The Griffith Review

At the end of 2011 I prepared for the new year by buying a couple of digital zine subscriptions. The Griffith Review was one of them and I received its 35th edition a couple of weeks ago. The theme of this issue is “surviving”. I expected mostly fiction and got mostly fact. It made for some serious, thoughtful reading. There’s lots in this edition, but picking some highlights:

Mara Bun had an interesting article, “The Path to Resilience”. She includes reference to Greensburg, the American town rebuilding itself sustainably after total tornado destruction. The notion of resilience is one that has intrigued me for years. For me (though this isn’t the element explored in Mara’s article) the defining feature of resilience is redundancy. Critical activities/necessities need to be achievable by more than one method.

Michael Gaurenda reflected on journalism and ethics in “Informed Consent”. A couple of ideas he discussed were new to me…but then, I’m not a journalist. The first was that victims of tragedy will generally talk freely with journalists, even producing photos, in the immediate aftermath of a devastating event. However, after 48 hours, this changes and they tend to refuse to deal with the media. So, how informed is their consent in that first, vulnerable and shocked 48 hours? The second idea questions whether a journalist tells other people’s stories or his or her own–in the sense that other people’s experience is filtered through the journalist’s (and editor’s) writing. To quote Michael, “The stories I wrote about them were not their stories, but mine.”

Finally, Kathy Marks has a terrible but important article on the sexual abuse on Pitcairn Island. “When Bystanders Fail” discusses exactly what its title suggests: the wilful inaction of outsiders, temporary residents of the island who were unconstrained by family or community ties or by habits of acceptance. This article, after outlining the abuse, raises the ethical challenge: Why did no outsider raise the issue of the sexual abuse of women and children? There is ample evidence that they knew it continued. Why was it left to a 15 year old Pitcairn Island girl to find the courage to speak out, and in so doing, to lose all contact with her family, community and homeland? Do we really live in a society where looking away absolves us of responsibility to protect the vulnerable and to fight evil?

Writing Update

Over at the A Clockwork Christmas Facebook page we’re sharing reviews for the anthology, but I’ve forgotten to share them here. It’s a serious oversight. So here are three fab reviews from:

Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Just Janga

The Phantom Paragrapher

I have to quote a snippet from Just Janga’s review since she has shared a lovely memory triggered by reading “Wanted: One Scoundrel”. Read this and you’ll understand why I treasure the review:

I liked this story a lot. The Australian setting is a bit different, Esme and Jed are endearing characters, and the political intrigue adds interest. But one snippet alone would have made the story a winner for me. I grew up listening to stories of my maternal grandmother, a beautiful woman who would have been not many years younger than Esme, keeping a hat pin handy to protect herself from unwanted attentions. So I loved this scene that made me smile as I remembered Mama.

I can’t wait till 5 December when the anthology releases from Carina Press and everyone can read it!

Romance Industry News

Eavesdrop on the Frankfurt Book Fair and publishing’s future.

Open call: Carina Press is looking for science fiction novellas — holiday themed — for 2012 publication. They’ll be edited by Angela James.

Darlings, I love your hats! but … are you wearing them at the right time? Patricia Wrede has an excellent article on author professionalism (me, I’d call it managing your own expectations, and the hats are a way of doing so).

You might have heard me shrieking about this around the Net. Carina Press has released A Clockwork Christmas for early reviews via I’m in love with this anthology that I’m lucky enough to be part of. Great editor, wonderful cover, brilliant and supportive fellow authors, the stories are amazing. All I need now are happy readers and 2011 will be a blessed year. If you’re a reviewer who’d like to review A Clockwork Christmas, the link is to a pop-up, or you can browse via “publisher: Carina” at NetGalley.

Growing your blog community — aimed at small business, but useful info for all bloggers.