Here are some of my most interesting blog and news reads of the week:
Things That Made Me Cheer:
This is probably the 2nd or 3rd time I’ve mentioned author Patrick Rothfuss on this blog in the past month or so… and his latest post gives me further evidence of why. His most recent book, The Wise Man’s Fear, is nominated for an award – winnable by anyone voting for it. Unlike what I normally see, Rothfuss, not once – not even in cheerful jest – suggested we go and vote for his book. In fact, he made a pointed effort to say that like any voting situation, we should make an informed choice. Go read the other books nominated.
This is so rare for me to see, that I think just might love the man now instead of simply admire his writing.
So, in kind, I also appreciate Matthew Inman, creator behind The Oatmeal, who posted this cartoon recently about “How to Get More “likes” on Facebook” (or make people insane about it). This self-promotion that I see – on Twitter mostly – irritates me to no end. I didn’t start following you only to find that 99% of your tweets were going to turn into telling me over and over again to buy your book, vote for your book, or like your Facebook page. It’s like the incessant telemarketer calls that we all agree we can’t stand. I’m putting y’all on my “Do Not Call” list. Buh-bye.
Things That Made Me Think, “Huh”
Pulitzer prizes were awarded this week, except there wasn’t one for fiction. Not unheard of, but definitely rare. The last time this happened was 1977. Ann Patchett, a past nominee for the award, wrote an editorial in the NY Times in reaction. Another NY Times piece describes why publishers are disappointed, as Pulitzer prize-winning fiction boosts book sales overall, and the Washington Post gives thought to whether or not the process is flawed if there can be no winner.
Apparently, “hopefully” is a mangled word, but the AP Stylebook is accepting it in spite of that. Here are some other messed up uses of words.
Things About Reading and Writing
My friend Jo pointed me in the direction of this article – well a sort of article – from an educational vendor about what kids are reading… or should be reading. The more interesting bit about the issue is not what Renaissance Learning has to say, but the document further down on the page that has author reactions to what they think kids should be reading. It’s a pretty interesting collection of opinions. I’m with those that say that if kids who normally don’t read anything are interested and are reading something way below their grade-level, so be it. For disinterested readers, we must start where change can take place.
The Knight Agency, a literary agency, delivered a post called “The Last Pass: Preparing Your Manuscript for Submission” with tips and hints about making sure your manuscript is truly ready for querying. However, I have to say, their tips are ones that should come well before the last pass… if some of the things they list are things you are only discovering just before you want to send it out, it is FAR from ready.
And since we’re talking about trying to get an agent interested in you work, you can get practice with rejection letters through “The Rejection Generator”, a project created quite some time ago, but I only just found it recently. The sample rejection messages that you can have sent to your email are not as biting or entertaining as I hoped, but there are a couple of good ones in there. I especially like the “Destroy! Destroy! Destroy!” one.