Article Redux: 5 Writing Lessons Inspired by Famous Writers

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 7:15 am on Friday, March 21, 2014

Writer’s Digest posted an article I wrote that originally appeared in the magazine: 5 Writing Lessons Inspired by Famous Writers. A sample:

I was 16 when I visited the cabin where Mark Twain wrote “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” the short story that launched his career. It left such an impression on me that I began seeking out other literary landmarks. By now, I’ve been to all the famous places, such as Thoreau’s Walden Pond and Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, as well as lesser-known gems, like Jack London’s ranch (pictured at right).

Every time I visit a site, I leave inspired to return to my own work. Somehow, seeing the typewriters these legends worked on, the beds they slept in and the views they gazed upon makes writing seem less mysterious, more tangible. At home, every famous writer was just another person who, like me, worked on his craft every day.

Read 5 Writing Lessons Inspired by Famous Writers.

Article: 10 Surprising Facts About Archie Comics

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 6:58 am on Friday, March 21, 2014

I have a new article with Mental Floss: 10 Surprising Facts About Archie Comics.

Remember that time Archie was a superhero called Captain Pureheart? Remember the Archie Andrews radio show? Remember that time Archie was used to piss off The Monkees? Remember Archie Christian comics?

You don’t? Read on.

Article: 9 Controversial Experiments In Rewilding

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 8:29 am on Thursday, February 20, 2014

I have a new article up at Mental Floss called 9 Controversial Experiments In Rewilding. Excerpt:

Strange as it is to imagine, at one point lions roamed Europe, horses galloped over Spain, and jaguars prowled parts of the United States. The reason these animals died out wasn’t climate change, but humans hunting or destroying their territory.

Rewilding is an effort to bring species back to their native habitats, even if they haven’t lived there for thousands of years. The idea isn’t just to preserve an ecosystem, but to go back in time.

Read about wolves in Yellowstone National Park, wild Mongolian horses, and Jaguars in Mexico HERE.

I Was Interviewed

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 8:23 am on Thursday, February 20, 2014

AdviceToWriters interviewed me about being a writer. How nice! Here’s a sample of the interview:

What’s your advice to new writers?

Learn to love discipline. Set up a schedule for yourself—a word count to hit, an amount of time at the keyboard each day—and make it a priority in your life.

What else did I say? CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT!

Article: 10 Priceless Smithsonian Artifacts You Can Print At Home

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 9:23 am on Thursday, February 6, 2014


[Courtesy]

My latest article at Mental Floss is pretty cool. The Smithsonian has been scanning artifacts and putting 3D models online that you can print out on your printer.

Print out a Wooly Mammoth skeleton or Abraham Lincoln’s face!

Read 10 Priceless Smithsonian Artifacts You Can Print At Home.

Edit Your Novel With Math In McSweeneys

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 9:29 am on Monday, January 6, 2014

I have a short humor piece in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. It’s called Edit Your Novel With Math. A sample:

With scissors, cut out all unique words used in the novel. Put these words in a bowl of water for three minutes. Words that do not float should be removed from the text immediately.

I’m excited about this one. I’m a big fan of McSweeneys.

CLICK TO READ EDIT YOUR NOVEL WITH MATH.

Article: What Was On The First Christmas Menu?

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 8:30 am on Monday, December 23, 2013

My newest article in Mental Floss is 39 Dishes from the First Christmas Menu, Published in 1660.

If the thought of planning Christmas dinner makes you nervous, be glad you weren’t born in the Renaissance. The earliest known published Christmas menu includes pork, beef, goose, lark, pheasant, venison, oysters, swan, woodcock, and “a kid with a pudding in his belly.”

Included within, Swan Pie:

Larding:

Jellies:

And more!

Read The Rest Here.

Essay: On Eugene O’Neill’s Love Of Silence

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 10:55 am on Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I have a new essay up at the Supersition Review blog. It’s about the playwright Eugene O’Neill, his house in Danville, and my discomfort with silence. Excerpt:

I’m standing in playwright Eugene O’Neill’s office when the tour guide says he wants to show us how quiet the room can get. “For the next 60 seconds, no one say anything,” he says.

The silence is indeed engulfing. Out the window I can see the freeway across the California hills, but I can’t even hear a bird singing. When O’Neill built this house in 1937—now part of the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site—his office was designed for quiet. To even enter it, you have to walk through two empty rooms first. The house is located on top of a mountain that at the time was only accessible by private road. O’Neill was not exactly a people person.

I’m relieved when the tour guide begins talking again. Being in this room for too long would make me nervous.

Read the rest of On Eugene O’Neill’s Love Of Silence here.

New Article: Why Are Santa Claus’s Bones Leaking?

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 10:48 am on Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My newest article on Mental Floss is about Santa Claus. It turns out that a church in Bari, Italy has St. Nicholas’s remains and they claim that his bones are releasing a sweet smelling liquid that they call manna. Every year, they take some of the liquid from the tomb and sell it as a holy relic. Here they are doing it in 2012:

What’s going on here? Why are St. Nicholas’s bones leaking?

Read The Mysterious Case of Santa Claus’s Leaking Bones to find out!

Article: 5 Obscure Looney Tunes Cartoons

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 8:04 am on Thursday, November 28, 2013

Check out my newest for Mental Floss: 5 Obscure Looney Tunes Cartoons.

That’s right, weird, cool, visually interesting cartoons for your Thanksgiving enjoyment. Watch them now before Warner Brothers takes them down!

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