A Book Is A Dream

Everyone dreams. Not everyone remembers their dreams, but everyone dreams for most of each night. And everyone knows what a dream is. It’s those images and sensations and emotions that blur together while we sleep. It’s involuntary. But approximately 51% of people have at least one lucid dream. In lucid dreams, the dreamers are aware they’re having a dream and may have some control over the dream. If 51% have lucid dreams, 49% of people do not. Or do they? According to Neil Gaiman, a book is a dream that you hold in your hand. Is it really? Our Body While Dreaming To understand the real-life parallels between dreaming and reading, one must first understand dreaming. Most dreams occur during what doctors call REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. The visual and illogical basis of the dreams appears to help us solve some problems. Normal dreaming also appears to lower stress levels. Your body undergoes many changes during sleep. Your brain is active, your eyes move rapidly(hence the name), your limbic system responds (it’s what controls emotions), and you go through a state of sleep paralysis. Yes, for a brief period you are unable to move your arms or legs. It’s […]

How to be awesome reading your work aloud

How to be Awesome Reading Your Story Aloud

Reading fiction aloud can sound like music. Reading prosody, is the term for that musical style of reading. In other words, it’s reading with expression.  And reading with expression is how to be awesome reading your story aloud.  But as a writer, we spend a lot of time alone with our thoughts and our keyboards. Preparing to give a reading can be daunting. You’re filled with questions and doubts. Where do I start? What do I read? How much do I read? How do I get through the reading without sounding like an idiot? What do I wear? Stop. Take a breath. This is your guide on how to be awesome reading your story aloud.   First hint: Don’t hide behind your book. Talk to Your Host Preparation begins with knowing more about what’s expected. Ask your host: will you be sitting or standing? At a table or a podium? Will you use a microphone? Do you check in? When and where? Is it okay to sell books after the reading? Can you ask for signups for your email list? Is it okay to bring props or bookmarks? How long are you expected to read? Sometimes how long you read is […]

Going to Mars Word-by-Word: the Landis Way

The next stop in our Going to Mars Word-by-Word tour is Mars Crossing by Geoffrey Landis. Published by Tor Books in 2000, this is the first novel by an experienced and award-winning short story author. It won a nomination for a Nebula and won the Locus Award for best first novel in 2001.  Hop aboard for a gritty, near-future science fiction tale of the exploration of Mars the Landis way.   WHAT IT’S ABOUT By 2028, two missions have been sent to Mars. Both the Brazilian and the American expeditions met with catastrophe and death on the Red Planet. A NASA-private venture hopes the third mission to Mars will be the first to return. Their plan relies on a return vessel sent to Mars years earlier, capable of manufacturing fuel for the return trip from the Martian atmosphere. The mixed-gender, multi-national crew of six lands on Mars successfully but their celebrations are short-lived. A catastrophic failure kills one of the crew and causes irreparable damage to the return ship. And there is no hope of a rescue mission coming from Earth. As a last-ditch effort to survive, they set out to cross 4,000 miles of Mars to the north pole […]