Tuesday, June 28, 2011

“When you reread a classic, you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than there was before” — Cliff Fadiman

From: Sims Reed - Rare Books
Here's to a blissful summer of reading for all you Jane Austen fans. Her lesser-known works are waiting to be discovered — or rediscovered.
"The heroine of Northanger Abbey is not so popular, maybe because the title is hard to pronounce, maybe because the novel wasn't re-made for television until 2007, but probably because Catherine Morland doesn't have much in the way of an identity. The narrator writes that no one would take her for a heroine  and then throws a hero in her path and makes her one."
—Rachel M. Brownstein, author of Why Jane Austen?

Monday, June 27, 2011

"Only amateurs say that they write for their own amusement. Writing is not an amusing occupation. It is a combination of ditch-digging, mountain-climbing, treadmill and childbirth... But amusing? Never." — Edna Ferber

"Solar powered laptops are nice and I'm all for keeping your laptop charged up, but they need to be in contact with sunlight in order to work. What if you could charge your laptop simply by harnessing the power generated from typing on it all day?" — dvice
And more...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Nouning the Verb

David Tennant (of Dr. Who fame) as Hamlet on a 1st class
stamp issued this year by the Royal Mail to commemorate

the 50th anniversary of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

"We decided to try to see what happens inside us when the brain comes upon sentences like 'The dancers foot it with grace,' or 'We waited for disclose of news,' or 'Strong wines thick my thoughts,' or 'I could out-tongue your griefs' or 'Fall down and knee/The way into his mercy.' For research suggests that there is one specific part of the brain that processes nouns and another part that processes verbs: but what happens when for a micro-second there is a serious hesitation between whether, in context, this is noun or verb?" — Phillip Davis, More Intelligent Life

Friday, June 24, 2011

Be. Quiet.

From: One Good Eye Antiques

"In his gorgeous little book The Lost Art of Reading — Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time the critic David Ulin admits to a strange feeling. All his life, he had taken reading as for granted as eating — but then, a few years ago, he 'became aware, in an apartment full of books, that I could no longer find within myself the quiet necessary to read.' [...]
The idea of keeping yourself on a digital diet will, I suspect, become mainstream soon. Just as I've learned not to stock my fridge with tempting carbs, I've learned to limit my exposure to the web [...]
And here's the function that the book — the paper book that doesn't beep or flash or link or let you watch a thousand videos all at once — does for you that nothing else will. It gives you the capacity for deep, linear concentration. As Ulin puts it: 'Reading is an act of resistance in a landscape of distraction... It requires us to pace ourselves. It returns us to a reckoning with time. In the midst of a book, we have no choice but to be patient, to take each thing in its moment, to let the narrative prevail. We regain the world by withdrawing from it just a little, by stepping back from the noise.'"
— Johann Hari, Huffington Post

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughta be"—Elizabeth Gilbert

From: Escape from Reality

"For writers, the new opportunities are often double-edged, with each new prize multiplying the chances of not winning. 'I understand that some writers may feel that if there’s a winner, there are obviously losers,' says Elana Rabinovitch, administrator of the Scotiabank Giller Prize. 'That’s hard because right now we have a culture of prizes. But it’s the only downside.' "— John Barber, The Globe and Mail

More from this article...
The top book-prize jackpots open to Canadian writers, in order of value (all amounts in Canadian dollars):
1. Nobel Prize in Literature: $1,555,870
2. International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award: $139,000
3. Man Booker International Prize: $96,487
4. Man Booker Prize: $80,400
5. Warwick Prize for Writing: $80,400
6. Griffin Poetry Prize: $75,000
7. Cundill Prize in History at McGill: $73,345
8. Writers’ Trust Hilary Weston Prize for Non-Fiction: $60,000
9. Scotiabank Giller Prize: $50,000
10. Montreal International Poetry Prize: $50,000
11. British Columbia National Book Award: $40,000
12. The Donner Prize: $35,000
13. Governor General’s Literary Awards: $25,000
14. Rogers Writer’s Trust Award: $25,000
15. Marion Engel Award: $25,000
16. TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award: $25,000
17. Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction: $25,000
18. Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing: $25,000
19. Trillium Book Award: $25,000
20. Matt Cohen Prize: $20,000


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." — Chinese Proverb

Papyrus fragment from the Book of the Dead; spell number 18 written for Nes-pauti-taui. Thebes, Upper Egypt: c. 1000 B.C.n
— from the Dallas Public Library

"Advances are quickly going to zero. Margins are going to zero for publishers. There’s no financial benefit for going with a publisher if advances are going to zero and royalties are a few percentage points. The publishing industry does minimal editing. The time between book acceptance and release is too long (often a year or more). That’s insane and makes zero sense in a print-on-demand world when kindle versions are outselling print versions."
James Altucher


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Prose and Poetry Winners: 2011 Open Writing Competition

Here are the winners of the 2011 Elora Writers' Festival Open Writing Competition, announced at the Festival on Sunday, May 29th. 

POETRY (Judge: Keri-Lyn Durant)

1st Place
Becky Alexander (Cambridge, Ontario, Canada)

2nd Place
Canned Musician
Sarah McComb  (Cambridge, Ontario, Canada)

 3rd Place
My Father Should Have Been Here
Birgit Elston  (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada)

PROSE (Judge: Sharon Blomfield)

1st Place
Elora Gorgeous
Molly Layton (Elora, Ontario, Canada)

2nd Place
Hell Hath No Fury
Carole Kennedy (Elora, Ontario, Canada)

3rd Place
A Wet Right Hand
Alvin G. Ens  (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada)

Looking for the names of the winners of the EWF Young Writers Contest? You can find that information, and more, at the Contest blog, here.

Congratulations to everyone who entered, and please check back next year
for details of the 2012 competition.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Whither Books?

Photo: Arquitetura Pessoal

"They are frozen in time without the means of being updated and corrected. They have no link to related knowledge, debates, and sources. They create, at best, a one-way relationship with a reader. They try to teach readers but don’t teach authors. They tend to be too damned long because they have to be long enough to be books." — Jeff Jarvis (BuzzMachine)
"But a new regime of digital technology has now disrupted all business models based on mass-produced copies, including individual livelihoods of artists. The contours of the electronic economy are still emerging, but while they do, the wealth derived from the old business model is being spent to try to protect that old model, through legislation and enforcement. Laws based on the mass-produced copy artifact are being taken to the extreme, while desperate measures to outlaw new technologies in the marketplace 'for our protection' are introduced in misguided righteousness. [...] As copies have been dethroned, the economic model built on them is collapsing. In a regime of superabundant free copies, copies lose value. They are no longer the basis of wealth. Now relationships, links, connection and sharing are. Value has shifted away from a copy toward the many ways to recall, annotate, personalize, edit, authenticate, display, mark, transfer and engage a work." — Kevin Kelly (New York Times Magazine)

Local Coverage of the 2011 Elora Writers' Festival

Read an account of the 2011 Elora Writers' Festival in the Guelph Mecury: Writers’ festival a book lover’s delight

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pictures from our Young Writers Contest Event at 11:00 A.M. on May 29

Young Writers Contest Coordinator Jean Mills with Christopher Davis,
winner of an Honourable Mention in the Junior Prose category
Young Writers Contest judges Kira Vermond (on left) and Heather Wright
(third from left) with a clutch of avid writers

Sunday, June 5, 2011

All I Want Is a Room Somewhere...

From: Wikimedia Commons

"Agatha Christie was 48 years old in 1938, gaining fame and fortune from her prolific output of short stories and novels, one series starring the dandified Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, another centered on the underestimated spinster-sleuth Jane Marple. [...] Christie longed for a vacation refuge. That summer, she heard of a handsome Georgian manor house, built around 1792, going up for sale; it was set on 33 acres, 15 miles from her birthplace, the village of Torquay. For Christie, Greenway—reachable only by boat or down a narrow country lane one and a half miles from the nearest village of Galmpton—represented, as she wrote in her autobiography, 'the ideal house, a dream house.' " ( Smithsonian.comRead more...
"She may also have felt the pull of the garden and the boathouse, built on the spot where, it is said, Sir Walter Raleigh, smoking tobacco, had water thrown over him by a servant who thought he was on fire." (The Telegraph) Read more...

Where Henry Thoreau Penned Walden
— a more modest version of Greenway
From: The Statement

What it cost him:
• Board's: $8.03 (½, mostly shanty boards)
• Refuse shingles for roof and sides: $4.00
• One thousand old brick: $4.00
• Two casts of lime: $2.40.
• Hair: $0.31. (probably horsehair, which was used to strengthen plaster)
• Laths: $1.25
• Two second-hand windows with glass: $2.43
• Mantle-tree iron: $0.15
• Nails: $3.90
• Hinges and screws: $0.14
• Latch: $0.10
• Chalk: $0.01
• Transportation: $1.40
• In all: $28.12
(The Statement

Bernard Shaw's Writing Hut
From: An Honest Architecture 

"Vanity Fair advertised a Lazy Susan in 1917, but it took the creative mind of Bernard Shaw to see it's potential when combined with a writing hut. The idea was ingenious for a few reasons." ( An Honest Architecture) Read more...

See also here... and here...