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On Being a Prose Tag Editor


For anyone who’s curious, here is how the prose tag editorship works: 

  1. I did not apply.
  2. Tumblr selects people and grants them editor status. We don’t opt in or out.
  3. Once selected, editors are granted the ability to give pieces a blue “prose” tag. Clicking that tag takes you to all the other selected/edited prose pieces from that day. 
  4. A tag editor is allowed to feature 10 posts per day. 
  5. Tumblr sends new editors one email telling them not to feature nsfw/gore, and suggests that we feature people whom we don’t follow. No other guidelines are given. 
  6. I was told I would be an editor for thirty days. I have been an editor for over a year. 
  7. Tumblr does not keep track of editors’ behavior, by and large. 
  8. The featured tagging system is an old piece of Tumblr’s infrastructure. Featured tags used to be on the main page, now they’re not. They’re hard to even access if you don’t know about them from the old days. 
  9. Featuring a post does not typically generate a lot of new traffic. A prose feature used to be a bigger deal, but now very few people follow the edited prose tag. 
  10. Very few of the editors are active. Most editors do not actually feature 10 posts per day. 
  11. I am allowed to feature whatever I want — as I said, there are no firm guidelines. 
  12. In time, I’m pretty sure Tumblr is going to cut out the feature altogether, or let it slowly die since it’s not in widespread usage and they don’t broadcast it as a feature of the site anymore. 
  13. Since Tumblr doesn’t give the editorship position a lot of guidance, and since it scarcely matters, I do basically whatever the hell I want with the limited power they have given me. Don’t worry. It’s not that big a deal. 
  14. Reblogs are the true currency of Tumblr. If you believe in something, if you agree with it, if you think it is good, reblog it. A reblog from, say, yeahwriters will gain you hundreds of notes. A prose tag feature will gain you like four. 




Thank you, chuck, for standing up for male writers, a desperately marginalized group.



Consider that reading has become a mostly female pastime and that males are being better served by other media:  the web, film, gaming.  Of course publishers will skew toward the most profitable audience.  Otherwise the world is still chasing the golden demographic of the ‘young male.’  If male writers could better serve that readership it would explode. 

We’re only marginalized if we accept that status.  What troubles me is the seemingly high number of younger male suicides:  David Foster Wallace, Alexander McQueen, plus older men such as Spalding Grey and Hunter S. Thompson, not to mention ‘accidental’ deaths like Heath Ledger and Philip Seymour Hoffman. 





Forever fucking suspicious of straight men who extensively blog/write about feminism to a young female audience.

sometimes being socially responsible means shutting the fuck up and listening really well


yes forever








once upon a time, in Japan…. *white characters*

this takes place in Africa… *white characters*

our story starts in the Middle East… *white characters*

Long ago in Europe… *white characters* “for historical accuracy”

Long ago in obvious alternate version of Europe or European influence…*white characters*…for ‘historical accuracy’.

Long ago in a place influenced by Asia or Africa but still *white characters*

In a Apocalyptic/Dystopian future about systematic oppression, and suffering still *white characters*

(via unsolicitedwritingadvice)



Best thing so far & worst thing so far about writing workshop? :)


Answering this late (the workshop was over last Sunday), but I suppose it’s better to wrap it up after the fact anyway.

The bad parts were few and far between. Lack of sleep was killing me and I ended up drinking close to 8 cups of coffee a day—that resulted in that nervous energy where you feel sweaty on the inside. That was really the only true negative. Flying standby was awful, but the price made up for that and I had a good friend helping me through the process, watching the flights as they came to tell me how my chances for landing a seat looked for each leg of the trip.

Overall, the entire week was good. There were lots of lectures and panels and such—and I don’t really go in for that sort of thing—but they were entertaining. My class was diverse and my teacher for the workshop was great. I was amazed by the things people have trouble with and amazed by the things people feel good about. “I don’t know how to write dialogue but I love injecting philosophy into the theme of a story…” Stuff like that. It was crazy seeing all of these people attempting the same things as me but in completely different ways. That may have been the best part—seeing the different work methods so I can say, “Well that’s stupid, my way is better,” or, “I never thought of that, I’ll have to try it.” This all probably sounds very vague. That’s what hard about these ‘creative’ things—there’s no way to accurately describe it.

Here’s what’s concrete:

— Nick Flynn remembered me from a reading two years ago and we spoke often throughout the week. He’s a good guy and we’re hoping to have another reading together soon (aka I’m twisting his arm into it).

— A few days ago an editor for a good mag reached out to me to send some poems their way. They did this because of my having attended the workshop. Poems aren’t my strong suit, but I did have some work I felt happy enough with to submit their way.

— I got to meet two editors and one agent during the workshop. One editor was lukewarm but a good enough person to talk to; the second editor was pretty generous and seemed interested in my work; the agent was really great and wanted to take a look at my work—however, the agent was very clear that I should wait until I’m ready, so that’s what I’m going to do. I have no intentions on sending half-polished work to someone I could be entering a “career” partnership with, or however I should put that. So I’m going to do exactly as the agent said and take my time getting everything right.

— I did a reading. Not a ton of people showed up but those that did kept approaching me throughout the week to say how much they enjoyed my story. That was nice.

— I met a ton of people that I hope to keep in touch with.

— The state of Oregon has no sales tax and wine is as cheap as three dollars a bottle. We’re not talking Night Train or Wild Irish either. Actual, corked bottles of fair-tasting cabernet.

So, yeah, a good week. Anybody that contributed money to my GoFundMe will be getting their stuff (photographs, six worders, etc.) in the coming weeks!





Q: Today you saw the children lying on the beach. What was it like to see this but be unable to help?

Tyler Hicks: It was clear that these children were beyond help. I was very close to three of the four children who were killed and it was clear that they had been killed instantly. Had there been some way to help them I certainly would have. Because Gaza is so small ambulance crews arrive almost immediately when something happens.

Image: A civilian carries one of four Palestinian cousins killed by an Israeli air strike while playing on a beach in Gaza, by Tyler Hicks via The New York Times. Read the Times’ interview with Hicks about reporting from Gaza. Select to embiggen.

Not writing related, but seriously, wtf Tumblr??? You can’t just drop a fucking image of dead Palestinian children onto my Dash as a “suggested blog” post with no trigger warnings, nothing.

I reblogged this as a text post so that the image would be hidden from you guys. But I’m really mad, that’s some fucked up shit.



You have to surrender to your mediocrity, and just write. Because it’s hard, really hard, to write even a crappy book. But it’s better to write a book that kind of sucks rather than no book at all, as you wait around to magically become Faulkner. No one is going to write your book for you and you can’t write anybody’s book but your own.

Cheryl Strayed (via maxkirin)

(via lordofthecubs)




This was quite a journey! I spent the better part of a day going back and forth with a guy that I was not entirely sure was for real at first, then I absolutely got fooled, and then I realized I got fooled. It was fun. The guy said some LEGITIMATELY funny stuff when he was “in character.” And it all ended in a way that I felt good about.

It’s pretty much all laid out in the screencaps, But let me elaborate here:

HEY YOUNG MEN! I know it seems like women complain a lot about how they are represented in media, including fiction, and how it seems like they want entertainment tailored specifically to them, and how they seem to want ALL of pop culture to be politically correct or feminist-ized or whatever it is you think they want, but really, what’s happening is that women are tired of seeing garbage women characters in most of our entertainment. And they’re wondering, Would it really be so much trouble to make more realized female characters? You could still have all your CGI and action and science fiction and drama and swords and stuff, but the female characters could be a little more fleshed out and interesting. And the entertainment would still be good and would, in fact, be better.

Guys, instead of  thinking, “Hey, not everything has to be politicized,” try thinking, “I wonder what it would be like for me if the situation were reversed, and how I’d feel if in the vast majority of the entertainment I consumed, the male characters were few and far between and then mostly used as talking props & plot devices. I wonder if I’d get kinda tired of that and occasionally I’d say something, even a little joke, just to ease the annoyance a little.”

Fellows. Listen to the women in your lives. Ask them questions. It will change your perspective for the better. Years ago, I got into a brief argument with two female friends of mine about a movie— it does not even matter which movie— that they viewed as sexist and I did not. I couldn;t even fathom how they could see it that way. I tried to argue that it was not sexist. In recounting our discussion to another party, it was pointed out to me that they might have a different viewpoint based on their life experiences, and that it was not for me to tell them that their interpretation was incorrect. And that I was probably getting defensive about it because if the movie was sexist, it followed that my liking it would make me appear sexist. And that’s when I realized that none of this was about me, and maybe I should shut up and listen and try to understand. And also to be more aware of things like this and develop not just my sympathy, but my empathy.

I will only ever be able to empathize so much with women, because my experience as a white male in America is vastly different from that of anyone who is not that. But I can relate to:

  • not being taken seriously
  • not being listened to
  • being dismissed
  • being condescended to
  • having something explained to me that I already understand

And I having had those experiences, I am now more inclined to TRY to understand where someone is coming from if they are telling me they are having a similar experience with our culture.

So guys: just try. You don’t even really have to dig that deep. Think about your own experiences as a person, then apply that to someone else. It gets easier the more you do it, and it makes your life better.

Anyway, I hear Dawn of The Planet of The Apes is pretty good! 



The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.

Terry Pratchett (via maxkirin)

(via mister-ten-below)




Creating a Race (2)
Creating Animals (2)
Disease (2)
Ecosystems (2)
Evolution (and Space)
Flora and Fauna
Inventing Species
List of Legendary Creatures
Night Vision/Color Vision
Constructed Language (Conlang)
Basics/Phonology (2) (3)
Conlang Guide
Conlang vs. English
Creating a Language (Revised)
Culture + Language
Curse Words
How to Create Your Own Language
How to Create a Language
IPA Pronunciation
Making Up Words
Culture Guides
7 Deadly Sins
Alien Cultures (2)
Alternative Medieval
Avoiding Cultural Appropriation
Avoiding Medieval Fantasy (2)
Avoiding One-Note Worlds
Avoiding Utopia
Change (2)
Class/Caste System (2)
Designing Intellectual Movements
Everything (2) (3)
Gender-Equal Societies
Historical Background for Ideas (2)
Matriarchy (2)
Static World
Wandering Peoples
Basic Economics
Currency (2) (3)
Current Global Economies
Economic Systems
Economics (1500-1800 AD)
Economics and Government
Economics for Dummies
International Trade (2)
Marxist Communism
Medieval Economics
Schools of Economic Thought
Socialism (2)
Types of Economic Systems
World Economy (2)
Everyday Life
Clothing Terminology (2) (3) (4)
Clothing Reference
Education (2)
Fame and Infamy
Food (2)
Food Timeline
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Creating a Government
Empire (2)
Fancy Latin Names for Government
History and Politics
International Relations (2)
Justice System
Non-monarchical (2) (3)
Oppressive Government
Political Ideologies
Rise and Fall of Civilizations
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Totalitarianism, Atmosphere Necessary For
Tribal Society
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Writing Politics
Read More



Constructed Language (Conlang)

Culture Guides


Everyday Life


Read More

(via poetryandramblings)




Hi, follow Little River  and submit your poems. I want the river to be the only river you see for miles and miles, everything you ever built floating toward you. Away from you, Carried for you. Be a part of the first issue! There is no theme, just the work you feel proud of. You can send me any questions you have at kdecember or Little River. 


Hi, follow Little River  and submit your poems. I want the river to be the only river you see for miles and miles, everything you ever built floating toward you. Away from you, Carried for you. Be a part of the first issue! There is no theme, just the work you feel proud of. You can send me any questions you have at kdecember or Little River

(via textbookjazz)



Writing tips: Architect or Gardner


Okay, so many of you may have heard the famous quote/speech of George R.R. Martin about the differences between writers. The common view is that there are two types of writers. Neither is wrong, but both are different. First is the architect. They sit down and have every detail carefully planned out ready to roll before they even begin to type on a keyboard. They put all pieces of the coffin together just so and the instant they punch a key they start to hammer in the nails. Now there’s nothing wrong with this, but I personally am not an architect. I’m more of a gardener, that is a writer who doesn’t really plan things too far in advance. A gardener plants the seed of a story’s concept and grows it from the ground up. Sure they plan a few small things, they know what they’re growing for example, but as for how the finished product will look, they’ve no idea. And that’s okay too. Mr. Martin goes on to say that in the end, no one is solely one or the other, which I agree with whole heartedly.

But you may ask yourself “what are the pro’s and con’s of those writing types” to which I can honestly say this: A story that is organized down to the last fly buzzing around in the background can get boring. It has no soul or spirit to it, and if you’re not careful it begins to get as monotonous as “Beuler…Beuler…Beuler…”. For those of you younger folks, that is to say it gets dull and bland. But the inverse has cons too. A story that is completely vomited on to the screen without rhyme or reason hurts too. Chaos without discipline can really become harsh for readers. People don’t like having questions unanswered and even less having questions with the wrong answers.

But if there’s one key thing to know about your writing style it’s this: it’s YOUR writing style, and no one elses. It’s nice receiving feedback from fans and other writers, but it’s also important to please the one person who knows your work even more than them. You. Have confidence in yourself, be either architect or gardener. Don’t let other people try to tell you that your way of writing is wrong and that theirs is the only right way, because just like in any other form of art, there is always more than one way to tell a story. Many paths, one mountain. Be proud of yourself and what you write. I hope this has helped some of you and I wish you the best of luck in life and literature. -Kiba Elunal



Announcing Book Smugglers Publishing: We Want Your Short Stories


Ana and Thea here, fresh from a weekend of intense weekend of brainstorming and planning (and eating, drinking & geeking). We have some exciting news:

Book Smugglers FB

For the past six years we have been reading, commenting on, and sharing our thoughts about stories. After the amazing experience of curating Speculative Fiction 2013, we Book Smugglers want to continue to find and publish the best and brightest voices in SFF. This time, we’re looking for original short stories from all around the world. Our goal is to publish at least three short stories every year, unified by a central theme (that will change each year). Each short story will be accompanied by one original piece of artwork from an artist commissioned by us separately.

In 2014, we are looking for subversive fairy tale retellings.

These retellings need not be reimaginings of Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm, or Charles Perrault (although we love these fables and are happy to read and consider any retellings); we want a broader pool of stories, traditions, and canons to choose from.

What We’re Looking For:

  • DIVERSITY. We want to read and publish short stories that reflect the diverse world we live in, about and from traditionally underrepresented perspectives.
  • Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult audience submissions are welcome. Good speculative fiction is ageless!
  • Creativity & Subversion. We love subversive stories. We want you to challenge the status quo with your characters, story telling technique, and themes.

Guidelines for Submission: (check out our official page here)

  • We are looking for original speculative fiction, between 1,500 and 17,500 words long.
  • These SFF offerings must be previously unpublished; we do not accept simultaneous submissions.
  • Profanity, sex, and other explicit situations are fine as long as they fit within the context of the story.
  • Submissions are open now, and will be open through July 31, 2014.

Payment and Terms: We are funding this ourselves because we are passionate about finding new and diverse voices in SFF. We will be paying $0.05 per word up to $500 (although we welcome stories from a minimum of 1,500 words and up to a maximum of 17,500 words long). We plan on publishing these short stories for free in their entirety on We also plan on selling these stories in ebook and limited print editions at a 50% net royalty, with possible inclusion in future anthologies (royalty to be negotiated). We ask for exclusive rights for a year, and non-exclusive rights following that.

How to Submit: Submissions should be emailed to Please attach your full story as a document (.doc, .docx, .rtf). Please do not send your story as text in the body of an email. A cover letter is not strictly necessary but welcome, and we would love to learn a little bit about you and the inspiration behind your work (or anything else you think is relevant to your story submission).

We will reply to all authors who have submitted work by August 15, 2014.

We are happy to answer any of your questions - leave a comment or email us (, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. And… that’s it! We hope to be reading your excellent short stories very soon.

(via kaylapocalypse)



This Life Creative


Throwing commas at a page, Pollock 
would smirk around cheroot smoke 
and smile on his pipe handle. 

Power is not in the take away but 
my give is a thousand bamboo forests 
in typhoon’s miracle, death has no grasp. 

Yes, I tickle the dragons tail in the spirit 
of expansion, flickering blue light fate 
that waits in Colorado skies. 

My experiments escape from my test tubes, indiscriminate. 

Glory is illusion illusive, idiosyncratic to my fashion, 
a hawk disguised with robins and larks, 
a take down in microcosms resplendent grace. 

Passion is my conflagration unleashed on pages 
a music of gods imparted a bit more than 
lightly, for touch is definite, as am I. 

Another way, passion is my glory, nebulous are accolades. 

Voice is strength, and I protect mine in fire holly 
and breathed upon by blue sapphires, my makes 
are inviolate in their power, glory and passion… 

And gratitude for this life creative never wanes. 

Chris Whitenack © 2014