Here, before we close down for the weekend, or longer, are a few bits and pieces which have crossed my desk:
If you are a playwright, you might like to look at Plays 4U, which offers a marketplace.
Nancy Pearl's Book Lust is 'a community for book lovers', with lists of 'best' books, possibles for reading groups, and so forth.
Shelfari is a similar place, where you can post details of what you've read, and find out what other people enjoyed.
Murder Ink, the famous New York crime-fiction bookshop, is closing after all these years; founded 1972. (Link from Publishers Lunch.) It was opened by Dilys Winn, who edited two important anthologies about the crime-fiction genre: Murder Ink, and Murderess Ink. Both are available secondhand at dirt-cheap prices and are warmly recommended.
Akashic Books is a small New York publisher, dedicated to 'the reverse-gentrification of the literary world.' You might like to check out Userlands: new fiction from the blogging underground. An associated site is the Hotel St. George, where you may be able to book a room -- for your story. Interesting concept, and a place worth watching, one feels.
C.S. Harris, who also writes as Candice Proctor, has posted a provocative discussion about plotting fiction: planners versus pantsers (as in seat of). I'm a planner myself. There is much else on the Harris blog which repays study. (Thanks to Chap O'Keefe for the link.)
Blogflux is a service for bloggers and blog readers. Its aims are ambitious.
The Judith Regan saga continues, and is beginning to get very boring. If you wish to keep up with every titbit of gossip, the place to go is Galleycat. Go back to the post entitled 'Judith Regan's Coldest. Firing. Ever.' on Monday 18 December, and move forward to the present from there. There must be a dozen detailed posts; 18 by now, I shouldn't wonder.
Sara Nelson's latest Publishers Weekly editorial draws attention to the enormous success of Paul Coelho. I'm not sure whether this is inspirational, in every sense, or deeply worrying.
Duncan Fallowell has a column called High Culture in the Arts section of The First Post. How come I didn't know about this before? I suppose one can't read everything. Though Gods know, one tries.
Alana Post writes about how difficult it is to get a job these days when your application is read by a piece of software. Piece of something, anyway. The firm concerned is McGraw Hill, and the story should be a warning to anyone still in the jobs market. Reminds me of years ago, when applications (in England) were sorted by 16-year-olds just out of school. Man with PhD applies and doesn't (naturally) bother to list his O and A levels (= high-school graduation). Teenage sorter notes that applicant doesn't have any O levels, so in the bin it goes.
Alana Post's site also highlights, for some unknown reason, an amazing book called The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories. Now that one I really do have to read.
Do you believe in magic? Real magic, I mean, not the Harry P. rubbish. If the answer's yes, Galleycat has a book for you.
And, er, that's it for now. I'm going to take a week's break. Back here, all being well, on Monday 1 January.