Friday Links: Witches, Word Play, and Women as the Face of Evil


TGIF! End of the week, on the cusp of Halloween, and nearly ready to turn the clocks back an hour here in most of the U.S. and a few other spots that are in sync with us. (Yes, that’s this weekend.) I wish I could say I was looking forward to an extra hour of reading, but like many people I suspect, I’m actually looking forward to an extra hour of sleep.

I’ve been in post-conference mode this week, trying to catch up on email and work reading, and feeling like my office is just a bit too quiet after spending a few days talking books and writing with so many wonderful people. Most of the time I enjoy working from home because I don’t have the temptation of lots of coworkers to talk to or to take breaks with, but it’s still lovely to have a chance to chat business and bookish obsessions with likeminded folk. It reminds me of all the things I enjoy about this industry and leaves me charged up to find great new manuscripts to help shepherd into the world.

But I’m happy to say I have a great collection of links this week, including the last of the Halloween-ish ones that keep grabbing my attention. I hope you find them fun and interesting, and maybe even inspirational, because a couple of these seem like excellent research material for a very cool project. Happy Halloween, everyone, and happy writing!

The Conspiracy Against a Good Night’s Sleep – Tobias Carroll on the things that scare us.

The Key of Hell: An 18th-Century Manual of Black Magic – A bit disturbing, but interesting nonetheless. The page includes further links to articles on magic etc.

Why Are Old Women often the Face of Evil in Fairy Tales and Folklore? – An intriguing (and slightly depressing) story from the folks at NPR.

Alex Mar’s Journey into the Occult – An interview regarding the author’s new book, Witches of America.

American Writers Museum Slated to Open in Chicago in 2017 – This will be the first U.S. museum to celebrate American writers, including authors of books and poetry, journalists, and prominent contributors to social media.

In the Sandbox of Words: On Puzzles and Novels – A look at the connection between wordplay and writing.

Really, Really Big Books: A Reading List – Some excellent fat books to check out if you’re looking for a doorstop for a chilly fall/winter night.

The Writer’s Guide to Essential Gear – Writer and artist Danny Gregory provides a helpful list of all the tools he uses for his writing.