Booktribes is a new site
from the creators of writing site Abctales
where bibliophiles can compile lists of every book they've ever read. Replete with a simple, intuitive interface, compiling your life's reading list becomes strangely addictive, and for the whole of March, the best comment of the day on this as-yet underpopulated site wins a copy of David Mitchell's Black Swan Green
, with the best comment of the month winning the entire 21 volume Sceptre Collection. And if you're worried your reading list isn't up to scratch, don't panic - you can always cheat.
posted by RokkitNite
on Mar 3, 2007 -
Ink-stained wretches need not apply. "This is probably terribly unfair, but I just never quite trusted a writer whose letterhead described him or her as a "wordsmith," a "scrivener," "écrivain" (with or without the diacritical), or an "ink-stained wretch." Nor was I favorably impressed by printed citations of honors received ("James Beard Award-Winner Biff Bartleby, Scrivener"). And kids, please, no personal logos: Above all, avoid cute drawings of kitty cats at laptops, or manly fists grasping ostrich-plume pens."
And other things freelance writers should avoid. (From Mediabistro
; registration may be required.)
posted by Man-Thing
on Mar 1, 2007 -
dlog is a new document visualization system that attempts to show writing not as a static document but a progression of frames over time.
I find the suspense of the process mesmerising/delightful. I'm surprised it hasn't been trashed.
posted by tellurian
on Feb 13, 2007 -
While there have been many posts on Mefi of blogs written by those affected by the Iraq War, I have not seen this one posted. No matter your stance on the war, your opinion of American soldiers, or the amount of other Iraq war blogs you've read, all I ask is that you at least read these few entries
. I've used too many words already, when the journal does more than enough to speak for itself. A Soldier's Thoughts. (via) [more inside]
posted by wander
on Feb 7, 2007 -
"A Million Penguins
is an experiment in creative writing and community. Anyone can join in. Anyone can write. Anyone can edit. Let’s see if the crowds are not only wise, but creative. Or will too many cooks spoil the broth?"
posted by goo
on Feb 1, 2007 -
An unassuming Canadian chap has been quietly submitting ludicrous reviews
of products sold on Amazon.com for nearly 5 years. For example, his detailed commentary on George P Joyce's A Comparative Analysis of Two Alternatives to Chemical Aircraft Paint Stripping
Joyce is an alchemist, taking the leaden medium of technical report writing, and transmuting it with his warm spirit, pouring his pen over the obscured voices of the chemical aircraft paint strippers like a mellifluous caramel gold; redeeming them in a universal chorus of aircraft paint strippers, their individual spirits vibrating like strings in a cosmic harp.
Part of the fun is seeing how many people rated each review as helpful; for example, he gets 100% approval for his comments on Flautist Angel Statuette
(This 'flautist angel' is crude, eschewing classical representation to debase itself in the distortions of folk art. A freak frisson of masochism prompted me to order an item that believes human anatomy is modelled upon slurry running from a faucet. Look at it.
) while virtually no-one was impressed by his analysis of How Conservatives Won The Heart Of America
(Thought-provoking. I did not know that the "heart of America" is an actual item the Conservatives won in a game of squash in 1972; I assumed it was a metaphor.
Since Amazon started adding RSS feeds and enabling comments on reviews, he finally appears to be starting to reach an audience
; those wishing to keep updated with his sporadic but fantastic work may appreciate this handy Feedburner URL.
posted by rhodri
on Jan 22, 2007 -
Creativity, Inc: Dave Eggers
is a proprietor. A shopkeeper. Perhaps even a franchise magnate! It was his keen perception of unmet needs in niche markets that led to the opening of a growing array of supply houses across the country. Among them: The Pirate Store
, for the well-outfitted swashbuckler;
The Boring Store
, a subtle, unassuming purveyor of goods for secret agents; the Superhero Supply Store
, in Brooklyn, carrying all the eyewear and accessories today's world-savers require; and Greenwood Space Travel Supply
, where customers are reminded of the space-travel axiom "A lack of preparation is a prescription for mishaps." If these sound like curious business ventures for a celebrated author, there's a reason: the storefronts
, though real, are just that - fronts
. They're the streetside faces (and fundraising arms) of the nonprofit 826National
, a family of learning centers for kids ages 6-18. The 826 'stores' provide free field trips
, creatively themed writing workshops
, and one-on-one instruction
. Supported by an impressive field of cultural types
(including Ira Glass, Sarah Vowell, Sherman Alexie, and others), the program is growing. Coming soon: Michigan 826 will open Monster Union Local 826
, and 826LA
will open the Echo Park Time Travel Mart.
posted by Miko
on Jan 11, 2007 -
Dr. Lisa Marcucci's surgical blog, will give you a lovely preview of exactly what they'll be doing to your guts, from gallbladder surgery
, artery plaque removal
, hemorrhoid removal
, and more. Supplement the text with this extensive collection of surgical videos
(NSFW), and you'll be ready to operate -- or, at least, to understand what'll go on during your operation.
posted by vorfeed
on Dec 18, 2006 -
monitors news websites and detects when articles change. The versions are viewable and the changes are highlighted. Some edits are miniscule, others are quite interesting
. A Recommended Revisions list
yields all manner of edits. Also on the News Sniffer site, Watch Your Mouth
monitors the BBC's 'Have Your Say
' website and detects when comments get censored.
posted by thisisdrew
on Nov 1, 2006 -
"Welcome to the Archive of the Now.
The Archive of the Now is an online and print repository of recordings, printed texts and manuscripts, focussing on innovative contemporary poetry being written or performed in Britain. It is part of the Brunel Centre for Contemporary Writing, at Brunel University in west London, UK. At present, the Archive consists of readings by 65 UK-based poets. This number will continue to grow, and includes newly commissioned, recently acquired and historical recordings."
posted by jayder
on Oct 22, 2006 -
"Over the last few weeks I have been introducing you to eight schools of criticism – Biographical, New Critical, Marxist, Structural, Jungian, Psychoanalytical, Feminist, and Post-Colonial – giving a little history behind each, and showing how they can be used to critique the video game Katamari Damacy
for the PlayStation 2." [Part One
| Part Two
| Part Three
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Oct 16, 2006 -
The end of cursive?
When handwritten essays were introduced on the SAT exams for the class of 2006, just 15 percent of the almost 1.5 million students wrote their answers in cursive. The rest? They printed. Block letters. "Cursive -- that is so low on the priority list, we really could care less. We are much more concerned that these kids pass their SOLs [standardized tests]."
posted by stbalbach
on Oct 11, 2006 -
is a sprawling
, highly engaging
, nearly obsessive
look at the craft
of poetry, including sound patterning
, fractal criticism
, poetry heresies
, brief, clear intros to theorists like Bakhtin
, writing instruction
and much more
posted by mediareport
on Oct 6, 2006 -
"Excuse me," Schwartzman said to the Home Depot man, "can you tell me where to find tar?" "Tar?" asked the Home Depot man. "What're you using tar for?" "I'm building an ark," said Schwartzman. If there was anything that two years of completing God's preposterous homework assignments had taught Schwartzman it was that there was absolutely nothing you could tell Home Depot Man you were building that would surprise him, that would get any reaction from him at all, for that matter, aside from the usual skepticism about your choice of building materials.Shalom Auslander
recasts Jewish history in short story form. Start with the aforementioned "Prophet's Dilemma
," and work your way backwards to "Plagued
." [more inside]
posted by anjamu
on Jul 24, 2006 -
Looking for an ego boost?
The fine people over at The Screenplay Agency
are the place for you! No logline too stupid, no script too poorly written! Are you tired of agency after agency telling you that they don't want your 20 year old screenplay about how much you love peanut butter just because "It doesn't make any sense, and is written with crayon on a pile of dirty gym socks?" I know I was! Until I found out about The Screenplay Agency, who promptly accepted every criminally copyright infringing idea I threw at them until I just KNEW I was every bit as good I writer as I've always told myself I am. And all they asked of me was approximately $250 in fees paid to coverage agencies no one has ever heard of and which seem to be owned by the same company that owns The Screenplay Agency! Sure, you've heard of publishing scams like Publish America (part 2)
thanks to the diligence of sites like Making Light
and our own thread on the matter,
but The Screenplay Agency is totally different! For one thing, they only
rip you off
boost your ego through screenplays
legitimate screenplay writers high and mighty hollywood types
have gone and pranked this excellent automated delusion reinforcer.
But don't let those spoilsports spoil your sport! (God, I am such a great writer. No wonder they loved my screenplay!) Go ahead and generate your own rave reviews!
posted by shmegegge
on Feb 25, 2006 -
How to write about Africa. Always use the word 'Africa' or 'Darkness' or 'Safari' in your title.
Most travel books about Africa open with the author alone, carried along by some vehicle, looking down over some landscape and feeling anxious.
Always end your book with Nelson Mandela saying something about rainbows or renaissances. Because you care.
posted by gottabefunky
on Jan 6, 2006 -