Weird Week in Writing: The last audiobook you'd ever expect; Shakespeare crook goes to jail; the writer of Armageddon makes Salinger film

Freaky Friday—the latest from the weird and wonderful world of
writing this week (followed, as always, by a prompt). Happy weekend!

Celluloid Salinger: Keeping up with the general strangeness/awesomeness of the J.D. Salinger legacy, a new documentary about the author is on its way in September by …  the writer/co-writer of Armageddon and Shaft. Director Shane Salerno also is working on a massive biography, The Private War of J.D. Salinger, with David Shields.

For your ears only: London-based publisher Beautiful Books is releasing the first-ever audio version of the Kama Sutra. Next up: A pop-up book?

Daunting Data: There are 129,864,880 books in the world. But there’s got to be a little room left for the rest of us in there, right?

All’s Well That Ends Well: An antiques dealer gets a hold of a stolen original Shakespeare folio, damages it in an attempt to make it look like a different copy, poses as an international playboy, and gets eight years in jail.

Burt Reynolds Hotline: The Letters I Get … and Write!: And eight other awful library books.

Bieber’s Bio: Justin Bieber may have tweeted that his new book is in fact not a memoir, but that doesn’t mean Britney Spears’ Heart to Heart and Drew Barrymore’s Little Girl Lost never happened. Here’s the HuffPo’s roundup of books from the under-25 set.

Spawn spawns winner:
Comics hit the courts again, and in the legal dilemma between writer Neil Gaiman and artist Todd McFarlane, Gaiman has emerged victorious. Further cementing his status as one of the world’s coolest writers, Gaiman has said the settlement will go to comics charities.

(Image: Via)

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Feel free to take the following prompt home or post a
response (500 words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below.
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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.

You’ve never seen anything like the tattoo. So, in the bar, you ask him what it means.

Ten writing experts, from Natalie Goldberg to Donald Maass, on the “rules” of writing (what does Show, Don’t Tell really mean?);
10 bestsellers, from Jodi Picoult to Chuck Palahniuk, offer top 10
lists on the writing life; 10 ways to use hurt and anger to fuel your writing; 10
Tips for Delivering a Killer Reading; 10-Minute Fixes to 10 Common Plot
Problems. Click here to check out the Big 10 issue of Writer’s Digest magazine.


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4 thoughts on “Weird Week in Writing: The last audiobook you'd ever expect; Shakespeare crook goes to jail; the writer of Armageddon makes Salinger film

  1. Martha W

    Mark, Mark, Mark.

    Please let Michael know that I’ve consulted with Lucifer. He and I agree that it would be nice if I had something nice to tide me over until the big lottery at the end of time… Tell him to pony up. I like all things sparkly and expensive.


  2. Martha W

    Hhm… Yeah, I’m thinking that Zac should be putting some of his up here too. I mean, it’s only fair, right?

    Right, Zac?

    And, uh… Mark? I’m so ratting Michael out for flirting with Alana while he’s on vacation.

    *evil grin*

  3. Mark James

    Ahhh. . Zac, now that you’ve disclosed your ‘secret’ about writing the prompts, you’ll be posting some, right?

    Last Edge wasn’t a secret, wasn’t hidden, but it was hard to get to. Alana had flown in planes so small, she’d just about had to hold her breath to give the pilot room.

    Five monks were on a narrow stone outcropping, wearing black hooded robes. Their subdued chanting, the black and white candles flickering on the low wooden tables, and hanging from the unfinished stone walls, all gave Last Edge the feel of a place on the rim of a round world.

    The tables were nestled in hollowed niches of the mountain that had been carved into a monastery. Facing a drop of a few thousand feet to an ocean too deep to think about, Alana stirred her vodka and orange juice, watched clouds drift by just below.

    “The view’s great here, isn’t it?”

    Alana turned. His black shirt hung open. She let her eyes run over a belly molded from rock, a chest sculpted in muscle and a face chiseled by a god. “I like what I’m seeing,” she said.

    “Mind if I share some sky with you?”

    Alana wanted to share more; much more. “Please,” she said.

    He cradled his iron mug of beer, both hands pressed to its sides. “Michael,” he said.

    Alana spoke her name as softly as he had told his, like a confession, then she said, “And you’re at a bar in a monastery, because?”

    Michael gazed out over the ocean, his eyes following the twisting white mist over the water. “I like the music. You could say I grew up hearing it.”

    Alana laughed, met his dark brown eyes. “Dance to it much?”

    Michael sipped his beer. “I don’t know how to dance.”

    Alana noticed how his hands were tight around the mug, as if it might drop if he let go. “Rough flight in?”

    He glanced at her, seemed to take in her red hair, her green eyes, her long legs. “You could say that.”

    “So, I could say you grew up listening to monks chant,” Alana ticked that off on a finger, held up another one. “And I could say you had a rough flight.” She leaned over the table. “What would you say?”

    Beer ran across a seam in the table, straight into Alana’s lap. “Damn.” Michael jumped up, flung his hands out, palms up.

    Alana barely noticed the monk who cleaned the table and replaced Michael’s mug. She felt the cool wetness against her legs, but only distantly. He’d crushed the iron, made a hole. But even that was beyond her notice. “What are those marks on your palms?”

    Michael turned his chair backward before he sat down. “Tattoos.”

    The doctor in Alana took his hand, felt the sinewy strength in his forearm when he resisted. She held on, pressed his fingers gently open. “Beautiful,” she said. “Angel wings.” She looked up at him. “How long have you had them?”

    “Just about forever,” Michael said.

    “That’s impossible,” Alana said. “Tattoos don’t last on the palms of our hands. The skin regenerates too fast.” She leaned closer. “That would make you something a little more than human.”

    He slid his hand from hers, stroked her cheek. “You’re as smart as you look.”

    “It’s true?” Alana said. “Angels come here?”

    Michael shrugged his broad shoulders. “We need vacations too.”


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