Both clients and members
Congratulations to Working Writers of Wisconsin member Joel Habush on the publication of his new book, Caution, Writer Ahead: …and other unprovoked acts of humor. Now available on in print on Amazon (Kindle version to come soon) or in print on CreateSpace.
If you’ve ever wondered what some of those morons are thinking when they write a book review, you’ll appreciate this. I browse book reviews extensively and I know some of the clueless reviewers make me wonder that they apparently survived a good dose of chlorine in their gene pool. Over at Ploughshares, Rebecca Makkai posted a collection of brief book reviews entitled Was This Review Helpful to You? … five stars (h/t to Erica Dreifus).
We don’t ordinarily do this but I had to post a link to this page that I stumbled across on Facebook (thanks Buzzfeed):
A great author, Sir Terry Pratchett, passed away the other day. I was introduced to his work when our reading group, Read 23*, at the request of member Joel Habush, chose Mr. Pratchett’s wonderful novel Going Postal. It was a wonderful read and I subsequently have read a number of other novels in Mr. Pratchett’s Discworld series. Mr. Pratchett was afflicted with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and we lost him at the young age of 66.
“The world has lost one of its brightest, sharpest minds,” said Larry Finlay of his publishers Transworld. The author died at home, surrounded by his family, “with his cat sleeping on his bed”, he added.
There have been many tributes to Mr. Pratchett over the last week, a number of which have been shared on the Read 23 mailing list:
- Publisher’s Weekly
- Neil Gaiman
- Cory Doctorow (via Boing Boing which also pointed to this geeky tribute to Mr. Pratchett designed to assure him immortality of a sort in another article).
Mr. Pratchett left us too soon… he’ll be missed.
* OMG, the discussion is tomorrow and I still have 23 chapters to read!
This morning, the New York Times published an essay by Oliver Sacks wherein he discusses his diagnosis of terminal cancer. His essay addresses his condition and prognosis with uncommon grace and dignity. In addition, science fiction author John Scalzi published an essay entitled Oliver Sacks and Public Individuals at the Close. Dr. Sacks is a renowned clinical neurologist and best-selling author of many fascinating books. He is one of the great contributors to life on this planet whose legacy will endure and he will be greatly missed when he leaves us.
Author Kathryn Schultz just published a great article, subtitled How Twitter Hijacked My Mind, on the New York Magazine website. From being a total skeptic, she became a Twitter addict. Not only is it engrossing but it also points out how Twitter’s a great tool for authors.
As the saying goes, been there, done that. I got deeply engrossed in Twitter but it became such a time suck that I gave it up cold turkey. Don’t get me wrong… I love it. The reason I gave it up is because I’m usually on a contract assignment where I’m dedicated to full-time work during normal business hours. I saw many of my colleagues and friends apparently spending most of their waking hours dedicated to Twitter and, as far as I can tell, giving their employers less than fair value for their wages. I didn’t want to do that… when I’m on an assignment, I don’t feel that it’s right for me to spend time during those hours on Twitter or Facebook or other personal-level social media. I’m not as engrossed with Facebook as I was with Twitter… I didn’t feel that I needed to give it up; I can manage my use of Facebook during my off hours. I will tell you this… when the time comes that I’m ready and able to retire, I’ll be back on Twitter in a heartbeat.
One of the fond memories from my youth was when the Chicago Tribune published the (now politically incorrect) Injun Summer by John T. McCutcheon each year on its front page. First published in 1907, it became an annual event. It brings a good feeling to the inevitability of fall and demonstrates how we can use our imaginations. The Tribune has a brief article about it here.
Joel Habush and Linda Presto reminded me that I had neglected to report on our participation at BizExpo on May 21st at Potawatomie Bingo and Casino. I had a good supply of handouts. I also had a nice banner that I draped across the front of our table. I wanted to hang it on the top edge of the backdrop behind our table but didn’t have what I needed to attach it… I’ll know better if we do this again. I got there early in the morning and got our table set up before the expo opened (wasn’t much to it… hang the banner on the front of the table, put out a generous supply of handouts, and set up my laptop.
Attendance was very good. Our booth was in the very last row but we got a great number of folks stopping by to find out more about what we’re all about. I told our story more times than I can remember and gave out a good number of our handouts. Late in the morning, Lora Hyler joined me to help out and I was actually able to take a break and grab a quick sandwich. Things started to thin out around 4PM and I closed up shop about 4:30. My dogs were barking from being on my feet most of the day.
Science fiction author John Scalzi just posted an inspirational message for fiction writers on his blog Whatever. Wander over to http://whatever.scalzi.com/2014/01/20/a-season-in-the-show/ and check it out.