You can tell I’m not fully sure what to post today… so I’m going to list a few random recommendations for things. I already recommended Pinterest on Monday, so I figured I’d add some other things that, if you’re bored, you might want to check out!
Pandora: I mentioned this in one of my fact lists, but I really like Pandora for finding new songs and for putting on random music while I write. Start with a single song or artist, and it will find more songs that fit a similar genre or mood. “Like” a song to get more like that, “dislike” it to probably close off others like it, and eventually you’ll have a channel that’s perfect for you. Sure, you can only skip so many times, and they have ads every few songs (for me, less than Spotify, not sure for others)—but when my own playlists aren’t working for me, Pandora works great.
Film Soundtracks: I’m definitely not the first writer to say this, but I find instrumental film soundtracks to be great for writing. My favorites are: “The Fountain,” Clint Mansell; “Inception,” Hans Zimmer; “The Host,” Antonio Pinto; and “The Village,” James Newton Howard. I also have a few songs from “Sherlock Holmes” and “Mission Impossible: 2” by Hans Zimmer (yes, I know, random). For instrumental music, you also can’t beat Zoe Keating.
Foz Meadows: I discovered this blog recently, though I’ve been linked to it before, namely over the SFWA kerfuffle. I find her posts and reviews insightful, beautiful, and thought-provoking (and sometimes rage-provoking, not at her but at what she rants against). Definitely has a feminist/political bent, which I love, and views pop culture and author-dom through that light. A true nerd and fan full of passion and intellect!
N.K. Jemisin: In a similar vein of genre meets politics, the site of the brilliant author N.K. Jemisin contains many blog posts and writing suggestions that first set me on the track to understanding more about the world. I learned more about diversity, inclusion, and the racefail of pop culture (SFF specifically) from her website and the links she posts on Twitter than in all of my English classes. But be sure to check out her amazing books, too—they are original, complex, gorgeous, and great examples of interesting worldbuilding and melding of genres.
The Library: This may be already a part of your life, but if it’s not, it should be. It may seem counterintuitive as a wannabe author to tell people to go get books (and movies, and music, and everything) for free—but I have discovered so many new authors and new must-buy books this way. And if you still want to support authors, then just use the library for books you wouldn’t otherwise read—for me, it’s been a huge source of writing books that look sort of iffy (and often are). And with Interlibrary Loan, you can get anything—they’ll ship it in across the country if you want (for a small fee). With patience, you can get any new movie, any CD, and any book for free—but the key word is patience. (Get here FASTER, Orphan Black Season 2!!!!) You can also check online for free language-learning software, free database access, classes (and free ACT practice tests), all sorts of stuff. Support your local library and save some money! 🙂
And this has been your daily edition of “J. Sevick tells you to do random things.”