Friday Fare, Internet Articles, Random

Friday Fare: What’s new and what’s random

Friday FareFriday Fare is my “best of” when it comes to Internet links that I’ve read this week.  Here are the articles that caught my attention and maybe made me a smarter person this week:

Today’s post is where Kenny Rogers and mysteries meet!  OK – not really, but that might give you an idea where my mind has been this week.

My writers group (we call ourselves the Rochester Literary Guild or “Guilders”) has been having a HOT debate about this current ad from IBM Watson.  It features a conversation between Watson and Bob Dylan.  (To say that Bob Dylan is something of a patron saint to the Guilders might be conjecture, but I’m not too far from the truth.)  The main question that we’re kicking around?  Why would Bob do this?  But man … I love to hear The Man speak.  I love his facial expressions as Watson poses his questions and opinions to him.

Kenny Rogers!  Mr. Rogers’ recent retirement announcement prompted me to “Like” him on Facebook.  Considering that my brother and I used to stand on my parents’ fireplace bench and pretend that we were Kenny Rogers and Dottie West (this was at the tender ages of 15 and 17 … no, wait!  We were only toddlers.  I swear.), I’m surprised that I hadn’t liked Kenny’s FB page before.  I’m not sure what I was waiting for – I don’t know if Kenny runs his own social media (I’m sure not), but whoever is posting on this page links to the most RANDOM articles and memes on the Internet.  It’s like reading this particular type of blog post.  Seemingly every 20 minutes.  Love it.

Finally – the other article I read this week recapped Ernest Hemingway’s life as a young man in Michigan.  The author’s premise for this piece was the notion that when most people think of Hemingway, the Paris years and his time in Havana automatically spring to mind.  The New York Times’ author went back to Hemingway’s Michigan haunts – the places that deeply inspired “The Nick Adams Stories.”  It’s a quietly moving piece about a larger than life author.

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Listening to:  Nothing that is too notable.  If anyone has good listening suggestions, hit me up on Twitter @shelleybakes or leave a comment! (Jerry Johnson … I’m looking at you … 🙂 And bird call recordings do not count.)

Reading:  I DEVOURED Jenny Milchman’s first book “Cover of Snow.”  There were a couple bumpy patches at the beginning of the book, but as soon as I realized that it had more to do with the fact that I was reading on my Kindle versus an author error, I powered through.  I’m still thinking of a couple of the herrings that she buried.  Thankful that I have a mystery loving mother-in-law who has this book on hold at the library and will email me her thoughts as well.  Ms. Milchman has been featured on any number of mystery genre blogs because of how she toured to support her debut novel.  In summary, as a debut novelist, her publishing house wasn’t pouring advertising dollars towards her book.  So Ms. Milchman and her husband loaded up their kids and drove cross-country to support her book.  Her account of the “world’s longest book tour” can be found here.

Fiction Update: Toasted Graham Latte – here I come!  (See last week’s post for this random shout out to Starbucks.)  I’m on page 112 of 122 for “Dragonfly.”  I should be able to knock the rest of these pages out today / this weekend.  There will be a post next week that discusses my next steps and some of the … well, I’ll be honest – anxiety that I’m feeling about what needs to happen next.  (OK – maybe anxiety is too strong of a word, but I’m the mama of two toddlers.  I don’t have a lot of time on my hands and I want to make sure that the time I have is used as efficiently as possible.)

Happy Friday, friends!

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Friday Fare, Internet Articles, Random

Friday Fare: Woo! Friday!

Friday FareFriday Fare is my “best of” when it comes to Internet links that I’ve read this week.  Here are the articles that caught my attention and maybe made me a smarter person this week:

I have yet to get on the Sara Paretsky bandwagon (which is kind of pathetic … she lives in Chicago, is a member of Mystery Writers of America – Midwest chapter, and is the mother behind the Sisters in Crime organization).  But for the reasons I’ve parenthesized and because of this article, I’m looking forward to getting caught up in her backlog of V.I. Warshawski books.

I have a lot of love for Dave Grohl.  My high school gym teacher had posted this on his Facebook wall – it’s worth the eight minutes of your life.

So – who didn’t read the New York Times’ account of Amazon’s cutthroat / “bruising” work environment?  (My parents don’t count …)  Since then, I’ve read that the government is wading into the fray (that oughta be good …) and then I read this piece from Forbes where the writer says: “Journalists enjoy the right to be selective, conducting long interviews and then using only short segments in an article. They enjoy the right to interview wide ranges of people and then to build the final story around a small subset.”  That line resonated with me because of my former career as a journalist – the challenge to take all of that information and drill it down to something publishable, accurate, and palatable … it was a challenge that I relished.  But it’s also a good warning to take everything that you read in the media with a salt shaker … you never know what ends up on the cutting room floor.

Finally, I recently wrote about how much I loved the movie “Real Genius.”  This time around, we’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of “The Usual Suspects.”  There are not enough words for me to accurately describe how that movie made my mind explode the first time I saw it.  Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, the late and amazing Pete Postlethwaithe … every member of that cast was just so spot on in their roles.  It is funny to hear the director’s memories of the movie and to read the reviews – some scathing – that were published 20 years ago.

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Listening to:  John Prine and Bonnie Raitt’s duet of “Angel of Montgomery.”  Discovered a new band last weekend – Lucius.  Right now as I’m writing, I needed some Ray LaMontagne.

Reading:  I reserved “Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Bibliography” by Laura Ingalls Wilder at my local library and picked it up the other night.  I’m only through the acknowledgements and the introductory chapter, but I’m really enjoying the book.  Because I grew up in the Midwest – my entire first grade class was raised on this stuff.

Fiction Update: I made a read through the story that I call “Dragonfly.”  I’m hoping to take some time this weekend to sketch out an outline of what I have written (the story’s basically there – just need to string some lines between the tent poles.)  I have another idea that recently crawled into my head space, but I’ve just been jotting down notes on that, going to let it marinate for awhile before I commit to paper. (PS – Have I ever told you that I love this writing life?)

Happy Friday, friends!

Friday Fare, Internet Articles, Random

Friday Fare: It’s on the Internet … must be true

Friday FareFriday Fare is my “best of” when it comes to Internet links that I’ve read this week.  And it’s been so long since I’ve written one of these, I had to look back to see the format!  Uff da.

Without further ado – these are the articles that caught my attention and maybe made me a smarter person this week:

Forbes ran an article about what is considered to be “on time,” “late,” etc.  I hate to admit this, but I’ve become terrible about making appointments on time.  I could blame my children because readying for an outing, loading two toddlers in a car, and refraining from drinking is probably the closest thing I’ll come to competing in a triathlon in my life, but this is something I need to be better about.

Lee Lofland, the mastermind/force behind the Writers’ Police Academy, published these “6 Police Apps for Writers.”  I’m upgrading to a better phone in October, I think some of these are going to find their way on my phone …

And this has nothing to do with writing, but a lot to do with who I am as a person … one of my all-time favorite movies is “Real Genius.”  And it turns 30 this year.  Kids and writing have cut back on my movie watching bandwidth, but “Real Genius” is a movie that I could watch over and over again.  It’s eminently quotable and it has Val Kilmer in it.

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Speaking of movies, I’m making time to take one in this weekend – Ricki and the Flash.  I’m not one of those people who fawn over every film that Meryl Streep makes (and honestly, I have never seen the older films that put her on the map), but some of my favorite movies from recent years feature her: “Julie and Julia” (dragged my hubby to that one, he didn’t complain) and “Mamma Mia!”  Plus Kevin Kline is in it … this can’t be a bad thing (“In and Out” is also one of my favorite movies.)

Otherwise, this is what has been inspiring me lately:

Listening to:  I’ve been on an Old Crow Medicine Show kick recently.  I went to see them in concert in May and it is in one of my top five shows.  Here are a couple of YouTube concerts that give a glimpse of how talented these guys are.

Reading:  Sheyna Galyan gave me an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) of her latest book “Strength to Stand” (will be released on Sept. 1.).  And damn … it was a good read.  I’ll be posting a review on my Goodreads feed soon.  I’m also reading “Winter Garden” by Kristin Hannah.

Fiction Update: Right now, I’m filling the well back up and reading good books, getting ready to beta read a friend’s novel, and mentally weighing what project I want to start outlining next!

Happy Friday, friends!