Cultivate the Gap and Watch Your Readers’ Eyebrows Bounce - When my youngest was a wee lad, there was a period when I knew I was failing him as a parent. Day after day, from the moment I woke him up to take him to t...
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After receiving a puzzling phone call and a box full of mysteries, 33-year-old fledgling singer Celeste Duncan is off to Japan to search for a long, lost relative who could hold the key to the identity of the father she never knew. This overwhelming place where nothing is quite as it seems, leading her to ask: What is the true meaning of family? And what does it mean to discover your own voice?So I have to start by asking, Wendy, how did you discover your voice as a writer?
You need not expect to get your book right the first time. Go to work and revamp or rewrite it. God only exhibits his thunder and lightning at intervals, and so they always command attention. These are God's adjectives. You thunder and lightning too much; the reader ceases to get under the bed, by and by.
- Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain, from a letter to Orion Clemens, 23 March 1878
"I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,Walt Whitman printed 795 copies of Leaves of Grass in 1855.
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fiber your blood.
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you."
"How are you, Alphonse?"
"I am fine, Susie. How are you?"
"I must say, Sue, you are looking especially fetching today in your pretty, red sweater."
Susie's smile turned to a frown. "I am surprised at you, Alphonse. I never realized you were a drug fiend."
"As you may remember from our high school days together, Susie, I have a rare condition called vocabulus anachronistis, whose major symptoms manifest themselves in bizarre language choices, wolfish eye-goggling, and repulsion of the opposite sex."
"And you may remember, Alphonse, last October's restraining order is still in effect, and my violence-prone daddy's still on the police force."
The best selling book in Britain last year was Linwood Barclay’s No Time for Goodbye. I checked The Times archives to see if they reviewed it. Yes, they did, favourably. But only after it got to number one. When I was a general reporter and that kind of thing happened with news stories there was always an inquest, and usually someone was invited into the room that contained what one executive liked to call ‘the arse-kicking machine’. With good reason too.Read the rest here.
I’ve picked on my own paper here because it’s the one I still take at home. This is a little unfair. Snobbery on the literary pages is rife, and not just a British affair. The American prints often behave much the same way. Many of those are steadily killing book review space too on ‘economic grounds’.
Evidently there’s some kind of hot-rod convention going on in town, although I seem to remember those always taking place at the height of summer, when people can run around in convertible coupés with the tops down. Anyway, there are no rooms available, except possibly one, and that one is “Smoking,” which I have nothing against. The desk clerk tells me she’ll know in about ten minutes if there’s going to be a cancellation. I’m welcome to wait, so I do, not wanting to face another ninety-some miles down to Kentucky through threatening weather.Click here to read the rest.
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"You must want to enough. Enough to take all the rejections, enough to pay the price of disappointment and discouragement while you are learning."
Phyllis A. Whitney
Are you happy? Do we need galoshes? Are bluebirds perfect? Do you know the distinctions, empirical or theoretical, between moss and lichen? Is it clear to you why I am asking you all these questions? Should I go away? Leave you alone? Should I bother but myself with the interrogative mood?Yes, no, yes, no, almost, not yet, maybe later, and absolutely not.
The first mistake Karen Delaney made was entrusting $300,000 to her boyfriend, Samir, the head of an illegal bookmaking operation. The second was breaking up with him---because Samir holds a $300,000 grudge. A few months later, Karen sees a way to get her money back when two thieves break into her house in the middle of the night. She proposes a scheme to steal Samir’s safe, but Karen soon realizes she’s in way over her head as things begin to spin out of control.I had a hard time limiting myself to three questions, but here goes.
Trust Me moves at breakneck speed through the affluent suburbs of Detroit and Chicago as Karen is pursued by O’Clair, an ex-con/ex-cop who works for Samir and wants the money for his own retirement; by Ricky, Samir’s nephew, who sees the money as a way to pay off his own escalating gambling debts; by the thieves who’ve been double-crossed; and by two ruthless hit men who view the money as their stake in the American dream.
A hungry lion was roaming through the jungle looking for something to eat. He came across two men. One was sitting under a tree reading a book; the other was typing away on his typewriter.
The lion quickly pounced on the man reading the book and devoured him. Even the king of the jungle knows that readers digest and writers cramp.
National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.Here's what I love about this endeavor:
Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.
Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.