Five Finds for the Fifth – February 2016 Edition

3695647200_466c063223_zAs usual, it’s time for me to share five of the cooler writing related things I’ve found over the course of the last month.

It has been a busy month for me in terms of content creation, so I’ve actually been a little bit lower on the content consumption front.  I guess that’s a trade I’d be willing to make, but it does leave me with less awesome stuff than usual.

Anyway, let’s take a look.

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Interviews End and Other Projects – January In Review

One step closer

I got one step closer in November

January concluded my residency interviews.  It was quite a grind towards the end, but I made it intact.

From here, I have to build my rank list to participate in the Match.  To those of you not in the medical profession, here’s how that works….  All the residency programs you interviewed at rank you and all the other students they interviewed from 1 to (let’s say) 200.  All the students rank all the programs they’ve interviewed at from 1 to (let’s say) 10.

Then, a computer takes all of these rankings from everyone in the Match and plugs them into an algorithm.  The result?

Most (but not all) students are matched to a residency program in such a way that the greatest number of people and programs are given their highest rank matches.

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Thoughts on The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

I have been on an absolute reading tear lately.

I’m at the tail end of time off of medical school for interviews, and I have been making the most of it.

I spent the last three days blasting through The Black Prism by Brent Weeks.

The Black Prism came as a recommendation from the fantastic Fantasy Faction forums.  If you’re into fantasy books and want some advice about what to pick up next, I suggest you head over there.

I was not disappointed.

In fact, I had a great time reading The Black Prism, and I’m sure to pick up the sequels over the next few weeks.  I highly recommend you give it a shot.

Here are some thoughts.  Be forewarned: there are SPOILERS.

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Thoughts on The Gentlemen Bastards 1-3

Here are my thoughts on The Lies of Locke Lamora, Red Seas Under Red Skies, and The Republic of Thieves, books 1-3 of Scott Lynch‘s The Gentleman Bastards.

I’ll admit.  It was with some trepidation that I decided to give the Gentleman Bastards books a shot.

You see, I started reading them earlier during medical school – during a particularly time intensive rotation – and I wasn’t able to get into them.  I knew it was probably due to the ridiculous time demands of school and the extra studying, but it still left a bad taste in my mouth.

In the end, I decided, well screw it.  I’m going to read them.

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5 Finds for the 5th – January 2016 Edition

3695647200_466c063223_zAnother month has gone by, and it’s time for me to share some of the cool stuff I’ve found in this month’s installment of 5 Finds for the 5th.

I found a lot of good stuff this month!  It was tough narrowing it down to just five items.  I briefly thought about changing this to seven finds for the seventh or something like that, but in the end, consistency is probably best.

Be forewarned, this five finds is going to be fairly “Best of 2015” heavy, since the year ended just a few days ago.

So here are five of my favorite writing related items from the last month. Continue reading

Holiday Ups and Downs – December in Review

I got one step closer in November

I got one step closer in November

Is there anything you look forward to yet also dread quite like the holidays?

Get to see family?  Awesome.  But stressful.  Gift giving and receiving?  Exciting.  But a huge pain in the ass.  Time off of work/school?  No, wait.  That one’s all good.

Looking back on the holidays, I wonder why we do this to ourselves.  In the end, I had good time, but there were some serious bumps on the road.

Anyway, let’s talk about writing.

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Conflicting Evidence – A Review of Serial [Updated!]

Serial_(podcast)_logoI just got home from a brutal road trip. It was rough.

But it would’ve been a lot rougher if not for Season 1 of Serial.

Serial is a podcast narrated by Sarah Koenig.  It tells the story of Koenig’s investigation into the fifteen year old murder of high school student Hae Lee.  Adnan Syed was found guilty of the crime in February 2000, but things might not be quite as they seem. Continue reading

The Problem with Books on Writing

1412167013451I have mixed feelings regarding books on writing.

I believe the best way to improve as a writer is to write.  A lot.  And to read.  A lot.

And to give readers a lot of your writing and enter the tortuous editing cycle.  A lot.

And so on.

You’ll notice that books on writing aren’t part of that equation.

The problem is this: good writing is a nebulous concept.  It isn’t something that can be simply described and then learned.  If it were that easy, everyone would leave grade school a great writer.

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