It’s there on Twitter, the name of a city, and the words “Pray for” in front of it. #prayforBrussels #prayforParis #prayforOrlando And I know there was tragedy, minutes or hours ago. I Google the city, read the article. Sometimes whatever happened is still ongoing, so I read another. Not a third. Never a third. Not… Continue reading #prayfor__________
What does it take to make you put down a book and walk away, never to resume reading again? A couple weeks ago, I was reading a book that was less than steller. The first chapter had seemed exceptionally funny and well-written, but within a few pages of where the Amazon preview had ended (and I had… Continue reading When Do Books Cross the Line from Outdated to Unacceptable?
An article from NPR on the phenomenon of people liking certain foods and not others came across my newsfeed. They managed to draw out a thousand words on people have preferences (imagine!) before the comments started, and like a numpty, I read them. There is no one more sanctimonious than the people whose kids happily… Continue reading Don’t Call Me A Picky Eater
There’s a perversion of the English language that goes around, and it sounds like this: “Don’t let yourself be bullied!” Let. As if you’re totally just allowing it. “Don’t let him hit you! Don’t let her run you down with a truck!” Oh, okay, I’ll get right on that. Oh, wait. Bullying is one of… Continue reading Nobody “Lets” Themselves Be Bullied
[This post comes from an exchange I had last winter about writing characters—specifically why do I write mine the way I write them. It contains spoilers for my short story “The Foreigner’s Loneliness” (read for free here!) It also discusses What Boys Are Made Of, but does not contain spoilers.] Why do I… Continue reading We Find Small Candles in the Night
One of the downsides of doing lots of formatting and design work is you begin to recognize common fonts. “But why is that a downside? Isn’t that cool to be able to look at a brochure and go ‘Calibre, Calibre, Times New Roman?’” No. Because most people use the same fonts over and over and… Continue reading Papyrus: Looking Terrible Since 332 BC
Most of writing is pretty subjective. What styles we use, adjectives we choose, the rhythms and phrasing—they all depend on the author’s voice. That said, there are a few things we can all agree are pretty awful no matter who writes them. Not with characterization or plotting or world-building, but with the building blocks we all use:… Continue reading The Ten Commandments of Writing