Monthly Archives: January 2013

Hilary Mantel’s Rules For Writers

30 January 2013

“1. Are you serious about this? Then get an accountant.”

For Americans, read, CPA.

Read the rest at:

Read the rest at Rules for Writers

Hilary Mantel manages to be both highly regarded by her peers and with the bank, her rules might be worth a look.


Hemingway–For Sale, Baby Shoes Never Worn

30 January 2013


Dear Quote Investigator: Most people are familiar with short stories, but there is another class of works that might be called short-short stories. “Flash fiction” and “sudden fiction” are labels that are applied to this style of literature. One of the most famous examples is a tale of only six words in the format of a classified advertisement that according to legend was crafted by Ernest Hemingway as part of a bet:

For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn

The reader must cooperate in the construction of the larger narrative that is obliquely limned by these words implying miscarriage or sudden infant death. There is a popular alternative text based on another item linked with babies:

For Sale, Baby Carriage, Never Used

Did Hemingway write either of these succinct telegraphic tales?

Quote Investigator: Ernest Hemingway died in 1961, and the earliest published evidence known to QI connecting him to this tale appeared in 1991. The author Peter Miller included a version of the anecdote in his book “Get Published! Get Produced!: A Literary Agent’s Tips on How to Sell Your Writing”. Miller stated that he was told the tale by a “well-established newspaper syndicator” circa 1974: 1

Apparently, Ernest Hemingway was lunching at Luchow’s with a number of writers and claimed that he could write a short story that was only six words long. Of course, the other writers balked. Hemingway told each of them to put ten dollars in the middle of the table; if he was wrong, he said, he’d match it. If he was right, he would keep the entire pot. He quickly wrote six words down on a napkin and passed it around; Papa won the bet. The words were “FOR SALE, BABY SHOES, NEVER WORN.” A beginning, a middle and an end!

Read the entire piece to reach the conclusion at Quote Investigator 

Guest posted by Barbara Morgenroth whose favorite restaurant was Luchow’s.  Here is their Christmas tree, so large it went through the skylight.



Perhaps it would be better not to be a writer

30 January 2013
Comments Off on Perhaps it would be better not to be a writer

Perhaps it would be better not to be a writer, but if you must, then write. If all feels hopeless, if that famous ‘inspiration’ will not come, write. If you are a genius, you’ll make your own rules, but if not – and the odds are against it – go to your desk no matter what your mood, face the icy challenge of the paper – write.

J. B. Priestly

What I Learned From Having A Literary Agent.

30 January 2013

By Scott D. Southard:

“For five years, my books were represented by a big agency out of New York City. While I don’t want to name any names, I think I can safely say that this agency has a long history and has been associated with such writers as Harper Lee, John Steinbeck, and John Irving. (Yeah, I have two degrees of separation between my books and Scout!) Their clients are a who’s who of writing over the last one hundred years and as a writer and literature buff I could not have been more thrilled.

“Thrilled? No, let me correct that.

“I bragged! I gloated! I patted myself on the back every chance I got! I was big man on literary campus and it was only a matter of time before everyone knew my name. Start preparing the Booker prize trophy now… Wait, do they do a trophy? Or is it a medal? I have no idea (if it’s just a certificate that would be lame).

“There is this wonderful Hollywood dream for artists that when someone of importance finds their work that suddenly everything is going to be streets of gold from then on and all the hard work is over. (Remember “The Standard Rich and Famous” contract in The Muppet Movie?) Well, I fell for that dream hook, line and sinker; and over the five years I was signed with this agency my career was stagnant.”

Read the rest here:  The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard.

Julia Barrett

Sucessful Seduction and the Naked Truth: Rethink Cover Design for a Small, Small World

30 January 2013

by Elle Lothlorien

  • Designing a kick-ass book cover  for the Kindle Store is one of the most valuable marketing and discoverability opportunities your self-published book is likely to have.
  • When designing an e-book cover, you MUST assume that every potential reader will see it first as a thumbnail on Amazon’s suggestive selling ribbon and not as a full-sized graphic.

Attracting readers to your book on the suggestive selling ribbon requires rethinking book cover design completely–so much so that it may even be upsetting, especially for authors who are or were at one time traditionally published. Indeed, hearing that cover features such as title art and the author’s name—features that are often critical for a book on a bookstore shelf—simply aren’t that important on a thumbnail and can be greatly reduced in size in most cases (I’ll discuss the exceptions to that rule in a moment) leads to much rending of garments and tearing of hair.

“What?” people shriek. “You’re saying my title isn’t important? You want me to make my title smaller? But how will anyone be able to read it?”

  • No one can read the book title on a thumbnail image.
  • No one can see the author’s name on a thumbnail image.

Read it all it’s worth it Digital Book World

Guest posted by Barbara Morgenroth

Tour of The Round Table Room at the Algonquin Hotel

29 January 2013

For fans of Dorothy Parker and the rest, if you can’t get there, this is what it looked like then and now.

guest posted by Barbara Morgenroth

No one is asking

29 January 2013

No one is asking, let alone demanding, that you write. The world is not waiting with bated breath for your article or book. Whether or not you get a single word on paper, the sun will rise, the earth will spin, the universe will expand. Writing is forever and always a choice – your choice.

Beth Mende Conny

‘Finnegans Wake’ is new Chinese publishing hit

29 January 2013

From Hindustan Times:

A new Chinese translation of “Finnegans Wake”, renowned for its linguistic difficulty in the original, is proving a hit in China — although one academic called the author James Joyce “mentally ill”.

The first-ever mainland Chinese edition of the novel sold out its initial print run of 8,000 copies just three weeks after being launched in December….

Translator Dai Congrong of Shanghai’s Fudan University toiled for eight years to render the work about an Irish family into Chinese, imitating the stream of consciousness style and unusual language.

Read the rest at Hindustan Times.

Posted by Bridget McKenna

Time Line of The One Ring…

29 January 2013

Here’s a fun Infograph of the journey of The One Ring –

One Ring to rule them all.

One Ring to find them.

One Ring to bring them all

and in the darkness bind them.


“This is a timeline of the events related to the One Ring created by Sauron in Second Age 1600. The years of the War of the Ring are described in more detail.”

View the Infograph here:  Visual Timeline of the One Ring.

Julia Barrett


Writer has to pay £174.000.00 for ride around racetrack

28 January 2013

If you ever thought that driving an ancient Porsche around a race-track might be fun, think about it first.

And then don’t do it. A cautionary tale.

“British journalist Mark Hales arranged with retired racer and collector David Piper to drive his original Porsche 917 around a British race circuit against a similar vintage Ferrari car in April 2009 as part of a magazine photo shoot. Such events happen all the time; the old car’s owner gets publicity for his ride, and the writer or magazine gets exclusive, and sometimes incredible, shots of antique machinery at full wail.”

“Piper claimed in a British court that Hales had agreed to keep the finicky 12-cylinder boxer engine in the 917 under 7,000 revs, and that instead Hales over-revved the engine to 8,200 rpms, blowing it. Hales argued the gearbox in the 917 had mis-shifted, and that Piper had verbally agreed to cover any damages from the track session.”


Link to the rest here:

And thanks to Eric for the tip.


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