[Feature photo: Klearchos Kapoutsis]

I’m back in Canada after some extended travel in Europe, which means my regression into a couch potato is imminent. I’ve been spending a lot of time online. Here’s some cool stuff I’ve found.

The Hemingway App (http://www.hemingwayapp.com/)

I admit it: I’m no fan of Hemingway. I can’t get past his womanizing, chauvinist past. But his theories on writing and HOW to write have long influenced my own work.

This app is fun. It highlights sentences that are too long or too complicated, and picks up adverbs by coloring them blue (so you can replace them with a more forceful verbs). It’ll also point out where you can use shorter words to replace large ones, and it’ll even pick up on passive voice. Of course it’s best to develop your own writing style, but Hemingway knew what he was doing.

After I Was Raped, I Couldn’t Even Leave the House – Now I Travel the World Solo

This moving post is written by a friend of mine, in response to the #YesAllWomen hashtag that developed after the recent murder spree in Santa Barbara, California. Amy Gigi Alexander describes a nightmarish rape that lasted for days – something that obviously took her years to recover from. Now she travels the world alone. When you read this piece, consider how courageous it was of her to share her story. I wish for all writers to be this honest and open.

Six Months in the Balkans

I took a 10-second clip on my iPhone 5s every single day while travelling the Balkans for six months. I put this 5-minute compilation together with the footage. It’s not going to win any awards, but watching it reminds me of why we do what we do: Even those sacred little “everyday” moments make the most vibrant travel experiences. Sitting in an olive tree grove on Lesvos island, Greece. Walking through a marketplace in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina. Sailing the Adriatic with friends in Croatia. Isn’t life a glorious and colorful thing?

Social Bankruptcy

MatadorU’s Dean of Education, Carlo Alcos, posted this on the student Facebook group, but it’s worth a share here, too. Check out this short sketch by Portlandia about “Social Bankruptcy” and the consequences of giving up your “Internet footprint.” If you’re like me, you’ll often feel overwhelmed by it all. Facebook messages, Tweets, emails, Instagram posts, etc. How do you manage it all? I took a wonderful unplugged yachting vacation a few weeks ago, and I highly recommend doing the same at least twice a year.