The 21st Century Writer podcast

My friend Hannah Steenbock and I started a podcast together: The 21st Century Writer podcast. We discuss writing, publishing, self-publishing, and slightly more "woo" topics, such as EFT, affirmations, and hypnosis. We're all about "mindset" at the 21st Century Writer, so if you're interested in joining us, take a listen and let us know what you think! … [Read more...]

What popular movies I’ve seen

(Idea stolen from Marco Arment's page.) I saw Marco's list of which of the most popular and/or Oscar-winning movies he's seen over the past 14 years. I wondered how I faired using the same list. I had to rearrange his list somewhat, since I've seen different movies. No warranty expressed or implied with any movie...except one: Philomena is magnificent. A simple story of two people on a quest together. It's beautiful and heartbreaking. Find it. Key: Seen it, Haven’t seen … [Read more...]

How I use Evernote

I've used a ton of note-taking apps. I even asked on my other blog a while ago for recommendations for what to use. My friend Nina recommended Evernote and I looked at it. The idea of paying $45 a year to use an application seemed slightly high in this day and age of cheaper and cheaper software. Eventually, however...I came around to it. And I'm very happy I did. (Pay the $45. Just do it. Not only do you get more storage and the ability to use Evernote off-line -- which you will need, believe … [Read more...]

Seven Facts About Me As A Writer (that you may or may not know)

There's a meme going around Facebook called "Seven Facts About Me As A Writer (that you may or may not know)." I think this should be Six True Facts and One Lie, but that's not the game, so these are all true. 1. I wrote my first story when I was three years old. Yes, I was already writing before most kids had started reading. I wrote a story about a magic wishing well in about four sentences for my grandfather, which means I've always written genre. 2. I wrote so much by hand over the years … [Read more...]

The Girl on the Train: the review

Gone Girl is one of those unrepeatable phenomenon that everyone wants to repeat. It was published in June 2012, and I'm pretty sure that it's been in the top 20 ever since. (Only one other book has had greater of the social impact: Fifty Shades of Gray. And wow, do I have zero interest in discussing that book.) Everyone I know has read Gone Girl, and everyone I know has a really serious opinion on it. As opposed to most books, where people read them, and then forget about them. The Girl On The … [Read more...]

The Fall: the review

The Atlantic posted an interesting, glowing article about "The Fall" (a BBC series airing on Netflix): I can certainly sympathize with fatigue over the seemingly endless tally of dead women on television. It’s one reason I had to stop watching another popular BBC series, Luther, despite the excellent lead work of Idris Elba as the eponymous detective. You don’t have to be Gloria Steinem to find show after show in which women are objects—helpless victims, potential victims, sexual conquests, … [Read more...]

Living in the Bay Area

Often, when I'm chatting with a friend who lives somewhere else in the US (and by "chatting," I mean, "using Messages to send IMs back and forth"), I'll open Zillow or Trulia and check out what houses in their area are like. This is my version of multitasking. (You know multitasking doesn't really exist, right? When someone says they multitask, what I hear is, "I do several things at once, all of them badly and none of them with my full attention." The single best thing our schools should be … [Read more...]

Happy New Year!

(Okay, I'm a few days late with this.) Certain holidays and milestones during the year leave me completely unmoved (my birthday, for instance -- for one thing, I have kids, and their birthdays are the important ones, and also I'm kind of done with the number on mine continually going up). Others, though, really make me stop and take a moment to reflect, enjoy, or just be. Like: Christmas. I love Christmas. I completely celebrate Atheist Commercial American Christmas. If we renamed the whole … [Read more...]

The Value of Art

Revolva is a vaudeville hula hoop performer. This is a pretty cool routine of her doing an act to "Single Ladies." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHlotWFaxew#t=320 (There's an unfortunate splice in the video. Keep watching anyhow.) Apparently Oprah--you've heard of her, she's all about "Your Best Life Now"--is doing a tour called "The Life You Want," which is one of these inspirational/self-actualization things. She has Deepak Chopra and Elizabeth Gilbert with her. It will probably be a hell … [Read more...]

Writers Police Academy

I'm back from the completely amazing 2014 edition of the Writers Police Academy, held in Greensboro, North Carolina. It's a conference started by former cop (and writer) Lee Lofland to put crime writers and law enforcement personnel to discuss real-life policing topics. I first heard about it a year or two ago and checked the page much too late this January to sign up, but then there was an unexpected cancellation three weeks ago and I pounced on it. The Writers Police Academy three and a half … [Read more...]