Having turned in Raven’s Ladder, I’m excited, exhausted, and eager to enjoy what little bit of summer remains. I’ve spent these beautiful months laboring over a hot laptop to finish the third book in The Auralia Thread, and I hope to read some great books and see some great films (not to mention eat great meals and spend time with great people) to re-fuel.

So, here’s an assortment of news, links, and highlights from my re-entry into “the real world.”


Lo… the Dawn Treader…



This week, three different people have asked me, in person or by email, for tips on becoming a published writer.

When I responded with the question I’ve learned to ask first — “Well, what do you write?” — all three answered, “Well, nothing yet. But I want to….”

Okay, tip #1 is… oh, never mind.


I’ve seen two films that will likely end up in my short list of 2009 favorites at the end of the year: Lorna’s Silence, by the Dardennes Brothers, and a smart, riveting thriller called Tell No One that weaves The Fugitive together with Vertigo and The Bourne Identity. I also saw The Soloist, which, despite winning performances by Downey Jr. and Foxx, was another case of potential being crushed beneath the weight of Hollywood razzle-dazzle.


I watched trailers for Avatar, The Wolf Man, and Gentlemen Broncos. As far as trailers go, if I were to rate them as to whether or not the footage presented makes me want to see the movie, I’m surprised to say that the Avatar trailer places a distant third.


I’m still savoring the new Joe Henry album, Blood from Stars. I’m also applauding Paste Magazine’s post on five of Joe Henry’s favorite books, a lit that includes both Alice Munro & Flannery O’Connor.


Sara Zarr got a Starred Review in Publisher’s Weekly for her third novel in as many years: Once Was Lost.


I ran into my friend Craig Detweiler… sort of… as we were both quoted in this Collide article on the value of criticism.

Reforging the sword: Now “Excalibur” (1981) is getting a remake. By Bryan Singer (“X-Men, X-Men 2”). The original starred young Helen Mirren, and marked the film debut of Liam Neeson, Gabriel Byrne, and Ciarin Hinds. What legends will rise in this one, I wonder.

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