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Cheryl's Musings

Cheryl's Musings: June 2011

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road


Five Writing Lessons I Learned From TV

I used to spurn TV. Why would I waste all that time sitting in front of the tube when there are so many other things to do in life? Why not spend the time writing, instead?

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Well, despite that lovely black-and-white vision of the world, I now watch the occasional TV series. Why? From a writer's perspective, there are numerous reasons to indulge in this visual form of storytelling:


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The Bad Boy: Girls Really DO Like Them Best

The “bad boy” has a long-standing place in YA literature. He’s mysterious, alluring, dangerous, sexy—and it’s deliciously thrilling to experience the vicarious thrill of a heroine falling for him, whether it’s a good idea or not.


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But I’ve always thought that, in real life, women wouldn’t find the “bad boy” image quite as appealing. It turns out I’m wrong.

A new study from the University of British Columbia suggests that women find happy guys less sexually attractive than either moody or arrogant men. From the press release:

In a series of studies, more than 1,000 adult participants rated the sexual attractiveness of hundreds of images of the opposite sex engaged in universal displays of happiness (broad smiles), pride (raised heads, puffed-up chests) and shame (lowered heads, averted eyes).


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The Writing Life: Using the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

If you’ve stopped by my blog lately, you’ve probably noticed that things have been a bit quiet. Between a sick kiddo and an exceptionally large amount of freelance work, my blogging time has been sadly limited.


I’ve also had little time to write—but I’ve been so busy "living life” that without realizing it, I’ve filled up with ideas and inspiration that are now itching to emerge on the page. I’ve been collecting bits and pieces over the past weeks: characters, settings, conversations, emotions and how I experienced them physically. I feel like my creative pond has been restocked, even though I wouldn’t have expected a time of stress and busy-ness to recharge or refresh my muse.


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The Writer’s Survival Mode

Kelly James-Enger has a rule for never missing a freelance writing deadline: she never, ever, ever accepts more work than she can handle.


So far, that's seldom been an issue for me. I mean, I stay plenty busy, but most of the mix consists of my own, more flexible projects—books, queries, article ideas, reading (mustn’t forget the reading pile). Not so at the moment. Right now, I'm swamped. I’ve had a steady stream of freelance work this year plus a host of unexpected family-related things, and (like a true freelancer who is dependent on work for bread), darned if I'm going to ask for anyone to cover my freelance projects unless I can't complete them.

Except that burnout ain't such a great thing, either.


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When Life Throws You for a Loop

2410222127_2464902f07I’ve been rather conspicuously absent from my online haunts these past two weeks, after a family member made an unexpected trip to the hospital. I and my family have been doing what everyone does when crisis hits: scaling back to the bare minimum—which, unfortunately, didn’t include blogging, because every available minute at a computer was spent trying not to get too far behind in my paying work. All this meant I spent a lot of time writing in the coffee shop nearest the hospital, which is an hour drive from our house.

So it was particularly funny to find this blog when I did slow down enough this weekend to catch up on my blog reading:

The Number One Problem Facing a Digital Nomad (No Pun Intended)

I don’t have an office anymore…Now, I work anywhere. I named this lifestyle “digital nomading”. I don’t really know if “nomading” is a word, because my spellchecker is complaining big time, with a red and kinda flashy line underneath it. But I’m gonna use it anyway.