“Watch this” Wednesday: Gay Talese

Have you seen the New Yorker’s wonderful profile of journalist Gay Talese and his “underground think tank?” I loved hearing about his writing process and seeing how he collects and collages the memories of a lifetime.


“Watch this” Wednesday: Kelly Clarkson slays No Doubt classic

Okay, so I know it’s really lame to ignore the blog for a month and then come back with a post that has nothing to do with writing. But you won’t be able to stay mad at me if you watch this video all the way to the end.

Watch Idol-winner Kelly Clarkson totally slay No Doubt’s classic breakup anthem “Don’t Speak”. She starts off kind of slow and, amazing as she is, I wasn’t sure she could outdo Gwen on this one, but holy cow she nails it in the last minute. Girl can sing her ass off!

Kelly is doing fan requests sent via Twitter on all the stops on her current tour. Watch some of her other covers here. And if that’s not enough for you, watch my other favorite Kelly cover of Patty Griffin’s “Up to the Mountain” (accompanied by Jeff Beck):

PS: I was listening to this while working on a revision of my NaNo novel–so it’ s kinda writing related.

“Watch this” Wednesday: author Dan Wells on story structure

This week’s “watch this” is part one in an engaging five-part series on story structure by horror novelist Dan Wells.

Dan is one of the talented quartet behind the brilliant podcast Writing Excuses, which also features Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal and Howard Tayler.

Bonus:  Brandon Sanderson has posted the complete video footage of his 2012 creative writing class at Brigham Young University online. Check it out.

“Watch this” Wednesday: Beauty on wheels

This is one that definitely falls under the category of distractions (see my blog’s tagline if you don’t know WTF I’m talking about).

We were trading funny videos and cool websites over on Murderati one day, and author Zoe Sharp passed along a link, with these comments. “If you want something that’s not necessarily a laugh, but startling, stunning, amazing and beautifully shot – plus a wonderful soundtrack, try the Danny MacAskill “Way Back Home” vid. Danny does things on a bicycle that will make you believe a man can fly.”

Of course, I had to go see what she was talking about, and you should too. Watch this:

There is a writing lesson in here, of course. It’s that pedal-to-the-metal commitment to the craft–and practice, practice, practice–can make something beautiful.

“Watch this” Wednesday: Revenge of the Rejected

Rejection letters are one of the soul-crushing realities of life as a writer.

Per all the wisdom of the interwebs, we’re to take them with a grain of salt. It’s only one person’s opinion, after all. A proper writer doesn’t wallow in despair.

A proper writer is grateful for the rejection. It has freed us to find that one agent or publisher out there who really gets us and will fight passionately for our story. Our book’s soul mate.  And look, this reject-er was kind enough to bullet everything wrong with our story, so that we might rewrite it in a way more pleasing to them and potential marketing departments. So many blessings in one short email or letter.

Yeah, right. Here’s what we really want to do:

This great clip, featuring Dylan Moran as Bernard Black, is from the British TV show Black Books that ran a few years back in the U.K. Very funny.



“Watch this” Wednesday: 29 ways to stay creative

Finding it hard to make time for your writing? Or maybe your creative well is empty?

Watch this great animation on 29 ways to stay creative, from TO-FU Motion Graphics Studio.

I stumbled up on this over at the Red Lemon Club, a site with great tips for writers and bloggers. It’s worth a visit.

“Watch this” Wednesday: An invocation for beginnings

Are you facing the blank page? Stuck in that “terrible place between zero and one?” Then watch this:

Who is that guy, anyway? That’s Ze Frank, humorist and social commentator. His The Show—a Daily Show-ish web series—debuted in March 2006 and ran for exactly one year, garnering a loyal following and a talent agent for Frank.

This video aired April 9, 2012 to launch Frank’s new web series—dubbed A Show—which was funded by his fans through a very successful Kickstarter campaign. He set out to raise $50K to cover the cost of a new camera/mic setup and help with video editing. Instead, he raised $150K.

Similar to his other projects, Frank’s new series is a collaboration between him and his audience. Catch up with other episodes of A Show here.

(I originally saw this video on author Alison Kent’s website, and knew I had to find out more about Frank.)