Friday, January 18, 2008

Why Blog or, What's in the Inbox

So, apropos of the upcoming WIW conference, for which I'm chairing the panel on writers blogs as a new literary genre, I've been thinking a lot about writers blogs. Why does this writer blog? Let me count the ways... but for now, I'll mention one reason: I get a truckload of e-mail announcements, many of which I delete, but many of which would be, I would think, of genuine interest. Why not filter out the best ones, and share? I don't have the time to do this as often as I'd like, but herewith a selection of this week's batch:
---> On WETA's "Author, Author" Bethanne Patrick interviews Richard Peabody, editor of Gargoyle and the fabulous series of anthologies of work by Washington women writers. (Full disclosure: I'm a big fan of Richard Peabody's, and for more many reasons in addition to the fact that he included one of my stories in his first anthology, Grace and Gravity.) And by the way, his co-editor of Gargoyle, Lucinda Ebersole, is selling these very cool old-fashioned wood cake boxes--- pictured left.
--->Antonette May, who has written New York Times best-sellers, books about Mexico, and historical novels, has founded what looks like a very fun writers conference in California: The Gold Rush Conference.
--->Readers Circle, an elegantly friendly social networking site, is putting together writers and readers, and readers with other readers... bodacious archive surfing in there....
--->From Oaxaca, Mexican composer Arturo Salinas writes that his composition, "Awiroma," will be performed in Berkeley, California on January 29th (from the description, it sounds like this would get any writer's mojo flowing)
---> Beltway editor Kim Roberts announces the new issue, "Split This Rock: Poems of Provocation and Witness" featuring work by Naomi Ayala, Sarah Browning, E. Ethelbert Miller, and many more.
--->Ellen Prentiss Campbell will be reading at Riverby Books
--->John Curry sends a link to a Washington Post piece on "Blogging Japanese Style"
--->Emily Cook Walks the Talk--- she's the marketing director and publicist at Milkweed Editions, which published my travel memoir, Miraculous Air. She was too modest to tell me about this profile of her and her work in (wow!) Publisher's Weekly--- I happened upon it via a link from Bookslut.

But back to the question, why does this writer blog? I'm not blogging to cover book news per se--- that's nicely covered by The Happy Booker, Maud Newton, Beatrice, and Bookslut, among many others. I blog about whatever interests as a writer. It might be another writer, or a remarkable book, but it might be pug-vid, sparklines, the auras of the Mexican presidential candidates, a massive ugly schrub, flash fiction, Maximilian von Habsburg, or Icelandic film. Why? Because no one can stop me! And because blogging makes this world richer and stranger to me--- and, I like to think, to others. More anon.