There’s a lot of inspiration available to me this week since I ended up not being able to post my inspiration last week. So some of it is a little old now, but at least there’s plenty of it.

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Author of Arcadia, Lauren Groff, talks about the book in a quick but interesting little interview.

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Another quick but awesome interview with Krys Lee, author of Drifting House.

We had an auction between eight major U.S. publishers for the two book deal, and I was repeatedly told by editors that they had been completely immersed in the characters until they felt as if they had become them. I had very much wanted to create characters that were distinct, vivid and real, and their plights dramatic and urgent, so readers would think of them as individuals rather than simplify them to an ethnic background. We read fiction for the entire complex experience, including and beyond our ethnic origins.

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Jason at Bark introduces Small Demons, which is badass. Now I’m just trying to figure out how to contribute, because they have made the grievous error of excluding The Exorcist. My first search, however, was fun: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

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Brendan Lynaugh considers physical descriptions of characters, though I believe in only describing what is actually relevant and only when it is relevant.

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Here is a pretty sweet panorama of Bartleby, the Scrivener.

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Here we see 15 authors’ bedrooms, and I’m happy to see that at least Alexander Masters’s bedroom is not unlike mine.

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Here we have Don DeLillo’s Underworld in the form of a piechart.

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Ten Obvious Truths About Fiction, the last of which I take issue with. I, for one, love a vague ending.

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An interview with Sarah Manguso, author of The Guardians: An Elegy.

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I’m liking the blog Futility Closet, in which I found this gem:

In 1944 a children’s book club sent a volume about penguins to a 10-year-old girl, enclosing a card seeking her opinion.

She wrote, “This book gives me more information about penguins than I care to have.”

American diplomat Hugh Gibson called it the finest piece of literary criticism he had ever read.

Give it a look!

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A Friday of the Living Dead Nightmare:

Wherein a few brave souls watch entire horror-movie franchises in a twenty-four-hour period, risk their sanity, and suffer from total narrative dislocation, but maybe, too, remember what it’s like to be in love

I haven’t made it through this post yet, but I can’t wait!

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Sometimes I would guess it’s kind of difficult to see why I consider certain fun finds “inspirational” – like maybe the previous link, for example? – but this one on the magic of book-birthing is a no-brainer.

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Midge Raymond has some tips to keep in mind when submitting to a writing contest.

Consider the award. Another red flag is if there are no cash prizes for the winners, or if the prize is way out of line with the fee. All contests that ask you to pay a fee should offer a cash award (often these range from $500 to $1,000 for a story or group poems, and from $1,500 to $2,500 or more for a small-press manuscript award). If there’s no award, then what do the fees go toward? Also, make sure the fees and awards align — while some emerging lit mags and presses offer smaller awards, if you’re paying $20 for a short-story award that only pays the winner $100, that’s not a sign of a well-run competition.

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A cute guide to writer’s conferences at Tin House.

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The Chuck Palahniuk essay “Submerging the ‘I'” is apparently available through today, so do what I did: go copy and paste it into a word document for future perusal!

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The fun stories behind 10 nom-s de plume. Some we already know, some cute things I personally didn’t realize.

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An extensive interview with Edith Pearlman.

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Lastly, here’s what I’m getting ready to listen to while I clean! I hope I enjoy their discussion on A Visit From the Good Squad more than I did their discussion on The Imperfectionists.

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I’m afraid it’s obvious that I’m feeling less than inspired still, but I think that’s just how it goes the day before returning from Spring Break. Enjoy your Tuesday – I just want to get mine over with!