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The Good, The Bad, and The Just Plain Ig’nant

The Good: Not to overshadow the upcoming Squire Summer Writing Residency (registration for which is now closed), but how would you like to audit a class with William Faulkner?  The Network’s beloved board president Nicki Leone sent me this link to audio clips of William Faulkner speaking at the University of Virginia.

I still haven’t listened to them, I admit, as I’ve been busy making sure we’re ready for the aforementioned Residency.  By coincidence, I have been working my way through Malcolm Cowley’s The Portable Faulkner this summer (again), reminding myself what a truly great writer Faulkner was, and asking myself (again) why none of my teachers in high school or college told me how uproariously funny the man could be.

The Bad: The Network’s computers – the desktops Virginia and I use for pretty much everything Network-related – are in such condition that, if they were horses, a decent owner would put them out of their misery.

We would just as soon avoid the expense of new computers, though, so we’re going to appeal to the generosity of our members.  Do any of you – or the companies you work for – have “gently used” PCs you’d be willing to donate (or sell at a discount) to the Network?

And while I have no intention of being both a beggar and a chooser, laptops would be utterly swell – with a good laptop, we could stay connected to our e-mail even while we’re away from our desks at, say, the 2010 Squire Summer Writing Residency next weekend.

If you have a computer to donate, please contact me at  Thank you.

The Just Plain Ig’nant: If you’ve been in one of my workshops on publishing and promoting, you know how insistent I am that writers be nice to booksellers.  Aside from the fact that booksellers can be a writer’s best friends, they deserve decent treatment after the nonsense they have to put up with most days.  The invaluable Shelf Awareness collected just a sampling of such nonsense in two articles earlier this week:

“Can I use this water bowl over here for my dog?”

“Can my kids stay here while I’m eating next door?”

“Was Abraham Lincoln really a vampire hunter?”

“Do you have a chicken section? Goats?”

“Have you seen my children?”

“Dad, look a bookstore! Let’s take a look.” “Why? It’s just books.” “Come on, it will just take a minute.” “No, reading is stupid.”

“Have you read all these books? When do you watch TV?”

“Can you tell me who the author of Shakespeare is?”

“Do you have Shakespeare in English?”

“Who wrote Jane Austen?”

“Where do y’all keep the true fiction?”

“I definitely don’t want nonfiction. I like autobiographies and history.”

“My new girlfriend is pretty churchy. Would a Gutenberg Bible be a good gift?”