One of the things I do as part of my teaching practice is keep an eye on links about writing and, when they seem right for a given class, post them in my classroom at UCLA. What I’ve taken to doing as of this quarter is pinning the links on a single board called, not surprisingly, Writing. This way all of my classes can access all of the links, new and old, that I’ve posted.
As I’ve begun to do this, I’ve realized that posts without graphics (the text-heavy stuff we writers naturally tend to favor) don’t pin well. I was always aware that essays with at least a few pictures were more readable–giving the eyes a break, yadda yadda–but there’s this extra element of ‘need a picture’ now that is part of the reason you’re seeing all these little meme-y things and screengrabs popping up on my site.
Visuals aside, this board has some great writing essays on it. Go, read, enjoy!
I have been making appearances in other blogs in the past week. One was at The World in the Satin Bag, and it’s about why I chose Oregon as the setting for the Books of Chantment. People, especially Oregonians, ask this a lot. Another was at John Scalzi’s blog–I got to be a Big Idea author. I am a huge fan of Whatever so this was a big thrill.
As a tie-in with April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month (in the U.S., I assume), Jim Hines is running his annual fundraiser for crisis centers around the world. I’m in on this–one of the prizes up for grabs is an autographed copy of Blue Magic.
I am slowing down on To Each Their Darkness, because it’s less about writing so far, and more about a whole lot of films I haven’t seen. I plan to keep inching through it–so far, it’s had two absolutely harrowing anecdotes that do genuinely touch on the subject of darkness–but I’ll move at a slower pace.
I will also slip away, behind its back, to start up with a book I’ve been waiting for forever, even before I knew it was finally getting written. It’s called Remote, it’s by Donn Cortez, and speaking of darkness, it’s the sequel to a truly horrific novel called The Closer, which in addition to being one of the spookiest thrillers I’ve ever had the privilege to read, is set in East Vancouver, and features big parts of my backyard terrain, including Bon’s Cafe and the annual Parade of Lost Souls. The Closer has one of the best final lines of any novel I’ve ever read. I won’t excerpt it… it only makes sense in context. But I assure you, it’s killer.
I don’t know anyone else who’s read it… it’s so dark, it falls outside what most of my friends prefer. It’s like Dexter dialed up. Anyone know it?
So I am keen to see where the story goes next.
And while I’m talking books, Elizabeth Bear’s Range of Ghosts is out! I reviewed it extensively here, and recommend it wholeheartedly.
In food news, I’ve finally made the pumpkin peanut soup recipe posted by Badger, from Vegan on the Cheap. It was nummy delicious.
I was out of the home office a lot this week–my building windows are being replaced, and between noise and actually having workmen in my home, I was working elsewhere. It’s not done, so there will be more of this. As a result, I didn’t spend any time just surfing around for interesting bits and pieces. However, Doug Lain did reread one of my favorite time travel novels, David Gerrold’s The Man Who Folded Himself. Check out Doug’s thoughts here.
My Creating Universes, Building Worlds class at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program has been in workshop for the past few weeks, which means I’ve had the opportunity to read a dozen stories from promising new writers, and also that there has been the usual storm of interesting critique and follow-up discussion on same. The current group contains a number of very gifted readers–it has been really fun and illuminating.
The workshop is the beginning of the end of CUBW, which wraps up with revision plans and some general discussion of marketing. On April 14th, Novel I begins. The class is currently full; if you’re keen, you can go here to join the waiting list.