Friday Links: Online Listening Edition for Podcast Fans

Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to the online listening edition of Friday Links. This week I’ve been obsessing a bit about podcasts. I’m not a regular podcast listener. I don’t subscribe to any, and normally I end up streaming them from their websites rather than through iTunes or the like. My listening depends on my running across something interesting more than any adherence to a specific thing. Not to say I don’t enjoy them, because I do. But podcasts fall into the same category as audio books for me. If I am listening while doing something more complicated than driving or walking, I tune out. It’s just how my brain works. I’m more of a visual person. I like to read print. My mind wanders if I’m listening to something recorded without a corresponding image. But this week was a bit different.

microphone for online listening

It actually started with Audible, not with podcasts. I do have an Audible account and will listen to books while walking or driving more than 20 minutes or so. But Audible really got my attention by adding two additional freebies to membership. They now offer two downloads of Audible Originals per month, from a list of six titles they choose. No extra fee, no credits required. So suddenly I had more listening material at my fingertips. Mind you, I’m already working my way through The Three Musketeers (unabridged and over 20 hours), but I like having a variety. But then came the email from Danny Gregory about his latest podcast episode of Art for All–featuring an interview with Austin Kleon.

I believe firmly in branching out when it comes to seeking advice on a creative life. I like to dabble in arts and crafts and photography when I’m not nose-deep in a book. And I check out books or websites by various types of artists, as well. So I’m a fan of Danny Gregory, and Sketchbook Skool, the online art class platform he co-runs. I gave his newish podcast a try when it first started, but it didn’t really capture my attention. This week’s episode, however, was a different story. Gregory’s interview with Kleon covers so many aspects of the creative life. They discuss Kleon’s system of journaling, working on paper versus digitally, and his thoughts on why so many people are trying to turn their art into a career. So interesting, and relatable to many artistic endeavors.

Unlike many podcasts, this one wasn’t streaming from the landing page, so I ended up listening on iTunes. When I finished, I went scouting for more things to listen to and came up with a handful of other recommendations. They’re all related to books and/or writing and creativity, and I’m bookmarking for future listening binges. I’m also adding them here to the rest of this week’s links. I hope you find something fun to check out over the weekend for a bit of reading and writing inspiration. Enjoy!

Online Listening Links:

Art for All. – The main page for Danny Gregory’s art-related podcast focusing on the creative life.

The Librarian Is In. – A fabulous podcast run by the New York Public Library, featuring two very entertaining hosts, frequent guests, and diverse book recommendations.

Overdue. – A podcast where the hosts finally get around to reading (and discussing) those books that have been lingering on their TBR lists way too long.

Other PPL with Brad Listi. – An old favorite of mine; one-on-one interviews with authors.

First Draft. – Another favorite. Interviews with young adult and middle grade authors.

Lit Up. – More great author interviews.

What Should I Read Next? – A book rec podcast run by Anne Bogel, of the popular blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy.

A Few Other Links:

Romance Bookstore The Ripped Bodice Poised to Bring the Genre to Television. – Announcing the store owners’ deal with Sony TV.

Bloomsbury Group’s Countryside Hub Opens to Visitors Year-Round. – In case you’re making literary travel plans…

23 Book Cover Designers to Follow on Instagram. – Pretty much what it says.

Regency Rendezvous: Inside the World of Jane Austen Fandom. – For diehard fans, a chance to step into the period.

 

Friday Link: A Mish-Mash of Writing Inspiration

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m currently winging my way to Seattle for a conference, but as always, I’ve made sure to leave you with this week’s assortment of links for your enjoyment. It’s something of a hodgepodge — pretty much how things go when I’m on one of these conference runs — but I still think there’s some great stuff for everyone. Enjoy, and happy writing!

Five Writing Retreats to Attend This Summer – Interested in doing a retreat? Think it’s too late? Here are a few places with late deadlines or rolling admissions that might fit the bill.

Colson Whitehead Leads the Arthur C. Clarke Award Shortlist – An interesting profile, plus the rest of the list so you can catch up on your reading.

As Jane Austen a “Secret Radical”? – A peek at the new, somewhat controversial book offering a fresh (mostly) take on the author.

Why Doesn’t Ancient Literature Talk About Feelings? – A look at changes in our expectations of what we read.

How the Federal Government Saved Literature in Tennessee – Why the NEH and NEA are important.

Warner Bros. Is Seeking New Writers – Worth checking out if screenwriting is  your thing.

9 Signs You May Have Over-Edited Your Work – It’s possible to overdo it.

Friday Links: Striving to Write Something New

Happy Friday! I’m on the road this week, so I’m bringing this to you short and sweet and hoping you find something here to kick off a creative, word-filled weekend. Quite a few of these deal with the writerly search for originality, and/or finding fresh inspiration. Wishing you wonderful progress on your current writing project, or maybe just a fabulous read that engrosses you for hours on end. Enjoy!

Nothing Works Until It Works: On Writerly Discomfort – A look at the pain (mostly mental) involved in the writing process.

The Hugo Awards – This year’s list of nominees. Now that the Nebulas are over, it’s time to turn your reading attention to the Hugos.

Jane Austen’s Ivory Cage – Peeking beneath the obvious story to find the darkness in Austen’s work.

Opportunities for Writers: June and July – A list of publishing opportunities, contests, etc. with deadlines over the next two months.

New Arabic Fiction: Five Contemporary Short Stories – For those of you looking to diversify your reading, to read more short fiction, or to just mix things up a bit.

Do Overused Words Lose Their Meaning? – On word trends and how words that once had impact start to lose it.

The Lost Gardens of Emily Dickinson – A look at the efforts to restore the garden that once helped inspire the poet.

Friday Links: Combatting Cabin Fever

Happy Friday, everyone! It’s been an insanely busy week here, so I apologize for being a bit quiet on the inter-webs. Sometimes you just have to put your head down and plow forward. And of course, with spring in full bloom here in the northern hemisphere, I’m aware that I, like everyone else, am struggling with a certain level of cabin fever. The birds are even now chirping outside my office window and it’s very tempting to just go play outside.

When I’m feeling this sort of pull, I resist it by reminding myself that the nice weather will still be there come the weekend… or whenever things quiet down to normal levels. Or I give myself lines in the sand; do everything on this list and then you can wander down the block to Starbucks for an hour of fresh air and caffeine injections. But it also helps to be engrossed in what I’m working on. The lure of a lovely day feels much less tempting if I’m reading a wonderful manuscript or helping make a project better. It’s all relative.

With this in mind, I’ve got a mishmash of links for you today that I hope help to combat your own cabin fever and allow you to put in a bit of reading and writing time. Plenty of things to think about and get you into gear. Enjoy!

Around the world in 18 science fiction and fantasy novels – A nice roundup for some serious armchair travel.

Interrogating Sentimentality with Leslie Jamison – On the line between writing that’s emotional and writing that’s overly sentimental or saccharine.

Download 67,000 Historic Maps – An open collection of high resolution maps available from Stanford University’s David Rumsey Map Collection. Great for research.

On the Heartbreaking Difficulty of Getting Rid of Books – Most of us know this problem. An interesting look at an author’s experience with trying to apply the Marie Kondo tidying method to her bookshelves, proving that not all systems work for all people — or at least not precisely as intended.

Whit Stillman Returns: “Sometimes it’s good to blow through all your deadlines.” – The director of Metropolitan tackles Jane Austen’s Love and Friendship.

Authors, Get Thee to Social Media: Explaining the Rise and Rise of YA Books – Intriguing article with some great points about social media (though this is obviously not the entire driving force behind the success of YA).

Knausgaard in Chicago: “I Don’t Want to Write about Myself Anymore.” – The author known for his mammoth multi-volume work of autobiographical fiction talks about literary ambition and success with Sheila Heti.

 

Friday Links: From First Drafts to Engaging with Readers

 

These days Friday feels like just one more herald of the coming of year’s end. Work weeks are busy and weekends are filled with attempts to catch up not just with additional work but with every single thing I intend to accomplish before 2016 rolls around. Anyone else feeling that same sense of speeding up to fit everything in before the holidays hit?

For those of you participating in NaNoWriMo, this weekend marks the one-week point. Don’t think about being ahead or behind, just get those words down. Write, write, write, and the editing and polishing will come later. Remember that everyone’s first draft is pretty crappy, no matter whether you’re writing to a deadline or just working your way through the story at a leisurely pace. First drafts are just a jumping-off point.

Whether or not you’re swamped with NaNo and a long to-do list, I hope you’ll take a few moments to check out some of this week’s links. They range from entertaining to practical, and there should be something to appeal to everyone. Enjoy, and happy writing!

21 Invaluable Writing Tips from Renowned British Writers – Some excellent advice here.

Scrivener for NaNoWriMo – Some great tips on using the writing program to organize and work through your NaNo novel.

Scrivener NaNoWriMo Offers – Discounts on the writing software in honor of NaNoWriMo; either 20% off now, or 50% later if you complete NaNo.

My 2.5 Star Trip to Amazon’s Bizarre New Bookstore – Amazon opened their first brick-and-mortar shop this week in Seattle. One visitor’s thoughts.

Want a Jane Austen Quote Delivered to You Everyday? – A new app for Jane Austen fans.

The Book Seer – A fun new online tool that recommends books based on the last one you read (and presumably liked).

Walter Dean Myers, Writing White, and Affirmation – One writer learns to put herself into her work.

What Do Writers Owe Readers? – A thoughtful look at the reader/writer dynamic, and the level of expectation that sometimes seems to come from having read an author’s work.

Friday Links

Happy May! We’re a third of the way through 2015, so before we get to this week’s links, I want to give you all a little nudge. How’s the writing going? Are you happy with your progress? Are you keeping up with the goals you set yourself back at the start of the year? Maybe you’ve zipped right past them, or maybe things have come up to send you off on a fresh tangent — for better or for worse.

Since we’re heading into the weekend, I suggest you set aside an hour or two to examine your writing activity so far and to assess what you’d like to accomplish going forward. No beating yourself up if you haven’t done what you planned; just dust off your goals and take a look at your calendar and determine what you need to do to get back on track. Good luck!

That said, it’s time for this week’s Friday links. Enjoy!

Ray Bradbury on Madmen – A lost interview with the author from 1972.

2016 Helen Sheehan Book Prize – For an unpublished YA novel. Check out the prize page for complete details.

Jane Austen’s Real Mr. Darcy Unmasked by Historian – Maybe.

The Anxiety of the First-Time Novelist – An amusing anecdote about “the author crazies.”

The Moth International Short Story Prize – For those of you writing short fiction.

Friday Links

Happy Friday and happy February! Wow, this year sure is flying. Not sure where January got off to already. But I suspect I say something similar every year; I should be used to it by now.

However, it’s a good week for links, and I’m excited to share them with you all. This week marked the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE as well as 50 years since the death of Robert Frost. So I bring you a nice assortment of literary links, plus a couple just for laughs. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

A Critic at Large: Jane’s World – Martin Amis writes about Ms Austen.

Niffenegger Scores Ballet Tie-in for New Novel – The author’s latest will have a ballet version performed by the London Royal Ballet.

The Sunday Rumpus Interview: Margaret Atwood – Wonderful interview with Atwood.

Second Annual Books Are for Lovers – Buy a loved one a book on Valentine’s Day from a brick-and-mortar store; or buy one for yourself!

Getting Away with Murder: The Millions Interviews Ursula K. LeGuin – On the occasion of the author’s new short story collections.

Rare Robert Frost Collection Surfaces 50 Years after His Death – Just donated to the State University of New York at Buffalo.

League of Extraordinary Pen Pals – In case you’re writing a letter a day this month.