Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in October: stories that are neither character- nor plot-driven, the good guy/bad guy myth, thoughts on digital privacy, the history of women’s restroom lounges, and more.
Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in July.
• The Complete Suite of Friends a Writer Needs by Isabel Yap
• Creative burnout is inevitable. Here are 10 ways to beat it by Co.Design and The Creative Independent: “We’re living in an era when round-the-clock communication is simply a fact of life, and the always-on culture of many workplaces can take an outsize toll on creatives, who need mental and physical energy to do their best work.”
• The Complicated Legacy of ‘The Dark Knight’ by Richard Newby
While we so often refer to The Dark Knight as the best comic book adaptation, filmmakers and audiences have largely failed to learn from its creative lessons: comic book characters are malleable. They are able to be grounded or fantastic, able to be prestigious or pure blockbuster entertainment, to be dark and gritty or light, to be character-driven or action-packed, or any variation in-between.
The film, in case you’re wondering, still holds up — especially at a time when superhero flicks, with a few exceptions, have turned assembly-line anonymity into both an aesthetic and a transactional promise. Seen through today’s glut of pro forma blockbusters, The Dark Knight seems like that rarest of movies — a mass-market product that also happens to be a personal picture driven by genuine moral vision.
• Magic Mike XXL Is Basically ‘The Odyssey,’ But With Butts by Helena Fitzgerald
The primary point of the Hero’s Journey is that the quest leads up to a decisive victory that can be won; the day can be saved, good can triumph over evil. But Magic Mike, although it seems like a quest, is a story totally uninterested in victory or in achievement.
• ‘My brain feels like it’s been punched’: the intolerable rise of perfectionism by Paula Cocozza: The pursuit of perfection, taken to extremes, can lead to OCD and depression – and the number of students reporting the problem has jumped by 33% since 1989
• Don’t Feed the Trolls, and Other Hideous Lies by Film Crit Hulk: “It starts by acknowledging that these systems are so large and pervasive and such an important part of people’s forward-facing lives that it is intrinsically necessary to protect the well-being of the people on it.”
• Why We Forget Most of the Books We Read by Julie Beck: “With its streaming services and Wikipedia articles, the internet has lowered the stakes on remembering the culture we consume even further. But it’s hardly as if we remembered it all before.”
• Living Alone and Liking It by Ashley Fetters: “The fraught nature of the “bachelorette pad” ideal, though, could be rooted in layers upon layers of historical anxiety about women living alone, and it takes only a rudimentary knowledge of the world’s power dynamics to understand why.”
What’s the most interesting thing you saw online this month?
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.
• 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)
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:
1. wondering… when the weather is going to cooperate with my C25K schedule. (I could run on my rest days, but I’ve got other workouts scheduled then, and… yeah.)
2. loving… this amazing Wonder Woman tribute. (Have I mentioned how excited I am for the Wonder Woman movie? Because I’m really excited.)
3. looking… for a new bread recipe. It’s been a while since I tried something new.
4. trying… to actually post to Twitter occasionally.
5. thinking… about story: the stories I’m trying to tell, and the stories I’m consuming, and the stories that genuinely speak to me.
6. remembering… that there’s ice cream in the freezer. (Not homemade. Still. Ice cream.)
7. feeling… ambitious. My to-do list for June is… quite a bit longer than my lists for the last few months have been.
8. signing… up for the Seven Swanky Scenes Challenge. It’s been ages since I wrote anything in script format, and I miss it.
9. getting… a little bored with taking photos of flowers. And yet I can’t seem to stop.
10. planning… a few food-related projects for the summer. I’ve got too many recipes I’ve been meaning to try.