Wendy N. Wagner – Author

Wendy N. Wagner writes tie-in fiction for the Pathfinder role-playing system. She also writes other stuff, like sad stories about endangered dwarfs and poetry about dinosaurs. She blogs at the Inkpunks publishing blog and sometimes on her own site, winniewoohoo.com.

Good things to read.

One Ring Circus, by Katherine Dunn. An amazing collection of essays about boxing, with all the intelligence, heart, and beautiful prose of her classic novel Geek Love.

The Pushcart Book of Poetry, edited by the Pushcart Editors and Joan Murray. A selection from thirty years of the best poetry published by the North American small presses. It will make you glad that you can read, that you are alive, and that words were ever invented.

Brain Pickings Weekly Newsletter. It’s basically a once-a-week blast of cultural intelligence, dropped right into your inbox.

Good things to watch.

The short films of the Brothers Quay. Our public library has a collection of them, but some are available online, for example, the 1984 short The Cabinet of Jan Svankmejer. These tiny, often disturbing films are packed with remarkable imagery that has heavily influenced popular culture.

Showtime’s Masters of Horror series. If you haven’t caught any of these one-hour horror films, you are missing out on a really great time.

The extras on the remastered Eraserhead DVD. “Stories,” which is about an hour and a half of David Lynch and the cast members discussing how they made the film, provides some tremendous insight into his world. (I also highly recommend the extras on the Inland Empire DVD, which includes one of my staple quinoa recipes.)

Good things to use.

BoardGameGeek.com. Where else can you track your game plays, your friends’ wishlists and sign up for a tabletop gaming Secret Santa? No place, that’s where! You might not think you need this service, but when your spouse claims he’s never won a game of 51st State, you can pull up some stats and totally prove him wrong.

A clothesline. Okay, hanging your clothes up instead of just tossing them in the dryer is a lot of extra work. But it’s easy, meditative, and saves a ton of electricity. As someone who just went full-time freelance, I’m living on a pretty tight budget, so every penny counts. Plus, clothes hung up outside in the sunshine smell great!

The local public library. Sure, everything’s online these days. But so are most public libraries, and they’ve got a lot of amazing resources. With just my library card, I can go online and download e-books (including audio books, which pretty much rocks), tap into all kinds of databases (need the Statistical Abstract of the United States for the year 1886? The library will let you use it from home), use language-learning software, and best of all, read all kinds of journals, magazines, and newspapers. Plus, it’s free.

Connect with Wendy on Twitter, @WNWagner.

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