The Reading Corner is a place where books of all genres are examined and reviewed. Comments, questions and disagreement are welcomed. Grab some coffee and a comfy chair and make yourself at home.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I did it!

That is all.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Mmmm, ulterior motives*.

I mentioned the comic Wondermark in a previous entry.
I have ulterior motives* for writing about it again... but it's also a good excuse for me to write a review again, which is something I haven't done in a while.

Wondermark is awesome. It's exactly the kind of bizarre-but-witty social commentary that I look for in my webcomics (that and good artwork, funny characters and artists with personality -Wondermark satisfies all of these needs).

Additionally, David Malki ! once sent me a huge packet of paper from an incredibly old German book for the cost of shipping it to me. I cut out the shipping label and stuck it on my corkboard of coolness. I still haven't decided what to do with the paper, but I distinctly remember talking to him via Twitter and e-mail (I was very excited. I paused the documentary Helvetica solely to acquire pieces of old paper from an artist I like). He is cool.

The comic itself features short strips that show some of the most random, bizarre or hilarious situations imaginable -usually it's a combination of the three.

One of my favorite things about Wondermark is that despite its overt weirdness, it's still relevant. It's still showing me, as a reader, something to laugh at and simultaneously making me realize that I'm laughing at myself (and the people around me). I am frequently laughing out loud in public places about the latest Wondermark strip, even when I'm not reading it. Then I definitely resemble the people at whom Malki ! pokes fun.

Wondermark updates around twice a week, and each issue deals with a different bit of weirdness or some obscure fact (i.e. the speed at which digesting food moves). Each comic also features hypertext, which is always fun (xkcd does that as well). The comics just aren't complete without it, and I am always slightly disappointed when I come across a comic that does not utilize it.

He also makes awesome T-shirts. I own this one. I wear it around people I don't like (for example: bad professors and drunk people around campus) and to prevent other people I have the potential not to like from talking to me. It works quite well, and I am always pleased by it.

No one who creates an entity called Piranhamoose can be anything less than awesome. It's a simple fact of nature.

Friday, November 27, 2009

How to tell if you're in a Disney movie

How cool is this? See the others here at Not Your Logic

There are several important signs that point to Disney movies. It's important to recognize them for your own well-being.

  • Large groups of people are suddenly bursting into choreographed song and dance for no apparent reason
  • You are compelled to join in with the singing and dancing and don't find anything unusual about it
  • Animals and inanimate objects begin to talk and you are able to understand them
  • A fairy, genie, wizard or witch appears and offers you wishes, magic spells, strange items or threatens you with imprisonment or harm
  • You suddenly have romantic feelings for a beastly animal and are not worried about your sanity or well-being
  • You are placed into a position of authority and a kingdom is suddenly under your control or you become responsible for its welfare
  • After a lifetime of poverty, abuse or homelessness you find wealth, love and a family
  • The person you most despise falls in love with you and/or you with them
  • An adviser, close but sarcastic relative or cruel employer suddenly turns on you, kidnaps you or kills/attempts to kill you or a member(s) of your family
  • You fall in love with someone you've known for only a few days
  • Expressing yourself through long music montages is much more suitable than just talking about it
  • You are a woman and the only way you can resolve an issue or save yourself is by getting a man to fall in love with you
  • You are a man and you are suddenly attracted to a woman you met under bizarre circumstances (examples include: meeting a voiceless woman on a beach, imprisoning a provincial villager in her father's stead, seeing a princess-turned-servant over a palace wall, dancing with a servant-turned-princess at a ball, saving a runaway princess's hand from being chopped off by an apple vendor or coming across a princess in hiding as she sings to woodland creatures)
  • Seemingly insurmountable obstacles can be easily overcome with the help of a fairy, a genie or the power of true love/group singing...
Then you may be in a Disney movie. Be vigilant.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

On the subject of final exams

Final exams can be a hassle. For example: I studied for about 3 hours for an exam that I finished in 40 minutes.

That, however, was the point of the studying. I knew the material like I know my own computer screen (i.e. really, really well), and so I finished the exam quickly, efficiently and without any panic. Someone sitting near me, however, seemed to be suffering from "fuckexamitis," which is a condition common among college students.

What happens is the student puts off studying, reading, paying attention in class and doing most of the assignments, all the while cruising on the thought that a cram session the night before the final will somehow see them through and magically raise their grade. During exam week, they are suddenly struck by the paralyzing side effects of fuckexamitis, which include the emphatic cursing of exams and a sudden amnesia regarding all facts and terms learned in class.

Despite a frantic night of studying, purloining notes or old exams and essays from the internet (which, by the way, is a disgusting example of the easy light in which people regard plagiarism. Do your own work and succeed or fail on your own merits; don't try to sit on someone else's laurels), these are the people who come to the exam feeling panicky, exhausted and gassy. This last condition is the most obvious to everyone around the fuckexamitis sufferer, and it's quite pungent.

The cure to the dreaded cases of fuckexamitis that crop up at the end of every quarter/semester/academic term?

Stop being lazy.

You know you're doing it. I do it (I even admit to it, regularly. Procrastination is a bad habit, but one that I'm working to break. You know what I have to show for it? A 3.9 GPA, that's what). Everyone wants to be lazy, to some extent. That doesn't mean it's a good idea.

You know when you have projects due, papers that need written or tests during the quarter -that's why teachers give you a syllabus. Read it. Highlight it. Treat it as though it is your only road map through the treacherous path of the quarter...because it is. Love it, treat it well and pay close attention to it.

Do your work.

Get up and go to class. Even if you don't take the best notes, you'll benefit just by being in class. My business law professor gave us answers and hints to three out of four essay questions for our final exam just for showing up to class. You never know what you'll be missing in class if you don't even bother to show up. And if you don't go to class, don't do your work, don't study and don't participate in academics...why are you even in school? Seriously. Address that issue, then stop whining about how early your classes are, make some coffee and go.

Ask for help. If you don't get it, yes, some asshole in the front of the room is going to think you're a moron (it'll probably be me, let's be honest. Especially if it's a literature class)...but someone else in the back of the room who was too afraid to ask the same thing you were thinking will be really grateful that you raised your hand so they didn't have to.

Fuckexamitis is a serious condition. It can make or break your grade, and I get really sick of hearing people whine about how hard their finals are when all they did all quarter was complain about how much work they had to do...and then not do it anyway.

Fuckexamitis is a self-inflicted condition. Learn how to avoid it. It's really not that hard.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I know I don't usually update on weekends, but there's something that's been getting under my skin for several days now.

There are billboards around the country that advertise the existence of secular groups. They all say something along the lines of "Don't Believe in God? You're Not Alone." Another says "Are You Good Without God? Millions Are."

These signs are vandalized, often within days of their being put up. And more than that, the people on whose property they are placed have been threatened. One man asked that the sign be moved from his property to a different location because he'd started receiving death threats.

Classy, Christian/Muslim/Jewish people who are doing this. Real classy.

People who claim their religion promotes peace, understanding and acceptance shouldn't be out threatening people and defacing a group's billboards solely because it presents a viewpoint they don't agree with. If you don't want to be in an atheist group, don't join it. But don't threaten the people in it just because they don't believe in your god. That is, first and foremost, immature.

It also violates the First Amendment, in the event that someone would try to prevent the existence of such a group or atheists themselves.

That isn't precisely what I wanted to write about, although I find it profoundly annoying.

What's gotten to me this weekend is the labeling I'm noticing.

I don't refer to religious people as anything derogatory. I might refer to extreme whack-outs as such, but I don't generalize an entire system of belief based on one or two examples of deranged behavior.

Despite the fact that I think religion is a force for a lot of negativity and evil in today's world, I don't call the religious believers evil, negative people unless I'm pointing to a specific example. Incidentally, if you'd like to see more than a few examples of the crappy side of religion, check out this blog called Deep Thoughts. Or read the news about how the Catholic church in DC is threatening to stop feeding the homeless if gay marriage becomes legal.

What gets my figurative goat is when someone calls me a religion-hater because I'm an atheist. There was a news story someone posted in my Twitter feed directed to "all you religion-haters" about the different levels of religion (I actually went and read the story, and it was nonsense anyway. A lot of justification and no actual logic whatsoever. That somehow made the insult worse -couldn't they have at least picked an article that made a good argument?).

My immediate reaction to being called a religion-hater is to say, "I'm sorry, excuse me, what did you just call me?"

I don't hate religion. I don't like most of the things religion does, and I do have some serious problems with the ideas espoused by religion, but I'm not a religion-hater. I resent being called that on a very personal level, too.

Labeling me as a religion-hater instantly puts me on the defensive in the conversation. I come into whatever discussion is being opened up feeling as though I have already been attacked, and my guard is up. I'm less willing to concede any ground in the conversation, and I'm far more likely to turn my back on it and just walk away. I won't have a discussion with someone who has no respect for me from the outset.

It assumes a lot about someone to label them that baldly without any recognition of their individual personality.

Another offshoot of that is the sudden surge in pro-Christian groups I see on Facebook -maybe it's just the people I'm friends with. I don't really care if you're "A CHRISTIAN AND PROUD." Good for you. That's your business. I'm not going to tell you not to be a Christian or that you should be ashamed of it.

I don't have a comment on your religion until it starts interfering with my life, my rights and/or the rights of other human beings. Outside of that...worship your left shoe if you want to. Be proud of that. I would have the same reaction to shoe-worship as I do to any other religion.

The thing that bothers me about the Christian-and-proud-of-it thing is that whenever I go to the groups and snoop around (because I'm nosy and that's what I do), I don't see fellowship. I don't see welcome. I don't see spirituality, friendliness, joy or giving. What I see is in-fighting, exclusion, nastiness and petty, very petty behavior.

I see discussion topics that say "Christian girls are more beautiful than atheist girls because..." with responses like: Christian girls have long hair, Christian girls aren't sluts, Christian girls don't hate, Christian girls are better people, Christian girls are more submissive to their men/God, Christian girls are virgins, Christian girls are more beautiful than atheists because atheists are immoral and wicked, etc. etc.

These comments are not coming from extremists or whack-jobs. These are coming from everyday people. Allow me a moment to dissect the above comment by comment.

  • Long hair. First off, I can see this one from a purely Biblical standpoint...but that also assumes that all Christian girls consider themselves unclean for the week of their periods, never eat shellfish or talk back to their parents, keep the Sabbath holy and stone those who don't and follow every single other outdated Biblical command for men and/or women. I know plenty of beautiful women, Christian and otherwise, who have short hair. Saying someone is going to hell or is spiritually flawed for having short hair is like saying they're going to hell for wearing a blue shirt on a Tuesday. It's ridiculous.
  • Hahahahahaha. Oh excuse me, was that inappropriate? Sorry. I went to a Catholic school, I had friends who went to a Catholic high school and my town has a lot of Catholics in it. I'm not singling Catholics out for the slut label, it's just a solid example. As a feminist, I object to the term slut on a very basic level, so I'm including guys in my reckoning of the promiscuity tally. Personally, what someone does with their body as far as sex goes is their own business -if someone wants to have sex, then I'm no one to judge them for it. However, from the standpoint of "promiscuity is bad/Satanic/unchristian," there are some people who are sadly misinformed about the sexual habits of their children and peers. If having sex outside of marriage gets you labeled as a slut, there are a whole lot of Christian sluts out there...and I don't think giving people guilt complexes about sex is healthy or moral. I think it's sick and wrong.
  • I have received more hatred from Christians (girls or otherwise) than any other group of people. Christians can be very open and accepting people, but they are every bit as capable of hating people as anyone else, regardless of what the issue is. I once got flipped off in a parking lot by someone who was going to Church (and happened to be in the wrong as far as the driving went), to give you a ridiculous example of Christian girls and their supposed lack of hatred. I'm not saying all Christian girls hate, just that they're capable of it -and many of them do it.
  • Christian girls are often no more moral than anyone else. That's a very subjective standard to hold people to, and I'd like to know what it means on a more specific label. Speaking from my own experience, however, as far as basic morality goes, no one group has the higher ground in everyday life.
  • Christian girls are virgins. Oh really? Since when. All of them, all the time, always? See the above comments.
  • The whole idea of submission makes me sick. I'll devote an entire post to that soon, so check back.
  • I'm an atheist. I'm neither immoral, evil nor wicked. I like to think I have a wicked sense of humor, but that's not really what they're going for. Atheism =/= amoral, evil behavior and it's that stereotype that drives so many of these groups.
I can't understand it, personally. Why am I, as an atheist, perceived as being Antichrist Jr.? I don't kill, steal, lie, rape, pillage, covet, deface, stone or otherwise harm anyone else. I don't encourage women to bow down before a man or anyone else, because that's dehumanizing. I consider myself to be a pretty moral person...I just don't worship your god.

If you want to have a conversation with me about religion, don't start it off by assuming that you can throw insults at me and not get a response to that. Making the assumption that because I don't believe your god exists also means I have no ethical code is going to set a very unpleasant tone for the conversation.

I don't hate your religion. I'd like it if you didn't hate me for not buying into it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Earning money by writing

This is something that comes up a lot. Writing is a business, and anyone who says different is lying to you or they're talking about writing only for themselves (which seems like the weirdest thing to me -I write so people will read and hopefully purchase what I write. If I'm going to write something that I don't want anyone to read but me, I'll either keep a journal [which I do] or sit around and pretend I'm Emily Dickinson [which I don't]). Writing for publication is a business whether an individual writer likes it or not, and it needs to be treated that way.

I'm not saying that you'll be getting a nice 401(k) unless you happen to be JK Rowling or Stephen King, and I'm not saying you need a business degree to be a writer.

What you do need is common sense and a little bit of human decency. Writers have a tendency to be weird -we revel in it as our birthright as writers. We're socially inept, awkward and often dress inappropriately. Caffeine junkies, winos, addicts and surfers of 4chan make up our numbers. But then again, so do mothers, teenagers, teachers, doctors, stock brokers and any number of other types of people some writers would be tempted to look down on as "ordinary."

Writers are everywhere, and that means competition is fierce. That means if you're eccentric, great! But don't let that be your entire personality. You still have to be able to connect with the rest of us if you're going to sell us your writing successfully.

So much for human decency, then: act like grownups when you need to. Save your super-weird and/or inappropriate behavior for a place where it won't cost you your career. Protip: This is not anywhere public.

As for common sense, this has been said before and it will be said a billion times in the next 5 seconds, but I'm going to say it anyway: play to your strengths. And don't.

Find what you're good at and do it. Do it a lot. Do it badly sometimes, and learn from that. What you're good at should make your blood boil and tingle and make you jump out of your chair with excitement. It should make you passionate in both good and bad ways. If you're good at research, do research. Write about research. Blog about research. Teach other people how to be good at researching.

Find what you're not good at and do that too. Do it frequently, because it's going to teach you what your limits are, and then allow you to look those limits in the eyes, shove them down and take their lunch money. Doing something you're bad will teach you how to be good at it or at least how to be good at something. It will force you to change and grow and reevaluate yourself. Doing something you're bad at will also help you be better at the things you're good at.

Experimenting with your strengths and weaknesses will teach you what portions of your writing you'll be able to sell. I'm a college student -I am, right now, very good at writing opinion and fact-based pieces. So I do. I do a lot of that (here and elsewhere). I am learning a huge amount of information about writing, so I write about that. I am very good at writing BS, so I do. I write a lot more BS than pretty much anything else...but it's the BS I spew that's making me the most money right now. It might be boring, meaningless or uninteresting to me, but someone out there wants it, and they'll give me money in the process of getting it.

Writing requires marketing. For example, if I include a link to my newly published literary journal, Leaves & Flowers, someone might click on it and buy it -they might not, too, but they could. Additionally, if I include a link to an article about why Twilight is an awful series of books, someone might click on that, too.

Twitter, Facebook, blogs, word of mouth, friends and family, Myspace, StumbleUpon, Digg...all of these things are becoming indispensable tools for marketing writing (well, maybe not Myspace, that's kind of died). The point is, in an age where almost all of your readers will be connected to the internet very, very need to be marketing on the internet.

This post has been fueled by caffeine, and therefore may not make much sense. However! let's recap.

  1. Don't act like bizarro-writer in situations where you'll lose writing opportunities. It's okay to be weird, but control yourself. Be weird in constructive ways.
  2. Write what you know.
  3. Write what you don't know.
  4. Kick your limits in their most tender parts and move past them.
  5. Market yourself as though your paycheck depends on it (because it does).

Seem simple? It kind of is...people just don't do it, for whatever reason.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Leaves & Flowers

Today is a short but rabidly excited post: my literary journal, Leaves & Flowers, is now officially published and available for purchase!!

I received the fabulous, glossy, lovely proof copy in the mail and I am thoroughly pleased to be able to present it to you.

Ladies and gentleman, the product of many hours' work (both mine and my wonderful contributing writers'), Leaves & Flowers.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Writing in the right atmosphere

This is what happens sometimes. I'm learning to be okay with that.

Today I set myself a goal -I wanted to write 5 articles and complete a useful blog entry. So I sat down at my desk with a cup of coffee, a bottle of water and the Intertubes...and absolutely nothing happened. Normally, sitting at my desk in my room is the absolute best way for me to write. There are no distractions that I can't control (although honestly, Tweetdeck is a little bit ridiculous sometimes), it's guaranteed to be quiet and I can get up to make more coffee any time I want to. My desk is also conveniently right next to my bed, in which I have spent an inordinate amount of time sleeping lately (I blame laryngitis. And laziness).

Ordinarily, my room is the best place for me to work.

And yet today, when I opened up all of my little research windows and the form in which I write my articles, nothing happened. Absolutely nothing. There was no speedy tapping of keys, and I was listlessly looking through the tabs of research I had open. My eyes had glazed over and I knew that I was absorbing less information than I normally do.

This is a rare occurrence for me (like I said, I really like working in my room. It's like the batcave, only less technological and filled with posters of Audrey Hepburn).

After about half an hour of sitting in front of my computer and accomplishing absolutely nothing, I finally gave up. Not on writing, just on writing in my room. I had to admit that I needed a change of pace, and some new scenery.

I came to the student center here on campus (despite the bomb threats that keep popping up here, I feel pretty comfortable coming to Baker. The dogs didn't find anything, so I'm okay with spending a couple hours here if it lets me get some work done). Things began looking up immediately -I have become aware of the fact that I will not be able to write unless I have ample access to caffeine. I got a hazelnut latte from the coffeeshop, and the girl accidentally put an extra shot of espresso in it. Woe is me.

So with that jolt of energy coursing through my veins, I came up to the 5th floor and sat back in a corner. Plopped down, plugged in and caffeinated, I pounded out 3 articles in about an hour (and the only reason it took that long was because of research for one of them). Bam, said the lady.

I'm trying to be more attentive to my writing needs -I think it's important to know what factors influence the Muse and get my energy up.

For instance, after some experimentation I know that:

  • I write better and more quickly if I am listening to something like Antonin Dvorak or Andrew WK than something like Owl City or Jack's Mannequin
  • I have to have adequate back support. If I can't lean back in the chair, I'm not going to get along with it.
  • Putting my feet up is awesome (although my knees get stiff pretty quickly -does that mean I'm getting old?)
  • Caffeine, obviously, is required for the writing process
  • I work best in spurts -write one article, then catch up with Tweetdeck updates and read some other articles, check Facebook, then write another article. Lather, rinse, repeat
  • If I don't feel my best, I don't write my best. I can't write before I've had a shower and eaten breakfast. I don't write well in pajamas or sweatpants -I have to feel like I'm presenting my best face to the world in order to present my best writing to the world. Sloppy me = sloppy writing.
  • Other people are a distraction. Distractions are not always bad. Texting while writing does not break my focus (if it does, the text can wait). People-watching is fun (although I'm starting to think fashion-impaired androids are taking over the world. Put on some pants, please. Leggings + Ugg boots + short t-shirts = BAD. If I can see your cellulite or your lady bits, your outfit should never have left the house).
  • Driving in a car with the windows down and the music up is usually the only inspiration I need.
  • Sometimes, I just can't write as much as I want to, and I need to get over myself. I'm not all-powerful (but don't tell anyone else I said that). Sometimes I just need a break.

What atmosphere do you write in? How do you deal with changes in your writing space? What do you do to shake things up when you're feeling stagnant? Do you ever feel stagnant, and if not, how do you avoid it?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Remember way back in the day when I told you about the lovely Renda Dodge and her book Inked?

Well, it's out! Go order a copy here.

I was excited to read Inked for a few reasons -first being that the concept of the story really intrigued me. Inked is about a young woman named Tori who has an undiagnosed personality disorder. She deals with it by getting a new tattoo every time there's a major shift in her life.

As someone with a tattoo and who is considering another one, that in itself was enough to pique my interest in the book. Tattoos are cool -what a person has, where they have it and what they tell you about it can give you an immense amount of information about that individual.

As a publisher, I was excited to learn that Renda used CreateSpace to publish Inked -I used CS to publish L&F (which, by the way, should be up for sale soon, so get your wallets ready for that, too).

Speaking solely as someone who's going to be using the same type of technology to publish something, I am really impressed with the way Inked turned out. Clearly there was a lot of design work that went into it, and that alone takes skill. However, the book itself is also really high quality (which, unfortunately, is not something your average Joe reader associates with self-publishing yet. Key word: yet). Sales of books like Inked will go a long way towards improving the general conception of what it means to self-publish. This is a professional book, and it comes across as one.

And then there's the story. Granted, I was trapped in a hotel room by myself at the time I first started reading Inked (laryngitis sucks, just fyi), but I couldn't put it down from the moment I picked it up. The entire book is around 210 pages long, and I read it in one sitting (and several cups of tea).

Tori is a fascinating character. She's rebellious, she's angry, she's scared -and she knows it, which makes the story even more interesting. Tori acknowledges her own faults throughout the story, but she's still too pissed off and frightened to allow herself much room for changing the parts of herself she doesn't like -not to say she doesn't, because she certainly does, but I got a feeling that Tori isn't ever going to totally break out of certain aspects of her personality (nor did I want her to). Tori isn't a character I could see undergoing a traditional growth pattern in a novel -and that's definitely one of the strengths of the book; keeping Tori very much herself keeps the book human. This is not a hero story, this is a story of someone who is just a person trying to deal with their life and getting a little lost doing it. We've all been there in one way or another, and Tori reflects that back to the reader.

In addition to the development of Tori's back story (her early life, first relationships, etc. -I don't want to give anything away because you should just go buy the book, it's worth every penny), there's the mystery of her present. Tori's mother is dying of AIDS and Tori reluctantly returns home to care for her mother. It's not a pleasant reunion. In addition to her strained relationship with her mom, there is the complication of Blake, who lives next door.

There's an instant attraction, albeit a reluctant one on Tori's part, but there's a lot more going on behind the surface of Tori's connection with Blake than is evident at the outset.

Inked is much more than the story of Tori and her tattoos, although that particular component adds a great deal of interest, and it's definitely one that I'm keeping around to read again.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday mornings

I am really glad I don't have class on Mondays, I'll be honest. I will next quarter (in fact, next quarter I'll only have Fridays off -that will be quite a change), but for this week I'm still free on Monday mornings. I planned on being asleep until 9:30. I woke up at 7 (the lingering effects of laryngitis), and that's been okay. I'm getting a lot done.

For instance...I ordered the proof copy of Leaves & Flowers! I submitted it last night and by this morning it was ready to go. I don't think I need to tell you how excited I am, but I will: I'm really really really really excited.

I spent a good 3 hours on it last night -last minute changes, formatting problems, double checking spelling/grammar/punctuation and generally being my perfectionist self. I guarantee you there are still a few errors in it, but I did my best to make sure that it looks the way I want it to.

It should be here on Wednesday. I'll be taking pictures of it as though it's a child or a new puppy. It should be up for sale by Thursday, maybe Friday (depending on whether or not I want to make any changes).

Anybody else out there self-publish anything and feel this awesome combination of fear and exhilaration? It's a really cool sensation. The most interesting part, for me, is that I'm not the author of this piece -I'm just the publisher. My job was to get the work out there, and that's exactly what I'm doing.

How cool is that?

Tomorrow: a book review of Renda Dodge's self-published book, "Inked"! :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Barnes and Noble Nook

Things are not well in the world of e-books and e-book readers. Cool as they are, and as much as that technology is useful, we can never forget that the business world is still full of people who are going to try to rip off consumers, business partners and one another.

Barnes & Noble is currently being sued by Spring Design over their e-reader, the Nook. The Nook, I have to admit, looks superdupertacular. It's got color on the screen, really cool technology -you can share books with other Nook users, and it's got all the bells and whistles we are coming to expect from e-readers.

However, B&N stole the technology from Spring Design. They engaged in "talks" with SD about the technology used by SD to create something like an e-reader without ever telling SD that they were planning on using said technology for the Nook. Read more here.

I've read a few blog posts and many more tweets (on Twitter) lately about acting professional when you get a rejection or go about networking. Spiteful comments about editors, other authors, agents and publishing houses aren't going to get you anywhere. All of the blogs/tweets are solid. They have good examples and the points are valid.

However, I finish reading them and I have an overwhelming sense of, "Well, duh."

I should think it would be self-evident to anyone that if you're trying to get a book published, acting like a spoiled, privileged child isn't going to be the route you want to take. And yet people seem to need to hear that. Why? Why is that a lesson people should need? I'm a n00b in the world of publishing and online networking despite growing up in the internet era, and I still know better than to fight with other professionals or step on toes if I get upset.

I don't understand why good manners are something that we need to be reminded of so frequently.

And then I start reading about things like the lawsuit between Barnes & Noble and Spring Design, and I think perhaps everybody should be looking over some etiquette manuals.

Monday, November 2, 2009

National Novel Writing Month

I have laryngitis, so please excuse me if I'm light on posting -last week was bad. This week might be better, since I was required to skip all my classes today and I'll be going home for the weekend again on Thursday.

I fail at updating as regularly as I'd like.

Here's what I want to talk about today: National Novel Writing Month.

It's awesome. If you're not doing it, you should be. Get on it. If you are doing it, we should be friends.

The idea behind NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words during the month of November. It actually sounds much harder than it is -it's all about quantity. Quality control is what December is for! I am busy bashing out about 2K words each day that I know are going to be hacked, slashed, destroyed and shifted at some point in the future. The point is that without NaNo, those 2K words every day would never have even come into existence. I never would have created this intense sci-fi novel that I'm now working on (and sci-fi is kind of a leap for me, as a writer, so it's cool to experiment with it).

See how fun it is? You can write whatever you want! You can write to novel you always wanted to read, or you can experiment with different types of prose fiction writing. November is the most stressful month out of my year, and also my favorite for that same reason.

I am too busy writing my action-filled science fiction novel to tell you anything else.