Friday Finds, with an Emphasis on Relaxation and Entertainment

Each week, Friday Finds brings you a round-up of helpful writing, editing, and book marketing tips right here... or in your inbox, if you subscribe to my newsletter.

Happy Friday! We made it through another week.

For those wondering, I survived my 5 a.m. wake-up call on just two cups of coffee, then rounded out the day with an afternoon writing session at my local art museum. All in all, a win for Fourth of July weekend.

The last few #FridayFinds have comprised of helpful and informative links. This time around, I thought I’d share some finds related to relaxation and entertainment, so you can enjoy an optimal weekend.

Stave off Writer’s Hump with the “Genie Magic Neck Stretch”

From Healthy Moving's Facebook page, 2017.

From Healthy Moving's Facebook page, 2017.

(H/T to my client, Kay Dew Shostak, for sharing this video with me.)

To me, stretching is the ideal way to start your weekend. So, punch your timecard, and once you're home, give Healthy Moving’s “Genie Magic Neck Stretch” a try.

If you're skeptical, I was at first, too. I practice yoga once or twice a week, and I thought this stretch would be too gentle to do anything for me. But after I tested the move, the increased range of motion in my neck and shoulders proved me wrong.

As yoga instructor Jen Hoffman says in her video, this move may get rid of brain fog, tension headaches, and eyestrain. I’d add that it’s perfect for banishing “writer’s hump”!

This might become one of your new go-to stretches after a long, grueling writing session. Give it a shot here. 

Book Rec: Lee Gutkind Explains Why You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

After you get the kinks out, you’ll want to change into comfortable clothes, pour a glass of your favorite cold beverage, and read for fun.

Gutkind was dubbed “the godfather of creative non-fiction” by  Vanity Fair  before navel-gazing was cool, so I suppose he gets some hipster cred, too.  (Source:

Gutkind was dubbed “the godfather of creative non-fiction” by Vanity Fair before navel-gazing was cool, so I suppose he gets some hipster cred, too. (Source:

As a freelance editor, I frequently read books on the craft of writing to sharpen my instincts and help my clients. You Can't Make This Stuff Up by Lee Gutkind (Da Capo, 2012) was recommended to me by a writing friend, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it so far.

Now, Gutkind’s book probably isn't your idea of a beach read – unless you’re me, the girl who used to lay out while reading five-hundred-page tomes of nineteenth century British literature – but it’s certainly not as dry as Wilkie Collins either.

Written in an accessible tone, You Can’t Make This Stuff Up instructs its reader on the hows and the whys behind the many forms of creative non-fiction, including memoir and the personal essay. It includes excerpts from the likes of Rebecca Skloot (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) and Gay Talese, so you can learn from the greats.  

Not interested in creative non-fiction? I’d still encourage you to rifle through. As Gutkind says, creative non-fiction and poetry have similarly introspective roots. Besides, you never know when craft and theory for one genre will inspire you in another.

Roll the Windows Down with the Beach Fossils' Somersault

The view from my writing nook on Saturday.   Photo Credit: Jessica Hatch, 2017.

The view from my writing nook on Saturday.  Photo Credit: Jessica Hatch, 2017.

Finally, if you cool off at the beach this weekend, you'll need some music to listen to while idly reading War and Peace or some musty old computer manual from 1982. (I don’t think I know what a “beach read” is, you guys.)

I nominate the aptly named Beach Fossils, an indie rock outfit from Brooklyn. Their sound feels old, new, timeless, and, on this album, concocted for umbrella drinks and sand between the toes.

If you’re the kind of writer who enjoys some time off now and then, I hope you’ll roll the windows down to this energizing album this weekend. Click here to sample on Spotify.

And just like that, your optimal weekend has begun! 

How you spend the rest of it is up to you, but I hope it will involve some writing. Put those fingers to keys. I developed a few new writing prompts last weekend that I'm eager to share with you soon.

In the meantime, happy writing, 
Jessica Hatch