Inspired | November 2018

Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in November.

The Many Ways YA Books & The Community Isolates Teens by Vicky Who Reads

Adults’ money speaks, and adults oftentimes support YA novels with older characters.

Actually–scratch that. Characters who are in their teen years, but basically act like adults.

I find this is both because adult publishing doesn’t want YA-style stories–character relationships and lots of entertainment value. But adults do want to read these types of books, and they show it by influencing the YA category.

How to Write Teen Girl Characters by Nora Zelevansky: “There are moments when I forget that I’m not 15 years old.”

Science in Sci-Fi, Fact in Fantasy by Dan Koboldt: “Each week, we discuss elements of sci-fi or fantasy with an expert in a relevant topic area. We debunk the myths, correct the misconceptions, and offer advice on getting the details right.”

Bartering with the Facts: How a Novelist Solves a Historical Problem by Samantha Harvey: “Yet sometimes you have to get things wrong to get them to feel right. Writing historically has felt to me more like an act of translation in this sense; sometimes the word-for-word translation won’t do.”

Google Images Now Displays Copyright Info by Allen Murabayashi: “Images containing IPTC Creator, Credit, or Copyright info (all IPTC info is easily added using virtually any image editor from Photoshop to Apple Preview) will now offer an “Image Credit” link when viewing Google Images search results.”

Marvel Icon Stan Lee Leaves a Legacy as Complex as His Superheroes by Spencer Ackerman: “Attributing authorship is tricky for comic books. As a hybrid visual-textual medium, comics resist the primacy reserved for writers in prose and directors in film. The closer you focus to disentangle authorship between writer and artist, the more maddening it can become.”

There’s Money In Comics! by Stan Lee: In 1947, when the late comics legend Stan Lee was in his mid-20s and was just rising to notoriety, he contributed an article to Writer’s Digest called “There’s Money in Comics!” In the article, Lee shares his comics writing secrets—including idea generation, working with artists and publications, laying out the writing with the images, and breaking into the comics market. His advice is still invaluable today.

Chuck Wendig, Chelsea Cain, and Marvel’s Latest Missteps by Jessica Plummer: “Their laissez-faire attitude towards social media encompasses not just letting most of their (white, male) creators do whatever they want, but hanging their (marginalized) creators and staff out to dry when they’re the harassees.”

Asking Not Asking #6: Shooting for More by Tina Essmaker

The joy of choosing a nontraditional path is that you are creating something out of nothing. But that can also be the burden of it. It is a hard-won path as you feel your way in the dark. The dark can feel heavy, negative, full of fear or dread. But I want to help you reframe it. Dark can also mean hidden or concealed. Your path is obscured right now, but there is a way.

Sprezzatura: The Art Of Making Difficult Things Look Simple by Louis Chew

The trained observer sees sprezzatura as a sign that the individual has put in the work. The individual has attained such a level of mastery that he is able to conceal his movements and make difficult things look easy.

But to the untrained eye, the performer is simply talented. His acts are one of genius. What he sees tells him, in Nietzsche’s words, that “here there is no need to compete”.

‘I follow a different person every day’: using strangers to explore the city by Debbie Kent: “The idea of artists following strangers has a long heritage, as well as a natural affinity with the city, where anonymity is the rule and it is easy to hide in the crowds.”

Three Feet From God: An Oral History of Nirvana ‘Unplugged’ by Alan Siegel

The best television episode of the 1990s starred a short, blond man and his band. On November 18, 1993, at Sony Music Studios in New York City, Nirvana took on MTV Unplugged. That night, the biggest group of the decade staged one of the most hypnotically intimate rock concerts ever captured on film.

Do You Even Bake, Bro? by Dayna Evans

Still, I felt alienated by the dry manner in which tech bros explained their methods. Hadn’t women been baking bread as a duty in the home for centuries? Wasn’t bread an artisan craft, a feeling more than a fact? Was optimization really a path toward a better loaf?

What was rumbling beneath these questions became clear: Tech guys were crowding the craft with their penchant for disruption, and in promoting fact over feeling, so many would-be bread bakers — many of them women — were getting boxed out.

The Pulp Magazine Archive: Pulp magazines (often referred to as “the pulps”), also collectively known as pulp fiction, refers to inexpensive fiction magazines published from 1896 through the 1950s.

What’s the most interesting thing you saw online this month?