Friday Feast: 10 Books Featuring Subversive Women, 10 Must-Reads for Donald Trump, on Receiving and Accepting Novel Feedback, That Uncomfortable Feeling When Writers Don’t Write, and What Happens When a Debut Author Won’t Join Social Media?

My Grandma Sue lived alone in the middle of a rice field in southern Missouri. The electricity would flicker if the wind blew too hard and the water smelled like lead. She stole all her dad’s savings and ran away to St. Louis at 15 (years later, I watched her pee on his grave). She knocked a man off his bar stool for flirting with her while she was trying to enjoy her dinner. On occasion, she walked around the house with a pistol tucked into the elastic of her gray sweatpants from Walmart. I loved the way she cussed, how she cooked a chocolate pie, and her addiction to Cosmopolitan and vintage movie and true crime magazines, which she kept at the top of her closet. I had to drag a chair over to the closet and climb up to reach them. I loved sprawling across her bed and flipping through the worn pages to read about the exploits of dangerous women who occupied the world outside my small life. The way my elementary school mind reckoned it, to be bad was to be free.

The first link this week pays tribute to some of my Grandma Sue’s fellow subversive ladies.

  • Author Melissa Ginsburg recommends these 10 Books Featuring Subversive Women: A Reading List for Defying Society’s Expectations. “They don’t buy into mainstream values. They aren’t very good at living the way they are told they’re supposed to live. Many of them are smarter, or more talented, or they feel things more deeply than the people around them.” Amen to that.
  • All readers can benefit from this list of 10 Must-reads for Donald Trump, including such venerable and diverse titles as The Elements of Style, Between the World and Me, Maus, and the United States Constitution.
  • I absolutely love this post from author and GrubStreet Chair of the Board, Katherine Sherbrooke on what it was like to receive and accept feedback on her novel. Laughing. Crying. “As I opened the file, several things struck me right away. The first was that her report was twelve pages long. Next, that it was single-spaced. Even a prolific writer doesn’t need five thousand ways to say ‘bravo!’ The third thing I absorbed before my eyes began to blur was that it had only taken her two or three lines to tell me what she thought was working in the book before launching into the list of things that needed to be reworked. Furtively checking to see if there was anyone on the boat I recognized, I forced myself to read all twelve pages, twice. Then I cried the rest of the way home.”
  • Former agent and author Nathan Bransford, a Dead Darlings favorite, returned to his blog this week to talk about that uncomfortable feeling when writers don’t write.
  • Writers at all stages are told to get involved online: write blog posts, connect with potential readers, build your brand. But what happens when a debut author won’t join social media?


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