“To the Man on the Bus…” Pages Matam

Piñata by Pages Matam at the National Poetry Slam 2013. Awesome.

A stunning example of the power of the spoken word. Speaking out against sexism and a really brave personal perspective.

To the man on the bus I overheard tell a woman in conversation – presumably a friend: “you are too ugly to be raped…”  Full text here.

 

You can follow Pages on Twitter or Facebook.

Video

Lily Myers – Shrinking Woman

A friend posted this on facebook, and it struck a few major chords with me: both as a woman and as a poet.

As a poet, I have been away from the culture of poetry for some time, sucked away by the everyday. As a woman, there is such tragedy and truth in the words, not necessarily for every woman, but definitely for more than enough to be acceptable in contemporary western society.

A few of Lily’s words as follows:

“She says she doesn’t deprive herself,
but I’ve learned to find nuance in every movement of her fork.
In every crinkle in her brow as she offers me the uneaten pieces on her plate.
I’ve realized she only eats dinner when I suggest it.
I wonder what she does when I’m not there to do so.

Maybe this is why my house feels bigger each time I return; it’s proportional.
As she shrinks the space around her seems increasingly vast.
She wanes while my father waxes. His stomach has grown round with wine, late nights, oysters, poetry. A new girlfriend who was overweight as a teenager, but my dad reports that now she’s “crazy about fruit.”

A full transcript can be found here.

Humorous Book Cover Lessons for Aspiring Authors

Image

The ever excellent Buzzfeed has sent published some awesome examples of book cover clichés for our entertainment. The range covers both self-published and traditionally published titles. Rather embarrassingly, quite a few are from the publisher I currently work for (*hangs head in shame*).

I am particularly tickled by the ones that use exactly the same image (case and point above). Just thought I’d share

 

Kafka Gives Me Hope…

It has been a long while since I last posted, many apologies to all. Especially to those who had begun to make reading my blog a habit.  I had a cold that dragged on and on, and by the time it was done, I had completely fallen out of the blogging habit. And so followed the usual pattern of good habits being hard to make, and especially hard to remake, so here I go…

But on the front of the procrastination station of non-blog writing on my writing (which by the way has been moving steadily forward, like an iceberg into the Titanic, but more on that later), my beloved BF sent me this inspiring article in Slate on how Kafka was one of the truly great procrastinators, and it has given me a spark of hope. Procrastination may not be all bad… alternatively, I could try getting the BF to tie me to my writing chair akin to Italian author Vittorio Alfieri, pictured above. I have not yet ruled that one out entirely.

sophustanus:

Bahahahahaha

Originally posted on Flavorwire:

This week, we spotted a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad book cover for Stephen King’s The Shining over at the Guardian. It seems especially unfair for such a modern classic to be saddled with such an ugly cover, and so we were inspired to search the Internet for the worst covers to ever sully the faces of great books, whether at home or abroad. Peek through your fingers at a selection of them after the jump, and if we missed your (least) favorite, add it to our collection in the comments.

View original 422 more words

The Cough and Cold Fairy is Visiting

With the charming weather we’ve been having in Blighty, illness abounds.

Apologies for the silence, I’ve been at the mercy of the cough and cold fairy for a little over a week now. I think I will eventually win the battle, I will follow up when I’ve vanquished him.

The Daily Routines of Famous Writers

Don DelilloIn furtherance of another article I wrote on Writing Routines, a friend recently sent me an article with several different author’s writing routines. It’s always nice to see that everyone has the same struggles and tribulations with writing.

A couple of the quotes that really struck me were Ernest Hemmingway and Susan Sontag, which surprises me because I (rather sacreligiously) am not really a fan of Hemmingway.

 Hemmingway’s Advocated Routine

“When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there. You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that. When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through.”

I think that it’s a mistake I often make: to write until I run out of ideas on where my current scene is going. Although this is a natural break, it does mean that when I sit down again to continue, I have no idea of where to go. It may be time for me to start on some Hemmingway pragmatism.

Susan Sontag’s Planned Routine

(From her diary in 1977)

“Starting tomorrow — if not today:

I will get up every morning no later than eight. (Can break this rule once a week.)

I will have lunch only with Roger [Straus]. (‘No, I don’t go out for lunch.’ Can break this rule once every two weeks.)

I will write in the Notebook every day. (Model: Lichtenberg’s Waste Books.)

I will tell people not to call in the morning, or not answer the phone.

I will try to confine my reading to the evening. (I read too much — as an escape from writing.)

I will answer letters once a week. (Friday? — I have to go to the hospital anyway.)”

This diary entry really struck home, because it looks like it could be an extract from my diary (subject,  of course, to revisions for things like “letters” (What are they again?)). Nonetheless, I saw my own struggles in Susan’s. Writing is a very solitary pursuit, and it’s good to feel that you’re not actually alone in it. The blog helps of course, but so do these lovely little snippets.

Wolfscastle: Art Reflecting Life Reflecting Art

As I was driving on my way home from Wales last weekend, I came across a rather romantic sounding name on the map – Wolf's CastleWolfscastle. A tiny place in Pembrokeshire, Wales that sadly doesn’t quite correspond to this photo. I looked at the map and then  at this stunning view and realised that Wolfscastle is actually the name of a nearby town, not the picturesque pile of rocks that I was looking at.

I really enjoyed the blissfully short while was convinced that this amazing, hauntingly beautiful and wild rocky tor was so aptly named. It’s situated upon an isolated hilltop, surrounded by moss and lichen-covered stones, brambles and heather. Faeries live here, I’m sure of it.

Seeing it, I felt like I had stumbled across a place in Rhye in my book Four and Twenty Blackbirds. My photographic skills sadly does not do the place justice. I’m still not entirely sure what the name of this wonderful faeire spot is. In my mind it will always be Wolfscastle. Colour me inspired. I’m just itching to write.

Reddit’s IAmAFiction’s New Logo

Reddit’s IAmAFiction liked the image I put together for my post Be Your Character – Literally so much that they’ve asked to use incorporate it into their logo.

I even received a credit in their sidebar (thank’s guys!) – check it out.

Reddit

How a Book is Born

Publisher Weldon Owen has released a rather entertaining “74% accurate” infographic on how a book turns from an idea into the final product in the traditional publishing model.

I’ve been in and around the publishing industry for several years now and this flowchart is amusingly accurate. Although, as with any lifecycle, there are many more divergent paths that a book can take. A rather tragic path I once witnessed (many moons and jobs ago), was where the editor of a new author had left the publishing company. Although the new author’s book was about to be published, without anyone to champion it within the company, their work completely floundered – there was a token print run and very little marketing support. I’m not sure what happened to it in the end, but if it became a success, I would be surprised – every new author’s worst nightmare. I’m sure that there’s a lesson in there somewhere.

Anyhoo, on a more upbeat note, enjoy the infographic.

HowAnIdeaBecomesBook_final