...Honorable mention went to “Effects of the Wind” by Laryn Kragt Bakker, a recent Memphis transplant who does graphic design and web development for nonprofits through CEDC.org. His book, Clutching Dust and Stars, was awarded “Best First Novel” by Hearts and Minds Books when it was released in 2009.
In the introductory pages to each of the book's two sections I included a list of quotes that had struck me in one way or another as relevant as I was researching and developing the two primary characters in the book. David Dark linked to a Hafiz quote that I would have included there, had I known of it at the time:
"I suppose I write because I don't believe in closure. I write to open things up--memories, ideas, beliefs, sensations. Writing helps me bring my fears into the open and give them the respect they deserve...Because I am more certain than ever that death has much to offer the living--like life, like love, it's a lesson in mystery. I write to honour that mystery."
This is, suffice it to say, very interesting:
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry at Business Insider says, “Back of the envelope math suggests that selling 100,000 copies a month at $1 to $3 a pop and keeping 70%, Hocking can make millions per year, straight to her pocket.”
Thirty-one years ago, in the introduction to "Picked Up Pieces," his second collection of assorted prose, John Updike laid down his own six rules for reviewing. They are still the single best guide to fairness today:
"My rules," he writes, "shaped intaglio-fashion by youthful traumas at the receiving end of critical opinion, were and are:
1. Try to understand what the author wished to do, and do not blame him for not achieving what he did not attempt.
Back in September Janel came home with a surprise for my birthday: she had signed me up for a writing workshop. We were new to the area and she had done her research, sending me off to the Decatur Book Festival, "the largest independent book festival in the country". I hadn't written much of anything since Cara died and I think it was her way of nudging me back into it.
My sister-in-law sent me this quote today and said she thought of me when she read it...
Thanks to all who showed up at the release party at Sova. I had a great time and enjoyed the question and response time (both in the group setting and individually). We had a good turn-out -- about 40 people -- and plenty of food. Thanks to those who volunteered to bring food to share, and to Teach for America, who provided their extra platters to us unexpectedly! Once again, a big thank you to Elisabeth Kvernen and Josh Kvernen for their work in arranging details of the evening and to Matt Krueger for MC'ing.