Bookmarked! March 21st

There has been a explosion of all things marked with the word ‘blook’ right after the wake of the 2007 Blooker Prize shortlist announcement. My inbox is being flooded, and I’m picking through the debris to find links of some value, which i would not have otherwise found. Let’s take a look:

The first is an article called Narrative Expectations from a blog called Tales From The Reading Room. Alright, it may have nothing to do with blooks or writing on the web, but the examples given are so enjoyable it took me a good 3 seconds to stop chuckling.

The next is what John Baker calls essential reading for anyone who seriously wants to write fiction. It’s the full text of an essay by Susan Sontag about our responsibilities as a writer, the nuances of the job, and the place of the novel (and the novelist) in a world of ‘spurious cultural geography’.

On the one hand, we have, through translation and through recycling in the media, the possibility of a greater and greater diffusion of our work. On the other hand, the ideology behind these unprecedented opportunities for diffusion, for translation – the ideology now dominant in what passes for culture in modern societies – is designed to render obsolete the novelist’s prophetic and critical, even subversive, task, and that is to deepen and sometimes, as needed, to oppose the common understandings of our fate.

Long live the novelist’s task.

Read it here.


I’ve discovered 3 blooks this week – the problem is that most of the time they’re not called blooks, but rather ‘blogged novels’ or ‘novel in blog form’. Perhaps this is partly due to the fact that there is general antithesis to the word ‘blook’? Hmm. Anyway, here they are:

Death Sucks, a blook completed October last year (mistake corrected, thanks Ray), about a vampire kitty cat. The fonts are too small for comfortable on screen reading, but what got me started was the author’s commentary and excerpt at his blog Flogging The Quill: where he writes that blooking is not for the faint of plot .

Another fantasy novel in blog form: The Legacy of Tsazcuth, nevermind the weird name. Very readable fonts, and the first episode grips you from the get go. I’m planning on finishing it and then posting a review here – the entire blog seems to be receiving good feedback. And I’m eager to see why.

The third blook for this week is Stonyfields, a book Gloria Hildebrandt completed offline but couldn’t get published. She left me a comment alerting me to the possibility of blooking as a way to get completed novels that aren’t being read out there. In return, I’ll read her novel. It’s the least I can do.

I’ll close with an article from Kateblogs. It’s called It’s a Long and Winding Road, and she writes about how blooking isn’t a shortcut to getting published.

Lets face it, rejection hurts. Whether it is personal or professional. No one wants to be turned away, and while initially it may be easy enough to shrug off any feelings of hurt or disappointment, in time it can become frustrating, and disheartening.

A writer and blogger I read regularly is in this very situation. Despite being talented and determined he remains unpublished. I can fully understand why he feels dejected. Not only is he unable to earn a living doing something he loves, there is also the personal aspect. Writing comes from within, we leave part of ourselves on the page intermingled with the words. When those words are rejected, it can feel personal. Added to which is that fact that talent is not necessarily enough. Luck plays a big part, and sadly, so does knowing the right people.

… don’t worry about rejection generally, collect your rejection letters with pride. I know it’s hard to do that, but treat them as a joke, and think that you are one step nearer the day when a letter comes through the door saying YES!

Quite an optimistic look on writing, a shot of which is something we all can do with.

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Category: Bookmarked!