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Summer Break was amazing! I read a lot of books, but the lack of a schedule really took me away from my writing routine. I did not keep current on any of my blogs and I did not make any progress on my manuscripts :(
Also, reading a lot of books made me feel a little insecure about my own writing. First I read Stone of Tears by Terry Goodkind and learned what it looks like when someone tells without showing. Later I read Offworld by Robin Parrish which taught me the importance of a good plot. The book started out with a great premise- a group of astronauts return from Mars to find no one living on Earth -but the plot was so boring. I almost gave up. Towards the end of the story, the plot got so ridiculous that it held my attention, but only because I could not really believe what was happening. Both books made me think about my own writing in a critical way. Now I am afraid to look back at what I have written; I fear I have made some of the same mistakes :(
The most recent book I read was The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. If you have not read it yet, drop everything and find that book! It is amazing. I want to read the rest of the series immediately, but I don't think it is even published yet. Her writing style, subject, plot and characterization are awesome. I could not put it down.... and I know that my writing is nowhere near her level. I keep telling myself that she had editing time that I have not gotten to yet, that I am just working on laying down the first draft, but part of me doesn't believe it. Part of me thinks I can never reach that high of a level.
I am nervous about picking up my manuscripts again. Meanwhile another story is clamoring to get out of my head and onto paper.