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Notes From Elsewhere Returns! Craft Advice + More | Word Riot

August 25, 2015      

Notes From Elsewhere Returns! Craft Advice + More

Hello everyone! Yes, it’s been at least four months since I’ve had any literary links ’round these parts. Let’s make up for lost time and look at some interesting stories that I’ve saved in my trusty WR bookmarks folder since April.

Couple of good Patricia Highsmith-related links to share: First, this look at her book, Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction. I’ve always meant to read it, even though suspense fiction isn’t my usual neck of the writing-woods, since I figure we can all learn from it.

And here’s an article about what makes her work so adaptable to screen. I’m really looking forward to seeing Cate Blanchett in Carol, an adaptation of The Price of Salt.

Speaking of how we can always learn from other artists: Here’s Picasso on success and having the courage to keep on pursuing your work without compromise.

This is one of my favorite posts over at Brain PickingsSelf-Refinement Through the Wisdom of the Ages: 15 Resolutions for 2015 from Some of Humanity’s Greatest Minds. Includes thoughts from Virginia Woolf, Carl Sagan, Maya Angelou, and more.

At The Quivering Pen (which is back, by the way), Jo Deurbrouck talks about her relationship with social media and how she learned to use the form to her advantage.

On the flipside, at The Millions, Sarah Labrie talks about her anxiety regarding social media.

Did you know that August is Women in Translation Month? Tis true. Flavorwire has some recommendations for where to start, including Clarice Lispector, Colette, Elena Ferrante, Elfriede Jelinek, and Laura Esquirel.

Another awesome lady, Lidia Yuknavitch, got her first New Yorker write-up for her new novelThe Small Backs of Children. (Which is a triumph of a book, and you should all read it.)

Since I loved Excavation, I’m looking forward to reading Wendy C. Ortiz’s latest memoir, Hollywood Notebook. Here’s Electric Literature‘s review.

Also, Ortiz has an essay at Vol. 1 Brooklyn that I really enjoyed, “Girlfriend.”

Bustle has some tips on how you can write an excellent personal essay with advice from writers who work in that field.

And here are “20 Great Writers on Motivating Yourself To Write, No Matter What.” Includes thoughts from Jami Attenberg, Colson Whitehead, James Baldwin, and more.

If you’ve followed my Notes From Elsewhere for any length of time, you may have noticed the prevalence of Doctor Who novels in my “Currently Reading” entries. They’re fun extensions of the onscreen universe, and so I enjoyed reading DW-writer AL Kennedy’s thoughts on how these books can be valuable escapes for children.

At the Engine Books blog, Nan Cuba talks about writing through grief:

Fiction writers have long channeled grief over the death of a loved one into their work, but that impulse is intensified when the person commits suicide. My brother, Paul Brindley, was twenty-six and I was twenty-three when he shot himself. In spite of his obvious depression about an accident that had left him a paraplegic, each person in my family felt guilty. In the first line of chapter one in my novel, Body and Bread, the protagonist, Sarah, says, “My first life ended when Sam committed suicide.” Sarah is an anthropologist, and the book is her attempt to understand how and why Sam died, and who was responsible. My unconscious motivation was to investigate the same questions but also to experience a spiritual connection to my brother, Paul.

And at Buzzfeed, Alanna Okun examines what it’s like to read a friend’s work after they have died — In this case, Marina Keegan’s book, The Opposite of Loneliness. 

Finally, here’s a lovely tribute to poet Philip Levine, who died from pancreatic cancer earlier this year.

I’ve got plenty more links stashed away for future NFE posts, so I promise not to be a stranger. Until next time, Rioters…

Notes From Elsewhere is brought to you by Sara Habein, who doesn’t pretend to be the first to know anything. 

Currently reading:

The Rewind Files by Claire Willett

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