Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Dec 28, 2014-Jan 3, 2015

Peg Fitzpatrick shares Elizabeth Gilbert’s Happiness Jar project. Write the happiest moment of your day down and put it in the jar. It’s as simple as that.

The seven habits of happy people that they never talk about. Mind Body Green.

The age of loneliness is killing us. The Guardian.

WikiHow explains how to recognize a psychopath.

Back in September, just before DevLearn, Twist recorded a conversation with Neil deGrasse Tyson about science literacy and the future of work. Awesome stuff.

The eight books Neil believes everyone should read to understand the thinking that has historically driven western culture. Brainpickings.

Moar Neil, this time from the Business Insider: Why role models are overrated. It starts a playlist, but they’re all interesting videos . . .

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This article by Keith E. Stanovich for The Scientific American made me think about thinking. Metathinking? Anyway, it’s about dysrational thought and intelligence.

Thought we were more enlightened than this? I did too. Excellent reality check and novel fodder. i09.

Ten comics intended to shut down terrible arguments (but that might really only inflame the situation—please use with caution). i09.

These ten Futurama jokes will make you smarter. i09.

Another study confirms that ereaders disturb proper sleep patterns leading to various health complications. If you read anything before sleeping, make it a paper book. NPR.

The science of sleep: dreaming, depression, and how REM sleep regulates negative emotions. Brainpickings.

Why is NASA looking at your Christmas lights from space? Futurity.

We didn’t get to see this, but apparently there was a comet that could be seen with the naked (or binoculared) eye on New Year’s. The Christian Science Monitor.

There’s this star and it’s headed straight for our solar system. IFLS.

The Large Hadron Collider is coming back online at double the power to track down that tricky Higgs Boson and solve more of the mysteries of the universe. The Independent.

Archaeologists have unearthed a 6000 year old mega-temple built by a matriarchal society. World.Mic

These photographs of ancient trees are absolutely fabulous. BoredPanda.

Here are the top five National Geographic videos of 2014. Varied topics, but all fascinating.

People buy the strangest things. The Examiner.

An old-timey cover of Stay with me by Christina Gatti:

 

This guy casts his boxer puppy as Indiana Bones. Too kawaii for words. i09.

That’s your thoughty for the week.

See you Saturday!

Thoughty Thursday

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Dec 28, 2014-Jan 3, 2015

K.M. Weiland’s last post and podcast of 2014! The difference between your story’s hook and your story’s heart.

Chuck Wendig’s 2015 publishing wishlist.

Here’s a podcast you may want to check out: Coode Street. The episode I’m sharing features Robert J. Sawyer and Peter Halasz having a heated, but friendly, discussion about Canadian Science Fiction.

The best science fiction and fantasy books of 2014. i09.

Brandon Sanderson explains why superheroes are so hard to get right. i09.

Western fairy tales given a Korean makeover. i09.

Arthur Kade interviews Sam Heughan and Catriona Balfe from last summer (in case you needed a little droughtlander viewing).

 

Neil Gaiman’s eight rules of writing on Brainpickings.

Margaret Atwood’s timeless advice for writers. The Huffington Post.

Our poet laureate is putting poetry on our transit 🙂 The Northern Life.

Opportunities for writers in January and February 2015. Aerogramme Writers’ Studio.

19 short story competitions from same.

Enjoy!

Tipsday

The one skill that can better your chances of career success

With a blog named Writerly Goodness, what skill do you think I’m talking about? That’s right: writing.

I have personal experience with this. My writing skills have consistently been one of the reasons I’ve been successful in internal assessment processes for advisor and consultant positions.

I’m happy to announce I’ve once again been “called up” as an acting consultant in business expertise. Yes, Mellie is once more BEC-a-licious 🙂 BEC-and-call girl? Aw, BEC it.

I’ll have much to report in the coming few months.

And my writing skills? Yup. Crucial to the promotion.

You don’t have to take my word for it, though. The good people at Grammarly, the world’s best grammar checker, surveyed over 400 freelancers to determine what impact writing skills have on a person’s career opportunities and published the results in an infographic (see below).

It has already been picked up by some websites, including The Huffington Post. Their goal is to raise awareness of the importance of good writing. Good writing is not only foundational to good communication, but it can also unlock knowledge, job opportunities, and access to education.

They’re also doing good work with Reading is Fundamental, a charity that promotes literacy.

So, have a gander:

Writing Skills Matter

Good night, my writerly peeps, and good grammar.

The Next Chapter: December 2014 update and a year in the writerly life

Janus has two heads so he can look back and ahead. Plus, you really can’t make meaningful progress unless you take some time to reflect on your accomplishments and understand where your journey has brought you to this point.

Let’s start with December, shall we?

In the wake of NaNoWriMo, I needed a wee respite from the purely creative writing. I kept up with my regular blog posts and caught up on a few things that happened in November that I had set aside posting about because of the aforementioned NaNo.

I returned to Marushka after a few days, though, because the force is strong in this one 😉 Also, I have to finish my shit (Wendigism).

Toward the end of the month, though, I wanted to get another short fiction submission revised and sent.

December 2014 writing progress

So at the end of the month, I’d written a total of 15,167 words, 8,812 of them on the blog, 6,234 on Marushka, and 121 on the short story.

What about 2014?

It was a good year, I think.

Since it was the first year I tracked my writerly output, I really have nothing to compare it to, but I know I’ve written more words in this year than I did in 2013 or any year before that.

The highlights:

“The Broken Places” was published in Bastion Science Fiction Magazine in its June issue.

“On the Ferry” won second place in the In Places Between contest.

“Downtime” will be in the fall 2014 issue of On Spec Magazine. The issue hasn’t come out yet (long story short—please subscribe or support them on their Patreon page), but I’m still pleased as punch.

I have writerly income to report on my tax return for the second year in a row!

I’ve put “The Broken Places” and “Downtime” in the short story category in the Auroras. It’s my first year doing this kind of thing, so we’ll see how it goes.

Overall, I submitted six short stories for publication. This is fewer than in past years, but given my greater focus on my larger projects, I’m happy with this.

I attended Ad Astra, CanWrite!, and When Words Collide conferences, and workshops by Brian Henry and The Humber School for Writers.

In 2014, I have written:

  • 110,361 words on this blog
  • 34,589 words on Marushka
  • 21,464 words on Gerod and the Lions
  • 3,521 words of short fiction
  • 3,161 words on Apprentice of Wind
  • 2,384 words on Figments
  • Total: 175,480

2014 Summary

That’s a fuckload of words. Sorry. I felt the profanity appropriate.

Plus, I mapped out and reverse engineered both IoS and Figments, and revised some of IoS.

I am still eternally grateful to Jamie Raintree for her wonderful Excel spreadsheet. This year’s has enough project slots that I don’t have to modify it 🙂 Also, it appears to have a way to track drafting and revisions. I’m excited to see how it works out.

For the second year in a row, the most popular posts on my blog have been those I wrote back in 2012. Dress for Success has been consistently popular. I didn’t think a post about writing in my pyjamas would have been so compelling. Go figure.

Eight Metaphors for Persistence . . . is also a heavily viewed post. I appreciate that a bit more because it was the first post on this iteration of the blog and spoke to how I picked up the pieces after being hacked.

Still, I would like to see some of my book reviews, or conference reportage posts, rank higher.

My overall views on the blog went down from last year. In 2013 I filled the Sydney Opera House five times. In 2014 I only filled it four times.

I take all this with a grain of salt, however, as the number of my followers through WordPress has only grown and at 373, I’m closing in on 400 followers. That’s not bad for three years of blogging when I don’t have a book to sell.

Those who receive my posts via email, or who can read them through WordPress may not be counted because they haven’t actually visited the site.

Personally, as long as you’re enjoying what you read, I’m good. I’m a fan of the slow build.

What’s ahead for 2015?

I’ve you’ve read me for any length of time, you’ll know I don’t go in for resolutions. I set goals and manage my projects on an ongoing basis, sometimes re-evaluating and adjusting my goals to account for the dreaded scope creep 🙂

That’s all stuff I learned from the project management I have to do for work. It’s also similar to the dreaded underwear creep (damnit, not another wedgie).

In all seriousness, I intend to revise and submit several more short stories throughout the year. I also intend to write a few new ones.

I intend to finish my first drafts of Marushka (goal length approximately 76,000 words) and GatL (goal length approximately 50,000 words). I can manage this at a pace of about 5,000 words a month. I’ll finish Marushka first, because it’s where my head is at the moment, and then return to work on GatL afterward.

I will revise IoS and finally (FINALLY) start querying. This is so long overdue, I can’t even. Can’t. Even.

I will move onto revisions of Figments once I start querying IoS.

I will map and reverse engineer AoW and probably Marushka.

I don’t think I’ll be able to manage much more than that for the bulk of the year.

I will again engage in the NaNoWriMo Challenge, even though I will be working through the month of November. I was very pleased with the 2014 results, even though it wasn’t a “win,” per se.

For financial reasons, I’m going to stay close to home this year with conferences and conventions. Most likely Ad Astra and Can-Con.

My big expense, professional development-wise, will be a writing retreat in the summer (if I can swing the leave from work—summer’s a peak time and it’s always a big deal), also local.

I’m facilitating my first writing workshop in years in February. You know I’ll be blogging that one 🙂

And the rest will be based on opportunities as they come my way.

I like preparing my Tipsday and Thoughty Thursday curation posts on the weekend for easier distribution (and more writing time) through the week.

Aside from that, the bloggage will come out of my writerly life, as it usually does.

I have one more post to go before the night is over.

See you shortly 🙂

The Next Chapter

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Dec 21-27, 2014

Sixteen tips for dealing with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The Toast.

Anna Maria Tremonti of CBC’s The Current interviews psychologist Brian Little about personality types.

The elusive art of inner wholeness. Parker Palmer on Brainpickings.

Wendell Barry on solitude and why pride and despair are the two great enemies of creativity. Brainpickings.

The power of applied physics. i09.

Crows understand analogies. So much for calling someone a bird brain 😉 IFLS.

How to find faster than light particles. IFLS.

Say hello to our new galactic neighbour. IFLS.

The dominant life form in the cosmos is probably superintelligent robots. Really? Motherboard.

American management explained. Tickld.

25 of the most creative sculptures you’ll ever see. EarthPorm.com

25 wild parenting moments from EarthPorm.com.

Looking back at Christmas with a couple of videos.

The Pogues:

 

And your Christmas kawaii:

 

It may be January first, but Janus looks back as well as forwards 😉

Have a great rest of the week, y’all!

Thoughty Thursday