It has been a horribly hectic month, with lots of things going on at home and at work, which means that my Instapaper bookmarks have been growing out of control: I’ll see an article I want to read, throw into the “Read Later” bin, and somehow never get back to it. So here’s an attempt to plow through and share some things that I’ve found memorable:
How to be a writer by M. Molly Backes: great advice to the parents of a would-be writer:
First of all, let her be bored. Let her have long afternoons with absolutely nothing to do. Limit her TV-watching time and her internet-playing time and take away her cell phone. Give her a whole summer of lazy mornings and dreamy afternoons.
The Secret Bookstore, Thessaly La Force, Paris Review:
I find ways to survive without it making enough money to be what you would call a successful business. If it’s all about money, there’s just better things to sell.
Writing is bad for you by Rick Gekoski (or, rather, “writing makes you bad”):
It has become increasingly clear to me over these last 10 years, in which I have written more regularly than before, that the more I write the worse I become. More self-absorbed, less sensitive to the needs of others, less flexible, more determined to say what I have to say, when I want and how I want, if I could only be left alone to figure it out.
Questioning the Inca Paradox by Mark Adams:
According to Spanish chronicles of the 1560s and 1570s, some khipus appeared to contain information of the sort that other cultures have typically preserved in writing, such as genealogies and songs that praised the king. One Jesuit missionary told of a woman who brought him a khipu on which she had “written a confession of her whole life.”
Sheila Bair’s Exit Interview by Joe Nocera
Our job is to protect bank customers, not banks
The Year of Wonders by Alex Shakar
There goes your novel,” my father said, in a dry little voice I recognized anew.
Orwell the Tory (or English Patriot), Orwell the Early Natopolitan, Orwell the Trot, Orwell the Proletarian Loyalist, Orwell the Rootless Exile, Orwell the Anarchist, and Orwell the Foe of Abrupt Transitions.
The Vanishing by Paul Collins
As 1923 passed into another year and yet another, she wrote and rewrote her tale of a girl who ventures into the woods and vanishes into nature. Friends, when she needed them, could always be imagined. “I pretend,” she once explained, “that Beethoven, the two Strausses, Wagner, and the rest of the composers are still living, and they go skating with me.”
What is Carved in Stone by David Mark Simpson
I threw down my pack, pulled out my phone, held it up, and soon it, too, was filling with messages, messages from Patti, sweet messages. Jonah and I were like lost explorers stumbling upon a watering hole, our hands shaking as we filled our canteens, these mute phones brought along each day just in case.