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Writerly Validation

by Jonathan 0 Comments

Taylor books

I’m pretty stoked to be writing this post. I’ve missed getting thoughts down here.

I’ve had the pleasure of a critique session with Paul Di Filippo via the Starship Sofa‘s writing workshop series. Both Paul and Tony C. Smith–God-emperor and host of the Sofa–pretty much rule. It’s not every day I get to pick the brain of an established author like Paul, so yeah.

I sent him the first 40 pages of my novel. He was quite complimentary, using words like “market ready” and “chops.” His critique points were quite helpful, too. Needless to say it was nice to hear someone who knows from writing say those things. It’s like a shot of caffeine for my confidence that tells me I’m doing something right.

With writing being the lonely profession and all that, I’ve made a decision to reach out more, engage more and maybe, just maybe, hit a convention or two, starting with Capclave 13 in October of this year.

In the meantime I’m quietly querying, working on another novel, and just plain working.

I’ve also grown attached to Spotify, and with it, this guy:

Coffee Break No. 25 – Writing, Music and Photography

For the silver anniversary of my Coffee Break series I thought I would share some links that I particularly enjoyed this week. Check ’em out. If they don’t move you, check your pulse, you may be paranormal.

Vivian Maier

At BronxBanterBlog.com is a fantastic post about photography. It’s a baseball blog at heart, but so much more. Host Alex Belth has a keen eye for stuff far outside the lines of the old ball diamond. Like this:

Every once in a while something comes along that is so unbearably tremendous that I can’t help but feel rejuvenated, filled with enthusiasm and faith in the world. Like this story about the guy who found a treasure and is now sharing it with the world.

Bat Segundo interviews Paolo Bacigalupi – I very much enjoyed this podcast. Bacigalupi’s candid answers provided a nice glimpse into his writing process. Here’s a taste:

It’s almost all improvisation, actually. Very little is planned out. There’s a detail that I have in my bank. And I use it. And you’re always acquiring material, whether that’s from visiting your in-laws or whether that’s from reading a novel.

Over at Largehearted Boy, Jeff VanderMeer talks about a music play list that would best accompany his story collection, The Third Bear – There are also links to some free PDF downloads for a story from the book, “The Quickening”,  and reviews of the book.

It’s somewhere between elegy/dirge and celebration, chronicling the strange moments that occur more often than we want to believe. At base, it’s a collection that’s about the search for something beyond what we know…

And finally, over at More Red Ink, editor Marty Halpern discusses many things, but the thing that caught my eye was this post on how flexible e-paper reminded Marty of Paul di Filippo. I include this because I just discovered di Filippo through Jeff and Ann VanderMeer’s Steampunk anthology and just downloaded a StarShipSofa podcast because he was in it.

From Marty’s blog (It’s Marty quoting Harlan Ellison talking about di Filippo):

My wife has instructions that the instant I die, she has to burn all the unfinished stories. And there may be a hundred unfinished stories in this house, maybe more than that. There’s three-quarters of a novel. No, these things are not to be finished by other writers, no matter how good they are. It could be Paul Di Filippo, who is just about the best writer in America, as far as I’m concerned.

See, now you’re smarter.