Saturday Summation – 24 October 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…

Reading Stuff:

Social media done right… when corporate entities do a throw down. Check out this one between Penguin Random House and Melville House… and then this brief exchange between 2 libraries and their baseball teams. Fun stuff!

Not long ago, the ebook industry exploded. This explosion caused all kinds of panic about print books dying out. Thankfully, they aren’t. This story from NPR talks about various opinions on why there just needn’t be a big battle between the two formats anymore. Related… Colin Smith reflects on how format matters. Which format has so far maintained longevity for all users? Print.

Writing Stuff:

I had a creative writing teacher in high school who got me jazzed on words as their own individual value. I remember I’d write in my notebook, “is this a word” and he’d reply, “it is now”. John Vorhaus brings back this fun with word play in his post, “Beautiful Tossed Onion.” He says put some words you like together and see where it takes you.

I’ve written various posts about writing authentic characters in fiction – and usually direct it specifically to how I as a white writer (and reader) address this work to represent accurately and honestly. This post by author S. Jae-Jones offers a great perspective from a marginalized POV. She says, be explicit about the race of characters because readers from marginalized populations know they are not the “default” in most books and are well aware of their “other”-ness in white-dominant society. I have not read all of the comments to date, but on the day this article was posted, the dialogue was great. One commenter said: “I’ve been thinking about all this a lot, in regard to my teaching as well as my writing. I can’t tell you how helpful it is to have you spell it out, SPELL IT OUT, for a white guy trying to be conscientious and not take things too personally.” while another added “When I cast a wider net with the question on another forum, I was informed that ‘white’ tended to be the default, even for non-white readers. This really surprised me, but many people who responded cited the media as a big factor. When all you see are white faces on TV, in the movies, in magazines and newspapers, that’s going to mess with your perception of the world.”

As I prepare to start my first ever NaNoWriMo, I found this post from agent Janet Reid’s question annals to be timely – can you write a novel in different tenses? She gives great examples of similar questions and books that answer those same questions. It all depends on what works, right? In my current WIP, I’ve got one character POV in 1st person past tense and another in 3rd person present. Quite simply, it’s what feels right for these characters. (We’ll see if my readers agree.)

Agent Jessica Faust has been on a roll sharing some refreshingly honest posts about agenting and publishing. In this one, I appreciate the truth about why some books sell and others don’t. She says, “We don’t know.” I wish they did, but when I see how award winners may not even come close to the sales success as…um… far less worthy books, maybe “we don’t know” is a more palatable answer than alternative answers regarding the reader population. 🙂

Recommended Reads:

George by Alex Gino (MG) [no specific review, but loved that we have a Scholastic-backed book out there for MG audience from a transgender perspective]

Best Boy by Eli Gottlieb (A) [my Goodreads review]

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (A) [my Goodreads review I don’t know if this book is quite a recommendation, but do read my review if you’re looking for why I’m glad I read it]

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby (YA) [my Goodreads review]

Winter Kill by Josh Lanyon (A) [no specific review, but Lanyon writes some great M/M romantic mystery/suspense – this is one of his latest that I enjoyed]

Song of the Week:

Everyone’s talking about it – the return of Adele! I’ll join in. Check out the first release from her newest album (I think another on the album will be with Bruno Mars – love.)

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One Response to Saturday Summation – 24 October 2015

  1. Yay! I’m so excited you’re doing NaNo! And almost as excited about Adele’s new album. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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