VQR Online: Away.
“Writing is a bit like inflating a vast oxygen tent contained by a thin filmy membrane. Each time I write I have to breathe life into this, slowly blowing it larger and larger, making it more and more substantial, giving it shape. The sound of anyone’s voice, an approaching step, arrests me. I waver, and the whole filmy construct trembles, shudders, and then deflates, sliding into nothingness. It’s gone.” Beautifully expressed. One’s muse can be as diaphanous as a soap-bubble — fragile, vulnerable.
WNYC: The Leonard Lopate Show - Do You Have to Be Crazy to Be a Genius?
“Neuroscientist and literary scholar Nancy C. Andreasen tries to answer the question: If high IQ does not indicate creative genius, then where does the trait come from, and why is it so often accompanied by mental illness?” Audio; linking it without having the time to listen to it yet, because it’s one of my favorite bugbears.
Hemingway App for Mac OSX.
Of note. Does a bit of editing while you write.
Removed a post for the first time.
About how publishers should contemplate “director’s cuts”. I decided my comments and critiques were not phrased well, and offered too wide an opportunity for misinterpretation. My apologies. Sometimes it is indeed better to shut one’s cake-hole and listen a bit more.
Guardian.UK: E-readers vs books - the debate.
Never thought I’d say it, but I miss our old Borders Books. I preferred NYC-style B&N’s, but all Santa Fe had was a Borders. I support independent bookstores, but they just don’t have the huge storespace, the strollspace that the chains had. And I could kill hours - even days (after returning from a long a/v tour) - in bookstores.
The Airship: Reading in Public - Tales of Love and Literature, Pt. II.
“I actually didn’t like the book. But I still really like you.” Begging the question ... can you live with another person if they don’t like the same reading material? If the beacon of your life is prose, then I’d say tread carefully.
NPR: ‘Rocket Girl’ Is A Jetpack-Powered 21st Century Angel.
“It seems DaYoung wasn’t any ordinary teenager in her version of 2013. She was a member of the New York Teen Police Department. Now back in 1986, armed only with her flight gear and some awesome fighting moves, she beats down baddies of all stripes while pursuing her mission to stop the evil mega-corporation Quintum Mechanics.” Sounds like fun.
City Arts: Stop Using ‘Poet Voice’.
“The voice flattens the musicality and tonal drama inherent within the language of the poem, and it also sounds overly stuffy and learned. In this way, Poet Voice does a disservice to the poem, the poet and poetry. It must be stopped.” I give the poet a break; it must be terribly hard to read one’s own work. There’s a deal of baggage involved. My memory still resounds with the crypt-like croak of an elderly TS Eliot reading “Prufrock”. I’ll pass.
OpenCulture: Wearable Books - Medieval Manuscripts Were Recycled & Turned into Clothes.
Um. Yes. Well. Newspaper and book-paper are pretty good insulators, it turns out. We had a family friend who grew up in Austria post-WWI, and he related how he managed to keep warm in the terrible post-war poverty by lining his clothes with newspaper (and in the process, making me curious about what the Treaty of Versailles wrought that textbooks weren’t telling me). I later tried it myself (what kid wouldn’t?) … and found it worked extremely well. Except for the ink all over your skin.
MetaFilter: Ah yes, the old rumpscuttle and clapperdepouch (aka “fadoodling”).
Oh, yes. Period slang. Just the thing to add to the weblog.
New Yorker: How to Be a Better Online Reader.
Salon: Is J.K. Rowling the new George Lucas?
The Fully Intended: A love affair with classics.
“Books, like everything in life, can’t even follow us to the grave so fill your memory up with ones that make you laugh and love and cry.” Probably half of books assigned in school needed a decade or so of life after school to truly appreciate. I was sixteen when experiencing a Shakespeare play opened my eyes to his writings. Prior to that - plodding chore-torture. After that - eager reading-avarice.
The Airship: We Looked Deeply into the Trite - More Origins of Literary Cliches.
The Rumpus: Revelations Of A First-time Novelist.
“Once a manuscript leaves your desk, subject matter is the primary (and often only) way it is discussed. So if you haven’t figured out a quick way to answer that cringe-inducing question ‘What’s your book about?’ in a way that interests other people, somebody else will.”
The Sunday Rumpus Interview: Emily Parker.
In specific, about her book on international bloggers, Now I Know Who My Comrades Are. On my list.
Slate/Book Review: Amanda Petrusich’s Do Not Sell at Any Price.
“ If you own a rare LP, it is still comparably common, while a rare 78 might be the only one anywhere in the world. As Petrusich puts it, ‘The distinction is acute, comparable to collecting pebbles versus collecting diamonds.’”
Messy Nessy Chic: The French Castles fit for a Pigeon (Literally).
Dovecots! Or Dovecotes. Whichever. You see these mentioned in historic European works all the time. I’ve only seen a few up until this article. Great addition to fill out imagined landscapes and architecture. “He died alone in a dovecot …”
Guardian.UK: Authors’ incomes collapse to ‘abject’ levels.
“This rapid decline in both author incomes and in the numbers of those writing full-time could have serious implications for the economic success of the creative industries in the UK.” Overlooked this item the other day. My bad.
The Airship: The Race to Destroy Priceless Manuscripts as Idiotically as Possible.
SF New Mexican; George RR Martin gives the finger to fans who say he’ll die before he finishes.
“I find that question pretty offensive, frankly, when people start speculating about my death and my health. [snip] So f–k you to those people.” He’s pretty darned active around these parts. I side with George.
Messy Nessy Chic: Just some 300 year-old Giant Books.
“Nearly a meter long, made with animal skin wood and leather caps containing scripts for religious ceremonies in convents during the colonial era, they were found by a graphic documents restorer, Tania Estrada, who tracked down the books which were donated to various libraries in Mexico in 1915.”
Guardian.UK: Harry Potter makes first appearance for seven years as he turns 34.
A weighted hors d’oeuvre? When other projects don’t match their expectations, authors tend to return to the ‘never again’ stories.
Paris Review: Speaking American.
“An English writer’s relation to the geography of Britain feels familiar. It’s not exotic or particularly dangerous, unless you’re talking Heathcliff and the North Yorkshire Moors; there’s always the reassurance of a church, or a pub, or a field of daffodils just around the bend. But the vastness of the American landscape opens up possibilities, thrilling and threatening, for a writer.” The landscape defines us, in so many ways.
Irish Times: Word for Word — is the end nigh for the e-book?
“What irks the ‘digerati’ is the failure of ebooks to dent the affection heavy book-buyers retain for the thing-ness of the original Gutenbergian model. Bibliophiles abhor the impermanence of ebooks because downloads confer no sense of ownership or collectability.”