What’s J Been Reading? [RFK’s Birthday, 20 Nov 11]

Yes, this photo is meant to be self-deprecating. Thank you.

I know you guys (the writers … guys and gals, technically) love yourselves some good query advice.  So, here’s something I read at Hey There’s A Dead Guy: Benjamin LeRoy‘s “Three Tips for Querying! (Because everybody loves a list).”  And, yeah, we do love a list.  Also at Dead Guy is an interesting piece about that unfortunate dust-up over FridayReads.

GalleyCat discusses the movement to create a Literature category at YouTube.  I’m all for it!  And… as if the Quentin Rowan scandal wasn’t bad enough, Melville House reveals yet another case of blatant plagiarism in publishing.

National Geographic has published a list of the “Top 10 Literary Cities” on Earth (we have yet to rate the exoplanets) and I am pleased to report that numbers 1 (Edinburgh) and 2 (Dublin) are in the ancestral countries of my parents’ families — not counting the relations they picked up here on Turtle Island.  Also ranking: my home of Washington, DC, at number 8!

Yesterday, Jeffe Kennedy (whom I follow on Twitter) reposted a tweet from the Carina Press (whom I didn’t follow, but now do) quoting ad-man William Bernbach:

An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it.

This could not have come at a more opportune moment, as I was watching the 1978 adaptation of Raymond Chandler‘s The Big Sleep, the latest DVD up to bat from my Netflix queue. I have my complaints about the classic, Bogart adaptation (specifically that there was too much Bacall and not enough Carmen trying to murder Marlowe) but the Robert Mitchum version was just awful: bad casting, bad adaptation (set a Chandler story in England, really?), bad sound work, bad cinematography, bad directing, bad acting. Director Michael Winner was incapable of drawing a compelling performance even from James Stewart!  This film makes me want to remake Chandler’s classic, set it properly in 1940s Los Angeles, and adhere more closely to the original plot and — most importantly — the original dialogue.

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