Book Recommendations Writing

March Madness reading list: 10 best books about college basketball

March Madness reading list: 10 best books about college basketball / The Christian Science Monitor –

If you’d rather read about basketball than spend hours watching in, Marjorie Kehe offers her list of the 10 best reads.

I can’t help but notice, though, that, although the title of this article is “10 Best Books about College Basketball,” what you really have here is a list of books about men’s college basketball. College women also play basketball–and very well, I might add. They also have an NCAA championship tournament, complete with brackets and a Final Four extravaganza (to be held this year in San Antonio, Texas, the same weekend–though on alternate nights–as the men’s championship showdown). Where are the books about their game? Any writers out there searching for the next big project?

Publishing Writing

Writers strike out on their own with a website

Writers strike out on their own with a website |

Striking writer Peter Hyoguchi was walking the picket line outside Disney’s ABC Studios in Burbank, Calif., in January when he had an epiphany. What if scriptwriters launched a website featuring their work, which they would own and control free of studio interference?

That hunch is about to be tested. After months of planning and delay, Mr. Hyoguchi and his colleagues have turned their seemingly quixotic idea into a reality. Two weeks ago, they launched an online ‘network’ for original programming named Strike.TV. It marks an ambitious effort to connect film and TV writers to the fledgling world of online video. The portal will run 45 original Web series with more than 200 episodes from such veteran writers as Lester Lewis, a producer on ‘The Office,’ and Ken LaZebnik, a ‘Star Trek: Enterprise’ scribe. Shows include actors Timothy Dalton and JoBeth Williams.

Movie and television writers try out the Internet in a way that allows them both creative freedom and a new outlet for making money. Offerings on StrikeTV include comedy, horror, science fiction, soap operas, and drama.

Literary History Publishing Writing

The Internet vs. books: Peaceful coexistence

The Internet vs. books: Peaceful coexistence – Los Angeles Times:

Books require a different sort of communion with one’s subject than the Internet. They foster a different sort of memory — more tactile, more participatory. . . . For literary works, books are still, and most likely always will be, indispensable.

In the Los Angeles Times Beau Friedlander, editor of, weighs in on the debate over whether the Internet is supplanting printed books. Tangentially, he also addresses the question of whether the Internet is making us dumber; his answer seems to be that books and the Internet provide us with different kinds of information that are useful in different situations.

Ultimately, Friedlander quotes Markos Moulitsas Zuñiga, founder of the political website the Daily Kos:

Google makes it possible to learn anything, near instantaneously. Like natural selection, there are species that adapt to the changing environment around them and thrive, and others die off.


Novel Journey: Author, Psychotherapist Dennis Palumbo ~ Interviewed

Novel Journey: Author, Psychotherapist Dennis Palumbo ~ Interviewed

Former Hollywood screenwriter Dennis Palumbo is now a psychotherapist, book reviewer, and author of both nonfiction books about writing and crime fiction. In his psychotherapy practice he specializes in working with creative people.

Here’s what he has to say about writer’s block:

Funny you should mention writer’s block, because I hold an unconventional view about it: namely, I think that writer’s block is good news for a writer! In my view, a ‘block’ is merely a stage in your growth in craft as a writer, similar to the developmental stages we all go through as we mature in life.

Just as a toddler needs to struggle—risking and failing over and over, as he or she learns to walk—so too does a writer experiencing a ‘block’ need to learn to navigate and master that particular developmental stage in his or her work. Perhaps the writer is trying to write a more complicated plot than usual, or is delving into difficult personal/sexual material for the first time. Whatever.

And I think the proof that a block is a necessary developmental step in a writer’s growth is that, in my experience, after writers have worked through a block, they report feeling that they’ve grown as writers, that they’re more confident about their craft, or that the work has become more personally relevant.

There’s much more of interest here, so jump on over and read the entire interview.

Publishing Writing

Amazon Tightens Noose on Print-On-Demand Publishers; Insists They Use Company’s Own Service

Amazon Tightens Noose on Print-On-Demand Publishers; Insists They Use Company’s Own Service –

Amazon is causing quite an uproar in the print-on-demand publishing world with its apparent attempt to create a monopoly for itself. Be sure to read the Writers Weekly article linked at the bottom of this piece.

Oddities Publishing Writing

Some Screenwriters Turn to Children’s Books

For some Hollywood screenwriters, an unlikely diversion: children’s books |

Following an earlier report that some striking Hollywood screenwriters are using their off time to work on novels, here’s a follow-up: Some striking screenwriters for children’s shows are funneling their creative ideas into children’s books that will be published later this year.

But don’t think that a children’s book is something writers can just toss off in their spare time:

Writing for kids is tough, says Jerry Griswold, director of the National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature in San Diego, Calif. It took Maurice Sendak 8 years to draft the 300-word classic “Where the Wild Things Are.”

Oddities Publishing Writing

Hollywood writers turn to Plan B: the novel

Hollywood writers turn to Plan B: the novel – Los Angeles Times

In case you’re wondering what screenwriters are doing with all their free time during the strike, the Los Angeles Times reports that some of them are working on their novels. One agent points out that, because scripts and novels require very different types of writing, success as a screenwriter does not necessarily guarantee success as a novelist. Still, if they can sell the movie rights to their books. . . (after the strike ends, of course).

Literary Criticism Writing

Why Sci-Fi Is the Last Bastion of Philosophical Writing

Clive Thompson on Why Sci-Fi Is the Last Bastion of Philosophical Writing

If you want to read books that tackle profound philosophical questions, then the best — and perhaps only — place to turn these days is sci-fi. Science fiction is the last great literature of ideas.

In this short article in Wired magazine Clive Thompson expounds on thoughts sparked by the novella After the Siege by Cory Doctorow. According to Thompson, literary fiction has dropped the ball in terms of dealing with great ideas because “there are, at the risk of sounding superweird, only so many ways to describe reality.” Eventually, he says, he found himself reading essentially the same book over and over again.

This conclusion comes from a certain assumption about the nature of fiction. Thompson says that writing literary fiction is like running a simulation such as The Sims a number of times: “eventually you’re going to explore almost every outcome.” This is, of course, a notion that most serious readers and writers cannot take seriously. From writers’ perspective, a novel presents the author’s particular view of reality. From readers’ perspective, even those who do not consciously think of reading as a transactional process know that something special happens when a particular reader encounters a particular text.

Thompson says that thought experiments–works in which authors ask “What if. . . ” questions–have been the foundation of Western thought since ancient times. His contention is that science fiction is now the main branch of literature dealing meaningfully with such questions.

So, then, why does sci-fi, the inheritor of this intellectual tradition, get short shrift among serious adult readers? Probably because the genre tolerates execrable prose stylists. Plus, many of sci-fi’s most famous authors — like Robert Heinlein and Philip K. Dick — have positively deranged notions about the inner lives of women.

But, Thompson says, many mainstream authors are producing “genre-bending” novels that incorporate traditional science fiction elements. Among these authors are Cormac McCarthy, Michael Chabon, Jonathan Lethem, and Margaret Atwood, whom Thompson calls “a sci-fi novelist trapped inside a literary author.”

Read Thompson’s article, and be sure to read the comments posted underneath it. So far, the comments cover a wide range of responses, both for and against, Thompson’s claim.

Author News Writing

’Diaries’ author helps teens put private thoughts to paper

’Diaries’ author helps Hub teens put private thoughts to paper –

We’ve already missed the event, but the thought is still commendable. Writer Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries, held, by phone, a journal-writing workshop for teenagers this afternoon at the Boston Public Library. Cabot says that much of the basic material in her books came from her own journals. She also warns teenagers to beware how much sensitive personal information they put in a blog or other online journal. She also stresses the necessity of using proper grammar and writing etiquette when posting online:

“People do judge, especially with e-mailing and when you post on message boards. If you want your post to be read or taken seriously, you have to spell and write correctly,” she said.

Quotation Writing


The foundation and source of writing well is to be wise.