Man, I can’t believe we lost Prince since the last time I wrote one of these things. Supposedly, he was working on a memoir too. I imagine that there is a treasure trove of unreleased music, and I do not envy his family having to sort through all the legality of his estate.
At Electric Literature, Jesmyn Ward, Mira Jacob, Alexander Chee, and other writers pay tribute to the magical Purple One. My favorite song of his is “Little Red Corvette,” but I admit to only having a dusty CD or two in my possession. I loved his music, but for some reason I never got around to buying it. Yes, there’s time yet, though it feels different now.
io9 has a great look at that time Prince became a comics superhero, around the time of the Batman movie release, for which he provided the soundtrack.
Naomi Jackson has a beautiful tribute to the man over at Lit Hub: “Finding Joy Outside Conformity.”
I don’t want to ruin the reveal, but there’s something to do with Prince in this amaaaaaazing imagined life in Beyoncé’s house, post-Lemonade. If you haven’t read it yet, get on it.
And you know, I’m still thinking about David Bowie, so here’s Rhian Ellis talking about him, space, and her relationship with her mother.
How about some various nuts-and-bolts of publishing reading material? It’s of varying heartening vs. dispiriting content, but let’s dive in anyway:
Mallory Ortberg examines that “500 pounds and hard to look at” comment from a person in the publishing industry.
And after Antioch Review posted work widely criticized as transphobic (and then issued a non-apology), T.A. Noonan at The Sundress Blog has rounded up seven different responses from trans writers.
This headline by Leah Schnelbach made me sadlaugh: “Why Do Writing Students Love Such Terrible Mentors?“
Claire Willett would like you to know some things about nonprofit funding, and though it is focused on the Portland area, this might be applicable to your creative stuff.
Need pitching help? Ella Ceron has some good advice. Don’t be afraid!
While you’re at it, perhaps it’s time to reassess your website? Here, Gigi Rosenberg asks, “Who is your website for?” I’ve been meaning to clean up mine for ages (as well as finally make a list of previous publications).
I’m of mixed feelings with this post from Sunil Yapa about how to live cheaply and get your novel done. On one hand, yes, it’s true that it is not essential to live in New York to be a writer. On the other hand, not all of us can hightail it to Guatemala or our friend’s farmhouse because we have kids to feed and other life stuff.
What I enjoyed more was Tom Cox talking about what he’s learned in two decades of writing. But then, I tend to enjoy most everything he writes:
In terms of my books, it would probably be easier if I could tell someone in a soundbite that I did something that fitted into a nice bohemian-sounding literary pigeonhole, but I think almost all of us who just about get by as authors end up being misunderstood, even if it’s only in the sense that people always seem to think we’re either loaded or wonder how we can make any money from what we do at all. This is a version of a conversation I and many others often have, which I have transposed to the world of plumbing:
“So what do you do for a living?”
“I’m a plumber.”
“You mean real, published plumbing?”
“How many houses have you plumbed?”
“Quite a few now.”
“Yeah, with sinks and pipes and stopcocks and everything.”
“I’ve got an idea for some plumbing myself. I expect you have lots of connections. Do you think you could help me find a house to do it in?”
Cue more sadlaughing.
And finally, I enjoyed this essay by Jami Attenberg about being able to buy a house in New Orleans after years of a Brooklyn view.
Until next time, friends.
Notes From Elsewhere is brought to you by Sara Habein, who doesn’t pretend to be the first to know everything.
The Book of Memory Gaps by Cecila Ruiz (actually, I finished this last night and I loved it)