Saturday, April 19, 2014

A to Z Challenge: Q is for Quit (and Brian Qaufman and (And) Quiet Flows the Don by Mikhail Sholokhov)

There are a few authors out there whose last names begin with Q, but I've chosen to cheat on the challenge instead and feature a northern Colorado writer whose name sounds as though it could begin with Q.

Featured Author:  Brian Qaufman (aka Brian Kaufman)

Brian was the instructor in a novel-writing class I took back in 2003. My critique group, Raintree Writers, was formed by a few of the participants in that class, and now Brian is a part of Raintree Writers.

A writer of twisted stories about twisted people, Brian seems like a normal guy. He writes well, is an excellent and supportive critiquer, but one can't help wonder what's going on his mind when he gets too quiet. Is he thinking about zombies? Corpses behind the walls of an old house?

You'll see what I mean when you read some of his work: Dead Beyond the Fence: A Novel of the Zombie Apocalypse, The Apocalypse Parable: A Conspiracy of Weeds, and Mary King's Plague. If you want to read an outstanding piece of historical fiction, though, get a copy of his novel about the Alamo, The Breach, written from the Mexican point of view. Hopefully he'll put that up as an e-book soon.

Featured Book:  (And) Quiet Flows the Don by Mikhail Sholokhov

This is the first book I ever read by a Russian novelist, and the only one I've re-read. Just thinking about it got me back to my online library catalog so I could find it again.

I love this beautifully written story of life in a Cossack village in the early 1900s. The novel, which pits the upstart peasant farmer Gregor against Misha, a loyal Party member, and its sequel (The Don Flows Home to the Sea), won Sholokhov the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1965.

Word of the Day:  Quit

Occasionally I think I'll quit something I do now and replace it with something I'm not doing now.

One day it's writing. The next it's blogging. Or gardening.

Always in the interest of reading more...or crocheting...or painting...or really learning how to use my new camera...or taking a refresher course in piano...or taking guitar lessons.

I suppose I could give up blogging, but that would seem like cutting myself off from the wonderful friends I've made through blogs and social media.

I could give up gardening, but there's truly nothing like fresh veggies I've grown myself. Especially green beans, my favorite.

Writing, though? I don't think I could quit. It's the worst kind of addiction. Are there support groups for recovering writers? I'd need a good one.


Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - I've heard it said this way: If you can stop, then stop. If you can't stop, then you're a writer. A lot of people take occasional breaks from writing and blogging, but to really stop? I don't think a writer can really do that.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Margot, I think you're right. If I don't write for a few days, I get this nagging feeling I've forgotten to do something important.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

There is always a way to juggle what we really want to do. But sometimes we do have to drop an activity to make another work.

Dean K Miller said...

It's not quitting, it's giving it a rest, a chance to breathe, a chance to grow. If we don't go back, it's moving on, moving forward. Something we change (quit) in order to grow.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Patricia--But breaks are really good...we don't have to quit permanently. :) Hope you find some extra time!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Alex, when I try to juggle, I always drop the ball. :D

Hi Dean -- You know there's no rest for the wicked.

Hi Elizabeth. I hope so too. There's so much I want to do.

mooderino said...

Quitting does seem like a great idea sometimes, but then what? I have to find something to do when I'm not on the internet.

Moody Writing

Patricia Stoltey said...

Mood, I'm not sure there is a life away from the internet anymore.

Eileen Goudge said...

It's not writing I have a problem with, it's everything that gets in the way. I have to remind myself to stop and smell the roses once in a while. I bake as a hobby to add some balance to my life and keep my husband happy.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Your 'quit' idea is something I've toyed with over the past few weeks. I love being outside but writing and blogging keep me at the computer. Can't bring myself to quit anything. I just need more hours in the day.

Fe said...

For me, to not write can be equated with not breathing - both are essential to my life.

Visiting from AZ.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

It's all about priorities and finding the balance that works for you. I find mine slip and slide, and I struggle to get back on task, to focus. But eventually, I do. :)

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

Patricia Stoltey said...

Eileen, baking would be a very dangerous hobby for me. My husband and I would start gaining weight like crazy because neither of us has much will power.

Susan, I'm the same way. I have too many interests and not enough hours in the day.

Welcome Fe -- I have days like that, and days where pulling weeds provides the peaceful meditation I desperately need, and days when I have to read a book or go never ends.

I know all about that slipping and sliding, Madeline. What I'd love to do is slip into a schedule that made time for everything. Sigh.

Rhonda Blackhurst said...

I took a long break from writing while I raised my kids, and getting back to it was like finding a long lost friend. That being said, I didn't quit, just took a break. Breaks are good. They rejuvenate, refresh, and passion is reborn.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Yes, the thought of quitting something or the other does cross my mind, but then my inner resistance raises its head and I push away the thought of quitting.