How was everyone’s week? Mine has flown by and there’s still quite a bit on today’s to-do list. But first I wanted to swing through and leave you links to kick off your weekend. I’ve got some fun things lined up, so I hope you take a few minutes to go check them out. Regardless, wishing you a weekend filled with books and writing. Enjoy!
18 Perfect Short Stories that Pack More of a Punch than Most Novels – Great collection of both old and new.
Kelly Link: Get in Trouble – A podcast interview with the author on the occasion of the release of her latest story collection.
The Weird and Wonderful Cover Art of Mexican Paperbacks – As described. A fun assortment of artwork from various pulp titles.
The Weight of Knowledge: On Moving Books – The cost of moving an extensive personal library. I might possibly have nightmares on this topic.
25 Maps that Explain the English Language – Includes origins and influences, and gives you a hint as to why English is so complex and inconsistent.
This interview is twenty-five-years old, and yet the discussion still seems relevant today. Toni Morrison talks to Bill Moyers about the depiction of people of color in literature as well as the role of that representation, both in reviews and in academic literary analysis.
This is the second part of a two-part interview, the first of which is titled On Love and Writing. You can view the first part here.
I was tempted to make this the first-day-of-spring edition, but none of the links I have are particularly spring-like, and also it’s only spring for half the planet, so… I’ll just be happy for Friday and call it a day.
It’s one of those jam-packed, work-filled weekends for me. I’m on vacation week after next, which means I have a longer-than-usual laundry list (in addition to actual laundry) and never enough time. But I hope you all have some fun plans for the next couple of days, whether you’re getting into the swing of slightly better weather, gearing up for fall, or shoveling yet more snow. Reading and writing are excellent activities no matter it’s doing outside, so be sure to squeeze some of those in as well.
But first, I have links! I hope they inspire and entertain. Enjoy!
Stephen King to Share Writing Tips in New Short Story Collection – Each story will feature details about how he wrote it, where the idea came from, etc.
Small Batch Edition: On Loving Romance with Sarah Wendell – Some romance chat and recommendations by way of NPR.
Potter DIY: Marauder’s Map – A fun weekend project for children of all ages.
Publication Opportunities for Writers: April and May 2015 – Calls for work etc. with deadlines in the next couple of months.
Five Ways Being a Writer and a Professional Skateboarder Are the Same – Proof that writing about what you know can sometimes lead to something fun and different.
Last October, Neil Gaiman sat down with Audrey Niffenegger at Bard College and had a lovely chat about writing and time travel and ideas and all sorts of other wonderful writerly things. It’s finally available online, and so I offer it up here to inspire and entertain you. It’s on the long side, so be sure to set aside a chunk of time to watch. Enjoy!
Neil Gaiman in Conversation with Audrey Niffenegger from The Fisher Center on Vimeo.
It’s back! The last couple of years I’ve been teaching a webinar through Writer’s Digest on how to kick your synopsis into shape, and I am happy to announce that I will be doing so once more.
The synopsis is one of those writerly tools that everyone knows they need, and everyone (seemingly) hates to write. I acknowledge that it can feel ridiculous to try and squeeze the gist of your long and detailed novel into a couple of pages, but that doesn’t mean it is an impossible task. In my 90 minute online class, I discuss the different types of synopses you might need to write, and break down the process to make it less daunting. In addition, anyone who registers for the live class receives a critique of their revised synopsis.
Class takes place Thursday, March 26th, 2015, at 1pm EDT, online. Everyone registered will receive access to the online replay of the event as well as the critique, so even if you can’t make the actual class time, consider registering in advance so you can take advantage of the critique feature.
For complete details, and to register, visit Writer’s Digest. I hope to see you in class!
Happy Friday! How’s your month going? We’re coming up on the mid-point for March, so I hope you’re making progress with your writing goals — both of the month and for the year. Time zips along, after all. No procrastinating, no excuses. Just get out there this weekend and commit words to paper or pixels.
Of course, I have links for you, too, so you might want to keep a few minutes free to check them out. There are some words of wisdom for writers, book recommendations, and so on. There should be a little something for everyone. Enjoy, and happy writing!
The Middle of Things: Advice for Young Writers – Or for all writers. Sometimes even practiced crafts people can use a bit of a refresher.
50 Great Books about 50 Inspiring Women – In honor of Women’s History Month, some great titles about brilliant, kick-ass women across history. Makes a great starting point.
23 of the Most Beautiful Terry Pratchett Quotes to Remember Him By – We lost author Terry Pratchett far too soon, but he’s certainly left his mark. These quotes are just the tip of the iceberg.
How Steinbeck Used the Diary as a Tool of Discipline… – An interesting look at how Steinbeck’s journal both chronicled and propelled his work on The Grapes of Wrath.
20 Incredible Books from the Past Year You Need to Read Right Now – This year’s long list for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction. Some great titles included.
A very happy book birthday to Nalini Singh, whose latest Rock Kiss novel — ROCK HARD — is now available at your favorite e-tailer, both in paperback and e-book formats.
In New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s newest contemporary romance, passion ignites between a gorgeous, sinfully sexy man who built himself up from nothing and a shy woman who has a terrible secret in her past…
Wealthy businessman Gabriel Bishop rules the boardroom with the same determination and ruthlessness that made him a rock star on the rugby field. He knows what he wants, and he’ll go after it no-holds-barred.
And what he wants is Charlotte Baird.
Charlotte knows she’s a mouse. Emotionally scarred and painfully shy, she just wants to do her job and remain as invisible as possible. But the new CEO—a brilliant, broad-shouldered T-Rex of a man who growls and storms through the office, leaving carnage in his wake—clearly has other plans. Plans that may be equal parts business and bedroom.
If Charlotte intends to survive this battle of wits and hearts, the mouse will have to learn to wrangle the T-Rex. Game on.
Check out book two of this sexy series today and see how these two very different people learn to work — and play — together.
Down and dirty today, as I am off to Spokane, WA for the Power of the Pen Writer’s Conference. But I have Friday Links for you before I head out to the airport, because I wouldn’t want you feeling left out. I hope you’ve all got some good plans for the next couple of days, whatever your local weather/season/work load, etc., and that you find at least a bit of time to write and read for your own pleasure. Enjoy!
Debut Author Lessons: Should You Be a Full-time Writer? – Part of Mary Robinette Kowal’s series answering some basic questions about the writing life, filled with excellent advice.
Celebrating Women with Robyn Carr – The romance writer shares a personal experience where a “woman’s book” captured a male reader’s attention.
Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest – Details on contest rules; deadline May 15th.
One Man’s Obsession with Rediscovering a Lost Typeface – The search for, and recovery of, the Doves Press typeface.
Writing Women Characters as Human Beings – Great advice from Kate Elliott on writing believable characters unlike yourself.
Author Cory Doctorow shares his lecture on the Shape of Stories at the July 2013 Clarion Writer’s Workshop held at UC San Diego. Some great tips here, and especially useful if you’re delving into a new length or genre. Certain aspects of storytelling transcend the form.
We crept into March over the weekend, which means we’re one step closer to spring in the northern hemisphere, particularly good news for those places that are neck-deep in snow. But it also means I get to remind you all of March Madness for Writers.
March Madness is a writing challenge I issued a couple of years ago for writers looking to take their work to the next level, whether that means committing to a daily writing practice, being braver with plot development, trying something completely out of your comfort zone, or whatever else springs to mind. Although I’m not planning to post a new version of the challenge here on the blog this month, I do encourage anyone who is interested to check out the original posts. It’s designed to be a four-week challenge, which makes today an excellent day to start, but you can really customize it in whatever way works best for you. The original challenge kicks off here.
And in other news, I’m happy to announce that I’m going to be doing another webinar through Writer’s Digest on how to write a synopsis. For those of you who missed this earlier, it’s a live, online webinar, that includes a copy of the final presentation and audio emailed to participants afterwards, and also a synopsis critique from me. The webinar will take place Thursday, March 26th, 2015, at 1pm ET. For more information and to register, check out the description here.