My Second Time Reading The Magicians by Lev Grossman

These books are nothing like I remember them.

Let’s start here: I loved the SyFy series, but it is important to keep the series separate from the books. The books are their own thing as is the tv show.

The first time I read The Magicians, I didn’t really like it. I thought it was just okay. I remember saying, “He lost me at the talking animals. It’s just not for me.”

I kept reading. I read them all. When I finished the series (the first time), I said, “that was pretty good,” and moved on to the next book in line.

Something came over me last month. I missed the characters. The show is over now, and I missed my magician friends. So, I picked up the books again. And, whoa…

I was completely surprised by the second reading of all these books. I didn’t remember most of the story. Maybe, I wasn’t paying attention fully during my first go, but by the end of the third book, I was tearful and felt like I had been through something.

Let this be a lesson – reading a book a second time is not always required, but it can sometimes delight you.

Welcome to Not Now. I’m Writing.

Not Now. I'm Writing.

Finally a blog just about the writing bits.

Hello, this is Barbara. You may already know me from, from my classes on writing, or from my books. You may not know me at all which is fantastic.

In any event, I am happy to have you here.

For a while now, my students and followers on Instagram have asked me to blog specifically about the craft and business of writing. This blog is the answer to that call.

While I am preparing new content for this blog, please visit my personal log for my previously written content on the subject of writing –

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New Article: Where Did HTML Come From?

I’ve written a brief article on the origin of HTML if you’re interested –

You most likely already know that HTML is used to build websites, but do you know where the language came from?

In 1989, a laboratory in CERN was one of the only places in the world that had access to the Internet. The Internet at that time was very different than the cat video utopia and the political dumpster fire that it is now. This Internet was a way for the scientists at CERN to access each other’s computers at will.

Two Recently Published Articles on HTML

When I’m not writing fiction, I’m writing articles about topics that interest me.

A few years ago, I took a certificate course in WordPress Development/PHP. Like any language if you don’t use it, you lose it. I lost it.

Recently, I’ve browsing my old course text and writing small posts about what I find. I retain information a lot better if I have to teach it, so I am using these articles to teach others (and myself).

Here are my latest posts:

Where Did HTML Come From

How HTML Tells Computers What to Show Us

There is no internet.

Photo by Tianyi Ma on Unsplash

It is 8:14a.m. on Sunday, and I have no internet.

I live nomadically. This means I am typically at the whim of whatever free Wifi that’s available. Right now, there is none.

This is excellent news actually as I have a draft to finished, but it also means that I cannot do any of my regular posting at regular times.

Until I relocate once again, my schedule for social media, blogging, and marketing will have to be, well, when I can upload vs when I can’t upload.

Getting used to People Again

We’ve been back in Nashville for a week, and I am still not used to seeing so many people.

Shot with FIMO Business 400.

We were alone in a small town for months. Talking to people is very foreign. Driving in a densely populated city is hard now.

I had gotten used to our little bubble.

It feels at once isolating and relieving to work at home and only been around a handful of people.

This is a very strange time we (everyone on the planet) is going through.

I hope you are doing well where ever you are and whoever you are.

Why I Don’t Enjoy Music

I rarely listen to music. I don’t like it.

Of course, there are exceptions to this. I will never turn down Marvin Gaye. Marvin Gaye only gets turned up. If Africa by Toto comes on, we will all be quiet and listen to it all the way through.

Other than these and a few other rare exceptions, I do not delight in listening to music.

I have musicians in my family. By all accounts, I am a musician. I play the ukulele, the guitar, and I might still have some piano skills. I’ve written music. I’ve performed music at parties. But listening to music is a different issue. It’s a different experience.

Music hurts me. My day can be ruined by a D minor chord. When I listen to music, I feel it emotionally in my whole body, and it’s painful.

When I hear a song that flips the switch on some of my deeper emotions, it might take me days or weeks to recover from it. I think it goes without saying that I am very, very sensitive, and I ruin a lot of car rides for people.

 This is not the kind of thing over which I have control. I don’t want to be this sensitive to music, but I am. I get very uncomfortable when someone turns on music in a car or if someone says, “Have you heard this,” while passing a deadly combination of new music and YouTube video to me via their rectangle of internet dumpster fire.

 When I seek out music, which is very rare, I tend to gravitate toward music I am very familiar with, because it does not affect me the way unfamiliar or fresh music does. 

Music doesn’t just make me overly emotional. It can also make me feel medicated, dizzy, tingly.

Right now I’m listening to a playlist called Space: ambient celestial music, and I feel this music all over my face. I especially feel it in my jaws and in lower cheeks. It is a wonderful feeling like my body is smoke.

This is the kind of music would pair nicely with yoga, slow belly dancing or tai chi…if only I could move.

Congratulations on Your First Children’s Book, Alyson M. Brown!

Not Now. I'm Writing.

I have been happy crying about this all day. One of the writers from the How to Write a Children’s Book course took it all the freaking way, and published this:

I was checking my email this morning and saw this:

Which lead to my very professional message to Alyson asking permission to share. (see below)

And, maybe I also cried on Instagram.

I’m so, so, so happy and still crying happy tears. Just knowing that I was even project adjacent to this books fills me with joy!

You can purchase Alyson’s first children’s book by clicking any of the images above or you can click here.

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Fountain Pens.

Shot with FIMO Portra 160NC.

When it comes to writing tools, I am an equal opportunity employer. Cheap pens, gel ink, liquid ink, expensive, ballpoint, and, of course, fountain. Fountain pens are my favorite. They are a bit fuzzy at times, but when they work, you can feel the words coming out of them. No struggle. Just flow.

Two random things about pens/fountain pens:

  1. Putting the cap on the back of your pen, any pen, is called posted position. You are either a posted or not posted position writer. I am a posted position writer. When I am unable to post the cap of pen due to design, I get furious.
  2. Sometimes with fountain pens either due to ink quality or environmental conditions, you will have to prime your pen to make the ink flow. Priming looks like this:
Shot with FIMO Portra 160NC.