Here just past mid-semester and in the midst of both the build-up to the election and the election’s aftermath—plus with a series of events dominating October and early November, I’ve been writing only sporadically. But I’ve been reading lots.
Among the books that I’ve been working through are Ian McEwan’s Nutshell and Anthony Berkeley’s Poisoned Chocolates Case, the latter presented by Martin Edwards, and I listened to Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock en route to North Carolina and back for the NC Writers’ Network’s Fall Conference. And then for one of my classes, I’ve been rereading Agatha Christie’s A Murder Is Announced and stories from Sarah Weinman’s collection Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives. Oh, and War and Peace—just over a month to go!
Additionally, here’s a sample of stuff online that’s caught my eye—both fiction and then an essay useful for fiction writers:
- My wife Tara Laskowski’s story “Statements, Rumors, and Other Particulars About the 1971 Ice Man Disappearance” at People Holding…
- Kara Oakleaf’s story “The Astronauts’ Baseball League” at MonkeyBicycle
- B.K. Stevens’ post “Camoflaging Clues” at SleuthSayers—with tips on folding clues into mystery stories
And then, speaking of the election above, I contributed a couple of pieces writing around that topic (so I did write something):
- “9 Dystopian Novels To Take Your Mind Off the Election” in the Washington Independent Review of Books (my pick was Stephen King’s The Stand)
- “On NOT Talking Politics on Social Media” at SleuthSayers
That latter post was meant as a critical examination and exploration and of my own reasons for not talking politics on social media and a question about why others do talk politics on Facebook and Twitter, but some readers took it as an advocacy piece—encouraging others to stay silent themselves. That wasn’t at all my point, and as a counter to that, here’s a couple of other pieces reacting to the election and definitely speaking out, posts that I found fascinating—one specifically about the importance of standing up for beliefs and values and a second about the importance of art in troubling times. I’ll recommend both here:
- “Hate Crimes in Canada, Eh” by Melissa Yi at SleuthSayers
- “We Need Good Art” by Renee Asher Pickup at Do Some Damage
Finally, to end on a more celebratory (and less political) note, here’s some great news from Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine: the magazine will be honored for “Distinguished Contribution to the Genre” at next year’s Bouchercon in Toronto, “Passport to Murder.” Check out that full story here at EQMM‘s blog, Something Is Going to Happen.