Adventures Around the Web Nov 11-17, 2017

Your Story Lives in the Details

It sounds simple.  Add details.  Be specific.  It’s not.  It’s an incredibly hard skill to learn, especially when writers a cultured to treat description as boring.

Leadership lessons from a female Apache pilot

An officer talks about resiliency and failure, plus being a woman in a male-dominated place. Most notable is this quote about the culture for women:

”… It is a culture shift but it has to come from the top down because that is how the military works. It can’t be organic and it has to be the men who are taking the responsibility because the women can’t change it in the very small numbers that they are in.”

When memberships in the VFW or the American Legion come up, women say they don’t feel welcome, and they’re told to join and fix it.  ^^ That’s the reason that suggestion doesn’t work.

The Meaning of the 13 Folds (of the U.S. Flag)

My experience with seeing the flag folded is from NCIS and other TV series where the soldiers or Marines in their crisp uniforms and white gloves precisely fold the flag, then hand it to the family member at a funeral.  Scroll down past the image for a text version of the image describing what each of the folds means.  Link from my reunion cabin mate Lila Sise Spurgeon.

Are You Writing a Book or a Movie?

A lot of writers gravitate to movie writing advice to write novels.  This link above shows why that’s not a good idea.  There’s value in studying movies, like I’ve been doing Die Hard as part of the Novel Structure workshop. But it’s easy to veer away from the other senses and visceral reactions when trying to write a like movie, and have POV problems.

And, finally a quote I ran across at work this week, perfect for indies.

“If you’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.”

– Donald Trump


Adventures Around the Web September 2-8, 2017

David Ignatius on the Washington Post

A diminutive woman — and a spy who defined courage

Sometimes people define bravery as someone an extra qualification a person has.  But it’s more like something you have to do because it’s right. Jeannie Rousseau de Clarens’ story about spying during World War II rings like soldiers who receive medals for bravery: She was only a small part of what everyone else was doing.  From Piper Bayard.

Greer Mcallister on Writer Unboxed

Should you Ever Write For Free?

I’ve had writers disagree with me on this (and I know at one point where I disagreed with the writers giving the same advice to me).  Writing for non-paying subconsciously tells you that you’re not good enough to compete with the pros, and it’s very easy to stay at that level.  Though I am one of the few women veterans who writes about war experiences, I’ve stopped submitting to those anthology calls.  None of them pay!  They want to help vets, but they don’t want to pay vets for their writing.  Think about that.

Phil Mawson on BBC News

The Men Who Drew The Mason-Dixon Line

When I drove from Washington State to Washington DC, I crossed over the the Mason-Dixon Line.  I’d heard the name, but didn’t know a lot of history about it.  The article has a map showing the lines, as well some cool bits about the science side.  It’s actually not accurate because of gravity!  From Piper Bayard.

Ashley Feinberg on IO9

Any Animal That Touches This Lethal Lake Turns to Stone

No, this isn’t a made up story.  It’s a real place.  Kind of creepy.  Hmm.  Might make a story.

Tim Kirkpatrick on We Are The Mighty

This is why the Navy wears bell bottoms, and it’s not for fashion

Everything on a military uniform has a purpose.


Adventures Around the Web July 2-8, 2017

I’m trying my hand with content curation this week in conjunction with writing in public.  Enjoy the stories!

Alessandra Codinha in Vogue Magazine

Women in the Military: The Female Soldiers on the Front Lines 

When I look for photos of women on the military websites, I can’t find much.  Those available are pretty limited, like an afterthought (I imagine someone in command is saying, “Oh, that’s right, we forgot to add a photo of a woman.”).  This article has stunning photos of military women, from all the different services.

Mary Elizabeth Pratt in We Are the Mighty

The 7 Everyday Struggles of Women in the Military

This was written recently, but even twenty-five years ago it was all true.  My most popular blog post of all time was on hair for women in the military.

K. Gitter on Do You Remember?

Julie Andrews Wiped Out While Filming the Sound of Music

I just saw the musical production of The Sound of Music at the Kennedy Center–my first live Rogers and Hammerstein production, so this caught my eye.  Behind the scenes filming of movies that we all like is fascinating.  This one talks about the hazards some of these actors went through.

Besides, it’s Julie Andrews.

Max Booth III in LitReactor

Exposure is Not Payment: Why You Should Start Respecting Yourself as a Writer

This link comes from Day Al-Mohamed, who used to belong to my writing group. A lot of magazines don’t pay writers, but instead promise to give the writer “exposure.” Unfortunately, this type of payment also means they don’t get good stories that will draw readers to read your story. Everyone else is going to try to take advantage of us.  We don’t need to jump in and help them.

Roz Marshall

DIY eBook Covers: Design Principles for Non-Designers (How to sell more books, 1)

This is an ebook, which I found this book via Angie’s Desk.   I know a lot about graphics, though I was never trained formally in it, so I almost passed it by.  But after I saw Angie’s description, I decided to buy it.  And I learned something new about building covers, which you would have seen (and probably not noticed) on the Granny Logic cover.