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Less IMDb gets unbroken

Less IMDb, our browser extension for de-cluttering IMDb pages, recently broke. Version 1.3.1 restores the magic.

Texting in film and television

Craig and I may have taken umbrage at his video about comedy directors who aren’t Edgar Wright, but Tony Zhou’s newest video looking at how filmmakers handle texting and the internet on-screen is all good. Zhou’s underlying point is that we still haven’t settled on conventions for showing texting or the internet. And that’s good! […]

Classic Breakup

Why do bands break up? Why is the breakup (and inevitable reunion) such a durable pop trope? Is it part of the essential disposability of culture under capitalism? That groups should fade, creating the illusion of movement and renewal, while the system that produces them grinds on more or less unchanged? Or is there something [...]

Keep It In Motion

A few weeks back on YouTube, I came across a video Guided By Voices made for one of their recent singles. In it, a magician (played by comedian John Glaser) sits in front of a dressing room mirror before a performance, practicing his tricks for the imminent show. You don’t get the idea he’s an [...]

English Intelligence on Chinese National Television

Thanks to a chirp from Kaplan Harris, we’ve been alerted to this video of Jeremy Prynne reading “under volumetric lighting on Chinese National Television (Beijing, July 2014),” uploaded by Justin Katko. What’s Prynne reading there? Why, it’s Walter de la Mare’s most known poem, “The Listeners.” Give it a good 3:16 below. Aaaaaand: Happy Monday!

Nominal Doppelgängers

2 weeks agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

Photo credit: Torbus (Flickr CC) Today’s guest is Elizabeth Silver, author of The Execution of Noa P. Singleton, an Amazon Best Book of the Year, Amazon Best Debut of the Month, a Kirkus Best Book of the Summer, Kansas City Star Best...Show More Summary

The Tyranny of Motive

3 weeks agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

Desperation by Josh Sommers The legendary coach Vince Lombardi used to greet his players at training camp by saying: “Within every man there is a burning flame of desperation. That is why you are here.” I would include women in that, of course, and wouldn’t restrict the application to football. Show More Summary

Writing Fiction. Improve Your Dialogue With James Scott Bell. Podcast Episode 190

When I started writing fiction, I found dialogue to be one of the hardest things to write. It’s rarely used outside of a fiction context, and I spent a lot of time learning all about it. I still do! Today I’m thrilled to be discussing how to improve dialogue with James Scott Bell. This podcast […]

Jack White’s Third Man Records Launches Third Man Books! Debut Collection Includes Richard Hell, C.D. Wright, Sampson Starkweather, Sommer Browning +++

Ha, SPIN knows how to throw a first sentence: “Continuing his love for all things old-timey, Jack White has announced the creation of a new publishing company.” Hank Williams even wrote a song about it? Rolling Stone also has a piece on Third Man Books–the new publishing wing of White’s Nashville-based Third Man Records–which will [...]

Best Showplace for Chicago Artists? Right Here!

We were honored to learn that Chicago magazine awarded us “The Best Showplace for Chicago Artists” in their 2014 Best of Chicago issue.  We want to take this opportunity to highlight and thank the wonderful artists we’ve featured over the past several months. We’re glad that Chicago magazine noted how often hometown artists appear on [...]

MCA Chicago’s Word Weekend and Harriet Present a Performance by Cassandra Troyan and Johannes Göransson

Hey Chicago, what are you doing this weekend? Of course you’re stopping by the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Word Weekend. In case you haven’t heard what it’s about, it’s this: MCA Chicago presents Word Weekend, an event that showcases Chicago’s active and diverse communities of authors, hip-hop artists, spoken-word poets, songwriters, and visual artists who [...]

Scriptnotes, Ep 153: Selling without selling out — Transcript

The original post for this episode can be found here. John August: Hello and welcome. My name is John August. Craig Mazin: Hello. My name is Craig Mazin. John: And this is Scriptnotes. It’s a podcast about screenwriting and things that are interesting to screenwriters. So, Craig, last night at 1:30 in the morning my […]

Why Writers Are More Powerful Than The Supreme Court

photo by Rob Chandanais These days it often feels as if we have very little power to change things. After all, how can one actual flesh and blood-type person make a difference in the world if the Supreme Court says that corporations,...Show More Summary

Writing Thrillers And Lessons Learned From Forty Years Of Writing with David Morrell

Most authors dream of creating a character that escapes from their books and becomes part of popular culture. Today I’m interviewing David Morrell, who created Rambo and whose writing career has spanned four decades, and we get an insight into David’s research process, his work ethic and his mindset. In the intro, I mention my […]

Scriptnotes, Ep 151: Secrets and Lies — Transcript

2 months agoArts / Writing :

The original post for this episode can be found here. Disclaimer: Hey, this is John. Today’s audio was recorded in two separate sessions and Craig’s microphone was terrible during part of it, so just apologies for that. We got it fixed. If you hear the follow up section, Craig sounds much better, and healthier, and […]

Self Publishing In Spanish, Tips For Translation And Launch Of Pentecostés. Thriller de la serie ARKANE.

Last month, I shared the publishing and marketing experience for the German version of Pentecost, and today I’m super excited to announce that Pentecostés is now available in Spanish! You can buy it on Kindle now, and coming soon in print and on other ebook stores. In this article, I explain why publishing in Spanish […]

Secrets and Lies

2 months agoArts / Writing :

John and Craig discuss why most characters are liars, and how that’s actually a good thing. John offers seven suggestions for picking character names that will help your readers. Then we look at a three page challenge that’s been filmed to see what worked on the page versus on screen.

Rejection blues

It's been a while since I posted this, and I thought it might be fun for some. If you think rejection is tough to deal with in modern times, it was even more difficult in prehistoric days, as you'll see....

For the Both of Us

I would never have become the poet I am if I hadn’t known, in my twenties, a young woman named Rachel Sherwood. I was six months older than she was, but like many important relationships in my life, especially early on, she was someone I looked up to: she was more experienced and confident than [...]

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