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I was actually pretty psyched to watch this movie, even once I found out it isn’t on any of the regular streaming platforms and I’d have to pay to rent it. It’s one of the few MCU flicks I’ve never actually seen, and I was really curious what it would be like. The thing is, the MCU has a really solid approach to origin stories — enough that it now feels pretty formulaic, or that nearly every new character origin is specifically twisting that formula — but having watched plenty of later movies where the Hulk is part of the…


It’s spring 2020 and we’re all trapped inside. Everywhere you look there are lists of what to watch and read while social distancing, but I’ve actually had this idea in mind since watching Avengers: Endgame. It’s hardly an original thought, but because Endgame was such a tribute to the early days of the MCU, I wanted to go back and rewatch the MCU from the beginning.

In theory, I’m going to watch and write about every movie. In reality, judging by my track record, I will probably fail out of this series in a few weeks, so I make no…


Oh boy. Okay. So part of me is tempted to not do my writing numbers round up for the year, because my writing numbers for 2017 were…not great. But actually, as subscribers to my newsletter know, my 2017 as a whole was not great. So I guess acknowledging that even though I was waaaaaay less productive than usual, writing-wise, is not a bad thing — it shows that even when the world is an unending nightmare (on both a personal and global scale), I can still get stuff done. At least, some. A little.

Okay, not much.

My 2017 writing tracker.

Let’s start with…


For my next installment in my YA Classics Catch-Up Blogathon, I read a A Separate Peace by John Knowles and discovered a flaw in my entire blogathon project, which is: I started with the assumption that I’d have something to say about all of the books I read. And it’s not that I have nothing to say about A Separate Peace, just… maybe… not that much?

But here we go.

A Separate Peace is about Gene, a scholar with a touch of athletic talent, and his best friend/prep school roommate Phineas, a happy-go-lucky, charismatic, ultra-gifted athlete. They’re at school together…


So. The Catcher in the Rye. I have to admit, this was one of the books I most dreaded reading for this project, because it’s also one of the very few I’ve read before. And the truth was, I didn’t like it very much. And it’s really hard to talk about why without feeling like I’m writing a high school English paper.

Let me talk about that for just a second. I, like many, many people, read Catcher for high school English. And I did not enjoy it. In fact, I enjoyed very little about high school English — which…


Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

Two things happened late last year. The first was that a relatively new CTO at my company began nudging the development process more firmly toward agile, and trying to build up a product focus; the second was that I realized my job, doing various operational and occasionally strategic work on the same team and product I’d been on for nine years, had gotten pretty stagnant. …


“Brick by brick” ain’t gonna do it.

Photo by 贝莉儿 NG on Unsplash

One of my favorite ways to spend a lazy summer afternoon is sitting in a park, reading a book. There’s a cute park not too far from my apartment, where I perched a few weeks ago to finish up Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. At one point, I looked up and realized my little park overlooked a row of giant brick buildings — it is New York, after all — and I was struck by how little I know about what it takes to build a building.

To me, it’s all like a small miracle. I don’t know anything about…


When to cut words, and when to keep going.

Pic by Ashim D’Silva via Unsplash

I do not believe that any writing is ever wasted. All writing is practice. Every word takes you closer to the end of your piece. All words are, when you write them, necessary.

That said, sometimes words are really bad and you have to cut them.

On the other hand, sometimes words are really bad and you need to just keep going.

How do you know which is which?

Cutting Words vs Revising Sentences

First, to clarify: when I talk about cutting words, I don’t mean deleting a word here and there to fix your prose. Or even taking out a paragraph or two. …


(First, a quick note. You can win a copy of my book, Bound by Blood and Sand. Go enter!)

I knew even less about A Tree Grows in Brooklyn when I started reading it than I had about Little Women. But it was, in a lot of a ways, a perfect answer to Little Women, right down to the moment, early on, where Francie mentions that she read and enjoyed Little Women.

Liberty vs. Poverty and Education in Francie Nelson’s Brooklyn

It’s a little hard to summary the plot of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, because (again like Little Women) there isn’t much of one. It’s the story of…


(Or, what happens when a social justice nerd gets her product ownership certification.)

As `the people of the United States` we need to `ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America` so that we can `form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.`

You know, that’s a great vision but there’s a lot happening in that user story so we’re probably going to have to break it down. And oh boy is that a lot of documentation there, no one is going to read that except me, I…

allreb

Becky. I write occasionally. www.beckyallenbooks.com

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