1) BE ENTHUSIASTIC. Come at the story or the property like you’re already a fan of the material. How can we make this good story EVEN BETTER? No one wants to hear your notes if you’re not into their idea.
2) YOU DON’T KNOW MORE THAN THE WRITER. This isn’t your world. You may have more years of experience in writing or creating, but you’ve never entered this world before. Be kind. Be respectful.
3) WRITE OUT YOUR QUESTIONS. I don’t know a single writer that wants to hear notes verbally. Be kind to the writer. Write out notes so that they can process them. When they’re ready, they’ll talk to you about those notes.
4) DON’T ASSUME YOU’RE GIVING NOTES. Is this just a peek into what the writer has been working on? Did they ASK for notes? NEVER GIVE NOTES UNLESS SOMEONE SPECIFICALLY ASKS YOU FOR NOTES. If you’re not sure what notes they want, ASK. If they did not ask, just be complimentary.
5) LEAD WITH WHAT YOU LIKED FIRST. We were all taught that from an early age so everyone, for the most part, does it now. There is always SOMETHING good to be said about a creative product, even if it’s just that it’s finished. Celebrate the good!
6) BELIEVE IN THE CREATOR. The creator no doubt knows there are issues with the creative piece they give you. What they need to hear is that you know they’ve got this. You know this is part of the journey, so you won’t judge them. Believe in their ability to tell their story.
I’m sure there is more, but for right now that’s all I’ve got. Be kind to the humans that tell the stories. It’s vulnerable work.
Go well, old friend.
I can see my house from here. :)
(via NASA: image taken June 28, 2018)
While I have read the Young Wizard series, the first book of yours I ever read was Xcom: UFO Defense. It's a book tjat still makes me laugh even though I've read it a dozen times. I'm curious, how come you wrote it? Are you a fan of the original games?...
I was, and am, a fan of the original games. And played them before I wrote the book. Haven’t played the new ones, however.
I haven’t attempted these guys before, but the timing seemed right. :) Herewiss and Freelorn, up at the beach house in North Arlen in the post-honeymoon period…
Wait hang on you’re Diane Duane? The one that wrote the book about wizards that I’ve loved since I was a little child? That’s so cool wow I came here for bread I didn’t expect this
:) That’s me. Check out the #Young Wizards hashtag: there’s usually some action there.
Why is there no Sirronde's World 2? Is it a rights issue, like there was for Feline Wizards? (Which I just bought, excitedly.)
Oh, no, no rights problem. It’s just not completely written yet. :)
NO ONE CAN TELL ME WHERE THE GIANT PRIMORDIAL NORSE COW WENT
WHERE THE HELL DID SHE GO?
looking for other things to lick, obvs
She went into the universe. Why do you think we call our patch the Milky Way. Follow the Milky way and you find: her.
Auðhumla presumably still exists in Ginnungagap, licking things and spontaneously generating life from her primordial tastings.
so like lemme bring this back ok
there is a giant cow out there
licking shit, possibly bringing other giant beings into creation
and like no one ever thought to mention it?
Odin’s just chillin in Asgard thinking “Yeah…look at her go. Doin’ what she does best. Thanks, grandma.”
My name is Cow
And in the gap
My busy tung
Dus lick and lap
My huf is strong
My horn is curld
I wandr round
I lik the world
ek heiti kýr
falla frá mér
sem eru hér.
en þó at tungan
mín nú frýss,
nú stend ek hér.
ek sleiki ís.
My name is cow
from me ther flow
all the rivers down belo.
and tho my tung
do pay the price,
now i stand here.
I lik the ice.
What a splendid example of safe gun handling to set before impressionable youth.
Some of whom may not even have noticed that there are guns in the photo…
@korblborp said: I think most people would be fine with being accidentally shot by Milla Jovovich, tbh :P
I say: Milla Jovovich is sexy and attractive, 9mm short rounds are neither.
Guns have one function. They turn living things into dead things.
Once you’ve accidentally shot someone (I did - my kid sister, many years ago, fortunately a low-damage ricochet - more here if you want) you’ll not regard shooting, or being shot by, even the prettiest, handsomest, whateverest person as anything but something you would rather please god not have happened.
@seriously-mike said: Those are inert lumps of plastic. Not even cheap toys.
I say: They look enough like guns that they should be treated like guns. Where does gun safety rules have an exception for Not Real Guns?
IF IT LOOKS LIKE A FUCKING* GUN, TREAT IT LIKE A FUCKING* GUN, BECAUSE GUNS ARE NOT FUCKING* TOYS.
* First time eff-word ever on my Tumblr, and I don’t even live in Merika, but please, people, if ranting like this can save just one life, I’ll fucking rant.
…It takes quite a bit… QUITE a bit… to make my husband swear. He says, “If you cuss all the time, what’ll you say when you really need to?”
Regarding gun safety and trigger discipline: today he really needed to. I concur. He’s trying to save someone’s life. (Or trying not to need to…)
“Tu vs. Vous in French. via Alliance Francaise Sydney.also a good illustration of why natural language is so hard for computers (and humans) https://t.co/PMPTCmmxEZ “
Via @AuerbachKeller on Twitter.
little-bit-of-that: I feel sorry for all the cabbies in johnlock fanfics They always just throw the...
They always just throw the money at them, can’t you just pass the money like a normal human???
At least I’m not alone in feeling this way. :)
On Monday Improbable Press’ next book will be available for pre-order as a print or e-book. Win it by signing up for IP’s free writing newsletter Spark!
Subscribe to Spark by Monday noon US eastern time, and we’ll announce the winners in the newsletter that day—and give you links for buying the book that…hmmm, seems to have Kiss and On in the title.
Spark is all about writing and fic, publishing your work and finding a community of writers, so along with maybe winning a free book, you can give and get inspiration, motivation, and more by signing up to Spark!
I may or may not* have illustrated the amazing book you can win by signing up to Spark…
*I totally illustrated it.
YES! In our next book are a dozen glorious illustrations done by the Sherlock fandom’s glorious Livia Carica, including the cover of a clockwork bee, the logo of this pending IP series!
The contest includes EVERYONE signed to the newsletter, not just new folks.
Picking two names by noon New York time on Monday—today, 4 June 2018!
(sigh) Tom would have liked this.
- Thomas Benjamin Swale, 1947-2018
My roomba is scared of thunderstorms
I was sitting at my desk just a few minutes ago, drawing, and a really loud crack of thunder went off–no power surges or anything, just thunder–and my roomba fled from its dock and started spinning in circles
I currently now have an active roomba sitting quietly on my lap
Humans will pack bond with anything.
I had a teenage girl come into my tea shop with her mother the other night. She purposely grabbed a teamaker in the most crunched-up looking box on the shelf (got banged around in shipment) and carried it protectively over to the counter. “If something’s in a damaged box I have to get it because I’m afraid no one else will love it,” she laughed nervously.
Not only will humans pack bond with anything, the empathy level of adolescent girls in particular likely has puppy-saving, world hunger-solving, war-ending powers.
I once saw a really bumpy lime at the grocery store, just a real ugly fruit. Later that night my boyfriend & I were driving home from rehearsal at like 11:30pm & passed the grocery store & I stared crying & he said “is it that lime? Do you want to go back and get it?” And I nodded and pulled the car around and bought the lime.
I saw this post once but IT GOT EVEN BETTER
Thousands of years ago, somebody looked at a flock of sheep and went, “well, they aren’t cold.”
It’s so much better than that.
So once upon a time, goats and sheep were essentially the same animal, and all of them had hair. Now, you can do some stuff with hair, but you can’t do a lot, so mostly sheep/goats were kept for meat and milk.
Except then a mutation showed up, and some of the sheep/goats had WOOL instead. And someone realized that 1. you could spin that shit, and 2. then you could WEAVE that shit, and 3. IT GREW BACK.
Generations of selective breeding ensued. Two visibly discrete species emerged, one primarily for meat and milk, and the other primarily for wool. They also have different behavioural characteristics, because independence was not helpful in a sheep, so it was bred out of them. Sheep remain one of the few non-draft animals that we farm even though they are not delicious.
The most similar part of sheep and goats that remains today is their skeleton. On an archaeological dig, you find THOUSANDS of bones and bone fragments that can only be identified as “sheep/goat”. It’s incredibly frustrating, but also kind of hilarious after you’ve spent enough time in the sun.
ANYWAY, human beings have always been smart and surprisingly good at changing nature because they want a sweater.
The entire knitting community needs to hear this.
Oh man I’m so glad I can add this to my arsenal of responses to people who say all GMOs are made of poison.
In zooarchaeology, sheep/goat is a valid category and no one will press you further on the issue.
Huh, I wonder if this is part of why Chinese only has one word for sheep/goat (羊). You can distinguish as 绵羊 “wool-sheepgoat” for sheep vs 山羊 “mountain-sheepgoat” for goat.
What the fuck do you mean sheep aren’t delicious?
i have been researching arctic and northern-european shamanism and related topics for roughly six months for this writing project, with a special focus on death rites, bog burials, human sacrifice, psychopomps and ancestor spirits, and everything pertaining to the line between life and death being really malleable in shamanic traditions, and i STILL haven’t found the answer to the question i started out with:
what was actually realtime going on with the actual people who put bodies in bogs?
i don’t need a full explanation that covers all of them. that would be impossible. i just want some kind of narrative thread i can pull. a surviving tradition much-mutated by time, maybe. a folktale. a poem. SOMETHING. but it’s all a big blank. just… here’s a dead guy. he got double murdered. then he got pickled. now he looks like a leather backpack with a face. good luck!
the thing is, one of my story’s protagonists almost ends up being a bog body when he’s fourteen years old. the reason he survives is going to depend on things like: was his father supposed to hit him over the head and them strangle him, but couldn’t go through with it, so he woke up before he could drown? or was he drugged and the old shaman helped him undertake his dream quest and then they put him in the bog when he was on his magical journey? was he staked down? did they think he was dead? was any of this optional? at that age he was still a team player, he would’ve gone voluntarily to save his tribe from the horrors of a hungry winter, but he was also scary smart and too big for his britches, so he would’ve been looking for a way to game the system right up until the water closed over his head. what was it LIKE for him? what was it like for his family, for his village? how dire did shit have to be before they’d resort to human sacrifice?
nobody knows how any of this went down in the real world. all we’ve got is bodies, some with tattoos, some with nooses, some women whose hair proteins indicate they were on a pilgrimmage… mostly we don’t even know if the deaths were ritual, or just the burials. we don’t know if they were volunteers, or forced sacrifices, or war captives, or even mystics who chose to go into the afterlife to meet the gods and become spiritual powers themselves.
which, you know, is what my guy does. because ‘smartest guy in the room’ and ‘mesolithic morality’ and ‘the only queer in my tribe’ and ‘kill the spare’ are a really dangerous combination. like. do you want evil overlords? because that’s how you get evil overlords.
anyway. i’m just frustrated. and really tired of all my search terms turning up nothing but wikipedia, encyclopedia britannica, and crystal healing sites. why are the crystal healing people on this. y’all don’t even eat reindeer. go home.
Much like that person who was researching rare crocodiles, this probably means you’re now one of the world’s experts on the topic. Your guess is as good as, and probably better than, anyone else’s. Make it up! Just pick whichever story seems to be supported by evidence and human nature, and works best for your plot - whatever you think would be the most fun to write. If new evidence comes to light supporting your theory, you’ll be lauded as a genius ahead of your time!
that would be hilarious. :D
Yeah. Been reading about that too. And I know some archaeologists and historians who work with ancient religion, customs and culture in the Nordic area.
There are many suggestions. Many ideas. Many theories. But nothing clear.
There are no conclusions. Your guess is a good as anyone else.
Btw, one of may favourite researchers, were also a comic book artist.
He muses that many of the bog-people were well fed one were even found with a good meal in his stomach. Most bog-people don’t seem to have any status symbols. Only one girl look special, with a half shaved head. But nobody know why her head is shaved.
So it could just be punishment for misbehaviour.
oh wow! what’s the artist’s name? i want to look them up!
I think at this point you’ve done enough due diligence in research that, depending on a number of factors, you can definitely make stuff up! As in, this is a second world right? Not historical fantasy? Your guess is as good as anyone’s, if you can’t find anything.
(I am not just saying this because the sooner you figure it out and write it, the sooner I get to read it. Honest.)
Re: why newagers have shamanism stuff: Lynn V. Andrews (writer of a series of new age shamanism crapola) and probably also Carlos Castaneda. There are also a few other New Age Shaman writers, but I don’t remember them off the top of my head.