Apparently using memes and GIFs is a “controversial” technique for reviewing books. While I’m certainly not clutching my pearls over this (I’ve used memes and GIFs myself,) I agree with the article’s assertion that they can be overused and just as cliche as calling a book “staggering” or “unflinching” or whatever.
So, maybe you should create your own visuals. Yeah, you can take a picture of your copy of the book, but that’s pretty boring too. Why not take things a little further and recreate an entire scene? Or take a picture of something that evokes the ambiance or the theme of the story? This is the idea behind Snap Scene, an Instagram project from Jessica Kluthe, author of Rosina, The Midwife (my review here.) From Kluthe’s website:
What is Snap Scene? It’s a simple concept. It offers another way for a reader to encounter a story/book/novel: through a photograph (a “Snap Scene”) that illustrates an otherwise text-only scene. It will offer the viewer some value by taking the viewer inside the story, the novel, the book, the essay…
If you’re a writer/author, this is a great chance to connect with some new readers. If you’re a bookworm, this is a great chance to find your next read.
What do you need to do? Stage a scene that illustrates a passage from a book/novel/story/essay. This can be as simple or as elaborate as you please. Along with the scene, in the caption below the photo I’d like to include 3 – 4 sentences from passage that inspired your Snap Scene.
“I love how his headstone is so elegant and simple,” you say, defying the prejudices of no one in particular. “Remember that when you’re ordering one for me, Brigs. I don’t want anything too fussy–no statues or angels or lambs.” “I thought gravestone lambs were just for dead babies.” You’re turning away from me, waving one hand. “Everyone’s the same age in heaven.” – From Jenn Quist’s Love Letters of Angels of Death.| #author submitted #snapscene| http://www.jenniferquist.com
To date, Snap Scene’s contributors have mostly been local authors promoting their own books, but I think the potential for reader participation is huge. It’s a cool way to share what you’re reading and help other people discover a new book that’s a little more creative than #FridayReads. It also reminds me of wildly popular Tumblr Slaughterhouse 90201, where literary quotes are juxtaposed with pop culture images, so the appetite for this kind of thing is there. Continue reading
LitFest starts tomorrow! If you are thinking, “But Laura, it’s a nonfiction festival, and you barely read any nonfiction,” rest assured, LitFest organizers are pretty flexible about including authors who write all types of books, and, as a blogger, I can (maybe, almost) call myself a nonfiction writer too. Plus, I was fortunate enough to win tickets to a couple of events, so it’s a no-brainer! Here are the events I’m attending, and my top three picks for the rest of the festival.
I’m attending these events:
- ME ME ME! From the website: Finally. An event about the most important person in the world — YOU! Get your very own one-sentence biography from a professional author, have a photo shoot, and hear bits of brilliant memoir that will be featured later at LitFest. Your host is the extraordinary Bridget Ryan. Oct. 16, 5:30 pm, at Bohemia.
This is sorely needed, as my go-to pictures online are a blurry selfie and a picture from about four years ago. I’m also terrible at bios.
Writing in Blood: From the website: A writer’s family is both rich source material and a minefield, especially when the material remains nonfiction instead of being transformed into fiction. This panel – Jenna Butler, Lawrence Hill and Jessica Kluthe, with moderator Elizabeth Withey – discusses their personal experiences, and offers their thoughts for others shaping a family memoir. Oct. 26, 2pm, Stanley Milner Theatre
I’m reading Hill’s The Book of Negros right now and it’s blowing me away. I will be purchasing a paper copy so I can get it signed. I’m excited to see the other authors too. Jessica Kluthe, of course, wrote the powerful memoir Rosina the Midwife. I heard Jenna Butler read from her book of poetry, Seldom Seen Road, at the NeWest Press Spring Spectacular earlier this year. And I love Elizabeth Withey’s One Hundred Widows project – stories about earrings with no mates. Sounds weird but the execution is beautiful.
My picks of the other events:
- CLC Brown Bag Reading Series featuring Todd Babiak on Wednesday Oct. 23, and Lawrence Hill on Friday Oct. 25, both at noon, both in the student lounge at the Old Arts Building, University of Alberta. No explanation needed, right? It’s free and it’s two awesome authors! I hope to make it to one or both of these.
- Dan Savage. Oct. 21, 7pm, Winspear Centre. I used to read his column in Vue (or was it See?) along with Josey Vogels’ “My Messy Bedroom” while riding the bus to and from University, hoping that people didn’t think I was checking out the escort ads. I’d love to see Savage say “DTMF” in person.
- Digital Tools for Writers with Omar Mouallem, Saturday Oct. 26 at 10am, Stanley Milner Library. Really sad I’m going to miss this one. Someone go and take notes, okay? It’s free!
See you there, #yegwrites peeps!