What you need as a storyteller


One of the most important things I ever learned about telling stories was in Orson Card’s weeklong boot camp where we “workshopped” stories by doing zero workshopping. Zero critiques. In fact, critiques were verboten. Instead, Card asked us to simply provide a report of what he called the three grunts a reader makes when things

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Good Stuff! 2 Sauces You Don’t Want to Miss


What have the Dutch got that we ain’t got? Well, besides signs like this. Which is frequently accompanied by the words “Geen Honden Poep Op De Stoep”(no dog poop on the sidewalk). I’ll tell you what they have—easy access to sambal oelek (SAHM-bal OO-lek). Sambal oelek is Indonesian for “dang good chili paste.” And why

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Good Stuff! Science as Storytelling


I know the word ‘atheist’ presumes a lot, but it’s just an easier way of describing someone with a rational mind. Joe Konrath, a self-avowed atheist, awesome fighter for authors, and leader in the indie author movement, said that almost a year ago in his Konrants post. My response then was the same as it

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Good Stuff! Operation Underground Railroad


I blogged about this before. On February 28th, Operation Underground Railroad freed 20 kids from slavery and brought 5 slavers to justice. They are continually running operations. Oskar Schindler didn’t stop the killing of all Jews. But he did what he could. One of the most poignant moments of Schindler’s List was when he pulled

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Good Stuff! The Addiction Recovery Program


Part of my research for Bad Penny led me to the Utah state prison. I was able to attend a session with five of the convicts. Let me tell you: walking through those high fences and electric doors and hearing them close behind you was something. The five men all had interesting and unfortunate tales to

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Good Stuff! Mike Loades on Swords and Bows


Mike Loades is an expert on medieval fighting. He brings energy and, not just bookish learning, but insights from hands-on use. I loved the five-part Weapons That Made Britain television series for which he was the host and chief consultant. And so I looked to see if there was anything else he’d done. I found he’d

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