- THE SHORTLIST: Romance – Twitter was very excited on Friday to see romance in the New York Times Book Review. I hate everything, though, so I remain unimpressed to see fluffy blurbs of books in what is obviously a nod to Valentine’s Day. Sorry.
When readers fancy a romance novel, they want something emotional and erotic and engaging, but in “The Luckiest Lady in London,” they, like Louisa, will find themselves drawn to something altogether different. The Chinese-born Thomas is known for a lush style that demonstrates her love of her second language, and this novel edges into historical fiction with its transporting prose even as it delivers on heat and emotion and a well-earned happily ever after.
- Seeing the Show With Their Ears – This story about adaptive tech that gives visual descriptions to blind theatergoers, however, did impress me. This section about how they account for the variations in live performances is kinda neat.
Fostering that pleasure takes technological trickery. Because every live performance is slightly different, playing a single audio track wouldn’t work: before long, the action would outrun or lag the description on the tape. D-Scriptive solved the problem by dicing up its narration — into more than 600 audio files in the case of “The Lion King.” An individual file, or cluster of them, is assigned to a particular cue given by the theater’s stage manager. After an actor utters a certain line, for example, the manager speaks the next cue into the microphone, which in turn tips off D-Scriptive’s computer to broadcast the corresponding bit of explanation to its patrons’ earpieces: “On the left are two giraffes and a cheetah”; “Rafiki holds the cub up to the bright light once more.”
- What Carina Press editors are looking for: February 2014 edition – Carina did a hashtag chat on Twitter yesterday and someone tweeted this link. A few editors explicitly call for multicultural subs and more than a few call for LGBTQ subs. Here’s hoping for great stuff to read.
Deborah Nemeth: More than anything, I appreciate intelligent writing and sharp dialogue, and if your story features quick-witted protagonists, brilliant sleuths, brainy nerds/geeks, clever inventors or explorers, I’d love to read it. I’m also drawn to flawed, strongly motivated characters, high-stakes conflict and solid world-building. In my favorite stories, the protagonists have to suffer before saving the day or getting their happy-ever-after. I find unusual settings and multicultural characters appealing in any genre. I’m especially looking for manuscripts from authors who are interested in writing either a series or multiple books for us in the same genre to build their readership.
- Some Alternatives to Jezebel and xoJane – Part 1 – This comes via Natalie Luhrs’ always wonderful Linkspam posts. The only things worse than the content on Jezebel and XoJane are the comments on the articles, so I’m always looking for alternatives.
The bad news is, these publications are seen as the gold standard of web journalism for women, at least by the mainstream. They are well-funded and drive tons of traffic. The good news is we absolutely don’t have to read them because there are scores of fantastic publications, blogs, and writers that do what Jez and xoJane do, sans their special brand of clickbait psuedo-feminism. I wanted to highlight a few publications but after putting a call out to friends and relations, I was clued in to a host of other great publications, blogs and writers to the point that I am planning to break this up into a series, the first of which is publications (rather than the blogs of individuals)
- 4 Ways to Push Back Against Your Privilege – A helpful post on what comes after recognizing your privilege.
I’ve often said that it’s not enough to acknowledge your privilege. And, in fact, that acknowledging it is often little more than a chance to pat yourself on the back for being so “aware.” What I find is that most of the time when people acknowledge their privilege, they feel really special about it, really important, really glad that something so significant just happened, and then they just go ahead and do whatever they wanted to do anyway, privilege firmly in place. The truth is that acknowledging your privilege means a whole lot of nothing much if you don’t do anything to actively push back against it.
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An ice hockey fan from north of Boston and the genre's most beloved troll, Ridley enjoys reading contemporary and historical romance, as well as the odd erotica novel. As someone who uses a wheelchair, she takes a particular interest in disability themes.