Magpie Monday

Here are some shiny things that caught my eye recently:

♦ Today is the last day of National Poetry Month. Have you been taking your poems? closes out their celebration of NPM with “Aquaman and the Duality of Self/Other, American, 1985” by Catherynne M. Valente.

One poem I like and one I love: “You Are Not Your Bookshelf” by Jeff O’Neal and “In the House of Death” by Joe Bolton (one of my favorite poems).

♦ I’ve always loved Nigella Lawson—I mean, who wouldn’t? She’s smart, gorgeous, and loves food, plus that accent!—but now I love her even more:


♦ I don’t know how I missed Nadine Boughton‘s work before now, but I’m glad to have found it (thank goodness for Chet Phillips’ blog!). I’ve selected three pieces of hers that really spoke to me to share with you. The first two are from her “True Adventures in Better Homes” series, which are photocollages wherein “men’s adventure magazines or ‘sweats’ meets Better Homes and Gardens.” Click through to read more about this series.

Menace by Nadine Boughton

Sea Men by Nadine Boughton

The last picture is from Boughton’s “The Pleasures of Modern Living” series, where her “intention is to blend the nostalgia for the past with the darkness beneath ‘the pleasures of modern living.'”

Garden Shed by Nadine Boughton

Book Nook.

Check out a new Postcard Story by Will Ludwigsen, “Nannah’s Cats.”

If you’re looking for a new book to read, my friend Paul Kirsch has a review of Stephen King’s new Dark Tower novel, The Wind through the Keyhole. His Mid-World dialect is perfect.

Speaking of reviews, this week Cameron Cook took on the wildly misinterpreted and misunderstood film Wild At Heart, directed by David Lynch.

Found via my friend Adam Mills, this Atlantic article is a nice write-up on the novella (and particularly the Melville House novella series, which are lovely paperback editions). The older I get, the less inclined I feel to write sweeping, epic novels and the more enchanted I become with the novella form.

If you’re interested in book arts (of course you are), you’ll enjoy this tour of book artist Rhiannon Alpers’ studio.

♦ Harry Potter fans will enjoy this wedding invitation based on the Marauder’s Map, designed by onelittleM at etsy. Click through either link to see more images. (Via.)

Are creative people naturally more dishonest?

♦ I found this article about Harvard’s decision to stop paying for mega-expensive academic journal subscriptions quite interesting. I’m not surprised to learn how much academic journals cost, given the increasingly high costs of textbooks.

♦ Ah, me.

“The Death of A Librarian” by Faerie Girl


♦ I found E.O. Wilson’s overview of the origin of the arts fascinating (via Caitlín Kiernan on Facebook). Some of my favorite bits below, but click through to read the article in its entirety:

If ever there was a reason for bringing the humanities and science closer together, it is the need to understand the true nature of the human sensory world, as contrasted with that seen by the rest of life.

Such may be the scope of the humanities [he cites the definition of the humanities in congressional statute that created the NEH and NEA], but it makes no allusion to the understanding of the cognitive processes that bind them all together, nor their relation to hereditary human nature, nor their origin in prehistory. Surely we will never see a full maturing of the humanities until these dimensions are added.

The essential difference between literary and scientific style is the use of metaphor.

What counts in science is the importance of the discovery. What matters in literature is the originality and power of the metaphor. Scientific reports add a tested fragment to our knowledge of the material world. Lyrical expression in literature, on the other hand, is a device to communicate emotional feeling directly from the mind of the writer to the mind of the reader.

♦ The awesome Christopher Meloni reading—or, at least, trying to (via).

Writers’ Corner.

Chuck Wendig talks about 25 things he learned while writing his novel Blackbirds.

Speaking of Wendig, Caroline Whitney is breaking down Wendig’s post on 25 ways to become a better writer, step by step. In this weekly series, Caroline will “take each of the 25 tips Chuck Wendig proposes, show them to you, and then give you some resources that go along with the tips.” So far, she’s addressed Step 1: Practice Makes Perfect and Step 2: Just Keep Reading.

For those of you interested in graphic novels, you might want to check out the excerpt at of Mastering Comics, by Matt Madden and Jessica Abel, due out in May. I’d actually like to teach a Creative Writing: Graphic Novel class some day, preferably team-taught with some in the Art department (hint, hint, Laura!).

Are you a writer who’s too busy to write? Krissy Brady has some ideas on how to finally get started writing.

Neil Gaiman posted the original version of his UK Sunday Times Magazine interview with Stephen King on his blog–worth a read, writers!

Annie Neugebauer has a series of posts on sonnet building (which are also useful for the prose writer). (Via.)

This USB typewriter cracked me up. You can use it with a PC, Mac, or an iPad, and the keyboard has all the modern amenities, including alt, arrow, ctrl, and esc keys. Pretty as it is, the price tag, though, is not so pretty. (Via).

♦ New Super Best Friends Forever short!

♦ Thought the end of this Volvo commercial was cute (via):

♦ If you haven’t checked out the debut album by Metaphorest, you really should. “Wanderer” is one of my favorite songs from the album, and the video by Maria Ivanova is pretty amazing.

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