Friday Five: I Smell Cookies Edition

I do. My wife’s planning to spoil the hell out of her softball team at their tournament tomorrow, so to go along with the jelly shots and pepperoni rolls, she’s also doing them chocolate peanut butter cookies. I don’t even really want one, I’m just enjoying the smell. It’s been a wild week and baking smells make the world seem a little slower.

Do you know what else makes the world seem a little slower? Reading.

1. I’m going to start with a grab bag of things writer related.

There’s a good twitter thread of publishing contract advice here.

For people who take in spoken information better than written information, Bookish Take is a great YouTube channel to follow for learning about writing

MD Presley is here to share his favourite worldbuilding books

This tweet has great advice for writing scenes

Justina Ireland has some great wisdom on “Don’t Tell, Show”:

2. I just really like this quote so it’s getting 2 all to itself:

I mean, I don’t like everything about it, largely because I’m beginning to suspect the best way to get people to enjoy writing is to lie through your teeth about what it is, then admit how hard it is once they’re hooked. And the pilgrimage idea definitely isn’t for everyone. But for me, it connects to the idea that there is something more to this, and that it’s an arduous journey.

3. Reviews and other book stuff.

Fantasy Literature is holding its tenth limerick competition

There’s a review of The Wood Bee Queen by Edward Cox at FanFiAddict

LL MacRae’s The Iron Crown gets a review by Azucchi

4. Blog of the week goes to JonBob at Parsecs & Parchment. I’ve been looking for an excuse to give it to JonBob for a while, and what better excuse than him saying nice things about me in his own round up? Absolutely fucking none, that’s what. And he’s a fine reviewer too, as witnessed by his review of Justin Cronin’s The Passage, which is just me linking it to his latest review and nope no other reason nope not at all very typical yes.

Btw, JonBob, I got sent this link as part of the American Fantasy thing and think you might enjoy it.

5. I’m currently reading The Citadel of Fears by Francis Stevens, an old old old book that earned Stevens (real name Gertrude Barrows) the acclaim of being the mother of dark fantasy. There’s some good bits, and some bad bits, and I’m hoping to finish it tonight as I’m a bit tired of it but I am enjoying it. Except for thing.

It refers to milk as the healthsome fluid.

And I never want to hear that phrase again.

Anyway, that’s me, have a good weekend all!

p.s. The cookie was very good, thanks for asking.

7 thoughts on “Friday Five: I Smell Cookies Edition

  1. That article is interesting, though I find myself instinctively questioning bits of it without being able to immediately put my finger on why. I think possibly because it seems to uncritically accept a definition of American as ‘ Protestant Europeans’, and only mentions the various cultural traditions of West Africans and the native population as a side note. I don’t have specific examples off the top of my head, but the amount of specifically Irish emigration (Catholics to boot, even if you do want to lump Irish Protestants in with the rest of the European Puritans) and their Pagan cultural history must surely have had some influence on American literature, if we accept her line of argument?

    The post-9/11 demarcation from moralising tales to dystopia is lazy too I think, especially regarding the dislocation the author attributes to consumerism and social media. Just off the top of my head, both William Gibson and Philip K. Dick were writing about social/cultural/economic/technological fractures decades before 9/11. Arguably, Neuromancer birthed cyberpunk in an age where those things were becoming more dominant at a stage of the Cold War where unfettered capitalist consumerism was on the front foot, with Reagan and Thatcher in power and the Soviet Union in the early stage of decline. That was science fiction obviously, but the trends in literature were there so it can’t be attributed to something lacking in the American cultural psyche. I’d be interested in a more thorough analysis of pre and post 9/11 SFF, cos I’ve got no doubt it had an impact, I just don’t think it’s the impact this writer seems to think.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, there’s a lot of things that I sorta question with it – it reduces everything down to two camps very neatly, without considering all the nuances within those camps. That said… I think it is fair to say that white American culture’s dominant strand, that which people mean when they say American, is basically North European Protestant, and that immigrants from Ireland/Italy/Poland/Other European Catholic have mostly brought into that culture even if not into the religion.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That quote from Nath is very inspiring indeed. And this — “It refers to milk as the healthsome fluid. And I never want to hear that phrase again.” — this made me chortle like anything!

    Liked by 2 people

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