What David Foster Wallace Read

Filed under: The Writing Life — joy at 10:16 am on Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The archive of David Foster Wallace is now open at the Harry Ransom Center at University of Texas at Austin. From the press release:

The collection is made up of 34 boxes and is divided into three main sections: works, personal and career-related materials and copies of works by Don DeLillo. The works section covers the period between 1984 and 2006 and includes material related to Wallace’s novels, short stories, essays and magazine articles.

Among the things you can view online, there’s a handwritten page of a draft of Infinite Jest, a sampling of Wallace’s teaching material, and most interesting to me, an inventory of the books from Wallace’s personal library. You can scroll through and get an idea of what he liked to read. There is a lot of Don DeLillo, for example, and a lot of psychology books.

Jacqueline Muñoz, the librarian at the Ransom Center who cataloged the 300-some books says, “Of the more than 300 titles in his collection, there are maybe 10 or 15 that are not annotated—not simply with underlined passages but ample and personally revealing margin notes.”

Looking through the list of books, I wrote down 12 titles I would like to read. Not because I want to be like Wallace, or something, but because they look like rad books. You should check it out. (Via HTMLGiant)

Come See Ken Read

Filed under: WP Publications — joy at 7:05 am on Wednesday, September 8, 2010

word pirates ken weaver

Newest Word Pirate Ken Weaver is reading at the Why There Are Words reading series this Thursday at in Sausalito. It’s at 7 p.m. at Studio 333. The theme is Body Language.

Go Ken!

Joy in Bang Out

Filed under: WP Publications — joy at 11:39 am on Friday, August 20, 2010

The short story I read last week is now up on Bang Out’s site, so now you can read it too. It is called “Five People Describe Burning Up,” in keeping with the “heat” theme.

Read it here.

Come See Joy Read

Filed under: News — joy at 7:21 am on Thursday, August 12, 2010

This Saturday, I am going to be reading a short story for the BANG OUT Reading Series in San Francisco. The theme is HEAT. I will be reading with 6 other people, and I believe it is free. Bargain!

The reading will be at Amnesia Bar, 853 Valencia Street, from 7-9 p.m. I hope you can come.

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Buy Marcia’s Book … Once It Actually Comes Out in May

Filed under: News — marcia at 10:36 am on Monday, August 9, 2010

I’m writing a book about cocktails! The working title is DIY Cocktails, so it will be a very hands-on book about how to create your own cocktails using fresh and homemade ingredients. Adams Media is the publisher. Look for it in stores and through online booksellers in May! In the mean time, I still have a little bit of drinking and writing to do. I see a Word Pirates cocktail party in our future.

Photo by wickenden

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

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?

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