“0.5 hrs: Read this week’s New Yorker fiction. 0.7 hrs: Hated on New Yorker writer with her derivative characters & mise-en-scenes. 0.1 hrs: Looked up ‘mise-en-scene’ on Wikipedia. 1.3 hrs: Phone call with writer friend; discussed how much New Yorker fiction sucks. 0.5 hrs: Drafted & emailed query letter to New Yorker (for super postmodern story).” The good people at McSweeney’s imagine an impossibly tedious world where writers and poets bill by the hour.
My mom pointed out this article in the Washington Post about a bookstore in Baltimore that primarily gives away books rather than selling them. It’s called the Book Thing:”That’s the whole thing with the Book Thing,” Wattenberg says. “All I am is a middleman. The people have books…. They give them to me, they’re happy to have a place to see them go somewhere, and the people that get the books are happy to get the books.”Also, file under conspicuous consumption: Anyone looking for an extravagant gift for the film buff in their life should look no further.Spotted on the el: The Travels of Marco Polo… sure the red line doesn’t go all the way to China, but we can dream.
“I’m a total database nerd. In college I worked as a troubleshooter for a database of medical research, trying to predict and prevent mistakes in the data entry process to avoid screwing up the records. Is anything more satisfying than a successfully written query delivering precisely the required results? It’s so much more direct than writing fiction. A query either works or it doesn’t.” Steve Himmer’s Nervous Breakdown self-interview.