Mark Engler, a writer, activist, and former classmate of mine at CCNY, has a fine website devoted to his political writings. A recent article of his at TomPaine.com highlights the selective memory of Republican Washington. Continue reading…
Donnie Boman’s website has moved to LeftPedal.com.
I’m still under the weather, and I think I need a blog holiday. I’ll catch up with you fine people on Monday.*
Meanwhile, prepare yourselves for a summer of Friday guest bloggers. More details to come next week.
Don’t worry, people. I’ll do you right. Continue reading…
Let’s hope your score on this little quiz is more impressive than mine. (Thanks to Stephany for the link.)
That’s it for today. I’ve got to go track down some cough drops.
B: You never used (Todd) as, like, a shield when someone was trying to pick you up or something?
A: Oh yeah. Sometimes I get people who call me, and he calls them [and says], “What do you want!” and automatically his voice gets deep. It’s hilarious.
T: She has me and Paul (Dinello) to take care of her creepy fans.
Former President Bill Clinton on the federal tax cuts:
The real reason for the tax cuts and their particular design in 2001 and 2003 was ideological, almost theological, the notion that we’re all just put upon by this onerous government of ours taking our hard earned money away and that there’s no such thing as a bad tax cut and no such thing as a good spending program unless it lays concrete or builds a missile. These tax cuts are too small in the short run to do any good and way too big in the long run to avoid serious harm.
(Via Donnie Boman.)
Someone named Gerard Jones has compiled a personal guide to U.S. literary agents.
The guide consists mostly of agents’ email addresses and form rejection letters, but also includes some correspondence in which the author abuses agents for failing to respond more promptly or enthusiastically, along with some more personal, considered rejections. (Another gem of a link from Emma.)
In “The Great Chick Lit Racket,” a shorter version of which appeared in the Independent last year, Scarlett Thomas notes that the British chick lit market is in decline, and asks what can be learned from its demise. She argues that the entire genre:
not only misrepresents women in its storylines but exists in a context in which many of its authors are little more than assembly-line workers. As one publisher put it, ‘The ideal commercial fiction author is someone who delivers one book and then goes on to keep writing, well, not exactly the same book again and again, but certainly one that’s very similar.’ Knowing how controversial these realities are, this publisher, like several I talked to for this piece, asked not to be named. The trouble is that no one wants to write production-line fiction, and many authors don’t realise that this is what they are going to be expected to do when they sign their ‘dream’ contract.
(Many thanks to Emma for the link.)
Here’s an excerpt from A Conversation Between Writers: Benjamin Rosenbaum and Aimee Bender:
BR: So you don’t start ever with a character? The characters emerge from the voice. . . .
AB: Characters emerge from voice, yes. So something does start with character, but it’s more, again, about the sentence itself, the way the words bump against each other and who it is comes from that.
Also discussed: fantasy and sci-fi, “show, don’t tell,” Jane Siberry, country music, and more. (Thanks to Stephany for the link.)
Aside from my mention of John Warner’s fine article, I’ve tried to avoid all of the Jayson Blair/Stephen Glass hoopla. The whole thing bores me, frankly, and I’m convinced that putting their names out there just gives them power.
Still, the rhyming undergraduate poetic efforts of Mr. Blair are really something. (Thanks to Matt for the link.)
I was hoping to make it to see The Live Ones with Cowboy Sally tonight after my novel critique session, but I seem to have caught a cold from one of my weekend guests.
I’ve never seen the band before, but the Cowboy, as she herself says, doesn’t sing for Pepsi or shill for bands she doesn’t like. So you should probably go.
I will be on the couch, drinking herbal tea and wearing my ugly, red sick robe.
The fiscal outlook for the states keeps growing more dire, and the latest federal tax cut is just exacerbating the situation. Continue reading…
Vernon God Little, a first novel by DBC Pierre, has won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Writing. The novel satirizes American gun culture, depicting a Columbine scenario in rural Texas. Here’s a condensed read. Continue reading…
The Bryant Park Open-Air Reading Room is being re-opened in its prior spot behind the New York Public Library. The reading area first opened during the Great Depression and was shut down about 60 years ago.
The Scarlet Tooth (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
Big Girls (Louisa May Alcott)
Appointment with Godot (Beckett)
Read to the end. The last one is my favorite.
Well, okay, I liked “Nausea.” Continue reading…
The Replacements’ “Unsatisfied,” however applicable, is perhaps not the best song to hear on repeat on the first day of the work week.
Unfortunately it looks like Robert Zemeckis (Back To The Future) is directing. (Thanks to S.A. for the news.)
Neil’s current and past screenwriting endeavors are discussed here.