Welcome to your regularly scheduled link-splosion! Today I have a fairly random mix for you, so let’s get to it.
As always, these are in no particular order.
Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite people. Not only is he an amazing writer, he’s a good person. Like most successful/famous creatives, he is constantly asked for advice on writing, on becoming successful, and on life in general. Gaiman gives simple, solid advice that works, provided the person asking is willing to put in the time and effort.
Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins. It has no job security of any kind, and depends mostly on whether or not you can, like Scheherazade, tell the stories each night that’ll keep you alive until tomorrow. There are undoubtedly hundreds of easier, less stressful, more straightforward jobs in the world. Personally, I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do, but that’s me.
Speaking of tumblr, I grabbed this great Neil Degrasse Tyson quote off John Green’s page a few days ago. Words to live by, if one is so inclined to live by words, thoughts, and ideals that decrease worldsuck.
Speaking of decreasing worldsuck, The Bloggess has incredible proof that people are awesome and will do things just to increase the silly in the life of a stranger. A bit of back story: Jenny Lawson, known around the internet as The Bloggess, is a writer/blogger/columnist with a deliciously depraved sense of humor and crippling mental illness. I came across her site through a friend who has many of the same mental issues I have. “You need to read this,” she told me. I can never thank her enough for that. About a year ago, in an act of random brilliance, Jenny sent a string of tweets (and an open letter) to Wil Wheaton asking for a picture of him collating paper. Because he is so freaking awesome, he posted this picture on his blog for her, which she now uses on this page to discourage PR firms from sending her spam.
A few weeks later, riding high on the collating paper success, she decided to ask Nathan Fillion for a picture of himself holding twine (skip down to ‘Part 7’). Because why not? For almost a year he has ignored a barrage of tweets, from both Jenny and her fans. Frustrated by the lack of Nathan Fillion twine-holding, Jenny reached out to Simon Pegg. This post explains the whole wonderful story. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom. Trust me – it’s totally worth it.
Last Tuesday over on Do Some Damage, Dave White wrote a post titled Act Like You’ve Been There Before about this weird pressing need most self-pub authors have in justifying why they chose to self-publish versus traditional publishing. My first thought was relief that I wasn’t the only one noticing that trend. My second thought was that it kinda comes with the territory. Most creative people have nagging self-doubt and in order to silence their own fears, they go overboard with unnecessary justification. And when I say ‘they’ I totally mean me. This post hit me pretty hard for reasons I’ve gone into at length in a half-dozen other posts.
Don’t miss this comment from Thomas Pluck. Kind of an obvious idea, but one that needs repeating.
I’m trying to remember how I came across CreatingClever.com, the precious moment I discovered this little corner of awesome, and I’m drawing a blank. Creating Clever is a site dedicated to clever things and ideas, from simple, sturdy, cost-effective notebooks to multifunctional furniture designs to amazing advertisements. The most recent find that I am head-over-heels for: the Fitbit. It’s basically a tiny pedometer on steroids. Worn like a traditional pedometer, it tracks how many steps you’ve taken, the distance you’ve covered, how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed, and can be used to track how many calories you’ve burned and how well you’re sleeping. It is a fantastic little device, and reasonably priced at $99.95.
Hold on a second. Yes, $100 is reasonable for this bit of digital technology. Consider how much went into the device, compare it to other pedometers and wrist devices on the market, then wonder how they managed to price it under $300. I want one of these things so bad, it’s already on my Christmas Wish List.
My favorite short story this week is “Ghouls” by Jen Conley. It’s sweet and chilling, a rare combination brilliantly done. As with most stories that catch my attention, I want to know more. I want to hear the rest of the story. I want to turn the page. Well done, Jen.
That’s what I have for you today guys, but the fun doesn’t stop here. Come back tomorrow for the video edition of the weekly link-tacular! If you find something you think should be included in this list, leave me a comment or send me an email at merry dot mahaffey at gmail dot com and I’ll do my best to include it next week. DFTBA!