Tuesday, April 15, 2008

So, I heard a bit of Bob Edwards interviewing Tobias Wolff and, like most things writing, became keenly interested. I'll own up to the fact that I've never read one sentence by Wolff. He has two novels and bunches of short stories so I'll probably have to read some now. I like his takes on writing. The first is, "There is no perfect novel," a sentiment I arrived at years ago.

Liked this excerpt of Wolff's from an interview with Continuum as well:

Q: What do you like least about writing?

A: Most of all is the feeling of dread that I have. I always have another cup of coffee first. There's an initial sense of frustration. And if you're lucky, you'll experience a self-forgetfulness as you begin to write. All that dreadful anticipation will lift. And you'll be in communion with another person than that person who worries and frets and whose attention is on the wrong details. You'll be in a larger kind of mind than is your usual habit.
That's why we write. It isn't just for the product of the story or the novel, but it's actually for the experience of that bliss that you sometimes do have when you write, as you're somehow transported or elevated. So that's what keeps you going back. It comes to you free, at first, and then you have to work for it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Started reading Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris while on vacation. Compelling. Good to have Harris back in Silence of the Lambs form. Quick, powerful prose that leaves the imagination filling in the gaps. Much better than Hannibal, which I found excessive. Why did Hannibal become the Cannibal? A single picture from the movie adaptation explains, I believe.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

After nearly a year of pecking away at it, I finally finished Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Worth reading, but not a feel good story, though I'm not sure any of his books have chipper endings. I believe he might be better at the shorter length novels, Of Mice and Men was great. Wrath was great too, just much longer. Whoa, what an ending. A small criticism of the great writer ... why leave Tom Joad kind of hanging. Nearly the entire story centers on him and then he fades from story and has nothing directly to do with the very end at all. Maybe he served as the driving force, took the family as far as he could before having to go on the lamb and leave the others to their own devices.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Speculations: No Longer For Writers Who Want To Be Read

WTF ...? Speculations.com, once the last bastion for open message posting from writers without tons of attitude, particularly a quasi-safe harbor for speculative fiction writers, has vanished.

Used-to-be slogan:

"For Writers Who Want To Be Read"


"No Longer For Writers Who Want To Be Read"