Midwinter = Celebration?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn some sense, winter doesn’t seem like a good time to have a big celebration. It’s cold, hard to travel (if one lives in a place with snow), and every other person is ill.

But there’s Christmas and Chanukka. And there used to be Saturnalia and Yule. And what about all those fantasy novels with solstice celebrations?

Apparently, winter festivals are common.

They’re also fun to create. Partly because weird behavior gets pardoned if it occurs during a festival. Continue reading

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Writing Junk is Important

I’m confident that nearly every writing book out there has this piece of advice in various forms:

“In order to write well, you have to write a lot of garbage.”

But what is this garbage we’re all talking about? On which ‘level’ of writing does this junk appear?

Well, just as there are numerous different words for unwanted items (junk, garbage, rubbish, trash, 废物, etc.), there are many ways to think about our literary waste. Continue reading