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I recently read Elly Griffiths’ Crossing Places, in which one archaeologist encourages another to consider a map of her living room to help future generations understand her. What, he asks, would be the most important thing to notate?
Inventory, she replies, doubtless thinking that her books and her belongings will be the best guide to her personality.
No, replies the other archaeologist, who quickly annoyed me to no end.
He said, “‘Inventories are all very well in their place but they do not tell us how people lived, what was important to them, what they worshipped. No, the most important…
Hi. Here’s how to pronounce my name: say “yeeshun” for my first name — pronounce the “y” until you remember it’s there, and make it a short “u” — and “lie” for my last.
But that’s not the primary reason I tell people how to pronounce my name right off the bat. I do it because I want them to broaden their horizons a little bit. …
The other week I woke up in an absolute, hellfire snit. I had not been that cranky in a long time. (I know you have been there.)
While I was lying there in bed, kvetching out loud and in general making a nuisance of myself, I recalled a creature I’d made years ago. I call him bunt.
Like most of my artwork, bunt is the result of a combination of things: One, I was feeling pretty yuck, because it was the weekend after the 2016 election had been called for D0nald Tr*mp. Two, I was also feeling happy, because we…
Alt-text for this illustration appears below it.
Find other definitive rankings at this link:
Watercolor-and-ink illustration of a scale of goodness in orange-and-orange-adjacent beverages. Title is spelled out with illustrations of oranges and script: “[orange illustration] and [orange illustration]-adjacent.” A red-and-white striped straw serves as a divider, then, “a definitive beverage ranking.”
Scale is delineated by oranges running up and down the left hand of the page. Scale runs from “BLECH” at the top to “YES!” at the bottom.
From top to bottom:
Drawing of an astronaut head holding a pouch of orange liquid: “TANG: In space, no one can…
We’re covering the ways writers can use James Clear’s Atomic Habits to make their own good writerly habits, and ultimately build a strong writing life. This week: the second law of behavior change for writers is all about how to make a good habit attractive, and a bad habit unattractive. If you make a thing attractive enough, you’ll be drawn to it; you won’t be able to stop doing it. And if you make the bad habit unattractive enough, you won’t want to do it. It’ll be a thing you want to cast away.
(Last week we talked about what…
When The Chair, Netflix’s hot new mini-series about a university’s first-ever BIPOC chair of a department, came out, a friend posted a lamentation on the wall of a Facebook group we’re both a part of.
“This is hitting me and my writing partner hard,” she wrote. The premise and setting were similar to a pilot they’d been working on.
I’ve been where she is. The idea of narrative scarcity surrounds all of us, especially those of us who have been struggling for years to write a story starring faces that are familiar to us; stories we’ve lived or want to…
Like a lot of writers, I’m always looking for ways to better my relationship to my work. What I mean by this is that I know I feel good when I write; I know it is my business (both my métier and my vocation). I also know that it is, some days, like pulling teeth to get me to sit down and work on a long-haul project, or even producing a post here on Medium.
I had a brilliant idea for an essay over a year ago. I know it nearly to the week, because I wrote to a friend about the events that formed the backbone of the idea, and he wrote back, “I hope you are going to salvage from your e-mail to me the essay that is already mostly written here.”
I didn’t tell him I was planning on writing a whole book around these events at some point, when I found the right place to publish it; the right time. But I did save that e-mail. …