October writing links

Hello, reader. Here’s a little tidbit for you: I’m a mad documenter of the past. This, no doubt, has something to do with having two historians for parents. I grew up knowing words like “archive” at a very young age. Anyway, I’m always trying to preserve moments in time. For example, October.

I thought I’d share the writing-related links* from October that most moved, inspired, thrilled, saddened, and in the case of two book reviews, surprised me. In other words, worth reading:

Alexander Chee‘s wonderful essay on Annie Dillard and the Writing Life.

An excellent question posed on Practicing Writing. I could probably write a blog post about my experience with age in my MFA program. Oh wait, I did. All I can say is, if you’re not in your 20s, make sure you visit the program and/or find out some specific age demographics before you go to make sure it’s a good fit.

The decline and fall.

A pretty rough review of John Irving’s latest novel from Michiko Kakutani. One of several harsh book reviews I’ve read recently. This one follows the nearly complete evisceration of Richard Powers’ entire body of work in the New Yorker. I’m not against negative reviews…it’s just, well, it’s always unsettling to read a harsh one, particularly when it’s the work of an established writer.

Scrivener, the helpful writing software, is offering a discount to NaNoWriMo participants. The more you write, the cheaper it gets! I don’t use Scrivener all the time, but I absolutely love it for organizing lots of shorter documents, or trying to get my head around a big project. I’m a big fan of the cork board.

This has made the rounds but it’s an amazing story of almost giving up on writing (but not!) and so I include it here.

*There’s a nice little feed of what I’ve been bookmarking on de.lic.ious on the right side of the blog  that you can see if you click through from that handy feed reader you use to keep up with all the bloggy goodness out there. But if you’re in a hurry or just don’t feel like clicking, I’m here for you. Thus the October roundup.

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4 thoughts on “October writing links

  1. I’ve also been following the similar evisceration of the latest Roth. Whatever the qualities of the book in question, it’s hard not to wonder whether there’s a bit of a feeding frenzy amongst critics when a ‘giant’ stumbles.

    Scrivener! My favourite bit of software on my Mac – been using it for three years now, wrote all the essays and the research project for my MAsters on it. Haven’t written a novel on it – yet.

  2. I’m a huge Dillard fan too (reading an excerpt from “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” in a creative nonfiction class was part of what made me want to become a writer. I found Chee’s essay so inspiring!

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