So, meanwhile, here’s some great links:
1) Over at The Debutante Ball, Lisa Alber’s first novel, Killmoon, is out. I think it’s safe to say that she’s a bit excited by this: “Oh My God, Just, Oh My God (The Book Launch!)“
Congratulations to Lisa – it sounds like she’s been having a great week.
2) Here’s a link to an audio of Stevan Allred and Dan Berne reading from their books (both published by Forest Avenue Press). I haven’t listened to the whole thing yet, but Stevan’s reading of his short story “To Walk Where She Pleases” is first rate.
Later: I listened to the Q&A, and Stevan made a really good comment. He was asked where his ideas comes from, and he said that once you create a world, as he did with the town of Renata, where all the stories in his collection A Simplified Map of the Real World are based, you can wander around in it and look for stories. I’ve never heard it put quite this way before, but this is exactly what I do in U-town. I look for stories, I look for places where a mystery might be set, and I think about what kinds of people might want to come there.
Also, neither Stevan nor Dan outlines. I always like to hear that. 🙂
3) Tiyana Marie White posted this on Tumblr. I don’t really know how Tumblr works (I guess you have to register or something), so I’m linking to it here.
I think the point is very true (at least the point about limits – the point about cost seems a little mechanical). And it’s particularly interesting as it applies to mystery stories. If people can do things which are beyond human limits, and if the parameters aren’t set very clearly and specifically, it’s very difficult to have the solution of the mystery not seem like a cheat.
4) T.S. Bazelli wrote an interesting post called “Wishing.” As I talked about there, I’ve never wished for the skills I don’t have, since I’ve spent all these years learning to work within my limitations.
For example, Elton John (who used to earn his living as a piano player before he became “Elton John”) has said that his style of playing was determined by the fact that he has short, stubby fingers. He learned to work within that limitation, and I imagine that at some point he stopped wishing for long, elegant fingers.
5) Oh, and Kristan Hoffman posted a “Confession” that I thoroughly endorse. 🙂