The more I see about the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, the more I want to be there but Alas, I’ve got a library conference to attend. Good thing, the Oklahoma Library Association is inviting Nathan Brown as a session speaker to promote all things Poetry. Go on over to his website and see his new music and books. I like poetry so I’m particularly glad to see its promotion.
Another reading promotion opportunity, celebrating our young readers was the Oklahoma Center for the Book’s Letters about Literature event at the State Capitol.
To see why Haydn Kirkpatrick, Todd Lamb, our Lt. Governor and OCB Friends Chair, Gini Moore are all smiling, check out the blog entry at Reading Oklahoma.
And as a librarian who works with digital content, the idea Google has of digitizing ALL the books that every existed, seems a little crazy and far-fetched even for the Great God Google.
So if you want to see some local digitizing efforts from one of our universities that really is spectacular, go to the McCasland Map Collections at Oklahoma State University. It is excellent, and the Great God Google doesn’t have anything to do with it.
I’ve definitely got a soft spot for local digital efforts. I think we know the best stuff, we’re respectful of copyright and we like to focus on local history and culture.
I’m not against the Google efforts, but nothing makes you crazier than finding one of the Google books and you get a smidgen of the entire book and need to find it at a library or through Interlibrary Loan anyway. So we’ll see if Google gives up or just finds a way to be the New Royal Library of Alexandria.
The annual Scissortail Creative Writing Festival is back for its sixth year and bigger than ever with four featured authors, including Where The Heart Is author Billie Letts. In addition, more than 50 regional, published and emerging authors will make presentations during the three-day festival, March 31 – April 2, on the campus of East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. All sessions are free and open to the public.
This is becoming a premiere literary event in our state, and now’s a great time to get in on the fun. Meet the authors who plan to attend, check out the readings that will be held during the three days, celebrate the winners of the Darryl Fisher Creative Writing Contest, explore more about the festival, and just plan on having a grand time!
Let me start by saying Larsson gives up any pretense of presenting a mystery in Hornet’s Nest. The first book, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, had a strong mystery plot, which also served to introduce us to the oddity that is protagonist Lisbeth Salander. The second work, The Girl Who Played With Fire, had a mystery that opened more doors to help the reader understand why Lisbeth is the way she is. With Hornet’s Nest, Larsson kicks those doors down.
While the book lacks a mystery, it’s still a thriller. Like the previous books, it takes a while for Larsson to set the pieces in motion; but once he does, you’re off on a wild ride. Larsson introduces the other players who have conspired to make Lisbeth’s life hell on earth. The thrill comes from seeing how Lisbeth and the advocates around her apply their ingenuity, determination, and bravery to see justice win over corruption. Those advocates also include, of course, star journalist Mikael Blomkvist (or as an angry Lisbeth refers to him, Mikael F***ing Blomkvist).
It’s a pleasure to see Lisbeth prevail, and a pleasure to see our strange girl patch up her relationship with Blomkvist. The stage seemed to be set for the next seven books in Larsson’s planned 10-part series: Lisbeth and Mikael forming an odd couple that would solve mysteries and bring down misogynist thugs and corrupt politicians and businessmen. Two misfits against the evil in the world.
Alas, we may never get to see another book, just when the doors have been kicked open. Swedish law may prevent anyone putting pen to paper to try to see Larsson’s grand work completed. We will also never meet Lisbeth’s twin. Nor will we delve more into the problem of violence against women, perhaps the true theme of these works. But we still have these three books which make a very satisfying package. (Or am I wrong about this being the end?)
What is it about Lisbeth? These books are monsters, breaking sales records all over the world. Yes, they start slow but they soon become can’t-put-’em-down books. Our heroine lacks any sense of social graces. She’s rude, vindictive and unable to relate to most of the world. Does she have Asperger’s Syndrome? Perhaps. Yet, we understand why Lisbeth could be the way she is, because she has lost all trust in the world due to the extraordinary abuse she suffered.
Tiny in stature, she is an intellectual giant with a photographic memory and superhuman computer skills. Readers are amazed at her ability to snatch victory from overwhelming defeat. We root for Lisbeth, because we believe every human being has the right to be in control of her life and to live free. Perhaps that’s the simple reason I love the Girl.
• And here’s what I had to say about the first book a year ago. (Has it really been that long ago?)
Have your read Larssen? What did you think of the books?
Why do you love the Girl?
Carol Hamilton is one of the Oklahoma Center for the Book Finalists in Poetry for “Umberto Eco Lost His Gun.” It is published by Pudding House Publications, Columbus, Ohio. She will be at Full Circle Book Store, 50 Penn Place in OKC at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 27.
Come on out, support poets, and your local book store.
Literary Kitty wants you to know that there are some really bad writers out there. To prove his point, he shared [sic] Humor: Where Every New Book is the Worst I’ve Ever Read. The author of the blog sets up the mission:
“My work involves reading lots of books. Many of these books are terrible. Allow me to share with you their incredible mutations of both the English language and the ancient tradition of storytelling.”
It’s been said that many aspiring writers really don’t want to write a book, they want to have written a book. Too bad this wish sometimes translates into action that produces very bad prose.
We’re reminded of what one of Oklahoma’s great storytellers, S.E. Hinton, said at an awards ceremony several years ago. She was responding to a question about her lack of output in recent years. Hinton said she didn’t write anything during those years because she didn’t have anything to say. Then she added, “If more writers would do this, we’d have better books.” Amen.
We’ll share a sample from the site with you below, and then you can visit [sic] Humor yourself to discover more inadvertently humorous sentences and paragraphs. It’s a great place for Bulwer-Lytton fans!
You are correct, Mrs. Abrams. I am Penelope, daughter of Lilith. We meet again. What you have just witnessed is my father. He has never seen me, nor I him. I knew ten years ago that Nikki would grow up to resemble my mother. That is the main reason that there is such a strong bond between your daughter and me. She is like my spirit-mate in more ways than one. In many ways she is like my mother. In many more she is like me when I was her age. It is no wonder that my father is confused.”
We’re not so much confused as bored. Honestly, does anyone talk this way?
Yep! It’s that time of year again. Read the press release below for all the scoop, and then book your reservations for the 2011 Oklahoma Book Awards on Saturday, April 9. The Oklahoma Center for the Book promises to show you a good time!
Thirty-two books have been chosen as finalists in the 22nd annual Oklahoma Book Award competition. Winners in the categories of fiction, poetry, design/illustration, children/young adult and non-fiction will be announced at the Oklahoma Book Awards banquet on Saturday, April 9, at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Museum in Oklahoma City. Master of ceremonies for the event will be former Lt. Gov. Jari Askins.
Sponsored by the Oklahoma Center for the Book in the Oklahoma Department of Libraries and the Friends of the Center, the awards recognize books written the previous year by Oklahomans or about Oklahoma. This year some 122 books were entered in the competition.
In addition to the literary awards, Oklahoma-born author Rilla Askew will be presented with the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is named for Norman historian Arrell Gibson, who served as the first president of the Oklahoma Center for the Book.
A fifth generation descendant of southerners who settled in the Choctaw Nation in the late 1800s, Rilla Askew was born in the Sans Bois Mountains in the southeastern corner of Oklahoma. The middle of three sisters, Askew grew up in the oil company town of Bartlesville, where she first encountered the complex forces of race and class that she continues to explore in her fiction.
Askew lived for several years in the Cherokee capital of Tahlequah before relocating to Tulsa, where she graduated from the University of Tulsa with a degree in theatre performance. In 1980 she moved to New York to pursue an acting career, but soon turned to writing fiction.
To date, all of Rilla Askew’s books have been set in Oklahoma. Her collection of stories, “Strange Business,” received the Oklahoma Book Award in 1993. Her first novel, “The Mercy Seat,” was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and received the Western Heritage Award and the Oklahoma Book Award in 1998. “Fire in Beulah,” her 2001 novel about the Tulsa Race Riot, received the American Book Award, the Myers Book Award and was the 2007 selection for Oklahoma’s statewide centennial reading program. Her most recent novel, “Harpsong” (2007), received the Oklahoma Book Award, the Western Heritage Award, the Willa Cather Award from Women Writing the West and the Violet Crown Award from the Writers League of Texas.
The recipient of a 2009 award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Askew received her master’s degree in fiction in 1989 from Brooklyn College. She is married to actor Paul Austin, and they divide their time between Oklahoma, where she now serves as artist-in-residence at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, and their home in upstate New York.
The following books are finalists for the 2011 awards:
“Portrait of a Generation: The Children of Oklahoma, Sons and Daughters of the Red Earth,” by M.J. Alexander of Oklahoma City, and published by Southwestern Publishing, Oklahoma City.
“‘Cholhkanat Lowak Ishminti’ (Spider Brings Fire),” by Linda Hogan of Tishomingo, and published by Chickasaw Nation Division of Arts and Humanities, Ada.
“Salvaged,” by Stefne Miller of Edmond, and published by Tate Publishing & Enterprises, Mustang.
“Mostly Monsterly,” by Tammi Sauer of Edmond, published by Simon & Schuster, New York, N.Y.
“Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light,” by Tim Tingle of Canyon Lake, Texas, and published by Cinco Puntos Press, El Paso, Texas.
“Building One Fire,” designed by Carol Haralson of Sedona, Ariz., and published by the Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah.
“Proud to be Chickasaw,” designed by Skip McKinstry of Oklahoma City, illustrated by Mike Larsen of Perkins and published by Chickasaw Press, Ada.
“Oklahoma National Stockyards,” designed by Doug Miller of Tulsa, and published by Mullerhaus Publishing Arts Inc., Tulsa.
“Portrait of a Generation: The Children of Oklahoma, Sons and Daughters of the Red Earth,” designed by Scott O’Daniel of Oklahoma City, photography by M.J. Alexander of Oklahoma City and published by Southwestern Publishing, Oklahoma City.
“Arena Legacy: The Heritage of American Rodeo,” designed by Tony Roberts and Julie Rushing, both of Norman, collection photography by Ed Muno of Oklahoma City, and published by University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.
“Stations West,” by Allison Amend of Pittsburgh, Pa., and published by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, La.
“With No Steps to Follow,” by David Allen Barton of Union City, and published by Tate Publishing & Enterprises, Mustang.
“Cheyenne Madonna,” by Eddie Chuculate of Iowa City, Iowa, and published by David R. Godine Publisher Inc., Jaffrey, N.H.
“God’s Acres,” by David Gerard of Muskogee, and published by PenUltimate Press Inc., St. Louis, Mo.
“The Insane Train,” by Sheldon Russell of Waynoka, and published by St. Martin’s Minotaur Books, New York, N.Y.
“Chasing Lilacs,” by Carla Stewart of Tulsa, and published by FaithWords, Hachete Book Group, New York, N.Y.
“Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe,” by Kate Buford of Yonkers, N.Y., and published by Alfred A. Knopf Inc., New York, N.Y.
“Chickasaw Removal,” by Amanda L. Paige, Fuller L. Bumpers, and Daniel F. Littlefield Jr., all of Arkansas; and published by Chickasaw Press, Ada.
“Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture,” edited by Dianna Everett of Edmond; Larry O’Dell of Newcastle; Jon May and Linda Wilson, both of Oklahoma City; and published by Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.
“Deadly Kingdom: The Book of Dangerous Animals,” by Gordon Grice of Somerset, Wis., and published by Random House, New York, N.Y.
“Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History,” by S.C. Gwynne of Austin, Texas, and published by Scribner, New York City.
“Race and the University: A Memoir,” by George Henderson of Norman, and published by OU Press, Norman.
“Arena Legacy: The Heritage of American Rodeo,” by Richard C. Rattenbury of Oklahoma City, and published by OU Press, Norman.
“Luis Ortega’s Rawhide Artistry: Braiding in the California Tradition,” by Don Reeves of Edmond and Chuck Stormes of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and published by OU Press, Norman.
“Oilfield Trash: Life and Labor in the Oil Patch,” by Bobby D. Weaver of Edmond, and published by Texas A&M University Press, College Station, Texas.
“Spare Parts,” by Ken Hada of Ada, and published by Mongrel Empire Press, Norman.
“Umberto Eco Lost His Gun,” by Carol Hamilton of Midwest City, and published by Pudding House Publications, Columbus, Ohio.
“Elegy for Trains,” by Benjamin Myers of Chandler, and published by Village Books Press, Cheyenne.
“Seeing Rightly with the Heart,” by Howard Stein of Oklahoma City, and published by Finishing Line Press, Georgetown, Ky.
“Bird Days,” by Sheila Tiarks of Oklahoma City, and published by Village Books Press, Cheyenne.
“Oklahoma Baroque,” by Renata Treitel of Tulsa, and published by Out On A Limb Publishing, Tulsa.
“Oklahoma Cantos,” by Ron Wallace of Durant, and published by TJMF Publishing, Clarksville, Ind.
Then I was browsing around and found this interesting website from the National Book Foundation, 60 Years of the National Book Awards- 79 Fiction Winners. Click on the book jackets and it leads you to all kinds of information about each title. Very nicely done.
All this talk about book awards should whet your appetite for Young Bill’s next entry. (teaser)
From the looks of the cover, you might think it ‘s a “cozy” but not so. The main character detective is dead, but plays it very straight as he works his dead person tricks to get his partner a step up in crime solving. Detective Kevin Fahey wasn’t such a great guy before he found himself in this afterlife limbo. He’s trying to make up for his failings by helping out his parter Maggie Gunn, since she’s now stuck with a bummer of a new partner.
They’re both trying to find out who killed the nurse and who stole the little boy from across the street from her house. Are the crimes connected? Did the kidnapper just use the homicide drama as a diversion for childnapping? Chaz McGee has invented a very interesting crime fighter.
This book was on my library new bookshelf, and I think now I’m going to have to find the first book in the series, Desolate Angel.
Also, just found out Chaz is really Katy Munger. Now I’ll have to try some of her other books, the Casey Jones series looks really promising.
OK, Literary Kittie has been watching TV lately and there has been a lot of news about the Wisconsin legislature. Well, she started thinking: can I find video of my own Oklahoma legislature in action? Guess what, you can actually watch committee reports, floor votes, hearings, etc. and see what those folks are doing over at the Capitol.
Literary Kittie has her own political opinions and doesn’t wish to share them. She really believes we all need to weigh what is best for each of us and make up our own minds. But she adamantly thinks we all need to find out what is really going on; no listening to the news media, no listening to political pundits, no listening to your favorite politician or the arguing TV heads. YOU decide what is really being said: Do people make sense? What are your legislators saying when the video is rolling?
So here is Literary Kittie’s website for this week, our legislature in action. And right now, there is plenty of action. For Oklahoma House video, see http://www.okhouse.gov/Video/Default.aspx
For Oklahoma Senate video, see http://www.oksenate.gov/ and go to Live floor proceedings or Live committee meetings.
Find out what your representatives are saying, what they are thinking. Do they really represent you? We have the technology now to see for ourselves if people are telling us the truth. Maybe the truth should be what we see, and not what someone else tells us.
I believe those of us who like books and reading also like the look and feel of words.
Lynda.com, a wonderful place to find every software learning tutorial imaginable, has given us a tribute to Doyald Young, logotype designer. They have provided this tutorial for free viewing. Tutorials | Doyald Young Logotype Designer. It’s a tribute to the written word. I hope you will watch it as mesmerized as I was. He designed the Prudential logo, the video describes his creative process for this particular logo and briefly shows his many, many other logos and designs. He’s written several books on logos and fonts,
all beautifully illustrated. He was an artist of the written letter and wordsmith. It makes our ”texting” endeavors look sad and miserly. Here’s a little more about Doyal at the AIGA website. Sit back and enjoy this tribute to a great designer.