Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘whimsy’

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Writer, Reject Thyself

Okay—so perhaps your take-home message from the recent Giraldi-Ohlin incident was “Oh my god, I hope that I never get a review like that.” Unfortunately, at some point, every writer usually gets some harsh feedback—in a workshop, in a review, or from a reader. (Discuss: which writer is most fortunate, and why?) Anyway, when you receive said harsh feedback, your options are: A) Lash out at reviewers (pretty much never a good plan) B) Curl up under chair with bottle of whiskey and/or teddy bear C) Develop thicker skin, keep head down, keep working on next project Should you choose […]


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Texts from famous authors (and characters)

I get a childish delight out of anachronistic mashups, so the Paris Review’s drunk texts from Gertrude Stein, Emily Dickinson, William Wordsworth, and more are right in my wheelhouse: Read the full set on the Paris Review‘s site. Meanwhile, on The Hairpin, Mallory Ortberg imagines texts from Jane Eyre–the character: JANE WHERE HAVE YOU GONE I AM BEREFT AND WITHOUT MY JANE I SHALL SINK INTO ROGUERY i am with my cousins WHICH COUSIN IS IT THE SEXY ONE Please don’t try to talk to me again IT IS YOUR SEXY COUSIN “ST. JOHN” WHAT KIND OF A NAME IS […]


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What your favorite punctuation mark says about you

A friend of mine once admitted to being obsessed with dashes. She said it like she was admitting to a clandestine affair–bashfully yet boldly: “I LOVE the dash.” When she said that, I felt a pang of jealousy. For I, too, love the dash, and I am not good at sharing things I love. Perhaps you, too, adore a particular piece of punctuation: the workhorse comma, the sophisticated semicolon, the much-maligned interrobang. Author Leah Petersen (via) offers a humorous guide to what this favorite punctuation mark says about you: Period (.): Type A personality. You are decisive and clear. You […]


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On author crushes

While talking with a fellow writer–call her A—I described a friend—call him B—as looking like “a young Charles Baxter.” A’s eyes lit up. “Really?” she said. “So he’s really hot?” This was not precisely what I had meant, but the truth is that Charles Baxter is the kind of writer who inspires serious literary crushes—which I think might be the most powerful kind of crush in existence. Adoration of a story well told, and all the emotions that the best writing stirs up, combines with adoration of the prose itself—the signature stylistic quirks that are as idiosyncratic as a beloved […]


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What to do with an MFA?

If you’re a newly-minted MFA wondering what to do with your degree, perhaps you can take inspiration from Eric Wahl, who works at the University of Washington’s surplus store. Wahl puts his writing skills to use by crafting hilarious descriptions of items for sale–and offering proof that pretty much everything gets way better with a dose of creativity. Says the Seattle Times: Wahl, 42, began working at the store in November 2010 as a program coordinator, a job that means he not only works the cash register, he does the Web marketing. He couldn’t help but notice that the descriptions […]


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A Public Service Annoucement About Book Suicide

So we know how books are born, how they fall in love, and what they’re up to after the bookstore closes for the night. But did you know that books sometimes think about ending it all? It’s sad but true. What drives them to despair? This display I spotted in Porter Square Books has the answer: The Origami Poems project suggests a poem as a cure—but perhaps you’d better add a short story too, just to be on the safe side? Further Reading: Jersey Shore a la Oscar Wilde Lit and TV have a clandestine affair at the brilliant Slaughterhouse […]



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