Tell me a story (4)…

Happy Monday.  The weekend was too short.  I’m grumpy.  Hence the moody picture for this week’s picture story.  Write me some words and maybe I’ll feel better.  As always, comment with your story, poem, jib, whatever…  And check out last week if you haven’t already.  I like my story.  Is that narcissistic?  Ok, I’m word vomiting now.  Go on with your business.

Have a picture that you think would make an interesting story? Email me: sociableink@gmail.com

P.S. Anyone recognize the model?

Words (and links) on the Week…

 Happy Friday, all!  This week went by really fast, but I find myself feeling surly and weekend-ready none-the-less.  On a good (personal) note:  I figured out my series through the end.  I’ve written the first and outlined/written a fourth of the second, but I wasn’t sure how the third was going to play out until now.  Granted, this could all change.  My characters tend to do things without my permission.  But enough blabbering about me!  On to the linking…

I’ve found this week to be very listy.  Maybe because I could only concentrate on nonsensical, highly subjective things.

First comes from the Huffington Post.  They asked readers what the most beautiful words were.  Spoiler alert: Cellar door not included.  They also asked what the most disgusting words were.  Spoiler alert: Pants?  Really?

Five books inspired by dreams.  I like this, though I knew that three out of five were dream written already.  If you know me, I have the most insane dreams.  They’re like movies.  They’re ridiculously detailed and tend to make people jealous.  My sleep is lively.  And I’ve definitely dreamed entire chapters.  Does anyone else write like this?

Ten books you should have read in high school.  I did read a lot of these in high school.  When I first clicked this “alternative” list, I expected a lot more controversy.  But alas, fairly reasonable suggestions.  Any edits, reader?

A pretty awesome NPR list:  Top 100 Sci-fi Books.  I like this list a little too much.  I’m reaching new heights of nerd as of late.  This is another reader generated voting so don’t hate NPR.

This last list, Ten Ways to Start Your Story, is for my writer friends.  I tend to get inspried when I read this silly little “helpful” articles.  Yeah, you already know this stuff, but why aren’t you doing it?!  GET TO WRITING!

News:

I read this (small) article on What the UK Riots Mean for Bookstores.  I’d like to see a longer treatment of this.  Has anyone come across something like that?  Also: I’m not surprised by the gay bashing.  Unfortunately.

I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, but I’m a ridiculous Vonnegut enthusiast.  That is followed closely by my love of Poe.  The only time I’ve ever yelled at a teacher was over Poe in college.  She was an insufferable know-it-all hater and I was right.  So there.  Anyway.  Poe’s house in Baltimore may be closing due to financial difficulty.  This depresses me. 

POE WAS A GOD DAMN GENIUS! TAKE THAT BACK OR I WILL END YOU!

I’ve never been.  I should become independently wealthy and go on a book road trip.  Anyone else in?

Publishing is up!  Horrah!  Books will never die!  I probably single handily achieved this.  I spend too much on books.  Wait, never mind.  I spend the perfect amount.

Silly (and informational):

Ever wanted to have a book party?  Here’s a recipe on making Book Candies out of chocolate and fruit leather.  Mmm…tasty knowledge…

In the way libraries are always useful, New York Public Library tweeted out this find: An Online Guide to Food Spoilage.  I tend to be a little scary when it comes to food (i.e. if I don’t vomit when I smell it, it’s so totally edible) while my husband will throw something away if it looks at him wrong.  Although technically if the food has developed sentience and can look at him, it’s probably time to go.  Anyway, if you’re like me, this is a nice resource.  not related to books or words but provided by a library so I think it counts.

Every wonder what male superheroes would look like if we sexualized them the way we do females?  Well, here you go.

And finally, in honor of the zombie trend sweeping our lives (and bookshelves), a collection of zombie paraphernalia.  Any zombie-thing you could possible wish to buy.

Replace that brain with a book, lady. It's the Zombie cure!

A strange week in links, no?

As always, a video to send you off.  (WARNING: lots of bad words.  Lots and lots.  READ A MOTHER FUCKIN’ BOOK!  See?  Bad words.)

Also: Tell me a story!

Writing Contests

Apparently it’s contest season because every which way I turn on the inter-webs, I see one ad or another. Granted, most of them are coming from Writers Digest but still!  More than a dozen options.  In case you’re interested in distracting yourself in a somewhat useful (perhaps monetarily useful) way then read on.

The first (and quite possibly my favorite) is the microstyle writing contest.  The Gotham writing workshop challenges you to write a sentence with double meaning in twenty words or less.  Prizes include a workshop, a book, a Barnes & Noble gift card, a free magazine subscription.  You have till September 15 and are limited to one entry. 

In the mother-load of writing contests, Writers Digest has a plethora of options covering every genre: sci-fi, thriller, young adult, romance, screen writing, self published and on and on and on.  The prizes are varied from publication to meetings with agents to $3000 buck-a-roos.  Some deadlines are the end of this month, some not till December.  It’s worth a look, writer friends.

For my multi-talented folks, Hint Fiction has a short film contest.  All you have to do is make a one minute movie based on a short story by Hemingway, Edith Pilaf, or Eric Hsu.  Sign up by August 15th to be assigned a story.

Let me know if any of you actually enter! Feel free to practice on Monday’s Picture Story.

Tell me a story (3)…

Picture stories are probably the only thing I look forward to on Mondays. 

No new guidelines.  Just look at the picture and write whatever comes to mind.  We’ve had poems, first person rants, one-liners….make it as long or as short as you’d like.  In a few weeks we’re going to change it up a bit so enjoy your freedom while you can!  Check out last week’s if you haven’t already.

Think you have a photo that would make a good story?  Show me: sociableink@gmail.com  Don’t worry, you’ll get credit and a link to your website and/or blog.

Words (and links) on the Week…

I’ve collected far too many links this week so I hope you don’t really feel like working.  Although I doubt that everyone will be as fascinated by them as I am, hopefully there’s a little something for everyone.

Let’s start with silly, fun links first.

Pictures are worth a thousand words, right?  Do you miss the good ol’ days when you could trust a picture to not be photoshopped, when those thousand words were the god-honest truth?  Well, you’re probably wrong.  Photography and photographic tampering were born simultaneously it would seem.  Here’s a collection of historical photos you won’t believe aren’t real.  From that iconic Lincoln image, to Hitler, to Oprah, they have it all.

Here’s a blog with a small collection of what they consider the best closing lines in literature, with even more making an appearance in the comments section.

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction contest has published their 2011 results.  This contest challenges people to write the worst opening lines they can think of.  It’s named after the author who first penned “It was a dark and stormy night…”  This year’s winner:

“Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.”

Sue Fondrie

Oshkosh, WI

It’s a game about books!  Finally, a place where my pointless skill-set isn’t so pointless.  Plus, it’s called It Was a Dark and Stormy Night.  Ha!

In honor of shark week, here’s a (very funny) list of 20 things that kill more people than sharks.

This week in nerd-dom, Brian Michael Bendis explains the decision behind killing Peter Parker, Spiderman’s alter ego, and introduces us to Miles Morales, the new Black/Hispanic super hero.  On why he chose to incorporate a minority into one of Marvel’s biggest assets:

“Mr. Bendis said he had also taken a lesson from a black friend who told him that Spider-Man was the only superhero that other children would let him play when he was growing up. “You couldn’t see his skin color,” Mr. Bendis said the friend told him. “He was any of us, when he was in costume.”’

In author-dom:

Sylvia Plath’s novel The Bell Jar turns 40 this year, and The Poetry Foundation has an incredibly fascinating article about both the book and the article.

The New Yorker’s Alex Ross uses Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray,

Oh, Oscar. Only you can make me wish I was a gay man circa late 19th century...

history, and opposing view point’s on Wilde’s personality to try and flesh out the man and the myth.  A book worm or a sex-addict?  A martyr or just another celebrity icon?  Fair warning, it’s really long and occasionally a bit cerebral.  I found it it interesting but then again, I have an irrational attachment to Wilde.

In News-dom:

Apparently the House Committee pushed through a bill to record all the words we make on the internet and the clicks we click.  This scares me.

Librarians are sexy.

For my little statisticians out there, here’s a nice census of librarians from 1880-2009.  There’s an obvious decline, but it’s slowing!  Love your libraries, people.

Here we have a somewhat graphic telling of the rise and fall of Borders from the perspective of a former book-slinger.  Warning: She says ‘fuck.’

Which brings me to my next bit of news: Slaughterhouse-five has been banned.  Again.  People like this are the reason I hate people.  And Missouri.  Just kidding.  Kind of.  Expect a significantly longer rant regarding atrocities such as this next week.  (If you’re confused about my ‘fuck’ segue, that’s the general objection to SH5).

A quote that made me laugh this week:

“Your 30th birthday is an important landmark. You are now ready, after ten years of dicking around with your personal style, to select a signature lipstick. This is the lipstick that will get your through thick and thin. When you are screaming for mercy during childbirth, this is the lipstick that will be smeared across your face. When you kiss the corpses of your dead parents, this is the color that will stain their cheeks. This is the lipstick that will flow into the fine lines and wrinkles around your mouth as the death rattle grips your throat. Choosing this lipstick is a momentous task. In order to complete it, you need to be slightly drunk.” (Eccentric Glamour, Simon Doonan)

For my writer friends who are reading this instead of writing, here’s a nice little blog on The 5 Essential Story Ingredients.  It may be shit we already know, but a least this way we can pretend we’re working.  It’s related to writing after!  Also, it’s presented nicely.

Whew.  Ok.  Write me a story if you haven’t already and share you’re favorite book trailer.  And have a good weekend.  I leave you with this silly video:

Have an idea for a post, want to guest blog, or think you have a picture that would make a good photo story?  Drop me a line: sociableink@gmail.com

Is there anything James Franco isn’t in? (or a musing on book trailers)

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but apparently writing isn’t what it takes to be a writer.  You need platforms.  You  need a facebook and a twitter and a blog and you have to pretend to like people now.  Which is unfortunate because half the reason I love writing is I don’t have to talk to anyone else all damn day if I don’t want to.  You can be a recluse and no one will fault you for it.  But not any more.  You  need a following before you publish (You all are my following by the way, small though it may be, and I love you for it).  Writers are part of the celebrity culture, especially considering half the books published are written by “celebrities” who I know next to nothing about.  I haven’t had cable for a long time now.  I missed the reality TV bus.  Covers of magazines confuse me. (Wait, is her legal name J-wow?)  One nice thing to come out of these blurring lines though are book trailers. 

For those of you who don’t waste your mind away watching pointless internet video after pointless internet video, a book trailer is exacty what it sounds like: an ad for a book.  Though they’ve been around for almost ten years (if Wikipedia is to be trusted), I never really noticed them until a few years ago.  It makes sense as a natural progression of the increasingly digital world, but it never occurred to me until I saw the first one and thought, “Duh.”

Turns out this is a cost that many publishers aren’t interested in covering unless the book is a sure thing at which point do we really need a trailer?  Author Myrlin A. Hermes guest blogged about how to make your own trailer to combat that very issue.  Could be nice for a few of you who are self-published (which I’d definitely help you with).

A few trailers that have stuck in my brain…

A hilarious author-centric video that has nothing to do with the book (but has lots of cameos, including James Franco):

A FANTASTIC clip in general which won the “What are we doing to our children” Moby award:

An arty, Young Adult trailer with good music and a nice level of tease:

Feel free to share other book trailers with you find in the comments.  I’m slightly obsessed at the moment.

Tell me a story (2)…

Bad news: It’s Monday.

Good news:  IT’S STORY TIME!

I’ve chosen a much more neutral image since last week’s was a bit harsh for many.  It’s pretty vague so I’m interested to see what you all came up with.  No rules, write whatever comes to you.  Feel free to compliment on other stories by hitting “reply” to the comments!

Think you have a photo that would make a good picture story?  Email me: sociableink@gmail.com