June 22, 2015 • On Writing
Summer is officially here, but don’t let the heat get you down. There are still plenty of cool ways for you to have the best bookish day in New York City. Whether you check out the historic sites of Dorothy Parker’s childhood on the Upper West Side, or visit the lions at the New York Public Library, make sure to tweet at us to let us know where you went.
June 19, 2015 • On Writing
(image via syracuse.com)
As George Saunders put it in his 2013 address to Syracuse, the university commencement address is a tradition in which “some old fart, his best hears behind him, who over the course of his life has made a series of dreadful mistakes, offers heartfelt advice to a group of shining, energetic, beautiful young people.”
It’s a little strange that a person, based almost entirely on their celebrity status, is somehow qualified to offer life advice to the next generation. But it comes as no surprise that authors often offer the best words of wisdom. Here, we've collected the five most inspiring commencement speeches given by authors.
June 12, 2015 • Fiction, On Writing
Writing is hard. If you don’t think so, you’re not doing it right. You can love it, enjoy it, and have a great time writing but it’s still hard work. It’s easy to get discouraged, to have no idea where to start, to think you can’t do it, and to want to quit before you even sit down. That’s why I like to follow authors: they motivate me, inspire me, remind me everyone struggles, no one is a success over night. While no one can actually make you sit down and do the work, here’s a little help in the inspiration, motivation, and learning department.
May 11, 2015 • On Writing
It’s commonly thought that professional writers do nothing but sit at their desks all day and write while they’re fueled by coffee, alcohol, and angst. In reality, most authors – no matter how successful—have or had day jobs to pay the bills. Here’s a list of ten famous writers who had jobs crazier than writing.
March 23, 2015 • On Writing
Whether you are looking for stories and poems about your favorite mammals, or a Tumblr hosted bash, you’re sure to find some great events in the roundup this week. Come out to celebrate debuts by Sarah Gerard and Nicole Haroutunian at Housing Works and Powerhouse Arena, or learn about the business side of writing at Lillian Vernon House. Best of all, every event featured this week is totally free.
March 20, 2015 • On Writing, Video Games
Music gives the less writerly-insane parts of our brains something to do while we're putting words on a screen, and soundtracks are an excellent choice. Personally, I used to write to movie soundtracks (the TRON Legacy soundtrack is proof the universe wants me to be happy), but those can be tricky. John Williams' Star Wars soundtracks are amazing achievements but you're working away and here's the Imperial March and now you have to go march around your house like you're Darth Vader.
So for the past few years, I've switched to game soundtracks. Not the Tetris music (can you imagine? I would lose my mind), but the gorgeous and symphonic soundtracks with atmospheres. See, game music has recognizable themes, but also ambient background music, for those less exciting bits when you're running across a vast landscape or staring blankly at a jumping puzzle. This means you get wonderful ambient mood-music drifting through the background.
Want to try some videogame soundtracks out? Here's some suggestions.