April arrived, finally. March was possibly the longest month I have ever lived through. My mother likes to say March is her least favorite month. I think it’s mostly a weather thing, but this year, I have to agree. So welcome to April, and this week’s link roundup. I hope you’re all well and staying home, safe, and sane.
I add that last one because I know a lot of people are really starting to feel the magnitude of the situation. Millions of Americans filed for unemployment last week. People are worried. I wish I could help with that, but I hope I can at least provide a small distraction. Don’t be hard on yourself. Do what you need to in order to manage. If being creative helps, go for it. If you can’t focus on writing, go ahead and binge Netflix or bake or nap. If you’re still out there working in the trenches, thank you for taking that risk for all the rest of us, and stay as safe as you can.
I offer up another mixed list of links this week. Enjoy, and have a good weekend.
This Week’s Links:
We Need Art Right Now. Here’s How to Get into Poetry. – For the skeptics who looked at my post earlier this week and shook their heads.
Writer’s Digest 89th Annual Writing Competition. – In case you are feeling productive. Or maybe you have something in the drawer you can dust off and tweak a bit.
Ted Chiang Explains the Disaster Novel We All Suddenly Live In. – An interesting look at the world through the eyes of an excellent science fiction author.
The Debate: How Many Books Should You Have on the Go at Once? – The reader’s dilemma. Are you a one-at-a-time reader or are you surrounded be reads-in-progress?
Ann Patchett On Why We Need Life-Changing Books Right Now. – A lovely article on Patchett’s first encounter with the works of Kate DiCamillo.
Returning to Analog: Typewriters, Notebooks, and the Art of Letter Writing. – A slightly older read, but as so many of us rely on tech to communicate and work from home, it’s nice to remember the slower side, too.
Happy Friday, everyone! I’m afraid I have a rather abbreviated set of links for you this week, given that my attention was generally elsewhere during my downtime this week. But I do have a few tips and a bit of a pep talk, especially for you NaNoWriMo participants, who may be struggling with output about now.
Art endures. Whatever your feelings about the outcome of this week’s election, I encourage you to continue to do your best work, to focus your frustrations and joys and heart into your writing and into making the best art you can. So get words down, or go read your favorite book, or discover a wonderful new novel and get lost in its pages. Pick up some cheap theater tickets or head to the movies. Spend a quiet hour in a museum. Take a little time for your spirit and your creativity, whatever else you feel it’s necessary to do right now.
5 Benefits of Using a Typewriter on Your First Draft – An interesting theory of process.
Why Fiction Matters – Why you should keep plugging away at your work.
Toni Morrison on Reality TV, Black Lives Matter, and Meeting Jeff Bezos – An interview with the acclaimed author.
Writing Trans Characters – Some advice on how to write an accurate portrayal.
The Words and Works of Leonard Cohen – Saying goodbye to the talented singer/songwriter/poet.
It seems impossible to start off today without mention of the sad passing of Harper Lee. Last year was her year, no matter how you look at it, with the release of Go Set a Watchman and the controversy that accompanied it, and the number of people reading To Kill a Mockingbird either for the first time or as a refresher. She had an interesting life and career, and left us with her art to remember her by.
However this week’s links are not about Harper Lee’s writing, but about yours. How goes it? Need a little push? Some easy references to help you over the tough spots? A touch of inspiration? Something to aim for? Today’s Friday Links should help you along. There are few fun things thrown in to mix it up, but for the most part this week’s links are aimed at giving you a little boost on your writing journey. Enjoy, and happy writing!
The Grammar Rules Behind 3 Commonly Disparaged Dialects – Did you know even dialects have grammar systems? A handy bit of info if you’re writing regional characters.
The Punctuation Guide – An online reference for all those pesky punctuation marks, plus some useful tips.
How I Changed My Submissions after Editing a Major Lit Mag – Suggestions of things to look out for from someone in the know.
Writing with the Mentors: Why Voice Is like a Piece of Very, Very Good Cake – A few basic pointers on how voice can make your writing stand out.
Famous Literary Locales, Visualized – Images from the NY Public Library collection to fit with various well-known books. Nice inspiration if you want to get some visuals for your own WIP.
Opportunities for Writers: March and April 2016 – Upcoming deadlines for writing contests, calls for work, etc.
One Man, One Obsession, 100 Typewriters – Collect something writing related? Love old typewriters? Check this out, especially the photos of these beautiful old machines.
Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you had a lovely week. Personally, I’m not quite sure where it went.
A quick reminder: I am temporarily closing to new submissions starting tomorrow, June 1st. You can find all the details in my announcement post from earlier this week. This does not mean I’m no longer seeking new clients, but simply that I have a pretty serious backlog of submissions in the queue and I really have to work my way through them without more piling up as I go. I’ll reopen to submissions again as soon as things are a bit more under control.
But you’re all here for Friday links, so let’s get to them. Quite a few this week, so I hope there’s something for everyone. Enjoy, and have a fabulous weekend. Happy writing!
How to Get Permission to Use Song Lyrics in Your Book – You know those quotes you like to insert? Not so fast. A nice guest post regarding permissions.
A Rare Interview with Master Storyteller Stephen King – Not sure how rare these really are, but it’s a good interview, and he addresses why he chose to go paper (and audio) only with his new book — no digital.
Work in Progress: How to Read a Novelist – Preview of a book on author profiles, focusing on Jeffrey Eugenides.
Inspired Cincinnati: The Library that Never Closes – Put up your own mini lending library and share books with your neighbors. (Thanks to Susan for the link.)
Vintage Typewriters Find New Life – I know several people who collect old manual typewriters, so I found this article charming.
SummerFest 2013 – Writing software company Literature and Latte (makers of Scrivener) have a sale going on until June 14th. Get 20% off their popular software offerings, including Scrivener and the new Scrapple — a mind-mapping program. Great deal. (No, I have no affiliation, I’m just a fan of the programs.)