All Posts in “Writing & Publishing”

Photo Haiku Wednesday 3.24.10

Photo courtesy of Michelle Pendergrass.

Directions:

1. Write a haiku inspired by the photo and post it in the comments.

For extra chances to win:

2. Follow @reliefjournal on Twitter

3. Follow @Quo Vadis on Twitter

4. Twitter @reliefjournal with your haiku and #PHW (Photo Haiku Wednesday)

* * *

The good people over at Quo Vadis have generously donated some prizes!!

The weekly winner will receive a Quo Vadis Habana Journal and a bottle of J. Herbin ink!!

Every week Relief will choose a random winner! So play along and tell your friends. See the information below for extra chances to win.

* * *

Winner will be announced via Twitter Thursday afternoons.

We can only ship to U.S. addresses right now.

You may only win once every three months, but you may play along every week for Twitter Super Bonus Points.

* * *

Would you like to have your photo featured on Photo Haiku Wednesday?

Email your photos to Michelle: photohaiku@reliefjournal.com

You’ll get a photo credit link here on the main blog and you’ll also be entered in the drawing for the Quo Vadis Habana journal and bottle of J. Herbin ink the week your photo appears on the blog!

Which One Is Me?

Michael Dean Clark

This is the second of four entries on “being” a writer. The first can be found here.

I had a job interview recently in San Diego and while I was there I got a chance to have dinner with my sister Jeanette. She’s in the middle of reading my first novel length manuscript and spent a good ten minutes before the food came trying to confirm which real people from our past were basis for my characters.

Tommy is totally Rob Machado.

Nope.

Well, Craig is you, isn’t he?

No, I see myself more as Bibs. (I should note that most people who’ve read the book think Craig is my alter, so they may be right. However, it really throws them when I say I identify more with Bibs, a deacon’s daughter turned prostitute and right-hand woman of the local pimp/drug dealer Marley Bob).

Well, what about BT?

She got him right, sort of. By the end of the conversation, I realized I really like this game. As a writer, I freely admit I crib the lives of the people around me. If you know me, I’m probably going to use a part of you. Writers don’t invent, we compile and alter and then graft what we’ve taken onto the pieces of ourselves we put into every person we “create.” We mix and match like the socks we don’t think people will ever see us wearing.

But the conversation of “who” my characters are is really interesting to me because I generally don’t know who I’ve composited until it gets pointed out to me. I think that may be one of the reasons I choose to do something as frustrating and low-paying as write fiction without wizards or vampires. I like the way something so personal only makes sense to me when other people explain its facets as they see them.

I even like when people get my stories “wrong” because explaining my intentions has a similar effect. I guess I could never be Emily Dickinson. I can’t write for myself and my four walls. I need feedback earlier than a posthumous release would allow.

Michael Dean Clark is an author of fiction and nonfiction and is in the final stages of earning a Ph.D. in Creative Writing at the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin. His work is set primarily in his hometown of San Diego and has been known to include pimps in diapers, heroin-addicted pastors who suffer from OCD, and possibly the chupacabra.

Photo Haiku Wednesday 3.17.10

Photo courtesy of Michelle Pendergrass.

Directions:

1. Write a haiku inspired by the photo and post it in the comments.

For extra chances to win:

2. Follow @reliefjournal on Twitter

3. Follow @Quo Vadis on Twitter

4. Twitter @reliefjournal with your haiku and #PHW (Photo Haiku Wednesday)

* * *

The good people over at Quo Vadis have generously donated some prizes!!

The weekly winner will receive a Quo Vadis Habana Journal and a bottle of J. Herbin ink!!

Every week Relief will choose a random winner! So play along and tell your friends. See the information below for extra chances to win.

* * *

Winner will be announced via Twitter Thursday afternoons.

We can only ship to U.S. addresses right now.

You may only win once every three months, but you may play along every week for Twitter Super Bonus Points.

* * *

Would you like to have your photo featured on Photo Haiku Wednesday?

Email your photos to Michelle: photohaiku@reliefjournal.com

You’ll get a photo credit link here on the main blog and you’ll also be entered in the drawing for the Quo Vadis Habana journal and bottle of J. Herbin ink the week your photo appears on the blog!

Dr. Strangewrite or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the eBook

Ian David Philpot

Web Editor Ian David Philpot addresses the topic of eBooks from the perspective of an undergraduate student looking to become an author immediately after graduation in eight weeks.

I have two bookshelves from IKEA that take up a lot of space in my room. They are wonderful and everything I had ever wanted from a book-holding structure, but they are also very full.

My girlfriend, who bought me the first of the two bookshelves, recently asked me if I wanted a Kindle for graduation. My immediate response was “No.” I mean, how could I stand to ever read a novel from anything but an actual book? As an aspiring author, the thought of eBooks is nauseating. When I get a hold of a published copy of my first novel, I want to feel the pages, not the pixels. I want to breathe in the stories just by smelling the physical object in my hand. (Have you ever tried to sniff your computer screen? I tried it once. Apparently there was some static build up on the screen. I got zapped.)

I’m also aware of the large stigma attached to “online-only” publications. Don’t get me wrong, there are some I follow very closely because I know who the editors are, but a majority of the literary community is concerned about the quality being produced by online-only journals. (And if someone happens to read a story they don’t like from one online-only publisher, they may forever be turned off to the idea, whereas that person isn’t likely to give up physical books.)

It’s Not Easy Being Green

Parts of me wants to have an eBook reader: the tech savvy part, the part of me that always travels light, and the environmentally conscious part. That last part is where my biggest struggle exists.

I want to do everything I can to help out with the environment. I turn off the faucet when I brush my teeth. I take home plastic bottles from work–my day job doesn’t have a recycling program in place. These are little things, I know, but I like to think they’re helping out. So what if I didn’t have to buy any more physical books at all? (Textbooks especially.)  Then I started the process of justifying timber sacrifice for my personal needs.

NPR and CPR or: eBook Bound

Then NPR posted a link on Facebook to Lynn Neary’s article “No Ink, No Paper: What’s the Value of an eBook?” I was scared when I started reading.  What if I finally write something good and it’s never actually printed on paper? What if Richard Stallman gets a hold of it and starts distributing it for free? What if my book never makes any money? I dropped my laptop and ran to find a paper bag to stop from hyperventilating.

When I regained consciousness… Okay, so maybe I didn’t really pass out, but I did freak out. What right did NPR have of presenting me with the harshness of reality? I was so upset, I went back to the article to read the rest. And a peace came over me when Neary quoted Chris Dannen, a freelance writer:

“If you have iTunes selling your books, you have this entire store right on everyone’s desktop and you can expose them to a lot more,” Dannen says. “You can just get them into the habit of buying books, and more importantly, you make the whole process of buying completely frictionless.”

iTunes–where I spend over $100 a year buying music–could be selling my book to anyone near a computer? How could I not like that idea?

So Erin, if you’re reading this, I’ll have the Kindle with a side of eBooks, please.

***

NOTE: Relief will not be abandoning the printed form anytime in the foreseeable future. Our eBooks are available on Scribd.

***

Ian David Philpot is studying English at Northern Illinois University and spent one year in Columbia College Chicago’s Fiction Writing program.  He writes fiction, poetry, and music.   Ian prefers black to white, vanilla to chocolate, and only eats yellow cake.

Photo Haiku Wednesday 3.10.10

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Kasan.

Directions:

1. Write a haiku inspired by the photo and post it in the comments.

For extra chances to win:

2. Follow @reliefjournal on Twitter

3. Follow @Quo Vadis on Twitter

4. Twitter @reliefjournal with your haiku and #PHW (Photo Haiku Wednesday)

* * *

The good people over at Quo Vadis have generously donated some prizes!!

The weekly winner will receive a Quo Vadis Habana Journal and a bottle of J. Herbin ink!!

Every week Relief will choose a random winner! So play along and tell your friends. See the information below for extra chances to win.

* * *

Winner will be announced via Twitter Thursday afternoons.

We can only ship to U.S. addresses right now.

You may only win once every three months, but you may play along every week for Twitter Super Bonus Points.

* * *

Would you like to have your photo featured on Photo Haiku Wednesday?

Email your photos to Michelle: photohaiku@reliefjournal.com

You’ll get a photo credit link here on the main blog and you’ll also be entered in the drawing for the Quo Vadis Habana journal and bottle of J. Herbin ink the week your photo appears on the blog!