Mood Music: Haters Gonna Hate

Hello friends, and welcome to another irregular edition of Mood Music. Janelle Monae has entered regular rotation in my workout music, but she’s good any time of day for a mood boost. Franchesca Ramsey introduced me to this song in her eternally watchable Snapchat (@cheschaleigh).

So if you’re feeling down, or just need that extra kick to take over the world, please let Janelle remind you that haters gonna hate, but you need to do your thing.

Mood Music: Sad Songs for Lots of Feelings

Kina Grannis - Elements album cover, a good source of sad songs and happy songs.

I’m a sad songs junky. I think it has something to do with never having personally experienced epic love and heartbreak, but instead just a regular life of the stresses and sadness that don’t get songs. Shitty things are so easy to romanticize if you haven’t gone through them, after all. Other peoples’ (ideally, fictional peoples’) tragedies become fun to wallow in because you can leave.

So for somebody else’s sometimes melodramatic sadness, please enjoy a few of my favorites.

Tegan & Sara, 100x
I will fight you about Tegan & Sara and how great they are.

Christina Perri, A Thousand Years
I know this was played at Bella and Edward’s wedding, I don’t even care.

Lana del Rey, Dark Paradise
Honestly most of her songs creep me out and this one does too but I suspect that’s the point. Video Games is also a sad song but more for a “girl no come away from there” reason, so it didn’t make the list.

Death Cab for Cutie, I Will Follow You Into the Dark
I’m not sorry. I could listen to this on repeat in high school. Look, Evanescence isn’t on this list, that’s all the slack I can cut you.

MAGICI, Rude (as covered by Kina Grannis)
Only listen to the Kina Grannis cover of this song. Hers is sweet and sad and the best version. Kina Grannis is overall a great source of sad songs, whether she means to be or not. Sorry Kina.

Taylor Swift feat. The Civil Wars, Safe & Sound
As inspired by the book series that made me cry on public transit.

Any favorite sad songs to share? (NOTHING ABOUT DOGS.) Drop them in the comments!

Things Worth Reading: Scarier than Ghosts

Ghost Tours Turn Women’s Abuse into Family Friendly Entertainment, by Elena Gormley

In which I realize while reading all the rape stories I have heard packaged in a family-friendly way to the point of not even realizing what was going on, because we are nothing if not fucked up about how we talk about rape.

10 Haunting Documentaries that are Stranger than Fiction, by Sarah Watts

In which I am reminded I owe about 75% of my sophisticated cultural knowledge to my friend Charlie, who introduced me to Grizzly Man and others in high school.

The Unsinkable Effie Brown Makes HBO’s ‘Project Greenlight’ a Must-See: “I’m not his favorite person”, by Anne Thompson

In which the amazing black female producer Effie Brown (responsible for Rocket Science, one of my stealth faves) talks about what a pain in the ass it was to deal with some rich, famous whiny white guys, which is always a nightmare beyond imagining.

I love the Victorian era. So I decided to live in it. by Sarah A. Chrisman

In which two privileged white people adopt all the things from a historical era while divorcing it from its social and cultural context, and then get high and mighty about it.

Essential followups are Vox’s Victorians, which points out among other things that Ida B. Wells would probably agree it’s not right to be harassed for being different, and I love the Flintstones Era. So I decided to live in it. because sometimes the only response to the absurd is the absurd.

Read anything good lately?

Podcasts Worth Listening To


If you have my exact tastes and preferences, anyway. (But if you don’t like some of these you’re wrong and you should fix that.) Enjoy!

Personal Faves
Last Name Basis
Welcome to Night Vale
Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine

Crime & Spooky Stuff
Undisclosed: The State vs. Adnan Syed

Culture, Psychology, & Humans Being Interesting/Weird
Reply All
You Are Not So Smart
This American Life
Pop Culture Happy Hour

Creativity & Writing
The Accidental Creative
Writing Excuses

Stuff You Missed in History Class
the memory palace
Planet Money

29 Tips to Not Go Mad Writing

World of Wanderlust had an excellent list of 29 Tips to Increase Your Productivity as a Blogger that I find apply almost 100% to maintaining your productivity and wits as a fiction writer. In particular:

2. Do the most important things first thing in the morning

4. Work in bulk

12. Turn off all other distractions

18. Celebrate both small and big achievements

20. If nothing goes right, go left

and perhaps most importantly,

24. Don’t be concerned with what everyone else is doing

Go take a look at the full list.

Stranger than Fiction: The Dyatlov Pass Incident

The ever-entertaining Stuff You Missed in History Class has been doing a great series of scary historical events in a lead up to Halloween. The one that stuck with me most, that I had somehow managed to miss despite its permeation into the pop culture ether and those “6 Famous Unsolved Mysteries” lists, etc, was the Dyatlov Pass Incident.

A common question writers get, and I myself got when I used to talk much more about writing with non-writers, was “where do you get your ideas?”

The answer is you steal them. You steal them from things that happened, you steal a piece of a person you know or saw once on the street, and you assemble all these disparate bits until there is a story that you want to tell.

Thanks to SYMiHC and an upcoming short story contest with the theme of “first contact,” I’ve found where I’ll thieve my next story from.

Feminist Fridays: These Men Have Permission

We consistently fail young women—all women—by tacitly relying on them to learn from each other, or from their experiences, which of the people in their communities they can and cannot trust. We ask them to police their own peers, but quietly, through back channels, without disturbing the important people while they’re talking. We wait for the victims of abuse to be the ones to take power away from their abusers, instead of working actively to ensure that these motherfuckers never get that far in the first place.

Stories Like Passwords, from Emma Healey at The Hairpin