Thursday, 19 September 2019

GRANT SNIDER Writers Style Guide (2016)

Re-posted from the blog Incidental Comics

© 2016 Grant Snider

Click HERE to visit INCIDENTAL COMICS, the wonderful blog of US cartoonist GRANT SNIDER.  You can also click HERE to read a July 2017 GRANT SNIDER interview by JEFFREY KINDLEY on the website of The Los Angeles Review of Books and HERE to order a copy of his book The Shape of Ideas: An Illustrated Exploration of Creativity (published by Abrams ComicArts in April 2017).

You might also enjoy: 
GRANT SNIDER One Page at a Time (2015)
GRANT SNIDER The Writer's Retreat (2014)
GRANT SNIDER Styles of Writing (2014)

Thursday, 12 September 2019

POET OF THE MONTH #59: Basma Abdel Aziz



I probably did ––

observe one day

the fall of the sun
and caught the gold that was scattered
in the palm of the sea
and enclosed my ribs about
the last escaping heat
as I searched for a farewell
sifting through piles of sand

And I paced the city 
back and forth
I hung around in the old cafés
sipping at bottles of beer
I met with friends and passers-by
sat with literati and revolutionaries
and among the crowded tables
I spent long hours

I went up and down
streets and discussions
but I remember that once
I bought
from the other end of the street
a mizmar!
And I stood under a balcony
observing wet newspapers
and the heavy clothes
shifting my feet 
in a puddle
making endless circles

date unspecified

mizmar = single or double reed conical shaped musical instrument

Translated by ALICE GUTHRIE 

The Poet:  Born in Cairo in 1976, Basma Abdel Aziz has a BA in medicine and surgery, an MS in neuropsychiatry and a diploma in sociology.  She works for the General Secretariat of Mental Health in Egypt's Ministry of Health and the Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture and also writes a weekly column for Egypt's daily Al-Shorouk newspaper for which she has earned herself the nickname 'the rebel.'

Abdel Aziz gained second place for her short stories in the 2008 Sawiris Cultural Award, and a 2008 award from the General Organisation for Cultural Palaces.  Her sociological examination of police violence in Egypt, Temptation of Absolute Power, won the Ahmed Bahaa-Eddin Award in 2009.

Her debut novel Al-Tabuur (The Queue) was published by Dar al-Tanweer in 2013.  Three years later US publisher Melville House published an English translation of the novel by Elisabeth Jaquette.

In 2016 Abdel-Aziz was named one of the leading global thinkers by US magazine Foreign Policy.  In 2018 she was named by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute in the list of top influencers of Arabic public opinion.

Click HERE to read a review of the 2016 English translation of The Queue by BASMA ABDEL AZIZ.

You might also enjoy:
POET OF THE MONTH #45: Niculina Oprea
POET OF THE MONTH #17: Caasha Lul Mohamud Yusuf

Thursday, 5 September 2019

WRITERS ON WRITING #124: Jennifer Dummer

I really do like books that make me forget my current surroundings.  And I love it when I can somehow identify with a character.  It’s fantastic when a story, and the style in which it is written, challenges me.  And I love it when a good sentence makes me stop, reach for my notebook, and write it down.  I’ve always enjoyed a reading experience whenever I’ve learned something new — about me or about the world — or when I was invited to travel and discover something I didn’t know before and wouldn’t have learned without reading about it.

Interview [Québec Reads, date unspecified]

Click HERE to read the full interview with Canadian writer and academic JENNIFER DUMMER originally posted on the Québec Reads website.

You might also enjoy:
WRITERS ON WRITING #107: Felicia Mihali
WRITERS ON WRITING #104: Arielle Aaronson
WRITERS ON WRITING #37: Gabrielle Roy

Thursday, 29 August 2019

THINK ABOUT IT #48: Todd Rundgren

I never waited for something to happen — I just went out and did it.  I didn’t wait for acclaim or affirmation or anything like that.  I always kept myself busy and wrote music.  Some people think that success only comes through the front door, so they’re waiting at that door.  Truth is, sometimes it comes in the back door, so don’t worry about it.  Just keep busy and do what you’re meant to do.  If you do that, it’ll all come together.

Interview in Guitar World, June 2015

Click HERE to visit The Todd Rundgren Connection, a fan-run website that celebrates the life and music of US composer, guitarist, songwriter and producer of genius TODD RUNDGREN.  

You can also click HERE to visit The Spirit of Harmony Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by TODD RUNDGREN in October 2013 which 'advocates for the moral imperative of music education and music performance for youth, beginning at the earliest age possible, offered in schools or as after-school programs. We forge meaningful partnerships among music programs, corporations, and other music education non-profits, engaging supporters and music fans to become involved in working with music education programs nationally and in their communities.'

You might also enjoy:
THINK ABOUT IT #28: Frank Zappa
THINK ABOUT IT #17: Kurt Vonnegut
THINK ABOUT IT #11: Lee Nutter

Thursday, 22 August 2019

WRITERS ON WRITING #123: William S Burroughs

To recapitulate qualifications which are useful but not essential:  the ability to endure the physical discipline of writing, that is, to sit at a typewriter and write; the ability to persist and absorb the discouragement of rejection and the even deadlier discouragement that comes from your own bad writing; insight into the motives of others; ability to think in concrete visual terms; a grounding in general reading.  Now assume that the student has at least some of these qualifications.  What can he be taught about writing?
    It is of course easier to tell someone how not to write than how to write.  Remember for example that a bad title can sink a good book or a good one sell a bad book.  But it can sink a film faster and deeper, because a film has just one shot to make it.  A book with a bad title or a slow beginning may make a comeback –– a film just gets one chance.  Here again there are no absolute rules, but there are guidelines.  A good title gives the reader an image and arouses his interest in the image.  Bad titles convey negative images, refer to images which the audience cannot understand until they see the film, or convey no image at all.  Titles of more than three words are to be avoided –– such turn-off titles as The Marriage of a Young StockbrokerThe Conformist is a turn-off title.  Those of you who have seen the film will know it is about a fascist who ends up denouncing his blind friend as a fascist when Mussolini falls.  The Survival Artist would have been a better title.

Technology of Writing  [Reprinted in The Adding Machine: Selected Essays (1986)]

Click HERE to read more about the life and work of US novelist, visual artist and spoken word performer WILLIAM SEWARD BURROUGHS II (1914–1997).

You might also enjoy:
WRITERS ON WRITING #118: Joseph Conrad
WRITERS ON WRITING #110: Anthony Burgess