Friday Links: Literary Inspiration for All Genres

Happy Friday! This week just flew by and I’m afraid I am a tad light on the links selection today as a result. But I do have a number of good ones so I hope they will suffice to offer up some encouragement and inspiration to you all. Never can tell what will set your imagination twitching.

This weekend is the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, which I am sad not to be attending this year. I love this event and try to go whenever I can, but I’m out of the office the beginning of next week for the Futurescapes Workshop (which I’m very excited about), so I’m taking the weekend to get some things done beforehand. If you’re in the LA area, I highly recommend you swing by the USC campus to check out the book festival. It’s always a fabulous event.

With that, I’m going to move on to this week’s links. You’ll note a bit of an old school, literary bend this week, but I firmly believe that all good writing advice and all good reading applies to any type of writing efforts. Quality work is quality work, and you can always learn from it. I hope you find these interesting, and that whatever your plans for the weekend, you get in some good reading and/or writing time. Enjoy!

Ten Breathtaking Nature Poems – A little poetry in honor of National Poetry Month.

The Time I Spent the Night in Hamlet’s Castle – Author M.L. Rio shares how she won a contest, went to Denmark, and partied like it was 1599.

Charles Bock Recommends… – Tips on how to get back into the writing flow when you sit down at your desk each day.

The Notorious Legends and Dubious Stories of 10 Literary Deaths – Fanciful and odd aspects of the deaths of these famous writers.

David Mamet Teaches Dramatic Writing – Working on a play? Interested in adding dramatic tension to your work? Sign up for Mamet’s online master class.

Secrets of the Slush: An Interview with Editor and Author, Michael Nye – Some advice on how to get your writing to stand apart from the masses.

 

A Poetic Pep Talk

Everyone has an off day. One where the writing won’t come, the words won’t cooperate. One where you can’t even get to your writing because your kid has the measles or your boss slams you with a project that keeps you working overtime all week, and the only thing you truly want to do once you finally get a break is to fall down on your couch with a pint of ice cream and a spoon and something cheesy on TV. And that’s fine. It’s human. Just remember that the writing will be there the day after, and you will get up and go write.

For anyone struggling today, or just in case you want a bit of poetry in honor of National Poetry Month, I’ll leave you with the wondrous Maya Angelou and her words of wisdom.

 

First Times: Ben Lerner on Writing and Publishing His First Book

As part of The Paris Review‘s ongoing series of first-time videos — interviews with authors about their first published works — Ben Lerner shares the experience of writing and publishing his first book, which happened to be a volume of poetry. Lerner writes both poems and fiction, and much of what he says here about knowing work is complete, the release of publication, and the ways in which having a finished book help make you part of a community can be applied to writing in any genre. Enjoy!

Friday Links: Hauntings of All Sorts

Greetings from Surrey, B.C., Canada, where I’m attending the Surrey International Writers’ Conference. For those of you looking to attend an excellent, all-genre conference in the next year or two, I highly recommend this one. Great organizers, programming to meet a wide variety of interests and skill levels, and an excellent faculty-to-writer ratio.

Just because I’ve escaped to cooler climes (it’s actually autumn here!), doesn’t mean I have forgotten about Friday links. I’ve got a nice array this week, and I hope they leave you inspired and excited to read and/or write this weekend. Enjoy!

Get Booked Episode 4: Haunted by Horror – This is a relatively new podcast from the folks at Book Riot, where they recommend books in response to a few questions from readers, in this case with a great Halloween/horror theme.

How I Got Millayed – A lovely look at how the author became intrigued by the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay.

How Libraries Acquire Books – An interesting peek behind the process.

Margaret Atwood on Vampires, Gene-Splicing, and Talking Turnips – Because my going to Canada calls for an appropriately Canadian author link.

Stacy Schiff: By the Book – The author (most recently of The Witches, about the Salem witch trials) talks books, writers, and influences.

Friday Links

This has been the sort of jam-packed week where I actually had to do a double take to make sure it was really Friday. But rest assured, I am here with links to get your weekend started in style. I hope you’ve got a little bit of time set aside to write, or at least for a good book. Personally, I’ve got a huge backlog of work reading, so I’m afraid books-with-covers need to wait a bit, which is especially difficult this time of year when there seem to be so many fun new things hitting bookstores.

But you are here for links, so without further ado, I give you this week’s selection. I hope they inspire and entertain you. Enjoy!

Giving Voice – An interview with Jacqueline Woodson, who has been named the new Young People’s Poet Laureate.

C.S. Lewis on Why We Read – Some great thoughts on the effects that books have on us.

How to Analyze Your Bad Writing Habits–and Break Free from Them – Good advice from author and editor Lexa Hillyer.

Judy Blume on Writing, Twitter, and Vaginas – Yes, really. A fun interview with Jami Attenberg.

Haunting Houses: An Interview with Angela Flournoy – A intriguing discussion about her book, THE TURNER HOUSE, and the roles of place and history in the story.

A Happy Birthday to the Bard

We observe William Shakespeare’s birthday today, April 23rd, and since I’m only a couple of weeks back from merry old England, I feel the need to get into the spirit. So, for your listening pleasure, I offer up this video on how Shakespeare’s works would sound in the original pronunciation. I believe I posted this before, but it’s been quite a while and bears repeating. Enjoy!

Friday Links

TGIF!! I hope you had a great week and that your plans for the weekend are even better. For those of you who haven’t heard, there’s a “Make Time to Read” Readathon taking place tomorrow, January 24th, in an effort to raise money for various educational programs through the National Book Foundation, encouraging children to read. People have been setting up to fundraise as individuals or teams for the past several weeks, but you can also make a straight-up donation if you wish, and of course all participants are welcome to read from noon to 4pm tomorrow for the official Readathon. It’s a wonderful cause, so please consider donating a few dollars if you can.

Now on to Friday Links! I’ve got a nice assortment this week, so I hope they inspire you to do a little reading and writing of your own. Enjoy!

Words You Didn’t Realize Come from Books – A fun collection of words and their literary origins.

How to Create a Killer Opening for Your Science Fiction Short Story – If you look carefully, you’ll see you can apply much of this to other types of stories as well.

The Bestselling Books of 2014 – By the numbers. Curious as to how many copies some of the most popular books have moved? This rundown will give you some perspective on the industry.

Cleaning the Dust from the Window – An interesting look at the history of poetry in Russia.

What Makes Jo Walton So Great? – In honor of the release of Walton’s latest book, a compilation of her reviews/literary musings from Tor.com, editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden discusses Walton and her approach to discussing books. A really great analysis of what makes for an intriguing, open ended literary conversation.

10 New Science Fiction and Fantasy Books to Read – A good assortment of stand-alone works that won’t hook you into yet another series.

Friday Links

TGIF! I am very much looking forward to my weekend, which includes some catch-up housecleaning, followed by brunch (at my place, in case that wasn’t made obvious by the previous comment) with friends. With some reading and a smudge of work in there, as well, no doubt.

Those of you participating in NaNoWriMo no doubt have some major writing time blocked out over the weekend. As for the rest of you, I hope you still intend to write, and maybe hang out with a great book. Per usual, I have a collection of links for you today to get you through the weekend whatever your plans. Enjoy, and happy writing!

Reading a Poem: 20 Strategies – Great tips for folks who want to get into (or maybe back into) reading poetry and perhaps feel a little out of their depth or unsure how to read it outside an academic setting.

Coming Out and Coming of Age: YA LGBTQ Novels – A round up of diverse young adult books that address a broad range of sexuality and gender identities.

Globe Player – A new site from the Globe Theatre in London, featuring free videos of interviews and more, plus performances available for rent or purchase. They seem to still be getting up to speed, so not all plays are available in all regions yet, but there’s already some wonderful media uploaded.

17 Writers on the Importance of Reading – Wonderful quotes on what reading and books mean to some terrific writers.

12 Literary Magazines for New and Unpublished Writers – Markets open to writers just starting out.

Friday Links

Happy Friday! I am coming to you through the magic of scheduled posting, since at this moment (assuming you read this by Sunday morning) I am in Boise for a writers’ conference. Scheduled posting is one of the best internet inventions ever.

That said, I have a great collection of links this week, so I hope you all find something to entertain and inspire you. Also, I’d like to suggest that now is a great time to take a look at your goals for May. Yes, we are a couple of days in already, but that’s no excuse to avoid the subject. No time like the present. So what writing tasks have you set for yourself? Have you been working on anything that you started in April that you’d like to keep up this month? Or maybe you need to retrench a bit. Give it a little thought this weekend in between whatever else is on your schedule. Happy weekend, and enjoy!

Talking with the Publishers of New LA-based Unnamed Press – Because it’s always great to hear about people joining the publishing party.

How I Tackle a Big Writing Project – Feeling overwhelmed? Here are some great tips from Leo Babauta.

50 Signs You’re Addicted to Reading – Chances are you already know you are, but this list is still fun.

The Lost Art of Memorizing Poetry – Because Poetry Month is never truly over.

Ditching Dickensian – What does the term mean, and is it overused?