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It’s been a busy writing week here, as I work on book three in my Elements of Genius series! One of the strangest sensations as a writer is spending so much time writing a sequel to a book, when the first one isn’t out yet. You’re so fully immersed in this world, and nobody is around to share in it! Writers are used to feeling a little out of phase from the rest of the world, but there’s nothing like arguing in your head with characters nobody has met yet to make you feel like an odd duck.

Luckily, that won’t last for long now, as my next book is out in the world in less than a month! I recently shared a reflection on my five year publishing anniversary, and in some phenomenal cosmic timing, I also found myself signing copies of my next MG series this week. They look beautiful!

Here are ten things that caught my eye this week. I hope they take you down some fantastic research rabbit holes for your own work!

1. No biggie, people just stumbled across the gigantic severed head of a wolf that dates back 40,000 years ago. 

2. Dig vampires? My latest episode of Animalogic is all about vampirism, and it is packed full of inspiring weirdness. (Also it’s not for the squeamish, so watch yourselves!)

3. There’s a Studio Ghibli Theme Park coming, and the early designs look incredible.

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4. I’ve talked a lot about the importance of reading aloud (particularly on Twitter!), and NPR had a great piece on what happens in our kid’s brains when we read them a story. Bonus marks: here’s the study that inspired the essay.

5. In crazy, terrifying science, the newest lab rat has eight arms, as science continues to develop the model organism.

6. I recently came across this (new to me) animal and it absolutely blew my mind. Meet the Borneo Earless Monitor. It looks like a real life dragon, and has some gorgeous eyes, too. Fun fact: they’re known by herpetologists as the “holy grail of lizards” because so little is known about them.

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7. The decline of bees has been a well documented issue, and I’d love to see more about this Zen beekeeper, who became an apiarist after having a bunch of vivid dreams about bees. Pair this with THE HONEYBEE, from Kirsten Hall (which belongs on every book shelf, by the way.)

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8. The culture of busyness is a thing I believe we actively need to combat, and I really enjoyed this piece, How I Stopped Being Busy and Why I’m Now More Fulfilled. (If you’re interested, I’ve previously discussed “hustle” and how my opinion on it has changed over the course of my career so far – you can read about that here.)

9. For your eyeballs: an idyllic Irish Island that happens to be looking for new residents. Want to leave it all behind? Here’s your chance.

10. For your belly: legumes and pulses will save the worldso here are 19 lentil recipes that you’ll love. (Bonus, they’re cheap!)

Thanks so much for reading!

As always, if you’re enjoying my Writer’s Notebook posts, why not share them with a creative buddy? Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

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