“If there is a magic in story writing, and I am convinced there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another. The formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey something he feels important to the reader. If the writer has that urge, he may sometimes, but by no means always, find the way to do it. You must perceive the excellence that makes a good story good or the errors that makes a bad story. For a bad story is only an ineffective story.”
John Steinbeck on writing

Ideas of March, Essays, and Diving Down the Rabbit Hole

I guess, overall, the day was pretty significant.

It was election day. George Bush would go on to win his second term as president, and my favorite band released a new album after a bit of a hiatus. I remember I was home from school early. I was a sophomore in high school and had taken two mid-terms that morning. I’m not really sure how it happened. Maybe it was an accident. All I know is I started something that I haven’t been able to shake off. And I don’t think I’m being hyperbolic when I say it changed my life.

Read More

“People are interested only in themselves. If a story is not about the hearer he will not listen. And here I make a rule—a great and lasting story is about everyone or it will not last. The strange and foreign is not interesting—only the deeply personal and familiar”

—John Steinbeck, East of Eden

This is one of those books that’s been on my list to read for a few years now, always putting it off to read something newer to relevant to my interests or shorter. I’d finished the rest of the books on my list that I already own and not wanting to buy another, I knew it was time.

East of Eden is one of the best books I’ve read. I’d say it now sits alongside Lust for Life as one of my favorite novels. And like Lust for Life, the reason it’s so great is because it’s tells one of those eternal stories. It’s about love and loss, jealously and betrayal, success and failure. 

The quote above was spoken by the character Lee in the book, someone who continually provided insight into the story and into life and I think that quote is the perfect description of what East of Eden is. It’s a book about the human story.