Tag Archives: creative writing

Birthday Bestsellers at Biblioz

Today was my first day at AWP 2011 and it’s been a great one, but I’m a little overwhelmed by the universe of creative writing as it’s unfolding (and it’s just the first day-whew) so I’m going to take a day or two to curate my thoughts about the conference.

In the meantime, I have a great new site to share with you, one I’ve been saving for the appropriate time.

Follow this link at Biblioz and you can look up the books that were bestsellers the week and the year you were born. Why is this an appropriate time? It just so happens to be my “birthday week.” Here’s what came up. Like most bestseller lists, there’s a little bit of everything:

Bestsellers Week Ending February 5, 1967
Fiction2 CAPABLE OF HONOR Allen Drury author
Fiction3 VALLEY OF THE DOLLS Jacqueline Susann
Fiction4 THE BIRDS FALL DOWN Rebecca West
Fiction5 THE MASK OF APOLLO Mary Renault
Fiction6 ALL IN THE FAMILY Edwin O’Connor
Fiction7 THE CAPTAINJ an de Hartog
Fiction8 TAI-PAN James Clavell
Fiction9THE FIXER Bernard Malamud
Fiction10 WAITING FOR WINTER John O’Hara
Non-Fiction1 EVERYTHING BUT MONEY Sam Levenson
Non-Fiction2 PAPER LION George Plimpton
Non-Fiction3 GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Eric Berne
Non-Fiction4 RUSH TO JUDGMENT Mark Lane
Non-Fiction5 THE JURY RETURNS Louis Nizer
Non-Fiction6 WINSTON S. CHURCHILL Randolph S. Churchill
Non-Fiction7 THE BOSTON STRANGLER Gerald Frank
Non-Fiction8 HOW TO AVOID PROBATE Norman F. Dacey
Non-Fiction9 MADAME SARAH Cornelia Otis Skinner

So what’s on your list?

Bye y’all,


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Wordamours unite!

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Like many of us out there, my to do list seems to stretch on into infinity, and yet here I am.  Writing my first blog entry.  Since I’ve decided to give it a shot, I’ve got to be true to another promise to myself:  for everything I add to my plate I’ve got to take something away.  Problem is, I haven’t figured out what–yet the lure to blogging was irresistable.  Suggestions are welcome. Related to this is the fact that even though I’ve got a pretty full plate, with a few non-negotiable exceptions, I love everything on it.  The only thing that was easy to give up was coupon clipping. 

 We just had fall break, which for professors means time to work on other stuff besides class.  I’ve been working on a power point I’m giving Tuesday about a new Creative Enterprise course we’re proposing for seniors at UCA.  It would be a way for senior College of Fine Arts majors–be they musicians, writers, film students, visual artists–to execute a project of their own design that would put them in closer contact with the creative arts community, helping them forge the ties that will sustain them, literally and figuratively, after they graduate.  A music major might set up a downtown lunch hour concert series and learn how to work with city government, musicians, publicists, and so forth, to make it a success.  A writing major might decide to publish a magazine.  The students are really limited only by their imaginations. 

 It’s based on a similar course I saw at Bath Spa university when I toured there last year, the brainchild of writer and teacher Mimi Thebo.  We need to show our students that there is a middle ground between becoming the next Amy Tan or Steven Spielberg and flipping burgers, and that’s where they’ll probably find their careers.  It’s never too soon to start showing them how to find this place and begin to establish themselves there.

Michael Cunningham was here earlier in the week, and his visit was entertaining and inspiring.  He read from The Hours and some new work, dished about the actors he worked with on his movies, and talked about adapting Susan Minot’s novel, Evening, which I’m now dying to see.  He talked about writing as an endurance sport, which our students really needed to hear, and he talked about the fact that novelists should aim to be writing novels just a little smarter then they are, which I really needed to hear.  He also left his glasses behind.  I can’t tell if they’re of the “oh, I have dozens of those, I buy them at the dollar store,” kind or of the, “they cost me a fortune, can you send them Fedex?” kind.  They look pretty nice to me but we can’t send them to him till we have his address.

In other news, in spite of my considerable to do list, I managed to fit in a lot of fun over the past four days.  I manage this in general largely by putting fun things on my to do list.  Things like, “Read magazines.  Go to garage sales.” And yes, by the way, I enjoyed both, savoring, especially, the delicious new Victoria magazine (yes, she’s back!) that appeared in my mailbox Friday just when I’d given up all hope of having actually been put on the subscription list.  I also baked bread, watched Little Man Tate, taught my sons how to vacuum (which, of course, they turned into a competetive sport, as in “Nyah, nyah, I was able to get the cheerio that you couldn’t”), ironed, had my usual Saturday night date with my husband John,  (he cooks a gourmet meal, the kids keep themselves busy and/or go to sleep, prime couple time) and watched John and my younger son, Will, sledgehammer a wall surrounding an old Conway mansion (the owner is renovating and invited all the locals to “tear down these walls”). I also spent a couple of hours with my kids in the Faulkner County Library.  Nothing like Saturday in the library.  In spite of the fact that some parents seem to use it as a drop off babysitting service, you gotta love a library. Especially if you’re a wordamour. 

Until I think of a witty sign off line, I’ll just say bye for now and end with a promise not to regale readers with the woe is me to do list any more.  That would be pretty boring regular reading, now, wouldn’t it?  And no way to celebrate words. 


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