HUGO

Why Hugo?

Why not? [Please excuse the dust. Thank you for your patience.]

 · Laura Lis Scott
photo of high heel shoes on a shelf

6 best practices for working virtually in self isolation

For a decade, I’ve been working from home as part of a virtual team and as a freelancer. So purely in terms of work environment, for me, working virtually in self-isolation during this COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t required much of an adjustment. The emotional burden of the mass suffering, however, can be overwhelming. I’ve found myself in reactive mode, overstimulated by the horrific news every day, and feeling helpless. To maintain any kind of productivity, I’ve turned back to some freelancing best practices that provide a bit of structure or framework for getting things done....

 · Laura Lis Scott
book cover with yellow jackets on flowers

Don't mess with Mabel

About 20 years ago, I penned (literally) a short about an older woman who, through a series of misunderstood communications, encounters her nemesis from years before. Alas, I lost those pages in one of my many moves. In 2016, however, the main character revisited me, and I wrote a new story about her—Mabel, an underestimated woman who’s fiercely independent, appreciative of beauty, and tenacious when her sense of what’s right and good is challenged....

 · Laura Lis Scott
cropped illustration of a woman in a short dress bending over

Books in my shadow

Imagine a story about Melody Baker, an unemployed woman living in New York City. She has a PhD, huge student debt, and no professional job prospects. Deborah Ann Woll speaking at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con International in San Diego, California. Photo by Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons). (Picture Debra Ann Woll playing her in the movie version. She’d be perfect in the role.) Out of desperation she applies for a research assistant position upstate—and finds herself smack dab in the middle of a political campaign run by cynical operators, eccentric aristocrats, and absurdly horrible partisans and hangers-on, all scheming to elect an unwilling but convenient old-money recluse who has these quaint ideas about integrity, compassion, and justice....

 · Laura Lis Scott
harry-cunningham-1301667-unsplash-sm.jpg

Other authors are not your competition

Someone said in a Facebook authors’ group that hey, we were all in competition with one another. Yeah, no. That’s zero-sum thinking, and it does not quite work with books and stories — especially now. It’s 2019. Books have shelf life. Scarcity is not ubiquitous Yes, some things are governed by scarcity. For example, people buy maybe one house. They either buy this one or that one. (Let’s not discuss the superrich who buy several houses....

 · Laura Lis Scott
Dark version of multilingual eye examination chart

Beautiful multilingual eye examination chart of the early 1900s San Francisco

112 years ago, optometry was a growing profession. In diverse cities like San Francisco, however, the eye chart commonplace in western countries today could not suffice. Enter George Mayerle’s multilingual eye examination chart. George Mayerle’s Vision Test Chart (ca. 1907). Via Public Domain Review Public Domain Review writes: The chart was a culmination of his many years of practice and, according to Mayerle, its distinctive international angle served also to reflect the diversity and immigration which lay at the heart of the city in which he worked....

 · Laura Lis Scott
woman in faceted neon pink setting

Do you stream like I do?

How do you stream? I’ve been leery of all the subscription services. I keep seeing reports of how Apple messes with your purchased library. Pandora won’t let you choose what songs to listen to (unless they changed that). And the ’zon seems to have too much market leverage to be healthy for creators over the long run (a self-0interest concern). But I also need a usable way to discover new music....

 · Laura Lis Scott
Photo of two old books seen edge-on with very soiled pages

Watch out for poisonous books

Though unless you’re a historian with access to rare book archives, you’re probably in the clear. We found that three rare books on various historical topics in the University of Southern Denmark’s library collection contain large concentrations of arsenic on their covers. The books come from the 16th and 17th centuries. — Read on www.popsci.com/poisonous-books

 · Laura Lis Scott
Close on old array of typewriter print keys

If you want to write a novel that’s literary as fuck

Then here are some tips from the fucking great Suzanne Reisman. 6. Why’d That Asshole Do That, Part II A novel that’s literary as fuck needs some baseline plot, even if your character development is fucking amazing and you don’t believe in pedestrian bullshit, like plots. People appreciate a little fucking action. That is why even readers of books who are literary as fuck flock to superhero movies that have almost no character development at all....

 · Laura Lis Scott
Pale Klingon asks What must I sacrifice? From TV show Discovery.

How not to blog

Do as I do: Cover a wide variety of topics. Post sporadically. Write various lengths, from quick dashed-off notions to long think pieces. Get personal one post, professional the next. Take long breaks. Give people the strong impression that your mind runs all over the place. I’m trying to do better, but blogging is not in even the top five of my daily A tasks. Therefore I’m doomed. Don’t be like me!...

 · Laura Lis Scott