#3: Featuring a new poem, analysing just my punctuation, gaming for a non-gamer, excellent books I've read, Scots word of the day and more.
The stresses of the past few weeks finally caught up with me this weekend, so I’m writing this much later than I would have liked due to feeling rough. I hope you had the chance to enjoy the spooky season more than I could.
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Now onto the list of 10 things I wanted to share from this month…
The Terrorgraph: borrowing from one of Mic Wright’s newsletter titles, I thought a poem about the pedlars of daily horror stories that are intended to divide us was apt for today.
Analysing just the punctuation of my writing and how it has evolved since 2014 was a fun and interesting exercise. I was inspired to do so after reading Clive Thompson’s article where he did the same. You can learn a fair bit about your writing style from this. You, too, can get a graphic of just your punctuation. I just recommend you paste a minimum of 6,000 words into the site before hitting the ‘Submit’ button.
I’ve played a lot of Red Dead Redemption 2 lately, which has been influencing a lot of my ideas. The protagonist, Arthur Morgan, also keeps a journal that has inspired me to start keeping my own. I’m hoping it will help me pay attention to my life. It’s also a good place for ramblings, private thoughts, unfinished ideas, brainstorming and more. Some pages may even be worth sharing.
Yesterday, I finished Michaela Coel’s fantastic Misfits: A Personal Manifesto. Not only is this little book perfect if you want something short to read, but it’s also an inspirational text for any misfit out there with a creative passion. Her TV show I May Destroy You was one of the best things I watched in 2020, and the short message she gave to writers at the Emmys about writing the tale that scares you is a must-watch.
Danez Smith’s Don’t Call Us Dead sometimes goes above being beautiful poetry and at times becomes beautiful works of word art. Some of my favourites from the collection include “dear white america” and “Dinosaurs in the Hood.”
Whilst I can’t pretend to love the dialogue in the Junji Ito stories I’ve read, his mastery of horrific illustrations is unquestionable. I revisited the shocking tale of The Enigma of Amigara Fault in the back of my copy of Gyo, which spurred me to buy the Smashed collection. It turned out to be a real treat for ghoulish artwork and inventive scary stories.
Playing so much Red Dead Redemption 2 has got me thinking a lot about video games, which led me to revisit one of my favourite YouTube series: “Gaming For a Non-Gamer.” It’s a fantastic informal investigation into the language of video games and what unseen barriers there are for new players. I wrote a little more about this on my blog and how the best learning is a shared experience.
This month I decided to collect weekly lists of 10 things I wanted to share on my blog. This covers a much wider range of stuff I’ve read and viewed online.
Some highlights from the month: Nino Cipri on why bad dad redemption arcs need to die; Nat Andrews on the “cult-like” world of #PublsihingHopefuls; Alice Vincent on how to be a better non-fiction reader; and Alison Stine on naming fictional characters.
Finally, check out Len Pennie’s Twitter/TikTok series: “Scots word of the day.”
That’s all from me this month. You’ll find me in your inbox again at the end of November. Until then, if you have any feedback or want to get in touch, please do email me at email@example.com.
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Otherwise, I wish you all well and I shall speak to you next month! :)