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A reversion to something ancient...

Published 4 months ago • 2 min read

A reversion to something ancient...

Dark books, a dark word, and Dickinson's collection of nows

Eight great things worth sharing this week:

  1. If you're a word aficionado like me, check out this fascinating journey into the dark origins of the English language: "Words from Hell: Unearthing the darkest secrets of English etymology" (and just in time for Halloween too!)
  2. And speaking of dark books, I'm about half way through Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler and it's freaking me out! She wrote it in 1993, but it's set in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles in 2024 and it is the scariest thing I've read since The Road.
  3. Exciting update: LeVar Burton, a true champion of literature, will be hosting the National Book Awards. It's a celebration of literature with an iconic host. No offense Drew, but we're much more excited about LeVar.
  4. Nerd Word of the Week: Atavistic ~ relating to or characterized by a reversion to something ancient or ancestral. As in: They backed away from the atavistic scene, hoping they might remain unnoticed.
  5. I was shocked to learn that only 58% of Americans had heard of ChatGPT (says Pew Research) and most of them said they had never tried it. Only 12% said they'd used it for work. I am VERY curious to know what these stats look like for writers. Just for fun, I'm putting a survey on my Instagram Stories this morning. Click on my profile picture here to chime in (this link will expire in 24 hours, but I'll share the results in next week's newsletter).
  6. And speaking of Instagram, did you catch my live video two days ago? If not, you can listen to my mini-lecture on How To Craft Compelling Characters here. And tune in next week at 12:30pm PT for the next installment.
  7. A moment of reflection on the words of Emily Dickinson: "Forever is composed of nows." It's a reminder that every moment we've lived was in the present, the now.
  8. Fun April Fact: If you were to take all of my books off my shelves and make a pile of read and unread, they would be about even. I find tremendous value in owning unread books. And I'm not alone.

Happy writing, my friends,

April

P.S. Just a reminder that daydreaming is an important part of being a writer. Let your mind wander.

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