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The current state of publishing is very grim indeed

Redactor Agonistes - The Barnes & Noble Review Highlights from an industry-wide annual survey.
6. The sheer book-length nature of books combined with the seemingly inexorable reductions in editorial staffs and the number of submissions most editors receive, to say nothing of the welter of non-editorial tasks that most editors have to perform, including holding the hands of intensely self-absorbed and insecure writers, fielding frequently irate calls from agents, attending endless and vapid and ritualistic meetings, having one largely empty ceremonial lunch after another, supplementing publicity efforts, writing or revising flap copy, ditto catalog copy, refereeing jacket-design disputes, and so on -- all these conditions taken together make the job of a trade-book acquisitions editor these days fundamentally impossible. The shrift given to actual close and considered editing almost has to be short and is growing shorter, another very old and evergreen publishing story but truer now than ever before. (Speaking of shortness, the attention-distraction of the Internet and the intrusion of work into everyday life, by means of electronic devices, appear to me to have worked, maybe on a subliminal level, to reduce the length of the average trade hardcover book.) . . . 8. You must almost entirely give up reading for pleasure.

Does surrealism make us smarter?

Bookninja -- Surrealism makes you smarter
According to research by psychologists at UC Santa Barbara and the University of British Columbia, exposure to the surrealism in, say, Kafka’s “The Country Doctor” or Lynch’s “Blue Velvet” enhances the cognitive mechanisms that oversee implicit learning functions. The researchers’ findings appear in an article published in the September issue of the journal Psychological Science. “The idea is that when you’re exposed to a meaning threat –– something that fundamentally does not make sense –– your brain is going to respond by looking for some other kind of structure within your environment,” said Travis Proulx, a postdoctoral researcher at UCSB and co-author of the article. “And, it turns out, that structure can be completely unrelated to the meaning threat.”

The Dan Brown plot generator

The interactive Dan Brown plot generator. - By Chris Wilson - Slate Magazine
Previous Langdon adventures have taken him to Rome, Paris, and London in pursuit of the Vatican's mysteries. The new novel takes place Washington, D.C., and delves into the mysteries of the Freemasons. For those of you who can't wait another moment for Dan Brown's next blockbuster, Slate has your fix: an interactive Dan Brown plot generator that takes a city and a shadowy organization and spits out the plot of the next volume in the Robert Langdon chronicles. You can either select a specific city and/or group from the dropdown menus at the top of the tool or leave it on "random" and let the computer decide. Make sure to hit "refresh"—even the same city and group have multiple story lines.

IN CASE MY NEW YOUNG-ADULT NOVEL DOESN'T SELL, HERE ARE MY BACKUP IDEAS.

McSweeney's Internet Tendency: In Case My New Young-Adult Novel Doesn't Sell, Here Are My Backup Ideas.
The Cliquesiders Two different neighborhood groups at opposite ends of the social and economic spectrum are in constant conflict with one another. One (the poor group) wears Ralph Lauren, the other (the rich group) wears Burberry. As the novel opens, a boy named Ponyboy, (because he owns a pony) is attacked as he leaves the yacht club, starting an all-out war. Eventually the two groups hire poor kids to "rumble" for them at a mall in Westchester. One of them dies after being drowned in the fountain, which is gross. However, Ponyboy will stay gold, which is a bittersweet ending since it's better than staying silver but not as good as platinum. - - - - Are You There God? It's Me, a Sexy Vampire A sexy vampire wants to know when she will get her period, which is never, since vampires don't menstruate. This causes a lot of frustration, which young vampires everywhere can identify with. There is also a school dance. . . .