► I know that many blog readers participated in National Novel Writing Month in November. If you hit the 50,000 word mark,and thus "won" – congratulations! Even if you didn't cross that threshold, but managed to keep the momentum going on your writing production, then kudos too. A round-up of links to some of the best tips NaNoWriMo issued during the marathon, suitable for any genre, are gathered over at GalleyCat. Another great resource, at the NaNoWriMo site, are the "pep talks" sent out weekly from writers including Dave Eggars, Aimee Bender and others.
► Deonne is a southwestern writer, recent MFA graduate, former lit journal editor and all around cool gal who's taken to the road. Her blog is "Gone Scamping: One woman, a tricked-out trailer, and miles and miles of two-lane." It's not typically about writing, but many of her witty, off-kilter and absorbing posts are writer-centric, like this one.
► Well, I'm still shuddering at this confessional piece, by a soon-to-be-former writer employed by a custom term paper writing service, to which college (mostly graduate) students pay thousands of dollars for completely, shall we say, "ghostwritten" materials which they turn in for credit (and often, A's). Ick.
► I'm so proud of my former writing students when their work is published. Uli H. wrote this intuitive essay for the New York Flyers running club blog – about her current (and unusual for her) non-runner status.
► I haven't read Decoded, the new memoir by Jay-Z, but I am curious. It's likely he had a ghostwriter (in a Rolling Stone interview months ago, he notes that the writing process involved being interviewed); yet I have a gnawing sense that anyone who can work with words the way he does in his music, might have something interesting to say. The release of his book has many asking, as others have in the past, if hip hop is poetry. What say you?
►Book give-away. Want to win a copy of Talking to Girls About Duran Duran, by Rob Sheffield (of Rolling Stone, MTV, and author of Love is a Mix Tape)? This 1980s music orgy of a memoir is built around iconic 1980s songs and artists -- and the author's angst. If you'd like to be in the drawing, please leave a comment on this post by midnight Friday, December 10 (and be sure there's a way for me to contact you).
Have a great weekend.