Sunday, July 26, 2009

Put yourself out there. It's the write thing to do...

As you may know, I write online book reviews. It keeps me reading, and writing, and lets me choose to share opinions on books with special appeal.

I happily reviewed "My Life in France," the memoir Julia Child wrote at age 91. In that review, and in my recent workshops to writers in the Chicago area, I explained the significance...
A girl named Julie Powell decided to "borrow" her mother's copy of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking."

In her small New York apartment, Julie fulfilled her commitment to cook every recipe in the book.

She blogged about it to friends.

An agent read her blog. That's right: An agent read her blog.

And next week, you'll be seeing Meryl Streep play Julia Child in the movie version of Julie Powell's book "Julie & Julia."

My review also earned this badge of honor at BlogCritics, so I'm sharing both the review and the incentive to write, so you'll continue to do as Julie Powell did, and get your work out into the world.

"The Price is Write" - another favorable article on self-publishing

If you had your head up in the clouds in May, flying on United Airlines, you might have enjoyed the Hemispheres Magazine article "The Price is Write.:

In it, author Willa Paskin says:

"As the chances of landing a book deal dwindle, even tweedy literary elites are whispering that self publishing might be an acceptable path to legitimacy." She then explains the reasons why self-publishing and print-on-demand can be the best choice for an author, and that sometimes "it's the only game in town."

So, don't wait your life away. Release your writing this year!

Read the full article here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Author Gay Talese on s-l-o-w writing!

excerpt from a Paris Review interview, posted at 7-14-09:

PARIS REVIEW: You never write directly onto the computer?

GAY TALESE: Oh no, I couldn’t do that. I want to be forced to work slowly because I don’t want to get too much on paper. By the end of the morning I might have a page, which I will pin up above my desk.

PR: Surely there must be some days in the middle of a project, when you’re really going, that you write more than a single page.

GT: No, there aren’t.

* * *

There you have it. One page a day, and yet, looked what HE accomplished:

* A Writer's Life (2006)
* Origins of a Nonfiction Writer (1996)
* Unto the Sons (1992)
* Thy Neighbor's Wife (1981)
* Honor Thy Father (1971)
* Fame and Obscurity (1970)
* The Kingdom and the Power (1969)
* The Bridge: The Building of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (1964)

So the question is, what could WE accomplish with one page of prose per day?

Let me hear from you as you release your writing.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Chicago Tribute to Frank McCourt

Frank McCourt, we will miss you. Thank you for your friendship.

Gather with us at The Book Stall at Chestnut Court, 811 Elm in Winnetka, for a special reading of selections from Mr. McCourt’s books on Monday, July 27, 2009, from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Friends of The Book Stall (with deep Irish roots) will read from Frank McCourt’s memoirs Angela’s Ashes, ‘Tis, and Teacher Man.

Irish readers so far will include:

Helen Gallagher
Carol LaChapelle
Bill McGrane
Marguerite O'Connor
and more.

Those who'd like are welcome to join us following the reading at a nearby pub to lift a pint or two in Frank's honor.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Agent auctions her service on EBay? (Yes, for charity.)

This news item comes from Karen Dionne at

Ms. Irene Goodman, president of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency, will auction a single spaced, half-page critique for 25 partial manuscripts (approximately 50 pages and a synopsis). This will be done on Ebay from Dec. 1 to Dec. 15, 2009. The 25 highest bidders will win. The critiques will all be done personally by Ms. Goodman. They will not be farmed out. Ms. Goodman will email the completed critiques to each of the authors within one month after the auction closing date. ... All starting bids must be $100 or more.

All proceeds will go directly into one of two foundations: the Foundation Fighting Blindness and the Deafness Research Foundation. Both foundations are well established, and the research in each area is incredibly promising. If the necessary funds are obtained to continue research, effective treatments can be expected in the next several years.