Thursday, October 20, 2011

Writing exercise for the night: NOIR in 1,500 words or less


With a weeks worth of student essays and stories graded, I'm settling in to get back to work. This week has been filled with wet, dreary October days, the kind that make my spirit beam. Tonight I'm going to try out my new Write or Die task master and attempt to write in a genre I've never bothered with before-- noir. Dirty dames and down on their luck dicks here I come.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Last 5 Books I Bought

1. This Land is Their Land: Reports from a Divided Nation
-Barbara Ehrenreich
* Forty pages or so to go. Wonderful collection of short essays, asides, observations, and arguments about the political landscape of the first ten years of the new millennium.

2. Everbody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge
-Mark Yarm

*Two-hundred pages in and I'm amazed at the construction of the book. Imagine conducting interviews with dozens of people for hundreds of hours and then going back and trying to piece a clear narrative out of those conversations that is both informative and entertaining. Mark Yarm did that.

3. Hunters and Gamblers
-Ryan Ridge

*Twenty pages to go. Wonderful and weird collection of stories ranging from micro-fiction to novellas which go from post-apocalyptic playground to the pressing ennui of Wal-mart worlds.

4. The Financial Lives of The Poets
-Jess Walter

*Can't wait to start it. The title reminds me of all the jokes from my M.F.A. program. You know the jokes. They're never funny. Just a statement of sad facts where you giggle at the end to take the edge off. "We love spending forty thousand dollars to be something that only we value or romanticize. Hahaha. Right guys? It's so worth it!"

5. How They Were Found
-Matt Bell

*The fact that I haven't read more of his work has been bothering me lately. I'm about to fix that.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Write or Die

If anyone is interested in, or deranged enough to, taking part in National Novel Writing Month I suggest you have a plan. Right now I'm working on a loose outline (which is way more planning than I ever do), and I bought an awesome app called "Write or Die" for Dr.Wicked.com. Highly recommend it!