Just a quick one this week, as it’s been a very busy week (some of the busyness might be leading to interesting things, but nothing confirmed enough yet to post about).
Some people might choose to celebrate the end of a long week by getting down at the disco. Not really my scene of choice (though I do love a dance!), but here are some party animals who look great under a bit of UV lighting.
Continue reading “This week I learned: animals in ultraviolet”
It’s one of the most common pieces of advice for would-be writers: read widely, read often. Less often appended is: read thoughtfully. But that’s what it means, really. As a writer, you’re no longer just reading to be entertained – you’re reading to learn from those further along the journey than you are, studying the work of skilled craftsmen to find out how to better your own craft.
This kind of detective work is one of the best things about my own endless journey towards being a better writer: analysing fiction that appeals to me and discovering clues to improving my own fiction. Sometimes it’s a work of concentration and deep thought; sometimes, like this morning, the pieces just fall into place and suddenly I can see a picture I didn’t even know was there. This morning’s epiphany: the element that ties together the climactic moments of so many of my favourite character-driven short stories.
Continue reading “Writing a compelling, character-driven climax”
This week, I learned about how two of the most prosaic of products have turned out to have entirely unexpected benefits. Find out why scientists and nursing instructors are big fans of prank farts, and how tootsie roll candies may have actually saved lives in the Korean War.
Continue reading “This week I learned: unlikely heroes”
After a postal mishap and a full month of nigh-unbearable anticipation, Mother of Invention – the first really-truly actual book to carry a story of mine – is finally here in my hands, and I couldn’t be more excited!
The cover art by the super-talented Likhain is even more chock-full of glorious details seen up close; I swear everything she creates is like a song for my eyeballs. And I can still barely believe all the clever, talented, wonderful authors and spec fic superstars my first really truly published story is appearing alongside: Seanan McGuire, Cat Sparks, Bogi Takács (I am seriously in love with every story of eirs I read), Ambelin Kwaymullina, Nisi Shawl, Octavia Cade, Stephanie Lai, and so many more. I am thrilled and humbled and just a little bit terrified to be counted among them.
If you already have your own copy of Mother of Invention, I hope you’re enjoying it and I promise to stop frothing at the mouth with envy now. If you weren’t a Kickstarter backer and don’t have a copy of this fabulous book, it will be available to the general public in September. In the meantime, you can sign up on Twelfth Planet Press’s website to be notified when they open for preorders.
And now if you’ll excuse me, I have a couch to curl up on and some reading to do.
I’ve been in a writing drought for the last week or two. Not through lack of inspiration, much to my relief, but simply through lack of time and – which is just as important thought less often discussed – lack of mental and emotional resources to spare for it.
This week, though, I’m finally back in the saddle with plans for a brand new story. I have themes and characters and a general shape, and it’s all brimming with potential. And so I find myself confronting the single most hair-tearingly difficult challenge of writing: actually putting words down.
Continue reading “Inspiration paralysis and how to get past it”
Have you ever stopped and asked yourself, “How do I know the colour I call purple is actually the same colour someone else sees when they look at purple things”?
I’ve long been fascinated by the ways different animals – and different people – live in different sensory worlds. As it turns out, we already know that not everyone sees colour the same way – how do you explain the difference between red and green to someone who’s red-green colourblind? Is the dress blue or white? – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the different sensory worlds we can live in.
Continue reading “This week I learned: rewiring our senses”