Cognitive Connection December 18

From taking the last final of the semester (you know who you are) to breathlessly wrapping up the last project for 2009, it seems like we’ve all got our eyes on the finish line. Whether you celebrate Hanukah, Kwanza, Christmas or all of these special days, I wish you a happy holiday weekend. And if you don’t celebrate, I wish you a peaceful, work-free weekend. You’ll find me stealing time away from my laptop to make fudge and cookies.

But, first, these are the blog posts you’ll want to check out:

Gender and pen names have been a sizzling hot topic this week, ignited by a Copyblogger post Why James Chartrand 
Wears Women’s Underpants Blogger James Chartrand (of Men with Pens blog “fame”) reveals that she has been using a pen name for the last two years—and has seen her business and income grow with the male pseudonym. This post has garnered a great deal of attention—and it should. It’s disturbing that a writer’s gender could make such a difference in money and treatment.

Several bloggers have responded to Why James Chartrand 
Wears Women’s Underpants with their own musings and open threads about if or how business might be different by using a pen name. One even pointed out how difficult it would be to conduct business strictly by email, like James does. For the record, I can’t imagine not using my own name–that’s where my blog and business name a.k.a writer originated.

The response that stands out to me the most is What’s in a pen name? In this fantastic and thought-provoking post, Feministing blogger Ann describes the “James Chartrand” pen name as “a test of whether you can get ahead by pretending to be part of the ol’ boys club. And the answer is a resounding, but not surprising, yes.”

To change the topic, I bring you three great reads on writing and rejection. Is there one without the other?

  • Bring Back Rejection Letters. Writer Keith Kahn-Harris says he understands that because of “a deluge of emails, many people are tempted to hit the delete button instead of replying.” And then he eloquently argues: “But it’s unethical and rude.”
  • Lisa Romeo Writes Writing the Seasonal Essay: This Time Next Year Do you write personal essays? Then consider Lisa’s post a must-read. You’ll love her ideas and practices for writing seasonal narratives.
  • Motherlogue’s  Interview with Wendy Nelson Tokunaga, author of Love in Translation. Any interview with a writer has potential to be interesting—and this one is especially so. Both blogger Liz Sheffield and author Wendy Nelson Tokunaga lived in Japan, which adds a lovely depth and connection in this Q&A.

Did you read anything that particularly stuck with you this week? Share, please! The floor is yours.

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4 thoughts on “Cognitive Connection December 18

  1. Thanks for the shout-out! I enjoyed interviewing Wendy and am glad to share that with readers. On another note, just last night I read Lisa’s post on this time next year and thought it was fabulous. Small world. (And, fun snow you have on your site!)

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