12 October 2009

Happy Monday! Cool Poe Animation

This was found on You Tube by a friend of mine... a nice tribute and recitation of "A Dream Within A Dream" Enjoy!

01 October 2009

United States Poe Office

The Post Office is issuing very cool Poe products in honor of the Bicentennial. Check them out! You can also go to Ebay and find the old three cent Poe stamps for your collection of Poe ephemera...

I have all of the stamps myself... just ordered the Raven booklet. Such a nerd I know...

28 September 2009

Pardon Me, Can Spare 25K?

Marilyn Manson is not just an avant guarde musician... He had some really smart things to say in the Michael Moore film "Bowling for Columbine" and you may or may not know... but he's also an amazing artist.

He has created a multi medium rendition of Poe that is truly brilliant. I would love to own it...for only 25,000.00.

Sigh-- some girls want diamonds... :)

15 September 2009

Poe Digital Archive

Through the magic of Facebook (thank you Scott!) I have been turned onto a great website about Poe I thought I would share. The Poe Digital Collection is an absolute candy box of letters, images, books and other assorted miscellena that will be of interest to any Poe fan.

Jump in and enjoy!

05 September 2009

Words: Save them, learn them, love them.

For my pretentious and verbose literary friends, and word buffs in general.

Please-- Save the Words. This fun little site is courtesy of literary agent blog Nathan Bransford.

Prepping for GREs? Want to improve your vocabulary? Enjoy global altruism? Try freerice.com and see how you do. I'm embarrassed that I'm only at level 39 but I'm working on it... This post courtesy of my awesome 19th century literature professor, Kara.

Kill time and enjoy!

16 August 2009

Updates Cometh!

It's been ages since I've updated because I've been out of town... but there is a ton of Poe packed fun coming your way once I recover from jetlag. Conference updates, papers I'll be checking out and the evolution of my book!

23 July 2009

Poe Event Updates

Because this is Poe's Bicenntential year there are a ton of cool events going on. Here are some if you happen to be in the Virginia area.

Museum tours are always interesting and you always learn something new, but I always fear Poe events will be a caricaturization for the amusement of the tour goers versus a more balanced picture of the actual author. Just sayin'...

15 July 2009

Sad News: Frank McCourt Ill with Skin Cancer

I read an article today about McCourt's battle, and remembered reading ANGELA'S ASHES. Such a great book, and an author who hit his prime at 56, reminded me that there's no time line or time limit on your aspirations when it comes to writing.

I'll be thinking about him today.

07 July 2009

Baltimore Museum of Art: Poe Exhibition

An incredibly cool art exhibition is coming to Baltimore October through January... if anyone goes please shoot out a review!

29 June 2009

Poe Comic Book!

The July issue coming out of Boom! studios is a fictional take on Poe's life... the artwork looks pretty cool!

22 June 2009

The Spring 2009 PSA Edgar Allan Poe Review is Out!

Hi All!

Just received my copy and see some interesting reading ahead... If you are a PSA member I'd love to know which essay is grabbing you and why. I am looking forward to David Roche's "The Unhealthy in 'The Fall of the House of Usher': Poe's Aesthetics of Contamination"... More to come!

11 June 2009

Poe Film Unearthed

I stumbled upon this film preview and thought I would share... I'll likely watch it because I'm always interested in creative interpretations of Poe's work, and I have to understand why the writer made the choice to have male underwear models descending a staircase...


03 June 2009

How Far is Too Far?

I'm listening to the TV talk about the 50 biggest scandals in Hollywood, one of them being the MILLION LITTLE PIECES debacle on Oprah... what timing.

This week, I'm doing comparative analysis for my book proposal and I'm encouraged! While there are loads of books on Poe in the marketplace, it seems I may have found an untapped angle which is exciting. My eyes ache from reading and I am going to yet another library today. But I'm having fun... I'm a weirdo.

I'm also reading historical narratives to get a feel for how much artistic license different authors take in writing their stories. In my opinion-- which is usually spot on, really-- I think those that don't stretch enough seem dry and not designed for the general reader, while those that go bananas read like novels. I think as long as I can back up the choices I make with fact-- I can go where I want to.

For the authors out there-- if you have any words of wisdom...especially the biographers, please feel free to impart your experience.

Moral of the story. Angry Oprah = Scary Bad

Going to the library now!

01 June 2009

When Careers Collide

It's interesting the similarities in commercial print work and writing. It's seems to me that they're both professions where you either get it or you don't.

I've modeled for years, and I have to say it took some figuring out in the beginning. My agent certainly didn't hold my hand and tell me how to book more work--I had to watch the pros around me, look at their resumes and portfolios and figure it out for myself. Early on I did a lot of small stuff just to get photos and clips. Those experiences not only seeded my resume, but gave me the confidence I needed to land bigger jobs. You learn protocol. Don't offer shot suggestions unless you are asked. Don't sit in the client's clothes. Do what you're told and be happy about it. Sure, I made a few mistakes but I learned from them. And I also learned that if you want to get anywhere in the business, you had to HUSSLE.

I took classes on auditioning techniques and acting. I made sure I was being considered for every possible professional job I could find. It's a numbers game, so for every twenty submissions, you might get nine auditions and book five of those jobs. And that's an extremely successful model for Northern California. I'm lucky I figured it out-- I got it. I have shot more than anyone I know as a result. It's not because I'm so amazingly awesome, but because I have worked really really hard at it.

A lot of the same rules apply to writing. You have to know what you're doing before anyone will take you on, and that takes classes and networking. It takes patience and time. Getting my proposal together is so reminiscent of putting together my portfolio it's eerie. And while feedback is important, I think listening to the right people is more important. It's everything in fact.

I do not strive to be the eccentric "artist/writer" lady with 10,000 self-published books in her garage because she couldn't take advice or follow protocol or listen to anyone. That's just not an option.

After all, I live in San Francisco. Where would I keep them?

29 May 2009

But How Does it End?

Last night's class was awesome.

We talked a lot about the importance of the skeleton of the book-- the annotated table of contents-- and why it's okay not to know how your book is going to end. It's a conundrum for the nonfiction writer: how do I write about an ending I haven't even researched or figured out yet? How do I tell an agent how it's going to end, when I still have no clue?
The answer: Try. Put something on and see how it fits.

For me it's working. Yes there are many ways I could end my book:
1) Poe dies, but we all already know that
2) Find a new angle on his death to twist up the end...
3) Have Poe and his foxy gal pal get into a super gnarly car chase with a massive explosion off of a cliff, in the hopes that movie rights will become an option.

I'm working on it... I think the gal pal should be brunette. :)

27 May 2009

Getting Feedback on What?

I'm learning a lot as I write my book. The class I'm taking is very helpful and the writing is really starting to click. One thing I've learned is when you ask for feedback from another set of eyes, make sure they know what they are reading. Here's what I mean...

I'm currently working on the table of contents of my book. For a nonfiction book proposal you need an annotated, narrative road map to show prospective agents that your project has been thought through, beginning to end. It also gives you a way to track a storyline for a factual subject-- a way to see if you have "fictionized" your non ficiton well enough so it doesn't read like a manual for an electric typewriter. It's not merely a list of chapter titles.

I let my boyfriend read the first couple of pages and he was so confused. "I'm worried about how succinct this is--you seem to be moving really fast." Oh no. I thought. Maybe I need to add more details... to give more of what the actual book will read like. I went back into my office and continued to work. I came back to him with what I thought was improvement--- "It's good but still needs to be more developed I think." HE THOUGHT HE WAS READING THE BLOODY BOOK.

I could have killed him, if it wasn't my fault. Although I told him I was doing a T.O.C., I realized he had no clue what I was talking about, because it seemed as though I was writing draft and not a list of chapters. This first version of the T.O.C. is due Friday night. I have a lot of work to do.

Sigh... it's not wasted time. In fact, I actually got some decent writing done!

22 May 2009

Stolen from an agent blog

Here is a link for milk at amazon...check out review number two. Seriously one of the funniest parodies of The Raven I have read in some time...enjoy!

Visit to 826 Valencia

Today I visted 826 Valencia to learn more about their volunteer program. For those who don't know, 826 Valencia is a writing and after school tutoring program founded by SF man of letters, Dave Eggers.

It is a cool space. I learned that because the address is zoned as a retail-only location, the front of the center was turned into a retail shop. They have all kinds of quirky cool pirate gear and other assorted goofiness, which makes the place only more lovable. Past that, you'll see huge stacks of great books for kids of all ages in a great facility that the staff and volunteers seem very proud of.

The volunteer meeting ran about ninety minutes and covered all of the different types of projects they have: book making, field trips, drop in tutoriong, on site tutoring, fundraising, parties... It's a vibrant and creative place to help kids who might be struggling with their literacy skills or just need people to support their creative ventures.

I can't wait to get started!

21 May 2009

Babylon Falling Bookstore is Closing

If you are in town tonight head over to Babylon Falling on Bush at Jones from 6-8pm tonight and say goodbye to a great bookshop.

Indie shops are sweating hard these days and will become extinct if we don't start buying our books from them. I know price is an issue for most of us, so if you know you're going to buy a full price book-- buy it at an indie!

Anyway-- drinks, art and a cool musical performance by my friends, Friends of the Apocalypse will abound. Do join us, won't you?

20 May 2009

Whitman Song of Myself

Exciting New Class I'm Taking

The semester is over and I am looking forward to relaxing and catching up on fun reading and working on my tan, the usual summer break activities... but I did sign up for a class that should be loads of fun and very helpful too.

Mediabistro offers a Non-Fiction Book class that is taught by a former editor at Penguin in New York named Ashley Shelby.I think a class is a great way to check yourself on the basics (writing the TOC and staying organized) as well as have someone to report to with completed work. If you are a writer, you know how hard it can be to stay focused, especially if you've been working on a subject for a long period of time. I'll let you know how it goes!

Welcome to The Poe Blog

Hi and thanks for checking out The Poe Blog!

This is a space where we can chat about all things Poe, as well as 19th century American literature. I also enjoy Whitman, Dickinson, Twain, the Transcendentalists, and all sorts of other kinds of literature.

It was such an interesting time in American history, when Poe was working.I know that a lot of people have interest in this field of study.... If you are into Poe, Whitman, The New York literati, publishing history, American History, Civil War publications, cool old books and periodicals, this this a forum to ask questions, explore ideas and discuss speculation.