►From an interview over at GalleyCat, Pulitzer Prize winning biographer Stacy Schiff, author of the recently released Cleopatra: A Life -- "Q: What advice can you offer for biography writers?A: Leave a great deal on the cutting room floor. (Lytton Strachey talks about lowering the little biographer’s bucket into the great ocean of material. Allow a lot to slop over the edge.) Talk to everyone who knew your subject in any context. Keep your subject front and center — and in trouble whenever possible. We want always to know what he’s thinking. It will take a year longer than you think." Read the rest of the Q/A here.
►This poem, "When I Am in the Kitchen," by Jeanne Marie Beaumont, struck a poignant nerve for me yesterday, as I read it just before prepping the kitchen for an afternoon of baking with my sons. It made me want to stop and touch all the objects in my kitchen which I recall seeing for the first time in the kitchens, and hands, of my (and my husband's) relatives.
► Guess which online venue: "As of this writing, there are 59 writers, 16 editors, 15 image designers, 24 fact-checkers, 11 copy editors and four editorial recruiters. They've hired 40 writers in the last six months." How about Groupon? The Atlantic looks at their writing-centric practices and some of the writers who provide the words. Be sure to read the comments, too.
► Twenty years ago, I did PR for an art supplies manufacturers group, and got into the habit of checking in every December with the folks at Pantone, the color experts, to see what they say will be the "color of the year". They're remarkably adept at forecasting (and influencing) color trends in decor, fashion, make-up, design, graphics, marketing and more. For 2011, they're going with honeysuckle pink. One reason why: “In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues.”
► Finally, in this essay I look back at overcoming a personal trauma 14 years ago this month.
Have a great weekend.