This TED Talk with Andrew Stanton came out a few years back, but it’s always worth a viewing. Please note that there’s some casual swearing, so you might not want to watch at work.
In case it hasn’t been obvious from the unusual level of quiet around here, I’ve been having a bit of a nose-to-grindstone month. My apologies for the shortage of posts but there’s only so much brain power to go around and it’s being funneled into a few other things right now. I hope October will give me time to be a bit chattier.
However it is Friday, which means Friday Links, and I definitely have some of those to share. I think there’s a decidedly autumnal flavor this week, unsurprising given tomorrow is the first day of October. Think of it as the literary equivalent of pumpkins everywhere. Or maybe it’s just that ongoing back-to-school vibe. I’m still feeling the need to go buy new notebooks and pens. Maybe over the weekend.
So without further ado I’m going to get right to the links. Fair number of titles to plump up that TBR, among other things. Enjoy, and don’t forget to work a little writing time into your schedule. Happy weekend!
The Haunting of Shirley Jackson – On ghosts and literary traps.
Amor Towles, A Gentleman in Gramercy Park – A brief profile with some gorgeous photos of the author’s NYC apartment. His office will give you bookcase envy. Also, his debut novel, Rules of Civility, which came out a few years back, is one of the most beautifully written books I’ve read in years. I’m twitching to find time to read his latest.
Shakespeare Lives 2016 – The Globe in London streamed a live performance of their recent production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream a few weeks ago, and you can still view the video on the site.
Win a Writer’s Retreat in Iceland – Details on how to enter to win a free spot at the Iceland Writers Retreat.
The Time I Wrote a 150,000-Word Pulp Novel in a Month to Win a Bet – A fun tale with some interesting details about the pulp genre. Perhaps inspiration for anyone gearing up for NaNoWriMo in November.
Tana French’s Intimate Crime Fiction – A profile that looks at what French has brought to the genre with her popular Dublin Murder Squad series.
Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors 2016 – Mostly who you’d expect, though there are a few nice surprises. Still, an uncomfortably white selection of writers, though a fair number of women have managed to make the list.
Greetings all! Sorry for the delay this week, but I’ve been at the Romance Writers of America national conference in New York this week, and time for updates has been scarce. But before you get the wrong idea, I haven’t been carousing across the city. The links are hungover, not me. So without further ado, here are this week’s links. Enjoy, and have a fabulous weekend!
Writers to Watch: Fall 2015 Anticipated Debuts – A list of some newcomers to check out.
Umberto Eco’s Advice to Writers – Pretty much as written on the package.
The 4 Hidden Dangers of Writing Groups – Writers groups can be fabulous but it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
Weather seems to have been the cause of quite a few problems this past week, with people not where they’re supposed to be because snow has them stranded elsewhere. I know there’s more snow on the horizon for the middle of the country and the northeast, along with some nasty cold temperatures, so here’s wishing you all a warm and cozy weekend, wherever you are.
If you’re homebound over the next few days, hiding out from Mother Nature, I have links to keep you occupied. I hope you find them entertaining and maybe a bit inspirational. Enjoy!
How to Listen Between the Lines: Anna Deavere Smith on the Art of Listening in a Culture of Speaking – Wonderful piece with some terrific words of wisdom, especially important for writers.
16 Gorgeous Locations from Pride and Prejudice You Can Actually Visit – From the films, obviously, but still beautiful and worth a peek, or a trip.
5 Non-Writerly Apps for Writers – A nice assortment to give a try.
Joan Didion on Writing and Revising – A podcast of an interview held at The New York Public Library. It rambles a little in places, but there are some real gems in there and Didion, as always, is funny and intelligent.
‘Drowned in a Sea of Salt’ Blake Morrison on the Literature of the East Coast – Of Britain, that is. On the relationship between a location and its weather, and the writing of the region.
Happy Friday! I’ve had a busy week catching up after attending the RWA National conference last week. San Antonio is a charming city, but I think I’d have preferred to visit during some other part of the year. Say, February. It was definitely a very hot week. But the conference itself went well, and I met with many wonderful editors and writers, saw my fellow agents, and all in all, had a great few days. Re-entry, as always, involved a backlog of email and work, but I’m mostly dug out so I can promise a little less radio silence next week.
In the meantime, I bring you links to kick off the weekend! I hope you all have some fun times planned, and that there’s a little bit of time set aside for a good book and/or your current writing project. Enjoy!
What Makes Chinese Science Fiction Chinese? – An interesting look at the point where the culture and the genre meet.
How Nicole Perlman Became the First Woman to Write a Marvel Movie – Great story, and it makes me even a bigger fan of Marvel.
Reading Romance Is Like Falling in Love – A loving look at the genre, and how it makes us feel.
Alternate Visions: Some Musings on Diversity in SF – Looking at the issue from different angles.
The Book That Wasn’t: Five Fiction Writers Talk about their Novels in Drawers – Even published writers have projects that never see the light of day.
Happy Friday! I am officially on vacation starting close of business today through the 6th, and I am anticipating lots of books and beach time and movies, and other things that do not require hours in front of my computer staring at submissions. I might be a little excited. In addition, next Friday is the July 4th holiday here in the U.S., so there will be no Friday Links next week. Because of this, I may, possibly, have thrown a few fun extras in today. Because I love you guys, and I’m nice like that.
However, this will not be a dead zone next week in my absence. I’m pre-loading a few posts to keep you busy, so be sure to stop by and see what’s up. You may just find that inspiration you’re looking for to jump start a new project or kick that misbehaving character into line. If not, you’ll at least find some tips to store away for when they might come in handy.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. Enjoy!
Pablo Neruda Poems ‘of Extraordinary Quality’ Discovered – More than 20 new poems uncovered in the late poet’s papers.
The Literary Films of Summer 2014 – If your film tastes run toward the bookish, here are a few movies to check out.
10 Things Writers Don’t Know about the Woods – Tips on getting it right.
Joanna Rakoff: A Pivotal Year – An interview with the author where she explains the background of her new book, My Salinger Year.
31 Essential Science Fiction Terms and Where They Came From – Fun look at the history of the genre.
Shonda Rhimes’s Real Talk for Dartmouth Grads: Dreams Are for Losers – The screenwriter/show runner’s recent commencement speech, in which she gives some stellar advice about getting out there and pursuing the things you want out of life.
Why are books important? Why should we continue reading once we’ve finished school? What is it about a good movie that resonates with us long after we leave the theater? Why do we need diverse, inclusive media that looks at different lives and different points of view?
As book lovers and/or film buffs, we might simply say we love to read, we love to go to the movies. Maybe we enjoy the thrill of living vicariously through someone else’s story, or perhaps we appreciate the escape from our own daily grind. If we’re feeling a little bit more analytical, we might add that reading expands the mind, or that film can be art, or any other number of reasons, all of which are good and true.
But what about the how of things? How do books and films — story in general — affect us in these profound ways? What is it about a good story that becomes a part of us? Lisa Cron explains in her TEDx Talk, Wired for Story. Whether you consider yourself a devoted reader, a film aficionado, a writer, or combination, or just a human being going through life, this is a fascinating look at how we learn and absorb and form our impressions of the world, and how story is inextricably twined with our approach to life.
It has become abundantly clear to me that everyone who has made publishing-related resolutions for 2014 is well on their way to keeping them. A steady avalanche of work began pouring onto my desk and into my inbox the first week of January, and it shows no signs whatsoever of slowing down. New projects, revised projects, updated projects; queries and partials; brilliant epiphanies; contracts; paperwork; problems, solutions, and random requests; new plans and old business. It’s insane. I have, easily, three times as much work as hours in the day, and I’m on a permanent caffeine high.
Now that I’ve shared that… I offer you some links for your entertainment and edification. I hope you all have lovely weekends planned. You can probably guess where I’ll be. Enjoy!
Judging Books by their Covers 2014: US vs UK – Always fun to compare cover art for different markets.
Russian Man Stabbed to Death in Poetry-Over-Prose Dispute – Because genre wars are happening all over.
Writing Diverse Fiction: A Practical Guide – In keeping with my post earlier this week on diversity in publishing.
This Six-Second Animation Short Is Better than Most Studio Movies – Prove that bigger isn’t always better. Very cute and creative.
Writer of a Certain Age – Fay Weldon on becoming an “older” writer (because ageism is an issue, up there with all the other forms of discrimination).
First Friday of the new year! I hope you’ve all had a great week and are enjoying the start of 2014. I’m looking forward to reading some wonderful new material and finding a few new clients in coming weeks, and I have a handful of other goals as well. For those of you kicking off your new year with resolutions, I wish you much success.
I’ve got some terrific links to occupy you heading into the weekend. Some might even inspire you to tackle a new project — written or otherwise. Wishing you good reading, polished writing, and a wonderful weekend all around. Enjoy!
The Most Fantastic Monsters from Art and Literature – Fun, no matter what you like to read or write.
12 Dozen Places to Educate Yourself Online for Free – Great, varied list, including some literary spots, but also math, science, finance, languages, etc.
Nine Places to Look in 2014 to Predict the Future of Publishing – An interesting look at different aspects of the industry.
Acting with Integrity – A look at The Invisible Woman — the film and book it’s based on — which examines Charles Dickens’s relationship with Ellen Ternan, the woman for whom he left his wife.
The following is a wonderful TED talk from filmmaker Andrew Stanton of Pixar, who’s responsible for such great movies as TOY STORY and WALL-E. He discusses the components of a great story, and how the staff at Pixar developed their unique and successful storytelling style.
Please note: Stanton kicks of with a joke in which he swears exactly once (out of the nearly twenty minutes of presentation). Fair warning if you’re offended by profanity.