February 10, 2010 by Pat E.
“The most dramatic writing comes from pressure, and there’s no better pressure than self-imposed discipline focused on time.” – Ken Atchity
At the Barnes and Noble
No one. Tuesday night Mother Nature and Old Man Winter both won out and 2nd Tuesday will all move their scheduled reviews to the 4th Tuesday.
Who’s up next . . .
February 16: Clayton Gill (chapter 10, Fishing Derby), Amber Boudreau (chapter 8, YA novel), Kim Simmons (chapters 5-6, James Hyde), Alicia Connolly-Lohr (chapter 32, Lawyer Lincoln), Cathy Riddle (???), and Jerry Peterson (???).
February 23: Terry Hoffman (chapter 1/scene 1, The Journal), Jack Freiburger (chapter, Path To Bray’s Head), Anne Allen (???), Annie Potter (???), Holly Bonnickson-Jones (???), and Carol Hornung (scene, Asperger Sunset).
March 2: Kim Simmons (chapters 7-8, James Hyde), Amber Boudreau (chapter 9, YA novel), Clayton Gill (chapter 11, Fishing Derby), and John Schneller (???).
Be sure and get your submission done for the Fifth Tuesday gathering at Booked for Murder, http://www.bookedformurder.com/. This event’s subject is “A Night at the Bookstore.”
Tales to Take Your Breath Away
Alicia found a UK company has developed an innovative way to publish writing classics: The flip top cigarette box. According to Tank Books, “The flip-top cigarette pack is one of the most successful pieces of packaging design in history. TankBooks pay homage to this iconic form by employing it in the service of great literature…” It’s definitely a new way to look at the smoke break. You can see more and even purchase at http://www.tankmagazine.com/tankbooks/tankbooks02.html
Have you ever attended a writing workshop? UW has two coming up:
UW – Milwaukee has a writers conference March 5-7. See their brochure and registration form at: http://www4.uwm.edu/sce/resources/ahs/writersfest.pdf
UW – Madison has a writers conference April 23-25. http://www.dcs.wisc.edu/lsa/writing/awi/index.html
UW – Madison Writers’ Institute offers a more advanced flair this year.
Janet Burroway (keynote 9:30-11:30 a.m., April 23) is considered the crème de la crème of writing gurus when it comes to fiction, so don’t miss her at the Writers’ Institute (April 23-25 conference) in Madison if you’re a fiction writer. She has a recent novel out garnering good reviews, so check out her writing, but her books will be on sale at the event. You’ll also find a lot this year for more advanced freelancers, nonfiction writers, and article writers. Cruise through the schedule and look at the workshops for helping you write and sell nonfiction material. What’s more, this year features a couple of experts on promotion and publicity for those who have a completed nonfiction book or novel. In addition, there are a lot more time slots for meeting agents at this year’s Writers’ Institute in April, both for nonfiction book people and novelists. There are also some “freebie” goodies tucked into this year’s schedule. In at least two workshops you can submit some pages ahead of time for a free critique involved with the presentation by speakers Christine DeSmet and Susanna Daniels, but first-come, first-served so hurry and send your pages. There are also critiques offered for a fee, critique workshops if you like a group’s feedback, and two contests. The new Elmore Leonard contest is a fun new challenge. Elmore was the first keynote speaker when this conference started 21 years ago.
Are you new to conferences? Come early on Friday of the event and get tips from Marshall J. Cook on how to make the most of the goldmine of advice, agents, and workshops.
Give the conference a look. There are workshops going on all day long Friday and Saturday, and Sunday morning. This will be Laurel Yourke’s last year at the event, so don’t miss her workshop on novel revision on Sunday morning. But freelancers and feature article writers have a great alternative that morning with a special workshop with Eric Butterman who is going to be talking how to make real money in today’s changing markets for articles.
Fees vary according to what you sign up for and you can attend just one day if the wallet is tight.
Check it all out: www.dcs.wisc.edu/lsa/writing/awi
Questions? Program assistant Laura Kahl, 608-262-3982 608-262-3982 , is glad to help. The director is Rita Mae Reese, email@example.com. Christine DeSmet is co-director, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s what Marshall Cook, (Emeritus) says about the Writer’s Institute:
“I truly believe it’s the finest conference of its kind in the country. It has all the major league features of the expensive big city models– top flight agents and editors and great writers who can also talk about writing in ways that are both inspiring and helpful. And you also get some high-touch features the big city can’t give you, most especially the ability to follow up with Christine DeSmet and Rita Mae Reese, directors of the conference, with your questions and concerns. This show doesn’t just fold its tend and leave town. Chris and Rita Mae are always at the University, always ready, willing, and able to help and encourage.”
I Love Libraries!
Have you heard NPR’s librarian, Nancy Pearl? Check out her home page and blog, Book Lust. Any librarian who has her own action figure qualifies as a superhero. And, speaking of superheroes…
This Book is Overdue is a new book by Marilyn Johnson reviewed in Book Pages, http://www.bookpage.com/books-10012830-This+Book+is+Overdue%21
A new breed of free-range librarians
Review by Amy Scribner
“My first thought upon seeing the title of this book was, wow, talk about preaching to the choir. I love librarians: their quiet efficiency, their confident bookishness and the way they can always help no matter the request, from a picture book on potty training to the latest chick lit to an obscure bluegrass CD. But as Marilyn Johnson postulates in the gloriously geeky This Book is Overdue, librarians are no longer ladies in cardigans hovering over the card catalog. The new librarians are bloggers, information junkies and protectors of freedom and privacy in the Patriot Act era. Says Johnson, “The most visible change to librarianship in the past generation is maybe the simplest: Librarians have left the building.”
Johnson travels around the country and the world meeting those behind Library 2.0. She writes about the “street librarians” who stood outside the 2008 Republican National Convention with their iPhones at the ready, telling passersby about the candidates, nearby tourist attractions and street closings. She visits college librarians working to arm students from far-flung nations with the latest technology to help them earn their degrees. She talks to librarians who sued to protect patrons’ records from the invasive grasp of the feds.
She also writes—very amusingly—about the seemingly endless number of librarians with blogs: The Annoyed Librarian, Miss Information, Free Range Librarian. It turns out these “mousy” librarians have a lot of opinions, and they’re not afraid to share them
Energetic, winningly acerbic and downright fun, This Book is Overdue will leave you convinced that librarians really can save the world.”
Amy Scribner writes from Olympia, Washington.
Cool library facts* from the American Library Association http://www.ala.org/ about Americans and their libraries:
• Americans go to school, public and academic libraries nearly three times more often than they go to the movies. or 5.5 times as many visits to national parks.
• There are more public libraries than McDonald’s in the U.S.—a total of 16,604 including branches.
• 59% of adults in the U.S. have public library cards.
• Americans spend more than twice as much on candy as they do on public libraries. [ok, that’s probably my fault…]
*Sources: ALA Office for Research
How about the Big Kahuna? The Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/index.html
• The Library was founded in 1800, making it the oldest federal cultural institution in the nation. On August 24, 1814, British troops burned the Capitol building (where the Library was housed) and destroyed the Library’s core collection of 3,000 volumes.
• The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with nearly 142 million items on approximately 650 miles of bookshelves. The collections include more than 32 million books and other print materials, 3 million recordings, 12.5 million photographs, 5.3 million maps, 5.6 million pieces of sheet music and 62 million manuscripts.
• The Library receives some 22,000 items each working day and adds approximately 10,000 items to the collections daily. The majority of the collections are received through the Copyright registration process, as the Library is home to the U.S. Copyright Office.
• Approximately half of the Library’s book and serial collections are in languages other than English. The collections contain materials in some 470 languages.
More about electronic readers
Jim Huang owns The Mystery Company, an independent mystery bookstore in Carmel, Indiana. He’s a thoughtful blogger with a lot of good information about the publishing industry. The sad news is that, after seven years in the business, Jim will close his store this week – another victim of an economy that is in the dumps.
It’s all about the metaphor.
We know what a “real” book is, how it looks and feels, which end is up, how the pages turn. An electronic book is a different kettle of fish.
Indeed, an electronic book is just as much like a “real” book as is a kettle of fish. Neither the electronic book nor the kettle of fish has a cover, leaves of paper that can be turned or flipped through, or page corners that can be folded down to mark your place. If we’re not reading a real book with real pages on real paper, then what we’re doing with either an electronic book or a kettle of fish is a metaphor for the process of reading a real book.
Read more on Jim’s blog, http://mysterycompany.typepad.com/jimhuang/2009/09/fish-stories.html
Millie Mader reviews Kalki by Gore Vidal
When the movie ‘Amelia’ was being touted on TV a couple of months ago, and trailers of the upcoming ‘Avatar’ began appearing, I was reminded of a Gore Vidal novel that I had read back in 1978. I retrieved a copy, and read it again.
The book weaves a transcendental web of intrigue set in the era when saffron robed Hare Krishna were clanging their bells on just about every main street and airport in the country. It portrays a protagonist caught up in the Zen movement to the point where he believes he is Kalki, the tenth and final avatar of the Hindu god,Vishnu. He is a handsome and charismatic ex-marine, who hears of a plan whereby the United States and Russia are each to test a neutron bomb. If this occurs, he foresees the end of the world, and sets about hatching an insane and bizarre scheme. He sees himself as the next Adam, and goes about finding his Eve, so that they may start a new human race. He has no trouble in finding a beautiful wife, who is also a physicist. He names her ‘Lakshmi’, the reincarnation of Vishnu’s wife. He divorces his present wife without guilt, so set is he in his destructive path. He is now a chemical-warfare chemist, and these are two fields he needs for his plans.
Kalki attempts to weave an outrageous connection to science into his fervor to start this new human race. He selects a carefully chosen group whom he believes will teach the ‘new population’ in his futuristic world. He calls them the Perfect Masters.
Teddy, a female engineer, world – renowned author, and aviatrix is the narrator. She is a zero population growth proponent, and unflinchingly leaves her two daughters with their father so that she may follow Kalki. She worships Amelia Earhart, and feels she may be the famous aviatrix’s reincarnation. Ultimately, she does circle the globe.
Kalki then picks Geraldine, another female, who is a biochemist and geneticist.
His most cataclysmic selection is a male doctor who has dual identities, and is insidious and dishonest. He is needed to procure drugs to sell in order to finance the operation. Also, he is an intermediary with the Hindu communities, as in disguise he proclaims to be an avatar of another Hindu god.
A requisite of all the Perfect Masters is that they be sterile. Only Kalki and Lakshmi must procreate. Shockingly the plan, through outrageous machinations, is successful in killing all humans. Kalki, Lakshmi and the Perfect Masters settle in a large castle, surrounded by food, vegetation and animals. Teddy and Geraldine develop a lesbian relationship, and make pets of a litter of monkeys. When Lakshmi becomes pregnant, joy abounds. However, nothing is as it had been foreseen. From this point, a series of apocalyptic events whirl beyond control and unravel the insane scheme. Ultimately, there can be no future for these remaining humans. Does anyone remember Planet of the Apes?
The Last Word
“When you absolutely positively have to know, ask a librarian.” – American Library Association (ALA)