1/8/2017: The Jamaica Edition

I’m away in Jamaica this week, for my MFA residency. Learning in paradise. There are a lot of mosquitoes here, but it’s definitely worth the price to be able to work with this gorgeous lagoon as my view. (Click through and follow me on Instagram!)

Here are some things I found share worthy this week:

1. I brought the book Ross Poldark by Winston Graham to read on the plane. It’s scrumptious. And the last book I’ll be able to read for pure pleasure in a while — back to a 10 book a month MFA pace for me until summer.

2. Here’s a good article about using Evernote to organize yourself. I have a goal of really figuring this tool out. I think it could be really useful for writers. I’ll keep you posted!

3. This lady has recorded every dinner she’s eaten since 1998. That link is to a list of every meal from 2016. I’m not sure why this fascinates me so much, but it does. Maybe something about infusing writing into something as mundane as dinner. And the dinner diary lady is a writer. Anyway, check it out. I ordered her book.

4. Nothing makes me happier than new posts on the Grimes Family Farm and Orchard Instagram page. My brother and our dad grow chickens, pomegranates, and all kinds of other stuff on their urban homestead in Logandale, NV. Is there any everyday thing in your family that inspires you?

5. 31 Days of Ninja Writing is available in print and digital versions. If you need a little boost, it’s a great system for building a daily writing habit. (If you join the Ninja Writers Club, you get a free copy! Use the code ANITRY to get the first month for $7.)

6. I am already obsessed with my snail mail goal for 2017. (I found this delightful little essay by Lewis Carroll on letter writing that you might enjoy.) I’ve started collecting some vintage cards and postcards and stationary from thrift stores. So, now I’m thinking — I really want to send at least one letter a day. And I’d love to send something to you. If you’d like a little piece of snail mail love and encouragement from me, respond to this email with your address. (I’d love to hear back from you, of course, but it isn’t necessary.)

7. We saw the movie Fences this week. I was expecting a sports movie, based on the trailer, but what I got was a family drama that managed to break my heart and make me laugh out loud. If you want an example of exquisite dialogue, go see this one. Watch it like a writer.

8. Here’s a post about Life, Curated. It’s about what to expect this year, if you’re joining us. We’re getting started as soon as I get home. There’s a cool exercise in there.

If you enjoyed this newsletter and you’d like to support Ninja Writers, join the club, buy a book, or forward it to a friend.

Love,

Shaunta

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Shaunta Grimes is a writer and teacher. She lives in Reno with her husband, three superstar kids, and a yellow rescue dog named Maybelline Scout. She’s on Twitter @shauntagrimes, is the author of Viral Nation and Rebel Nation, and is the original Ninja Writer.