Where Will an “Ocean of Sand” Take You?

See all 15 responses (including mine) to the latest visual prompt from Indies Unlimited.

For some technical reason when I post the link to the voting page, it doesn’t open properly: it shows the results, and doesn’t give you an option to vote. So, if you really really want to vote for your favorite entry, please go to Indies Unlimited, open the post ‘Which “Ocean of Sand” Flash Fiction Story Gets Your Vote?’, and vote from there. This should work. Thank you.

Be sure to vote by 5 pm Pacific time today.

Spread the word!

Image credit: Photo by K.S. Brooks. All rights reserved.

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Men & Women of Letters vs. Content Providers, or Writing in The Age of Computers

On the Beach

“The virtues of the ­computer—faster, easier, simpler—are vices when it comes to writing. The pen personalizes the labor of writing, reminding us that we are responsible for what we write.” — from PHENOMENOLOGY OF THE HAND by Mark Bauerlein

Anne Tyler writes in longhand, then revises in sections in “quite small and distinct handwriting – it is almost like knitting a novel”. When the “knitting” is done, she types up the manuscript, then writes it out in longhand — again. The whole thing.

Anne Tyler is not alone in her love for the old-fashioned tools of the trade (in particular, white paper with no lines, and a Pilot P500 gel pen), but some writers take it to the extreme:

“A blank computer screen makes me want to throw up,” says Niven Govinden. “It’s not conducive to good writing.” Or is it? What do you think?

Are you drawn to the old-fashioned? Do you write longhand? Do you find the soft glow of a computer screen exciting and inspiring? Share in the comments.

If you’ve enjoyed the post, do press those “like” and “share” buttons. Thank you.

Image credit: Maurice Brazil Prendergast. On the Beach, 1896–1897. Watercolor with graphite underdrawing on wove paper, Overall: 13 3/4 x 10 in. (34.9 x 25.4 cm). BF695. Public Domain.

To Pay, or Not To Pay; or the Pros & Cons of Submission Fees in Poetry (& Other Kinds of) Publishing

Child Reading (Enfant lisant)

What’s your take on submission fees? Do you keep track of what you spend on submissions? Are you planning to pay-to-play in 2018? Share in the comments.

In case you’re leaning toward fee-free options, Erica Verrillo regularly posts lists of free contests, as well as lists of paying markets, for all genres.

Image credit: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Child Reading (Enfant lisant), early 1890s. Oil on canvas, Overall: 12 13/16 x 16 1/4 in. (32.6 x 41.3 cm). BF51. Public Domain.

The Battle of Two Annes, or Real Life in Memoir and Fiction

The Card Players (Les Joueurs de cartes)

Do “you own everything that happened to you”? What if you were not nice to them without realizing it? Is there such a thing as an objective memoir?

Is it okay if your “fiction is taken from real life”? Do writers have a right to appropriate somebody else’s life stories? Do writers “own everything that happened to other people”?

What do you think? Feel free to share your views in the comments.

Image credit: Paul Cézanne. The Card Players (Les Joueurs de cartes), 1890–1892. Oil on canvas, Overall: 53 1/4 x 71 5/8 in. (135.3 x 181.9 cm). BF564. Public Domain.

 

On the Birth of a Song, Originality, & Authority

Houses and Figure

  • “…the song — it’s not important that anybody knows the genesis of it, because if the language comes from that passionate resource, it will be able to embrace all passionate activity.”  Leonard Cohen, CBC Radio Interview (August 26, 1995).

If you do want to know the genesis of “Dance Me To The End Of Love”  here it is.

  • “Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” 

 — C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

  • Does your website have DA (domain authority)? Find out using this free tool. Don’t get discouraged if your DA is low, or even absent — the new year has just begun! Among the factors that increase DA (and chances of Google finding you) is your site’s age. Keep at it.

Image credit: Vincent van Gogh. Houses and Figure, 1890. Oil on canvas, Overall: 20 1/2 x 15 15/16 in. (52 x 40.5 cm). BF136. Public Domain.