True Facts About Science


I was never very good at science. You have to have some focus to do well there, and I was always getting lost in color and shape and story and wandering off. But I can pay attention for four minutes, one of the many reasons I like Ze Frank’s True Facts You Tube series.

Here, watch this one on chameleons. (SpitTake Alert: Do not drink anything while you watch.)

Or if you’d rather, here’s one on the mantis shrimp:

Or this one on the katydid, which is really a conversation between the katydid and evolution. There’s some swearing.

The one on the fruit bat is excellent but dirty (I have a thing for fruit bats because of Pratchett). The one on the land snail is downright pornographic. Okay, most of them are borderline perv. Oh, watch the one about owls. That’s a good one.

Science. Yeah.

Filed in Animals | Comments (20)

Questionable: Positive and Negative Goals


Robena asked:

I remember that you wrote about negative and positive goals some years ago, but I forget what you said. Can you explain why Courtney wanting to keep her job is a negative goal? I’m thinking it might be why my current protagonist story isn’t exciting me.

The push in your story comes from your protagonist going after her or his goal. read more >>

Filed in Writing | Comments (24)

The Wanderer’s Guild to Story Evolution


Kelly asked about “Cold Hearts,” so here’s an update that shows how I work from idea to story. Sort of. Not really there yet. (I know I talked about this already in the Questionable: Turning an Idea Into a Plot, so think of this as an example of that. Kinda.)

Filed in Writing | Comments (44)

Questionable: Love Scenes, Sex Scenes, Erotica


S said:

I would love to hear more about the difference between making love, having sex and erotica in a romance novel. What exactly makes them different from each other? . . . I always hear it described as ‘different levels of sizzle or heat’ but it seems to me that there is more to the grading than that. . . . Are there market expectations now re detailed sex? Romance novels seem to be getting more and more graphic (or maybe those are just the ones I’m buying!) I noticed in the [comments to the favorite love scene post] how few people listed a love scene that had any sex in it – I think I spotted one that took place in a bed. That’s interesting.

Sex is in the eye of the beholder.

Let me put that another way.

Filed in Writing | Comments (34)

Good Deals: Acorn


You know how much I love Voodoo Pad. No, this is not another post telling you to buy Voodoo Pad. However the same people have another program, a Mac OS X 10.8 & 10.9 picture and image editor called Acorn, that’s been getting great word of mouth. I’ve just started to use it, which means I’m not an evangelist for it yet the way I am for the wiki software, but when a company I like holds a sale on well-reviewed software, dropping its $49.99 price to $14.99, I figure you should know.

From the nice people at Flying Meat: