Storytelling Done Right: USA’s “Suits”

I’ve discovered that lackluster programs generally lack luster for obvious reasons. Often they’re simply boring. Sometimes the casting and directing isn’t great. Sometimes the characters’ motives are inconsistent, and the story line just doesn’t hang together. For the most part, if I stop watching a show I can usually say why. Shows I love, though, are a little harder to dissect. I’m always on the lookout for what the program is doing right and I’ve been struggling for a while to figure out what, exactly, USA’s law-drama “Suits” is doing to keep me hooked. Continue reading

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Goodreads

For anyone new to Goodreads someone once described it to me as “like Facebook without all the dickery, and it’s mostly just for book-lovers.” I suppose that’s just about the best way to sum it up. Instead of finding out my acquaintances’  angst-ridden political views, I can log on to Goodreads and find out what my friends are reading, check out book reviews, and get updates on book-related blogs. It’s not social-networking so much as book-networking, and that’s freaking awesome.  Continue reading

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Odyssey Podcasts

There are a lot of great writing workshops out there, too many to try to attend, really. So I was happy to discover that the Odyssey Writing Workshop offers a podcast on some of its lectures. It’s a nice way to get an idea of what to expect if you’re thinking of applying but it’s also a lovely way to pick up on some great writing advice if a six-week workshop isn’t practical for you. The podcasts are produced intermittently, and are some of the best I’ve found when it comes to writing advice.

As a nifty bonus, they have a handy page of writing tips as well.

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January, Jedi, and Justifications

According to Hugh Howey’s advice, aspiring writers should blog every day. I’m not one to argue with successful authors. The reasons I haven’t blogged more in the past fall into two camps: I don’t have any successful-author advice of my own to share (yet); and the rest of what I have is just strong opinions. But I’m trying to embrace the idea that maybe there’s nothing wrong with a strong opinion or two. So, here goes. Continue reading

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Neverwhere (kind of a book review)

A decade ago I read Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. For the first – and, I increasingly suspect, only – time in my life, when I reached the last page I turned back to the first one and started rereading it immediately. I loved the characters, the setting, the adventure, the sense of history intertwined with myth. I loved something woven through it all but it took me ten years to figure out what that something was. Continue reading

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Worldcon Highlights

I’ve been meaning to say something witty or profound about Worldcon 2015, which was a delightful experience from start to finish. I’m really glad I went, and am equally glad that it was in Spokane which meant a short journey to a relatively familiar place. I enjoyed being part of the writing-critique workshops, helping out with the kaffeeklatches, and meeting some favorite authors (notably, Gail Carriger and Matt Wallace). The other volunteers (and the people in charge of the volunteers) were lovely people to work with and I found having duties to perform helped structure an otherwise overwhelming amount of possibilities. Next Worldcon, I think I’ll arrive a day earlier, if possible.

atticus

My only real regret was something beyond my control – the air quality. Spokane was, during Worldcon, home to the worst air pollution in the country. That put a pretty severe damper on outdoor activities for a lot of folks (though, we did enjoy one clear, beautiful morning). I had hoped to do a little more walking and exploring outside – but, aside from that, I had such a good time that I’m looking forward to subsequent Worldcons. I did find the historic carousel, and made several trips to Atticus Coffee.

tiger

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Filed under Conferences, Writing

WorldCon, Spokane, Extravaganza

I’m headed to Spokane in August for WorldCon 2015 and have narrowed down my list of tourist activities (not that I’m going to have time for even these few). Within walking distance, there’s the historic River Front park carousel, which I will absolutely go get in line for, but mostly I want to ride the one tiger it features. (One tiger! One!) Continue reading

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