1/1/17: Pirates and Starlogs

Here are some things I found worth sharing this week:

1. We had quite a lively discussion about piracy in the Facebook Group last week. This is an older post by Chuck Wendig on the subject. (It’s curse-y, because Wendig is always curse-y, but a very good read.)

2. Another older post by one of my favorite authors, Austin Kleon (who wrote Steal Like an Artist. Must. Read.) He keeps a log book, like a journal, only simpler. Like a planner, only in reverse. I’m doing this in 2017. Totally inspired. Here’s the book I bought to use as a log this year. If you want something cheaper, just pick up one of those fat little spiral bound notebooks and date each page. Voila. Logbook for a buck fifty. I don’t know about you, but I am totally calling mine a Starlog.

3. A fully-formed idea about a Ninja Writers Zine woke me up out of a dead sleep the other night. Then I subscribed to Zine-o-Matic, which is a Zine subscription box–because I haven’t actually seen a blog in something like twenty years and I thought a refresher was called for. (I you want to try it, I used the code CRATEJOY50 and it gave me half off the first month, making it about $7.) I’m super, super excited about this. I’m itching for a glue stick and a stapler! Keep your eye out for a call for submissions soon. I’ll let you know how the subscription pans out.

4. I came across this quote from Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs, this week: “When you pay attention to big chunks of people who typically are ignored, interesting things happen.” He was on a political rant that I didn’t particularly agree with, but this line struck me as a writer. These are the people I want to write about. How do you fit people who might otherwise be ignored into your stories?

5. One of my goals for 2017 is to write snail mail. I have eight brothers and sisters and a daughter at college, plus a dad 500 miles away. Even if I only ever write to them, I’ll keep myself busy! I came across a blog post this week that tickled me. The mid-century pen pal ads are … well, you’ll have to go look.

6. I heard Tim Federle speak at a writer’s conference once. He talked about his fairly elaborate system for handwriting thank you notes to people–like all the people–he comes in contact with. In this interview he calls it the one best thing he inherited from his parents. I’m doing this in 2017. I’m excited just thinking about it. (If you haven’t read his book Better Nate Than Ever, check it out. It’s a sweet middle grade and one of the first books my daughter Ruby ever read by herself.)

7. I saw three movies this week: Rogue One, Sing, and Passengers. I expected to love Rogue One and I did. I thought Passengers might be iffy, and it was. I didn’t have any expectations about Sing. I took my kid. And I fell in love with it. Nice surprise!

8. I’m watching The OA and, as a writer, I’m finding it super interesting. It’s 100 percent designed for binge watching. Every episode just drags you through to the next one. Really watching this like a writer has been pretty awesome. Are you watching The OA? What do you think?

9. The 31 Days of Ninja Writing book is available! Check it out in eBook and print.

10. A Novel Idea closes tomorrow. If you’re serious about writing your novel in 2017, I’d love to have you join us.

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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.