You Can Stuff Your Mary-Sue Where the Sun Don’t Shine: Zoe Marriott on the mis-use of the term Mary Sue by reviewers as shorthand (or code?) for “female character I don’t like”. Gracefully written and very graceful handling of the defensive comments in response (via Gwenda Bond, Shaken & Stirred).
A 2008 post Filing off the serial numbers by Mary Catelli on stealing from others for your writing. Her two paragraphs riffing on the main ideas of Harry Potter (orphan, raised by relatives, mistreated, magical) provided a lot inspiration for my own writing and prompted me to steal from myself (if that’s possible) and invert the idea for a magical rule that’s been floating around in my head. If you didn’t know she was modeling on HP you would never guess (via the comments on Imitation as Flattery by Pat Rice on Book View Cafe Blog)
Fun stuff: Kate Elliott had some good conversations in the comments of her blog while I was away