(I do a lot of reading online, and I clip some of what I read to Evernote. Sometimes, I write about the things I read. It seems to me that some of these clipping and thoughts might be of interest to others, so I’m experimenting with a weekly post that summarizes and discusses the most interesting things I’ve clipped in the last week. Consider this the inaugural post for my Weekly Web Clippings experiment. Let me know if you like it. It will help me decide whether to continue it long-term.)
Stephen King talks about Doctor Sleep with Entertainment Weekly
There is a great interview with Stephen King on the Entertainment Weekly site, where he talks about Doctor Sleep, his upcoming sequel to The Shining. It was interesting to discover that his thoughts on sequels were generally similar to mine:
When I really got serous about it, I thought to myself ‘Do you really want to do this? Because most sequels really suck.’ The only two exceptions I can think to that is Huckleberry Finn, a book that is a sequel to Tom Sawyer but is really a much better book, and I think Godfather II is a much better movie than The Godfather.
King had to go back and re-visit The Shining when writing Doctor Sleep. In the interview he was asked if he ever re-read any of his other work:
Not a whole lot. I read It again. I had to do that because I wanted to use it in 11/22/63 – not just because some of the characters from It show up, but because a lot of it was set in [the fictional town of] Derry, Maine, and didn’t remember the geography. I had to go back to and be as careful as I could to get everything to fit together so there would be a smooth transition from one to the other.
This was interesting because the only two Stephen King books that I have re-read are It and 11/22/63, the latter of which I am in the process of re-reading right now. It’s a great interview. Stephen King always seems to give good ones, whether they are in print or live. If you are a Stephen King fan, you might go check it out.
King Richard III found in a parking lot
One of the more fascinating things I came across this week was the news that a skeleton found buried beneath a parking lot in Leicester is that of Richard III. The kind was supposed to have died in battle, and according to what I read:
His skeleton had suffered 10 injuries, including eight to the skull, at around the time of death. Two of the skull wounds were potentially fatal. One was a “slice” removing a flap of bone, the other caused by bladed weapon which went through and hit the opposite side of the skull, a depth of more than 10cms (4ins).
Aside from the fascinating genetic identification aspect to the story, it also has to make you wonder: who else will be identified in this manner? I can almost imagine, 500 years from now, archaeologists recovering a skeleton from somewhere near the Meadowlands, and using DNA testing to show inconclusively that the remains are those of Jimmy Hoffa.
Post office will be ending Saturday delivery
I don’t think this really comes as a surprise to anyone, because the threat seemed to have loomed for some time. But this week, the post office made it official: beginning in August, Saturday delivery of first class mail will be discontinued. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t suppose this is an earth-shattering event. I was kind of hoping they’d drop Tuesday deliveries, since all I seem to get on Tuesday are circulars which go right into the recycling bin.
On the other hand, I’ve written before how writers live for the mail. And while this may not be as true today as it was twenty years ago when I first started submitting stories, I still find it fun to go to the mail box each day (Saturdays included) and see what’s there. It’s like a little moment of suspense at the end of each day. The reason I know I still enjoy that moment is because whenever I go check the mail and relative it is some kind of federal holiday, I’m always frustrated that there will be no mail delivery on that day.
Phil Libin was the subject of Lifehacker’s “How I Work” feature this week
Phil Libib is the CEO of Evernote. I got to meet him when I visited their headquarters last year. So I was pleased to find him as the subject of this week’s “How I Work” feature on Lifehacker. In particularly, his home office sounds pretty sweet:
My home office setup is finally pretty sweet, after many months of seemingly endless work. I’ve got a little room to myself with a wallpaper that’s a giant map of London. I tried to get a map of The Shire, but London was the closest thing they had. It still has place names like ‘Battersea Fields,’ ‘Westham Abbey Marsh’ and ‘Barking Reach,’ which I find relaxing for some reason. I painted the door to my home office dark green and put in outdoor-style hardware like locks, a knocker and a mail slot. This way, when I go to work at home, I kind of feel like I’m actually going somewhere. I admit that this is pretty stupid. I’ve also got a little outdoor deck where I can sit with my laptop and a dram of scotch and catch up on email while looking out over some nice hills and water.
That’s all I’ve got for this week. Let me know what you think and I’ll try this again next week and see how this experiment is going.