Towse: views from the hill

July 18, 2006 — Library to the World

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 4:45 pm

Came across just now. Looks to be a keeper.

Our goal is to be ‘The Library To The World’, in which books, education materials, information, and content will be provided freely to anyone who has an internet connection.

Bookyards has a total of 10,180 books, 22,825 web links, 3,944 news & blogs links and access to hundreds of online libraries (200,000 eBooks) for your reading pleasure.

July 16, 2006

[MKT] Updated link to Kate Harper Designs

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 8:22 pm

Updated link to Kate Harper Designs at Internet Resources for Writers in the Markets section.

Harper’s “Kid Quote Greeting Cards” uses quotes from children 12 and under.

“IF CHILD’S SUBMISSION IS SELECTED, THEY WILL RECEIVE a payment of $25, name credit (Author’s name will be printed on the card), $40 worth of free greeting cards, and with the parent’s permission, press releases will be sent to child’s parents. Submission ideas must have been originated by child (either written or spoken), and not from any other published source. Age limit 12 years and under”

Has a kid you know said something along the lines of the samples shown on the site? Send in the quote.

July 15, 2006 and how the world turns

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 4:39 pm

Back when I wrote about At that time was “a website that watches weblogs for books that they’re talking about, and displays the most popular ones on an hourly basis.” In addition, you could pop a title into and find the blogs that have referenced it. That bit of code was pretty interesting. Enter /pride and prejudice/ and the site hared off to see what titles matched /pride and prejudice/ at Amazon. Taking those titles, AllConsuming checked the blogs it covered for references.

No more. Now is yet another social network where you can

1 – Catalog your books, music, movies, meals and more.
2 – Get suggestions on what to read, watch or eat from people who share your tastes.
3 – Share your excitement about a great book, album, movie, meal, or gadget.

Talk about all the stuff you’ve read or eaten or watched. Note whether you’d recommend (or not recommend) something you’ve consumed to others. Keep a list of things that you’d like to consume in the future. Ask others for suggestions.

What had been an interesting app back two years ago is now bleh.

Oh, well.

[WRITING] Stephen King on Imagery

Filed under: writing — Towse @ 12:29 am

Wordplay, mentioned in the immediate past post, has an article by Stephen King: IMAGERY AND THE THIRD EYE which begins thusly

Some critics have accused me — and it always comes out sounding like an accusation — of writing for the movies. It’s not true, but I suppose there’s some justification for the idea; all of my novels to date have been sold to the movies. The assumption seems to be that you can’t do that sort of thing without trying, but as some of you out there will testify, it’s the sort of thing you very rarely can do by consciously trying.

So, you’re saying, why is this guy talking about movies when he’s supposed to be talking about writing? I’ll tell you why. I’m talking about movies because the most important thing that film and fiction share is an interest in the image — the bright picture that glows in the physical eye or in the mind’s eye. I’m suggesting that my novels have sold to the movies not because they were written for the movies, but simply because they contain elements of vivid image that appeal to those who make films — to those for whom it is often more important to see than it is to think.

Novels are more than imagery — they are thought, plot, style, tone, characterization, and a score of other things — but it is the imagery that makes the book “stand out” somehow; to come alive; to glow with its own light. I’m fond of telling my writing classes that all the sophistries of fiction must follow story, that simple caveman invention (“I was walking through the forest when the tiger leaped down on me…”) that held his audience spellbound around a fire at night — and perhaps he even got an extra piece of meat for his efforts if the story was a good one, the first writer’s royalty! But I also believe that story springs from image: that vividness of place and time and texture. And here the writer is always two steps ahead of the film director, who may have to wait for the right weather, the right shadows, or the right lens (and when the real world gives way, as it so often does in my books, he must then turn to the special effects man).

Where does good imagery come from?

Good question.

King answers in his inimitable style.

[URL] [WRITING] Wordplay for writers

Filed under: URL,writing — Towse @ 12:27 am

Wordplay is a site not only for screenwriters but also for writers who don’t necessarily write screenplays. Loads of information on both the creative process and the nuts and bolts.

July 14, 2006

[WRITING] Library of Congress, National Book Fests, and author Webcasts

Filed under: writing — Towse @ 3:58 am

The LOC has over 300 thirty-minute Webcasts of authors who gave talks at the National Book Fest in past years.

E.L. Doctorow
Marcia Muller
John Irving
George RR Martin
Neil Gaiman

150 hours-worth. … have fun.

Berkeley campanile from across the Bay at sunset

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 3:57 am

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And Yerba Buena and Oakland behind, glowing in the sunset.  Posted by Picasa

July 13, 2006

Rustbuckets ‘r’ us

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 10:58 pm


Notice tug, tugging. No name on bow visible. Surprised it floats. Posted by Picasa

£2.808m for a First Folio

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 6:06 pm

We had the catalog for this Sotheby’s auction and I’d thumbed through it looking at what was for sale.


Sale price estimate: £2.5m-3.5m.
Final price (hammer plus buyer’s preminum): £2.808m

Auction catalogs are great entertainment. This auction of “English Literature, History, Fine Bindings, Private Press and Children’s Books, including the First Folio of Shakespeare” included not only the First Folio of Shakespeare (which sold for the second highest price ever realized for a First Folio) but also items such as letters signed by Edward VI and by Mary, Queen of Scots, an assortment of Richard Burton (he of 1001 Nights) writings and books, &c.

(Lot 23) A silver snuff box that Winston Churchill gave to William Robert Brimson, the principal Doorkeeper of the House of Commons, who’d lost his in the bombing of the Houses of Parliament, was expected to sell for between £5-8K but sold for £14,400.

The things you can buy at auction, if you only have the wherewithal and want to spend that wherewithal for … for something like …

Something I would’ve liked …

LOT 200 BECKETT, SAMUEL. SIX AUTOGRAPH POEMS. (These were pictured in the catalog, blown up so you could read the poems).

DESCRIPTION: one of them apparently unpublished, in French, each one written on the back of a torn Craven ‘A’ cigarette packet, together with an autograph copy of a slightly modernised early seventeenth-century poem by Mathurin Régnier (“J’ai vécu sans nul pensement…”) and a pen-and-ink sketch plan of the area around Beckett’s house in Ussy; the poems on 7 cards, each one between four and twelve lines in length, 12mo size (85 x 75mm.), annotations in another hand chiefly recording dates of composition, large autograph envelope, [1974-80].

Three of the poems, “Octave”, “Imagine si ceci…”, and “Nuit qui fait tant…”, were first published as “mirlitonnades” in Poèmes suivi de mirlitonnades (1978), the only textual variant being in “Imagine si ceci…”, the published state of which lacks the seventh line of the present version (“si ceci”). The fourth poem, “Hors crâne seul dedans…” was also published in Poèmes suivi under the title “Poème”. The fifth, “Qu’à lever la tête”, was written in July 1980 (according to the annotation below it) and appears in Poems 1930-1989 (2002), as an additional “mirlitonnade”. The last poem, of six lines, beginning “Resolutions / Double Point”, appears to be unpublished.

Beckett composed most of his “mirlitonnades” (or “bird calls”) during 1977 and 1978, and would use any handy scrap of paper, such as a beer mat, an envelope, or in this case a cigarette packet, to jot down the words as they occurred to him. “The apparent slightness and playfulness of form of these late 1970s ‘poèmes courts’ (miniature poems) should not disguise the seriousness and, to use Beckett’s own word, ‘gloom’ of their themes…they offer startling insights into the darkness of his private moods at this time” (James Knowlson, Damned to Fame: the Life of Samuel Beckett, 1996, p.646).

Beckett gave the present poems to Josette Hayden, the widow of the Polish-born French painter Henri Hayden. Their lifelong friendship with Beckett began in 1943, while they were all taking refuge from the Gestapo in Roussillon d’Apt. Beckett contributed greatly to the renaissance of Hayden’s reputation after the war, chiefly by helping to arrange exhibitions in London. The Haydens had also bought a house in Reuil, near his own cottage at Ussy. The annotations beneath each poem would appear to be in Josette’s hand.

“The Mirlitonnades…reveal the late Beckett, often filling in time on his own in cafés, and finding words for a random thought. Sometimes playful, often sombre, they catch, with a total economy of words, the same process of insights into the human soul that can be found in the novels and plays” (Foreword to Poems 1930-1989).

Estimated price: £2,500—3,500. Sale price £6,000.

Ah, well.

Morning fog and …

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 3:02 pm

Morning fog this morning and …

a photo taken a bit later Tuesday evening than the moonrise photo

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