Friday Funday: Pretty People Reading

Happy Friday dear readers! I hope your Friday is going as quickly as possible and that you aren’t working too hard. So, I had a few of my male readers gripe at me about last Friday’s (Hot) Guys Reading post, saying that I was being biased and unfair for only including men in the post. Well, we can’t have that, now can we? So, since I’m all about equality between the sexes, this week I give you pretty people reading, both men *and* women, because fair’s fair. Have a happy Friday everyone! 


The Washington Post’s Notable Fiction of 2013

It’s that time of year, dear readers! Everyone seems to be rolling out their top books of 2013 lists these days. Last week I gave you the New York Times’ 100 notable books of 2013, and yesterday I posted the Washington Post’s top 10 fiction and nonfiction books of the year. But who is satisfied with just 10 books in a list, only 5 of which are fiction titles at that? Not me, that’s for sure! So, as promised, here is the Washington Post’s list of the 50 most notable fiction titles of 2013! Continue reading

The Washington Post’s Top 10 Books of 2013

2013 is coming to an end, and that means that the powers that be in the book industry are putting together their lists of the top books of this year, just in time for the holiday shopping season! Last week I brought you the New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2013, which had a number of great titles on it. Up to bat this week are not one but *two* of the Washington Post’s top 2013 book lists, the first of which being their list of the top 10 books of the year. The list contains five nonfiction and five fiction titles that reviewers and editors enjoyed, and thought that the rest of us would enjoy as well. Be sure to check them out after the jump, and keep an eye out tomorrow for the follow-up best books of 2013 post. Continue reading

Cyanide and Happiness on Editing

This week is turning out to be yet another frustrating writing week, dear readers, especially since I am still sickly and therefore everything I write turns out reading like it was written by a three year old (as opposed to a kindergartner, which’s the norm for my first drafts). I’m continuing to plow forward (albeit slower than usual) in an attempt to meet my Jan. 1 deadline, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this comic is going to be all too true for me once I start editing the pages I’ve done this week. Le sigh. comichighlighting1

Miscellaneous Monday Morning: Joyce Carol Oates’ 10 Tip Tweets For Writers


Happy Monday dear readers! I’ve always had a hard time getting motivated to work on Mondays, and this Monday is no exception (waking up with a cold=bad “go to work” motivator). On days like these, it sometimes helps me to turn to the prolific writers and see what words of wisdom they have to offer the rest of us. And who in this day and age is more prolific in American literature than Joyce Carol Oates? Not many, that’s for sure!

What’s more, JCO is well known for frequently sending out Tweets via her Twitter handle, JoyceCarolOates. It was there that earlier this year JCO Tweeted out her top 10 tips for writers, which I’ve written out here for your convenience, dear readers. Short and sweet and to the point, they’re just the thing to help you get motivated to pick up that pen and get to work. Enjoy, and have a wonderful rest of your Monday.

  1. Write your heart out
  2. The first sentence can be written only after the last sentence has been written. FIRST DRAFTS ARE HELL. FINAL DRAFTS, PARADISE.
  3. You are writing for your contemporaries–not for Posterity. If you are lucky, your contemporaries will become Posterity.
  4. Keep in mind Oscar Wilde: “A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.”
  5. When in doubt how to end a chapter, bring in a man with a gun. (This is Raymond Chandler’s advice, not mine. I would not try this.)
  6. Unless you are experimenting with form–gnarled, snarled & obscure–be alert for possibilities of paragraphing.
  7. Be your own editor/critic. Sympathetic but merciless!
  8. Don’t try to anticipate an ideal reader–or any reader. He/she might exist–but is reading someone else.
  9. Read, observe, listen intensely!–as if your life depended upon it.
  10. Write your heart out.

Zimmy Sunday #17: Being John Zimovich


Happy Sunday dear readers! I hope your weekends thus far have been relaxing and that you’re keeping warm, especially if you’re in the Bay Area. Seriously, how is it this cold here?? As you can see, I’m relying on puppy cuddles to keep me warm this days, which are proving to be very effective indeed (though as you can see, Zimmy is a teensy bit grumpy and unamused by me squishing him so much).

Writing has been a bit slow this week, unfortunately, so there isn’t much to report there. Most of this week has been spent trying to do chapter outlining and figuring out how to simplify an increasingly convoluted plot, which has been more than a little bit frustrating. I’m hoping to work through the worst of it this week, though, so fingers crossed I can stop repeatedly banging my head into my desk sooner rather than later…or at the very least, move on to a different problem with the novel, of which there are ever so many to choose from. Ugh.

But that will be Monday Alex’s problem; until then, I’m spending today curled up with the Zimster watching football, because it is too cold right now to do anything else (and because I’m feeling lazy). Have a fabulous rest of your weekend, dear readers!

Friday Funday: (Hot) Guys Reading

Happy Friday everyone! It is *freezing* in the Bay Area right now (by our standards, anyway), and that’s putting a bit of a damper on our Friday/weekend plans. It’s hard to be motivated to go out and have adventures when there’s ice on your car at night (true story. Like I said, *freezing*). So, to warm things up a bit, here are some pictures of male celebrities reading. Because…well, it’s hot guys reading. No more need be said, am I right, ladies? Enjoy, and happy Friday!

david tennant