Pen to Paper

by Matthew Koslowski on April 14, 2010
in Essays

In This Essay

The Mystery of the Messy Notebooks: Why Agatha Christie’s method was utterly deranged by Christine Kenneally, Slate, April 12, 2010.
Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years of Mysteries in the Making by John Curran
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
Letters on Life: New Prose Translations by Rainer Maria Rilke (Ulrich Baer, ed. and trans.)
 

On Monday, I was reading Slate. What inspired me to read it that day, I am not sure: it has not been one of the sources that I regularly turn to for my news.

Perhaps because I want to be a writer myself, I have always found it fascinating to listen to stories about how artists, musicians, and authors create their work. Without any real study, the descriptions of the creative process stick with me.

For example, years ago I listened to part of an interview with Michael Stipe of R.E.M. (Perhaps the entire band was being interviewed, my memory is vague.) I remember nothing about that interview, save this one thing: R.E.M. records the music without Michael Stipe present and then they give him the rough cut on a tape. He walks around listening to the tape again and again until he is able to put words to the music.

But I am glad that I decided to read Slate this week. Otherwise I would have missed a great article about the writing process that Agatha Christie employed. If you can call how Agatha Christie wrote a “process.”

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Weekly Review: October 30th to November 5th

by Matthew Koslowski on November 6, 2009
in Weekly Reviews

The Weekly Reviews are a lot of fun to write. I enjoy scouring the web for interesting articles and blog posts. But, all the same, the project had begun to become a unmanageable. There are so many websites and blogs to check out everyday. I had been afraid that I was going to miss something.

What I repeatedly missed was my own deadline. You may have noticed that the past two weeks I had postponed my Weekly Review until Saturday.

I have been working hard but I haven’t been working very smart. Then I remembered a quote from one of my favorite writers:

Novels are written in the same way that farms are made productive, or houses are kept clean, or baseball penant races are won: with steady work each day.
–Andre Dubus

Substitute “Weekly Reviews” for “Novels” and you get the same concept. Rather than gathering up work throughout the week and then trying to throw something together slapdash on Thursday night, starting this week I will be working on the Weekly Review throughout the week.

Thursday afternoon I spent some time setting up a feed reader through Google. Though I’m not quite sure how I feel about it yet — unlike Gmail, the posts disappear after you’ve read them unless you ask them to stay — but I am glad to consolidate many of my different websites into one place.

In addition to that, I’ve also setup Literature&Literacy on Feedburner.com. You can now subscribe to Literature&Literacy through an RSS Reader or through email.

These Things Caught My Eye

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