Distractions : Philip K. Dick, Gogol, and the thrifty library

As a poor writer of no importance, I must keep my spending in check. Of course, I wish I would have an endless supply of cash money and one of those fancy home libraries that  really only exists in the movies. So, to help with my compulsion, I check out the cheap books that the sellers on the New York streets offer, utilize the public library, and hit up those wonderful organizations like my favorite Project Gutenberg, et al.

I have been stuck in ¡total distraction! perusing the many free titles on Amazon’s Kindle store. When I think of free books, I generally think of books in the public domain–classics, mythology, etc. Yet, yesterday, I came across a ton of stories by Philip K. Dick that are being offered for free. If you’re like me, the summer is time for some plotty fun. Perfect!

Also, not for free but for $0.99, are The Works of Nikolai Gogol, which includes the short story, “Viy,” which was made in to a fantastic film in Russia in 1967.


Distractions : Shakespearean Insult Generator

Thou dissembling urchin-snouted haggard!

Thou puking rump-fed canker-blossom!

Thou rank pottle-deep maggot-pie!

Shakespearean Insult Generator


Distractions : Harry Potter on SNL

My brain felt fried last night and my eyes were droopy. My weakened body could barely lift my arm to pour myself a glass of red wine and break off a chunk of Hershey bar. When my head is too overloaded, I’m also a fan of going down the tube that leads to silly online videos. Albeit, not the greatest of all time but the part with Snape was giggle-worthy.

**unfortunately, I don’t think this video is available outside of the US.

Distractions : New Year’s Edition

I’m not recommending an all out bender like Faulkner or downing some strange absinthe-gin-concoction that Hemingway was so fond of, but The Atlantic has offered up 12 Hangover Cures From Famous Heavy Drinkers. This list includes both authors and entertainers who boozed like real professionals. I’m amazed that they lived as long as they did if you take a gander at what each of them consumed on a regular basis.

So, if you wake up on New Year’s Day with a pounding headache, you can always try one of W.C. Fields’s remedies and dine on Hungarian Goulash and a coconut custard pie.

Distractions : Pseudonymous Authors

In celebration of everyone’s 30 Day Winter Break Reading Marathon, today’s post will be a Distraction. I submitted my last book review of 2011 to my editor this morning and she said to just let her know in January when I would like my next. Phew! It’s nice to know one thing is knocked off the list. All that is remaining is for me to type up some of my recently translated pages and send them off to the German writer.

So back to the celebration. Maybe in between pages 72 and 73 of your current read, take a break and try out Pseudonymous Authors. Enjoy!

Distractions : I Write Like…

While procrastinating yesterday afternoon, I ran across a published author’s blog who was mortified that his writing had been compared to Stephenie Meyer (the Twilight series). Granted the comparison was made by the un-empirical I Write Like analyzer and the author knew that it was just for fun, but I think I would also be taken aback if this comparison was made between my own work and that of the new queen of vampire books. I mean, remember when Stephen King wrote that “Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.”

But sparkly teenage vampires aside, I copy-and-pasted the first page of a short story I wrote a few years. I don’t know how the I Write Like analyzer comes to its conclusions, but fittingly for the holiday season, it has designated me,

I write like
Charles Dickens

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Distractions : Word Kingdom

It’s a gloomy and rainy day in New York City and I should be writing a book review for Publishers Weekly. I wrote one sentence before I became incredibly distracted both by people watching outside of my window and by playing Word Kingdom. It’s a total nerd alert but  incredibly good at keeping me from my review.

Build your kingdom by arranging letters to form words. Correctly spelled words can be converted into resources to feed your warriors, fortify your fortress and dominate WordLand.

You even pick the name for your kingdom! Come on, how can this be a bad distraction?

Distractions : German Hangman

Earlier this afternoon, I had a Skype meeting with the lovely woman whom I am translating from German to English (publication forthcoming in Spring 2012). I will post more about that interesting translation experience soon but in the mean time, here are some writerly distractions inspired by my German translation meeting today.


Distractions : Famous Novels’ Protagonist

While in search of a synonym earlier today, I stumbled across Famous Novels’ Protagonists. If you need a break from the daily grind (or not), waste some brain cells on this.