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What Not to Say Around Writers

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Writers have heard it all from readers, non-readers, strangers who question if books are still relevant, acquaintances who sigh about how nice it must be to stay home all day and write. Several popular authors have taken to Twitter to air their grievances with the hashtag #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter, and Time has the story, along with some of the best highlights.

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Notable Portland: 7/30–8/5

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Thursday 7/30: Poets Kate Kingston and Carolyn Martin read from their latest work while accompanied by an artist talk by Lawrence Wheeler. Glyph, 5 p.m., free.

Rinker Buck read’s from his epic account of travelling the length of the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon with a team of mules, The Oregon Trail.

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3-D Printers Modernize Libraries

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American libraries have always been a place for ideas and the exchange of knowledge. In recent years, libraries have invested in computers and other new technologies. One of those popular technologies has been 3-D printers. Now, libraries with those tools are operating at the forefront of modern manufacturing techniques.

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British Artist Turns Bridges Into Instruments

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Using a variety of gadgets and tools, British artist Di Mainstone has come up with a way to turn suspension bridges into giant musical instruments. She calls this human-bridge interaction the Human Harp:

In the six years since her first sketches of a woman connecting with the bridge, Mainstone has managed to enlist the enthusiastic support of industrial engineers, audio researchers, physicists, software designers, university departments, and Andy Cavatorta, the inventor of Björk’s Gravity Harp.

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The Flippy Genius of Moebius

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In memory of Dieter Moebius who passed away last week, the Guardian published an article tracing the artist’s immense influence on experimental music, from his work in Cluster and Harmonia through his solo projects. “‘I was more of the ‘flippy’ one,’ he joked when I interviewed him for Frieze in 2012,” writes the author of the piece.

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Writers’ Influences Skew Male

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Independent Irish publisher Tramp Press requests that writers submitting manuscripts list their influences. Co-founder Sarah Davis-Goff had a suspicion that she was only seeing male names among the influencers, so she tallied up the influences of 100 submitters. Only 33 percent of the listed influences were women writers.

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Le Guin Will Answer Writers’ Questions

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At 86, Ursula K. Le Guin says she doesn’t have the stamina for writing novels or teaching workshops anymore. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to share her knowledge and experience with others. Writers can now submit questions of 200 words or less to Le Guin, and she will answer the ones she feels compelled by:

Reliable vigor and stamina is also required to teach a class or run a workshop, and so I had to give up teaching several years ago.

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Requests, Anyone?

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Tomorrow Rumpus columnist Allyson McCabe will begin hosting “FM Mutations,” a new radio show on Bridgeport, CT station 89.5 FM WPKN (and online at WPKN.org). Every 5th Wednesday of the month from noon till 1 p.m. Allyson will spin rock, punk, and indie gems—mostly demos, covers, outtakes and other rarities.

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“Seeing” Setting

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For Electric Literature, Emma Adler interviews Kathleen Alcott about her new novel Infinite Home. Their conversation covers topics surrounding non-biological family structures, and the importance of setting in Alcott’s work:

I have a memory that is very much image-based. Maybe this makes me sound like a lunatic, but I sort of consider it a secret power, that I can be in line at the deli and suddenly be very much confronted by a very clear image of a place I was once, can conjure the texture of the t-shirts people I loved wore, the color of the kitchen tile, the particular type of tree… I tend to attach to these sort of environmental details, and so sitting down and writing a fictional place, I’m “seeing” in the same way.

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To Pimp Postmodernism

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Over at the Los Angeles Review of Books, Casey Michael Henry considers Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly a new bid to revive a “Black Postmodernism”:

Not only does the album fulfill many specific qualities of postmodernism, and postmodernism specifically shaped by black experience, but also does so within a form traditionally consigned to canonical, usually white, “masters” like Melville and Pynchon.

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Your Dating Life Predicted by Simone De Beauvoir

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Over at Huffington Post, Colton Valentine has curated a collection of Simone De Beauvoir’s archetypes for people in accordance with their loss of childhood from her Ethics of Ambiguity—and applied them to our dating lives. From those too focused on the careers they hate to those who can’t sit still and demand to go hiking or base-jumping, and the mystical one who saw the meaningless of life and became humanist perfection, these archetypes are more accurate than we want them to be, and beg the question: Oh god which one am I?

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Does Age Matter?

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With the publication of several new young adult novels by teen authors, Julia Eccleshare wonders if age impacts a novelist’s ability to connect with younger readers. In addition, Eccleshare returns to the origins of the young adult genre, and investigates the influence of popular works by John Green, Judy Blume, and Beverly Cleary.

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