monday is publication day

Accepted wisdom for the blogosphere says that the big thought-pieces get posted on Monday, and the link round-ups get posted on Friday. Except that, Monday notwithstanding, I’ve got some links I’m really excited about. Accepted wisdom, accepted schmisdom.

First, the new issue of Unsettling Wonder launched today. I’m so proud and excited about this issue, it’s a really great array of talent and story and art, and if you love fairy tales and folktales and the mythic arts—actually, if you just love beautifully made stories and journals—I promise you’ll love this.

Second, if you’re looking for a big thought-piece for a Monday read, well—here’s what I wrote for the Unsettling Wonder blog on Friday. If you like what I write here, you should give this a read, because I almost posted it here—it’s par for Paradoxes, but on balance I put it at UW instead. You should be able to tell why.

And lastly, everybody but everybody that cares about writing and publishing and all related arts should read this new Interstitial Moment from Jane Yolen. She writes the truth, and beautifully.

acquiescing on the forgotten signpost

Facile diction, which we let
roil us, guileless and seducing into
the lull of educate clamour
avoiding words,

words, words,

which escape the tenuous grasp of our own meaning.

We never say what we mean,
if we can help it.
Or it can help us.

These words slip past us, unaware,
leering in the meaning the make from themselves
our unchoices in their choosing, to let them
mean
what a word might mean if unsaid.

Once having written we have not spoken,
hedged in by our own conscience of debt undetermined to the endless chatter which undermines our self-authenticating surface for the reward
of the literate,
the arcane—which is to say:
the good—

while marginalia, ever our adversary,
assumes a knightly form to throw
the sacred javelin into our monstrous, speaking jaws,
and strangle us in the fire of our words.

They turn on us, these rhythms and sounds,
savage and deadly,

these burning tongues of sacred fire,

doing, doing, doing, and we tossed on the tempest of our own malice undiscerning, to hedge the void
in with knots and scratches and spaces and words,
unable to read the words unending, and distancing
the words we’ve sworn against
from the words we speak.

And yet in the silence and the ending,
when all is lost under her shadow, endless,
ageless,
and even music itself has ceased to speak,

it is these, our feeble defences,

jot and tittle,

which shall not pass away.

writers on writing

Mike Duran over at deCOMPOSE, on of my perennially favourite writing blogs, and submitted for our perusal a list of the ten ‘best’ writing blog posts of 2010. It’s an impressive list, from which I may have caught one or two while they were still ‘fresh’ at their blogs, and I’m looking forward the trawling through them when the holidays begin and I can breath again.

Of course, the list isn’t complete, since it—ahem—makes no mention of Paradoxes’ own blogalectic with Jenna St. Hilaire, which I beg to point out are immensely practical articles on writing, even if not self-evidently so, or in the way you’d expect.

Not that I expect to see my posts on the Top 10 anything list. At the moment, I’d be happy with the Top Million.

So, not wishing to subvert Mike Duran’s admirable and excellent list (with omission, hem hem) I wanted to add a few of my own picks from the Top Millions—a smattering of posts I’ve found this year to be immensely helpful for writing and such (omitting the blogalectic, ahem, because I don’t want to draw attention to myself). In no particular order:

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on giving up, or not

In response to Jenna St. Hilaire, Halfway.

Sometimes you want to.

Sometimes you need to.

Sometimes you shouldn’t.

I seem to have inadvertently begun writing a pop song. Stand aside, Mr McCartney, ‘Only Sometimes’ coming through on the charts. Brr—that’s a ghastly thought. Forgive me while I move on.

I’d feel a little impertinent calling this a webpartee—as Jenna observed over at ‘Halfway,’ we’re not really disagreeing at the moment. This is really more of a comment on Jenna’s post, posted here by order of the Regulated Society for the Prevention of Long Off-Topic Comments. Or something. Which is just too bad, because this is on topic.

Well, not yet. But in a sentence.

Jenna and I are in a paradoxical situation. (Ha! Knew this post belonged over here.) Jenna has been pursuing NaNoWriMo. I have not. Jenna has been assiduously writing 1600+ words of her novel manuscript every day. I have not. Jenna is likely to complete said novel-length manuscript by 30 November. I, alas, will not.

We have, it seems, accomplished about the same amount of work this month.

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