Help with writing; short fiction by Aun-Juli; and Ignition

Helping writers with mental models and crafting their first page; The Grief Portal by Aun-Juli Riddle; and Nuclear Fusion.

Help with writing; short fiction by Aun-Juli; and Ignition
Photo by Herbert Goetsch / Unsplash

Hello fellow Frivolous!

If you haven’t seen the surprise episode of Sandman on Netflix, the second half of it is a bit close to home for writers.  Highly recommended when you get the chance.  This week’s picks actually deal a bit along the same lines.

A couple of things to note before this week’s picks: Justin Anderson’s site and newsletter Turtle’s Pace is interesting and fun resource dealing with mental models for creatives.  Of particular note are a couple of articles such as Bones Before Flesh, and for writers who are trying to create a habit, Don’t Miss Two.  Give these a read and subscribe to his newsletter as it suits you.

Secondly, I had a great time recording a podcast with P.A. Cornell this past week where we talk all about her debut novella, her writing and ideating process, influences, and more.  Keep an eye out on our website for when it gets posted, but in the mean time, check out her work which has appeared on several speculative fiction magazines.

Without further ado!


The Dreaded First Page, by Matthew Kressel

Along the lines of helping writers, I found this article a refreshing read.  It’s not breaking major ground, and I’m sure many of you have heard this advice before.  But…let’s face it - this stuff bears repeating.


The Grief Portal by Aun-Juli Riddle

I’ve read a few of Riddle’s works and they are moving stories of relationships in the swirl and chaos of the stars.  On her website, she describes her work as “basically galaxies & grief.”  This story is right on point and is crafted beautifully.  Give it a read and let is provide some pause in your day.

Side note: I had the chance to interview her as well for our Author Interview series which will be posted very soon on our site as well!


We Have Ignition…maybe not

Just as we’re dealing with both climate crisis AND an energy crisis, news of an nuclear fusion would be more than welcome.  It would be…civilization-changing.  So it’s incredibly frustrating to hear that scientists had apparently achieved “ignition” (where a fusion reaction self-perpetuates instead of dying out) just over a year ago, but haven’t been able to replicate the experiment since.

The challenge is finding out what precise conditions were present back then, that haven’t been present since.  But to scale this, it’s a completely different challenge to figure out how to generate a fusion reaction without having to have such perfect conditions.