• There are so many blogs over at NYTimes.com, it's difficult to keep up with the half-dozen or so I really like. When I'm in a word geek mood – or when something I'm editing makes me want to throttle someone – I head over to After Deadline, which "examines questions of grammar, usage and style encountered by writers and editors of The Times." Yes folks, I actually find that sort of thing entertaining.
• Not as nimble with metaphors as you'd like? I like this advice, from novelist Lisa Michaels, via the Write Free newsletter:
Take one of your missed opportunities, one you feel is crying out for metaphor, and Throw Down the Gauntlet. Give yourself two minutes to delve into that part of your brain that's creative and juicy, and fill a page with possible metaphors for that passage. You might have a moon that's rising over the eastern ridge. Set your timer and go, barring none: "The moon is a . . ." . . . "golden pocket watch," "white crystal of snow," "full circle," "round cherry pie." Just go until you find one you like. If too many minutes pass and you've exhausted your possibilities, give it a rest. Come back to it later. You may find you like one you've already written, or you may want to try again.
• The self-publishing industry has planned its first major national book expo for this fall.
• There is a deep archive of fiction writing advice and tips at Casting The Bones, a blog maintained by screenwriter/novelist Robert Gregory Browne, who seems genuinely interested in helping aspiring novelists.
• Creative nonfiction is the subject of No Titles, which is "what happens when a blog meets a literary magazine," according to the site. Lots of interviews with accomplished practitioners of the craft, including this one with Dinty Moore.
• I live an "easy" commute from Manhattan, and each month make a list of the literary events I plan to attend in the city. Then what usually happens is one kid's important game conflicts with a reading; another kid's important school project is due the morning after an authors' panel; both kids get sick the day of another….until one by one, all of the alluring literary outings get crossed off the calendar until there is often only one left. One month soon, I'm going to make sure that the one I get to is the reading series sponsored by PenParentis, "a confluence of authors who are parents." It would be all too ironic if I didn't, no? Their next After Work Reading Series, on May 12, features Jonathan Henkin and Joanna Hershon. (I'm pretty sure they don't always pair authors with identical initials, but hey, it does have an interesting ring to it.)
Be back tomorrow with some more.