You know you're a Midwesterner* when…

You spend half an hour talking to a complete stranger in the grocery store.

Granted, I now know the best kind of fish sauce to buy, but still, my trip to the Asian Pacific Market today was quite entertaining. *vbg*

* "Westerner" just doesn't have the same ring, even though Colorado's not really Midwestern, you know?

How to steal like an artist…

The question every young writer asks is: "What should I write?"

And the cliched answer is, "Write what you know."

This advice always leads to terrible stories in which nothing interesting happens.

The best advice is not to write what you know, it's write what you *like*.

Write the kind of story you like best.

We make art because we like art.

All fiction, in fact, is fan fiction.

The best way to find the work you should be doing is to think about the work you want to see done that isn't being done, and then go do it.

Draw the art you want to see, make the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read.

How To Steal Like An Artist (And 9 Other Things Nobody Told Me) by Austin Kleon

Future of books

The Future of Books by James Warner

2080: A Golden Age of Informational Fluidity.

For the benefit of those people at future-of-publishing panels—there's always one, for some reason—who insist it's really not about the text but the smell of the book, books will by this time be available exclusively as lines of fragrances. Subsequently, humans will modify themselves into a species with a powerful olfactory sense, able to read underwater by decoding strings of pheronomes. Aroma-bibliography will triumph, as vast epics are composed for newly developed scent receptors, transforming the rising seas into a giant bath of community-assisted transmedia content. Also around this time, the oral literature of dolphins will be deciphered and will turn out, inexplicably, to be all about vampires.

Review: Corsets: Historical Patterns & Techniques

There is nothing so disappointing as ordering a book on ILL that you're really excited to read because of all the great reviews it received, waiting over a month for it to arrive, and then finding out it's actually pretty mediocre. *le sigh* I was so annoyed, I had to write a review to post on Amazon and Goodreads.

That book was Jill Salen's Corsets: Historical Patterns & Techniques. She's apparently a theater costumer, so while the traced patterns are decent and an experienced designer can work with them, the scholarship backing up her assumptions on the history of the corsets is completely nonexistent. (Primary and secondary sources, what're those? *rolls eyes* You may know something from years of experience, but you have to back up your suppositions with actual, verifiable facts and sources for the information to be of any use at all, and Salen—unlike Norah Waugh—most definitely did not do any of that in this book.)

The photos are universally mediocre and not good enough to give you enough detail to be able to reproduce them on your own—most of the museums didn't seem have good pictures of the pieces and she wasn't allowed to photograph many specifically for the book.

The patterns Salen created are decent enough if you're an experienced designer. She's inconsistent about the information that's provided on them, however—there is no one pattern of crosshatching used throughout the book on the designs to indicate locations of boning, for instance. (Half the time you have to guess based on where flossing is located.)

Finally, I really, really wish people would stop repeating how to incorrectly lace corsets from the 1800s—you don't lace them like tennis shoes, for crying out loud!

How not to get published, in one easy step.

Don't follow the submission instructions.

It's appalling, frankly, how many ills that one little thing covers.