Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bad Poetry & Betty White

My grandmother’s recommendations — call more often; don’t swear so much; ditch the redhead and marry a nice, Italian girl.

Yes, it’s the return of the Linklord, The Duke of Diversion, The Tangentmaster.

Apparently, the blog transformed into a Sweet Valley High fan site when I disappeared. Permit me to reintroduce a sense of equity by writing about everything but Sweet Valley High.

1. Yesterday was Bad Poetry Day. Celebrate belatedly with the Frisky’s worst adolescent poetry.

On example from a poem entitled “Boy in a Band:”

Never thought a guitar
Could make you look cuter than you are
Guess this proves how wrong I can be
When it comes to you
Falling for you
All that you do
Boy in a Band.

This might be bad poetry, but at least it’s honest.

2. Novelist Rick Moody says the recession has impacted how writers are writing.

I think the economy is changing the way people are writing and that writers are more desperate then at any time since I’ve been watching what’s been happening closely. And I worked in publishing in the last big recession in the early 90’s, so I saw some of it at that time. I think people are just really scared that they’re not going to get published at all, and as a result, they’re trying to shoehorn themselves into pretty rigidly formatted kinds of things ...

My former students who are out there now trying to get published are having trouble on those lines. It’s the crazy great ones, the kind of mad ones who are really struggling to find people to publish them. And not because the projects don’t have merit, but just because everybody’s looking at Bookscan and they want certain numbers of units to ship and so on. That is going to affect people going forward, not only because we miss out but because when we miss out we then forget that the opportunity exists for that kind of experimental work.

Moody’s a good writer. I like him. But this is all seems pretty obvious.

Writers changing their style so they can get published? Gasp.

Art being impacted by a recession? Alack.

Here’s a list of other fields impacted by hard times: all of them.

3. Barnes & Noble is for sale. The Wall Street Journal details how it fell so far so fast.

The simple explanation for Barnes & Noble’s decline is the Internet, which spawned, e-readers and digital books. But that didn’t have to be the end for B&N, which had a dominant market position and should have out-Amazoned Amazon, leveraging its brand and innovating when it began marketing and selling books online.

4. Betty White has signed a two-book deal with Putnam. You know you care.

5. Frank Kermode, a critic so influential he was knighted, has died at the age of 90.

6. Want to know what tyromancy is? Take the Guardian’s weird-word quiz.

-Jason Lea,

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