Posts Tagged ‘links’

A Well of Inspiration

Every now and again, I feel a bit dried up, like I have squeezed every interesting idea from my head and that nothing more will come. I think we all feel that way sometimes, for whatever reason, whether we’ve pushed ourselves too hard or agreed to something that’s not our cup of tea. The nice thing is that it’s not so hard to search out and find a kernel, a spark, to ignite everything again.

I have two sources I turn to when I’m in need of inspiration: pictures and music.

I’ve talked about music here before, but as a quick refresher: I find music an excellent way to get the ol’ juices flowing. I choose music based on what I want to write – gothic for horror, symphonic metal for fantasy, etc. Whether it’s a lyric, a chord, whatever, I find that just putting music on in the background can often time hit the right nerve and inspire something great.

Pictures, well. I admit description is not my strongest strength, but sometimes a picture really hits the creative noggin right between the eyes. (I apologize, my metaphors are getting weirder the longer this entry goes on. I blame, uh, the tribble. Yes.) Take a look at this beauty I found earlier today: here.

My trigger pictures are almost always ruins. Probably says something about my psyche, but there’s something about an old building, partially reclaimed by nature, coated in moss and promising oh so many secrets, that makes my hair stand on end. Can’t you just see someone descending down, in search of some hidden treasure or a necessary clue?

The Fairest is a good site for trigger picture searching, if landscapes and nature do it for you. I know some people prefer portraits; you may find Portrait Photos to be more your speed.

How about you, Squiders? What helps in your dry times? Any websites to recommend?

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Whoops (and a Fairy Tale Anthology You Might Like)

Sooo.  It’s Sept 19.  And I know, weeks ago, that I said that today we would discuss Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire today, but it turns out that I am not actually capable of reading a 700-page book in the three days between when I stumbled home from Peru (thankfully malaria free) and this morning.

I also freely admit that I spaced it completely, between stumbling home, my high school reunion, my nephew’s birthday, the inlaws visiting, and apparently hanging out with friends Friday night that I actually cannot remember at all, and I wasn’t even drunk.

Anyway, that’s a long-winded way to say “Sorry, Squiders, I am a cad and we will do Goblet next Monday instead in all its portkey-y goodness.  Here is something Potter-related to tide you over until then.”

While I have your attention, I want to point you in the direction of a fairy tale anthology myself and my dear writing partner Sarah have put together.  It’s an awesome mix of brand new tales and twists on old favorites and is definitely worth a look.  Once Upon a Spork can be found on pretty much all internet platforms for your reading pleasure.

So, to summarize: Goblet next Monday, excellent anthology for you to read available now (click the link!), and no landsquid were harmed in the creation of this post.

Friday Round-up

My thoughts and prayers are with Japan today.  Here are some options for helping them.

Space/Science
Secret Space Shuttle Blasts Off for Second Mission
Alien Microbe Claim Starts Fight Over Meteorite
Solving the Mystery of the Most Violent Event in the Universe
Voyager Continues to Explore Edge of Solar System (Soon it will find the Borg and be transformed into V’ger and wreak havoc)
Picture of Saturn and Titan
Real Life Transformer (They programmed it to dance!  That’s awesome, but…why?)
Amazing photo of ISS/Discovery in front of the sun

Scifi/Fantasy
Interview with Robin Hobb
Giveaway for Sonia Gensler’s The Revenant (Plus other fun swag – enter by Sunday)
Review of The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
3 Ways George Lucas’s Wife Helped Star Wars
Brandon Sanderson muses on the Suvudu Cage Matches
Review of Jasper Fforde’s Shades of Grey
Favorite Undercover 80s Aliens
Interview with Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert about Hellhole
History of Science Fiction (graphic)

Misc Books
Science Fiction Author Declares War Against Literary Fiction

Writing
Query Letter Critique Contest (focused on YA)

Things of Interest
National Geographic builds House from Up! (Awesome, but…why?)

Friday Round-up

Science/Space
Pictures of Discovery Approaching the ISS
Henry Morgan’s Cannons Found in Panama (Yay, pirates!)
Picture of Discovery docking with the ISS taken from Earth!

Scifi/Fantasy
2010 Stoker Nominees
Review of Elizabeth Bear’s Grail
Review of The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Vol 5
Excerpt from M.M. Buckner’s The Gravity Pilot
Massive book giveaway
Release Date for New George R. R. Martin Book
Creepy Apollo 18 Poster
Star Wars Fans Trying to Save Lars Homestead

Misc Books
Mystery Novelist telling Story Page by Page on Lamp Post
Kindle Gives Thriller Writer a Plot for Success

Writing
Get Wired In (Not writing specific, but helpful for focusing)
Revisiting the Fantasy Hero

On We Blindly Stumble
Cats with Thumbs
Alice, the Saddest Whale in the Ocean

Friday Round-up

Space/Science
The Extraordinary Face of the Moon
Picture of Discovery on the Launch Pad
Interactive James Webb Telescope (launches in 2014)
Photos of Discovery Launch
Sotheby’s to Auction 1961 Soviet Capsule

Scifi/Fantasy
Endurance wallpapers
Locus Magazine Recommends Some of Tor’s Short Stories from 2010
Review of Ian McDonald’s Ares Express
What does poor showing of I Am Number Four mean for Scifi Movies in 2011?
Video Excerpt of The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

Apparently there is also a movement at the moment to help Nathan Fillion buy Firefly.

Misc Books
Borders’ Footprint
Notes in Margins
Tim Burton’s Children’s Book Rejection
Indie Alternatives to Closing Border Stores

Writing
Dark Fairytales Writing Community
Seven Stages of Critique Grief

The Boat, It Floats
100 Best Protest Signs from Wisconsin
China Bans Reincarnation  (I just…what?)

Friday Round-up

Science/Space
Symphony of Science
Earliest Photos of Universe Yet
Possible Previously Unknown Gas Giant in Our Solar System

Scifi/Fantasy
Literary Crushes
Book Cover Smackdown
How to Tell if You’re Going to Get the Girl

Misc Books
Books of Love Letters
Return of the Serial Novel?

Writing
Writing Full Circle
Search Engine for Writers
Is Your Writing in a Rut?

Friday Round-up

Space/Science
Private Company to put Robot on Moon (For some reason, this sounds like a terrible idea to me.  Sounds like a good way to leave trash everywhere and mess up scientific missions.)
Last Rollout of Space Shuttle Discovery (video)
Recycling the Space Program
Trying to Prove the Multiverse (The quantum physics at the bottom kind of hurts my head.)
All 1200 Possible Exoplanets Found by Kepler Visualized
NASA’s New Technique to Find Alien Life
Pictures of Space Shuttle Discovery’s Building

Scifi/Fantasy
The Furniture of Steampunk
Winners of the 2010 British Fantasy Awards
Chance to win a signed copy of Maria V. Snyder’s Inside Out
The Unreal and Why We Love It Part 6: Recognition
Star Wars Characters – Who Got Better?  Worse?
New #Torchat on Twitter
What Star Wars Job are you suited for?  (I’m a Jedi! \o/)

Misc Books
10 Greatest Child Geniuses in Literature

Writing
Stop Thrashing

Odds and Ends
Who to blame for the snow?
Science Valentines
If Social Media was High School
Headless Monk Forces Move of Amusement Park Ride
IKEA Instructions for the Large Hadron Collider

Also, this is awesome: Zombie Choose Your Own Adventure, all across the interwebs.