Sunsetting the Friday Link Pack

The Sunsetting of the Friday Link Pack

The Friday Link Pack is going away at the end of the year.

I realize that might not be the most welcome news for its handful of readers, so I figure I owe you an explanation. The first Friday Link Pack I posted arrived on September 6th, 2013, little less than a month before I launched my first book, The Stars Were Right. It was an idea I blatantly stole from SwissMiss (a design blog I have been following for years). While her Link Pack tended to focus on design, I had decided that mine would focus primarily on writing, with forays into the artistic and random categories. It’s intent was to serve as an outlet, A place to share some of the interesting links I found over the course of a week and do something other than document my journey as an aspiring indie writer. (Which was primarily the focus of this blog at the time.)

Since those days a lot has changed. For one, I’m no longer aspiring as I have three books and the start of a successful series behind me. (You should read ’em if you haven’t.) Meanwhile, the Friday Link Pack has continued, with a few minor hiatuses and a few gracious folks (thanks, Drew, and Will) stepping in during my absences. The post itself has also shifted, categories have been added and fallen away, the Lovecraft story of the week and the gif of the week has always remained. The quality has drastically improved. I am proud of the work I’ve been doing. All in all, it’s been a fun if not time-consuming and often distracting post to write.

If you read my post The State of the Cycle, you know there’s some changing coming in the way I work. I’m making some personal adjustments and removing distractions. The results of those shifts will affect where I spend my time and where I focus my creative efforts. The first casualty of that change is the weekly Link Pack. Luckily we’re coming up on the end of the year so, the final post will be the End of the Year Edition, coming out on January 1st of all days. As always it will highlight the most interesting links of 2015 and—if my math is correct—it will be the 100th Friday Link Pack. There are worse numbers to end on.

I’m sorry to those readers who actively visited the Link Pack on the regular. Thanks for your interest and engagement. Thank you for sharing and submitting links. You kept it going as long as it did. Depending on how things go in the future, it’s possible that it will make a glorious return but until then, I got a lot of writing to do, many more stories to tell, and new worlds to visit.

Friday Link Pack 07/17/2015

Friday Link Pack 07/17/2015

Here is today’s Friday Link Pack! Some of these links I mention on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Do you have a link I should feature in the upcoming link pack? Click here to email me and let me know! (Include a website so I can link to you as well.) Let’s get to it…

WRITING:

Shorter
Fantastic article from Cory Doctorow on learning that brevity is often the right solution for any project. He’s right, and it’s good advice to take to heart. It’s something I am still learning myself. Thank God for good editors. [Thanks to Steve for sending this my way.]

Time Management Is Only Making Our Busy Lives Worse
I’m including this in the writing section for a few reasons: first, I see a lot of articles regarding time management and writing, and second: I think it’s good to step back and consider our craft the way we’d consider any other task. Don’t let time management get in the way of your creativity.

10 Key Questions That Can Determine Your Success As A Writer
Great list from best-selling author Jonathan Gunson reminding us what it takes to succeed at writing. Fantastic advice. Give yourself the time to go through these and answer honestly.

Three Quotes On Villains
What makes a villain engaging? What is a villain anyway? I assembled three quotes from three great creators that challenge the notion of what a villain should be.

ART:

Spooky Glass Bottles Inspired By H.P. Lovecraft
Italian artist Andrea Falaschi has created a series of insanity-inducing bottles for your favorite concoction. Fantastic detail. I love how unique each one is and how weathered they look. [Thanks to Scot for sending this to me.]

The Gore and Agony Of New Baroque Sculptures At The Met
Absolutely stunning 17th century sculptures by Pedro de Mena. The level of detail in this work is astounding.

Viral Series by Jess Riva Cooper
I guess this weeks theme is sculpture. I stumbled across these ceramic busts and was struck by the craftsmanship and how they danced on that fine edge between beautiful and disturbing. Fantastic work.

The Sandy Beach Architecture of Calvin Seibert
I fell in love with these temporary sand projects. Incredible work. Part of me is disappointed they were reclaimed by the sea, but that is also what makes their existence so wonderful.

RANDOM:

Japan’s New Satellite Captures an Image of Earth Every 10 Minutes
I just… I can’t… how stunning is this? (Very.)

The Atlantic Slave Trade in Two Minutes
Sometimes it’s hard to realize the scale of an event in history until it is presented in a way that changes your perception. This quick animation from Slate does a good job in putting a number of lives affect during the slave trade into perspective.

The Death Of The Hippies
Photographer Joe Samberg looks back on the era of the hippies and his time on Telegraph Ave. for The Atlantic, recalling how drug addiction eventually destroyed the scene. (A cropped version of one of Joe’s photos serves as the lead for today’s link pack.)

WEIRD WIKIPEDIA:

Hotel Toilet Paper Folding
“Hotel toilet paper folding is a common practice performed by hotels worldwide as a way of assuring guests that the bathroom has been cleaned.[1] Elaborate folding is sometimes used to impress or delight guests with the management’s creativity and attention to detail.

The common fold normally involves creating a triangle or “V” shape out of the first sheet or square on a toilet paper roll. Commonly, the two corners of the final sheet are tucked behind the paper symmetrically, forming a point at the end of the roll. More elaborate folding results in shapes like fans, sailboats, and even flowers.” Continue Reading → 

H.P. LOVECRAFT STORY OF THE WEEK:

Fungi from Yuggoth
This poem, comprised of 36 sonnets, has long been a connection point between Lovecraft’s other work. Innsmouth is mentioned as well as Nyarlathotep and Azathoth, and we get more backstory for The Dunwich Horror and even Brown Jenkins from The Dreams in the Witch House makes an appearance.

GIF OF THE WEEK:

And, now you know how they worked...

Writing Excuses: Becoming a Writer—Full Disclosure

Becoming a writer

If you aren’t listening to the Writing Excuses the podcast featuring novelist Mary Robinette Kowal, fantasy novelist Brandon Sanderson, comicsmith Howard Tayler, and horror novelist Dan Wells you should fix that immediately. It’s great for the aspiring writer. The most recent episode “Becoming a Writer: Full Disclosure” is really good, the gang has a candid conversation about the sort of stuff people don’t talk about when they discuss careers in writing: bad reviews, health, time management, reading, and more. Check it out:

It’s never long, usually about 20 minutes, and it’s always full of consistently solid advice from folks with plenty of experience. I highly recommend subscribing and becoming a dedicated listener.