Thursday, July 25, 2013

Literary Quotes on Notes

As I watched the news here in jolly ole England this morning, I learned that the Bank of England has decided to honor a new famous figure on the 10-pound note. I had been expecting them to say "new royal baby, Prince George!" given the news of the week, but to my surprise, a literary legend was named instead: Jane Austen.

According to the Guardian UK, Austen will replace Charles Darwin on notes starting in 2017. The note will also feature a quote from Pride and Prejudice: "I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!"

The Guardian tells us more:

Photograph: Bank of England. VIA
Jane Austen has been confirmed as the next face of the £10 note in a victory for campaigners demanding female representation – aside from the Queen – on the country's cash. 
Sir Mervyn King, the Bank's former governor, had let slip to MPs that the author of Pride and Prejudice was "waiting in the wings" as a potential candidate to feature on a banknote, and his successor, Mark Carney, confirmed on Wednesday that she would feature, probably from 2017. 
"Jane Austen certainly merits a place in the select group of historical figures to appear on our banknotes. Her novels have an enduring and universal appeal and she is recognised as one of the greatest writers in English literature," the new governor said. 
He also announced that the Bank would carry out a review of the process for selecting the historical figures who appear on banknotes, to ensure that a diverse range of figures is represented. 
"We believe that our notes should celebrate the full diversity of great British historical figures and their contributions in a wide range of fields. The Bank is committed to that objective, and we want people to have confidence in our commitment to diversity. That is why I am today announcing a review of the selection process for future banknote characters," Carney said. The review will be overseen by the chief cashier Chris Salmon, whose signature appears on banknotes. 
Carney's announcement was aimed at quelling a three-month storm of protest unleashed when King announced that the only woman to appear on an English banknote other than the Queen – the prison reformer Elizabeth Fry – would be replaced by Winston Churchill, probably in 2016. She and Florence Nightingale are the only two women, other than the Queen, to have appeared on English banknotes since they started portraying historical figures in 1970. 
Campaigners threatened to take the Bank to court for discrimination under the 2010 Equality Act and launched a petition on the campaign site which secured more than 35,000 signatures. 
Caroline Criado-Perez, co-founder of feminist blog the Women's Room, who led the campaign, and was called in to discuss the issue with Salmon, said the Bank's announcement marked a "brilliant day for women". 
"Without this campaign, without the 35,000 people who signed our petition, the Bank of England would have unthinkingly airbrushed women out of history. We warmly welcome this move from the Bank and thank them for listening to us and taking such positive and emphatic steps to address our concerns," she said. 
"To hear Jane Austen confirmed is fantastic, but to hear the process will be comprehensively reviewed is even better." 
Campaigners said that the £13,000 raised to challenge the Bank's banknote decision in court would now go to women's charities, including Rape Crisis. 
Austen will take her place on the £10 note in 2017, the bicentenary of her death, replacing the 19th-century naturalist Charles Darwin, who has been on the notes since late 2000.
Criado-Perez conceded Austen was not top of her wish-list as the next woman on a bank note but that she was a particularly apt choice given the context. "She was an incredibly intelligent woman. She spent her time poking fun at the establishment. All her books are about how women are trapped and misrepresented. It is really sad that she was saying that 200 years ago and I am still having to say that today," the campaigner said. 
Stella Creasy MP, who helped organise a letter from 46 Labour MPs to David Cameron in support of the campaign, said: "Britain has many women in its history of whom we should be proud, and today's decision is part of creating a culture of expectation that there will be many more in our future too." 
Under the current process, members of the public put forward suggestions on who should appear on banknotes, although the Bank only considers figures who have made an "indisputable contribution to their particular field of work". It takes into account the list of public suggestions, but the governor of the Bank has the final decision. 
As well as a portrait of Austen, the new note will include images of her writing desk and quills at Chawton Cottage, in Hampshire, where she lived; her brother's home, Godmersham Park, which she visited often, and is thought to have inspired some of her novels, and a quote from Miss Bingley, in Pride and Prejudice: "I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!" 
See the original post HERE

I've gotta say...this is kinda awesome.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Pseudonyms: J.K. Rowling style

Oh, pseudonyms. Sometimes I don't understand why people use them, and other times, I do. Sometimes it's about a day job versus writing career, other times a difficult to pronounce/remember name. Then there are those times where writers just want one (that's what I'll never understand LOL).

But, I think, the trickiest time to figure out the most beneficial move when it comes to a pseudonym is when an already established author wants to write in a completely different genre. Do you use a pen name so that your audience doesn't get confused, or so people who might not read your other genre will still pick up your new book? Or do you say to hell with it and try to use your clout and name recognition to pull in readers?

For example, J.K. Rowling.

This morning, news broke that the Harry Potter author has published a crime novel under a different name (even a different gender, might I add). When the info came to light, her sales increased by 1000 percent.

BCC News tells us more:

The Harry Potter novelist published the book - The Cuckoo's Calling - as Robert Galbraith. 
The book had sold less than 500 copies before the secret emerged in the Sunday Times, according to Nielsen BookScan's figures. 
Within hours, it rose more than 5,000 places to top Amazon's sales list. 
The digital version is now also at number one in the iTunes book chart. 
The book was published by Sphere, part of Little, Brown Book Group which published Rowling's first foray into writing novels for adults, The Casual Vacancy. 
Little, Brown's David Shelley confirmed to The Bookseller the publisher had ordered an "immediate reprint" with the number not yet confirmed. 
Rowling said she had "hoped to keep this secret a little longer". 
The author described "being Robert Galbraith" as "such a liberating experience". 
A spokesman for bookseller Waterstones said: "This is the best act of literary deception since Stephen King was outed as Richard Bachman back in the 1980s." 
One reviewer described The Cuckoo's Calling as a "scintillating debut", while another praised the male author's ability to describe women's clothes. 
Crime writer Peter James told the Sunday Times: "I thought it was by a very mature writer, and not a first-timer." 
Fellow crime author Mark Billingham, who reviewed the book ahead of its publication in April, said he was "gobsmacked" at the revelation. 
The fictitious Galbraith was supposed to have been a former plain-clothes Royal Military Police investigator who had left the armed forces in 2003 to work in the civilian security industry. 
However a clue that Rowling was behind the novel was that she and Galbraith shared an agent and editor. 
In previous interviews, Rowling has said she would prefer to write novels after Harry Potter under a pseudonym. 
Another Cormoran Strike book by Robert Galbraith is in the pipeline, to be published next year. 
See the original post HERE

While I'll agree it's a surprise that Robert Galbraith is, in fact, J.K. Rowling, I think the reaction people are having is a little overboard. Why would anyone assume a creative of any kind can only thrive in one specific format or style? Just because someone is a painter, doesn't mean they can't sculpt. It doesn't mean they can, of course, but no one would simply assume they can't. Personally, I am thrilled for Rowling and applaud her reaching outside the media's perceived comfort zone to write something she really just wanted to write.

But the news leak does beg the publicity question--was writing under a pen name really the best move for the book itself? Rowling had already breached the gap between children's lit and adult fiction with Casual Vacancy, so why the need to be so secretive all of a sudden? Some might speculate that the intention may have been to create a publicity stunt in the first place with an intentional pseudonym leak. Or maybe she really did just want to see how her book would do on its own merit, without any preconceived notions.

I guess we may never know.

What do YOU think?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Silly Mid-Week Writing Lesson ALA Disney

Leave it to Buzzfeed to take everything I studied about literature for so many years of my life and compare it to Disney films. LOL Love it.

Ahh if only everything in life could have a Disney-related glossary....

1. Theme
Definition: A common thread or repeated idea that is incorporated throughout a literary work.
Example: “True love conquers all” is the main theme of Sleeping Beauty.

2. Symbolism

Definition: An object, character, figure, or color that is used to represent an abstract idea or concept.
Example: Dumbo’s “magic” feather represents courage and self-confidence. Once he truly believes in himself, he no longer needs it as a psychological crutch.
Source: Disney  /  via:

3. Dramatic Irony

Dramatic Irony
Definition: Irony that occurs when the meaning of the situation is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the literary work.
Example: Throughout most of The Lion King, Simba mopes around feeling guilty for his father’s death, unaware (as the audience is) that Scar actually killed Mufasa.
Source: Disney  /  via:

4. Archetype

Definition: A constantly recurring symbol or motif in literature, painting, or mythology.
Example: Alice must pass a series of tests as she makes her way through Wonderland. This kind of journey is a common archetype in Western literature and is best epitomized by Homer’s The Odyssey.
Source: Disney  /  via:

5. Foil

Definition: A character who illuminates the qualities of another character by means of contrast.
Example: Gaston’s combination of good looks and terrible personality emphasizes Beast’s tragic situation. The former is a monster trapped inside a man; the latter a man trapped inside a monster.
Source: Disney  /  via:

6. Allusion

Definition: A brief reference in a literary work to a person, place, thing, or passage in another literary work, usually for the purpose of associating the tone or theme of the one work with the other.
Example: In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the gargoyle Laverne tells a flock of pigeons to “Fly my pretties! Fly, Fly!” à la the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz.
Source: Disney  /  via:

7. Foreshadowing

Definition: A warning or indication of a future event.
Example: Before she’s fatally shot by a hunter (and millions of childhoods are scarred), Bambi’s mother gives Bambi a stern lecture on the dangers of man.

8. Mood

Definition: The atmosphere that pervades a literary work with the intention of evoking a certain emotion or feeling from the audience.
Example: Fantasia frequently uses music and setting to drastically shift the mood from light and playful to dark and foreboding.
Source: Disney  /  via:

9. Breaking the Fourth Wall

Breaking the Fourth Wall
Definition: Speaking directly to or acknowledging the audience. The “fourth wall” refers to the imaginary “wall” at the front of the stage in a traditional three-walled box set in a proscenium theater.
Example: Timon acknowledges the audience when he cuts off Pumbaa midsong: “Pumbaa, not in front of the kids!”

10. Exposition

Definition: The portion of a story that introduces important background information to the audience — for example, information about the setting, events occurring before the main plot, characters’ backstories, etc.
Example: At the beginning of Robin Hood, the rooster Alan-a-Dale describes how Robin Hood has been robbing from the rich to give to Nottingham’s poor.
Source: Disney  /  via:

11. Conflict

Definition: An inherent incompatibility between the objectives of two or more characters or forces.
Example: When Shere Khan the man-eating tiger returns to the jungle, Mowgli must flee to the safety of human civilization.
Source: Disney  /  via:

12. Climax

Definition: The turning point in the action (also known as the “crisis”) and/or the highest point of interest or excitement.
Example: Pinocchio is transformed into a donkey and sold into labor before he saves Geppetto and proves himself worthy of being a real boy.
Source: Disney  /  via:

13. Anagnorisis

Definition: The recognition or discovery by the protagonist of the identity of some character or the nature of his own predicament, which leads to the resolution of the plot.
Example: Arthur, thinking he’s just a lowly squire, has no idea he’s the rightful heir to the throne until he pulls the sword from the stone.
Source: Disney  /  via:

14. Poetic Justice

Poetic Justice
Definition: A device in which virtue is ultimately rewarded or vice punished, often by an ironic twist of fate intimately related to the character’s own conduct.
Example: Jafar is so power hungry he fails to realize that becoming a genie will cost him his freedom.
Source: Disney  /  via:

15. Deus Ex Machina

Deus Ex Machina
Definition: An unexpected power or event saving a hopeless situation, especially as a plot device in a play or novel, from the Latin “a god from a machine.”
Example: In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Evil Queen is about to kill the dwarfs when a bolt of lightning comes out of nowhere, knocking her off the mountain to her death.
Source: Disney  /  via:

16. Denouement

Definition: The final part of a play, movie, or narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and matters are resolved.
Example: At the end of The Little Mermaid, Ursula is killed, King Triton turns Ariel into a human, and Ariel marries Prince Eric. Then Sebastian sings over the closing credits. WIN.
See the original post HERE