So yep — terrifyingly, I have managed to procrastinate my way to 100 whole posts of weird and wonderful blog links, Youtube videos and other internet flotsam over the course of my three-and-a-half years at the helm of One Night Stanzas. In recognition of this epic event, I decided to trawl through all 100 previous procrastination station posts, and bring you my pick of the best lovely links so far. Let the wwilfing commence!
I never did buy the waterproof notebook, but now I’ve remembered about it I sure am coveting it again!
“Few who believe in the potential of the Web deny the value of books. But they argue that it is unrealistic to expect all children to read “To Kill a Mockingbird” or “Pride and Prejudice” for fun. And those who prefer staring at a television or mashing buttons on a game console, they say, can still benefit from reading on the Internet. In fact, some literacy experts say that online reading skills will help children fare better when they begin looking for digital-age jobs.”
What effect does the Internet have on literacy rates? Will the web kill reading?
Want a web/phone app that FORCES you to write? You got it!
“Although we all have stories to tell very few of us have a book worth writing in us. I am with John Milton when he argues in Areopagitica that “a good book is the precious life-blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life”. Very few of us are great poets.”
The old adage, “everyone has a book in them?” Not true.
“Well, I like poetry that is amusing, that maybe makes me chuckle a little. I’d rather read something reassuring and light than something complicated or gloomy. Is that bad? Does that mean I am a jerk?”
Smart answers to some of the common, and really stupid, questions people ask about poetry.
Want to look up that poem you heard in a movie? Here’s your resource.
Not writing-related (except perhaps for the fact that the blogger misspelled “hilarious” in the post title!), but I greatly enjoyed revisiting these funny/creepy US church billboards.
A great series of interviews with poetry editors.
I have a tattoo of one of these babies now, so it was cool to learn a little more about the ampersand.
“The cash registers were idle much of the time, but the [book]store was full, seemingly peopled by freeloaders sitting in chairs with stacks of books piled at their feet. What was appearent was that very few of those books would be purchased and the books in turn would be dog eared, bent , battered and otherwise made less than pristine. The staff, in turn, seemed as though they could give a flat fuck about the state of the store; sections were out of order. Vain as I am, I wanted to yell at someone.”
Holy freaky book art, Batman!
“Certainly you may buck the conventions of the query letter if your work is too amazing/revolutionary/brilliant to be summarized. Why don’t you also try applying for jobs without a résumé, using only your psychic powers. Let us know how that works out for you.”
I’m really bad for auto-apologising. I clearly need to re-read this article, on stuff you should never apologise for, and why.
I think I’m in love: a Flickr group devoted to the coolest customised Moleskines on the planet. Hipstertalent!
Ever wondered how a publisher goes about choosing the perfect covers for their about-to-be-published books?
DIY Pirateship Armada: PEOPLE ACTUALLY LIVE HERE. (I am jealous of them.)
“Inside my sheltering head: the sound of rustling green. Husband,
you are the riddle beneath which I dream blossoms and birds, but
when I wake, icicles hang from the eaves, the size of a man and twice as lethal.”
Here’s my favourite poet, being awesome.
Want a story on your shirt? A limited edition story, no less? Head to I Love Boxie.
HOT GUYS READING BOOKS. Enough said.
“We’re all practitioners of an art that doesn’t generally interest or impress the vast majority of people, and most of us will struggle to be heard, read, enjoyed and make a living out of our art. It is therefore quite darkly hilarious that many poets do not read other poets work, and nor do many performance poets attend performance poetry events.”
Jenny Lindsay is fabzilliant in this guest post at LumpInTheThroat, about the “divide” between page and stage.
What happens when bad men are also great writers.
Neil Gaiman’s assistant tells you the 10 Things you should never send to your favourite writer (no matter how obsessively you love them).
Think you can’t fight crime? Try making your damn bed!
“Someone wants to kiss you, to hold you, to make tea for you. Someone is willing to lend you money, wants to know what your favourite food is, and treat you to a movie. Someone in your orbit has something immensely valuable to give you — for free.”
I’m not normally into all this self-help type stuff, but the Manifesto of Encouragement is pretty darned encouraging!
You’ve got to love Hark! A Vagrant!. It’s like, the law.
“You think I’m stupid. You think I’m immature. You think I’m a malformed, pathetic excuse for a font. Well think again, nerdhole, because I’m Comic Sans, and I’m the best thing to happen to typography since Johannes fucking Gutenberg.”
A really interesting blog about the difficulty of being a self-promoting artist.
Hey, remember Jacqueline Howett and her comment rage?!
“Some blind date has persuaded you to go to a poetry slam. On the stage you see people shouting horrifying personal and global traumas with lines like “And I wonder / if George Bush was a woman / would he still let his Dick / do most of his thinking?” A valid question, but it is not the type of ambience that leads to a second date.”
My favourite webcomic strip of all time, I think.
“”Oh, yes. That. Well, the sperm comes out of the man’s penis and it goes into the woman’s vagina. This happens when the two do what’s called, ‘have sex’. And that’s where the egg – there’s usually only one in the woman’s pond at a time – gets fertilised.” Only after the fact did I realise that I had said the words penis and vagina and sex in a strained, sotto voce tone. This was also something my own mother would have done.”
When The Birds and The Bees Talk gets out of control…
Who doesn’t want to see great writers go head to head in a war of words?
“A student said to me yesterday, “I didn’t know professors could have long hair.” I said, “They can. If you do something well, people won’t bother you. That’s true in all professions. If you are the one guy who can fix the computers, you can keep a boa constrictor in your office. No one will say a thing.” His eyes flashed. Possibly he “went over to the dark side”… or something. I felt happy for 11 seconds.”
I still think about this article a lot: on teaching creative writing.
Writing an application for an MFA? Some crucial dos and don’ts.
“If a customer tells me she’s looking for a book by a man and there’s a girl in it but she can’t remember the author or the title, I give her Lolita. If she’s looking for “that popular book about the animals”: Animal Farm. “That controversial book my book club is reading”: The Autobiography of Malcolm X. “The book with a red cover and the word ‘the’ in the title”: The Joy of Sex. I’m a bookseller, not a magician. My dark-framed glasses and skinny jeans possess only so much magic.
If you read nothing else from this post, read Bookseller I Would Like To F***.
So funny. So cringe-y. So true. The Ultimate Celebrity Interview.
I loved this so much at the time and rediscovering it was a joy! Serious patience and craftsmanship right here:
Basically the most bad-ass bloke ever right here:
My favourite Lady Gaga song. For reals.
My little sister is megatalented.
I SO HEART GEORGE WATSKY.
My favourite short film of all time. (+ an amazing soundtrack!)
Watch. Be amused.
Edinburgh’s hippest cyclist.
Sweet song, and the cutest music video ever.
It’s terrible, but you kind of have to love it.
What he said.
“I’m going to write smart things about Death in Literature.”
Shakespeare vs Dr Seuss (OMG Watsky <3)
Phew! Here’s to the next 100.
One Night Stanzas loves mail. Say hello via firstname.lastname@example.org. NB: I am physically unable to reply to non-urgent stuff unless I have a free afternoon and a cup of tea in my hand. Please be patient!