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"Every Wednesday on the blog, we'll be featuring a back issue to give away. So far, we've given away issues edited by Lorrie Moore, Tim O'Brien & Mark Strand, and Sherman Alexie, and there's plenty more to come. Let us know how you feel about the work of this guest editor and we'll mail out an issue to a passionate reader. Here's how it works: http://word.emerson.edu/ploughshares/free-ploughshares/"
C.M. Mayo’s Madam Mayo blog has a nice piece about the writing technique of language overlay:
“What is in your character's world that he or she would feel passionate about? There's not a linear formula to follow; just take a piece of paper and jot down any nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, phrases, concepts-- in short, whatever pops into your mind that might do.”
The idea is then to incorporate these words and infuse this way of thinking directly into the character.
Read more: http://madammayo.blogspot.com/2011/07/language-overlay-technique-of-fiction.html
Here’s an interesting (scary?) article from the Washington Post about how employers are analyzing Facebook status updates to determine personalities. Apparently, the FB analysis correlates to the results of standard personality tests.
“People who tested as extroverts on the personality test tended to have more Facebook friends, but their networks were more sparse than those of neurotics, meaning that their friends were less likely to know one another than were the friends of other Facebook users. People who tested as neurotic had more “dense” networks of people who know one another and share similar interests.”
This may be my favorite part:
“The researchers also found that people with long last names tended to be have more neurotic traits, perhaps because “a lifetime of having one’s long last name misspelled may lead to a person expressing more anxiety and quickness to anger,” according to the study. People who tested high on the neurotic scale also tended to use a lot of anxiety-associated words, such as “worried,” “fearful” and “nervous,” on their Facebook posts.
They also use words describing ingestion: “pizza,” “dish, “eat.”
Golbeck says she can’t explain that last correlation. “You’d have to get a psychologist or psychiatrist on that one,” she said. “It could be that people that are neurotic talk more about what they are eating. It could be a deep correlation that we can’t understand on the surface.”
I feel like I’ve just spent an hour with Dr. Freud! Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health/facebook-profiles-reveal-personality-traits-to-researchers/2011/06/15/gIQA0csPMI_story.html
And note to self: Double-check those privacy settings!
Finally, don’t forget Sandra Beasley’s reading on Saturday at Politics & Prose. She’ll be reading from her new memoir, Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life. Details here: http://www.politics-prose.com/event/book/sandra-beasley-dont-kill-birthday-girl