Story structure; or, why Jon Snow is just fine, thanks (Part 1)

There's been a lot of talk recently about whether Jon Snow really got killed off at the end of Game of Thrones last season. The producers say he's actually dead! The actor's been spotted in Belfast, where the Wall scenes are filmed! His hair...what about his hair? The answer to the question of whether Jon will be back is actually completely obvious, and I don't need to have secret access to George RR Martin's unpublished drafts of Book whatever-book-it-is (haven't read any), Kit Harington's … [Read more...]

Current TV watching

I've done a post like this a couple of times over the past...uh...two decades I've been posting blog entries. (Falls over, cries.) It's been fun to look back to see what I was watching in, say, 1998. And of course, with all the changes in the way we get TV over the past five years, what one person is watching may be completely different than what another person is. In fact, the television available to two people may be completely different. One reason is: We don't have cable. We haven't had … [Read more...]

The green circle

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I have been all about the running. Running marathons. Running up hills. Running a few times a week. I was also (less vocally, but with no less dedication) all about the power lifting. Squats! Deadlifts! Bench press! Overhead press! So much fun. Whenever I didn't want to go to the gym, all I'd have to do would be to remember what the end of a workout felt like in my body and off I would go. I was also always in pain. No, not from the … [Read more...]

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...]