You must read the first ten pages of Kyle Minor’s The Sexual Lives of Missionaries, which is up at Guernica.
Michelle Dean wrote a great essay, What Harry Potter Knows, for The Millions.
Wendy Wimmer does some analysis of Best American Short Stories and where those stories come from. Others have done similar breakdowns but it is worth reading. Over half of the stories over the timeframe she studied come from the same twelve journals. I’m not surprised.
There is a drawing for every page of Moby Dick.
Patsola Press is doing a Kickstarter.
Do we focus too much on plot?
Sometimes I have too many things I want to post about and not enough time and then I spend more time thinking about all the posts I’m not writing so in order to focus on a few upcoming posts, I need to clear my mental decks of these tidbits I do not have the time to turn into longer posts.
According to The New York TImes, literary magazines are thriving. I wonder if that’s true. I don’t disagree but I would love for us to have a broader conversation about this topic. The magazines noted in the article are all Bay Area (SF) magazines with significant readerships that are fairly well-established, although The Rumpus and Canteen can certainly be considered newcomers that are thriving. What does it mean for a magazine to “thrive”–financially and editorially? Do other editors feel their magazines are thriving? Publishing is supposedly not thriving (though I disagree). What can book publishers and magazine publishers learn from one another about thriving?
A friend sent me this great link to a Lifehacker article about why it is futile to compare ourselves to others. At The Rumpus, Sugar offers some really timely and pointed advice about begrudging the success of other writers through peer jealousy. These things are connected and also remind me of several conversations I’ve seen around the “blogosphere” in recent months about writing, success, feeling the pressure of social networking as a writer, and how we measure ourselves against other writers and so on.
So a month or so ago I was at a holiday party at Melville House, and ran into John Freeman, who up until recently was President of the National Book Critics Circle. (Read this nifty profile of John, “Book Review Crusader,” by the poet Craig Morgan Teicher, at PW.) John’s new gig is serving as the American editor for GRANTA, and he was kind enough to hook me up with a copy of their newest issue, #104: Fathers.
If I’ve been slow to post on this, it’s because I’ve actually been spending time with the issue. GRANTAs, as you might or might not know, are hefty novel-size paperbacks, stuffed with a wide variety of takes on the given issue’s theme. Since I’m an unapologetic fiction partisan, it has been especially interesting to me how strongly and positively I’ve reacted to the non-fiction in the issue. Here are four of the essays I especially liked:
January 15th, 2009 / 11:36 am