Bad Parenting In Action

Filed under: Fun — joy at 9:25 am on Tuesday, December 21, 2010

All right, this kid is a spoiled brat. I never once had a reaction like this at Christmas–my parents would never have allowed me to spit in the faces of their presents. But also, this kid’s attitude toward books makes me sad.

Besides, I keep begging everyone to give me books for Christmas, and no one listens!

Merry Christmas, Word Pirates.

I Want To Write A Novel

Filed under: Fun — joy at 2:20 pm on Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Page 99, the most important page of your book?

Filed under: Fun — marcia at 6:12 pm on Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Want some advice from Ford Madox Ford on how to tell if your novel (or any novel, really) is any good? “Open the book to page 99 and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you,” he said. It may sound arbitrary. But if you think about it, page 99 is far enough in that you should have already established your characters and setting … so whatever is on that page is representative of the tone and heart of the book. It would be in full swing by that point but not far enough along to be mired in who did what or how this ties to that. (Although you could chose page 87 or 102 for the same purpose.)
A new site called Page 99 Test is taking that advice seriously and will soon allow people to upload page 99 of their novels for criticism from internet people.

via Guardian UK

Jane Austen’s Fight Club

Filed under: Fun — joy at 5:50 pm on Saturday, July 24, 2010

I Write Like

Filed under: Fun — marcia at 5:13 pm on Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I write like

Kurt Vonnegut

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I Write Like” is a fun site where you paste in some of your writing, it does some sort of comparison against a database of famous writers, and tells you who you write like. I can’t tell what it’s looking for … and it doesn’t seem very accurate. (For instance, it told Margaret Atwood she writes like Stephen King.) But it sure is entertaining.

I went a little nutso with it and put in several different types of my writing. What I got back:

My essay writing is like … Chuck Palahniuk

My fiction writing is like … Stephen King

My correspondence is like … Stephen King

My blog post writing is like … Kurt Vonnegut

Conclusion: Stephen King is an awesome writer? Margaret Atwood and I write a lot a like?

Note: I got all meta and put this post in (every part of it before “Note”) and got Vonnegut again. So perhaps while I am inconsistent in my writing tone and style overall, my blogging is distinctly Vonnegutesque. Vonnegutian?

Papa needs a new pair of shoes

Filed under: Fun — marcia at 4:10 pm on Monday, July 12, 2010

When you think of Ernest Hemingway, what comes to mind? Did you say shoes? If so, then you and his son Patrick have a lot in common. He’s working with an Oregon shoe company on a line of Ernest Hemingway shoes. Because, you know, Hemingway loved shoes.

“Hemingway was very fond of loafers,” Patrick said. … “I love that you can wear these without socks. I hate socks. Hemingway hated socks, too.”

Some sons publish their dead fathers’ unfinished work, while others put their dead father’s name on a line of El Salvadorian leather shoes divided into the angler, literary, and sportsman collections.

I am imagining pretentious college students backpacking through Europe hoping to fish and run with the bulls while wearing expensive literary loafers. As a woman, there is no footwear for me in the Hemingway line.
I’m more excited about the literary puns than the manly shoes. My favorites so far:

For Whom The Gel Soles and Movable Feets (from @DRUNKHULK)

Shoe at First Light and the Snowshoes of Kilimanjaro (not as clever, sadly from me …)

Side note: He calls his father Hemingway? Is that because he’s being quoted?

In the distance, a dog barked

Filed under: Fun — marcia at 11:16 am on Friday, June 18, 2010
100616_cb_barkingtn.jpg

What do Jackie Collins, William Faulkner, Dave Eggers, Virginia Woolf, and Steven King have in common? According to

Perhaps distant dogs are a way for novelists to wink at one another, at their extraordinary luck for being allowed into the publishing club. When an author incorporates a faceless barking dog into his novel, he’s like an amateur at Harlem’s Apollo Theater rubbing the Tree of Hope—he does it because so many others have done it before him, and it might just bring him some luck.

Some authors do this on purpose to great affect; others use it to buy time or cheat a mood. The article is a little tongue-in-cheek, but it reminds us to pay attention to our tics and make sure every word is there because it matters. Now I’m going to pay attention today–do I hear any dogs barking?

Ideal Bookshelf

Filed under: Fun — marcia at 10:32 am on Saturday, June 5, 2010

Immediately after the NY Times Paper Cuts blog bemoaned the lack of reciprocity between visual artists and novelists, saying that painters don’t incorporate books into their art the way novelists incorporate the visual arts into their stories, I saw this fun project by Jane Mount called Ideal Bookshelf.

idealbookshelf.jpgMount takes the favorite books people choose to represent themselves and does a painting of their ideal bookshelf. She says:

We show off our books on shelves like merit badges, because we’re proud of the ideas we’ve ingested to make us who we are, and we hope to connect with others. I think this is endearing and charming. When I paint someone else’s bookshelf and they have the same book I do, I feel inordinately joyful about it, and about them.

Of course, the Times blogger wasn’t talking about literally using books or images of books in art. But seeing an artist portray a shelf of books as a window into an individual’s hearts, minds, and souls is surely a fun way for the two arts to join forces.
Off to work on what my ideal bookshelf would be! What’s yours?

Book Vending Machines

Filed under: Fun — marcia at 10:35 am on Monday, May 17, 2010

cigmachauto.jpgA publisher in Hamburg, Germany has converted some old cigarette vending machines into book dispensers. The books are all new titles from Hamburg authors. Forget about iPads or e-readers; this is the new distribution method I want to sweep the nation. Also: Reading is more healthy than smoking.
I think I want my book sold this way!

via Bookninja

World’s Largest Book at British Library

Filed under: Fun — marcia at 12:40 pm on Saturday, January 30, 2010
Klecke atlas

With all those technology types talking about carrying around all our books in one little piece of plastic, it’s kind of refreshing to the contrarian in me to see this enormous book that takes six people just to lift it.The 350-year-old Klencke, the world’s largest book, will be on display in the British Library this summer.

It is almost absurdly huge – 1.75 metres (5ft) tall and 1.9 metres (6ft) wide – and was given to the king by Dutch merchants and placed in his cabinet of curiosities.

“It is going to be quite a spectacle,” said Tom Harper, head of antiquarian maps. “Even standing beside it is quite unnerving.”

As a contrast, one of the smallest maps in the world, a fingernail-sized German coin from 1773 showing a bird’s eye view of Nuremberg, will be exhibited close by.

Link – Guardian UK

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