Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Brain Food

Many thanks to Keira Soleore who graciously included Just Janga in her list of “Five Blogs that Make Me Think” (January 13, 2010). Nothing delights the teacher in me more than to be told I’ve made someone think, and to be included with the superior blogs on Keira’s list is a high compliment indeed.

The rules of the meme require that I

1. write a post with links to five blogs that make me think.
2. link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
3. proudly display the "Thinking Blogger Award" image on my blog with a link to the post that nominated me.

All the blogs I visit make me think, but since many of you visit the same blogs I do within the romance community, I thought you might find it more useful if I named five blogs that extend our online world. So here are my choices for "Five Blogs That Make Me Think":

1. OnFiction
The focus on this blog is the psychology of fiction. New posts are available twice weekly, and the archives are a treasure trove of fascinating information on how fiction is created and on those who write it and read it. To cite just one article that I’ve thought about a great deal, an August 2008 post reports on a study that found more than ninety percent of writers interviewed had experienced their characters behaving autonomously. The most experienced writers experienced the phenomenon more frequently. The study also suggested that writers were more likely than others to have had imaginary companions as children and to score higher on tests of empathy.

2. Writer Unboxed
This group blog features twelve writers working in various genres of popular fiction. I was directed to it through A Writer Afoot, one of my favorite writing/reading blogs by one of my favorite writers, Barbara Samuel/Barbara O’Neal (also Ruth Wind). Writer Unboxed defines its focus as “the craft and business of genre fiction.” These dozen writers, many of whom may be new to you, talk honestly and lucidly about crafty topics such as the recent posts on voice and point of view and business topics such as agents and promotions. They also have an incredible archive of interviews. Some of my favorites are interviews with Jo Beverley, Jasper Fforde, Sarah Addison Allen, and Marsha Moyer—all writers that turn me into a raving fangirl.

3. Two Nerdy History Girls
I’m a research nerd, so it should be no surprise that I find this blog addictive. Two extraordinary writers, Loretta Chase (author of the classic Lord of Scoundrels and fifteen other romance keepers) and Susan Holloway Scott (author of four compelling historical fiction novels about the women in the life of Charles II and nearly thirty romance novels as Miranda Jarrett) gossip about their research and writing. Corsets, clap, and badly behaved men—they talk about all these and much more with wit, intelligence, and the kind of humor you celebrate in your best friends.

4. Books Blog (The Guardian)
You won’t find more than an occasional mention of romance fiction on this blog, but you will find tons of information and opinions about books, literary awards and trends, and hundreds of other topics. Just this week I read about apocalypse literature, writers suffering from depression, and the just-announced Newberry Award winner.

5. Word Spy
I may be cheating here because this “Word Lover’s Guide to New Words” is not really a blog. Regardless, it’s one of my favorite places to visit. Run by Canadian Paul McFedries, author of dozens of technology books (including one I’m currently reading, Twitter Tips, Tricks, and Tweets), who defines words that are just entering the lexicon. This week he introduced me to “email apnea”: The unconscious and temporary suspension of regular breathing while checking and reading email. Who knew? Well, obviously Mr. McFedries knew.

What blogs feed your brain? Mine can always use more nourishment.


Anonymous said...
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MsHellion said...

Okay, I've had to add three links to my blog so I have new places to visit. *LOL* Thanks, Janga!

Keira Soleore said...

Thanks for playing, Janga. And I now have many more links to add to my Reader.

Susan Holloway Scott said...

Janga, thank you SO MUCH for placing the Nerdy History Girls in such esteemed company! Loretta and I were literally left speechless (no mean feat) by your kind words. We're so glad we're a regular stop on your internet rambles -- and we've added your blog, too, to our own list of favs. :)

JulieJustJulie said...

New and interesting blogs? Oooh Janga how wonderful of you to share your knowledge of the online world with us. All of those blog sites were new to me, so of course I could not resist tearing into them.
I feel just like a little kid opening her presents on Christmas morning !

JulieJustJulie said...

And Janga ... you Always make me think. Your students are very lucky.

Janga said...

I hope you enjoy them, Hellie. i'm always glad to help a friend. :)

Janga said...

Thank you, Keira! What would we do without our Readers? LOL! I'm glad I gave you some new links.

Janga said...

You are very welcome, Susan. Vanessa Kelly is a big fan of the Nerdy Girls, and it was she who first sent me to your blog. One visit was enough to persuade me it was a can't-miss.Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for adding me to your blog roll.

Janga said...

Julie, you always say the sweetest things. And I'm glad my recs were a late Christmas gift for you--or an early Inspire-Your-Heart-with-Art gift (Jan. 31) since the blogs provide verbal--and in some cases-visual--art.