Podcast Review: Writing Excuses

Writing Excuses– “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart”  Everything a catchphrase for a podcast should be – except accurate.

With hosts Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Taylor, and introducing Mary Robinette Kowal in later seasons, this writing podcast (which sometimes strays into the 20-30 minute mark, when there is an especially interesting topic) is one I find useful, and the hosts really know their stuff. Most episodes deal with a specific writing topic (some craft, some on the business side of things), though they also cast from conventions, have guest hosts, and do “micro casts” answering many short questions in their “15 minutes.”

One thing I like about the craft podcasts, is they not only address the “why” of doing something, they also look at the “how” – how can the listeners apply this to their own work. Well into their 9th season, there are plenty of episodes for new listeners to choose from, and most episodes end with a writing prompt of some kind. I recommend this for any writer, and remember, you’re out of excuses, so go write!

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet

[cryout-column width=”1/3″]SecretDiaryOfLizzieBennet[/cryout-column] [cryout-column width=”2/3″] [/cryout-column]    As a treat to myself last week, I bought the Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet – it is a companion work to the YouTube series, The  Lizzie Bennet Diaries. It is, for those of you not versed in the Austen-verse, a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, where the main character, one Elizabeth (Lizzie) Bennet, is a grad student in mass communications, and the video series which end up documenting a year of her life, capturing the trials and tribulations of her own life, as well as her two sisters Jane and Lydia, and her best friend, one Charlotte Lu, as well as her infuriating and confusing interactions with Mr. Bing Lee, his sister Caroline, and his taciturn friend, William Darcy.

I was introduced to the Lizzie Bennet Diaries well after they were complete, and I don’t know if that was unfortunate (I didn’t get the joy of watching the story unfold “real time”), or a blessing (I got to watch the whole story over the course of one week). And I am not ashamed to admit they bring me great joy to watch. (Why yes, I have read and listened to Pride and Prejudice at least a half-dozen times, and own the 6-hour BBC mini-series starring Colin Firth – why do you ask?) I do love the story, and this retelling is fun, and brilliant, so once I knew the companion book was available, it was a no-brainer for me.

It should also be unsurprising that I read the book in a little more than 24 hours (if I hadn’t been visiting family, be assured it would have been consumed much more quickly). I think what the authors of the work did was brilliant – what you are reading is, supposedly, the actual journal that Lizzie keeps. The dates follow along with the posted videos, and I think it enhances the video experience with some behind-the-scenes stuff (extra information about relationships that were too private to post on the videos), and some more insight into the main character.

My first reading was just that, a reading, but I am looking forward to going back to the playlist of videos, and watching them in conjunction with the book. One experience I will not get is reading the book first, or alone, and then watching or discovering the videos. These works, the video series and the book, I feel are both stand-alone pieces that compliment each other (the entries for the days after the two most squee-inducing videos are straight-up transcripts of the videos – a brilliant move on the authors’ part), and if you are an Austen fan (or a fan of cool transmedia experiences), I would recommend this to you in a heartbeat.

Now to get myself a red moleskine of my own…

Article on Low Mood cycle, and Aqua And

Had lunch today with my sibling, and we were discussing my earlier post about Habits and Depression. After lunch, my sibling sent me a link to an article Breaking The Low Mood Cycle [strong language warning]. It is definitely applicable to me today. Particularly applicable was the part under the header But I Can’t Because of Thing that dealt with what breaking the Low Mood Cycle is, and is not about.

Also, my sibling has just started a blog, called Aqua And, as a place to “share musings, observations, pop culture rants, gender and sexuality thoughts and personal experiences of life as an aromantic non-binary person moving through a heavily gendered and relationship focused society.” Check it out if you are interested.