Friday Links

Welcome to Friday, which this week happens to kick off the long Memorial Day weekend here in the U.S., the unofficial start of summer. That means vacations, BBQs, sand and surf, lazy days, stacks of books to read, and — in the publishing world — summer hours (half-day Fridays). The reality, of course, is that work does not cease simply because we have a bit more daylight (Weekend? What weekend?), but it’s nice to dream.

And on that note, I offer up this week’s selection of Friday links, some of which are a bit dreamy, and all of which I hope you’ll find intriguing/entertaining/educational, etc. Enjoy, and have a fabulous weekend!

The Art of Staying Focused in a Distracting World – Social media, email, DVR queue, etc. There’s always something vying for your attention. How do you get anything done anymore? Interesting article.

Writing Excuses: The Short Story with Mary Robinette Kowal – A great podcast on short story writing, with excellent tips for anyone looking to give them a go or simply improve on their current efforts.

Kindle Worlds: Amazon Rewrites the Rules of Fan Fiction – A look at Amazon’s announcement regarding their new plans to monetize the world of fan fiction.

Amazon’s Kindle Worlds: Instant Thoughts – Author John Scalzi’s first take on why Amazon’s new program may not be the greatest thing for writers.

Neil Gaiman’s A Calendar of Tales – Gaiman’s collaborative short story project with Blackberry is complete. Check out the results, including some very cool art created by Gaiman’s readers.

Advice from the Trenches

Last week on Booktalk Nation, author John Scalzi interviewed author Joe Hill about writing, genre, and his new book NOS4A2. Between the two of them, these guys have written a number of books, short stories, blog posts, etc. Whether you write genre fiction or something else, you should check out the video of their chat, because much of what they have to say is just plain interesting if you have any sort of curiosity about writing and publishing, and the bulk of their advice applies to any type of writer. They’re also pretty damn amusing to watch.

Just a heads up: the interview is about an hour long, so keep that in mind before you hit the play button. Enjoy!