Thursday’s Storyweek story — Old Man Bobo’s Mandy — written by Englishman Horace Annesley Vachell, sent us scurrying down an internet rabbit hole after an idyll. Where in California, exactly, did Vachell find the inspiration for the fictional town of “San Lorenzo,” the setting for his collection of stories Bunch Grass: A Chronicle of Life on a Cattle Ranch? Vachell’s Wikipedia entry shed little light on the writer’s life on the land, noting only that Vachell “went to California where he became partner in a land company and married Lydie Phillips, his partner’s daughter. His wife died in 1895 after [Read More]
Story Notes and News
Storyweek’s blog features notes about the work published here and news and manias from the world of fiction online, updated occasionally, when the mood strikes or the news does.
Whenever we publish an old story from the public domain, we like to include a note or two about the author and a link to more info — usually to Wikipedia. Unfortunately for us the ‘pedia has no entry for the author of today’s story — Amy Wentworth Stone — and we linked instead to an archive of her correspondence with the Maine State Library, which collected works by local writers (“Maine Writers”). More on that in a moment. A deeper search brought us to a couple of old Kirkus Reviews of two of her works (Treasure for Debby; Let [Read More]
The description accompanying the featured image attached to today’s Valentine’s Day story (John Hartley’s Valentine Day), notes that the card is a “Cobweb” or “Birdcage” Valentine card in which a secret image or message is hidden beneath an intricately cut and embossed top or front image. To reveal the secret image, the recipient must unravel the puzzle of the first, often with a piece of attached thread: This is an exceptional Valentine, with the central design being a twisted paper confection which looks like a morning glory, and when untwisted, reveals a fine cobweb device, and both have been applied [Read More]
We read on the Internet the other day that Rom Coms were dead. Maybe so! None of us here watch many movies that aren’t Alien(s) or don’t have Russell Crowe in them, so we don’t know. But it reminded us of a thought we had elsewhere about an Internet rom-com we’d like to watch: This rom-com features an artsy, writerly pair, maybe one’s an adjunct English professor with a couple of published chapbooks and the other is a photographer who picked up web design and never dropped it, who met via Craigslist, maybe (one was selling an old appliance?), or maybe via some community weblog [Read More]
Just like Rodin, say, farmed out the sculpting of feet, Tom Clancy hired “co-writers” to pen a lot of his work. One of those writers talks about his experience working with (for?) the recently departed bestseller. “Sure!” I said, and gulped. “Great. And one more thing. Book’s due in six weeks. Minimum length: 110,000 words. Though we can deal with 90,000. We’ll send you the series bible, do whatever you want with it.” where to get quick cash I hung up with my heart in my throat. It was the career opportunity of a lifetime. But it was also terrifying. Six [Read More]
This is a pretty good list. It includes online outposts of print lit giants like Granta, Paris Review, New Yorker, and also new media pipsqueaks like Electric Literature, The American Reader, some others I’ve never visited but surely will now that I’ve added them to my feed reader. Unfortunately, Storyweek didn’t make the cut. Someday! Add them (and us!) to your RSS reader today.
Linguists used to think there was a special region of the brain devoted to language. But beginning in the 1990s, researchers with access to advanced brain imaging equipment like MRIs found that in fact the brain did not have a single region or node dedicated to processing language. What they noticed was that when a subject was read a sentence, say, “The shortstop fields the ball and throws it to first base,” several regions of the listener’s brain lit up. Which regions? Visual, suggesting the listener recalls a related scene from experience; motor, suggesting the listener recalls making a throw [Read More]
Someone made that typo recently, “Manuel” for “Manual,” and how I wish there really were a Chicago Manuel of Style. “Say, Manuel, do I hyphenate this or not?” “Well, it depends.” “Yes or no, Manuel. Geez. Why do you always have to make everything so hard?” “Well that’s because style is not a “yes” or a “no,” my friend. Style is feeling. Style is mystery. Style is life. Tell me. Where does this hyphenation occur? Is it an adverb that ends in ‘ly’? Is there an abbreviation involved? Is there a number or ordinal? Do not roll your eyes. Do not [Read More]
Actually today’s Storyweek story is about unrequited love, or secret crushes, or what the kids today call “limerence.” Commerce doesn’t feature much in the story itself (sorry, no strippers or prostitutes or escorts), but it’s sprinkled throughout in the form of affiliate links to Amazon. We will run these commerce stories from time to time and hope we can make the site pay for itself that way. Some will be incidentally commercial — we’ll just stuff affiliate links into the copy and see what happens. That’s what today’s story is. Some others will be intentionally commercial — we’ll target one or [Read More]
Twine is a tool for making little interactive fictions (think Choose Your Own Adventure). We haven’t used it here at Storyweek, but it looks like fun. (via MetaFilter)