Saturday Summation – 25 July 2015

Bits and pieces of things that caught my eye not only for my own interest, but enough to want to share with you, too…

Writing Stuff:

A few weeks ago, I read about Caroline Calloway, who was using Instagram as a way to write a memoir. It’s not in real time, but offered a different way to have a blog, I suppose. This article indicates that she hopes it will lead her to publication one day – and who’s to say it won’t? At any rate, I took inspiration from it – not for a road/means to publication – but as a way that I might finally find use for Instagram myself. I’m not a huge picture taker, but I DO have words and scenes that come to me, sometimes inspired by what I see. I’m liking it as an outlet for those words that may or may not find their way into a novel one day. (ProfeJMarie, if you are at all interested.)

Kudos to WriterUnboxed for starting this diverse voices series in the way that they may be recognizing that their contributor list is pretty white. It’s a strong first post by Grace Wynters who might need more convincing or evidence of why diversity in publishing matters. Of course, the fact that this is part of a “series” for them is slightly troubling as it reminds me of writing conferences that have their single “diversity” panel instead of having panels of all topics that fully represent authors from marginalized populations. When we talk about diversity in isolation rather than populate all areas of publishing with those from marginalized populations, we are not fully addressing the problem.

Reading Stuff:

Christian erotica? Why yes, author DiShan Washington has created that genre. Cheers to her for her efforts to take away the stigma that many women from more closeted upbringings within the Christian faith may feel about their sexuality. She says that in none of her books does she promote pre-marital sex – in fact, she is trying to save marriages. I’m not sure I agree with her take on this responsibility falling on the women, but I like her bold stance.

The NYTimes offered a “Stories From the Road” piece where authors shared memorable experiences from when on book tours. There are some interesting anecdotes from John Scalzi, Junot Diaz, and my favorite from Tayari Jones who talked about chasing the idea of the ideal audience and finding that sometimes, that audience is one person: “She was the one I had been looking for. She was the whole point. My letter to the world was really a letter to one stranger, whose name I don’t even know.”

Audio books are once again gaining traction in the publishing world and I know several people who really enjoy this. I have not listened to an audio book in a long time and I’d like to give it a try. However, I don’t have a daily long commute to work, so I’m not sure how to do this. When do you listen to an audiobook? Also, I’ll be taking a road trip in October, so maybe that will be a good time to give it another go. Recommendations?

I love this joint interview of both Jacqueline Woodson and Jimmy Carter. I do not know why these two were brought together for this interview (and in the “fashion and style” section of the NY Times?), but it’s pretty interesting. Does Jimmy Carter understand the full extent of Jacqueline’s experiences and perspective? Hard to say with what is probably a truncated transcript, but if you are curious, my takeaway line from one of Woodson’s responses: “My son was so mad at “Frozen.” He said: “There were no black people in that movie! How could they make a whole movie with no black people in it?” He’s 7.” How could they indeed, little man? I don’t know.

And from Carter: “You’re assuming that a white person who believes in the Confederate flag is listening to his black neighbor who doesn’t like it. There’s very little communication on a sensitive subject like that.”  Too true, Mr. President

Song of the Week:

My husband and I celebrated 22 years of marriage yesterday! This is the song I offered to mark the occasion. “I’m not afraid to be alone, but being alone is better with you. Life is better with you.” May you all have someone that makes your life better, be it life-partner, family, or friend.

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1 Response to Saturday Summation – 25 July 2015

  1. Jen (@JSQ79) says:

    Thanks for sharing the Woodson/Carter interview. I missed that, and it was wonderful. I have an audible account and though listening isn’t really my preferred way of consuming novels, I’ve grown to really enjoy it. Road trips are the obvious time to use them, but I also listen while I’m braiding my girls’ hair, preparing dinner (if it’s a dinner that’s going to take a lot of prep), going for long walks, or cleaning the house. I also think the kind of books you listen to on audiobooks can make a difference. I love listening to humorous essays from authors whose voice matters (David Sedaris, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, etc). Books set in other countries and read by people from those countries are also good (I’ve listened to all of Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie’s novels). Of course, I also just listened to Sarah Dessen’s Saint Anything, and it worked too. Actually, that novel belongs to another class of books I use my audible account for: novels whose Kindle versions are not available through my library.


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