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There are no accidents.

“I don’t believe in accidents. There are only encounters in history. There are no accidents.” — Pablo Picasso

(via thisdotcomtaken)

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“It is in these moments of tender and ridiculous nostalgia that I know something inside me is still broken.” –Steve Almond

(via tardomucho)

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What is Creative about Creative Nonfiction?

This is like working the CNF table during the AWP Conference.

(via Dinty Moore at the Brevity Blog)

Character

What is either a picture or a novel that is not character? -Henry James
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Place

Place is often something you don’t see because you’re so familiar with it… But in fact it is the information your reader most wants to know.  -Dorothy Allison

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Cover Variations

Hey! FaceoutBooks has an interview with the designer of our ol’ pal Jess Walter’s latest book, The Financial Lives of Poets.

Two things: Mad Men infiltrates the subconscious. And alternative color variations.

Oh, yeah. Read Jess Walter.

Losing Touch

Steve Almond has a excellent piece over at the Rumpus that uses the current FUBAR unraveling at VQR as a springboard to investigate the relationship between editors, ambition, and angry dependence (in 33 loosely jointed parts).

Here’s a highlight:

31. Our job, then, is two-fold: to focus on our own failings as writers. But also to speak more forcefully as advocates for literature. Books are a powerful antidote for loneliness, for the moral purposelessness of the leisure class. It’s our job to convince the 95 percent of people who don’t read books, who instead medicate themselves in front of screens, that literary art isn’t some esoteric tradition, but a direct path to meaning, to an understanding of the terror that lives beneath our consumptive ennui. It’s hard to make this case, though, if all we do is squabble with each other and lament our obscurity.

This is the best thing I’ve read all week.

The Death of an Editor

The Chronicle of Higher Education just posted an article investigating last month’s suicide of VQR’s managing editor, Kevin Morrissey. Allegedly, the suicide was motivated by workplace bullying. The culprit: Ted Genoway.

I’m not sure how accurate this article is–quite a few accusations and assumptions–but the whole scene is just sad.

Being Overrated is Overrated

As Jason recently pointed out, the interweb is aflutter with Anis Shivani/Huffington Post backlash. I don’t care for lashings, but I’ve never been one to pass up a ride on the ol’ bandwagon, so away we go:

Steve O.K.’s Top Ten Bonanza of Things that Rate as the Most Overrated Things:

10. Professional Designers – Seriously, just get some college kids to do it pro bono.

9. Being the first to “turn a phrase” - Steal someone else’s instead and pretend it’s your own.

8.  Actually interviewing people – Make it up, especially if the person is too overrated to notice (I’m kidding, of course. This was amazing).

7. Constant news – No news is good news.

6. Electric pencil sharpeners – Fine, handcrafted pencil sharpening is a dying art. Support the arts!!!!

5. Not taking drugs before work – Acid is recommended.

4. New York City – More like “Big Yawn City.” Am I right, or am I right?

3. Listing things that are overrated – Because, you know, who really cares.

2. The Internet – Being so connected is not safe. Too many voices.

1. Being angered by the internet – If you knew everything everyone thought, I bet that you’d wish that they’d just shut up.

Street Hassle

There’s been a lot of talk on Bark about cool people. Here’s are video arguments for:

Lou Reed

David Byrne

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Another Quick One While He’s Away

Like Shawn, my muse is on vacation. Like Shawn, I will be in the Vice-Kartz wedding this weekend. Like Shawn, all I have for you is a video that previews things to expect at said wedding.

I like Shawn.

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