Today on Twitter, Margaret Atwood says that she is plugging along on the third book of her Madd Addam trilogy. The first two, Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood, brilliantly imagined a near-future North America (I always thought of it as Toronto and environs) ruled by biotech companies gone amok, with people sharply divided between those living in the secure Compounds and those trying to survive out in the Pleeblands.

Working away at 3rd Maddaddam, hoping brain will not fail before I finish, the author (@MargaretAtwood) writes @erikabeatty.

In Rio de Janeiro, Paulo Coelho says, Be the best and get prepared to be attacked by mediocres.

In Los Angeles, PBS host Tavis Smiley has a Thought of the Week: Don't let the facts get lost in the fictional fog. For more, see @tavissmiley.

Also in L.A., Albert Brooks, who is Tweeting against my will to shamelessly promote my new book, says today is the last day to get 2030 tax-free.

Wasn't a joke. Calif. is going to start taxing Amazon tomorrow! he tweets @AlbertBrooks.

And here in New York, Susan Orlean (@susanorlean) is trying to figure out Google+.

Someone just sent me an invite. But now I can't quite figure out how it works, she writes. Must. Read. Manual.