Category Archive: dojo

Oct 04 2011

Dana’s Dojo: Get Your Black Belt Right Here


It’s the beginning of the winter writing season, and Sensei Dana is en la casa. Specifically, her arse is planted in the big chair, and her legs will soon have semi-permanent laptop-shaped impressions upon them. We do not know food. We do not know sleep. We do not know social events. We are writing. Summer …

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Sep 27 2011

Dojo Summer Sessions: Steven Pinker Makes Me Feel Better

He shall probably do the same for you. I fell in love with Steven quite by accident. I was at Bookmans, the most delicious used bookstore I’ve ever been in this side of Powell’s, and I was combing the Buddhism section for some Zen goodness. Behind me stood books on writing, so I turned round …

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Sep 20 2011

Dojo Summer Sessions: Writing Inspirations, Good Advice

I’m busy writing a short story that decided it couldn’t wait and trying to pre-load meaty posts for this long winter writing season. So I shall foist you off on other, wiser people who had quite good things to say to writers such as ourselves. This is a small collection of quotes I’ve gathered over …

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Sep 13 2011

Dojo Summer Sessions: I Shall Require Topics

Summer’s drawing to a close, and the winter writing season is very nearly upon us. The Muse is back from wherever she spent her summer vacation. It looks like winter will be coming early. There’s a sharp chill in the night air, and a certain gleam in her eye that says I’m in for it. …

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Sep 06 2011

Dojo Summer Sessions: The Writer’s Gut

My heart sister says important things about writing. And you may say to yourself, “Well, of course, Dana would think so – Nicole’s the sister she never had.” That’s true. Yes, I am partial. But there’s also another factor: Nicole writes for a living, so when she says things about writing, these important things, it …

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Aug 30 2011

Dojo Summer Sessions: The Writer’s Rituals

I think most of us who write, no matter how skeptical or non-superstitious we are, have our little rituals to summon the Muse (not that the wretched entity comes when called). Consider this an invitation to regale us with yours. I’m not picky when it comes to blogging. I’ve done it in my PJs, but …

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Aug 23 2011

Dojo Summer Sessions: Connie Willis on Comedy, Tragedy, and Getting Married via LOTR

Comatose from traveling, I’m afraid. However, I have Connie Willis here to delight, surprise, and teach you. She’s one of the best SF authors in existence. Also, funny and surprising. Watch! Don’t miss this next one for sheer geeky hilarity. Lord of the Rings has changed a lot of people’s lives, but I don’t think …

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Aug 16 2011

Dojo Summer Sessions: Vonnegut Draws Us Story Arcs

I’m traveling. And before I left, I was preoccupied with traveling. So you shall have a video rather than me babbling. Listen to Kurt Vonnegut babble instead – you’ll enjoy it and you might find your Muse tickled, which is very nearly all a writer ever needs.

Aug 09 2011

Dojo Summer Sessions: The Pleasures of Longhand

I’ve just spent the past two nights taking notes longhand from various books and websites. I’ve got notebooks full of such scribblings, deep black ink on white paper, handwriting that changes according to mood, caffeine levels, and whether or not the cat wanted attention. It’s a dramatically inefficient way to take notes: using a pen …

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Aug 02 2011

Dojo Summer Sessions: Taking Stock, Going With the Flow

Here’s a post I think all writers should read. It’s got important concepts and questions we need to keep in mind if we wish to succeed. It takes the economic concept of stock and flow and turns it into a metaphor for writing: But I actually think stock and flow is the master metaphor for …

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