One of the most useful and interesting books about the economics of being a writer. Full disclosure Manjula is a friend of mine and thanked me and ourOne of the most useful and interesting books about the economics of being a writer. Full disclosure Manjula is a friend of mine and thanked me and our writing workshop group in the acknowledgments (thanks Manjula! We miss you) so I'll admit to a bit of a bias. But that doesn't take away from the wonderful job she has done editing this collection. The book contains interviews, essays and memoirs by (and with writers) covering all the various ways money and writing intersect. It raises more questions than it answers and that's a good thing. It's important that these questions are asked even if no one has the right answer. I enjoyed reading some sections more than others but I found something interesting or useful in all of them. A great book for writers at any stage of their career. I hope this books continues the conversation it's started....more
I only read the intro and the section on fiction writing but I found this to be a useful brief overview. The title really does say it all, and while II only read the intro and the section on fiction writing but I found this to be a useful brief overview. The title really does say it all, and while I think taking your time to do the exercises and reading or re-reading the stories/novels used as examples will drastically increase what you get out of this book, it's still a handy reference to have around. Like any writing/craft book it's best to read and study this info with you're own perspective, taste and goals in mind.
I originally came across this on through the Kindle Unlimited program (so if you're reading this and you have that I suggest borrowing it and reading the intro) and ended up buying a cheap copy online because I'm crazy and need a physical copy.
I like how condensed this book was, designed to cut straight through to what is really useful to know when writing and save yourself the cost of a MFA. Take that sales pitch with a grain of salt but I am curious to read the other sections in the future should I feel I'd like to focus on something other than fiction....more
Originally I was a bit skeptical of this because the cover seemed a little too cheesy to me but once I started skipping around and reading some of theOriginally I was a bit skeptical of this because the cover seemed a little too cheesy to me but once I started skipping around and reading some of the essays I was delighted with what I found. Writing advice and essays for horror writers that span many different levels from, writer's block and inspiration/advice, to the pro's and con's of self publishing, to how to make the most of social media. This is about not just how to write but also how to be a working writer. Lot's of information that I suspect the would be writer needs to know but only learns through experience. Offer's views not only how best to sell your stories but also how to sell yourself.
I found some essays more helpful or relevant to me than others but almost all of them were interesting. In that way I enjoyed it and found it as useful as Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living just much more specialized and with a different view point. This book is, for the right writer, a great resource and well worth checking out. I will check out other titles from Crystal Lake no matter what I think of the covers. And now that I think about it I take back what I said about this cover, it's growing on me....more
Hands down my favorite modern day short story anthology. So many great stories that knocked me on my ass. I only regret how long I had this and waitedHands down my favorite modern day short story anthology. So many great stories that knocked me on my ass. I only regret how long I had this and waited to read it. Can't wait to read Exigencies....more
A very interesting idea that's worth taking a look at. Exploring the different ways to tell a story in a visual medium also has implications for any kA very interesting idea that's worth taking a look at. Exploring the different ways to tell a story in a visual medium also has implications for any kind of storytelling. ...more
This very short piece is not going to be for everyone but I couldn't stop thinking about it. I'm glad I was able to find a coQuick flash of brilliance
This very short piece is not going to be for everyone but I couldn't stop thinking about it. I'm glad I was able to find a copy of it so easily when it came up recently in a discussion on flash fiction. I also enjoyed the brief intro and the way the story was presented in the electronic literature recommended reading format. I love short stories and I'll drop a dollar on a good one anytime....more
"One must be constantly looking for opportunities to tell one's story." 255 Still digesting this one. It was a challenging read and in some places didn"One must be constantly looking for opportunities to tell one's story." 255 Still digesting this one. It was a challenging read and in some places didn't fully accomplish what it was trying to do. It still broke my heart and I loved it....more
Having only read five or six of Le Carre books and being a big fan of the adapted television movies and films I thought I'd be ready for this book. AnHaving only read five or six of Le Carre books and being a big fan of the adapted television movies and films I thought I'd be ready for this book. And while I certainly enjoyed it, part of me (the completists/slight OCD part of me) wishes I had read more of his novels before taking part in this autobiography (it's more a loose collection of various memories and stories each chapter reading more like an essay or story).
But the man, at 84 years old, is one hell of a writer. So that even when I wasn't familiar with the characters or novels he was describing I was enthralled. My enjoyment was in no doubt increased when I got my hands on the audiobook that is read by the man himself. There is something wonderful about listening to Le Carre read these vulnerable yet still somewhat guarded stories himself. By the end of the book, you feel that you have spent some quality time listening to a very private man illuminate just enough of himself for you to feel you know him, and that you are better off for it.
One of the better autobiographies I've ever read. Worth checking out in print or audiobook (though obvious I prefer the latter). ...more
3.5 stars for the book itself as it is packaged, 4.5 for the story and the actually interesting and relevant bits.
First, I'd like to address that this3.5 stars for the book itself as it is packaged, 4.5 for the story and the actually interesting and relevant bits.
First, I'd like to address that this "Special Definitive Edition" is definitely worth checking out, if like me, you've read Midnight Meat Train story before from Barker's first collection Books of Blood: Volume One, it blew you away, and you'd like to get a little of the story behind the story or a look at the Clive Barker paintings done for this edition. But I would have felt a bit mislead if I'd purchased this book instead of borrowing it. The book is clearly padded with THE ENTIRE CREDITS of the film version of the story in question. Which was irritating, not only because it reminded me of the compromised ending of the movie version, but was also such a ridiculously move on the publishers part.
Secondly, now that I've got my bitching out of the way, I gotta say loved rereading what I always consided the scariest stories I'd ever read. It holds up, even if I found a little bit of the characterization lacking on this read. I read this story for the first time one day while riding a BART train home from school at the age of thirteen. I didn't know what an insane a choice I had made till it was too late and I was hooked. I just wanted to find out what was behind this cover.
What I found was a disgusting, truly scary and perfectly ended short story that I've never forgotten.
I also enjoyed the introduction in this edition which included excerpts of interviews with Ramsey Campbell and Clive Barker about the writing of the story and Barker's philosophy behind his brand of horror. Here is an interesting slightly spoilery quote from Barker:
"What interests me is the idea of characters who confront the ordinary, and find new meaning in the extraordinary, rather than simply finding some creatures or some forces that they must eradicate or exorcise in order to return to the norm that they had on page one. I think of my stories as having happy endings, perversely enough, because they often end with scenes of revelation of one kind or another: characters understanding themselves and realizing why they need fresh meaning in their lives.... Midnight Meat Train is a story (view spoiler)[with a perfect happy ending - he goes through hell and he comes through on the other side, utterly changed, utterly transformed (hide spoiler)]..."
Also fascinating was the background on the production of the film version (which I'd always felt was unfaithful to the short story) which clearly ended up being a bit disappointing in terms of kickstarting new movies based on various Books of Blood stories.
So buyer beware of what you're getting. Though the paintings and interviews will probably make it worth the price for hardcore fans.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
4.5 stars. I greatly enjoyed this novella and story collection concerning the adventures of gunslinging Reverend Jebediah Mercer. We've got westerns f4.5 stars. I greatly enjoyed this novella and story collection concerning the adventures of gunslinging Reverend Jebediah Mercer. We've got westerns featuring Zombies, Ghosts, Werewolves, Vampiric Demon Slugs, Goblins, etc. If reading that following sentences got your excited then this is probably gonna be for you. Just tasty pulpy goodness. I want more. And guess what kids, there is a new Mercer Story written by Joe R. Lansdale for Dead Man's Hand: An Anthology of the Weird West called The Red-Headed Dead with an except you can read here.
Even when I lost interest a couple of times (for me these stories are best read spaced out rather than all at once) I still loved it. Bonus half star for the great introduction by the man himself and the excellent book design. ...more
A helpful and useful guide. I know I will return to re-read certain sections and chapters if I'm stuck. Worth reading for the ground shaking epiphanieA helpful and useful guide. I know I will return to re-read certain sections and chapters if I'm stuck. Worth reading for the ground shaking epiphanies I gained even whilst occasionally disagreeing with Stein. It is dated, judgemental and occasionally sexist. But anytime I read a book on craft I bring my own opinions and judgments, taking what is useful or applicable advice and ignoring the rest.
I particularly enjoyed the last section on revision and Stein's "Triage" method of editing. That alone would make it a five-star book but, since it took me almost a year to slog through it and at times I wanted to through it across the room, it lost a star.
I'd suggest any series writer can gain from reading the book even if they take Stein's commandments with a pinch of salt. ...more
A little too episodic at times for my taste but still a must read for any Robbins fan. I enjoyed the last third of the book the most and wished he'd sA little too episodic at times for my taste but still a must read for any Robbins fan. I enjoyed the last third of the book the most and wished he'd spent a bit more time discussing the writing of his novels, those sections all felt rushed (after Another Roadside). Still, it was a joy to read.
Lot's of great quotes as always but I'll just put my favorite one from the very end of the book (nothing's spoiled here): "If I have been given any gift in this life, it's my ability to live simultaneously in the rational world and the world of imagination. I'm in my eighties now, and if there is one thing of which I am most proud, it's that I have permitted no authority (neither civilian nor military, neither institutional nor societal) to relieve me -- by means of force, coercion, or ridicule-- of that gift. From the beginning, imagination has been my wild card, my skeleton key, my servant, my master, my bat cave, my home entertainment center, my flotation device, my syrup of wahoo; and I plan to stick with it to the end, whenever and however that end might come, and whether or not there is another act to follow."...more
It took me far to long to finish this first volume (of three) in Edmund Morris's definitive biography of Teddy Roosevelt. Though I read widely and vorIt took me far to long to finish this first volume (of three) in Edmund Morris's definitive biography of Teddy Roosevelt. Though I read widely and voraciously it's been quite a bit of time since I've read a historical biography that is this thorough or personally challenging or this good for that matter.
And so I often let myself get distracted by other books. Some have said the last half slowed them down or was harder to get through but the opposite holds true for me. Once TR became president of the New York city police commission, a bit of history that I was always curious to learn more about thanks to its appearance in Caleb Carr's The Alienist, I couldn't stop myself from finishing the book.
While I am relieved to have finally finished (after 6 months) my victory is a little bit bittersweat because I am now doomed (maybe compelled is a better word) to read the next two volumes in the series. This first volume, even with the bits that dragged for me, was so fascinating and compelling that I simply must keep reading these biographies. I loved it and can recommend it.
Now if only I had the will, ability, and energy of TR, I could read the next two and be ready to move on in less than a week....more