Posts Tagged ‘writing as a business’

Sparks & Beauties: Salvador Dali Does Alice in Wonderland, Saudi Arabia’s First Female Film Director and Ponies That Strut

It’s been a quiet week on the homestead. After two weekends of city adventures, I’ve laid low, cleaned house and wrote and read like the Cancerian introvert that I am. There’s all sorts of astrological craziness happening: beautiful things like Grand Sextiles, but crazy oppositions between key planets happening in my house of partnerships. There’s definitely manifestations of it, so I’m kind of just hiding out till I can get through the rest of July. (Is anyone else in this phase of “let’s just hide until this damn month is over”?) But, y’know, I’m good, life is good and my book is meandering in the world, making friends, which I am so happy about. Lovely Keight Bergmann wrote it up in her booklog at Uncapitalized, and I was stoked beyond stoked when Grow author Eleanor Whitney in NYC! Excited to see my book back in its spiritual home, you know? Anyway, these are the beautiful things I’ve squirreled away to read in my little Midwestern refuge.

+ Haifaa al-Mansour is Saudi Arabia’s first woman feature film director — a remarkable achievement in a country where cinemas are banned. “Wadjda” is about a rebellious 11-year-old girl who wants to buy a bike in a country where women aren’t even supposed to drive. Needless to say, her own country isn’t showing the movie, but it’s being screened at fests around the world, and is getting award attention. This one’s on my radar! The Economist has a great little Q&A with her.

+ File this under “ravishing visual beauty” — Open Culture did a post on Salvador Dali’s illustrations of “Alice in Wonderland.” You can see the full slate of Dali’s work over at Retronaut — they’re gorgeous and hallucinatory.

+ I’ve had my eye on adding the new novel to my list of summer must-reads; Sarah McCarry at superb blog The Rejectionist has a Q&A with the author Stephanie Kuehn, and it’s a great one. (I also can’t wait for Sarah’s own book as well!)

+ Writerly types, Esme Wang (a former nogoodforme.com intern!) did a great post on winning writing grants. I’m not a grant-applier myself (I just don’t see anyone wanting to give grants about nutty books about 19th-century perfume makers or teen skater werewolves, you know?) but I know a lot of people who read this blog write literary fiction, and this could be up your alley!

+ I always read big-picture touchy-feeling stuff and one of the pieces of advice is usually “MAKE A VISION BOARD!” whether it’s for money, career, love, whatever. But sometimes you’re just basically vision-boarded out, you know? They take a long time to assemble and put together, and sometimes, if you’re like me, you just end up with lots of pictures of clouds and shoes. Anyway, Smart Cookies did a post on making a targeted, focused vision board that does its job and gets down to business.

+ Finally, I have to shout out my own Tumblr, because, you guys:

Don’t want to click? Okay:

Sparks: Welcome to Female Trainwreck Week

I’ve always been oddly secretive about what I read on the Internet. (I’m one of those people that think that what you read in some way will come to define you at some point — which is scary considering how much sci-fi/fantasy, business development and fusty classical fiction I read.) I originally posted a list of “What I’m Reading on the Internets” on my monthly mailing list missive, but then thought that public sharing was a better way to spark discussion and at least pay tribute to other Internet writers out there!

So here you go…this week I was fascinated by maybe-crazy ladies, inside guff on how people dealt with social media, a bunch of movie geekiness and had a love/hate relationship with an article written by a writer I generally loathe. So, if I were to concoct a new personality out of this week’s Internet reading I’d be…a lady driven to craziness by Twitter and anti-feminism who drowns her sorrows in a major drug habit while watching “JFK”? I don’t know!

+ Evolution of a Feisty Pixar Princess – Did you see Brave? I thought the animation was stunning but the story a bit underdeveloped — but I will always enjoy learning about the collective creative process at Pixar.

+ Cat Marnell on Jane Pratt, Her Book, and Splitting From xoJane.com – Duuuuuuude, Cat Marnell is legit smart, and legit bananas. I’ve always admired people who are brutally honest and incisive, but frankly my respect is lessened by the self-destructiveness. I think it’s maybe a mark of getting older, but my fascination with people trainwrecks is lot less starry-eyed and romantic. Once drugs have used up her beauty and youth, will there be much fascination left? What do you think?

+ ‘I Just Want to Feel Everything’: Hiding Out With Fiona Apple, Musical Hermit – In many ways this interview kind of upends all the conventions of typical celebrity interviews, and yet upholds them utterly as well. And her new record = so good.

+ Cheap, Chic, And Made For All: How Uniqlo Plans To Take Over Casual Fashion – I enjoyed reading this mostly because I love Uniqlo. I really do love their cheerful, democratic approach to fashion, I wear their jeans and underwear religiously, and never regret my purchases from there.

+ are you feeling social media-obliged? – I loved reading how Sarah Wilson lays out all her social media outlets and how she uses them. It’s a valuable practice in this age when everyone’s doing everything and it’s so easy to fritter away your time and energy on social media, thinking you are doing “work” when you’re really not.

+ Why the 21st Century Author is an Internet Entrepreneur – Reading this left me with mixed feelings and a slight sense of indignation, like, “Did Marguerite Duras or Joan Didion ever have to worry about ‘building a platform’ and getting Twitter followers? Whatever happened to having superlative craft and intensely beautiful imagination and humanity?” But you know, this is just the truth these days, at least if you aim to publish and you’re not Duras or Didion!

+ Spin’s “Girl Issue” from 1997 – Reading the Fiona Apple article above made me remember she was on the cover of the “Girl Issue” that Spin published way back in the day, which was one of my most favorite issues of a magazine ever. I remember keeping my copy of it forevs, though I don’t remember where it is. Oh, my sorrows!

+ Jackie and the Girls – Truth: I really hate Caitlin Flanagan. Okay, not her, but her ideas. But she’s such a good writer that she almost seduces you to her point of view, till you remember how utterly and deeply you are at odds with her ideologically. But in this article she captures in some way both the repulsion and the allure of the whole Kennedy mystique in a way that helps me to get it, having never really been captivated by it in the first place.

+ Rounding Up Iceland’s Horses – Just lovely pictures of nature in Iceland and Icelandic ponies! I have always loved them for their sweet faces.

+ What’s the story with your budget? – The lovely Eleanor over at killerfemme.com is writing about money management, planning and artists, a topic I’m much interested in. If you are a creative who has ever been flummoxed by the financial side of your work, Eleanor’s column is for you!

+ Why Women Still Can’t Have It All – I have soooooo much to say about this article that I find it hard to sum up here, but I’ll try just a little: No, women can’t have it all without something suffering (usually their health and sanity). I don’t think anyone can have it all, actually, though the “not having it” is different for each gender. I think we need to talk about the constant expectation of women being primary caretakers of the house and hearth. I also think what we really need to talk about here is a system that fails to support both men and women in helping to care and educate their children. I also think we need to unpack the entitledness and classist dimensions on “having it all” in the first place, too. I told you, so much to think about!