Sixty Sensational Online Historical Archive Collections — Paper Lantern Writers

The difference between libraries and archives is very simple. Libraries hold published books, ebooks, audiobooks, and films which people can take home to enjoy. Archives hold primary sources: letters, diaries, photographs, pamphlets, etc. If you want to use these materials to write a book, make a movie, search for ancestors, or write a school paper, you can only handle them in the archive itself. Luckily, most archives have digitizing programs so they can share their materials online with more users and researchers. All of these pieces of history are unique and irreplaceable, and making them available digitally helps preserve the originals.

Sixty Sensational Online Historical Archive Collections — Paper Lantern Writers

The Parting Glass

Today is a sad day for me. Danae‘s public viewing is this afternoon in Portland, Ore., and her funeral is tomorrow. I mentioned that this beautiful young woman is the second murder victim I’ve known; as surreal as it is for me, I can only imagine what it is like for the family members.

So today, instead of a book review, I raise a parting glass to Danae K. Williams, and to Stephanie Rodriguez, my colleague who was murdered 18 years ago.

The Work of Being a Writer

Hi, everyone. I wrote this 12 years ago, and a lot of it still rings true (although we now know that my “medically resistant depression” was due in part to Hashimoto’s Disease). I was “shopping” my first novel for paperback rights, and it was indeed picked up by the UK publisher to whom I refer. Still, it was a challenging time, and I just needed to share my thoughts.

I should be drying my hair, but I just need to get this out.

Being a writer is hard work. Sure, there’s the actual writing … but then what?

I was thinking about so many things this morning, and trying not to be overwhelmed.

— Every submission requirement is different. I’m in the midst of prepping yet another version of In The Eye of The Beholder, this time for a UK publisher who is interested in receiving my manuscript for consideration. After that, yet another submission version to prep for Authonomy.

— Publicity is hard, and sometimes you make a mis-step. I did already. I submitted my book to a reviewer who belatedly (and I mean belatedly … this had never been stated previously) announced that he expects authors to query him before sending him works. I sent a note of apology; there’s nothing more I could do.

— I am sometimes frustrated by the publicity process, to tell you the truth. We are all taught not to be boastful and self-serving. I used to work in public affairs for the Army, and I wrote press releases and promotional news information all the time. Marketing myself, though, is a challenge. My new marketing postcards have arrived … the next step is getting them out to people.

— I have the additional burden of dealing with medically resistant depression. That makes getting out of the house to go to my day job (and every author of my acquaintance has a day job) difficult, so adding this additional “shift,” if you will, makes things just a little tougher. Thrown in that my house is a disaster … which just feeds the depression. I’m working on the house, but sometimes it’s all I can do to pitch out the recycling. Those who cope with depression will understand; those who have never been through it cannot possibly relate — it’s not something you can just “snap out of.”

— At the same time, I theorize that my depression may be a gift. Many artists and authors throughout history have been prone to bouts of melancholia. I even gave my main character, Claire, a tendency toward melancholia in an attempt to get across what it’s like to live in that state. I don’t know how well I succeeded in that regard … only a reader could tell me.

I really needed to get this off of my chest. I am trying not to get frustrated or depressed this early in the game … some minutes are better than others.

Art Imitates Life

I wrote this seven years ago on Facebook (according to the Memories feature). I debated about sharing it here, ultimately coming down on the side of “yes.” It’s important to remember that all art contains a message, I think.

I need to get something off of my chest.

Yes, I am disappointed that Ramin Karimloo did not win the Tony. However, I have seen a whole lot of people denigrating Neil Patrick Harris for winning … and the simple truth is that his performance was indeed a tour de force. The other thing I would point out is this: every day, hundreds of actors work their asses off on Broadway. Out of those hundreds of actors, there are only a maximum of five Tony nominations in a given category — and only one actor will be the winner. Ramin continues to be just as humble and gracious as he was when he was nominated, and I’m disappointed that not all of his fans are taking a leaf from his book.

Here is the second thing I’m seeing a whole lot of: “they made this about issues instead of talent,” clearly meaning that the subject matter of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which is about a musician whose reassignment surgery is botched (amongst other topics), is somehow “bad” or something. I have news for you, people: all theatre, for centuries, has been about “issues.” Les Miserables is about inequality; the Occupy movement is the child of the Friends of the ABC. Much of Shakespeare was about politics. The Phantom of the Opera is social commentary about the shallowness of Parisian society.

I could go on, but I won’t. Just … think, people. That’s all I’m saying.