Category Archives: Links

More Reading

Max Sebald’s Writing Tips

Sarah Marty-Schlipf – “The Stone of Help

Catherine Bennett – “Sharon Olds’s silence is golden in an era of endless media exposure

Bennett mentions Rachel Cusk as a counterpoint, which led me to this 2009 interview:

Lynn Barber – Rachel Cusk: A fine contempt

“…probably the most fundamental and important thing to me has been defending my right to tell the truth about how I feel. When I started writing books, my parents found that very difficult because writing was equivalent to emotion in their minds.”

Her early novels, she believes, were inhibited by “having my parents sitting on my shoulder, judging everything, and me trying to conceal what I was doing”.

Cusk then goes on to say that (because of her writing) she’s now basically estranged from her family. So there’s that.

Aside: I didn’t know Rachel Cusk was Canadian-by-birth:

[I]t’s because of my peripatetic childhood, I guess. I was born in Canada, but was still a baby when we moved to America and we moved twice in America, then came back to England and moved a few times.

I quite like the phrase “peripatetic childhood.” I think I shall have to steal that.


Weekend Reading

The Happiness Project – 6 Simple Strategies To Pitch Your Ideas. And To Make Them Irresistible.

Apartment Therapy – Day 2: Set Up Your Outbox

(Ha. This is my method. Which I’ve been using since I was a kid, tyvm. I wish I had a mental alarm that pinged every time I had an idea that was going to show up later as a cornerstone of someone’s empire.)

Stephen Elliott – The Problem with the Problem with Memoir

Most people’s lives are very interesting but most people don’t look at their lives in an interesting way. The unexamined life is never interesting. If a good memoir was merely predicated on having an interesting life then some of the best books would be celebrity memoirs. These people live a life most of us know nothing about. But celebrity memoirs are rarely interesting, despite how interesting their lives appear from the outside. The problem is not that they don’t live interesting lives, it’s that they’re not writers.

Tayari Jones – Finding the time is write is hard, but finding the courage is harder

Michael Bourne – My New Year’s Resolution: Read Fewer Books

An old favorite from the TWoP FAQ:

One of the reasons I got so hooked on TWoP back in the day was because they didn’t take any crap.

Q: I love typing in all lowercase or all uppercase, ignoring proper grammar and punctuation, and writing my messages like I’m text-messaging on a cell phone with an eight-year-old. That’s cool, right? I mean, who cares? This is the internet!

A: Well, we care…but the sad truth is that other posters might skip over your posts if they’re too hard to read. Things like proper spacing, capitalization, and punctuation make your posts much easier on the eye, and they make you look like quite the Captain Smartypants, too.

Look, we’re not grading you. You won’t get banned for misspelling “definitely” or anything. Just try your best to write neat, coherent posts. Don’t type “2” for “to,” or “U” for “you,” or “l8r” or “LOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!” or any of that nonsense. Throw in a carriage return now and then to break up the text, and please use proper capitalization. Your computer comes with two shift keys. Use ’em.

Emphasis added by me. Link.

Bullies & Honeymoons

I remember when I found this and finally realized WTF was going on.

Until then, I’d been completely bewildered & frustrated, because when someone starts insisting that 2+2=5, it is, really it is, don’t you agree, I know you think it’s 4, but it’s really 5, if you think about it, you’ll realize you’re mistaken, etc. etc. and you’re completely sane and sure of yourself and the facts, you’re like WTF is going on here? What is this person trying to prove?

I don’t think about that time much anymore, but when I do, it seems surreal. If it hadn’t actually happened to me, I’d think, “No way! That would never happen!” Because it just doesn’t make sense. Business-wise, it’s a terrible strategy. But it’s one of those instances where truth is stranger than fiction.

Today, this reminded me.

Laughed So Hard I Cried

It’s not often I feel compelled to share something IMMEDIATELY. But once I controlled my uncontrollable laughter, I had to share this. I was laughing so hard, I’m sure the neighbors think I’m crazy.

Ah, Dan Savage. You rock. The religious right? Not so much.