I’ve had another freelance job plop into my lap, so no Nano or otherwise for me for a few days. For those of you who have inquired so kindly after the muse—thank you!! It’s been so touching to get little messages of support and good wishes (heck, I didn’t realize that many people were reading this.) We have found a good neurologist in the area and we’re trying an anti-convulsant to see if it will help. I’m very, very glad we have no travel plans for some weeks. Here’s to a quiet, healthy holiday ahead.
In other news:
Fiction Feed did a lovely review of “Vacui Magia” that warmed my heart in this suddenly chilly November.
NPR did this thing asking Why Are Old Women Often The Face of Evil in Fairy Tales and Folklore? which simultaneously made me gnash my teeth and sent my brain wheels spinning. Seeds may have been planted; I can’t think too much about it right now because of work.
Far less teeth-gnashing: this very good article about not romanticizing rejection over at The Atlantic. It is heartening to see these issues getting more prominent discussion. I mailed my very first story submission back in, um, 1995 or so; the wheels of change move slowly, but I can attest that they have moved, however incrementally, between then and now. Now if we all put our shoulders to it, and push harder . . . ?
I dipped my toes in the Wattpad waters to see what it’s all about. It is an . . . interesting place. Not sure yet if it’s right for me, but I’m intrigued, and certainly it’s wonderful to see so many younger folks being so freakin’ excited about writing.
Last but not least, I found this in the book I’m indexing right now, and I do so love a bit of synchronicity . . .
The availability heuristic sheds light on the power of storytelling. As every writer knows, stories are often far more compelling than scientific data. If you doubt that, just ask a wolf. Wolves pose a trivial danger to humans: the number of verifiable, fatal attacks by wolves on humans is exceedingly low. And yet, fear of wolves runs deep. Part of the explanation is certainly that there are so many stories about big, bad wolves eating, e.g., little girls’ grandmothers. As a result of all these stories, the idea of wolves attacking humans is highly salient, which means that people treat it as likely – even though the data establish it is not. Far more dangerous organisms, such as the Salmonella bacterium that kills some 400 people per year in the US alone, do not figure in the public imagination in the same way and consequently are not as feared as they probably should be. The power of storytelling can be harnessed to communicate risk information very effectively, but it can also do immense harm. A single story about an illegal immigrant committing a heinous crime can generate strong anti-immigration sentiments in spite of evidence of the beneficial welfare effects of migration. – Erik Angner, A Course in Behavioral Economics