The Raven, as Read by John De Lancie

October 30, 2010

Tomorrow is Halloween, and I like the fun aspects of that holiday. I’m not a big fan of horror films, and there’s something a little worrying about how much insulin one pancreas is being asked to produce in a 24-hour period, but Halloween is one of those few holidays on the calendar where people are really expected to get into the spirit of things.

With that in mind, I came across a true triumph of the internet yesterday. John De Lancie’s recent reading of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven is my new favourite recitation. I’d go so far as to say it’s better than James Earl Jones, and that’s like saying someone does White Christmas better than Bing Crosby.

The poem’s text is available below the jump.
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Update on my quest for a new literary agent

October 30, 2010

Hello everyone,

As I mentioned in my earlier post, my quest to replace my last literary agent continues. I just received another lovely personalized rejection letter. Far from being discouraged, I have to take this as the compliment it is meant to be. The publishing industry was never an easy one to break into, and modern economics have not been kind to lengthy first novels. Getting a personalized rejection letter like this –and this time the agent specializes in historical fiction– is both rare and flattering. I’ll keep plugging away, but in the meantime I wanted to share.

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I’ll be trying my hand at NaNoWriMo this year

October 19, 2010

Hello everyone,

As part of my endeavours to get back into the habit of writing regularly, I’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. It’s an internet community project where thousands of people around the world try to write a 50,000-word manuscript between November 1st and November 30th. Last year’s contest saw 165,000 participants, more than 30,000 of whom succeeded in crossing the word count threshold by midnight at the end of the month.

Because of the limited time frame, the emphasis is on getting words onto (virtual) paper, rather than polishing a well-rounded, carefully editing work. The idea is to inspire creativity, without worrying about the end result. I expect to write tens of thousands of words of dreck, but I’ll have fun doing it, and that’s the main thing. Normally my genre is historical fiction, but in a format like this I hope a stream-of-conscious approach inspired by Kurt Vonnegut might see me through to the end. I don’t want to give away too much at this point, but I have a hazy idea for a plot involving a man who has been alive since the last ice age meeting and falling in love with a physical incarnation of death. It will definitely be a departure from anything I’ve done before, but it should be an enjoyable experience all the same.

Wrimos, as we are apparently called, keep in touch through the website, blogs, and hopefully meet up in early December at bars all over the world to commiserate and swap war stories. In that spirit, a friend of mine has set up a blog, Stranger Than Truth, and I’ll be submitting my content there, here, and hopefully on the NaNoWriMo website as well. My profile on the site is also called Faceintheblue, so I should be easy to track down; I encourage anyone reading this who is also doing NaNoWriMo to add me as a buddy. A community is only as rich as its members, after all.

I also encourage you to follow me on twitter here, as I’m bound to complain heartily over the course of the month, and everyone likes to hear colourful rhetoric in the place of thoughtful prose from time to time.

For anyone who’s interested but not already involved, you can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Perhaps we’ll fail spectacularly together, but I suspect we’re going to have a lot of fun doing it.

Good luck to you, to me, and to all of this year’s Wrimos. Cheers!


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