Check Item 4 for image link.
1) Let's get the hottest potato tossed early. So, an imam in Spain wrote a book on how to beat your wife without leaving marks called Women in Islam. For inciting violence against women, (apparently the publishing arm is immune from punishment for disseminating such unlawful incitements) he's been condemned to study the Spanish Constitution, learning that might absorb better methinks if he added the kinesthetic element of education, reciting the articles as he breaks rocks for the next six months. The book in question was published nearly four years ago, so naturally, the next queries must be: Multiple printings? What kind of sales we talking? Are foreign rights still available?
2) Ruth Rendell, whom I missed in her appearance here at Partners In Crime bookstore- next year I will plan better for book release season- is a prolific and talented writer. You could (and likely do) read far worse crime fiction, and in fact, craftwise, hers stands up quite a bit taller than much of the so-called literary fiction. So why the unending snobbery? I dunno. Here's more about her in the NYT.
3) Due to the picture of her allegedly snorting cocaine, Kate Moss has already lost the majority and will perhaps lose all of her modeling/endorsement contracts. Now, she may face arrest upon returning to the UK after her rehab stint in Arizona. Dear friend Sadie Frost reportedly "breaks her silence" with lukewarm platitudes, but some say she's going through her own battle with alcohol anyway. But Kate's defense gets sadder still. Sharon Stone has become her champion, scorning Moss' former employers for not allowing her "to fail, to grow."
Stone seems to misunderstand the purpose of endorsement. It is to maintain or elevate the esteem of the brand through association with those possessed of sympathetic characteristics like beauty, athleticism, wealth. And although models are expected to look as if they have drug habits, it's just too gauche to confirm it outright, and a foolish way to imperil a multi-million dollar career. Shall we sue Burberry for not wanting to oblige Moss' decay by adopting the image of being the fashion house for stupid junkies? It's typical that a Hollywood actor believes "personal growth" is a corporate responsibility and not the employee's own vested interest. If I ever get in serious trouble, send me the lawyers, guns, and money. And slap Sharon Stone with a gag order.
4) The clock is ticking for the beginning of Nanowrimo, pronounced Na-No-RYE-Mo. This spectacular undertaking is National Novel Writing Month, the free, online event where you can pledge to write 50,000 words of a new novel during the month of November. There are online tools to help you track your progress and calculate what's left by daily quota. Message boards connect people by genre and locality, and many metropolitan areas have Municipal Liaisons who organize kick-off parties, progress gatherings, and write-ins if you're interested. The boards are so fully fledged and frequently posted, you may spend your month whining in chorus rather than writing if you like. There are ways to search for other participants who have the same author influences or prefer the same music while writing. There is a large contingent of younger writers, and a separate section for those participating as part of a school project, but there are also plenty of crusty oldsters like me. Nanowrimo takes a lonely, self-directed activity and gives it a sense of urgency and excitement while making it social and interactive to whatever degree you wish. I participated for the first time last year, and although I didn't "win", and most other participants didn't either (haughty sniff), I did write around 30,000 words which was a terrific quantity for me and became usable text in the manuscript I just finished.
Happily, two members of my writers' group here in New York have pledged to participate this year, so we can suffer through the production demands together. I've heard other writers accuse it of gimmickry and being unnecessary for a truly motivated author. Well, I like the communal atmosphere and enthusiasm that relieves the usual solitude. Further, since I revise as I go, I benefit from the experience of having to blaze onward without looking back. Gimmick? Yes. Fun and constructive? Also Yes. And I like the T-shirts, too. I hope I will manage to post my progress on this blog as well as the Nanowrimo boards. If I succeed, there will be many rambling odes to caffeine and inappropriate, but densely textual, dream sequences.