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Improbable Press Blog — Atlin Merrick

Radical Transparency: How We Edit Your Book

Atlin Merrick Book Editing Radical Transparency

Like you I walk, I wait, and sometimes I want to learn cool stuff while I do that, which is why I love podcasts.99% Invisible is a brilliant podcast which recently discussed radical transparency.For example, if the city government takes a year to process building permits tell people. It's been proven that giving people a hook to hang their wait on, helps the wait pass more peacefully. Which leads me to this: How Long It Takes to Edit a Book (and What the Heck That Means) With radical transparency in mind, and inspired by a writer who recently asked me...

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Interesting things about pee…and non-fiction writing

Atlin Merrick Non-Fiction Writing Urine facts

...well, the subject line either caught your eye or brought up your bile. So either you're welcome or I'm sorry. However there's a point and that's this… Urine, Fiction & Non-Fiction Writing As writers we sometimes think we know stuff. Like we all "know" urine is sterile (nope, it's not), and maybe we've had our sea captain hollering "I'll stop the pain o' the fierce Lion's Mane jelly, me laddy," as she pees on the laddy, but no no nope, urine very much won't. The point is that reality's ever so much more interesting than these things we think we...

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Improbable Press Seeking Book Reviews!

Atlin Merrick Book Reviews

I absolutely can't read how-to books about writing. It's like asking a caterpillar how she manages to control all those legs. Do that and, if she stops to think about it, she may never move again. Ever.So reading books about writing does not help me with writing, unless help is defined by overwhelming ennui and a need to binge Great British Bake-Off. So. Instead I read a lot of books about the things I write about. When I was writing Sherlock Holmes stories for breakfast, lunch, and after-dinner dessert, I adored books about science, such as: * The Science of...

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NASA, SpaceX, and Diversity—When You're Not the Only One

Atlin Merrick Dreamers NASA SpaceX

When you're not the only one — or the crazy-pants importance of diversity, in strengthening a dream by seeing others DO.

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On Book Research and the Importance Asking Russian Monarchs for Their ID

Atlin Merrick Book Research Catherine the Great History Bones Rotten Research

I've spent all morning reading about Catherine, the Empress of Russia, as I'll be writing biographies for two dozen new and already-existing dioramas created by artist Lee Harper, of History Bones, including one about this eighteenth century monarch. I’ve enjoyed reading in Catherine’s own (translated) words how she considered herself a knight, honest and loyal, while she saw her husband Peter as difficult, impossible, irritating and, (happily quoting her Empress aunt-in-law), an idiot. After nearly two decades of miserable marriage to one another, four children, and many more than twice that many extra-marital affairs between them, Peter ascended the throne...

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