The Weekly Links, Opinion, and Personal Updates Post
Links of Interest, with embedded opinions
At Crowe’s Nest, Jenny Martin talks about voice, and gives fantastic examples of writing with and without voice, like this:
The surface was five feet away. His eyes widened with anxiety. He held his breath.
Almost there. The surface and a lungful of air were just beyond his reach.
For mother’s day, I enjoyed historian Stephanie Coontz’ Op-Ed in the NYT about the impact of feminism on stay at home mothers:
Contrary to myth, “The Feminine Mystique” and feminism did not represent the beginning of the decline of the stay-at-home mother, but a turning point that led to much stronger legal rights and “working conditions” for her.
Domestic violence rates have fallen sharply for all wives, employed or not. As late as 1980, approximately 30 percent of wives said their husbands did no housework at all. By 2000, only 16 percent of wives made that statement and almost one-third said their husbands did half of all housework, child care or both.
Most researchers agree that these changes were spurred by the entry of wives and mothers into the work force. But full-time homemakers have especially benefited from them.
As for linking to The Times, I will try to keep it to a minimum, given the paywall, which I have guiltily scaled.
I’ve been enjoying posts, like this one on non romance series with strong romance arcs, from Romancing the Past, a group blog of Carina Press historical authors.
Hilcia’s Impressions of a romance Reader is 2 years old, and she’s giving away 2 $25 gift certs to either Amazon or B&N (enter by May 15).
Katiebabs of Babbling About Books wrote an interesting post on the rise of secondary gay romance in het romance.
A lot of folks have been following the outing of erotic romance author and high school English teacher Judy Mays. In PW, Mays shares her feelings about recent events. The best part:
And, not to worry. I am not going to lose my teaching job over this.
Tired of all those “demise of publishing”, “demise of print books”, or “demise of reading” articles? Here’s a slightly less stale topic: The Demise of the Ereader, at HuffPo.
I kind of like it that my Kindle does basically one thing. It’s harder to get distracted.
And about the Kindle … Jane Litte of Dear Author has a post on Top Kindle Tips and Tricks. Readers also added their faves in the comments.
Speaking of Dear Author, if you are interested, you can now find out every week what readers of that site and Smart Bitches are buying, as this post explains. I’m not so enthused about this, myself, mainly because my Twitter stream was already clogged with a lot of author bragging about various obscure “best seller lists”, and I’ve already seen a stream of braggy tweets about this new one. If, as authors have said on Twitter, the difference between 10 or 20 places on the Amazon digital list is only a couple of digital copies, how small must the difference between being number 1 on the DA/SBTB list and number 10 — or 20? — be? I don’t know, because that information has not been provided. Anyway, I am sure others will really enjoy it.
As you can probably tell from my comments above, I’ve been feeling a bit put upon by authors on Twitter lately. And not even authors I follow! It was from Media Bistro that I found out that author Ilona Andrews tweeted:
“Please do not tweet reviews of my work at me. Thank you.”
I normally do not Tweet reviews to authors myself, because I feel it is kind of attention begging, although there are exceptions. I figure if someone likes the review, she’ll mention it to her followers. But it rubbed me the wrong way to be told what to tweet and what not to tweet by Andrews. My first thoughts were: “Wait. I have to read your constant self-promo, your RTs of the great things other people have said about you, your contests, your release day (self) congrats, your bestseller bragging, your mutual friend pimping. And now you are telling me when I am allowed to post a tweet which @mentions a review of your work? Because you apparently cannot exercise enough self-control not to click the link?” Gah.
Oh dear. Looking at the tone of the last two items, I think it may be time for a Twitter hiatus.
Foz Meadows on a topic I would never have considered otherwise, Schools in YA Fiction.
The point being, high school is problematic, and regardless of differing opinions on why that is or how it might be fixed, the simple assertion that problems do exist is not a controversial statement. And so, while reading a book about a spy academy for teenage girls, it occurred to me to wonder why some types of school are held up as interesting, awesome and excellent in YA novels, while others either blend into the background or, at worst, are depicted as hateful, prisonesque institutions. At first glance, this is something of a ridiculous question: YA is about teenagers, teenagers go to school – is it any wonder, therefore, that depictions of education in YA should vary, too? Well, no: but probing a little deeper, it’s possible to discern an interesting pattern about the types of school on offer.
Yet another publisher book site for readers will arrive this summer, Bookish, a joint endeavor of Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group (USA), and Simon & Schuster, and AOL Huffington Post Media Group (via GalleyCat). I have no idea what this means:
Arianna Huffington explained that they will “use our multimedia, social, and community engagement tools to help connect our readers with authors and their books. And we’ll highlight this content through our entire network and hyperlocal sites.”
After spending a few minutes last week trying to figure out HuffPo’s new Patch, I don’t think “local” means what Arianna Huffington thinks it means.
By now readers will have heard of Amazon’s new romance publishing imprint, Montlake. All About Romance posted an email from Connie Brockway, who will be their launch author.
I have never read Brockway, and consider this a huge hole in my genre experience.
I’m in the middle of a Rachel Gibson glom, or I would be if I weren’t so busy. I picked an old Catherine Coulter, another author I’ve not read, at the library book sale Saturday. I’m finishing up grading, and preparing for a talk at the hospital on popular culture and medical ethics on Wednesday. It’ll be a version of the talk I gave on vampires in October, but since it’s for CMEs (continuing medical education credits), I have to make it relevant to patient care. I’m thinking something along the lines of, “Six ways to tell if your patient is a vampire…”