Saturday Writing: Simple Plotting for Smart Writers!

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

What Lies Are Holding You Back?

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

Outlander, Diana Gabaldon’s Abusive Romance, May Come To TV

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

Do You Have a Work Uniform?

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.

Continue reading

Which Words Are OK To Say?

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.

Continue reading