I think I mentioned in the past that when I am writing I like to fine-tune my words by reading fine writers and trying to soak up their class.
Because hey, dreaming is free, and no writing handbook is better than a classic.
Right now I am going through three small booklets one of my followers sent me.
These are the small Penguin Modern Classics pamphlets – 60-pages booklets that collect three short stories of a number of modern authors.
The ones I received are Shirley Jackson, Dorothy Parker and Clarice Lispector.
Three great short-story writers, and three great small collections (the postman folded the package in two, so that all three volumes are creased in the middle, but that’s the delivery guys for you).
I think I’ll look up the series and check out more of these small, inexpensive books.
It’s not the first time Penguin does this sort of format. Back when I was in university they had done a series of miniature books to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Penguin. Sixty small books going for 60 p.
It featured authors like Maugham and Dahl and Elizabeth David and Penelope Lively.
It was great.
And yes, writing a gangster story/noir take on an old faery tale while reading Dorothy Parker does have some weird side effects.
Weird, but positive.