The Unlikeables

It comes up in every book group I’ve ever joined, but it still irked me when a woman made this contribution during my current book group’s last meeting:

“I hated it. I didn’t like the main character at all. She just seemed so weird.”

Cue a collective internal sigh from the rest of the group.  Read More The Unlikeables

Sunday Writing: Who Are You People, Anyway?

Last week in preparation for National Novel Writing Month, we attempted to write a very short synopsis of our story idea. However, some of us get ideas for characters before we know what’s going to happen to them. And that’s a great place to start! So let’s get to know the people in your story. Read More Sunday Writing: Who Are You People, Anyway?

My West Wing, Myself

Last year, some of our writers took on recaps of The West Wing while some of our regular recap shows were on hiatus during the doldrums of bad summer TV. That got me thinking about the show again after a long time, so when the DVD boxed set went on deep discount, I couldn’t resist picking it up. I’ve started watching the series again after not having seen it in many years, and it struck me how my choice of favorite character has changed over time alongside my increased interaction with the political world. Read More My West Wing, Myself

Fictional Non-Fiction: “The Social Animal” by David Brooks

“The happiest story you’ll ever read,” claims the book jacket, and while I don’t know if I’d go that far, David Brooks’ The Social Animal is definitely an engaging read, particularly when you consider the depth of what Brooks attempts to do. Read More Fictional Non-Fiction: “The Social Animal” by David Brooks

Middlemarch Madness: Narrowing the Fictional Olds

We’ve made it to the final elimination round before the real fun starts on March 1.  We’ve already narrowed down the Sci-fi/Fantasy brackets for both Youngs and Olds, and last night we brought the fictional Youngs down to 16.

Tonight, we’ll be looking at the Fictional Olds (another big category, we have lots of axing to do!), but first let’s see the list of fictional Youngs moving on to the next round.

Harriet the Spy

Scout Finch

Nancy Drew

Margaret Simon

Ramona Quimby



Emily Byrd Starr

Anne Shirley

Claudia Kincaid

Laura Ingalls

Turtle Wexler


Jessica “Not So” Darling


Frankie Landau-Banks

Sorry ’bout your luck, Blair.  If it was the TV version of you, I think you might have stood a chance.

Moving right along, here are your nominees for fictional Olds:

Jo March from Little Women

Celie from The Color Purple

Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter

Nora from A Doll’s House

Sethe from Beloved

Ophelia, Lady Macbeth, Desdemona, Juliet, Portia, Rosalind, Kate, from Shakespeare

Frankie Addams from The Member of the Wedding

Dina Dalal from A  Fine Balance

Ayla from the Earth’s Children series

Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind

Offred from The Handmaid’s Tale

Carrie White, Steven King’s Carrie

Lily Bart from  The House Of Mirth

Irene Adler from A Study In Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes)

Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair

Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy

Jordan Baker, Myrtle, and Daisy from The Great Gatsby

Catherine from Wuthering Heights

Claire from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series

Mulan from the ballad of Hua Mulan

Dorothea Brooke, the heroine of MIDDLEMARCH

Francie Nolan from A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

And on to the poll!  Like the first two polls, pick five of the following to move on to the bracket.

Lunchtime Poll 11/29

Happy noon! (at least here in EST.)  Hope everyone is having a completely awesome day which will be remembered through the ages in story and song.  We’re typing our fingers off over here, but don’t you worry.  We’d write for you guys with bloody stubs. Read More Lunchtime Poll 11/29