Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Happy Holidays

I want to wish you all a great holiday and hope your wishes come true.

I will leave you for now with some writing quotes to inspire you:

"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."
~ Thomas Jefferson

"You may be able to take a break from writing, but you won't be able to take a break from being a writer. "
~ Stephen Leigh

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."
~ Bill Cosby

"The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof shit detector."
~ Ernst Hemingway

"My most important piece of advice to all you would-be writers: when you write, try to leave out all the parts readers skip."
~ Elmore Leonard

"I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil."
~ Truman Capote

"Often I'll find clues to where the story might go by figuring out where the characters would rather not go."
~ Doug Lawson

"I have written a great many stories and I still don't know how to go about it except to write it and take my chances."
~ John Steinbeck

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

New hope from Neverwhere

Recommended Website:

I'm currently reading Neverwhere, by Niel Gaiman. The book is nothing special, yet it is spectacular. By that, I mean it's the story of an unassuming young man who needs to learn to stand up for himself and live -- he's no superhero or super detective or super moron protagonist. It's just life. The story, considered fantasy in genre, is a fantastic tale. It faces the protagonist with a whole different world in which he, in turn, must face who he is.

I think my favorite thing about this book is that Gaiman breaks the rules. He just tells the story and even commits author intrusion! I see lots of "wases" and adverbs but I get lost in the story.

What I've learned from this is that I don't have to get so tight-assed about perfection. The lack of perfection--perhaps what we may call unique voice?-- is perfection in and of itself.

Thank you Neil.


Friday, December 02, 2005

More Best Book Lists

The New York Times has also posted its "100 Notable Books of the Year."

And, while we're at it, here is's "Editors' Picks: Top 50 Books of 2005." They also have "Top 50 Customer Favorites."

Time magazine published its "All-time Best 100 Novels since 1923." has posted a list of the highest-scoring books in its database for 2005.

Here are Jack Schofield's Top 20 Geek Novels.'s Top 100 Books for 2005.

Wal-Mart's Top 50 Sellers.

The Modern Library's 100 Best Novels.

USA Today keeps a Best-Selling Books Database...

as does Barnes & Noble. has a list of lists.

Click here for an archived directory of Book-Of-The-Week Selections from the All Info-About Web Almanac.

And, just for something a little different, here is Writer's Digest's 101 Best Websites for Writers.

That should keep us going for a little while.

What is the best book you've read this year and why?