I learned that you may need outside help to distinguish good pain from bad pain.

I found a blood-stirring, no-holds-barred page that says, essentially, “do it, motherfucker.”

I read about a blind man who taught himself to see by echolocation. Oh my god.

I read about the care and feeding of a novelist – oh, man, so true.

And since I’m writing this on Thursday and missing all of Friday’s great links (because, as you read this, I have been on the road for four hours with another four to go!), I am giving you the rest of our best Six Flags photos!

Walking The Porcupine

Loose Tiger!

My First Rollercoaster



Shake It Off

I wanted to share some of the animal highlights of last Sunday at Six Flags; there will be more photos coming up, especially since our holiday weekend will be spent camping on the coast with the redwoods.

Gator Girl

Cougar Mirror

Curiouser and Curiouser


Shark Attack!

Dolphin Luv

Why Hello There

A Very Colorful Critter

Oh man, after last week’s Mega Edition, this week has some awfully slim pickin’s.

I learned that writers can parallel visionaries and mystics in many ways.

I found a really cool random collection of science and nature photographs.

I learned why new experiences are important and positively affect your perception of time. This is awesome.

I watched SJ Tucker’s first music video, Playing D&D, then got earwormed by Roll A D6 on top of that. Man! The musical geekery abounds. :D

Your Friday photo is half of our yard, gloriously unmowed and lush:

Man, this is the Mega Edition. Too much cool stuff in one week!

I learned that avoiding suffering is not the path to happiness and how to learn from it instead.

I read the 56 worst most smart-ass analogies used in high school papers and laughed my ass off.

I saw a sweet, beautiful story in art.

I learned that scientists have finally created a parthenogenic lizard species in the lab via hybridization. Sweet!

I howled at the best obnoxious responses to misspellings on Facebook. Oh, god, guys, I died.

I learned that being allowed to struggle is a kindness and a necessity, as it is how we learn and grow best.

I read about some authors’ lessons learned from master worldbuilders.

I learned that being “cool” can be like wearing an emotional straightjacket.

I saw an incredibly beautiful, inspiring image-story on artistic evolution – you’ve got to see this, guys.

I learned that there are two kinds of asking why – the gentle, exploratory kind and the accusatory, perfectionist kind.

I read about best practices for beta readers and was relieved that I seem to be doin’ it right.

I learned how to live deeper, not busier.

I read a beautiful, brilliant post on self-wisdoms.

I learned the importance of a really good wallow (and a really good metaphor).

I learned that Camp NaNoWriMo is coming this summer! NaNoWriMo! In the summer! I squeed.

I was reminded that decompressing between actions is just as important as the actions themselves, and I wish more people practiced this.

And your Friday photo is from my yard, taken yesterday:

I found 50 questions to ask yourself to create the life you want.

I learned some good ways to smite stress.

I learned a few ways to be kind, even when you don’t feel like it.

I learned that seemingly embodying opposites is not strange or bad – it’s actually a positive and balanced thing.

I learned that ladies and gents prefer bookworms – bonus lovely photos!

I learned how to help someone who won’t help themselves.

I read about the lion’s mane jellyfish, which can grow up to 120 feet long. So cool.

And I wanted to share an old favorite critter of mine, the coconut crab, the largest land arthropod with a leg span of up to three feet.

And your Friday photo is a two-fer, both courtesy Wikimedia Commons, of the aforementioned jellyfish and coconut crab:

I found a ton of photos of basset hounds running, which are guaranteed to make you smile and/or laugh. Best way to start a Friday.

I found an in-browser program to make your own music – it’s so easy and so incredibly addictive. I love this.

I also found a source of white noise that can help drown out audible distractions while working, writing, or just chilling. The oscillate function can make it sound like ocean waves.

I learned how important and awesome it is to wave your freaky flag and be completely you, authentic and vulnerable.

I read a fantastic letter to women in tech apologizing for doin’ it wrong by not being “meek” and “unambitious.” (I have a fondness for sarcasm. I laughed.)

I read the complete guide to not giving a fuck, which is all kinds of no-nonsense and awesome.

I learned why we may judge others and how to accept them and ourselves.

I learned that making mistakes is actually both useful and a sign you’re doin’ it right.

I learned 23 things I might not’ve known about me through this wonderful little (free) ebook. It was happy-making to read.

And your Friday photo is an exceptionally friendly corvid I met in Colorado:

I really want to resume taking pictures of everything around me. Nevada can be quite beautiful, but I haven’t been keeping my camera around to immortalize some of those moments. So, hopefully, you’ll start seeing more photos from this year instead of a few years back. :)

I learned how to balance the mojo budget by avoiding things that cost me energy and engaging in things that energize me.

I found a LLAMA FONT. Yes.

I read about the allure of the “gay caveman” and the existence of third genders in various cultures.

I learned that you’re never really ready, but you can sure as hell be willing.

I learned that human skin is now being mass-producted in a robot-controlled factory. SCIENCE IS SO COOL.

I learned that scientists managed to teleport Shrodinger’s cat in the form of wave packets of light. Have I mentioned how much I love quantum science?

I read a letter to teenage girls that I wish I could send to every kid in high school.

I learned that we’re all stones in a rock tumbler, and our sharp edges will be smoothed down in time as we touch others and they touch us.

I learned that part of strength is knowing when to let go.

I learned about shenpa and how to deal with it, which is still blowing my mind because this is something I struggle with every day.

I found out that someone made a “Heaven” tetris game based on xkcd’s comic. Oh, it’s addictive.

I read about how future history students will think it’s embarrassing and ridiculous that we took so long to legalize gay marriage. This will probably prove true in time.

Your Friday photo was taken in Colorado a few years back; I still think it’s hilarious.

I learned some great tips on how to start bicycling to work, which is something I want to try once it STOPS BEING WINTER. Any time now, Nevada, really. Only two of the dozen mini-trees outside my office building are even budding. The rest are stylized sticks.

I found the Periodic Table of Storytelling, which is both interesting and entertaining.

I learned that, sometimes, being kind means being compassionate to another person’s troubles.

I found a book you can sleep in. YES.

And at the last minute, I found a fantastic manifesto that says that the internet is made of people, and people matter, so be nice. So much love for this one.

Your Friday photo is a shot from Colorado. That tiny, long-haired spec down there is my love, J. :)

Apparently, this week was slim pickings! Damn. I feel like I missed most of the awesome posts out there. Got any you want to share, folks?

I learned how to find serenity in an industry that doesn’t want you.

I learned how to steal like an artist.

I was reminded that the incubation time between actions is just as important as the actions themselves, like pulling back an arrow before letting it fly.

I read an amazing statement of queerness from a brilliant person who lives it and writes it. SO MUCH LOVE AND ADMIRATION FOR THIS.

I looked at awesome illustrations of the year 2010, as imagined in 1910.

I learned that doing work – enacting changes in our lives and selves – may very well be the purpose for human striving. Not being happy or content or pious, but Getting Things Done that improve our realities and experiences.

I read about one woman’s thirty-day experiment into health and realized that telling myself “I only have to do this for a month! That’s all!” is a great way to ease into a new habit.

I learned that I want to go bicycling in New Zealand– er, I mean, that breaking a daunting thing down into little steps, starting where you are (which is Being Daunted), can get you through almost anything.

And your Friday photo is a bit of perspective from Discovery Park, Seattle:

I learned that, even though you can’t please everyone, there will always be someone who loves what you do and how you do it. Everybody gets their Right People.

I learned that each person’s experience can be valid and true for them without being the whole, objective, universal truth.

I read a fucking amazing poem called How To Make Love To A Trans Person and wanted to cry because it’s beautiful and visceral and real.

I read about the process of change: about having a path, going through the fires of the forge, and finding yourself on a different path – and adapting to the new road.

I read an article on finding personal freedom, which I mostly want to share because of the first step: don’t take it personally, which is so damn important. (The other three steps are good too, though!)

I read an Interstitial Arts review of two of my favorite creatrixes, SJ Tucker and Cat Valente. I may have squeed.

I learned twenty ways to overcome doubts and found my favorite to be asking yourself, “What will happen if I doubt this doubt?”

And I learned that there’s room for you all of you in what you do – your life, your passion, your work can include all of your facets, not just the ones that other people say are “right.”

And your Friday photo is actually a Friday artwork!

Inspired by the lyrics of Burning Bright by Shinedown:

the more the light shines through me,
I pretend to close my eyes;
the more the dark consumes me,
I pretend I’m burning,
burning bright