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  • It’s very tempting to participate in Nation Novel Writing Month. 50,000 words in 30 days? No problem! And while everyone starts with gusto, after the first handful of days, the strain of the undertaking starts to take it’s toll. But fear not! Here’s some advice from a seasoned NaNoWriMo veteran to help you get to the end of your novel!

  • It’s our favorite month of the year: NaNoWriMo. That’s National Novel Writing Month, for those of you who haven’t yet sacrificed your entire November to hitting that 50,000-word goal. Here at Quirk, we know that NaNoWriMo is exciting and invigorating. But we also know that writing a novel is hard. And lonely. And easy to give up on. All month, we’ll be sharing advice on how to finish that novel – and still have friends come December 1. So, gather your writer friends, stock up on snacks, and pull out your fluffiest pillows. Because you’re about to have the most productive party of all time.

  • Photo by Bry Ulrick on Unsplash.

    At the end of this month, Nevada’s Black Rock Desert will undergo its yearly transformation into Black Rock City for just over one week of art, expression, and collaboration called Burning Man. Although Burning Man is technically a festival event, it’s become so much more than that since its inception in San Francisco in 1986. Art, expression, anti-commercialism and bartering are the key features of the fest for most, but for others it has become little more than a week of hedonism, the pursuit of pure pleasure in a desert city where anything goes as long as each of the tens of thousands of attendees are coming together to create joy, radical self-expression and share their talents as gifts for all.

    This massive party has become world-famous and has also garnered its fair share of criticism. Some see it as a wild gathering of socialist art punks, creating something entirely new in the harsh desert. Others see it as an excuse for hippies to do drugs (and each other) consequence free, while more bemoan the "commodification" of the festival and its transformation into what they consider to be a party haven for the rich and the ravers. Whatever it is, it certainly sparks a reaction, and we’re wondering what that reaction would be if some of our favorite authors of classic American literature were to attend Burning Man 2017 when they were in their prime. 

  • [Image from book cover of Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges, Penguin Random House]

    Jorge Luis Borges, the Argentinian short story writer who paved the way for magical realism, would be 118 years old if he were alive today. Since he passed into the great labyrinthine library in the sky in 1986, though, we wanted to honor him by writing about all the ways this literary visionary lives on.

    Borges, who grew up in capital cities all over the globe, pioneered a dreamy, surreal kind of fiction that made him one of the most famous writers of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. He helped sci-fi and fantasy grow into the booming genres they are today, and he influenced writers as diverse as Grant Morrison, Italo Calvino, Neil Gaiman, Joyce Carol Oates, and Harlan Ellison.

    Here are a few examples of all the books, movies, and comics Borges made possible. Cheers, sir!

  • While we like to think of our favorite authors writing leisurely by day and counting their sales numbers by night, the reality is much different.

  • I started out, when I was younger, wanting to be a novelist.

     

    In the ultimate act of tween nerdery one year for my birthday I was given the choice to get contact lenses or a typewriter, but not both.

     

    Up until that point in my life I had been tormented for being a bespectacled nerd by my classmates, and so I knew what that was like; I could handle that. A new, glasses-less identity was appealing, but unknown.

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