Recent items of interest...
* Rosemarie Urquico explains why one should date girls who read, at nonamerah.wordpress.com. I absolutely adore this little piece.
* Bruce McAllister (author of The Girl Who Loved Animals & Other Stories) has a fabulous piece in The Paris Review concerning a survey on symbolism that he sent out to 150 literary authors back in 1963 (when Bruce was a 16-year-old high school student). A surprising number of them wrote back to him. Go have a look at the results. Updated to add: Two more responses to Bruce's symbolism survey are posted here.
* Sean Ferrell (author of Numb) has a lovely little piece on writers who are feeling small, on his writing blog. (via Ellen Kushner)
* Nnedi Okorafor, recent winner of The World Fantasy Award for her extraordinary novel Who Fears Death, discusses her reaction to the award's statuette: a bust of H.P. Lovecraft. It's a thoughtful piece, and has provoked many equally thoughtful responses -- both on Nedi's blog and over on Facebook.
* Neil Gaiman talks to the brilliant Australian artist/writer/filmmaker Shaun Tan, in The Guardian.
* Jeff VanderMeer talks to the brilliant Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, at Omnivoracious.
* Delia Sherman discusses her new novel The Freedom Maze, at the Diversity in YA Fiction blog.
* Some random interesting things: Kristian Sjøgren discusses medieval knights and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, in ScienceNordic magazine. . . John Lichfield discusses the discovery of a neolithic earth mother figurine in France, in The Independent. . . Paul A. Trout discusses why we invented monsters, in Salon magazine. . .and Erik Klemetti discusses why Tolkien got it wrong when Gollum sunk into the lava of Mount Doom, in Wired.
* Maria Popova recommends five timeless books of insight on fear and creativity at Brain Pickings. (via Gwenda Bond)...and Joel Le Blanc discusses creativity and health in The TLC International Art School Xpress.
* Five children's book artists (including my hero, Lisbeth Zwerger) tell us who their favorite illustrators are, in The Guardian.
* Christina Cairns (of the Mermaid in the Attic blog) has won Jackie Morris' "A Contest of Beauty" with a stunning fairy-tale inspired piece. Bravo!
* At Studio Morran, Swedish illustrator Camilla Engman has announced that the Morran Book Project is now finished. (The book, you may remember, is filled with picture of Engman's dog, Morran, sent in by artists from all around the world.) You can leaf through the pages of the book itself here. It's charming, and I want one.
* More art: There's a very beautiful new painting in progress at Rima Staines' The Hermitage. . .and a lovely e-exhibition, "Fragmented Memories," by Catherine Verrill at Decor-Art. . . and some gorgeous work, as usual, on the Imagine Gallery blog.
* This week's video recommendation: Maurice Sendak on what being an illustrator means. (via BlueHour Studio)
* Last but by no means least: The new issue (Number 14) of Scheherzade's Bequest is now online. Edited by the excellent team of Donna Quattrone, Virgina M. Mohlere, and Erzebet YellowBoy of Cabinet des Fées, it's full of fabulously folkloric fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
Have a good weekend, everyone.