Archive for the ‘link roundup’ Tag

It’s Roundup Time!   5 comments

If you tuned in thinking I’d be discussing cows or horses, sorry to disappoint. Alaska does have a couple of herds of very shaggy cattle and people do keep horses and other livestock here, but I don’t own any of these quadripeds and have no personal experience with rounding them up — other than returning a few of my neighbor’s chickens who occasionally make a break for it.


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So, round up … I’m talking links and websites. Have you ever wondered how an author comes up with what they put in their stories? It depends on the genre, of course. My fantasy is mostly imagination supported by research, lots of history, Celtic gods, foods, housing and clothing. It’s pretty boring stuff if you’re not world-building.

Transformation Project is mostly research that inspires imagination. As Mirklin Wood is in post production, I’m starting to shift gears to Objects in View (book 2 of Transformation Project), so I’m going to concentrate on those links today.

Transformation Project (see book 1 Life as We Knew It) allows me to explore some trends I see in the modern United States. It happens that others have also explored these trends and sometimes have interesting things to say about what they observe.

I like my news balanced. Unfortunately, US news is anything but, so I visit three sites and hope to get an overview.CNN pretty much represents a strongly liberal bias and Fox attempts to give balanced coverage with a conservative editorial bias. Because I read online rather than watch (we don’t have cable), I can see the bias of each much more clearly than when you’re viewing it on television. I can compare and contrast the dissimilar treatment of the exact same news events. Reuters is European so is an outsider’s look at US affairs, We also watch PBS, BBC and DW on Friday night television. The PBS News Hour and Washington Week don’t even pretend anymore. The hosts say outright that they only support Democratic candidates. Husband Brad loves it when Gwen Iffel wears purple and we both love it whenever anyone manages to talk over Eleanor on McLaughlin Group. Yes, you’re right, I don’t consider them to be news shows, but opinion shows pretending to be news shows … but Brad and I enjoy mocking them, which is why we watch … and on really busy weeks, it might be the only “news” we imbibe.

Sarah Palin was mocked for this, but the only newspapers I read regularly are the Alaska papers Alaska Dispatch News, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and Juneau Empire. There’s just so much time in life and even a news junkie can’t read every rag out there. I read others intermittently.

Then there’s news analysis. Real Clear sites provide some great analysis from a variety of perspectives. Redstate has a distinctive conservative bent. I admit I don’t have a liberal analysis go-to, although I find it entertaining to sometimes tune in to see whose head is exploding on Huffington Post or Bloomberg. I just can’t stomach them enough to call them favorites … and notice that I don’t group them in with news — they are not providing news so much as they are providing opinion dressed up as news.

In any given week (save the week I’m formatting for paperback or it’s the summer solstice in Fairbanks), I have visited all of these sites at least once.

Transformation Project is based largely on what I see in the news, but there’s a lot of additional research that goes into the themes I’m exploring.

Mises Institute is a great site for economic ideas, analysis and history. Lew Rockwell provides a lot of the libertarian ideas that appear in the series and on the blog. There are a fair number of blogs that are also helpful in this. My current favorites are the Bionic Mosquito and Pro Libertate (Will Grigg), but my local source is Patriots Lament. Just following their links help me to find more information.

Of course, there are countless smaller topics to research. I’m no expert on a lot of topics. Guns, prepping and living without electricity or running water are topics I sort of knew about because I live in Alaska, but I still have to check my facts. And then there’s the things I don’t know because I’ve never needed to know them. For example, as I start to research for Objects in View, I’m learning a lot about a subject that is huge in the book. Corn surrounds Emmaus, Kansas, so of course, it will play a big part in the town’s survival, but when I started researching it, I discovered that there’s a lot I don’t know. These days it is popular to bash corn as an environmental and chemical nightmare that will destroy the human race, but it has a long and storied history of being a great crop not just for food, but for other applications we no longer know about today.

Posted February 22, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in #openbook

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