Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday links

I'm working toward finding balance between blog posts and Twitter and Facebook. So tonight I'm going to cross post from Twitter to here - I don't have a tool for it, so this is the old fashioned copy and paste way!

Erika Dreifus of the Practicing Writing blog is now on Twitter. Check out her blog and her feed. (for the uninitiated, Erika posts job opportunities, contests, journal calls and more for writers.)

Lynn Neary (NPR) talks to Dolen Perkins-Valdez about her debut novel, Wench, and the relationships between owners and slaves. Listen here.

Junot Diaz critiques President Obama's storytelling ability. It's an interesting essay. Stories are really important to our understanding of the world and how we make decisions. I'm thinking about Diaz' idea that President Obama - an excellent storyteller - has dropped the ball now that he's in office. Is part of the problem that, from outside the White House, he told his stories too well and people now are unwilling to settle for any less than the wonderful way he painted that picture of hope. In other words did he draw us into setting our expectations too high?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Deaths and births

Obituaries -
I learn so much from reading obituaries. Each one is a miniature history lesson and insight into our culture. Particularly about public figures and artists. (The obits sadden me, too. I am not minimizing the pain of the families and friends of the deceased. I also know that a well done obituary can be a powerful way to tell the deceased's life story one more time. I hope that being one of many readers who is edified and inspired by their loved one's life story is some kind of tribute).

Unfortunately, there are many writers and artists who I only hear about when their obituaries appear.

A couple of the links I've wanted to share this week are obituaries, so, before I share more of them, I thought I'd explain.

Joseph Wilcots
, cinematographer on 'Roots' - LATimes
Carleen Hatcher Polite, whose novels explored racism and sexism - NYTimes
Percy E. Sutton, civil rights and political trailblazer, attorney for Malcolm X - NYTimes

Births -
Really, I'm just posting about one birth, the debut of Dolen Perkins-Valdez's novel, WENCH. Today is the publication date. Haven't heard about the book? Here are a few links to catch you up.
(Congratulations, Dolen!)

Check out the author's blog.

She sold the historical fiction novel on the first try -

If you aren't buying it at a local bookstore (HINT), here's the Amazon link.
And it will be featured in the February issue of O Magazine.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Into the new year

Today has been a wonderful day. I woke up with what felt like the beginning of a cold, but I pressed on anyway. And made the New Year's brunch and just chilled at home (well, after the cooking, clean up, playing with kids, etc).

And it has been one of the best days I've had in years.

So I am quite hopeful for the new year.

I'm looking forward to reading more authors (new to me authors), releases from favorite authors (inc. Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones) and doing more of my own writing here on the blog and elsewhere.

A few thoughts and links:
New Year's resolutions - shouldn't we really keep quiet about those until March? It would make more sense to talk about the new habits you've kept up with once there's some data that you'll stick to it.

Book of the year?:
USA Today named Kathryn Stockett's book, The Help, book of the year. I'm mystified. It's still on my to-be-read list. But I am dragging my feet a bit.

Kids lit - Books about President Obama:
There's a post on the WaPost's book blog about kids books about Pres. Obama. A professor has been keeping tabs on books about presidents. In Pres. George W. Bush's first year in office there were 6 kids books published about him. In President Obama's first term - there have been 48 kids books published about him. Amazing (and wonderful, too).