I get to go online once a week if I'm lucky—twice if the stars are aligned just right. This means I need to get about a week's worth of my online to-do list completed in a couple of hours, and that's assuming the public computers I use don't freeze, lag, or otherwise give me a migraine. E-mail, online submissions and query tracking, posting blog entries, downloading other blogs, research for creative writing projects ... all of it has be done with a relatively short window of opportunity. And, I don't even include the casual web surfing, as I'm usually cross-eyed by the time I get around to that.
So, now I'm back home pouring over everything I have for this week. As usual, it's a bit of everything. I have some research articles for a couple of the stories I'm working on, I downloaded a few more short stories from classic authors (John Collier and Roald Dahl to name but two), my latest rejection via e-mail, and a plethora of the latest blog entries from my blogroll.
It's an eclectic list of blogs I follow—authors of varying genres, literary agents with valuable advice and news, publishers of periodicals and novels that interest me, a few editors with their own advice and insight, and a growing slew of book reviewers. I thought I'd share some of the more interesting and unique entries I came across with my last couple of trips online.
Hitting On Girls In Bookstores – This is a year old, but Adam S. posted a link to Art of Manliness and their list of 100 Must-Read Books for Men. So, seeing as I'm a person with a Y-chromosome, I thought I'd see if I've read many or any of the books on the list. Turns out I have (984 and Animal Farm by George Orwell, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, The Art of Warfare by Sun Tzu, Frankenstein by Mary Shelly, Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco, and To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee). What's more, I currently own as many or more titles from the list sitting that I haven't gotten around to reading yet. I wonder what the quintessential list for women looks like.
Dark Wolf's Fantasy Reviews – I used to be artistically inclined back in my grade school days. I haven't pursued that side of my creativity in ages. I still enjoy seeing a breathtaking drawing though, which is why I have such an appreciation for comic books despite never buying them. Well, Dark Wolf has interviewed a couple of immensely talented artists—Kekai Kotaki and Raymond Swanland—and posted some of their work for all to see. On my best day, I could never draw that well. Amazing.
Apex Book Company – "Free." It's a word I gravitate towards like a moth to a bug-zapper—a lot of "free" things come with hidden costs, don't cha know. This time, I think the freebie is all good. Paul Jessop's sci-fi novel, Open Your Eyes, is being offered as a free PDF download by Apex. Click HERE if you want the free download (it's in a ZIP file), or purchase the hard copy from Apex's official site, HERE. It's only offered as the free download until the end of May.
Dark Fiction Review – There's an interview with South African author, Joan De La Haye, where she discusses her new e-book, Shadows, and her online tour across the blogosphere. The book is exclusively in electronic format—no hard copies makes Baby Jesus cry—so it won't be easy for me to ever read this story. It sounds gruesome and scary as heck. And, she's a Clive Barker fan, so she can't be all bad.
Steph Su Reads – Steph recounts a strange request from a possible student looking to cheat on an essay. I can only imagine the amount of laziness and brashness needed to attempt something like that. I hated doing book reports as a kid. But, I still did them. Mind you, I didn't have the Internet like kids these days. I wonder just how stressed and over-worked some of them really are, sometimes.
Horror Scope – I'm unfamiliar with Australian author, Richard Harland, but HS refers to him as "award winning", so they have my attention. According to the blog, Harland took a few months off from writing to create a little website full of tips and tricks for aspiring authors. Hey, I'm an aspiring author. I should check this out. Maybe you should too. Click HERE.
Ty Schwamberger – One horror writer has turned me on to the articles of another. Paula Guran has written some advice to those of us who wish to become horror writers as well. The article is nearly ten years old, but it is still quite relevant. Click HERE to visit Dark Echo's site and give it a read.
Miss Read – Children's Laureate? I was unaware such a thing existed. In any case, the idea of choosing your favorite children's books sparks the ol' memory banks. The Witches by Roald Dahl will go down as one of my all-time favorite children's stories, and the movie only helped solidify my stance. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum ranks high as well, along with Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass. Ah, to be young again. "Miss Read" Laura Anderson also has a link to a piece of software I think I'll have to test drive some time soon. It's called Write Monkey and it sounds like something I could use.
Texts From Last Night – I think I like Overheard In New York more, but this site takes a close second in providing a healthy slice of life. If you need a writing prompt, a few minutes on this site will provide like a horn of plenty. I caught wind of this from JD Rhoades' blog.
The Kill Zone – Joe Moore weighs the good and the bad of used-book sales for authors. I'm biased on the issue, since I'm a proponent of used-book stores, though I will say this: If I ever win the lottery or earn an ungodly advance on my first novel (oh, give me my pipe-dreams), a lot of authors will be getting business from me when I start buying a ton of brand, spanking new novels from the local independent book stores.