Questions in the Writing & Language category.
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May 24

A brief reading of something Victorian for a young woman.

My thirteen-year-old daughter was asked to read a something at a picnic we've been invited to that has a Victorian literature theme. She's looking for something that speaks to her, either poetry or prose, about what it's like being a young woman in the Victorian era. So she's also looking at more contemporary fiction pieces that include a young woman in the Victorian era, and history with young women figures. She's a pretty smart kid, who likes girls, so something about a boy crush isn't going to work. What would you recommend?
posted by Stanczyk at 3:35 PM - 15 answers

May 23

How to publish a book (not mine) without doing all the publishing?

I have money and I know of an in-progress book that I'd like to publish, but I'd like to get more concrete on how to go about it before I approach the writer. Is there a concept of partnering with an existing publisher where they do the work but I bear the cost? I'm really not interested in starting a from the ground up publishing company, but self publishing tools don't seem right for this. [more inside]
posted by haveanicesummer at 9:17 PM - 9 answers

Books Like Island of the Blue Dolphins

Mini McGee, who is 8, asks: "I loved Island of the Blue Dolphins, so I want more books similar to it. I like the adventure, the awesome surviving stuff, like wolf attacks and being alone, and it's one of the best books to me. Go ask MetaFilter, what are more books like it? Especially if they have modern things like vehicles." [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:13 PM - 79 answers

May 21

Best book on Taos Pueblo history

I'm looking for your recommendations on a book about the history of the Taos Pueblo, the people, and the area. Preferably something not written by an old white dude. Perhaps something akin to David Trauer's Rez Life, but focused onTaos/Northen New Mexico.
posted by Grandysaur at 8:44 PM - 4 answers

May 20

Seeking URL: LotR, child mortality, and post-apoc fiction

The article began with a quote from LotR movies: "A parent should never have to bury their own child." It pointed out that this wasn't in the books because, at time of writing, this was almost a nonsense statement: you could agree it was tragic, but it happened to everyone. It then went into child mortality rates and how those would shape the structure of society in a post-apoc world, especially one with fantastic elements like magical healing or superpowers. [more inside]
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:50 PM - 0 answers

May 19

Writing up interviews effectively

What are some examples of really effective writing based on interviews that balance the voice of the interviewee, framing narration, etc. in a compelling fashion for readers? Bonus points for pieces around ~1,000-1,500 words that work well as blog/Medium posts. [more inside]
posted by elephantsvanish at 9:58 AM - 3 answers

May 18

Help me ID a short story about swimming through a hole in a rock

I remember a short story about a kid swimming underwater through a hole in a rock, or maybe underneath a rock. [more inside]
posted by komara at 12:28 PM - 4 answers

Do you know of an excellent accent coach Mandarin->English in NYC?

A friend of mine is a native mandarin speaker who can express her ideas completely, but cannot do so as naturally as she would like (meaning she can always say what she wants to say, but struggles to say it how a native speaker would, both in accent and delivery). I know there have to be tons of accent coaches in the city and I can google around for some, but I'm curious if anyone has one they can recommend... quality varies so heavily with these sorts of services.
posted by wooh at 12:14 PM - 3 answers

Synonyms that rhyme

My six year old daughter asked me a simple question, but I've come up blank, and google wasn't any help. Can you think of any synonyms that rhyme? [more inside]
posted by ben30 at 5:08 AM - 38 answers

May 17

Title & Author needed for a fiction book set in an ice age.

I'm looking for the title/author of a book. I think I read the book in the late 70s/early 80s. There might've been a war on or due to the end of the world, the military was the main focus. Glaciers were moving at a rapid rate across the earth, to the point that people were being frozen in walls of ice as they passed. The protagonist might've been a woman and she was having a relationship with a man who might've been in the military. [more inside]
posted by Zack_Replica at 8:21 PM - 4 answers

May 13

it's Shakespeare! It's explicit erotica! New Shimmer is both!!!

What kind of folks would enjoy reading explicit erotica based on Shakespeare, or taking place in interesting historical settings? And where can I find those people and share my work with them? [more inside]
posted by fingersandtoes at 2:37 PM - 11 answers

Synonym for "fully supply" or "top off the missing part"?

Is there a one-word synonym for "fully supply?" The context would be meeting the needs of something in such a way that it brings a material deficiency to a sufficient amount, but not excess. Like army supplies, grocery store shelves, that kind of thing. A more wordy answer would be "topping off the missing part." I can find words that come close, but don't quite hit it. For example, "restock" may apply to store shelves, but isn't broad enough to cover all instances of this concept. Thanks for the help!
posted by SpacemanStix at 2:33 PM - 22 answers

May 12

Slang etymology question: can you identify this word/phrase & origin?

I grew up in NYC, and there was some slang my mother used about which I'm suddenly curious. The word sounds like "oon-ka-posh", and I was told it conveys over-the-top tasteless luxury simulacra, sort of like poshlust consisting exclusively of gilded plaster statues and giant crystal swans. Has anyone else heard this and have any idea where it comes from (uncaposc? une capoche?)
posted by paul_smatatoes at 8:17 PM - 13 answers

Who is the John Muir of New Hampshire's White Mountains?

I've recently started reading John Muir's My First summer in the Sierra and it is riveting stuff, a love-letter to an entire landscape that resonates with the bedrock of my soul. However, right now my heart belongs to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, rather than the Sierra Nevada of California. What writings, by what authors, are the closest equivalent to John Muir's work, but set in the Whites?
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 8:10 PM - 4 answers

How do I complete this book and refocus with a plan that works?

I've been writing a short story collection for 1 1/2 years and I'm flagging. I'm at the point of setting new goals for the project, with some helpful suggestions, or considering moving on. Help! [more inside]
posted by Kat_Dubs at 2:05 PM - 5 answers

Does a pull quote appear before or after it appears in the text?

Pull quotes in magazines and fancy layouts are often arranged artfully in the middle of a page and between columns and so on, but pull quotes online in a single article flow are trickier for me to figure out. Does one appear after that quote has already appeared in the text, or before? [more inside]
posted by knownassociate at 8:10 AM - 10 answers

May 11

Name that book v1000

A mate reccomend a fantasy book to me but couldn't remember the title and googlefu is failung me. It involved a magacian whose name translated to no-one who had to introduce his lover (who kept reincarnating) to magic in order for him to die.... [more inside]
posted by Lesium at 11:53 PM - 4 answers

Is it a candle or ?

From The Fallen Idol by Green. -He heard mrs Baines's voice like the voice in a nightmare when the small Price light has guttered in the saucer and the curtains move; it was sharp and shrill and full of malice, louder than people ought to speak,exposed.- What is "the small Price light" ? Can I see the picture of it ?
posted by mizukko at 6:10 AM - 4 answers

May 9

"This indenture made on the something something ..." ... what?

Can you read and transcribe this document which I understand to be a land deed from 1670? [more inside]
posted by komara at 8:48 PM - 14 answers

May 8

Theme ideas for project names!

My business unit in a large biotech company dealing with innovative DNA sequencing technology is soliciting ideas for a theme from which ongoing project names will be selected. The theme would have to generate an almost infinite number of project names as conceivably it will be in place for the next ten years or more. Ideas? [more inside]
posted by Everydayville at 11:21 AM - 17 answers

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