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Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Me: You know, I feel like we haven’t talked much lately. Was it something I said?

Muse: No, no, nothing like that. It’s just…

Me: It’s ok, I’m listening.

Muse: Thanks, this is hard for me. I just haven’t been feeling like myself. I know you want to write and I’m trying to come up with fun ideas, but I keep getting distracted.

Me: Interesting. What’s catching your eye?

Muse: Pretty things. Colorful things. Bright, shiny, fun, sometimes practical but maybe not always Things. 

Me: So you mean…

Muse: Yes! Concrete, physical items like turned wooden bottle stoppers are fun, or if it’s digital, something colorful. And self-contained. Writing a few pages in a big story feels so small, you know?

Me: I do know. Is that why we’ve been playing with photo processing?

Muse: Yep. I love it when you bring my ideas to life. Not in months or (god forbid) years, but right f-ing now. Pardon my Fffrench.

Me: No worries, it’s my second language. 

Muse: Heh. But do you see?

Me: I think so. You’re saying we should either write faster or stop focusing on writing alone. Shake it up a little. Stretch. Experiment. Do more and don’t worry about genre boundaries or shoulds or “Seriously? That is a crazy idea!” and see what happens.

Muse: Yes!

Me: Ok, then. Let’s do that:)

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Photo by Alice Alinari on Unsplash

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Here’s a heaping helping of free fiction, with a side of motivation. John Scalzi’s first novel is posted free to read on his site. It’s the web version, with each chapter its own link and charmingly antiquated page design, but the novel is fun.

Agent to the Stars

After a long day of work sometimes you just want to dust yourself off, meet an alien at the corner bar, and laugh a little. At least I do:)

Scalzi refers to this as his practice novel, but it’s well written and entertaining. (If you’d rather get the full version, the book was eventually published via traditional means, so visit your favorite retailer.) It’s also a great example of what can be done if you just knuckle up to the keyboard and see what comes out.

Which I will absolutely do. Tomorrow.

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Photo by Thom Milkovic on Unsplash

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Busy day today, and none of the three ideas I had for this post came together. Instead, have some fiction, this time read to you by Levar Burton. (You know, the Jeopardy host, and oh yes, Roots and Star Trek and Reading Rainbow and a few other things as well;)

His podcast is Levar Burton Reads, and he picks some of the best speculative short* fiction out there. So when you have a few minutes, sit back, listen, and relax.

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Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

* Shortish, anyway. Reading aloud always takes a bit of time, so a typical episode is about an hour.

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How does fiction help us reimagine the future of worlds, including our own? This essay explores the history of that relationship:

A Century of Science Fiction That Changed How We Think About the Environment

If we think about science fiction (sf) in terms of the genre’s connections to pressing issues in 21st-century culture, no topic is more urgent than climate change and the ways it promises to transform all aspects of human life, from where we live to how we cultivate our food to what energy sources will fuel our industries.

Preparedness discourse responds to change, understood as disaster, through strategies of containment. But science fiction offers something much more. It offers us a way of thinking and perceiving, a toolbox of methods for conceptualizing, intervening in, and living through rapid and widespread change — and the possibility to direct it toward an open future that we (re)make.

Here’s to thinking new thoughts, building new worlds, and making them.

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Photo by veeterzy on Unsplash

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“Life, a good life, a great life is about “Why not?” May we never forget it.” 

― Danielle Steel
Original Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Oh look, I’ve used this quote before. Guess it must be true:) Bonus quote!

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

― Shel Silverstein

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One of my favorite reads is the terrific* Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews.  

Here’s the first book:

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1) by Ilona Andrews

This husband and wife team also have a number of other great books, all starring kick-ass women willing to go to any lengths to save what needs saving.

The writing is excellent, the plots fresh and unpredictable in the best ways, and the characters, even the bad ones, are complex and well-drawn. (The authors are particularly adept at helping readers understand, and at times forgive, even the darkest characters.)

What’s not to love?

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So when I decided it was time to learn how to make a vintage-style travel postcard, I thought of Atlanta. Not the vibrant city it is now, but as Kate sees it after magic returns to the world, complete with mysterious denizens, vampire Casinos, witch jungles, shapeshifter Keeps, ruins and one lone high rise. 

Welcome to Atlanta.

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Original photos by Shashidhar SMorica PhamHidayat AbisenaMichael DenningCory GazailleToa HeftibaAustrian National Library & Christopher Alvarenga on Unsplash

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* Feel free to disagree with me, I don’t mind. Just know that I am right;)

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Have I mentioned that I have a museum? Its archives are mysterious and its vaults are deep.

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Shadows of multi-dimensional butterflies, visible only once every two-hundred thirty-four years. Faithfully recorded by Miss Kara Ellen Swanlea.

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It’s Tuesday and there’s a nasty storm coming (heavy rain and powerful winds with a potential side of hail and tornadoes, so that’s fun). Is it time to take a trip to the virtual used spaceship lot?

Who knew the Halo Pelican was almost the size of the Millennium Falcon? (Also, with apologies to Mr. Bezos and Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson, but yours are definitely not the biggest!).

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Drabble for a Monday morning.

Today might be crap. Wake to rain, the car won’t start and the kid’s hamster is under the weather too.

You’re out of coffee.

Steam builds and you dash headlong toward the Scylla of anger and the Charybdis of self-doubt. You seriously consider a cup of despair.

The boss asks you to step in last-minute for the most important meeting of the year or the kid’s hamster dies or it really is uphill both ways or (fill in the blank here) and you think, “I just… can’t.”

I hear you.

But. 

What if this is the ‘verse where you can?

— J.R. Johnson

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Photo by Tom Henell on Unsplash

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As I’ve mentioned, I sometimes see the world a little sideways. It helps me find the fun in functional and the butterfly in the weeds. It also means that some days, a perfectly normal breakfast can turn into something a little more elaborate.

I mean, there I was this morning, producing multiple batches of colored liquid: bananas and tofu, spinach and avocado and green tea, blueberries and strawberries and cranberry juice, hemp seed and turmeric and more. It’s paint by any other name. And so, smoothie art.

Fun, right? And bonus points for edibility!

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Sunday flowers, for you!

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