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Work being out of control! Will post intermittently as things are hilarious.

Besos to you all.


Oh magical publishing eight-ball, show me your ways

Susan Orlean's story of bouncing from editor to editor and house to house is disheartening, yes, but is pretty normal. Hurray for an industry that pays little enough that the slight pay bumps you get from constantly moving are enough to make you repeatedly scuttle your entire life at a single place!

What do you mean, "a plot"?

I know we've all been there, seen that, but this article on the lack-of-plot associated with "good writing" hits the nail right on the head:
What Gaiman alludes to and Chabon tackles directly is the genre which we now know as "literary": the fictional worlds inhabited by people who think a lot and say a lot and feel a lot, but don't actually do very much over the course of the narrative - they might be caught up in the swell of an emotional riptide, perhaps, until Chabon's "moment-of-truth" revelation brings the story, such as it is, to a close.

The ongoing, endless war between "literary" fiction and "genre" fiction has well-defined lines in the sand. Genre's foot soldiers think that literary fiction is a collection of meaningless but prettily drawn pictures of the human condition. The literary guard consider genre fiction to be crass, commercial, whizz-bang potboilers. Or so it goes.
Call me a troglodyte, but I do enjoy when things actually, you know, happen...


Secret love lives that kind of ick me out

Today was apparently the day of love stories that make me go, "...oh..."

First, we've got the Anne Frank novelization, plus boning. That's just awkward. I understand that she was a teenager, but, I don't know. It's just weird.

Also weird is the Emily Dickinson potential love story. And, hey, I'm not saying she shouldn't have had a man-friend of some sort. I'm saying that the way they describe it is creepers:
Over the next few months, Emily turned to [Otis Phillips Lord, her father's friend] the handsome widower – not as a father but as a suitor of sorts. Later, a granddaughter of Dickinson’s confidante Elizabeth Holland suggested that Lord’s tenderness had “long been latent in his feeling for her.”
I'm sorry, the words "father figure" and "lover" should really not go in the same sentence. That is creepos.

Best food books

Everyone in the world should love the following things: napping and eating. And, to further love of the latter, the Chicago Tribune asked chefs to list their favorite non-cookbook food books. Hello, added to my reading list.


Where does Stieg Larsson stand on the ladies?

I haven't read any of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, but I'm a bit confused on his feminist message. And it turns out, I'm not alone (warning, hey, there are spoilers at the link and heading forward, which are now spoiled for me, I need to stop reading so damn much):
This macho make-believe doesn’t negate Larsson’s professed feminism. But it does cast a shadow over how I read the many, many scenes of horrific violence inflicted upon female characters. One victim is choked to death with a sanitary napkin down her throat. Another is tortured, then decapitated with a saw. Lisbeth is raped. The crimes are unspeakable — which you could argue is the point for an activist like Larsson: Bring it into the open, try to prevent it from happening again. Still, Larsson seems to want it both ways: to condemn such savagery while simultaneously exploiting it in graphic detail for titillating storytelling purposes. And that makes me uncomfortable.
Unfortunately, as Missy Schwartz says at the link, Larsson is a little too dead to help untangle the tangles...

I now live at Hogwarts

Because Harry Potter land is open!
Hundreds queued up for butterbeer, while others crowded into the Owl Post. By mid-afternoon, a line of 200 hopefuls stood outside Ollivanders wand shop. And another location to buy souvenir wands was added outside the Owl Post, which has been a bottleneck for shoppers.

At lunchtime, the line for Three Broomsticks restaurant extended out to the entrance of the Wizarding World, and more than 150 customers stood in the heat to buy butterbeer.
The lines are the real attraction, it seems.


Time for a Rolling Rock and a round up

Too early for the Rolling Rock? I guess you can just take the roundup, then...


Fast Food Nation, why do you get so much press?

Confession: I never much cared for the book Fast Food Nation. It framed everything as such a shock, and I wasn't that shocked. The Jungle it wasn't. Hell, it wasn't even The Omnivore's Dilemma, which I thought was more insightful.

Anyway. Apparently we're revisiting in. Boo, just lay down and die already, FFN.

Cops bust woman, 74, for pouring mayo in book drop

You heard me. Oh, you want more?
BOISE, Idaho -- Police in Idaho think they might have solved a yearlong condiment crime spree. Authorities said a 74-year-old Boise woman arrested after pouring mayonnaise in the Ada County library's book drop box is a person of interest in at least 10 other condiment-related crimes.
Check it out!


Dr. Deadlove, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bite

Question: how will you survive the (clearly imminent) zombie apocalypse? Some think that the answer is to take the plunge, get yourself bit, and join the mob of the undead:
Most humans labor under the belief that being undead is a terrible curse. That the living dead are monsters, nothing more than animals. Most humans believe zombies are unhappy....Instead of fighting the zombies, instead of shooting yourself in the head to avoid turning into one of them, let yourself go. Embrace it. If enough of us willingly became zombies, we could change the world. Start a new civilization.
You guys are all welcome to take the bite. Otherwise, you can audition for Survival Team Ombreviations.

Glenn Beck rules the writing world

Apparently Glenn Beck's new novel is out (and to think, I wasn't tracking this closely!). And what are the people saying?

...Apparently, most people aren't saying anything. Don't worry though, he'll sell a shit ton anyway.


When murder messes up your book launch

Sometimes writing the book, getting it agented, getting it published and getting to press isn't the problem. No, sometimes your co-author get accused of attempted murder just as the book comes out, and that really tanks the whole thing.

Ruh roh, I'm illiterate

I hear that linking makes you a worse writer:
A sentence that's written to include hyperlinks won't necessarily make as much sense without them. You write differently when you know you can't dodge explaining yourself by fobbing the task off on someone more eloquent or better informed. You have to express what you want to say more completely, and you have to think harder about what information ought to be included and what's merely peripheral. (Knowing what to leave out is as important to writing well as what you include.)
Well, shit, I'm illiterate city. Woe is me?


Glenn Beck novel trailer!

Oh oh oh oh oh this is so exciting. By which I mean, what the fuck is going on in that video??

Yet another Twilight post

I know everyone loves Twilight and all of its iterations and movies and chat boards and on and on and on, and so I bring you this interview with Stephanie Meyer about the mental conception of Bree Tanner. Meyer says:
In the beginning, I wasn't fascinated specifically by Bree — it was the newborns in general. While I was writing Eclipse, there was a lot going on behind the scenes, of course, things Bella didn't know about. Because I was focused on Bella, I couldn't delve too deeply into the newborns' story, however, there was always in my mind a general idea of what they were up to.
Hurray more Twilight!

Dissecting fictional characters for fun and profit

Psychology is important, reader types, for mental health and enrichment. Also, though, to tell us what is up with Edward Cullen. Because seriously, what is up with Edward Cullen?
hey stipulated early on that Edward was, indeed, a vampire. But since he was supposedly 100 years old, not 17 as he appeared, his adolescent moodiness suggested arrested development.
Ah, science, how I love thee.


Apple buys into my biggest pet peeve in e-books

Apple contends that the iPad accounts for 22% of all e-book sales, which is most likely bullshit. Because Apple is so known for its transparency, no one can really replicate the numbers, but:
Still, Mr. Jobs said that iPad owners downloaded over five million books in the last two months, or 2.5 books per iPad. Although it is not clear how many of these books are free, this is still a troubling trend for Amazon.
Why? Why do people do this? Because they're assholes who equate downloads with sales. These are not sales if they are free. I'll take anything that's free! But I'm a discriminating consumer when it comes to spending my actual money. There is a difference, Apple, so don't inflate your numbers.

...End pet peeve.

Author estates: Super complicated

We all know how effed Steig Larsson's estate is. Well, it turns out his problem is not so uncommon. The answer, of course, is to 1) write a will, 2) never produce anything anyone cares about, or 3) leave it all to me, and I will milk every last penny out of your blood, sweat, and tears.

Overheard from your life

There's a new writing project afoot, called the Bugged Initiative, in which British writers eavesdrop and use conversations they hear as inspiration. It's the British version of Overhead in New York, but less mockery based. Maybe.


Justin Long argues for gay marriage

I'm so confused...usually I don't like Justin Long so much, but today I find him awesome:

How does this affect my beliefs about Justin Long? Crap, I guess I like him now.


Celebrities write for kiddies

In response to Evangeline Lilly's children's book (which some charming person mentioned here) Jezebel, my favorite of blogs, put together a list of books to be written by celebrities. Because being famous means you know what children like to read.

Cute Penguin covers that don't technically exist

Amy Fleisher designed the absolute cutest classic Penguin covers that Penguin never designed. As a sucker for newly covered classics, I heart these.


Netflix, marry me

We've already talked about streaming literary adaptations from Netflix. What will they come up with next? Of course it's a list of Netflix for people who love plays. Is there anything Netflix can't do? (Besides send me a copy of "Amadeus" that doesn't need to be flipped like an LP, of course.)

Seriously, what happens at BEA?

BEA is a mystery. What really happens there? Answer: human sacrifice. Spooky!

Round up day

At Pimp My Novel. Click click click...


Breaking up is hard to do

Especially when you have to break up with a book. This article is great, for the ways it breaks down types of books to dump.

All hail, Biblioracle

For the indecisive, those who don't plan ahead, and don't believe that every book on GoodReads deserves five stars oh em gee!, meet the Biblioracle. Based on your last five book choices, and a sacrifice of your choice, it will tell you what to read next.

I will do the same, in exchange for cookies.


Fingerprinting for library books

Because library cards are so old hat, the school system in Machester wants to use fingerprints to check out library books. What, the retinal scans were too expensive?
This is quite clearly appalling,” said Phil Booth, national coordinator of NO2ID, a privacy campaign group.

“For such a trivial issue as taking out of library books the taking of fingerprints is way over the top and wrong.

“It conditions children to hand over sensitive personal information.”
I think the real point is to crack down on library theft more effectively. You don't return your book? Your fingerprints are already in the system! So when you, 13 year old Joey, get pulled over for speeding and arrested for assaulting an officer, they'll match your fingerprints to your stolen library book and fine the crap out of you. Libraries saved!

Self-pubbing apps

Would you like to self publish, but skip that messy "book" stage? Well, you're in luck, friend. Now you can self publishing to an iPhone app! This will work because:
An iPhone might not be the ideal format for reading, but it gets points just for turning up. As Andrews puts it: “People carry their phones constantly, so you’re never stuck without something to read.”
I love getting points for just showing up.

Summer reading, or how I keep myself entertained

Honestly, I think the only reason people put such emphasis on summer reading is because there are no massive gift giving holidays to liven up sales. That said, hurray lists of summer reading!

If you are an indie lover, check out this list of choice summer reading from independent book sellers (from NPR, naturally). If you are a steamy romance reader, check out this list of steamasaurus rexes (written by one of the women from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, obvi). And if you are just really shallow (me!), check out these classics with great new covers.

Cue reading and no work getting done.


Gaga for Gaga, library style


Why I heart the Rejectionist and Le R hates Cormac McCarthy

I know we all already read the Rejectionist religiously, because that blog is so good and so smart and so spot on. Well, Le R strikes again with her analysis of man fiction and her response to Cormac McCarthy. Heart heart. Heart.

The Oatmeal explains Twilight, my heart explodes

I love the Oatmeal. My universe has been explained so succinctly by poorly drawn comics, and I love love love it. So the Oatmeal explaining Twilight? Game on.