The Gifts of G

Standard

G was tricky, given that it’s great letter gorged with possibility. So many words, too good to gloss over. So I’m going with “gifts,” and I discovered something kind of of funny and too good to share.

There are a gaggles of books called “The Gift.” Some have subtitles like the one below, some are simply “The Gift.” Gobs of variety under one title. So that will be the title of both books in the book posts today. The genres? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see the other one.

 


The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World (Vintage) by Lewis Hyde. Amazon for $9.15. Discusses the argument that a work of art is essentially a gift and not a commodity. “The best book I know of for talented but unacknowledged creators. . . . A masterpiece.” —Margaret Atwood

“No one who is invested in any kind of art . . . can read The Gift and remain unchanged.” —David Foster Wallace

“Few books are such life-changers as The Gift: epiphany, in sculpted prose.” —Jonathan Lethem

“A manifesto of sorts for anyone who makes art [and] cares for it.” —Zadie Smith

“This long-awaited new edition of Lewis Hyde’s groundbreaking and influential study of creativity is a cause for across-the-board celebration.” —Geoff Dyer

Download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities. It’s free!

Give me the gift of signing up for my newsletter.

Advertisements

Boredom is Better than You Believe

Standard

I admit that title was slightly tortured, but it will have to do. It’s a B we all deal with, at some time or another, and the work of artists and writers throughout the centuries can reflect it. More so, creative work may even be shaped by it. See? Being bored isn’t all bad. Hmm. That would have made a better title.


Boredom: A Lively History by Peter Toohey. Amazon for $11.99. In the first book to argue for the benefits of boredom, Peter Toohey dispels the myth that it’s simply a childish emotion or an existential malaise like Jean-Paul Sartre’s nausea. He shows how boredom is, in fact, one of our most common and constructive emotions and is an essential part of the human experience.

This informative and entertaining investigation of boredom—what it is and what it isn’t, its uses and its dangers—spans more than 3,000 years of history and takes readers through fascinating neurological and psychological theories of emotion, as well as recent scientific investigations, to illustrate its role in our lives. There are Australian aboriginals and bored Romans, Jeffrey Archer and caged cockatoos, Camus and the early Christians, Dürer and Degas. Toohey also explores the important role that boredom plays in popular and highbrow culture and how over the centuries it has proven to be a stimulus for art and literature.

Toohey shows that boredom is a universal emotion experienced by humans throughout history and he explains its place, and value, in today’s world. Boredom: A Lively History is vital reading for anyone interested in what goes on when supposedly nothing happens.

Not amused enough yet? Sign up for my newsletter.

Ban Blind Alleys by Outlining Your Novel

Standard

Personally, I’m a pantser, meaning I (generally) write by the seat of my pants, allowing the story to take shape by itself. But my way is not the only way. Many writers swear by outlining, giving themselves a road map to get from blinking cursor on a terrifyingly blank screen to final words. While I love the thrill of writing without a net–at least, that’s what I tell myself–it never hurts to have more tools in your writing took kit.


Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success by K.M. Weiland. Amazon for $2.99. et outlines help you write a better book!

Writers often look upon outlines with fear and trembling. But when properly understood and correctly wielded, the outline is one of the most powerful weapons in a writer’s arsenal. Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success will:

Help you choose the right type of outline for you

Guide you in brainstorming plot ideas

Aid you in discovering your characters

Show you how to structure your scenes

Explain how to format your finished outline

Instruct you in how to use your outline

Reveal the benefits:
Ensures cohesion and balance

Prevents dead-end ideas

Provides foreshadowing

Offers assurance and motivation

Dispel misconceptions:

Requires formal formatting

Limits creativity

Robs the joy of discovery

Takes too much time

At Amazon, the Book Buys You

Standard

OK, that’s not entirely accurate. Or remotely accurate, but I couldn’t resist the joke.

Normally, about now I’d be telling you about a book you can buy from Amazon, but today I figured I’d flip that. I don’t know if you know, but Amazon will buy your books as well. It’s like a big, natural circle of reading. Amazon pays for shipping, so it won’t cost you anything. Current best-sellers are probably your best bet, but at least that takes some of the guilt out of buying a full-priced new book.

And it’s not just for books, either. You can trade in movies, video games and other things, and get an Amazon gift card in exchange. When I logged in, it even told me what some things I’d bought from Amazon were worth, which is nice to know, not that I’m parting with my Zumba World Party, which is the most fun game ever, but I digress.

So you can use books to feed your reading habit. It’s beautiful, in a way.

Anyway, thus concludes this public service announcement.

 

 

 

oDesk Success and a Seriously Fun Cover

Standard

Ever wondered about the ins and outs of oDesk? Wonder no more. Why is this book a bit? It’s all about that cover. Who could resist it?


oDesk Domination: The Age of Freelance Begins by Damien Darby. $8.99 from Smashwords.com
This ebook will teach you what you need to become a modern virtual worker and start earning great money via online freelancing platforms. Learn how to set up your profile/platform for success to dominate the global freelance marketplace regardless of how experienced you are. oDesk Domination is the real deal written by one of the highest rated freelancers out there who

started from scratch.