If a civilian in the US (who does not work for the gov't) learns top secret national security information through no active choice of her own (not snooping, stuff just happens in front of her or she is clearly dragged into the matter against her will), can the government legally compel her to keep said secret? [more inside]
posted by scaryblackdeath
on May 24, 2013 -
I learned English as a second language (native is Finnish). The emphasis in school was on vocabulary and very basic grammar; we did not to my recollection deal with stuff like passive voice etc. So in terms of writing in English, much of my "voice" has developed simply from what sounds right inside my head. However, I've been told that the way I write is overly complicated. Is this so? [more inside]
posted by Unhyper
on May 22, 2013 -
I'm revising a young adult novel that includes legal & police (sub)plotlines and have some questions. [more inside]
posted by changeling
on May 22, 2013 -
This week, my daughter (a sophomore in high school) will be bidding adieu to her French teacher, who is is retiring. Daughter is artistic and has decided to make a card for Madame but is looking for inspiration. [more inside]
posted by kbar1
on May 20, 2013 -
Writers, and novelists or fiction writers in particular, can you share your goals, processes and timelines for each of your drafts? [more inside]
posted by thinkpiece
on May 19, 2013 -
I'm looking for websites that post longer pieces (3000 words+) on topics like science, culture, personal essay (not so much regular long-form journalism). These could be magazines like seed or nautil.us or online only. Recommendations?
posted by asher
on May 17, 2013 -
I'm trying to learn more about contemporary Indonesia, and I'd love book & essay recommendations, especially of narrative non-fiction with a strong first person narrative voice! (But I'd also love suggestions of fiction, good travelogues, podcasts, blogs, zines, films, academic articles--really anything that doesn't demand prior in depth knowledge.) [more inside]
posted by tapir-whorf
on May 13, 2013 -
I was convinced to start a blog under my real name, for the purposes of being visible on the internet in a positive light while applying for jobs. Unfortunately, now it's up, I hate it and never want to write anything there. Since my partner is sick of me wailing about it, I thought I'd ask you guys for tips on low-effort
ways to post on a blog with a general theme of 'interesting science news'. [more inside]
posted by daisyk
on May 11, 2013 -
I'm heading for a career change, and want to get better at my two passions: creative writing (creative non-fiction) and photography. I'm looking for a grad program that helps me integrate both so I can tell both my own stories and other people's (NGOs, Foundations, etc) more persuasively. [more inside]
posted by leecohen
on May 10, 2013 -
I may have jumped the gun a bit in promising a friend that they could attend a writing workshop group we are starting. How should I navigate the resulting trickiness without marring any relationships? [more inside]
posted by deathpanels
on May 9, 2013 -
I need help coming up with a titular character of my book, someone who is sympathetic and sounds like a reasonable person to ask for advice. [more inside]
posted by philosophistry
on May 7, 2013 -
I went on a long, long break form my creative career cause I was feeling burnt out due to some failures and now I can't seem to get back into it, possibly because I no longer have a financial incentive to do so. How can I fix this? Warning: Long, super privileged person problems. [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on May 7, 2013 -
I'm seeing a trend emerge, but I can't quite put my finger on how to identify it. Does it already have a name? If not, help me come up with one (for an article I'm writing). The article's jumping off point is RapGenius's foray into annotating everything
not just lyrics, the NYTimes' Quips
tool, Medium.com's paragraph-level commenting/annotation system
, and Findings.com. [more inside]
posted by AceRock
on May 6, 2013 -
I have inherited my grandmother's writings. I'm scanning them, doing OCR and in some cases retyping them so that I can have them digitized. I'd like to know, is there a format for text that is best for archival purposes? I was thinking of .rtf, since so many applications can open it. Is it considered "archival quality"?
posted by dylan_k
on May 6, 2013 -
Folks I know get published! Yay them! Go them! But shamefully, it.. the ...the flames, flames...on the side of my face...breathing...heaving breaths
. How do I tame my inner envy monster? [more inside]
posted by angrycat
on May 2, 2013 -
I aspire to write beautifully -- what is some great writing that uses colorful, creative language and style? [more inside]
posted by switcheroo
on Apr 29, 2013 -
I'm looking for something written from a second generation Asian American perspective that starts with this premise: [My parents/family treat(ed) me badly] But does NOT end with this conclusion: [...but they are immigrants and don't know the culture so I can't really judge them, and they sacrificed so much for me and I feel guilty and they just wanted the best for me, so therefore, I love them to pieces]. [more inside]
posted by dede
on Apr 26, 2013 -
Help me understand the editor hierarchy at the magazine I write for. Every article I do for them seems to take a different path, with different editors contacting me about different things, but it's never consistnet. I can never figure out if I'm communicating with the right person. [more inside]
posted by Ookseer
on Apr 25, 2013 -
A while ago I read an essay/article/rant online re a fantasy author / series and I'd like to read it again but google is failing me because I can't remember any specifics. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry
on Apr 23, 2013 -
Help me rescue my analytical faculties so I can survive the last months of grad school with my dignity intact. [more inside]
posted by avocet
on Apr 21, 2013 -
In older times, ships used to have sailors. These sailors had actual job functions, like adjusting the sails, checking on the rigging, etc. Later on, when ships were steam-powered, there were jobs like "putting coal in the engine" or "maintaining the boiler."
However, in modern times, with all the technology in a cargo vessel, it seems to me that sailing it is something that could be done by a single person. So what do all the other sailors do? To put it another way, what are the actual "job functions" and titles of sailors about a modern cargo ship?
posted by wolfdreams01
on Apr 20, 2013 -
I am not casual. My job requires me to write casually. I keep getting told to be less "direct" in my intercommunication style with people. Oh yeah, and I'm an Aspie woman. [more inside]
posted by Phalene
on Apr 19, 2013 -
I'm job hunting for the first time in a few years, and I just saw a perfectly delicious looking Content Editor gig at a women's apparel website. They want me to include my writing portfolio, for obvious reasons.
What's the most current best practice for how this should be formatted and attached to my application email? I have a variety of blog, website, and social media content from my current and former jobs. Should I just pick my favorite clips, toss them in a word doc, and attach it? Something fancier? Any formatting specifics? Should I also include a link to my personal website with more samples? Thanks, writerly Mefites!
posted by anonymous
on Apr 12, 2013 -
I read a lot, and my receptive vocabulary is excellent. However, no so much on the expressive side. I tend to repeat the same word over and over in my writing, and sometimes have difficulty picking appropriate word to succinctly capture a concept.
So, what's a good and specific exercise(s) for increasing one's expressive vocabulary?
posted by pakoothefakoo
on Apr 10, 2013 -
Years ago (years!) I recall a TV show with Carl Sagan wherein he was standing in a library and made the point that if he read x
books per week for x
number of years then he would have read a small fraction of the books that have ever been written. His point was that even a well-read person can only ingest a fraction of what is out there.
I've always like that quote and would like to find this scene on YouTube or another site...
posted by gilast
on Apr 7, 2013 -
When I lived in Chicago, there was a great late-night coffee shop called New Wave Cafe in Logan Square that was perfect for after-work writing. I've been having a hard time finding a similar spot since moving to NYC. It doesn't need to be a coffee shop, but it does need to be well-lit enough that I can read, and calm enough that I won't be seen as preventing the establishment from doing business. Bonus points if the place has a neighborhood-y feel with a friendly staff. I live in Greenpoint, work in SoHo, and usually commute via bicycle over the Williamsburg Bridge. Any suggestions, Metafilter?
posted by eustacescrubb
on Mar 31, 2013 -
I started freelance writing recently and have met a couple of people who are dream contacts -- a literary agent who's reached out to me for book ideas, and an editor who offered to have lunch with me to see what else I might contribute to their publication. The problem is, I'm very new to this and, though thrilled to be able to write for an audience, am really struggling between courageous ambition and compulsive self-effacement. I know creative producers go through this all the time. However, my question is: how do I take advantage of these opportunities ASAP in spite of it? [more inside]
posted by taramosalata
on Mar 29, 2013 -
Professional communicators of Metafilter: Please give me your tips for handling subject matter experts who write poorly, but don't know it. When a colleague is adamant that their disorganised writing and grammatical errors Must Not Be Changed, how do you respond? [more inside]
posted by embrangled
on Mar 28, 2013 -
Are there any blog/writing websites out there that are like Thought Catalog, but slightly more... mature I guess? Without the high-school/college drama or pop culture nonsense. Sometimes I feel just slightly too old for TC's target demographic. :/ But I do enjoy reading short blog posts from a variety of authors. Thanks in advance
posted by The Biggest Dreamer
on Mar 22, 2013 -
I've been writing short fiction. I've got my process down pretty well, to the point that I am not getting stuck in writer's block hell or any other common pitfalls. I have ideas, and I'm capable of getting them down on paper. I revise them, I produce new drafts, etc.
My problem comes in the last phase of the process. I don't know when to say something is done
. [more inside]
posted by deathpanels
on Mar 21, 2013 -
Are there other simple-to-express checks like the Bechdel Test for measuring gender bias and feminism in fiction? I try hard to make sure I'm being a decent feminist as a writer -- I'm a guy, I tend to write with male protagonists but with a lot of female characters involved, and I worry about my blind spots. [more inside]
posted by scaryblackdeath
on Mar 19, 2013 -
For the last few years, I have reviewed every book I read on Goodreads, just for my own edification. I read a lot. I have written a lot
. Is there a better use to put this content to? [more inside]
posted by restless_nomad
on Mar 16, 2013 -
I'm looking for something in Los Angeles that is similar to the Loft
in Minneapolis - writing classes for all abilities and ambitions. I am not looking to write the next Pulp Fiction, only to have fun and actually write. I've found one potential place so far - this is a big city!! I must be missing something... right? [more inside]
posted by munichmaiden
on Mar 14, 2013 -
I'm 31 years old and looking for a career change. I've come to love research and I've always loved reading nonfiction and true crime as well as the exposé articles often published by alternative weeklies. What are some careers that would fit these interests, and how do I work my way towards those careers? [more inside]
posted by averageamateur
on Mar 11, 2013 -
I can't think properly while online. Nor can I think properly if the Internet is a few clicks away. So I am looking for a laptop that can run Open Office, Adobe, and MS Word, has a USB port for swapping files on and off. It must not be capable of connecting to the Internet, at least not wirelessly. Alternately, I'd be interested in ways to permanently disable the wireless on my old unibody MacBook Pro, model 1.1. Then I could buy a second laptop for Internet purposes. The goal is two laptops--one that's capable of online work and one that is not.
posted by thecolor12
on Mar 11, 2013 -
There seems to be huge number of online work/project tracking/logging programs out there, but they are mostly designed for small businesses and freelancers (e.g. focussed on invoicing) and charge by the month. I've seen a few that look OK like Toggl and Slimtimer but none that seems ideal for my needs yet. Can anyone recommend ones (ideally free and with the ability to track different tasks & share that tracking/logging) that are easy to use, have decent functionality, and would be good for 2 friends working on writing their PhD theses and would like to try and help each other keep track of how much work they're doing? [more inside]
posted by zresearch
on Mar 10, 2013 -
I'm submitting a story to a fiction contest, attaching it to an email. Other than the contest guidelines, is there anything else I need to do to the document or be aware of?
posted by larry_darrell
on Mar 9, 2013 -
I've got a brand new (refurb) Retina MacBook Pro, fresh out of the cellophane wrapper. I've been eking out a slow and cluttered existence on a combination of my iPad mini, my oldish Mac Mini, my iPhone, and a desktop Windows machine (for gaming) for a couple of years. I haven't had a laptop in... I can't even remember if I have ever had a laptop. Help me find the perfect set of apps for it? Snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by kythuen
on Mar 7, 2013 -
I'm looking for myths/stories about books and writing. Not - and this is where I'm running into trouble with google - top ten lists about cafe productivity and self-publishing; I mean more like a hero whittling a pen from the boughs of Yggdrasil and then stealing ink from the Kraken, with the goal of writing down the secrets of Enki in order to embarrass him and get him to pay the 5 goats owed.
Any location/time is fine! Can be short, can be long.
posted by curious nu
on Mar 5, 2013 -
I need an editor (copy and content) for an edgy, non-traditional chapbook of poems. Word count is light -- around 4,000. Budget is nearly non-existent (this is an art project) but there would be some kind of honorarium attached. Can someone help me find a good, trusty editor?
posted by nowhere man
on Mar 3, 2013 -
I've tried several different writing groups and classes. Each ended up being 10% writing and 90% sitting around in a circle giving "three positives and three negatives!" about other writers' submissions. I don't want to do that. [more inside]
posted by apparently
on Mar 2, 2013 -
I'm a freelance writer in the second year of my career, as well as a lifelong creative writer with several published works. I've done a lot of performing arts blogging and local news writing and I'd like to build on that and get into more paying work as well as increase my publication credits. I've been recommended to join Writer's Market. Have others had worthwhile experiences with the service? Also happy to hear about other options.
posted by letstrythis
on Feb 28, 2013 -
I'd like to get more into freelance copywriting. It's something I can do from home, and I'm pretty good at it. I have a money and time goal for it.
Money: 5 cents a word
Time: 15 hours a week
Total: About $1,500 a month.
I'm on Textbroker, but they rarely pay more than 1.5 cents a word. I'm open to pay-by-project too, if they're consistent. How would I go about finding regular clients/websites that could help me reach my goal?
posted by tuberose
on Feb 27, 2013 -
When I'm racing to meet a writing deadline, I feel a sense of exhilaration, momentum, and flow. How can achieve that state on a regular basis so I can make steady progress on my writing? [more inside]
posted by incandescentman
on Feb 27, 2013 -
I have a perfect notebook, left over from college, and would love to find more just like it. But it has no branding -- I have no idea who manufactured the darn thing. My school doesn't seem to sell them anymore.
It's 7" by 10", double-wire bound, cloth hardcover, with nice lined pages. Each page has a little recycling triangle symbol on it (indicating 100 percent recycled).
Pics inside. Anyone know who could've made it, or where to find the same?
Many thanks! [more inside]
posted by dgrobinson
on Feb 25, 2013 -
It's been almost 10 years since I last changed jobs and it's also been that long since I've written a resume. I'd like to get some (hopefully) expert opinion and editing to bring my resume up to date, both to reflect the skills/experience I've gained and ensure that it is in a format that will be acceptable to recruiters/companies. Has anyone used a resume service recently that you've been pleased with? (I'm located in the NYC metro area if that makes a difference).
posted by de void
on Feb 12, 2013 -
In the last 9 years, I've written a Russian novel's worth of blog comments. Can you help me channel this energy into personal writing projects? NOTE : I am NOT interested in blogging. [more inside]
posted by Afroblanco
on Feb 12, 2013 -