Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

On Doing the Thing You Shouldn’t Be Doing by Travis Jonker


Nerdy Book Club

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For a long time whenever the urge to write a story hit, I did a pretty good job of stopping it. Why would I want to do the thing I shouldn’t be doing?

It definitely felt like I shouldn’t be doing it. All the self-defeating stuff that comes with trying something new creatively (at least for me) came. The “What right do I have?” stuff. The “What will they think?” stuff. I couldn’t even struggle in a unique way, how was I going to write something unique?

After a lot of attempts turned back, the urge made some progress. I finally decided that the next time it hit, I was going to go with it.

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And I did. That was a while back now. Since then I realized something that I think we all know, but have trouble convincing ourselves of – that following creative urges is exactly what we…

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What To Leave Behind?


Very important re-blog—much to ponder…

Lit World Interviews

Should we be thinking about money when we write? This is one of those questions that scribblers like to ponder, and occasionally have heated debates about. Are we writing for the love of writing, or to earn a living? Certainly not everyone who writes fiction is going to be able to live off the proceeds. If that was the case the whole world would be reclining under an oak, holding forth to their readers and sipping absinthe. No. There is a small percentage of the planet’s population who can be considered career writers of stories, who have their scribbles pay for their homes and vittles without them having to go without. The rest depend on various things. Luck and being visible in the right place at the right time are pretty massive factors in whether or not some really genius and gifted writers ever get their amazing books read by…

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Coming up for a Bit of a Air . . .


Healing It’s been awhile—reasons here and here—been reblogging a lot—have a story idea—still not “all well”…

I may have a regular blog post soon; or, I may not—this healing phase is not going smoothly…

I will, however, have a new Tale for my Story Bazaar on February 9th—assuming I’m still alive…

What I’m going through is very hard to articulate—very deep, very confusing, very personal…

I’ve come through scarier times; but, this healing is still way spooky…

Perhaps I’ll do an interim post about the reading I’m doing to help me heal…

Stay tuned………

Picture Book Believing: Sharing Picture Books with Intermediate Students by Carrie Gelson


Nerdy Book Club

img_4514Stories have the potential to alter our perceptions about our world. We need stories. Lots and lots of them. Picture books, shared in a classroom where writing, thinking and discussion happen, offer countless opportunities for each of us to grow in how we understand each other, our place in our communities and in the larger world.

Stories gift us with much to think about. Challenge what we thought we knew. Offer us ways to stretch ourselves so that we move beyond where we are and do not remain stuck. Sometimes this hurts. Sometimes it is uncomfortable. Sometimes it feels absolutely right.

There is a certain magic contained in picture books. They draw us in. More importantly and more powerfully, they draw us together. Sharing a picture book is about gathering close. As the story unfolds, emotions, thoughts and reactions weave in and around the listeners. New learning is shared learning…

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Worldbuilding for SF and other fiction, reimagined for roleplayers. And pony books. Podcast at Fictoplasm


Nail Your Novel

How do you create a world for a science fiction novel or a slipstream element for a more contemporary story? I’ve done both with my two fiction outings, My Memories of a Future Life and Lifeform Three. So Ralph Lovegrove invited me to guest on Fictoplasm, his podcast for roleplayers.

You probably know I’m fond of stories that flirt with the edges of SF and fable, and we discussed quite a few, some of which are in this thumbnail above. And Ralph has made detailed show notes with the titles and a time stamp so you can jump to exactly the bits that interest you.

Ralph’s podcast likes to explore unconventional inspirations for roleplayers, so I offered him a challenge. Could I convince him that the pony story, beloved of horse-mad kids (and grown-up kids) was worth a look? He was more than game – and it gave…

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