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  • Katrina Carruth

WRITING FROM THE WONDERBOOK: BLOG SERIES

If I could physically melt into a book and just float around in it forever, it would be Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer.


I absolutely HATE admitting that it took me far too long to discover it and even LONGER to consider buying it.

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I heard about it in early 2020 just as I'd come to the brutal realization that I was often distracting myself with workshops and workbooks as a way to avoid actually writing, so I immediately dismissed this when I first heard about it.


While I commend my efforts to just get my shit together and invest in my own stories, I am quite sad about the time I lost that I could have spent enjoying this, ESPECIALLY during pandemic isolation.


If you (poor, poor soul) haven't heard of Wonderbook, I'll try to explain:


It’s an imagination explosion.

I’m not kidding when I say it’s hard to describe just how wildly exciting and inspirational it is. It's full of art, prompts, essays, writing exercises, and expertly structured information about just about every topic there is to cover regarding craft.

(Just look at how gorgeous...)


As much as I wanted to skim and jump to every detail as quick as possible, I realized (after impulsively flagging half the book) it demands my undivided attention. (Hysterical to attempt with a 1 year old around ha!)


So I started over. Like, really started over.


Right at the beginning (seriously, like, not even a real numbered page, one of those introductory roman numeral pages) Jeff (yeah, first name basis) says,

“Wonderbook should be read from beginning to end for the most immersive experience.”
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FIIIIIIIIIINE. I’ll go along with that considering I’m already in trouble with how much I have flagged to flip back to.


If you aren't convinced to do the same, I HIGHLY recommend you spend time at least completely reading the intro (mainly because you will soon be convinced to just do it the way the man says to do it!).


There are several points made in the intro that explain how the book works and what different illustrated guides (including a Mister Odd, little aliens, and the All-Seeing Pen-Eye, to name a few) can provide you while reading. For example, occasionally you'll stumble into something called a Disruption Dragon:

"Disruption Dragons...are a kind of insurgency within Wonderbook, reminding us that engagement with what we read is more important than memorization of information."

(I'm going to give you a minute to go back and reread that quote before continuing because...how amazing is that?!)


So, to prevent this from becoming my new shiny thing that rapidly fades from my attention, I’m going to start a blog series called Writings from the Wonderbook in which I will take you, my wonderful 6 or so subscribers, on a magical adventure of my own expedition through this gorgeous book.


I’m going to detail my thoughts on anything and everything I read as well as writing exercises I take a stab at.

(I particularly loved this bit at the end of the intro)

I have big blog plans for 2022 so…stay tuned.

The wind in the writing room is about to go in full chaos mode and I am not sorry about it.

I don’t think you will be either.

If you, at any point, make the wise decision to join me on this side quest of creative inspiration, please let me know!

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