The Weird Week in Writing: New line of Hemingway shoes, Sarah Palin's tween bio, Faulkner speaking up after all these years

Freaky Friday—the latest from the weird and wonderful world of
writing this week (followed by a prompt):

I write like HP Lovecraft: Or at least that’s what popular robots tell me. This week writers everywhere copied and pasted words into Memoires’ “I Write Like” Web analyzer to see which famous scribe they take after. (Margaret Atwood got Stephen King.) So. HP Lovecraft? Not so bad. And, I proudly note on this Freaky Friday, he was also apparently branded the father of “weird fiction.” (Who did you get?)

Papa gets his kicks: Ernest Hemingway’s (82-year-old) son has a new venture—a line of shoes named after his father.

Drunk Hulk: Unmasked! GalleyCat interviewed the man behind the awesomely all-caps, inebriated superhero Twitter critic. (The Hulk’s take on the previous headline: “MOVEABLE FEETS! HEMINGWAY SON APPROVE HEMINGWAY BRAND SHOE! FOR WHOM THE GEL SOLES! SON ALSO DEVISES!”)

Twilight; Harry Potter; Sarah Palin’s bio: Might a new tween-targeted bio of the former presidential candidate be the next kid-lit hit? (And might it even inspire a mashup like Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter? Except, you know, with wild game/Russia/Democrats.)

And speaking of our most lauded vampire-hunting president: The author behind that book and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Seth Grahame-Smith, is the chosen scribe to draft a script for Tim Burton’s cinematic take on the ‘60s TV show “Dark Shadows.”

Taking one for the team: EW’s Breia Brissey on Kendra Wilkinson’s memoir—“I read it so you don’t have to.” The verdict? …

Faulkner breaks his silence: Via some newly digitized archives at the University of Virginia.

And finally, on a serious, sad, unweird note: Rest in peace, Harvey Pekar.

* * *


free to take the following prompt home or post a
response (500
words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below.
By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our
occasional around-the-office swag drawings.
you’re having trouble with the
captcha code sticking, e-mail your piece and the prompt to me at, with “Promptly” in the subject line, and I’ll
make sure it gets up.

It made no sense to him—until he realized it was an anagram. Then, suddenly everything came into focus.

feature package on how to write and sell your
memoir. Interviews with Life of Pi author Yann Martel, and
the scribe behind “True Blood,” Charlaine Harris. The results of our
Pop Fiction competition. New markets for your work. For more, click

here to check the July/August 2010 issue of WD out.



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2 thoughts on “The Weird Week in Writing: New line of Hemingway shoes, Sarah Palin's tween bio, Faulkner speaking up after all these years

  1. Mark James

    Zac. . . I admit that it took me twenty minutes to figure that out. . .

    And, I’m totally addicted to "I Write Like". So far my list is:

    David Foster Wallace (10)
    H. P. Lovecraft (2)
    Mario Puzo
    Dan Brown (8)
    Leo Tolstoy
    Stephen King (6)
    Rudyard Kipling (2)
    william Gibson (5)
    Harry Harrison (2)
    Ursula K. Leguin
    Anne Rice (erotica)
    Edgar Allen Poe
    Vladimar Nabakov (3)
    J. K. Rowling (3)
    James Joyce
    Mark Twain (2)
    Neil Gaiman
    Chuck Palahniuk (2)
    Isaac Asimov
    J. D. Salinger
    Margaret Mitchell (2)
    Stepehenie Meyer
    Kurt Vonnegut (2)
    Jane Austen
    William Shakespeare
    Douglas Adams
    Arthur C. Clarke
    Raymond Chandler

    Dan Brown? Really?

    And for the record, on this piece, I Write Like . . . H. P. Lovecraft. Zac, great minds and all that.


    “You called me to solve a puzzle?”

    Emory tried to make a joke of it. “You’re the only immortal I know.” That wasn’t true, but he wasn’t planning to call Lucifer in this lifetime; and Raphael made him feel like he should join a monastery and swear off sin forever. “And, you know, maybe they’re busy.”

    “Lucifer stokes flames in Hell,” Michael said. “Raphael stands under trees waiting for kittens to fall.” He scratched his head. “I line up battles around the world, make sure nothing starts early, injure the right mortals, make guns misfire, and keep an eye on politicians who think they have something to say. What? You don’t have my brothers’ cell numbers?”

    “Krista sent me a letter.”

    The archangel pulled at the zipper on his leather jacket, crouched in front of Mountain Inn’s fireplace, like he was keeping close watch on something. “You have a fight with her?”

    “No.” Emory rubbed his hands together, even though he wasn’t cold. “Not exactly.”

    Michael reached into the fire, seemed to adjust something, then brushed soot off his hands. “Go on and tell me. I’m low on time,” he said.

    Emory had seen his first angel when he was four. By the time he was in college, he could only see archangels. When mom and died in their car accident, Lucifer, Michael and Raphael came, helped Emory fix up the Inn before winter storms made repairs impossible.

    “I haven’t had the guts to ask her to marry me,” Emory said. “It’s like I can’t get the words out. But I know she’s ready. ”

    Michael dropped his head, pinched the bridge of his nose. “Is this some love thing? You need Raphael for that.”

    Emory pushed the sheet of pink, scalloped paper into Michael’s hand. “It’s a code. I think. You do wars and everything so I thought maybe you’d know what it said.”

    Michael scanned the neat handwriting. “Got a pen?”

    “What does Saturn have to do with a thin wig shirt?” Emory gave him a fine point BicWriter. “He was a God, right?”

    Michael scrawled something on the bottom of the letter, gave it to Emory. “God of what you’d call the harvest, but that’s got nothing to do with it.” He waved a hand at a flat screen TV on the wall. “What do you see?”

    “Saturn,” Emory said.

    Michael tapped Emory’s temple, left a black smudge. “What’s around it?”

    “Rings, but – – ” Emory looked at what Michael had written, then at the TV. “Yeah. Rings.”

    The flames crackled, licked at the brick walls of the fireplace, like a caged animal looking for a way out. “I have to go,” Michael said. “When you two pick out a church, let Raphael know.”

    He leapt into the fire, and was gone.

    Emory went to the window, where falling snow was making a perfect landscape of white and green and blue mountain tops. He pulled out his cell phone, dialed 2, Krista’s speed dial, and said three words after her voicemail beep: “I thee wed.”

  2. CJill Friend

    Fifty-third Calypso Street
    Walking, he didn’t notice the “I love Mom” sticker on the bottom of his sole. He sat on a radish red bench, and as he crossed his right leg over his left thigh, the sticker glimmered in the sunlight, a hologram of sticky paper for him to pluck. It made no sense to him—until he realized it was an anagram. Then, suddenly everything came in to focus on the corner of Fifty-third Calypso Street.
    The bus pulls up, but he doesn’t get up. He has decided to sit for three hours as if the street life is a free movie. No one speaks to him, until half past five. Unfortunately, this person is Dan Rather.
    “Do you recognize me?” Dan Rather asks the man.
    “You know what it is about this show,” points Dan Rather.
    “I watch it, and I know it isn’t any more real than the carnival that comes every summer.”
    “And when I realized that there ain’t nothin’like this out in the world, I knew that it ain’t just crazy people like mama who dream up people.”
    “What’s so tricky about imagination? Where’s the line?”
    The men sit quietly in a long silence, then the man replies.
    “I don’t think there is one. But if I hadn’t been in that place when I felt pain, I don’t know if I would have survived. It was as if because I was in another place in my mind, that I survived the terror of the truth.”
    Dan Rather interrupts the man. “Why do they make shows that aren’t true?”
    “Because people need to believe there are places like that. I know the good and bad of the world. At times, we manage to bottle each one. Usually, it is so spread, we notice neither.”
    “You have a sticker on the bottom of your shoe,” Dan Rather tells the man.
    “I know.”
    The two men stand, and begin walking down Fifty-third Calypso Street. The man thinks story. Dan Rather says, “War.” The man thinks night. Dan Rather says, “Waiting.” The man thinks jungle. Dan Rather says, “Beauty.” The man thinks imagination. Dan Rather says, “Shots fired.”
    The man says, “Seen as weakness.”