Friday Five: A Comfy Day

To whit, this day is not actually comfy. It’s tired and the sky is like some old god of the settled fields steered their plough over a field of grey. That means today is a good day to die on some blankets, while covered with blankets, listening to something chilled out. Maybe plot how many hot chocolate it is acceptable to drink in one day. In light of this, I’m picking fairly happy points for today.

  1. We’ll start with a tweet thread I was planning on including last week with a tweet thread about what colours in the ancient world were actually like. It’s fascinating and full of great images and very useful to a writer.

2. Other useful writer stuff includes this list of writing lessons learned from Apex Magazine and a tweet thread about submission numbers. I liked this article from David Nicholls on how his story idea evolved and I’ve got this one by Michael Mammay on agents stored up for a rainy day, along with a tweet thread by Rebecca Mix on what to ask your prospective agent.

3. A discussion over this guest blog post at Dianthaa Dabbles led to me being shown these essays on some of the qualities of wuxia and xianxia (mainly wuxia) – solitude 1056 โ€” wuxia/xianxia: a loose and somewhat second-hand… (tumblr.com) and solitude 1056 โ€” wuxia: a general yet probably too verbose… (tumblr.com). Sharing for anyone else interested in learning more about these genres as they gain prominence and influence in western fantasy thought – if anybody else knows of some good resources here, or would offer alternate thoughts on some of those posts, let me know.

4. A very happy book birthday to CL Polk and Mike Brooks (and everyone else who I’ve missed). I’ve not read Mike Brooks’ work, but the praise for The Black Coast has been relentless in my circles; here’s some reviews from Imyril and Hiu to talk about it. I’ve read a small fragment of CL’s work, enough to persuade me I should buy Witchmark – the book that starts the trilogy concluded by recent release Soulstar – for my sister. I can’t see any reviews of Soulstar (add some in the comment if you’ve got them), but here is a review here’s a review of Witchmark by Para and another by Never Not Reading, and some of standalone The Midnight Bargain at Libri Draconis and another one by Adri Joy.

5. Speaking of CL and their marvelous ways, a part of a recent tweet thread (well worth reading in its own right for thoughts on writing what we think we should write vs what makes us happy) particularly resonated with me:

“it’s the ability to confront and escape simultaneously”

This is a big part of why I read (and sometimes write) fantasy fiction. If I want to confront the world entirely, it’s right there out my door and in thousands of different books. But I never want the act of escapism to be entire. It’s why I dig for meaning like a demented mole, and especially love authors like Pratchett who stories about adventures in never possibly real places and then suddenly bring you right back to face with this world. I share in the hope others see and “go yes” and find more books they love or, better yet, will write more books I love.

That’s it for today, have a great weekend!

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