Oh, reached into the ol’ thesaurus for that one! Still fighting a cold so let’s be linky today.
According to EarlyWord, sales of Richard Blanco’s poetry books have zoomed up the Amazon ranks. Yesterday Looking for the Gulf Motel went from 1255 to #34. I just checked and it has now slipped to #74. Still, how awesome is that? The number of holds at my public library have also increased from three, when I put in a request for the book a couple weeks ago, to twenty today. Woo! If only things like this were a regular occurrence with poetry titles.
Blanco is forty-four and has been writing since he was a young man. You have to start young, right? Now and then we hear of people past sixty publishing their first book and it somehow seems cute. But seventy-five-year-old Natsuko Kuroda isn’t going to take any guff. She won the Akutagawa Prize for her story “ab Sango.” She is the oldest person to ever win the prize. Upon receiving her award she said, ” ‘Thank you for discovering me while I am still alive.’ ” Using age as an excuse for why I can’t become a writer is no longer valid. I’ll have to try to think up some new and more creative reason.
But then, maybe if I take writing lessons from W.G. Sebald (via) I will zoom onto the bestseller lists. Not likely since I don’t think Sebald was a bestseller. He is highly regarded though (if you have not read him he really is marvelous) and isn’t that what we want more than the money? Who am I kidding, I want the money too! Why does it need to be an either/or proposition?
Maybe it’s because so many children’s books are sexist, portraying females as indoor passive observers that has stinted me. Granted, the study was of Malayasian children’s books but I don’t doubt a similar result would be found in a study of my childhood reading or even current children’s books in the U.S. Then if you are a science fiction or fantasy fan, there are the sexist books covers to contend with. But fantasy writer Jim Hines has started replicating the poses of the sexed up women on book covers to pointed and hilarious effect. Then there is The Hawkeye Initiative which challenges the portrayal of women in comics by swapping male and female characters usually substituting Hawkeye from the Avengers for the female. The idea being that if Hawkeye doesn’t look stupid in the female pose then it probably isn’t sexist. The website will get your blood boiling and make you laugh at the same time.
Ok, that’s should do it for this evening. Hopefully my brain will be up for more coherent thoughts tomorrow. Assuming, that is, my brain had coherent thoughts to begin with.