Busy Busy Busy Links

Y’all, my schedule is killing me! Since I last blogged I have done a classroom visit at Dream Yarp Prep in The Bronx. I read about a half dozen student manuscripts. I drafted a book review, wrote and delivered a “talkshop” at the National Black Writers Conference. (This was quite a highlight of a really hectic week.) AND, I used a curling iron to put about 400 spirals in my hair. And to top it all off, I was at work at 7 am, where I remain, dear reader, to this moment. But before I head off to the next task, let me fill you in on what’s cool on the itnernet today.

  • Opportunity alert: Scholarships for the 2011 Key West Literary Seminars.
  • Congratulations to Tina Chang, Poet Laureate of Brooklyn.
  • I am so glad that I decided NOT to title my novel, The Bigamist’s Daughters.
  • “Top Ten” black authors on twitter.
  • I never knew Annie John was out of print, but I am glad to see that it’s back.
  • Maud Newton decodes Sarah Palin. (Deep, y’all.)
  • My ultra classy publicist.
  • What do you use your journal for?
  • Sarah loves the sentences on Walter Mosley.
  • Book review BINGO. (Can also be used as a drinking game.)
  • If you have these words in your manuscript, scratch them out.
  • White Teeth on video.
  • The Saudi version of American Idol features poets, not singers.
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    Spinning Around and Around Links


  • A lovely audio of Natasha reading in Key West. Toward the end of the recording she shares her intense new poems.

  • The Orange Prize long list is announced. Congrats to Laila Lalami!
  • Free audio books. (But let me warn you– you get what you pay for.)
  • Larry Flynt’s crazy book proposal.
  • Congratulations to the Lambda finalists.
  • Think you’re too artistic to have a day job? Well even Faulkner punched a clock.
  • Bernice MacFadden on telling our own stories.
  • Learn Italian, French or Spanish in ten weeks at Idlewild Books!
  • The making of a book cover.
  • How agents negotiate a contract.
  • Thank goodness Romeo couldn’t txt Juliette.
  • Quote of the day: ‘The cat sat on the mat is not a story. The cat sat on the other cat’s mat is a story.’ – John LeCarre
  • Mayumi hearts Tiphanie Yanique.
  • How did I miss this? Elizabeth Alexander’s gorgeous and weighty rembrance of Lucille Clifton.
  • Marie Mockett says to book reviewers, new writers need love too.
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    Run With It Links

  • Erica posted a opportunity and one of her blog readers took the ball and ran with it!
  • Everything you wanted to know about a career at a publishing house, but were afraid to ask.
  • Very touching post about how Bernice MacFadden’s daughter is paying it back.
  • Octavia Butler is named to the Sci-Fi hall of fame.(Better posthumously than never.)
  • Are you an MFAer with something to say?
  • How make the leap from self-publishing to traditional publishing.
  • Delicious photos and delicious poetry. What’s not to like?
  • The Cave Canem poetry prize is like American Idol for black poets. It can make you a star!
  • Rigoberto Gonzalez, the hardest working man in literature, has edited Camina del Sol: Fifteen years of Latino and Latina Writing.
  • Joy Castro is right on point about this one. It’s getting ugly out here, or it’s always been ugly. I think that’s the point.
  • What’s your genre? Here’s a guide.
  • DGLM summarizes all the advice they gave during slush week. (Read this if you’re trying to find an agent.)
  • Collector donates artifacts belonging to Harriet Tubman.
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    Glorious Links

  • Bernice McFadden is hosting a great giveaway/contest for bloggers as she prepares for the launch of GLORIOUS.
  • Advice, schmadvice.
  • RIP Barry Hannah
  • How the money is paid out when you get a multi-book deal.
  • Now THIS is a dress fit for The Silver Girl. It’s a good thing my size is not avilable or else I would have spent my rent money on it!
  • Slush Week! The agents at Dystel and Goderich evaluate queries.
  • Funky new covers for Penguin Classics.
  • I can’t believe it’s not Photoshop.
  • When Oscar lobbying gets ugly.
  • What do LGBT teens want to read?
  • Victor LaValle believes in putting it all out there.
  • John Edgar Wideman self-publishes.
  • Tyler Perry brings back the crack-addict mama.
  • Help name the Flannery O’connor peafowl. (I am assuming they have been given some money to fix the place up. When I went there a couple of years ago, the holes in the walls went straight to the outside!)
  • Pick your favorite font! (Whenever I resubmit something that has been rejected, I change the font to chase off some of the bad mojo.)
  • The Indies list their favorites. (I am so tired of saying the same thing over and over, but black writers seem to be out of style or something.)
  • Posted in Links | 1 Comment

    Procrastination Never Hurt Nobody Links

  • Abdel has a great blog. The entries take some time, but are worth it if only for his quirky insights.
  • And Shelly’s blog is good too, for her yeah-I-said-it insights.
  • And if you want to start an author blog, here’s how.
  • Publishing vets, DeBerry and Grant, still get the pre-pub freakout.
  • Not literary, but still.
  • Two recordings of Gwendolyn Brooks reading “We Real Cool.” This one is a better recitation of the poem, but this one also displays the text and her prefatory remarks are really good.
  • I would love it if someone from this blog were to solve this literary mystery.
  • Lorraine Lopez scores a ginormous coup with her Pen/Faulkner nomination. Whoo hoo!!!!
  • Renee rounds Black History Month by posting fabulous old family photos.
  • Doug says don’t fall for the fast talk. Plagiarism is what it is.
  • Is Angelina Jolie too foxy to be Scarpetta?
  • Coe’s writing tip of the week: It’s okay to suck.
  • Ten really famous writers give thier Do’s and Don’ts
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    Newsflash: I spend a LOT of this blog. Now am on this kick where I am scheduling out my day, I’m seeing exactly how much time I spend doing what. I gave myself thirty minutes get these links up. HA! It’s been thirty-three and I haven’t even started typing them in. But that’s okay. I love keeping this blog. I just have to juggle my schedule around a bit. So, with no further ado, here are today’s links, though a little abbreviated because I didn’t get to check out all my my source sites.

  • When MFA grads do it, they don’t call it self-publishing, they call it indie-lit. (This really annoys me because people on the margins have been publishing their own work for years and they get sneered at.)
  • The photo on the above is from Relentless Aaron’s flickr page. That brother is the hardest working person in “indie-lit.” Click on the picture and see all the tags he put on it.
  • Ralph Ellison’s second unfinished 1,000 page novel is now available.
  • Anne loves Dolen as much as I do.
  • What? James Patterson uses a ghost writer?
  • Kind of neat and kind of gross.
  • Dear Kate Spade: Please make a classic clutch out of Incidents In The Life of a Slave Girl. Thank you.
  • LA times 2009 Book Prize finalists.
  • Houghton announces the editors for the next Best American series. You will note a staggering lack of diversity.
  • Finally, congrats to Carleen Brice. The Lifetime movie, Sins of the Mother, was a great success over the weekend.
  • Posted in Links | 4 Comments

    Brother Sister Links


  • For, if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.” James Baldwin’s open letter to Angela Davis.

  • FREE workshops at Oakland Public Libraries!
  • Actually, there is only one way to skin this particular cat.
  • @colsonwhitehead tickles me to death.
  • Laila Lalami gets all technical when defending Coetzee.
  • Oooh pretty!
  • This is the best title in the world. To bad it’s poetry and not a self-help book.
  • Here is the breakdown of the Kindle/Amazon/Macmillan thing.
  • Here’s the deal: men, without thinking, will almost without fail select men. And women, without thinking, will too often select men.” Claire Messud makes the case for an all-women’s issue.
  • I’m no fan of Sarah Palin, but I must admit that this has crossed my mind a time or two.
  • Chicagoans, the Art Institute is offering free admission all month long!
  • Stan Nelson directs a new documentary on The Freedom Riders.
  • Photos from Key West Literary Seminars. Scroll down for a pretty picture of Natasha.
  • Poetry infusion: Medusa.
  • A first draft is like a Polaroid picture….
  • Agent-submitted manuscripts are the new slush pile.
  • Advice on how to make yourself look good. My favorite is “don’t mention any awards that aren’t a big deal. Any fool with $50 can nominate himself for a Pulitzer, so don’t put that in your cover letter.”
  • YA is where it’s at.
  • Marian Wright Edelman (Spelman woman!) remembers her old teacher, Howard Zinn.
  • Ngugi Wa Thiong’o interviewed.
  • A new play about Lorraine Hansbury.
  • The Pulitzer predictions are starting already.
  • How to sell your book without selling yourself.
  • Posted in Links | 3 Comments

    Sick As A Dog Links

    Not Feeling Well At All

    Originally uploaded by kleopatrjones

    Why, why, why am I so sick on the first day back in class? Here are some links while I wait for the Day-Quil, etc. to kick in.

  • Poets, the case for staying alive.
  • A new film about Basquiat debuts at Sundance.
  • Junot Diaz says Obama needs to get his story together.
  • A song about my former roomie, novelist Vendela Vida.
  • The 2010 Girls Write Now reading series is amazing, if we may say so ourselves!
  • Laila Lalami is featured in a special issue of Callaloo.
  • On-line publicity basics.
  • You can cure yourself of overwriting.
  • Haiti: in ink and tears
  • August Wilson’s Fences is coming back to Broadway with Denzel playing the lead.
  • Margaret Atwood’s Ten Tips fot beating writer’s block.
  • Vic LaValle tells you what to do when someone says that your book “is a black book without being a BLACK book, you know?”
  • Check out the South African cover of The Help.

    Okay, I am miserably signing off now.

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    Turn Out The Lights Links

  • Goodbye to the Teddy Bear.
  • Ten books all about the sticky-icky.
  • When books are down, but not out.
  • Angela Davis edits a new edition of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.
    Famous people narrating audio books.

  • When to get your MFA.
  • You never know.
  • The woman who saved Anne Frank’s diary passes away at age 100.
  • Yes you can write your memoir.
  • I am loving Nalo Hopkinson’s art work. I want the lady in red.
  • Anne Tyler wishes she could un-publish her first book.
  • My dear friend, Rigoberto Gonzalez, on creative writing and the academy.
  • What we can learn from a crazy fake-Holocaust book deal.
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    Jet-Lag Links

    Greetings from Seaside, Oregon. I am dead tired, but it’s only 6pm local time. Please don’t let me fall asleep in my risotto at dinner! Meanwhile, here’s a little reading material to entertain you while I get acclimated to my new surroundings.

  • My agent looks into her crystal ball and makes some predictions about the future of publishing.
  • Agate Publishing has had enough of Ishmael Reed’s Eeyore routine.
  • A publisher explains why they reject what they reject.
  • Laura Miller says go read a book you think you are going to hate.
  • The sad letters of poet Paul Celan.
  • DeBerry and Grant explain how two writers can author one book.
  • 20 socially conscious films.
  • Sapphire is taking a victory lap.
  • The lady who gave Ebony Magazine it’s name has passed away.
  • NYC libraries are closing on Saturdays. Shelley is not pleased.
  • Mark Sanford’s wife is writing a juicy book.
  • Should writers of color switch up their routines depending on the audience?
  • The Center For Fiction Conference offers free studio space with registration!!!!
  • Jayne Anne Philips writes about her hometown: Buckhannon, West Virginia.
  • Ouch. The downside of being a bestseller.
  • The top ten questions editors ask themselves when looking at a manuscript.
  • So Katie Rophie thinks the new generation of writers are scared of sex.
  • Nichelle Tramble is blogging again.
  • Posted in Links | 1 Comment