World-building is a delight, but it can also be something of a black hole of “writing adjacent” activity.

Case in point: Around the beginning of the year, I spent some time (I don’t want to admit how much) on a fictional expansion of the National Football League.

I have a new science fiction/romance series starting up this year. It’s set in the near future and kicks off with a group of reality show contestants entering a domed habitat in the Arizona desert to compete for seats on the first corporate-sponsored colony ship to Mars. Setting the stage for a story…


Writing, by Sara.

Last month at Orycon, I had the privilege of sitting on a panel about increasing writing output. My fellow panelists included Tina Connolly, Caroline M. Yoachim, Tori Centanni, and our moderator, Dale Ivan Smith.

The discussion was excellent! We had great questions from the attendees and a helpful exchange of ideas on what we’ve been using to help us focus and be more productive when it comes to writing work. Naturally, this had all the makings of a solid productivity post, so I collected thoughts and notes from a few of my fellow panelists on the “Speeding Up Your Output”…


Aaron Rodgers gets sacked. (Seattle vs. Green Bay • December 27, 2009 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.) Photo by Mike Morbeck.

I’ve had some more thoughts about the Green Bay Packers since watching their game against the Chicago Bears this past Sunday. More specifically, I had insomnia again this morning, and that’s when my brain gets plenty active to fill the void left by lack of sleep; this time, my thoughts turned to football.

I was impressed by Aaron Rodgers’s performance in this game. Sure, he’s a heck of a player even on his off days, and it’s always a treat to watch this future Hall-of-Famer out on the field. But he’s been hurting lately. He’s been dealing with a left…


I am a Green Bay Packers fan.

I didn’t grow up watching much football, and I definitely wasn’t a player. And I’ve never been to Wisconsin.

What happened is this: Several years ago, I had a dream that — as a fortyish, short, nonathletic woman — I managed to walk on at tryouts for a professional football team whose colors were green, yellow, and white. I made the team, played as starting quarterback — of course! — and led my team to the Super Bowl. Which we won.

So, yeah, it was a pretty fun dream, even for someone who…


I’m coming to the end of my second year using a Bullet Journal — a customized, analog, notebook-based system for tracking my tasks, my schedule, and so much more. And it was this post on Lifehacker that reminded me that I still hadn’t written anything about my Bullet Journal experience.

For reference, I’m using a Moleskine Classic notebook (large, 5" x 8.25"). I find the gridded pages offer a bit more flexibility than the ruled pages while still helping me keep things relatively neat.

WHY I EVEN TRIED IT

I can’t tell you how many different tracking or calendar/schedule systems I’ve tried using over the…


My feet were cramping, and my stomach was in knots. I clung to the hand-holds and felt the rough rock under my fingers as I craned my neck upward. It was five, maybe six climbing moves to the summit, but I knew I was done.

I’d always wanted to try rock climbing. It’s good exercise, well-suited to women in general and my build in particular. I figured it would be a good way to face down my life-long acrophobia and build self-confidence. Plus, it looked fun. Signing up for a class at REI was a no-brainer.

But when I showed…


There I was in a van, one of ten journalists being driven deeper and deeper into the woods by a man we’d met at our hotel only hours before. The van stopped when we reached a fence. The driver turned off the engine and took the keys as he got out to unlock the gate. And then, we were under attack.

Gunfire erupted all around us. Our driver lay motionless on the ground. Armed soldiers in black masks stormed out of the woods. They screamed at us, waved .45s and assault rifles and fired shots into the air. …

Jennifer Willis

Writer, editor, thinker — who occasionally has something half-way coherent on her mind. Author of the Valhalla urban fantasy series. http://jennifer-willis.com

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