Friday Links: Reading and Writing with a Broader World View

Happy Friday, everyone! This week I’m stepping back and taking a look at the larger scope of the world when it comes to writing and reading. How do recent events affect how we view the world, how we write our stories, how we consider our readers, and how we choose what to read ourselves? We can look back and see clearly how the prevalence of fantasy and darker paranormal seemed to grow up around harder economic times, and that the rise of dystopian literature appears to have been a precursor of the current political climate. So what happens now?

I’m not claiming to be drawing any conclusions with this week’s links, but many do play into this theme and I think it’s something to consider going forward. It’s early days yet, but I’m sure the writings of our time will reflect much of this current turmoil eventually, as well as whatever follows. Food for thought going into the weekend. I wish you lots of excellent time to read and to write, and  hopefully a bit of inspiration. Enjoy!

Fantasy Is about Power: An Interview with Lev Grossman – A talk with the author of The Magicians trilogy, about the books, and about the TV series based on them that just began its second season.

Translation — and Migration — Is the Lifeblood of Culture – A look at how the mix of ideas and cultures from different nations serves to influence and develop imagination everywhere.

On Dracula’s Lost Islandic Sister Text – On this mysterious, altered version of Stoker’s classic work.

“It’s Going to Be Darker. And that’s OK.” Neil Gaiman on Trump, Brexit, and the Death of Social Media – Gaiman discusses the new series based on American Gods and considers what it means to create art in troubled times.

50 Must-Visit Beautiful Bookstores on Six Continents – See the world, buy some books.

Waterstone’s, the UK’s National Bookstore, Came Back from Near-Death by Transforming into Indie, Local Stores – How the new mastermind behind the chain turned the tide, proving it’s still possible to get readers into bookstores.

What’s the Next Big Dystopian Novel? Margaret Atwood Has some Ideas – The author of The Handmaid’s Tale, which has gained new popularity between current politics and the series soon to debut on Hulu, talks dystopian literature and book trends.

How to Escape the Slush Pile: A Self-Editing Checklist for Short Story Writers – Excellent tips, some of which apply to any writing.

Friday Links: Committing to Writing in the New Year

Happy 1st Friday of 2017! I hope the new year has kicked off well for all of you, and that you have plans in place to take the rest of the year by storm. In keeping with my goal of helping you realize those plans, I’ve a nice assortment of links this week that should keep you writing and reading well into the coming months.

I know it’s easy to get bogged down in January by your list of goals and that first flush of the year that has you determined to do more, do better, climb those mountains you’ve put in your own path. But remember that all goals are met one step at a time, and you can only do so much in a day. Be dogged and consistent, of course, as much as you’re able, but don’t forget to give yourself a breather every once in a while. It’s important to pace yourself so you keep your energy up and that momentum going. Commit to progress, but also to taking care of yourself. Good luck, and happy writing!

21 of the Biggest Historical Fiction Releases Coming in 2017 – A somewhat diverse list featuring books from some favorite authors as well as newer ones.

96 Books Science Fiction and Fantasy Editors Can’t Wait for You to Read in 2017 – Huge list of upcoming SFF books, divided by publisher.

The 25 Most Anticipated Books by Women for 2017 – Some really excellent sounding titles here.

How to Start a Story: 9 Tips from Our Editors – The Reedsy blog offers up some wonderful approaches to the start of your story.

7 Writing Resolutions to Finish Your Story This Year – I don’t normally use the word resolution for this type of thing, but these tips will definitely help you hit your goals.

The 27 Best Books on Writing – Not sure if these are actually the 27 best, but there are some fabulous choices here and definitely something to fit every style.

The Great 2017 Book Preview – Every year The Millions kicks off January with a preview of the big books anticipated over the next six months. Some overlap with the above lists, but a huge assortment and well worth checking out (especially if you make use of your local library-hold system).

Residencies for Writers in 2017 – A list of places you can go to immerse yourself in the writing life.

Friday Links: Inspiration to Keep the Words Flowing

Happy Friday, everyone! This has been an extremely busy week, in part because I looked up and realized suddenly that it’s Thanksgiving here in the U.S. next week, which means a very short week in terms of getting work accomplished. As always, I feel like I’m blindsided by the holidays and the end of the year. Time certainly is flying.

So with that I offer up some varied links for the weekend, including some lovely thoughts on reading because I fully intend to use some of my holiday time off curled up on the couch with a few choice items from the towering TBR pile. I wish you all some quality reading time as well, plus writing time, of course, especially those of you tallying up the words for NaNoWriMo. Hopefully some of these links will keep those ideas flowing. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

2016 National Book Awards Announced – Congrats to the winners!

If You Want to Be a Writer, Neil Gaiman Says You Should “Get Bored” – A brief explanation as to why Gaiman thinks boredom is the key to writing.

Reading Locally When You Travel – How searching out books at your travel destination can add to the experience.

5 Reasons to Keep a Record of What You Read – An argument for chronicling books you’ve finished.

Hundreds of US Children’s Authors Sign Pledge to Tackle Racism and Xenophobia – A look at the movement to use literature to fight fear.

Ten Obsessions that Murder Writing Careers – A list of time sucks and other issues that can detract from the more important aspects of writing.

FYI: Where in the World Is…

I’m happy to share the addition of a new page on the site, one dedicated to keeping track of my travel schedule in terms of conferences and other events I plan to attend/participate in. Conferences and Other Travel can be found as  a drop-down link in the top navigation bar, beneath About.

The idea is not just to let you know what I’m up to, but to give you a chance to connect with me if I’m in your neck of the woods. While some events are obviously the sort that require registration, others will be more me-in-the-neighborhood, such as the LA Times Book Festival (free to attend), book signings, etc. Hope to see you around!

Friday Links: Setting Writing Goals and Leveling Up

Happy Friday! It’s been a ridiculously busy week, as evidenced by the crickets chirping around here, but I have several things planned for next week that I hope will make up for the quiet.

As I mentioned last week and a few times on Twitter, we’re into the final quarter of the year now, so it’s a great time to reassess your writing goals if you haven’t had the chance yet. It doesn’t need to be a big deal. If you made goals for the year, pull them out and see how you’re doing, where you might need to focus more time or effort, or — if you’re ahead of the game — change things around a bit to give yourself a challenge in the coming months.

If you didn’t make goals for the year, even easier. Think about where you are with your writing and what you would like to achieve before 2016 rolls around. Keep in mind holidays and such make this time of year busy, but don’t just let yourself off the hook and think you can procrastinate on all the big stuff until January. Break things into bite-sized pieces and figure out what you can tackle now, even if it’s just an aim to write a little each day. And don’t forget that National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is coming in November, a great way to recommit to your writing.

To help inspire you, I’ve got this week’s links, a broad range I hope you find intriguing and entertaining, and that might give you some ideas on how to level up with your writing. Enjoy, and have a wonderfully productive weekend!

Anatomy of a Discovery: How a Literary Magazine Editor Finds New Writers – Some food for thought for those of you submitting shorter work to the lit mags, or considering it.

53 Wonderfully Pointless Facts about the English Language – For a chuckle.

My Paradoxical Quest to Build a Personal Brand – More food for thought. Ever more pertinent, whether you’re writing novels or freelancing or just designing your blog.

Immigration, Dislocation, and the Search for Home – How immigration and the economy have affected one writer’s work, and outlook. Another good argument for reading diversely in a global sense.

Win a Writer’s Retreat in Iceland – Details for a scholarship covering flight and attendance to the April 2016 program.

Friday Links

Happy Friday! And for those of you here in the U.S., happy Independence Day weekend! Please make sure you stay safe in the midst of all your revelry.

As for my plans for the weekend, there’s a BBQ with friends on my calendar, but in the meantime I plan to be lazy and catch up on both sleep and my personal reading. It’s been a crazy few weeks and that’s about all my energy levels will allow. However, I’m leaving you all with this week’s links in the event you have a quiet moment or two and want something entertaining to check out. Enjoy, and happy weekend!

How to Write a Series: 8 Novice Mistakes to Avoid – Ever wonder how authors juggle series writing? This might give you a few clues.

10 Captivating Short Stories Everyone Should Read – Some great classics, a few of which you may have read before, but all worth checking out or revisiting.

Women Writers on Twitter: In Their Own Words – A number of women writers discuss their experiences with Twitter.

Travel Journals – A peek into Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s travel journals from 1960, 1961, and 1982, for a breath of summer adventure and some inspiration.

Where to Start with Brazilian Literature – A nice round up of titles for anyone looking to read more books in translation or just farther afield.

Friday Links

Happy Friday! I am in London on vacation right now, so I’m afraid this is rather an abbreviated post. However, I hope you find it entertaining and informative regardless. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend, filled with books and writing and sunshine. Enjoy!

An Argument for Reading in Chronological Order – A look at what’s to be gained by reading books based on their pub dates.

Eight for Eight: A Literary Reader for Passover – Interesting reading suggestions for the holiday, whatever your religious inclinations.

Randomized Dystopia – Suggestions for those of you having trouble coming up with an original setting/scenario for your sci-fi WIP.

T.S. Eliot’s Old Summer Home May Become Writer’s Retreat – What it says. Beautiful and inspirational location to keep in mind.

Friday Links

Happy Friday! I hope you all had an enjoyable week and that your plans for the weekend are shaping up. If you’re planning to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, you might consider starting to plan (assuming you haven’t already). Three weeks and counting to the madness. It’s also a great time to pick up some spooky, Halloween-type reading if you’re so inclined.

Whatever your plans for the weekend, I’ve got some great links here to inspire you. I hope you find them entertaining and educational. Happy writing!

The Introvert’s Guide to Planning a Book Launch – Some helpful tips for those of you who’d prefer to hide under a blanket with your laptop instead of promoting your book.

Judge Overturns IRS on Artist Tax Deductions – Useful for anyone juggling a day job that requires work similar to your art.

20 Amazing Writing Residencies You Should Apply for This Year – Looking for some time away to write? Check these out.

How to Write a Kick-Ass Essay, with Ann Hood – Wonderful Tin House podcast featuring Ann Hood’s workshop lecture on how to write a stellar essay.

Our Favorite Spooky Tales – Some recommendations for seasonal reading from the New York Public Library.

Friday Links

Happy Friday! It’s officially the start of the Easter weekend in much of the world, and so for all of you celebrating, enjoy. Our offices are closed today, so I’m taking the time to catch up on some non-work related things and — I hope — do some personal reading. My TBR pile has been glaring at me especially hard the past few weeks.

But before I go “off duty,” I have some fun links for you to kick off the weekend. They’re definitely a bit all over the place today, so I hope you find something that sparks your imagination or just entertains you. Have a great weekend!

The Virtual Moleskine – A look at the history of this popular notebook, and at their efforts to add a digital option.

A Photographic Tour of America’s Libraries – In honor of National Library Week.

Bookmarks Competition Winners – Book Depository held a contest, and these charming designs were the winners.

In Pakistan, Literary Spring Is Both Renaissance and Resistance – A look at the book festival behind held in Lahore, despite the atmosphere of political instability and oppression.

The Power of Garcia Marquez – A look back at the writer, who passed away yesterday.

Holiday bonus: Peeps Show 2014, Winner and Finalists – An adorable and entertaining use of Peeps — those traditional too-sweet, sticky Easter-time treats — in storytelling. Worth a look, whatever your beliefs.

Friday Links

I realize my readership crosses all sorts of weather patterns and seasons, but in my neighborhood we’ve scheduled a heat wave for this weekend. Triple digits right through Sunday, of varying levels of evil. I suspect I’ll be retreating to places like the movies and the library for a good chunk of the next few days, if only to let someone else pay for the air conditioning for part of the time. I will, of course, be taking some reading material along for the ride.

But before I go hide from the heat, I offer up a fun selection of links to kick things off. Wishing you all a lovely weekend, wherever you are. Keep cool, keep warm, and keep writing. Enjoy!

A Day in the Life: Amy Einhorn – An interesting look at one day in the life of the publisher and vp of Einhorn books.

10 Literary Restaurants for Hungry Book Nerds around the World – A fun run down. Anyone planning a vacation to one of these spots?

Kate Atkinson Interview – Learn a bit about the author of Life After Life.

Inside an Illegal Party in an Abandoned Subway Station Deep Under NYC – Cool photos for some potential inspiration.

Cool Bookish Places: Gladstone’s Library – Check out this fabulous library and then check in — they rent rooms to travelers.