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.