Today Kind Of Needs a Cat Pic, Doesn’t It

Because, seriously. Not a good day for the planet. Hope this helps to take the edge off.

Reader Request Week 2011: Get Your Requests In!

This blog is called “Whatever” for a reason: It’s about whatever I feel like writing about. But one week a year, I make the blog about whatever you want to talk about: The Reader Request Week. For 2011, that week starts next Monday — which means it’s time for you to ask me whatever questions you really want me to write about here on the site. You get answers for things you want to know what I think about, I get to think about things I wouldn’t necessarily have thought up on my own, everybody wins! And it’s nice when that happens.

What topics can you request? Why, any topic you like. And in fact I like it very much when the topics are not from my usual stable of things I talk about. Make your request serious, or make it silly, or make it risque, or making it searching — it’s up to you. I don’t pick every request, but I try to give each week a nice spread of topics. So, really: go nuts.

That said, two things for you to consider:

1. Quality over quantity: Better to craft a single interesting topic request about something you’d like to know, than to post a bunch of half-assed topic requests, shotgun-blast style. It’s not a contest or a race, after all — and more to the point I almost always gravitate to the interesting, well thought-out topic requests.

2. On writing: I get asked about writing a lot in a general sense, so during Reader Request Weeks I’m less interested in questions about writing than questions on other topics. So, one, writing questions are less likely to be considered as topic than other things, and two, the writing requests I’m likely to consider are ones that are new and interesting to me, not the basic “writing 101” questions, or even the more advanced “writing 301” questions.

How to suggest topics? The easiest way is to drop them into the comment thread here; alternately you can e-mail them to me. Don’t drop them into my Twitter feed, please; it’s active enough that they’ll end up scrolling off into oblivion. Likewise, I vastly prefer requests in this comment thread than over at Facebook, since it makes it easier for me to check just one place (and one e-mail address).

Also, to help you choose topics that have not already been recently addressed, here are the Reader Request Week Topics for the last five years:

From 2006:

Reader Request #1: SF Novels and Films
Reader Request #2: 10 Childhood Nuggets
Reader Request #3: Writers and Technology
Reader Request #4: The Nintendo Revolution
Reader Request #5: A Political Judiciary
Reader Request #6: Paranoid Parents
Reader Request #7: Writing About Writing

From 2007:

Reader Request #1: Justifying My Life
Reader Request #2: Coffee, or Lack Thereof
Reader Request #3: BaconCat Fame
Reader Request #4: The Inevitable Blackness That Will Engulf Us All
Reader Request #5: Out of Poverty
Reader Request #6: Short Bits
Reader Request #7: Short Bits II: Electric Boogaloo

From 2008:

Reader Request #1: Homeschooling
Reader Request #2: Technological Gifts
Reader Request #3: Sex and Video Games
Reader Request #4: Where I Am Now
Reader Request #5: Professional Jealousy
Reader Request #6: Author Relations
Reader Request #7: Fame or Lack Thereof
Reader Request #8: Politics and the Olympics
Reader Request #9: Polygamy
Reader Request #10: Meeting Authors (and Me)
Reader Request #11 Athena and Whatever
Reader Request #12: Soldiers and Support
Reader Request #13: Diminishing Returns
Reader Request #14: Quick Hits, Volume I
Reader Request #15: Quick Hits, Volume II

From 2009:

Reader Request #1: SF YA These Days
Reader Request #2: OMW and Zoe’s Tale (and Angst and Pain)
Reader Request #3: Space!
Reader Request #4: Procreation
Reader Request #5: Having Been Poor
Reader Request #6: 80s Pop Music
Reader Request #7: Writing and Babies
Reader Request #8: Twitter
Reader Request #9: Can I Be Bought?
Reader Request #10: Writing Short Bits
Reader Request #11: Wrapping Up

From 2010:

Reader Request #1: Christianity and Me
Reader Request #2: Rewriting the Constitution
Reader Request #3: How I Think
Reader Request #4: Quitting Writing
Reader Request #5: Rural Ohio, Revisited
Reader Request #6: Depression
Reader Request #7: Writery Bits
Reader Request #8: Short Bits

So get your requests in, and I’ll start writing them up next Monday!