Saturday, April 28, 2012

they were stars

At first they had difficulties with the camera. Instead of framing someone's face, as they intended, they often photographed his knees or feet. There were no windows in the mountain huts where they slept, and they had rarely seen television, so the idea of "framing"was utterly foreign to them: they had never seen their surrounding through anything. I asked them to carry a piece of paper with a hole in it and look through it at everything they came upon. Within a couple of weeks the problem of using the viewfinder was solved.  Wendy Ewald in the introduction to Magic Eyes; Scenes from an Andean Girlhood

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

an uncertain chimera

All right, but it's an unpleasant one. Sometimes writing has to be forced. In starting out, the shape and timbre and texture of what is to come is an uncertain chimera shimmering from behind a veil. You must not wait, loiter, dilly-dally. You must force your way painfully through. And then, but only then, the thing will go on its own power, it will hold the reins, and you need do nothing but hang on.

straight is the gate

What are your other inspirations? 
Aside from literary friendships and books and writing? I can admit to no others. Strait is the gate.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

uses for boys

And here's the cover, designed by Elsie Lyons at St. Martin's Press with photography by Tess Kongteattikul. I love Tess's work which reminds me of another favorite photographer, Olivia Bee. More about the book (January 2013) here and here.

of something was happening

...and our memories of the story are action-based; it burns in our mind as a shining scene with silverware and spilled wine, but the percentage of action lines might be really low. So the goal might be to cut out as much action as you can but keep the image-burn effect of something was happening. Ben Jahn

Sunday, April 8, 2012

for books I like

Two close friends blurbed my first novel. I am forever in their debt, and I found the whole process a bit humiliating. No strangers were willing to blurb me on the strength of the book itself, and my editor asked many people, far and wide. The whole thing made me feel jaundiced and annoyed.

My later books were beautifully blurbed by a several generous fellow writers I barely knew—people I now adore and feel indebted to, although I still barely know them.

I happily, freely offer and write blurbs for everyone I know or sort of know or who know people I know, and even people I don't know if I like their books, which, come to think of it, disproves my assumption that all blurbs are personal. I write blurbs for books I like and people I like. Kate Christensen in an interview with The Awl

Painting: The Lantern Parade by Thomas Cooper Gotch via Books vs. Cigarettes