Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Murmur and Buzz: A Wrinkle in Time

February 25, 2016

Via Deadline:

'A Wrinkle in Time' ― original 1963 dustjacket (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)Selma director Ava DuVernay has just been set by Disney to direct A Wrinkle In Time, an adaptation of the 1963 Newbery Medal-winning Madeleine L’Engle fantasy classic novel that has a script by Oscar-winning Frozen writer and co-director Jennifer Lee. Deadline revealed February 8 that DuVernay had been offered this film and was also in the mix at DreamWorks for Intelligent Life, a sci-fi thriller scripted by Colin Trevorrow and his Jurassic World collaborator Derek Connolly. DuVernay now has the offer on that film and is in negotiations on a pic that has 12 Years A Slave Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o attached to a fable about a UN worker in a department designed to represent mankind if there was ever contact with aliens, who falls for a mystery woman who turns out to be one. That film is produced by Frank Marshall, Trevorrow and Big Beach principals Peter Saraf and Marc Turtletaub.

I would imagine this is good news.



Fleming Jr., Mike. “Ava DuVernay Set To Direct Disney’s ‘A Wrinkle In Time’; Script By ‘Frozen’s Jennifer Lee”. Deadline. 23 February 2016.


Twain considers criticism

August 7, 2011

Mark TwainSunday Magazine brings us a 1911 episode in Mark Twain’s life: Dealing with bad reviews.



Never take “No” for an answer

May 26, 2011

Let us all raise a glass:

Photo by Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times“Zounds, lad, no need to kill yourself now!” a phantom from the 19th century tells the central character in Dick Wimmer’s first novel, “Irish Wine,” reassuring the struggling artist that someday his paintings will hang in the Tate Gallery in London.

But while the fictional painter, Seamus Boyne, was dismayed because of a poorly received art exhibit and had parked his car on railroad tracks when he heard that ghostly voice, Mr. Wimmer was the epitome of persistence.

“He was never going to give up,” his son Ceo said. “Very driven.”

Mr. Wimmer, who after 25 years of submissions and more than 150 rejections finally got that book published — to very positive reviews — died on May 18 at his home in Agoura Hills, Calif., his son said. He was 74.

Saying that agents and publishers had spurned him 162 times, Mr. Wimmer laid claim to being the most-rejected published novelist in history. Finally, in 1989, “Irish Wine” was published by Mercury House.

(Via The New York Times; photo credit: Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times.)



A “Quick Query Critique” video

May 4, 2010

From, author/editor Marla Miller troubleshoots one writer’s agent query letter.



Proofreading in the twenty-first century

May 2, 2010

Holy somethingApparently romance novelist Nora Roberts has entered the hospitality business. Tammy La Gorce reports, for The New York Times:

Until about a year ago the stereotypical Civil War buff — male, middle-aged, History channel addicted — might have had trouble selling his less-than-enthusiastic wife on a weekend getaway to this small town in western Maryland, best known for its proximity to Antietam National Battlefield, site of the bloodiest one-day battle in the Civil War, in 1862, with close to 23,000 casualties.

But the best-selling romance novelist Nora Roberts may have helped make those husbands’ selling job a lot easier. On Valentine’s Day of last year she opened Inn BoonsBoro, a 1790s-era, eight-room boutique hotel meant to cater to women’s romantic sides.

Rooms are named for famous literary couples, including Marguerite and Percy of “The Scarlet Pimpernel” and Jane and Rochester from “Jane Eyre.” Each suite has its own signature scent. One of the imaginative package deals, called “Girl Trip,” includes certificates for facials at nearby South Mountain Day Spa. Ms. Roberts spent $3 million renovating the three-story inn.

“When we started, I said, ‘I want every room to be unique and beautiful,'” Ms. Roberts, 59, said. “But I also wanted a woman to come here and be comfortable spending time just hanging around. It should be welcoming — a place where she could put her feet up and not be afraid to touch things.” Despite the inn’s romantic, luxurious ambience, Ms. Roberts said her intent was not to detract from the town’s place in America’s history but to complement it. “What people should do when they come is relax and sample Boonsboro and all its history, especially Antietam,” she said. “You can’t walk through there without it grabbing your heart.”

There may be no better time to do so than in May.

In truth, the Nora Roberts angle is just a boon. (Who doesn’t enjoy promoting bourgeois romantic tourism?) Rather, I was drawn to the article when I noticed a typographical error in my NYT RSS feed. Surely enough, it’s right there, in the caption below the picture:

The state of proofreading in the twenty-first century

I know. It’s petty. But one thing I can honestly say is that my affection toward words actually printed on paper holds steady as electronic publications effectively but falsely assert time and again that the only good proofreader is apparently a computer.

And, yes, I know, it infects printed books, too. But just let me have my petty thrill. Reality suffers when we rely too greatly on electronica. No red line? No green line? Must be okay, then. Right? Right? No need to actually read what you’re proofreading; it’s the twenty-first century for Dog’s sakes!


(Can anyone promise perfection? No, but we’ll certainly try. The Southern California Writers’ Conference includes many fine proofreaders and editors among its talented contributors. Don’t miss the Eighth Annual Los Angeles Conference slated for Newport Beach, September 24-26, 2010. And now is a great time to save $75 on your conference registration by signing up before June 1! So come on out and meet some really great people who are also really good at what they do. They’re merciless, though, and will actually tell you when you’re spelling words wrongly.)


Book to the Future?

May 2, 2010

From the New York Times’ Paper Cuts: A Blog About Books:

Ander Monson’s ‘Vanishing Point’: The Future of the Book

The writers participating in The London Review of Books’s panel on Saturday speculated about the future of reading and writing, but they had a slightly harder time trying to imagine how the Book of the Future might change the reading experience. John Lanchester predicted that if a book were to interact with the Web, it would most likely resemble a video game.

But maybe the Book of the Future, as long as the future includes print, will look something like Ander Monson’s book of essays, “Vanishing Point: Not a Memoir” (reviewed for us by David Shields on April 18).

>>read more



Molly the Owl meets Wesley’s mum

April 3, 2010

Big deal in San Diego — San Marcos, specifically — about Barn Owls Molly and McGee. Lots of folks and media following the live feed on the hatching of their Barn Owl brood. Our own Stacey O’Brien, author of the international best-selling memoir Welsey the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl, is providing daily recaps of what visitors to the ustream feed are seeing and can expect to happen with all the owls at her Wesley the Owl Blog. Check it out.



Help Haiti now. Write.

January 22, 2010

If ever you needed a reason to write, or doubted the merit of what you’re writing in the overall scheme of purposeful being and personal affirmation, visit At the very least your can write a check.



eRights and Wrong for Publishers

December 12, 2009

From The New York Times…

Legal Battles Rage Over E-Book Rights to Old Books
Published: December 12, 2009

William Styron may have been one of the leading literary lions of recent decades, but his books are not selling much these days. Now his family has a plan to lure digital-age readers with e-book versions of titles like “Sophie’s Choice,” “The Confessions of Nat Turner” and Mr. Styron’s memoir of depression, “Darkness Visible.”

But the question of exactly who owns the electronic rights to such older titles is in dispute, making it a rising source of conflict in one of the publishing industry’s last remaining areas of growth.

Mr. Styron’s family believes it retains the rights, since the books were first published before e-books existed. Random House, Mr. Styron’s longtime publisher, says it owns those rights, and it is determined to secure its place — and continuing profits — in the Kindle era.

>>Read full article



Monte Schulz on writing a better book

November 2, 2009

Author Monte Schulz discusses the sale of his critically acclaimed first novel, and his decision to write a better book, This Side of Jordan, at the Southern California Writers’ Conference.