Two weeks ago, in preparation for National Novel Writing Month, we attempted to write a very short synopsis of our story idea. However, some of us get ideas for characters before we know what’s going to happen to them. And that’s a great place to start! So let’s get to know the people in your story. Continue reading
In the excellent movie The Last Days of Disco, Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny play book editors at a New York publishing house. In one scene, they read over a formula for a best-seller, which has something to do with creating a really appealing character, putting him or her through hell, and having the person triumph in the end. The proto-hipster guy sneers, “It’s completely formulaic,” to which Beckinsdale’s character replies, “Of course it’s formulaic. It’s a formula.” Continue reading
Guys, I’m super excited about NaNo this year. My book Sole Possession started out as a NaNo project! I had to throw big chunks of my first draft away, though, because I didn’t plan enough up front. In this writing challenge and the ones in the next two weeks, I am going to try to save us all from that fate! Continue reading
Every once in a while, someone writes a post about how women need to stop playing around and start acting like grown adults. Here’s Jezebel’s from a couple of years ago! Here’s one on “cupcake feminism” that got a lot of play last year (warning: NSFW dessert image.) And recently, Huffington Post published a similar piece by Tracy McMillan. Continue reading
Guys. Guys. Guess what?! Last month, I got to have lunch with my very favorite romance writer!
The World Health Organization approved a nonsurgical circumcision device for adult males, which involves a rubber band. The New York Times explains that “For a heterosexual man in countries where AIDS is common, being circumcised lowers the chance of getting infected by about 60 percent.” For more about circumcision and HIV risk, click here. Continue reading
An online friend of mine feels that at her job at a university, people are always conspiring against her. I’m sure universities can be tough places, but she reported the same thing in two other jobs, which makes me think her perception might be part of the problem. She also believes she is terminally unlucky and can never catch a break. Continue reading
Last week, conservative pundit David Brooks wrote a column saying that Americans were using certain words less in their writing, and this proved the U.S. isn’t as virtuous as it used to be. For instance, a study using the Google books database “found that between 1960 and 2008 individualistic words and phrases increasingly overshadowed communal words and phrases.” Continue reading
You know that old saying about the news, “If it bleeds, it leads”? This weekly post is the opposite of that.
TW for spousal abuse and rape; spoilers abound.
Diana Gabaldon’s super-popular time travel romance from 1991, Outlander, may be coming to cable TV. Fans are speculating who will play Jamie Fraser, frequently mentioning Chris Hemsworth. Ms. Gabaldon writes on her blog, “I’m sure Mr. H. is a very fine actor, but I really don’t like widow’s peaks on men.” Hey, we all have our quirks. Some of us don’t like the hero to have a widow’s peak. And some of us don’t like the hero to beat the heroine. Continue reading
Does it seem like all the news is bad? Well, guess what? It’s not! Here are some good things that happened in the last week, y’all. Continue reading
Last week, it snowed in our town. Most people were disgusted. I liked it. Winter can stay as long as it likes; it’s the summer I can’t stand. Continue reading
Sometimes getting myself dressed for work seems way harder than it ought to be. Every once in a while, I change clothes three times before leaving the house in the morning, all the while shaking my head at myself: Seriously? You haven’t figured this out yet? The outfit that seemed okay in the morning can suddenly seem really not okay at all by the afternoon: too silly, too sloppy, or too uncomfortable. It also bothers me if I feel like my style choices are all over the place. That’s why I’m feeling really pleased with myself, to the point of smugness, for settling on a work uniform.
All of us, unless we are particularly ignorant or terrible, recognize some words as patently offensive: “gay” or “retarded” as negative adjectives, for example, or any version of the n-word out of the mouth of a non-black person. However, some words that I think are OK to use are considered sexist or ableist by others, so I’m keeping my mind open to the possibility that I might be wrong.