What Has J Been Reading? [Dominican Independence Day, 03 Nov 11]

BEST LINE OF THE DAY (from The Rejectionist’s review of Anonymous): “I find complaining about scholarly inaccuracy in a Roland Emmerich film to be analogous to expressing displeasure that Transformers does not correctly represent the mechanics of the internal combustion engine.”

“Spanish Blood,” a short story from The Simple Art Of Murder anthology by Raymond Chandler.

Habeas corpus,” an ironically titled essay on the non-necessity of murder in crime fiction, by Lynne Patrick at Hey There’s a Dead Guy In The Living Room.  And, in the same vein, I’m catching up on the shenanigans at Slushpile Hell.

A science piece at the New York Times about how causing senescent cells to self-destruct could prevent many of the symptoms of aging.  Sounds like forced retirement for the microscopic set!

Also, rereading On The Head Of A Pin to put the last hard-copy edits (i.e., scribbled notes) into the soft copy, in preparation for submission. Reminder to self: work on the second chapter of Quadrangle once you finish scrubbing up Pin.

Various bits and pieces at Publishers Weekly, including:

BEST (WORST?) READ OF THE DAY: “25 Things You Should Know About NaNoWriMo” at Chuck Wendig‘s Terrible Minds.  Item 17 states: “In 2009, NaNo had 167,150 participants, and 32,178 ‘winners.’ That’s a pretty good rate, just shy of 20% completion.”  An over 80% failure rate is a “pretty good rate”?  Not when the only thing you have to do to “win” is slap out fewer than 1700 random words/day that don’t even have to make sense. This blog post is a quarter of the way to a daily NaNo writing, so come on.

Anyway, it continues: “The numbers get a bit more telling when you look at the number of published novels that have come out of the entire ten-year program, and that number appears to be below 200 books. Out of the 500,000 or so total participants of NaNo over the years, that’s a very minor 0.04%. This isn’t an indictment against NaNoWriMo but is, however, an illustrative number just the same.”  Sorry, but it’s also an indictment, if one’s complaint is that NaNo is essentially a stunt that demeans the art and swamps an already swamped field with unpublishable junk, rather than a “celebration of writing” as some insistently cheer.  I understand that this hurts people’s feelings, but I cannot consider it a celebration of an artform to boost an event that results in 99.96% rate of material unworthy of distribution to the audience of that artform.

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