Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Trying a Different Audio Host

I decided to test a different audio host with streaming. Below is a poem/music collaboration I did with my sweetheart, James Barr, a couple years ago. Let's see how this widget works out! If it holds up OK (the last one didn't), I'll start adding tracks.

(Opinions welcome on both the widget and the audio piece.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How Not to How To

Kudos to Richard Bausch for holding the line. In the new world of reading, where aspiring writers are primarily a sales demographic, it's tempting to participate in the game in order to make a paycheck. Check out his article in The Atlantic, How to Write in 700 Easy Lessons, in which he reminds us that the last thing fiction writers need to read is formulaic prescription books.

Sounds like he received a lesson himself, on the length some publishers will go to protect their cash cow, the "how to write" genre. How long until the "how to write" section in the bookstore gets bigger than the literature section?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

No More Hibernation

I’ve been in blog hibernation too long. Blame Facebook, blame my day job, blame TV, blame my novel, blame my need to walk around and do nothing, blame it all. I've decided to try updating the blog again for awhile, primarily links to other things I find interesting. smart lady Laura Miller takes on the topic of the day, self-publishing. She nails it:

What happens once the self-publishing revolution really gets going, when all of those previously rejected manuscripts hit the marketplace, en masse, in print and e-book form, swelling the ranks of 99-cent Kindle and iBook offerings by the millions? Is the public prepared to meet the slush pile? …You've either experienced slush or you haven't, and the difference is not trivial.

I have read slush. I have been slush. Slush has its purpose.

We emerging fiction writers are not know for our self-restraint. The hardest thing for us to learn is how to tell if a project is finished, since the nature of writing is that revision is an infinite possibility. How do thoughtful and serious writers deal with the infinite? With arbitrary cutoff dates, with addiction to workshopping, with rulebooks of various sorts, with editor rejections. We feed on feedback. We’re insatiable. Workshop is a verb.

We feel special for having finished a novel, then we learn that everyone in the world has finished a novel, then we learn that we never did finish one ourselves, or that this pack of pages is more mess than novel, and we use it for kindling, and we quit for awhile and watch HBO. Then we get the itch and go back to the desk and write another novel. Somewhere in the process someone says yes, someone with the power to publish. But I rely on the chorus of nos to keep my feet on the ground and teach me patience. The older I get, the more grateful I am for the rejections. I would hate for them all to disappear.

Thanks, Mary Akers, for the link.