Rebecca Weber is one of our fabulous librarians here at Florida Tech, and she is especially supportive of the School of Arts and Communication. Today we hear about the ways she expresses herself creatively and her book recommendations.
1. What is the last topic you wrote about? If you’re a creative writer, tell us about what inspired your composition. If you’re a student or scholar doing research, explain the context of your piece and what motivated you to choose that topic.
I have always liked writing. It’s definitely an outlet for me. I have kept personal journals on and off from the time I was about nine years old. I find it helps me think through whatever is going on in my life. Writing for me is like venting on paper. Most recently, I participated in The Honest Body Project, a project by local photographer Natalie McCann to show real images of women and tell their stories. Natalie asked me to write about myself, and she used what I wrote along with the pictures she took. I wrote about dealing with my disability, and how it’s really only a small part of my life. For more on the project see The Honest Body Project website.
2.What conclusions or assumptions (right or wrong) might someone make if they looked at the books on your bookshelf/desk/backpack right now? Tell us about some particularly interesting selections and any books you’d recommend to others.
If someone saw my bookshelf, they would know that I am obsessed with books. Books are a way to travel to places I have never been, and see the world with a different perspective. Here are a few that have made big impressions on me in the last few years:
Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach: Steinbach was a journalist and the book is a travel memoir about her time traveling Europe. It written in an engaging and fast-paced style.
Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos: In this quirky memoir Vardalos describes the heartbreak of infertility and the joy of adoption. She keeps it real, but it’s sprinkled with humor too. If you liked watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you will love this book.
Chasing Hope by Kathryn Cushman: This one is inspirational fiction about a college Olympic-level runner who has to give up her dream because of debilitating disease, and the teenage girl she ends up coaching. It reminded me that hope can be found even in the most difficult circumstances, if you look for it.
The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin: A socially awkward bookstore owner finds love. It’s small town fiction at its best with some mystery, and a little surprise thrown in. AJ Fikry becomes the most unlikely of heroes.
Olivia by Ian Falconer: This is a children’s book. I love children’s books because they are one of the first ways that children come in contact with the world. Olivia is funny, very independent, and she builds fantastic sand castles! Falconer, a writer and illustrator for The New Yorker wrote Olivia based on his niece, and it’s adorable.
These are some great reads, but as Levar Burton used to say on Reading Rainbow, “You don’t have to take my word for it!”
3.What or who inspires you when you are feeling creative? Your response doesn’t necessarily have to be about writing. It could be about anything you do to express yourself creatively and the inspiration that fuels that creativity.
When I am feeling creative, I like to have a notebook handy so I can write my thoughts down. This works whether I am doing something work-related or just for fun. When I write creatively, I love using memories, pictures, and real life for inspiration. I also like to paint. I am not great at it, but I love starting with a blank canvas. You never know what the end result will be.