Annie’s site I thought, “This is not for me–I have no interest in writing YA fiction.”  Yet, as I idly scrolled down the page, I became more and more intrigued with what I saw.  Not only were favorite “reads” from my own childhood featured on her site, but also more adult novels were discussed, ones which she obviously feels (and says) that younger readers can enjoy, too.  The benefit of this “double whammy” of discussion is that one can trace a trajectory imaginatively and nostalgically not only between what one once read and reads now, but also between what one’s future readers (perhaps) are reading now and what they might like of one’s own.  Just today, I saw something new on her site, an article on The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  Plus, Sheila has included links to more than one very intriguing site on general literary questions.  One of my favorite off-site links was to a list of 10 issues about which some YA fiction leads young readers to have mistaken life expectations (I went through the list laughing ruefully; I had been one such YA fiction reader once upon a time, a topic I had included a few years ago in my third novel).  All in all, this is a very valuable website for writers of YA fiction, dealing with quality works and authors.  Whether you’re looking to write a young adult novel or wondering how you yourself developed as a reader (perhaps even from Burnett’s The Secret Garden to the feminist classic My Secret Garden), this is a site to be profited from.

And those are my reviews of other blog/websites for today.  Look around you (particularly in Freshly Pressed and the links these sites take you to) for other good reads!  More now than ever before the (literary) world is your oyster!

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