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  • You must include at least one positive keyword with 3 characters or more.

From du Maurier & Hitchcock to grudge-holding crows


Angry birds — and especially smart, angry birds — aren’t just the subject of my latest NYT Mag mini-column. Because my mom collected and bred parrots, they’re something I’ve spent far too much time pondering.
Did you know that crows develop grudges against individual people that they impart to their flocks? Or that African Greys are capable of labeling and counting objects and grasping the concept of zero? Or that birdsong appears to be in some sense grammatical? Often parrots use their powers for good, and not evil, of course. As far as we know.
Daphne du Maurier (above) said the idea for her avian-apocalypse novella, “The Birds,” came to her after she saw a farmer ploughing a field while seagulls dived above him, and she imagined the birds “becoming hostile and attacking.” Evidently she disapproved of Hitchcock’s also-harrowing, more famous adaptation.
Unfortunately, this BBC interview doesn’t seem to be viewable in the States these days. In it she talks about her life and work for almost 50 minutes. The clip opens at her typewriter, “the standard ‘the author at work’ establishing shot except for du Maurier’s super-strong finger-punching technique on the keys.”

"Good authors, too, who once knew better words now only use four-letter words writing prose... anything goes. "
Cole Porter

Random picks

  • Let me explain. I am a stop smoking hypnotist and EFT tapping practitioner. When an ex-smoker-to-be tells me they have recently cut down their smoking, vivid images of Stephen King's tale come to mind. I like Horror and Mr King is particularly good at it. And it amuses me to get these flashes of my client seeing these monsters that no-one else can see, solving the mystery and hearing that wonderful tale again, as I reading it for the first time.
  • Vine Leaves Literary Journal is now hiring dedicated editors to join their team. Here is a message from their current editors: "Hurray! Our inboxes are overflowing with YOUR work. Poetry, prose, pictures and more - powerful vignettes that inspire us, excite us, and yeah, sometimes overwhelm us. Trust us, we're not complaining. But as the journal continues to grow, we recognize we can't do it all
  • We're called by a lot of different names, such as Technical Writer, Technical Communicator, Documentation Specialist, Knowledge Transfer Specialist, etc. Ever read some of the fiction out there and think to yourself, "Self, I can do better than that"? Well, perhaps you can. We've got a lot of advantages over the non-technical person.
  • Hi! Myname is Hannah Hylen and my Mom and I are hoping to get to 45 Jonas Brothers shows this summer! I will be blogging the whole way, so please check out www.hannahhylen.blogspot.com ALSO, SUBSCRIBE! I will have TONS of videos. I have a photo account on flickr, which will be updated this Jonas pictures. http And of course, I have a twitter. twitter.com Thanks for watching! -Hannah Hylen PS, MY SEAT WAS SECTION 101 ROW D SEAT 10 (uploading a bunch of videos right now… watch them all!! )
  • This beautifully-detailed graphic novel is a follow-up to Gemma Bovery, Posy Simmonds’s version of Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. Tamara Drewe’s relationship to its novel of origin, Hardy’s Far From The Madding Crowd is much looser than the previous work, but it is possibly more interesting for that and no less accessible to those who have not read any Hardy or don’t like him. Just as Hardy does, Posy Simmonds scrupulously avoids bucolic romanticism. Her characters inhabit a rural landscape, but they don’t experience it in the same way. Class is a strong presence in the novel and affects how...

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Fast fact about writing

Fiction writing is any kind of writing that is not factual. Fictional writing most often takes the form of a story meant to convey an author's point of view or simply to entertain. The result of this may be a short story, novel, novella, screenplay, or drama, which are all types (though not the only types) of fictional writing styles.