Jeff VanderMeer posts some excellent thoughts on the importance of having/giving yourself permission to fail (jumping off Kelly’s risky proposal): I would have said to those high school students: Whatever you do from now on, don’t feel that it has to always be successful. To be successful, to be as good as you can possibly be in whatever field you choose, you need to have permission to fail.
Hal Duncan on cultural appropriation: Don’t get me wrong; writing the Other has it’s own set of issues. I just can’t see what it has to do with "cultural appropriation". A fictive representation of a culture is not that culture itself. Having a painting which contains an image of a "dreamcatcher" on your wall is not the same as hanging some New Age trinket of string and feathers, made by and for white middle-class hippies, over your bed. Writing a 5-page scene in a novel which portrays a voudon ritual is not the same thing as setting yourself up as a practicing "babaloa" in Bognor Regis. Representation is not appropriation. The map is not the territory. And there’s lots more where that came from. Also, "Dionysus Knows No Nations" would make a great T-shirt.