Snapshot #116 | 10 Things for 16 December 2018

Personal

Currently…

1. feeling… sleepy. The cat’s been waking me up in the middle of the night.
2. watching… the trailers for Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame, over and over (and over) again.
3. solving… story problems. Or trying to. (I think I am.)
4. making… cookies. The actual marathon doesn’t start until tomorrow, but I had a jar of peanut butter I had to use up, so….
5. hemming… yet another set of curtains. Thankfully, I’ve only got one room to go, and those will be nice and simple. I’m done with the sheer and/or slippery fabrics.
6. trying… to balance my time. I’ve still got a lot of things I want to get done in the next two weeks, but I don’t want to stress myself too much.
7. listening… to DJ Riko‘s 2018 Christmas Mix. Still one of my very favourite holiday traditions.
8. thinking… about my plans for next year.
9. muting… so many keywords on Twitter for the rest of the month. It’s a good time for a break.
10. wondering… why it’s so difficult to find good quality felt around here. (I’ve got a couple of craft projects in mind, and it shouldn’t be this much of a challenge.)

Inspired | September 2018

Links

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

Debut Advice: Self-care, Reviews, and Shifting from Reader to Writer by Paper Kyoko: “But in my experience, the sooner you put up boundaries and make a permanent mental shift from reader to writer, the better.”

Strictly analogue: Polaroid’s past, present and future – a photo essay by Christian Sinibaldi and Mee-Lai Stone: Guardian photographer Christian Sinibaldi tours the world’s last Polaroid film factory, in the Netherlands, the only remaining factory still making film for the much-loved instant cameras

Procrastination: It’s pretty much all in the mind by Nazima Pathan: “Experts say the study, in Psychological Science, underlines procrastination is more about managing emotions than time.”

(Deliberate) practice makes perfect: how to become an expert in anything by Aytekin Tank: “And for most areas in our lives, a baseline level of skill is enough. But if we want to truly excel, we have to push past this complacency and out of our comfort zone.”

Captain Marvel, explained by the people who reimagined her by Susana Polo

“Carol falls down all the time,” DeConnick says, “but she always gets back up — we say that about Captain America as well, but Captain America gets back up because it’s the right thing to do. Carol gets back up because ‘Fuck you.’

The Victorian Cards That Explained How to Use a Book to Flirt by Natasha Frost: “Young people wanted to flirt with one another; the cards were just one very small part of what the pearl-clutching Morning Oregonian, in 1871, called “apparently innocent indulgences” that paved the way “to ruin.””

• It’s been a while since I talked about the music I’m listening to, hasn’t it? (Besides Talking Heads, I mean.) I’m kind of loving this video from Nadine Shah. (Via. The interview is good, too.)

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

Snapshot #110 | 10 Things for 23 September 2018

Personal

Currently…

1. watching… the Captain Marvel trailer. Several times in a row. I am so incredibly excited for this movie.
2. spending… a lot of time thinking about notebooks.
3. making… ice cream and bread at the same time, because this is a weird time of year.
4. trying… to choose which books to read next. (It shouldn’t be this difficult!)
5. having… a small epiphany re: some of my anxieties around creative work.
6. getting… ready to (finally!) paint the living room. That’s one more step toward getting rid of the awful builder’s beige for good.
7. listening… to a lot Talking Heads lately. (Or… I just want to listen to ‘Life During Wartime,’ ‘Psycho Killer,’ and ‘Once in a Lifetime‘ on an endless loop. I should probably just watch Stop Making Sense again soon.)
8. craving… a change.
9. starting… to daydream about hot coffee and scarves and fingerless gloves.
10. realizing… that I haven’t written this month’s ‘Sketchbook’ post yet. So it’ll probably be late.

Inspired | May 2018

Links

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

My friend Bethany just launched her site! Go take a look—it’s fantastic, and full of advice for us busy writers.

Are ebooks dying or thriving? The answer is yes by Thu-Huong Ha: “Nobody—industry experts, authors, publishers—can gauge the true size of the self-publishing market. So no one can say for sure what’s going on in the larger book industry.”

It’s Okay to Give Up on Mediocre Books Because We’re All Going to Die by Janet Frishberg: “One, I realized literally NO ONE cares if I give up on a book except me. (And maybe the author, if I told them, which I wouldn’t do because…no.) Two, I realized that I’m going to die.”

The Cartoonists of Color Database and The Queer Cartoonists Database, spotlighting marginalized comics creators.

Why I’m Done With Guest Posting by Margo Aaron: “We’re tacitly participating in a system that’s designed to make readers reactive, angry, and thoughtless.”

The Myth of Authenticity Is Killing Tex-Mex by Meghan McCarron

Waves of cheesy, spicy, frankly pleasurable Texas-Mexican dishes, with many regional variations, continued to spiral outward in the 20th century and into the 21st: sizzling fajitas, cheese enchiladas, frozen margaritas, queso, breakfast tacos, Frito pie, barbacoa, puffy tacos. Along with the crispy tacos and burritos of Cal-Mex, Tex-Mex became one of America’s most beloved and important regional cuisines, even if most Americans didn’t realize that was what they were eating.

[SPOILERS!] Heads I Win, Tails YOU DIE: Thanos’ Plan is Even Worse Than You Know by Michael Carlisle

Do You Know Where Your Healing Crystals Come From? by Emily Atkin: “If shop owners can’t disclose their sourcing without risking business, how can consumers know that their healing crystals didn’t contribute to human trauma or environmental destruction?”

The New Passport-Poor by Atossa Araxia Abrahamian: “Passports, in other words, were invented not to let us roam freely, but to keep us in place—and in check. They represent the borders and boundaries countries draw around themselves, and the lines they draw around people, too.”

• I love this video so much: ‘Dynamite’ by Tami Neilson. (Someone linked to this on Twitter earlier in the month, but I can’t remember who. If it was you: thanks! You’re awesome!)

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

Inspired | March 2018

Links

A list of everything that’s caught my attention this month.

The Kent Test by Clarkisha Kent (via TMS)

Definition: a test designed to determine whether a film or any other piece of media has provided the audience with adequate representation of femmes of color. This is meant to encourage discussion on what good representation can look like for femmes of color and it is not the be all end all test (but it is a good place to start). The Kent Test is named after and created by culture writer and critic Clarkisha Kent.

The Lack of Published Gay YA By Gay Authors? Lets Talk About It by Kosoko Jackson

How to choose meaningful words: why language matters by Jan Fortune

Narrative and meaning go hand in hand. We all need stories that make sense of experience, particular and universal. But if the language functions to exclude our experience then how do we find this meaning?

Enlisting an audience: How Hollywood peddles propaganda by Amos Barshad

That’s the difference between our propaganda and everyone else’s. In autocratic regimes, a government-backed entity pushes it onto indifferent or unwilling consumers. In America, we, the consumers, happily demand it.

The male glance: how we fail to take women’s stories seriously by Lili Loofbourow: Male art is epic, universal, and profoundly meaningful. Women’s creations are domestic, emotional and trivial. How did we learn to misread stories so badly?

This is how the world’s most covetable cameras get made by Vlad Savov: a tour of the Hasselblad factory.

In Defense of Trends (Keep Calm and Let Them Be) by Grace Bonney

I fell into the trap of assuming that the trendiness or lower cost of something meant it would be tossed and replaced any day now. But for most people that’s not true. Something doesn’t have to be a) expensive b) utterly unique or c) classic for someone to hold onto it and love it for years to come.

Halifax’s battle of the rising sea: Will the city be ready for future floods and storms? by Matthew McClearn: The deluges Nova Scotians faced during 2003’s Hurricane Juan could be commonplace within decades – but the provincial capital has barely begun to prepare.

Kat Robichaud’s tribute to David Bowie is amazing and makes me cry in the best possible way (via Neil Gaiman’s Twitter):

Snapshot #94 | 10 Things for 11 February 2018

Personal

Currently…

1. playing… Shirley Manson and Fiona Apple’s cover of ‘You Don’t Own Me’ on endless repeat.
2. feeling… frustrated. And strangely optimistic.
3. wishing… that the good (convenient) cinema had an opening-week screening of Black Panther that wasn’t in 3D.
4. looking… for a new healthy(ish) snack. I’m a little bored with my recent go-to.
5. planning… another new feature for the blog. Fingers crossed, it’ll debut this week. (Or maybe next week… we’ll see how it goes.)
6. watching… The Force Awakens. Finally. So good, though this is the second Star Wars film in a row that’s made me cry in the theatre.
7. reading… all of the Star Wars analyses and thinkpieces I’ve had saved since December.
8. cleaning… out my closet. I’ve still got too much stuff, but at least I can find it all now.
9. getting… tired of all the rain.
10. outlining… the next story, and resisting the urge to reread the one I just finished.

Inspired | January 2018

Links

I thought that this was going to be a new monthly feature for the blog, but it’s really just a revamp of one that I let slide two years ago. This time, instead of sharing one cool thing every week, I’ll be doing a monthly roundup of all the things (articles, videos, et cetera) that I can’t stop thinking about. Enjoy!

Learning to Write Fluffy, Glittery Violence from My Little Pony by Seanan McGuire

You could get away with anything, if you made it fluffy and pink enough. You could destroy the whole world, as long as you were willing to cover it in glitter first.

Oh, this was going to be fun.

How Comic Book Storytelling is Changing Movies by Patrick (H) Willems (via TMS)

Do You Want to Be Known For Your Writing, or For Your Swift Email Responses? by Melissa Febos: How Patriarchy Has Fucked Up Your Priorities

The Organized Writer by Antony Johnston

Meet the original single lady, who wrote the book on living alone by Laura Smith: Marjorie Hillis was the “spinster-in-chief” who showed women that they could make it on their own

Frances Glessner Lee revolutionized forensic science by building mini crime scenes an excerpt from ‘BRAZEN: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World’ by Pénélope Bagieu

I Choose My Pearls: On Feminism, Fashion, and Disneyland by Tabitha Blankenbiller

Women don’t need laws to repress their fashion, comfort, identity, or preference. Our society’s deft ability to shame does all the heavy lifting. Frontierland Feminist didn’t dismantle a patriarchal demand to regulate clothing; she picked up the baton.

Losing its sparkle: the dark side of glitter by Ellie Violet Bramley

Twitter’s Great Depression by Mike Monteiro

The Incredible Possibility of a Year by Paul Jun

You’re Most Likely to Do Something Extreme Right Before You Turn 30 by Daniel H. Pink (via The Art of Non-Conformity)

Growing apart and losing touch is human and healthy by DHH

What allowed me to change and prosper was the freedom to grow apart and lose touch with people. It’s hard to change yourself if you’re stuck in the same social orbit. There’s a gravitational force that pulls you into repeating the same circular pattern over and over again. Breaking out of that takes tremendous force.

• My inner 15-year-old just found her new favourite band:

2017 Project365 #350 | Reghan Skerry

Snapshot #92 | 10 Things for 17 December 2017

Personal

Currently…

1. searching… for simple (but nice!) unscented candles. When did they become so difficult to find? (Scented candles do not belong on the dinner table. And yet.)
2. accepting… that I’m just in a weird headspace right now, and the only real creative work that will be done for the rest of the year is making plans for 2018.
3. reminding… myself that I tend to blow things out of proportion. It’s never as bad/weird/whatever as I imagine it’s going to be.
4. listening… to DJ Riko’s Merry Mixmas 2017. I say it every year, but these mixes are amazing, and they always put me in the Christmas spirit. (I’ve been downloading these mixes every year since 2005.)
5. rolling… my eyes at USPS package tracking. I’m getting updates every day (which Canada Post could learn from, btw), but my parcel keeps bouncing back and forth between San Francisco and Denver.
6. getting… myself motivated for the upcoming review & goalsetting session. It’s one of my very favourite things, and I think this year’s going to be a good one.
7. freaking… out just a little bit. I felt like I had plenty of time before Christmas and the new year… until I didn’t.
8. making… gingerbread cardamom waffles. (Like: literally, at the moment this post goes live, that’s what I’m doing.) It’s turned into a bit of a tradition on the day that I decorate the tree. They’re so good.
9. trying… to catch up with everything I ignored during NaNoWriMo. (Oh, look: Pinterest has fixed the issue with the feed, but it’s still so full of ads that I don’t want to bother.)
10. wondering… if the extended metaphor I came up with the other day is actually the seed of a story. (It could be a pretty badass YA thing. Or it could be Marvel fanfic that I’m never ever going to write. Even if it would be cool.)

Snapshot #77 | 10 Things for 21 May 2017

Personal

Currently…

1. looking… for inspiration.
2. thinking… about the ice cream I’m going to be making this summer. I’ve already got some recipes in mind. (The weirdly hot weather this week has helped.)
3. spending… just a little bit too much money. 😐 Time to bring that back under control.
4. listening… to a lot of grunge and mid-’90s alternative music. Chris Cornell’s death hit me harder than I would’ve guessed, and it’s made me dig out a lot of music that I used to adore.
5. feeling… frustrated. (With my purses & bags, specifically. None of them are quite working the way I need them to right now…. Though, I might have found a solution to at least some of my problems. Maybe.)
6. daydreaming… about tiny studio apartments with exposed brick walls. (This is not a new, or particularly unusual, thing for me.)
7. drinking… iced coffee. ❤️
8. getting… ready to start that painting. (Still. Again? Either way, I’ll probably start the actual work in the next week or so.)
9. starting… to cultivate a new(ish) obsession. It’s tied in with some of the plans I’ve been hinting at the last few weeks.
10. making… progress on the second draft of the NaNoWriMo story. Slowly, but there is progress.