There’s a rumor spring is right around the corner. I, for one, am hoping just to get a bit of time in a puddle of sunshine this weekend. Of course, with spring comes other thoughts. Like spring cleaning. At this moment I’m staring at some really ridiculous piles of books that have no home in my apartment. No shelf space, no table space, no nightstand space; they’re all just stacked up on the floor of my office, with more stacks in the bedroom and the living room. I’m also staring at my goal chart for the year, and thinking that needs a little consideration and revising to get me back on track. Fortunately that’s something I can think about while I’m sorting through my book collection and doing a bit of pruning. Anything to get out of my desk chair and away from the computer screen. It’s time for a bit of movement and a break.
How about you? Anything you’re considering sprucing up this weekend? Something need a fresh coat of paint? Writing goals need a review? Do you have to get some projects off your desk and into someone’s submissions pile? Maybe you just want to head out and refill the well, have fun and generate new ideas. But move. Do something. Get your blood flowing, your brain pumping. All motion is forward motion when it comes to writing. Even a rejection leads you closer to yes.
In the meantime, I’ve some links for you to kick off the weekend. Maybe one of them will spark a great new plan. Enjoy, and hapy writing!
How I Learned to Stop Worrying about the Market and Just Write – One writer’s winding journey through the publishing industry.
12 of the Biggest Bookstores in the World – Something to keep in mind next time you plan a vacation.
‘The Poky Little Puppy’ and His Fellow Little Golden Books Are Turning 75 – A charming look at this delightful children’s collection that has served as an excellent reading foundation for many a generation.
The Oxford American Writers Fellowship: Applications Close March 30 – For anyone looking for an entree into the industry.
Ta-Nehisi Coates on Creating Black Superheroes – The writer discusses his run writing Marvel’s Black Panther comic.
So You Want to Read Alternate History: Here’s Where to Start – Nice list of alternate history titles to get you going or round out your TBR list.
What Happens Next (Or Doesn’t) – Author Marisa Silver discusses plot versus the idea of character-driven narrative.
Last November, Neil Gaiman sat down and had a long chat with author Junot Díaz, one of his final appearances before he takes 2016 off to be just a writer and a father to his new baby with wife Amanda Palmer. This interview kicks off with a great rundown of the history of Sandman, which is well worth watching whether you’re familiar with the comics series or not. If you prefer to just get right to Neil, you can jump to about the 6:30 mark, where the video moves to the interview venue. This is a longish interview — nearly an hour and a half — so be sure to carve out a bit of time to watch.
Happy Friday! It’s a week until Christmas and day 18 of the writing challenge, and I think that calls for lots of Friday Links. For those of you planning ahead to the new year, I’ve got some reader challenges for 2016 in the mix, plus plenty of other goodies.
If you’re participating in the challenge, remember to post some writing time to your calendar this weekend and set up your alerts to help you keep those all-important writing dates with yourself (or your writing buddies). Wishing you a wonderful weekend of productivity and holiday enjoyment!
Neil Gaiman on Returning to ‘Sandman’ – A lovely interview over at NPR.
I Read 50 Books by Women of Color This Year – One reader’s recounting of her self-imposed reading challenge, with some great book recommendations.
Take 2016’s Ultimate Reading Challenge – Courtesy of PopSugar.
Making Creativity a Habit – Artist and author Danny Gregory talks about showing up every day to make your art.
The Best British Novels of All Time – A list compiled by foreign critics. Do you agree with their choices?
In Translation – Author Jhumpa Lahiri talks about writing in a foreign language.
The 2016 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge – Back for its second year.
14 Brilliant Australian Books that Won Prizes in 2015 – Some books to check out if you’re looking to read more globally.
Happy Friday! Are you ready for the weekend? I certainly am. This week has been… trying, in many respects. Not bad, just the sort of week that keeps you scrambling to keep up.
Unsurprisingly, a host of additional things have popped up on my radar for the weekend, which also happens to be the weekend of the 24 in 48 Readathon, so I suspect I’m going to be burning the midnight oil no matter what I do. But there are worse things than staying up late to read, and I certainly have a sizable stack of books lined up for my reading hours.
Meanwhile, I have links! This week went very quickly and there were fewer things jumping out at me than usual, but I hope you find the assortment enjoyable anyway. Wishing you some excellent reading and writing time, and a wonderful weekend overall.
Kelly Sue DeConnick Is the Future of Women in Comics – Whether or not you’re a comics reader, this is a fabulous profile of a kick-ass woman and inspirational to anyone who has an interest in working creatively. I highly recommend.
Paper Chasing – On book collecting vs. book reading. Interesting, no matter what format you use when accumulating reading material.
Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2015 Book Preview – The Millions posts a bi-annual list of the most anticipated books for the coming half year (by their reckoning). Even if it doesn’t cover your own most anticipated titles, it’s a great resource for checking out what’s coming down the pike.
The Writers Who Invented Languages – A look at authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin who have created original languages for their characters.
Writing Excuses: Why Can’t I Just Jump to the Ending? – A really important lesson on writing the middle of the book. Part of the Writing Excuses year-long podcast workshop on writing your book from start to finish, but it works perfectly as a stand-alone look at what can be the most problematic part of a story.
TGIF! We’re having a rainy end to the week here in SoCal, for which I’m truly grateful. Not that I think it made much of a dent in the drought conditions, but there was a genuine downpour for a change last night and every bit helps. It’s also put me in the mind for a reading weekend, which is excellent, since I have a pile of manuscripts looking at me.
But first, links! I’ve got some meaty reading material for you this week, which also seems appropriate given my mindset, but also some great writing opportunities for you to check out. I hope you’re inspired to spend some quality time with a good book and to give a solid chunk of your weekend to your current writing project or maybe start something new. Enjoy, and happy writing!
Oxford’s Influential Inklings – An interesting look at the impact of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and their cohorts.
James Patterson Teaches Writing – An at-your-own-pace online writing class with the prolific thriller writer. Not just for aspiring thriller/mystery writers.
Publication Opportunities for Writers: June and July, 2015 – A round up of places to submit your work.
Lynda Barry: ‘What Is an Image? That Question Has Directed My Entire Life’ – On drawing and storytelling.
The Real World vs. the MFA – An interesting look at the various paths to developing one’s craft from a writer who has combined a number of routes.
Enjoying some slightly cooler temperatures here, finally, and I’m hoping they hold up through the weekend so I can continue my productive streak of the last couple of days. I’ve got tons of reading and a bit of writing on my schedule. How about you?
Whatever you have planned, I’ve got some fun links for you to check out to kick off the weekend (or kill a little time before you quit for the day). I hope they inspire you to carve out a little reading and/or writing time of your own. Enjoy!
Ursula K. LeGuin Talks to Michael Cunningham about Genres, Gender, and Broadening Fiction – Wonderful interview, plus a link to a terrific e-book deal.
Pacing Doesn’t Just Mean Wearing a Groove in the Floor – John Scalzi talks about the “different thing” he did in his latest book, and why he chose to do it. (Hint: It has to do with pacing.)
Short Story: A Process of Revision – Antonya Nelson talks about her short story writing process and how she used it in teaching her latest workshop.
Lessons from Behind the Counter at a Comic Book Store – On feminism and marketing and comics.
Science Fiction and Fantasy 101: Thinking Academically about Genre – A great tie-in to my post from yesterday, with some recommendations for a “course” in SFF reading.
TGIF! And I mean that most sincerely. This has been the sort of week where you take two steps forward and 14 back, with schedules turned on end and all sorts of unexpected things flying out of the woodwork, some good, some of the duck-or-run variety. My consolation is that the weekend is here (nearly) and I plan to spend a good portion of it sleeping, and also in an air conditioned movie theater with Captain America and his cohorts. (Have you seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier yet? No? What are you waiting for? Go!)
Okay, now that we’ve gotten the agent-as-geek portion of the post out of the way… I bring you links! A fair few are colored by my love of National Poetry Month, but there’s some other stuff going on as well. I hope you find them entertaining and interesting, and maybe a bit inspirational, depending on what floats your boat. Wishing you all a great weekend, filled with words and sunshine. Enjoy!
Kima Jones, On Black Bodies and Being a Black Woman Who Writes – A great piece from NPR with this talented emerging poet.
Revisiting YA Verse Novels: A 2014 Guide to the Format – For those of you who love, or are curious about, YA novels in verse. Good list.
Amazon.com to Acquire ComiXology – Yeah. Not sure how I feel about this.
Vladimir Nabokov on Writing, Reading, and the Three Qualities a Great Storyteller Must Have – On inventing story.
A Censored History of Ladies in YA Fiction – On writing under the anonymity of initials and more.
Normally I’m all about Friday. Yay, weekend! Even though I work at least part of most weekends, there’s a certain mindset they bring with them that just makes things feel a bit more cheerful. Except this weekend I have a hot date with my tax return, so… not so much. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not wishing all of you a wonderful weekend, and naturally I have a list of links to help you ease the way. At the very least, I hope they make you think or perhaps take a fresh look at how you approach your writing. Enjoy!
Speak Plainly: Are we Losing the War Against Jargon? – An interesting look at trends in conversational style.
10 Signs of Underdeveloped Characters in Your Novel – Some good tips.
10 Surprising Ways to Transform Your Creative Thinking – Thoughts on how to best get your brain churning.
Buried Badasses: The Forgotten Heroines of pre-Code Comics – A peek at some “Golden-Age” comics, and at the kick-ass women who graced their pages.
The Night I Slept Outside Shakespeare & Company – One writer’s encounter with the famed Parisian bookstore.
Happy Friday! I hope you all enjoyed the week and have some great plans lined up for the weekend, perhaps including some quality time with your work in progress, or with your latest read. I come bearing links to some fun and interesting sites, so with any luck they’ll leave you inspired and itching for a bit of quality literary time. Enjoy!
How to Use Reading to Become a Better Writer – We understand there’s a correlation, but this post makes it abundantly clear.
Embed Let’s You Share Tens of Millions of Images – Looking for visuals for your blog? Getty Images has a new program that allows free usage.
2013 National Book Critics Circle Award Winners Announced – Some great titles.
Scrabble Contest Seeks New Words – Apparently Hasbro has decided to broaden the Scrabble dictionary of acceptable vocabulary.
The Frontier Spirit: Will Eisner and the Discovery of Comics’ Next Dimension – A look back at Eisner’s participation in the growth of comics and the subjects they address.
Lots of links today, ranging from writing tips to new book releases. I hope you all find something here to entertain you.
But links aside, I want you all to go do something this weekend that you’ve been putting off. Some fun outing or adventure that you think about but are always too busy for. I lost a dear friend recently. He was just 41, and left behind a wife and 17-month-old little boy. Life is so very short, and we have no idea what’s in store for us. I realize people say this all the time, but I’m adding my voice to the chorus. Make time for yourself this weekend. Seize your life.
Broca’s Area Style Guide: The ’10 Mistakes’ List – A great check list of things to work on while polishing your writing.
Fiction Affliction: October’s Releases in Fantasy and in Urban Fantasy – A nice round up of new books in the fantasy/urban fantasy genres, courtesy of Tor.
Drawing Verse – A lovely profile of poet Bianca Stone, who is also an artist producing “poetry comics.”
How to Write a Better About Page for Your Website – Geared toward entrepreneurial sites, but applicable to anyone with an about page who markets themselves and/or their work.
On Cultivating Instinct as an Ink-slinging, Story-spinning Pen-monkey Type – Tips from Chuck Wendig. Just read.