Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"If Twelve Were Nine"

I have a new story up on Powder Burn Flash, take a gander.

A big thanks to Aldo, who keeps the crime flash fiction flowing.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A "Novel Idea"

In the New York Times book review section, they have a little blog in there called Paper Cuts. Lately, I've looked forward to the blog more than the reviews, as it tends to be more entertaining, though the fault of that lies with the material that they have been reviewing.

The most recent entry posted features a literary vending machine in Barcelona. Apparently commuting Spaniards really, really have a thing for Nora Roberts or the person that stocks this machine does.

If you read further down in the comment section, someone posted that the machine is called "A Novel Idea" and it was created by two gentlemen from Limerick.

They say that they are in talks to ship this Stateside soon and I am sure one of these machines would pull in a fortune at one of my worksites, though the only bestseller I read is Michael Connelly, so I'd be out of luck.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules Is Worth A Read

The Missus gave me "Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing" for Christmas. It is a compact, well written book. It is terse and not only because it lacks "hooptedoodle," but also because it is just a well-written article (it was originally an article in the New York Times) that was formatted (though it seems, not expanded) into a book.

While Leonard explains why writers should do away with extraneous sentences, he quotes a character in John Steinbeck's "Sweet Thursday"-

"Sometimes I want a book to break loose with a bunch of hooptedoodle.... Spin up some pretty words mabe or sing a little song with language. That's nice. But I wish it was set aside so I don't have to read it. I don't want hooptedoodle to get mixed up with the story."

What really binds this almost sparse book together, are the illustrations of Joe Ciardello, whose stylings you might have seen in the New Yorker or Rolling Stone. They are the broth and rice that makes a complete meal of the stew that Elmore cooked up.
Though this book has probably cured me of using "suddenly" and "all hell broke loose," I will most likely be unable to kick my regional dialect/patois habit. This writer here is currently suffering the same affliction as Elmore paraphrase-
Joesph Conrad said something about words getting in the way of what you want to say.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

I Plead The Fifth On This One

A writer is someone who writes. Planning to write is not writing. Outlining is not writing. Researching is not writing. Talking to people about what you are doing is not writing. Writing is writing.

-E.L. Doctorow
From Karl Iglesias's article on "The Screenwriter's 7 Deadly Sins" in Creative Screenwriting Volume 14, Number 6

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Fat Lady Has Sung

The fat lady has sung, but just don't take my word for it. No, don't ask Alice, ask Crime Zine Report or Powder Burn Flash, because that's where "Aria" is at.

Don't forget also to check out the site, "Darkness Before The Dawn." All these years of the Internet and Aldo is the first to come up with a crime flash fiction site for stories greater than 2,500 words, but less than 10,000. This is the crime flash fiction equivalent of sliced bread. Yes, it seems all too obvious now, but Mr. Calagano is the one that came through!