Thursday, August 09, 2007

What's Catching My Eye This Evening

I was a good person today and didn't drift around to blogs instead of working. (Though I did play a number of games of Spider Solitaire.) So this evening the blogs are all new to me, and I'm picking up on some interesting bits.

Thanks to Camille at Book Moot I now know that the Artemis Fowl series may be coming to an end soon. That's probably a good thing. The most recent book was okay, but the one before it...oh, man. How does an author know when it's time to go? You certainly don't want to overstay your welcome.

Bookseller Chick links to an interview with the group Punk Farm. I still haven't read that book, though I have met the author.

Colleen at Chasing Ray says the new Smithsonian has a number of literary-type articles. That magazine does end up floating around my house, so I'll try to grab that issue. I definitely prefer reading about Hemingway to reading Hemingway.

Chicken Spaghetti links to the Atlantic's interview with Ann Patchett discussing her experience speaking at Clemson University about her book Truth and Beauty: A Friendship. The book had been chosen for one of those freshman summer reading experiences. Things did not go well for Patchett at Clemson U. I found this interview interesting because we have a few relatives who've been through the summer reading assignment for incoming college freshmen. I, of course, thought it sounded like a wonderful idea. However, it doesn't appear to have been terribly successful at either of the colleges my family has been connected with. In one case, professors who were supposed to discuss the book in class didn't, so students felt they'd wasted their time. (Our family member found the book deadly, too.) In another, a majority of the incoming students didn't read the book, in part because as it was handed out during orientation they were told they didn't have to. (Another factor, no doubt, was that the book was a serious downer.) I've also heard of poor attendance at author appearances supporting these reading initiatives. I love the idea, myself, but in my family's experience, it doesn't go over well with the population it's intended for.

I've been trying to read more blogs by writers and not keeping up very well. But I did catch a post by Justine Larbalestier on writers' income. She's so right. Over the years, I've read a number of articles by writers embittered by their lack of big income. I can't help but feel that if they'd known what they were getting into, they wouldn't feel such disappointment. Either they would have realized that they need to find their satisfaction in their life as a writer or they would have gone into another field. There's nothing wrong with that, by the way. Knowing you need a certain income, that you want to be able to support a family in a particular way, and seeking out a job that will provide you with same is nothing to be ashamed of. Choosing not to be a writer--perfectly legitimate life choice.

I've barely read a quarter of my blogs, but I need to call it a night.

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