In this week’s 21st Century Creative podcast
Mark McGuinness and guest Laurie Millotte discuss creating a global business. Laurie’s challenge to listeners was to create a round-the-world trip based on your creative desires. Here’s what I wrote:
Before Best Beloved and I spent a year traveling the US and Canada doing house sitting, we’d already built a location-independent business. As a result, we’ve already done a fair bit of traveling. But this week’s challenge has me thinking.
1. San Francisco. The entire city, but especially the waterfront and the trolleys, fire up my creativity. I’d want to start my trip with a total immersion in a city that has always inspired me.
… more … “Creative Trip Around the World”
When a songwriter praises your use of language in a novel, it’s hard not to glow like radium.
and, overnight, fall
fall the leaves
fall the mercury
fall the crisp carpeting dead to begin the blanket
fall the snow another blanket to hide beneath
to lie beneath
what lies beneath
I searched for the word mercury to see if I’d posted this poem here before. I didn’t find it, but I found an amusing bit I wrote about the end of the universe, inspired one morning as I tried not to listen to the feed mill 100 yards up the street from our home in Wisconsin.
Not long after finishing my first mystery (about 8 seconds, I think) I realized I could do better.
Not long after finishing my second mystery, I knew it. Not just that I could do better than my first, but that I could do better than the one I’d just finished.
You may already see the pattern.
I have strong perfectionist tendencies I’ve spent half my life working to control. The pursuit of perfection is pointless, a burning of energy without value.
The pursuit of excellence is a different matter.
… more … “Giving You the Best Books Possible”
One of the changes I’m making in my morning routine is spending 15 minutes each weekday doing something creative without being tied to the outcome; art for the fun of it.
This morning, I listened to some of the most-played tunes on my song list. But instead of background music while I did something else, I did nothing but listen, and watch the world slowly undarken through the window.
Though I know how much I love music I was surprised at how moving it was.
Another surprise: black tea has appealed to me lately. All my life I’ve had it Irish style: with milk.
The biggest surprise: black coffee. You have no idea what a leap that is for me.
Establishing new routines. Turning yet another great big corner. New year, new focus.
Been yearning lately to have an unconventional cover band again.
Working on the 9 sentences defining the critical waypoints in Into the Fog.
Planning for another 333, with a bit of time off (I hope) for songwriting.
Totally stalled on the first Jake Calcutta mystery anodyne.
Moving ahead on Commonsense Zero-Cost DIY Marketing for Authors.
Talking to the local public access TV station about doing a regular show for aspiring authors.
All underpinned by some personal things that make creative thinking harder.
In the olden days of the web (about 5 years ago) font choices for a website were severely limited. There were essentially half a dozen fonts you knew a user had on their computer, and those were the only ones you could safely use because a web browser got its fonts, not from the website, but the visitor’s computer.
I’m experimenting with Google Fonts, a repository of fonts which are loaded by the website.
At the time of this writing, my headlines are all “Special Elite” and the rest of the copy is “Marmelad.”
It has long been accepted among designers that serif fonts are for print and sans-serif for screens (and if you like, display type and headings.)
Alex Poole writes persuasively that this is balderdash; urban myth perpetuated by the ignorant.
I’m going to find a beautiful sans-serif font and use it for the print version of my next mystery.
I already use serif fonts on many of the websites I’ve designed.
So far, nobody’s died from it.
Living in a small town in one of the wettest parts of the country is a big change from living in a huge city where it rarely rains.
My daily walk takes my past Rice Lake and the Red Cedar River which feeds the lake, and flows out of it to places south.
These few photos are only a tiny portion of the beauty I get to see on my daily walk. … more … “Scenes from my daily walk”