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?

Inspired | June 2018

Links

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

The Key Book Publishing Paths: 2018 by Jane Friedman: a downloadable chart detailing the most common publishing options

The 430 Books in Marilyn Monroe’s Library: How Many Have You Read? by Ayun Halliday

A study on the financial state of visual artists today by The Creative Independent: “With this report, we hope to paint a clearer picture of how structures of the art world work (or don’t work) to grow artists’ careers, help them earn a living, and satisfy their overall human needs.”

The Perfect Photo: Myth or Reality? by Emily Ludolph: “As creators, we can spend hours fine-tuning the tiniest details until we deem our end result “perfect.” But is there really such a thing as perfection when it comes to creativity?”

Why photojournalism matters by Elodie Mailliet Storm: “This image is the result of ten years of John’s work documenting the U.S. Mexican border, way before it increasingly became “news” under the new Administration.”

How Instagram’s algorithm works by Josh Constine

Why Photography’s B&W vs Color Debate Is No Debate At All by Lars Mensel: “Just as black and white now looks reduced to our eyes, color must have seemed gaudy to the photographers of the 1950s: It looked like embellishment.”

How everything on the internet became clickbait by Kevin Munger (via Now I Know, which I highly recommend subscribing to.)

This setup is perfect for people motivated primarily by diversion and duty — anyone with an internet connection has access to more high-quality information sources than Harvard professors 50 years ago could have dreamed of. It turns out that there just aren’t many people who want to take advantage of that; most of us are more into drama and display.

#BotSpot: Twelve Ways to Spot a Bot by Ben Nimmo: Some tricks to identify fake Twitter accounts

You Have to Fail a Little by Melissa Baumgart: “When I am flailing in my writing, certain I don’t know what I’m doing anymore, I put on Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse to remind myself that however bad it gets, it’s not as rough as being Francis Ford Coppola on the set of Apocalypse Now.”

The Hidden Queer History Behind “A League of Their Own” by Britni de la Cretaz: “By not including a gay character’s story in “A League of Their Own,” the film does to the history of the league what the owners tried to do its existence—erase lesbians from the narrative.”

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

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 #96 | 10 Things for 11 March 2018

Personal

Currently…

1. taking… steps to eliminate some of my more annoying distractions. Or trying to, at least.
2. eating… all the Cadbury Creme Eggs.
3. cutting… my hair. Finally. I’ll probably regret it in a few weeks when I start running again and can’t pull it back, but for now, it’s fantastic.
4. thinking… about art and craft and process.
5. watching… Black Panther. So good. (And this time, I don’t have to wait two months to read all the analyses!)
6. feeling… simultaneously frustrated and motivated. It’s… actually not a bad place to be.
7. saving… every single resource linked in this article for future reference. (Writers: take a look! There’s a lot of potential usefulness here.)
8. cursing… Canada Post. Which I end up doing every single time I order something. (All of my parcels did eventually arrive. So that’s nice.)
9. enjoying… the 100 Days of Black & White project more than I thought I would. Mostly. (More on that subject later today.)
10. looking… at cupcake recipes. Still.