O Brave New World: Book Launch in PJs –

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It is the eve of the vernal equinox and here in Vermont we are still flirting with single digits on the back of bitter winds. When better to stay inside, snuggly surrounded by cats, and launch a book in comfort?

CoverYES

After tackling the learning curve of e-text idiosyncrasies and cleaving the Gordian knots in my stomach, I am thrilled to announce that Red Line/Blue Line: Essays from the Editor’s Corner has hit the e-book runway. It is available in a text edition through Smashwords [Nook, Apple, and a variety of generic platforms], and, in an illustrated Kindle edition.

Regular visitors to the Dragon’s Nest may be familiar with my Editor’s Corner pieces. Since their initial blog appearance, they have been spruced up, augmented, re-worked – in short, edited – for publication. All thirty-six essays are now together in one easy-access volume. And, thanks to the sage input from Nest followers, they are dressed in a kick-ass cover, to boot.

From Red Line/Blue Line:

Any book about editing is, necessarily, a book about writing.

Every day, a writer weaves passionately through a forest of choices both large and small. For, beyond the spark of an idea and the ensuing blood, sweat, and tears, writing is all about choices. This is the heart of editing. In the end, of course, even the most experienced scribe can benefit from outside insight and expertise. We don’t need someone to simply gush and insist every word is a gem plucked from the mouths of the divine literati. Grandma Esther does that. She’s family; it’s her job.

An editor’s job is to be supportively ruthless as she brings fresh eyes to a manuscript, looks for awkward passages, incongruities, weaknesses, even disasters waiting to happen. She discerns not only what we say, but also what we mean to say. She helps us tighten our prose, hone our voice, and sing. In short, an editor helps make our work better.

A good editor is priceless.

Of course, whether just starting out or after years in the trenches, there are times when the services of a professional editor are beyond our means. Do not despair! And do not let this be an excuse for laziness. Even a lone scribe struggling in the literary wilderness should respect her creation enough to make it as good as it can possibly be before sending it out into the world. After all, we may write in our teddy-bear slippers and pjs, but our work should go forth in crisp Ascot and morning coat.

Readers of Kindle or Smashwords, I hope you will check out Red Line/Blue Line , tell your friends, and enjoy.

 

“Letters to a Young Poet” [Part XIII of XXIX]

Originally posted on the secret keeper:

rainer maria rilke letters to a young poet COVER

“Letters to a Young Poet”

by Rainer Maria Rilke

Part XIII of XXIX

Post by Jennifer Kiley

Post Sunday 15th March 2015

RILKE Painting blond

(13th week)

“Nothing
Touches
a work of art
so little
as words
of criticism:
they always
result
in more
or less
fortunate
misunderstandings.
Things aren’t all
so tangible
and sayable
as people
would usually
have us believe;
most experiences
are unsayable,
they happen
in a space
that no word
has ever entered,
and more unsay
able than all other things
are works of art,
those mysterious existences,
whose life endures
beside our own small,
transitory life.”

1 home large photo

One of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Homes

Dvorak, New World Symphony – 2nd Mvt Part 2,

Dublin Philharmonic, Conductor Derek Gleeson

* * * * * * *

View original

Help! Opinions Needed -

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I am putting together a little e-book and am pulling my hair, throwing my arms up and pounding my head against my desk over which cover to use. My wise friend, Karen Sanderson, suggested I put it to you, visitors to the Dragon’s Nest.

Below are the top 6 contenders.  All votes or opinions are welcome – nothing is set in stone so if font works for you on one and image or color on another, let me know. (I know some of the differences are subtle, but, well, sometimes that’s just the way we dragons roll.)  I hope to have this sorted in a week and a day. After all, Friday the 13th is all kinds of auspicious.

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Cover9

 

 

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5-CV10

 

 

6-Cover5

 

Writing Tips from the Master, J. R. R. Tolken!

Shawn MacKENZIE:

Smart man, Mr. Tolkien.

Originally posted on A. Lee Brock:

Check out these ten tips for writers…

from J. R. R. Tolken:

[via writersinthestormblog]10 Tips from the “Master of Middle Earth”:

1. Vanity is useless.
Truly, Tokien wrote his books to please himself and answer the writer inside him. He expected them to go “into the waste-paper basket” after they left his desk, not live on in popular culture. I’m not saying we don’t need to learn good story craft however, if you entertain yourself, at least you know one person that enjoyed the hell out of your book.

2. Keep writing, even through adversity.
It took the man SEVEN years to write The Hobbit. He balanced a demanding day job, illness, and worry for his son who was away in the Royal Navy. I’m reminded of Laura Drake, her brick wall, and her 400+ rejections.

3. Listen to critics you trust.
When his editor said, “Make…

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Editor’s Corner 101.16

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Shawn MacKENZIE:

Stream of Consciousness – Going with a structured flow.

Originally posted on the secret keeper:

Dangling Our Toes in the Stream of Consciousness

Scribe smallI love flowers Id love to have the whole place swimming in roses God of heaven theres nothing like nature the wild mountains then the sea and waves rushing then the beautiful country with the fields of oats and wheat and all kinds of things and all the fine cattle going about that would do your heart good to see rivers and lakes and flowers all sorts of shapes and smells and colours…

So, I picked up Ulysses the other day – as one is wont to do – and dove into the roiling river which is Molly Bloom’s beautifully, rudely fecund tale at book’s end. With my mind groping towards a subject for today, I read not only for the jaw-dropping poetry of the words tumbling across the page, but also for their precise, artful construction.

james-joycecollageAfter last week’s discussion of…

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Editor’s Corner 101.15

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Shawn MacKENZIE:

Structure and Time: Castles built on shifting sand soon crumble….

Originally posted on the secret keeper:

House of Words

“Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” …Lewis Carroll.

Scribe smallWhen I was a kid, aside from wanting to be a writer, part of me wanted to be an architect. To design and build houses – and castles – from the ground up. To focus on the 3-D aesthetic of what goes where and how it all fits together. As I grew up, I realized that you don’t have to build houses to focus on the elements of construction. And so today, I want to talk about literary structure, about how, as writers, we are architects with words. shot02

First, let me clarify: I am not talking about plot. Personally, I tend to be a little lukewarm about plot. But I love structure.

And at heart, structure is largely a matter of knowing – and keeping…

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Valentine Alternative….

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It is the Ides of February.

Happy Lupercalia!

A time to honor the she-wolf who cared for Romulus and Remus.

To celebrate the fading winter – we can but hope – and the fecundity of the coming spring!

So….run naked through the streets and howl to the heavens!

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And if you want to give that special little red-haired girl a Valentine, that’s cool, too.

CITIZENFOUR (2014)

Shawn MacKENZIE:

Fascinating film – worth a look.

Originally posted on LeakSource:

citizenfour

2014

CITIZENFOUR is a real life thriller, unfolding by the minute, giving audiences unprecedented access to filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s encounters with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong, as he hands over classified documents providing evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Poitras had already been working on a film about surveillance for two years when Snowden contacted her, using the name “CITIZENFOUR,” in January 2013.  He reached out to her because he knew she had long been a target of government surveillance, stopped at airports numerous times, and had refused to be intimidated. When Snowden revealed he was a high-level analyst driven to expose the massive surveillance of Americans by the NSA, Poitras persuaded him to let her film.

CITIZENFOUR places you in the room with Poitras, Greenwald, and Snowden as they attempt to manage the media…

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Editor’s Corner 101.14

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Shawn MacKENZIE:

The nitty-gritty of world building. What fun!

Originally posted on the secret keeper:

Deviling the Details

Scribe smallThose of you who visited the Editor’s Corner last week will likely think I am working in a backasswards fashion. Given that I am never quite sure what I will tackle until I set fingers a typing, I am actually surprised this doesn’t happen on a regular basis.

Be that as it may, last week I spoke about going macro and reclaiming your Big Picture. Today, I want to turn the telescope around and talk micro: the realm of detail and what particular details tell the reader. A character can have breakfast, sure. But a breakfast of corn flakes and black coffee says something very different than eggs benedict and fresh pomegranate juice. A simple suburban house tells us far less about its occupants than a Cape Cod on a corner lot with a thriving vegetable garden around back. John Cheever would certainly never settle for the…

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“Letters to a Young Poet” [Part VIII of XXIX]

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Shawn MacKENZIE:

Dragons and Rilke! What could be better?

Originally posted on the secret keeper:

rainer maria rilke letters to a young poet COVER

“Letters to a Young Poet”

by Rainer Maria Rilke

Part VIII of XXIX

Post by Jennifer Kiley

Post Sunday 8th February 2015

RILKE Painting blond

(8th week)

“We have no reason
to mistrust our world,
for it is not
against us.
Has it terrors,
they are our terrors;
has it abysses,
those abysses belong to us;
are dangers at hand,
we must try
to love them…
How should we
be able to forget
those ancient myths
about dragons
that at the least moment
turn into princesses;
perhaps all the dragons
of our lives
are princesses
who are only waiting
to see us
once beautiful
and brave.”

 1 home large photo

One of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Homes

Dvorak, New World Symphony – 2nd Mvt Part 2,

Dublin Philharmonic, Conductor Derek Gleeson

* * * * * * *

View original

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