Posted by dahosek

Beautiful Sentences: Ron Hansen

Cold and calm under mackerel skies that pink in the sunset.

Ron Hansen, Mariette in Ecstasy.

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Beautiful Sentences: Penelope Fitzgerald

Language refers only to itself, it is not the key to anything higher.

Penelope Fitzgerald, The Blue Flower.

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Beautiful Sentences: Ron Hansen

When Jesus washed Saint Peter’s feet it was surely a lesson in humility for his apostle, not for himself. We do not like to be done for.

Ron Hansen, Mariette in Ecstasy.

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Beautiful Sentences: John Scalzi

If you could go back, why would you make the same choices? You already lived that life.

John Scalzi, Old Man’s War.

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Beautiful Sentences: Ron Hansen

Wild sleep has tossed aside the gray wool blanket and sheet and twisted her nightgown on her body so that it seems shameless and slatternly. A great gush of blond hair veils her pillow.

Ron Hansen, Mariette in Ecstasy.

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Beautiful Sentences: David Gilbert

I knew it was heading toward a dark place, but the way he twists the reader into being an accomplice, like you’re the voice in Edgar Mead’s head, that was pretty cool, like the reader affects what’s being read, kind of a Schrödinger’s cat-and-mouse game.

David Gilbert, & Sons.

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2017 in rejections (and acceptances)

I’ve upped my submissions a bit from last year, but still below last year. Once again, I fell short of my goal of 200 rejections, but came closer than last year with 160 vs 144. I did manage to set a couple records with my highest ever acceptance rate (4.2%, up from last year’s previous record 3.3%) and highest ever personal response rate (36% up from the previous record of 27%). This year’s publications were “Bartholomew L. Bartholomew” in Masque & Spectacle,  “An Outsider” in Dear America: Reflections on Race and “In Extremis” in Valparaiso Fiction Review.

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Query rejections were again mostly form although I did get one full request which ended up with no further communication. My first novel is officially trunked.

Poetry has been grim this year with, despite a much higher submission rate, no acceptances and only a handful of personal rejections.

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Beautiful Sentences: Ron Hansen

Mariette gazes around the oratory. Each nun stares at the prioress in common. Each stares at her separately.

Ron Hansen, Mariette in Ecstasy.

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2017 in Reading

My favorite reads of the year, in alphabetical order by title. I read some damned good shit this year with one re-read in the list (Run)

The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise by Georges Perec

Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia Butler 

Cake Time by Siel Ju

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey 

Fountain of Age: Stories by Nancy Kress

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich

In Progress: See Inside a Lettering Artist’s Sketchbook and Process, from Pencil to Vector by Jessica Hische  

Lies of the Saints by Erin McGraw 

Night to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier 

Run by Ann Patchett 

Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan

Sex, Class & Culture by Lillian S. Robinson 

This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen by Tadeusz Borowski 

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti 

My diversity report for the year: Women authors 50.8% (up from 48%) last year). Non-white authors were 16.3% of my reading (essentially flat from last year’s 16.4%). I chose a book different from what I might have read ordinarily to hit my diversity target 24% of the time, down slightly from last year’s 25%. Between my being careful about what gets into my to-read lists/piles and perhaps improved diversity coming from my filters, this is a continued good sign. My Dead White Men number meanwhile somehow continues to climb, up to 20.1% from 14.4% which goes to show that diversity doesn’t necessarily entail the death of the Canon. Non-US authors were 39.8% of my reading essentially flat from last year’s 39.9%. Translations were up at 14.1% compared to last year’s 10%. Books in Spanish were down to 1.3% from 3.8% courtesy of not taking a Spanish class this year and the fact that I’ve still not finished the long-ass but magnificent 2666. 

The authors I’ve met number was up a fair amount at 7.2% vs 2.5% last year to which I attribute a few friends having new books out this year. Re-reads were down to 2.8% from 5.4% (my Salinger re-read project having come to an end), authors new to me were down to 68% from 71.8% last year. Fiction and Poetry were both up slightly at 56.1% and 2.6% respectively, compared to last year’s 47.5% and 1.3%. One new stat this year: books read as research for my novel accounted for 22.7% of my reading this year. I expect that will be down next year as my research winds down, but it is up from last year’s 20% which would be higher had I started work on the novel earlier in the year.

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Beautiful Sentences: David Gilbert

Adolescence seems to open a small hole in which the rest of our lives drain.

David Gilbert, & Sons.

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