Tag Archive 'Porter Anderson'

The Gate We Should Have Kept: And Was Mystique That Bad?

 

One of the most perceptive regulars in #FutureChat, The FutureBook digital publishing community’s weekly live discussion, is Carla Douglas of BeyondPaperEditing.com in Kingston, Ontario.

And in a recent doing of the discussion, Douglas pointed out that writing, while once among the most isolated and solitary of careers has been made one of the most social by digital communication.

Douglas is always more graceful than I am in these insights of hers.

My iteration of her comment would be that the imperatives of self-promotion through social […]

Between a Blog and a Hard News Cycle

How Do You Know If You Can Say No to NaNo?

The Internet has mutated reasonable people into wannabe writers…We are blind to the harsh truth-light-radiating facts such as ‘half of self-published authors earn less than $500’, facts written about in newspapers by professional writers.

That’s Tom Mitchell (@tommycm on Twitter) writing an essay at Medium, War on #amwriting. I must thank my colleague in London, Sheila Bounford, for reminding me of it. It could have been lost in the Bavarian Ether: […]

“Visionaries on the Decks”: Storytelling

 

“To Declare Your Story’s Intent”

There are things important to you. You hurt. You know stuff. I don’t. You see things that I cannot…You have everything you need, including the courage to declare your story’s intent.

— Donald Maass, Writing 21st Century Fiction

Not for nothing am I looking forward to the November 3-7 Writer Unboxed “Un-Conference” in bewitching Salem, Massachusetts. The final day, a Friday, as you might know, is given over to our good WU colleague Don Maass, who’s going to […]

You Are So On (Because They Are, Too)

My address is 2025 Avenue of the Stars. 

This is as it should be, of course. 90067.

With my sunglasses so firmly in place that I can barely read anything on the screen, I’m writing to you on the eve of Phil Sexton’s Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference in Los Angeles. It’s at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza again this year, the kind of hotel that’s designed to look good on you.

My Unboxed co-star Barbara O’Neal will be here at #WDNWC this […]

Don’t Take Author Obesity Sitting Down

Provocations in Poundage

Yeah, I know. Better I make fun of about 10 religious faiths at once, right?

We’re not supposed to mention the other f-word, it’s not PC at all. (I’ll just spell it so we don’t scare the chubby children: f-a-t.)

Somehow in the States, it’s considered better to “not say anything.” Rather than embarrass someone or “hurt their feelings,” we’re encouraged to allow our friends and loved ones to eat themselves to death. I’m still searching for the kindness in […]

Provocations in Publishing: “Engineering Serendipity”

Coined by the British aristocrat Horace Walpole in a 1754 letter, [serendipity] long referred to a fortunate accidental discovery. Today serendipity is regarded as close kin to creativity — the mysterious means by which new ideas enter the world. But are hallway collisions really the best way to stoke innovation?

− Engineering Serendipity, April 5, 2013, New York Times, by Greg Lindsay

Here at the new PubSmart Conference, seated this week in an unseasonably chilly Charleston, South Carolina, the term […]

Free the Writers! (From Each Other)

Image – iStockphoto: Paha_L / In the Moscow subway system

 

We’ve had a lot of laughs at publishers’ expense lately, about how many “actual readers” they may have met, right? What if our writers know even fewer “actual readers” than our publishers? 

 

You’ve been around too much lately, Helen, you ought to stay at home more.

Scanned title page from Noel Coward’s “Design for Living” (1933) from the Internet Archive

That sentence, husband-to-wife, from Noel Coward’s Design for Living, was one […]

Sir Hugh and the Snail

When Mollusks Attack

We don’t know why images of armed knights fighting snails are common in 13th and 14th century illuminated manuscripts. 

Through a tweet from one of my favorite authors, William Gibson, I found my way to a post by Sarah J. Biggs at the British Library. “One of our post-medieval colleagues noticed a painting of a knight engaging in combat with a snail.”

Knight v Snail V: Revenge of the Snail (from the Smithfield Decretals, southern France (probably Toulouse), with […]

When They Talk About You at #DBW14: You’re Branded

Image – iStockphoto: Mysh Kovsky

 

NEW YORK—The Digital Book World Conference & Expo (DBW) isn’t designed for authors.

And that’s fine. Various sectors of the industry! the industry! have every right to get together by and among themselves to consider things from their own viewpoints and on behalf of their own interests.

At Digital Book World Conference & Expo 2014 – Photo: Porter Anderson

As good as our authors are at contorting themselves, day by day, in the search for how to exercise […]

Scale: That All the Books Should Be Counted

 

Caesar Augustus: All Is Forgiven

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
Luke 2:1, King James Version, New Testament

That glow on the faces of so many of us Protestant ministers’ children this time of year is a reconnection. Like sticking our fingers into the science-project sockets of our childhoods, we sit around tempting mythology to fry us again, gazing at this verse and […]

Leveling Up: In Praise of Writer Dads

Image: iStockphoto – FunSand

 

According to my kids I’m “funny a lot” and make them laugh. I’m a goofball. My wife says I’m excited because I have my perfect audience right now. I’m yucking it up for all I can get, because I know that shit’ll evaporate come twelve or thirteen. Hopefully by then they’ll like video games, or books, and we can continue bonding there.

Tobias Buckell

New York Times bestseller Tobias Buckell is a Hugo-, Nebula-, Prometheus-, and John […]

“The Inflexible Routines”

iStockphoto: 33ft

 

I was withdrawing deeper into myself, isolating myself from my surroundings, settling into the routines—the inflexible routines—I have before each match and that continue right up to the start of play.

This is from Rafael Nadal’s sometimes surprisingly candid book, Rafa, written with John Carlin. Listen for that light, self-effacing Majorcan accent, our Mediterranean catch of the day, emphasis mine:

I repeat the sequence, every time, before a match begins, and at every break between games, until a match is over. A sip from one […]