1. They don’t matter. NaNo novels aren’t finished products. They’re hideous messes. Yet, it’s a popular activity that many published authors engage in (probably). Why? Because they prove something to you. The social aspect of having a website and hashtag and, well, Interweb just obscure the fact that NaNo is as personal a venture as anything can be. It doesn’t take a village to write fifty thousand words.
2. Remember that “writing” thing? There’s no reason to write nothing until November. If anything, now is a perfect time to figure out your voice and practice with sketches or exercises so you don’t fizzle out and spend the rest of your month whining or looking for prompts on the forums. Plus, speaking from experience, you need a certain amount of detail in mind to reach novel length.
3. Performance anxiety. NaNo is about quantity, not quality. If you get everyone and their mom hyped up about your idea, how easy will you find crapping out the first draft of that story?
4. You need to be excited through November. Okay, maybe you are self absorbed enough (or… fine, have a long enough attention span) to still be excited and fresh on November 29. But for the rest of humanity…. Make yourself anticipate. Rev up the engine, don’t burn half your fuel half a month out.
5. No, seriously. I don’t care. Finished products are where it’s at. If you can’t deliver, don’t make the promise… and it’s not deliverable until it’s done.
Words change meaning all the time — and over time. Language historian Anne Curzan takes a closer look at this phenomenon, and shares some words that used to mean something totally different.
Words change meaning over time in ways that might surprise you. We sometimes notice words changing meaning under our noses (e.g., unique coming to mean “very unusual” rather than “one of a kind”) — and it can be disconcerting. How in the world are we all going to communicate effectively if we allow words to shift in meaning like that?
The good news: History tells us that we’ll be fine. Words have been changing meaning — sometimes radically — as long as there have been words and speakers to speak them. Here is just a small sampling of words you may not have realized didn’t always mean what they mean today.
Inequality is a complicated term. It can be applied to so many factors, for one thing. There’s income inequality, asset inequality, gender inequality, social, class, political … you name it, someone, somewhere likely feels (and is) hard done by. And, for all the focus that Thomas Piketty has gained for his analysis of a new, ever-diverging global class of the superrich, inequality is still personal. As such, we asked an international group of artists, designers, photographers and activists to provide one image that encapsulates what inequality means to them — and to explain their selection. See them all below.
This anthology offers a quick overview of twelve different oceanic species, each with a different scope of interactions with humans and within the ocean itself. Plots range from serious—capturing illegal fishermen who are doing it to survive—to lighthearted—a kid playing with a blue whale toy while his dad goes to a conference. Overall, the stories end happily, but the long-term prognosis for our oceans is grim, and that isn’t left out. Given that the point is to raise awareness, there’s no reason why it should be.
I’ve never been on the receiving end of misogyny. Before someone brings up “internalized misogyny” or whatever the cool kids are calling dissenting opinions these days, my mother is awesome and, despite growing up in a culture that pushed her into the kitchen and then marriage, never let me think I had to do any of it. I’m not a victim, and construing me as one is as insulting as doing the same based on my skin color. Continue reading →
Review from ARC. Expected publication June 3, 2014.
Given that this book is being published in America by a US-based company, I’m going to go ahead and assume that it is primarily geared towards people who aren’t intimately familiar with Singapore. The fact that it’s in English particularly doesn’t mean much; English is prevalent over there. Or should I say Singlish? I had a Singaporean roommate first year of university and the cadence of speech is quite different-lah. Continue reading →
I reviewed the first issue separately here. Checking out the first volume, now, I’m a little bummed that the mock-Lichtenstein style didn’t come over as much as I’d hoped…but this was more than made up for by the introduction of Jon’s story. While Suzie is quiet and withdrawn, Jon uses his special talent to wreak havoc and become a minor deity as far as the local porn store is concerned. His name for ‘The Quiet’ is taken from here, too…and it’s too wonderful to give away. Continue reading →
The premise is straightforward: Mr. Scratch—better, and more frequently, known as the Devil—has just been shot up a bunch during a filming of his hit reality show, soooo how did he get there? Continue reading →
I can’t recall the last time I read fiction set in the vicinity of Mongolia, so kudos to Bear for picking and sticking by it. Lots of horseflesh, a decent amount of archery, and even telling the truth! (For those of you who didn’t spend a quarter studying the history of the Persian Empire—mostly the one that tried to get the Greeks to behave—the Achaemenids especially valued three qualities in their princes: horsemanship, archery, and honesty.)
Oh, also the thing with the skies, which created a lot of opportunity to replace the standard visuals of flags, governors, and foreigners with something all the more fascinating. Depending on who’s conquered a territory, the sky over that region will literally follow the belief system of the conquerors, even when the local population keeps its own religion. Continue reading →