I am by no means a prude, but I’m more than happy to admit that reading sex scenes in fiction (or nonfiction, for that matter) skeeves me out a little. OK, a lot. I’m more on the “exhibitionist” end of the spectrum than the “voyeur” end, I guess.
Anyway, if you’re like me, get ready to cringe at the passage that won Ben Okri’s The Age of Magic the annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award from Britain’s Literary Review: Keep reading »
Over the weekend, my boyfriend Michael visited his mom and his sister, who was home from school for the weekend, out in the burbs. He told them he was going to propose to me soon, and his sister said she already knew that because she reads my work. Whoops! I’m so glad I don’t talk much about our sex life here.
The reality of working as a writer, and specifically as a woman writer, while in a relationship comes with a few problems. I can’t say anything too specific about Michael, and I’m glad he has such a common first name, because it makes him hard to identify. Part of that gladness stems from the fact that there are nutso predators on the Internet who might take issue with what I have to say and decide to make my life worse by making life worse for the people I love. The other part of it is that I am an unconventional woman with strong, non-mainstream opinions, and I don’t want them to be attached to my boyfriend’s public persona. Dating someone doesn’t mean you agree with everything they say or believe, after all. My job in terms of his career is to show up at the annual holiday party and be charming. His bosses don’t need to know anything else about me lest they start believing that because I’m unconventional, Michael is also less conventional than they’ve been led to believe (he is less conventional than he comes off, but not in the leftist/feminist/sex positive/gender nonconformist/takes clothes off on the Internet sort of way). Keep reading »
Would you like to own a twee ’90s-style word processor that looks analogue enough to impress your hipster friends but still has a computer in it so you don’t get the shakes from glowing screen withdrawal? Would you like to sit in your local coffee shop with thick glasses and a furrowed brow, pounding away into the keyboard with abandon as your soy latte gets cold? Look no further. The Hemingwrite is here, named after your favorite brooding hero and ready to whisk you back to the “good old days” of writing when Facebook wasn’t sitting open one tab to the left taunting you with distraction. Jokes aside, I actually think this is a great idea. There’s some kind of nostalgic glory wrapped into that satisfying sound an old-fashioned keyboard makes as you type, and it I imagine writing would be a much more relaxing experience when it isn’t so directly connected to technology. The typewriter does sync your work to Google Docs, Evernote, and the cloud, so it’s not all that technology-free, but it does a better job then a glowing laptop screen. It also brightens my Michigan girl heart to know it was designed in Detroit. What do you think? Could you get into some old-school word processing? [Laughing Squid, Uncreate] [Image via Hemingwrite]
A thousand trees have been planted in a forest outside Oslo, Norway to provide paper for a special anthology of 100 books to be published in 2114. Future Library, the ultimate public art project, was launched by Scottish artist Katie Paterson. Each year between now and 2114, a writer will contribute a book to be held in trust for a century until the forest is cut down. A special room will be designed in Oslo’s New Public Deichmanske Library to hold the books. The city of Oslo is onboard to ensure that the forest and manuscripts are supported for the next several decades as the project begins to outlive its founders. A statement on the project’s website explains:
“Tending the forest and ensuring its preservation for the 100-year duration of the artwork finds a conceptual counterpoint in the invitation extended to each writer: to conceive and produce a work in the hopes of finding a receptive reader in an unknown future.”
The contributing authors will have the creative challenge of their lives as they write for people living in a future we can’t imagine. The contributors haven’t been announced yet, but they’ll will be selected by the Future Library Trust, which is staffed by artists, publishers and other creatives. The name of the first author will be released in the next few weeks, and their manuscript will be handed over for preservation in a special ceremony in 2015. Interested book fans can even buy a limited edition certificate from Paterson that entitles the owner (well, more likely, the owner’s descendants) to a complete set of the books once they’re printed in 2114. Will people be so used to e-readers 100 years from now that paper books out of trees will seem blasphemous? Will climate change have altered the very fabric of the forest? I’d love to see what happens next with this awesome project, and hey, maybe if my pipe dream of us all living to be 200 comes true I’ll find out.
When I started writing my memoir, Good Chinese Wife: A Love Affair With China Gone Wrong, I began networking with authors who wrote books set in Asia. I imagined developing solid friendships with a group of supportive authors. There’s a Chinese saying, huxiang bangzhu. It means “mutually helping one another.” That’s what I pictured.
Fast-forward six years. My memoir was being published and I arranged for review copies to be sent to authors I’ve gotten to know through social networking or in person. I knew I couldn’t expect rave reviews just because we have a connection or because I had given their books five stars on Amazon and Goodreads. But for the most part, I had been extremely pleased with the feedback.
Well, except for this one guy. Keep reading »
You’re an adult now. It’s time to stop jotting things down on receipts and scraps of paper you found in your junk drawer. Whether you’re a writer who always needs a notebook handy, a dreamer who finds inspiration in everyday life or just your average on-the-move guy or gal, your daily musings and messages deserve to live in a real journal (and no, stacks of napkins do not count). We found 10 awesome journals with statements of their own to help you get organized, and may even inspire you to clean out that junk drawer. Click through the gallery to check ‘em out!