Category: lev raphael

Kickstarter Cookbook; Address and Writing Success

Kisckstarter Cookbook

This is an interesting project that’s now looking for funding through Kickstarter. An author named Tara Alan is trying to reach an $11,500 goal in order to produce a cookbook she’s been working on where she’s travels Europe, called Bike, Camp, Cook. I bike, but don’t cook much. Camp to me is a drag show with Miss Richfield at the Crown and Anchor in P’town. But I supposed there are others would be interested in something like this, and Kickstarter is now funding projects like this that trad publishers would never have touched in the past.

If you’re not a wizard in the kitchen, don’t worry—I’ve poured loads of cooking know-how into these pages. After years as a head chef for a two-person cycling team, I’ve made a lot of mistakes you can learn from! The first half of the book is filled with everything you’ll need to know to start making delicious meals on a one burner stove.

For me the key word here is one-burner stove. Not going to happen any time soon. But even though this isn’t for me, I actually do think there’s a market for it, and that there will be a bigger market in the future. I recently read about these mini condos popping up in cities all over the US where people are scaling back to a room that’s only a few hundred square feet.

You can read more here, where there’s even a video about the project.

Address and Writing Success

When it comes to a physical address I have always believed in the old saying, location, location, location when it comes to real estate values and for business reasons. However, this next piece by Lev Raphael has left me wondering why anyone would give him a column anywhere. This isn’t the first time I’ve felt that way about Raphael’s columns, and I’m certain it won’t be the last, but in the article he makes a broad assumption that’s not based on any viable facts, and he draws no conclusion whatsoever…other than the suggestion that writers are more successful if they live in places like NY.

And if you’re in a media nexus like New York, you’re more able to make face-to-face connections with other writers, with reviewers, with editors and agents at parties, book signings and readings. These are precious contacts that writers living in East Podunk just can’t make happen for themselves. Random contacts at summer writing workshops and yearly conferences aren’t the same thing.

Words like “media nexus” don’t impress me, not even if you’re driving a Lexus. I actually do agree this address deal used to be true up until a few years ago. I also think that where you go to college makes a huge difference, too, with regard to the kinds of lifelong contacts you’ll make. But right now I know as many struggling writers living in New York as I do in East Podunk. In fact, there’s never been a more wonderful time in the history of publishing for writers because this old rule that we all need to live in places like New York is getting weaker and weaker. And writers from places like this East Podunk aren’t facing the address challenge as much as they did in the past. Now the best address for most writers is their web address.

You can read more here if you are so inclined to read pieces that are mainly written to do nothing more than fill a page with words.

I don’t review books often, but I do review bloggers and when I see bad advice like this that might discourage the next great author from East Podunk I’m not afraid to offer my own opinion.


On Edith Wharton by Lev Raphael Huff Post

I somehow became linked to posts written by Lev Raphael. In this case it’s a good thing because I tend to enjoy Lev’s articles.

This one is particularly excellent. It’s about Edith Wharton, one of my favorite authors.

(questions)I kept hearing over drinks and dinners was this: when is it Wharton’s turn? Yes, there’ve been some movies of her work, but barely a trickle compared to the Austen flood.

Nobody’s expecting Wharton to ever be as popular as Jane Austen, with all the attendant websites and tchotchkes. After all, Wharton had a much more jaundiced view of life than Austen did, and she’s unlikely to be hijacked as a writer of romances, the way Austen has been.

I’m a huge Edith Wharton fan. I’ve read her work more than once, and I still go back and read it when nothing else looks particularly interesting. If anything, I’m not too big on Jane Austen, and I think Edith Whatron has always been highly under-recognized when compared to Austen.

I’m especially fond of Ethan Frome.

From the wiki link above:

Ethan Frome is set in a fictional New England town named Starkfield, where an unnamed narrator tells the story of his encounter with Ethan Frome, a man with dreams and desires that end in an ironic turn of events. The narrator tells the story based on an account from observations at Frome’s house when he had to stay there during a winter storm.[2]

The novel is framed by the literary device of an extended flashback. The first chapter opens with an unnamed narrator who, while spending a winter in Starkfield, sets out to learn about the life of a mysterious local figure named Ethan Frome, a man who had been injured in a horrific “smash-up” twenty-four years before. Frome is described as “the most striking figure in Starkfield”, “the ruin of a man” with a “careless powerful look…in spite of a lameness checking each step like the jerk of a chain”.

If you haven’t read Wharton, you might want to check her out. The writing style is absolute magic, and you’ll see it’s so different from the way fiction is written today.

The photo above is Edith Wharton and her home in Lenox, MA. Here’s a link to Galleycat to read more.

No "Hunger Games" Knock Off for Lev Raphael

When I received an e-mail notification for the article to which I’m linking below, I found it coincidental because I’d just written a post like it early this morning, here, titled “There’s Only One “Fifty Shades of Grey,” One “Peyton Place,” and One “Brokeback Mountain.”

This excerpt is only part of what Lev Raphael has to say on the topic of authors trying to repeat the success of books like “Hunger Games” and “Fifty Shades of Grey”:

I also don’t agree with people like blogger Jeff Goins who encourage young writers to imitate The Hunger Games — which I enjoyed as an airplane read — because it’s “the future of writing.” How can anyone be sure what people will be reading even next year? And why should people attempt work in a genre if that’s not where their natural talent lies?

Passion is a key ingredient for any book. Now, you may be passionate about copying a current success so that you can be translated into two dozen languages and sell millions of books. But is that hunger as deep as writing what you really want to, writing from your heart, writing a story you feel nobody else in the world can tell but you? If it is, good luck!

Take the time to read more here. I couldn’t agree more, and I’m glad I read it because it supports what I said this morning, which doesn’t happen often. Evidently, I’m not the only one who is annoyed at all the bad advice going around these days.