It’s time for your weekly dose of informal writerly learnings.
I’ll start off on a negative note. Harlan Ellison died last week, but I have purposefully not posted about it or shared any posts about it on social media. Though he was influential in the science fiction universe and wrote much that is considered objectively great fiction (he was even a consultant on my favourite series ever, Babylon 5), I have never read any of his work. I wondered why that was and realized that I instinctively disliked the man in the interviews in which I saw him. Since, I have learned that he was a universal asshole and a misogynist prick. The incident with Connie Willis at the 2006 Hugos was just one, very public incident. For the record, I may read his work someday, but regardless of what I think of the man as a writer, I will always think of him as a poor example of a human being. I don’t care what his damage was, to be honest. It’s no excuse. We must do better, be better, than the pathetically low bar he set.
Now, on to the good stuff.
Patrice Williams Marks stops by Writer Unboxed: what is a sensitivity reader, and can I become one?
Susan Spann says, fear is a liar. Inspirational. Writer Unboxed
Barbara O’Neal considers light and dark, and writing with duende. “Duende is the dark magic, the force of Other, that enters the work and turns it from something interesting, maybe even really good, into something transcendent. It is born of the knowledge that death walks among us, that sorrow will mark you with her handprint, that we are all doomed to be forgotten.” Yum! Writer Unboxed
Heather Webb wonders, is juggling multiple writing projects at once is exhausting or a bright idea? Writer Unboxed
K.M. Weiland: writing as the art of thinking clearly in six steps. Helping Writers Become Authors
Victoria Mixon: five advantages of rereading.
Joanna Penn interviews Michaelbrent Collings about writing with depression. The Creative Penn
Nathan Bransford explains how to list your publishing credits in a query letter.
A.K. Perry continues her exploration of James Scott Bell’s signpost scenes: trouble brewing. DIY MFA
Ambre Dawn Leffler shares five tai chi and yoga techniques to help with writer focus. DIY MFA
Gabriela Pereira offers six writing exercises to fuel your creativity. Writer’s Digest
Jami Gold breaks down the revision process, so you can improve your storytelling.
Lisa Granshaw offers an oral history of Babylon 5, the beloved TV novel that showed us a different way to tell a science fiction story. SyFy
Thu-Huong Ha: No mas, say the writers. How bilingual authors are challenging the practice of italicizing non-English words. Quartzy
MTV’s Decoded with Franchesca Ramsey – six phrases with racist origins.
Jessica Leigh Hester: why medieval monasteries branded their books. Atlas Obscura
Arika Okrent presents the curious origins of 16 common phrases. Mental Floss
And that was Tipsday for this week.
I hope all of my Canadian friends had a LOVELY Canada Day long weekend (today will have been our Tuesday-that-feels-like-a-Monday) and that all of my friends in the US will have an equally enjoyable Independence Day holiday.
Be well until Thursday rolls around and don’t forget to come back for some quality thoughty.