Friday, June 30, 2006

John Gardner, a Writer's Best Friend

If you're a writer and you care about your craft (beyond the simple question 'How do I get published?'), you need to read John Gardner.

A published and respected novelist himself, John Gardner was formost a teacher and nurturer of writers. He died, sadly, in a motorcycle accident at the age of 49. But he left the aspiring writers among us a wonderful legacy.

I've read two of his books--The Art of Fiction : Notes on Craft for Young Writers and On Becoming and Novelist--and recommend both for their generosity, their nurturing spirit and their BS-free approach to improving your craft. Beyond improving my writing, these books changed radically the way I think about writing and made me a more ambitious and--I hope--more thoughtful story teller.

You owe it to yourself to give him a serious read.

Monday, June 26, 2006

A Local Landmark

I'll be posting a photo here and there along with the writing talk. It's a non-sequitur, I know. But it'll break up the monotony of these little black squiggly lines.

These Apples are Lemons

Within the last six months, Apple Computer has introduced two new revamped laptop computers (both based on the Intel Core Duo processor) called the MacBook and the MacBook Pro. While the company has made a very smart move in the transition to a more powerful processor line, they have done an extremely poor job with design and/or manufactoring. Both machines are, sadly, riddled with flaws ranging from exessive heat production to annyoing noises of various kinds to early/ugly discoloration of the cases.

Even more sadly, it appears that Apple will not respond in any way the might prove comforting to loyal customers who've made the early leap.

If you're considering buying a Mac (and I just bought a new iMac desktop machine, myself), I think you'd do well to steer clear of this first generation of Intel-based laptops. And if my general warning isn't convincing enough, take a look here for some of the some of the gory details.

Why, you might ask, is this post about Macs on a writer's site? Simply because writers are more prone than most to want such a machine.