Here's a podcast about fairy-tales, not just for children. Stories of all kinds spur our development, of course, but it's also interesting to learn a bit more about where those tales came from and why they're so timeless.

This is a great episode for writers. Where did our stories originate? How did they become children's fare after being adult stories (in every sense of the word) for so long? What's in those tales that resolves our fears - existential or otherwise - over and over again? Evil step-mothers, wolves, endangered children and the rest.

Give this podcast, from "On Being," hosted by Krista Tippett, a listen. Then visit the site for more interesting and provocative talks.

On Being: http://www.onbeing.org/

This is a rather amazing little website, all about words: where they came from and what they originally meant. So far there are fascinating little videos about the words "clue," "hearse" and "pants." More will be coming later.

Check out the website here: http://www.mysteriesofvernacular.com/
A simple challenge. In February, mail 1 item through the post every day it runs. Answer every letter you receive.

Welcome to February, and an interesting challenge from author Mary Robinette Kowal. She has given us a challenge: write one letter per day this month and mail it to someone. If you want, you can join any one of several lists going around so that other people can do the same back.

I first heard about this challenge through a friend's blog. She'd first heard about it from Mary and decided to gather a bunch of her blog followers to swap addresses and start writing and mailing. Just like the old days!

I saw another blog reference to it today and decided, what the heck, let me try it too! So, I just mailed a card to my sister in Western New York. I'll start in on the list my blogger friend sent over, since I also "know" a lot of the folks on it.

I think this is going to be fun and I encourage you all to check it out for yourselves. Here's the website (yes, the person who put together the challenge actually created a website, too!) for more information - http://lettermo.com/

There's also a Facebook page for the February letter-writing challenge, at: https://www.facebook.com/LetterMo. And, last but most surely not least, the Twitter feed as well: https://twitter.com/lettermonth
This post was too good not to share. Not everybody's into social networking, but it's a great way for writers to share and improve their work. I just came across this article, in Mashable, that lists 10 great sites to consider.

Click here to read this article.
I follow a lot of blogs online, many from writers such as ourselves. This one came into my inbox this morning. Those of us with dayjobs like to complain about the lack of time this leaves us for writing. It's one of many diversions, or perhaps excuses. I liked this post and found it inspiring enough to share it with you.

An Experiment in Life as a Dayjobless Writer

From the Hawleyville Blog, at: http://hawleyville.wordpress.com/

I’ll admit it. I’m one of those writers. You know the type – maybe you even ARE one too. We plod along at a snail’s pace on our works-in-progress. We bounce from project to project and it takes us forever to finish anything.

Read the rest of the article here.
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