Dec 5th, 2011

On Not Releasing The Sea of the Missing (yet)

For me, the world seems somehow more balanced with book 2 off the shelves. Today I stopped to examine why I, as an author who likes having an audience, am perfectly happy to keep this one to myself.

Jun 10th, 2011

The Wisdom of Athena: On Standing in the Corner

My daughter Athena is 2, and this is common in my house: Parent, exasperated: "Athena, you can do what I tell you right now or go stand in the corner!" Athena, contentedly, almost sing-song: "Staand in tha cor-ner."

30 days of music

Apr 16th, 2011

30 days of music

day 01 - your favorite song day 02 - your least favorite song day 03 - a song that makes you happy day 04 - a song that makes you sad day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone ... I love this kind of thing

A short Mockingjay review

Apr 13th, 2011

A short Mockingjay review

Collins cre­ates a com­pelling argu­ment in three books, and long before she puts her mes­sage directly on the page, we have plenty of evi­dence to believe that “some­thing is sig­nif­i­cantly wrong with a crea­ture that sac­ri­fices its children’s lives to settle its differences.”

Editing fatigue, and what’s next

Mar 31st, 2011

Editing fatigue, and what’s next

These first two books — and per­haps the sequels that will com­plete the story — feel like "the books before the books." If I have the good for­tune of writing more novels, I think these will become, in hind­sight, my equiv­a­lent of those early works that help authors purge the overt, self-indulgent auto­bi­og­raphy from their art and give them the clo­sure they need to start some­thing truly fresh.

Mar 16th, 2011

Personal armageddons

A few streets over, there is a skull-covered truck that advertises the end of the world on May 21, 2011. I want to scoff, I want to take a picture and post it online in June, but tonight I've been reconsidering that.

The Poisonwood Bible

Mar 14th, 2011

The Poisonwood Bible

The Poi­son­wood Bible con­tains as much phi­los­ophy as plot and descrip­tion, and they are so tightly wound that it’s dif­fi­cult to iso­late only one facet. Nonethe­less, here’s what I liked best: The intri­cate col­o­niza­tion metaphor, which is mul­ti­plied on every level: the family, the vil­lage, the country, Africa, the tyran­nical way our own thoughts col­o­nize our [...]

Mar 3rd, 2011

Fabricating stories and a writer’s value

I've never considered writing workshops or conferences -- because in their session descriptions I hear echoes of the sure-fire formulas and motivation rituals that advertisers sell to aspiring authors with the promising of making them real. I object, both to these systems and to the insecurity they create by implying that writing does not make one a writer.

Catching Fire, misdirection, and monkey torture

Feb 26th, 2011

Catching Fire, misdirection, and monkey torture

What struck me most about Catching Fire was the amount of thought that must have gone into it -- and in particular, the diabolical creativity that built such a world of horror for the protagonists, but this is, of course, how great fiction is made

The Hunger Games, dystopia, and watching people hurt each other

Feb 19th, 2011

The Hunger Games, dystopia, and watching people hurt each other

I almost quit The Hunger Games at chapter 3 -- not because it's bad -- it's exceptional, but for the same reason I still haven't seen Schindler's List. Why would I want to read a story about 24 children thrown into a ring to murder each other for the pleasure of others? There are good reasons.

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