Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 19-25, 2016

Yes, I caught up on my YouTube viewing 😉 So, it’s another visual learning week.

Andrew J. Hawkins looks at the hyperloop pods competing in Elon Musk’s big race, later this year. The Verge.

Marissa Gertz presents astronaut, Tim Peake’s amazing photos from his time in space. TIME.

Does Pluto harbour an ocean under all that ice? Phil Plait for Slate. And later in the week, Hubble shows us the colours of the night.

Add This shares Dieter Ram’s ten principles of good design.

You see crisis after crisis. This is what we see. Attawapiskat youth create video. CBC.

Wab Kinew got on his soap box: five aboriginal stereotypes.

 

Before European Christians forced gender roles, Native Americans acknowledged five genders. Pearson McKinney for the Bipartisan Report.

I respond to Orlando from a Canadian perspective on my friend, Mel Walsh Jones’s blog, Mel’s Madness.

Vi Hart: Feeling sad about tragedy.

 

Russell Foster: Why do we sleep? Ted Talk.

 

Lena Dunham shares her conversation with Sheryl Sandberg. On navigating workplace culture, tackling personal issues, and (of course) leaning in. Esquire.

Women having a terrible time at parties in western art history. The Toast. On a sad note, I just heard that The Toast is . . . toast 😦

Adrienne Pieroth: she was done. Elephant Journal.

Eight amazing aquatic animals. ASAP Thought.

 

Science vs. art. ASAP Thought.

 

Tom Vanderbilt shares the secret of taste: why we like what we like. The Guardian.

How did the entire town of Ashley, Kansas, simply disappear? Gregory Burkhart for Blumhouse.com

The fun side of Sudbury, my city 🙂

 

Musical Tesla coils featuring Physics Girl. It’s Okay to be smart.

 

Northern Lights Festival Boreal announces that Steven Page will be the final headliner of this year’s event.

Also appearing at NLFB: Natalie McMaster and Donnell Leahy – here they are with The One.

 

And that was Thoughty Thursday.

Happy Canada Day and Happy Independence Day to all my friends, north and south of the border.

Happy weekend to all my other lovely friends out there 🙂

Thoughty Thursday

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 19-25, 2016

I have no idea where all this came from. It was a bountiful week for Writerly Goodness.

Julie Glover guest posts on Jami Gold’s blog: four steps to break grammar rules with style.

Anne Janzer guest posts on Jane Friedman’s blog: how to create an internal mindset conducive to writing.

Barbara O’Neal conducts an experiment in fostering creative flow. Writer Unboxed.

When you don’t want to write: Heather Webb on Writer Unboxed.

Joanna Penn discusses how to banish writer’s block with K.M. Weiland. The creative Penn.

How to plot a book: start with the antagonist. K.M. Weiland’s Helping writers become authors. Later in the week: how (not) to write satisfying action scenes. More lessons from the Marvel Universe movies.

Jami Gold wonders why “unlikable” can be a deal breaker for readers.

MJ Bush offers her keen insight into writing the perfect flaw. Writingeekery.

Dave King explores the work of a master for Writer Unboxed: Jaime Lannister and sympathetic monsters.

Kayla Dean explains how to use story archetypes to subvert expectations. DIYMFA.

DIYMFA radio, episode 100: Unleash your storytelling superpower with Gabriela Pereira.

C.S. Lakin takes a look at the first turning point in your novel. Live, write, thrive.

Chris Winkle offers three painless ways to patch plot holes. Mythcreants.

Jamie Raintree delves into the process of overcoming the emotional obstacles to a writing career. Writers in the Storm.

Five good ideas science fiction teaches us to fear. Oren Ashkenazi for Mythcreants.

Katherine Langrish shares some thoughts on writing meaningful fantasy. Tor.com

Women at WorldCon

 

Dan Blank: celebrate the arts where you live. Writer Unboxed.

Janet Reid lists the reasons she rejected 25 queries so you can avoid them. She later confesses: so I didn’t get it right the first time . . .

Sarah Negovetich: it’s not you, it’s really not.

Jonny Gellar’s Ted Talk: What makes a bestseller?

 

This is a weird story from the MFA world. Steven Galloway, chair of UBC’s creative writing program, was fired after an investigation, but under mysterious circumstances. Nobody’s willing to say exactly why. I think anyone reading the articles can infer, but . . . I’ll let y’all judge for yourselves.

Susan Spann explores the legal side of writing for anthologies. Writer Unboxed.

The Active Voice shares the story of Pauline Creeden, who lost her Amazon publishing account through no fault of her own.

Sadness. Lois Duncan died on June 15th at the age of 82. I loved her books. Publishers Weekly.

Jim C. Hines writes about racism and the backlash against black Hermione.

Cory Doctorow revisits Writing the Other, intensely practical advice for representing other cultures in fiction. BoingBoing

The Witch explores America’s essential fear of female power. Dianca Potts for Lenny.

Brainpickings presents Virginia Woolf’s thoughts on the connection between loneliness and creativity.

She-Ra and the fight against the token girl. Maria Teresa Hart for The Atlantic.

Publishers Weekly: Fall 2016 adult announcements in SF, fantasy, and horror.

Indie presses are starting bookstores. Jon Sealy for Literary Hub.

Chemistry explains why old books smell so good. Robin Burkes for Tech Times.

The short film, The Birch, may be creepy, but I think it’s rather heart rending warming 🙂 Rebekah McKendry for BlumHouse.com

James Whitbrook shares Geroge R.R. Martin and Stephen King in conversation: how the fuck to you write so fast? i09. Watch the whole talk. It’s awesome.

Who’s afraid of female Ghostbusters? Dave Itzkoff interviews the cast for The New York Times.

Michael Livingston gets medieval on Game of Thrones’ ‘battle of the bastards.’ Tor.com

Entertainment Weekly shares a sneak peek of the actors who will play Roger and Brianna on Outlander.

Exhausted? I am.

Until Thursday *waves*

Tipsday

Ad Astra 2016, day 2: How to get an agent

Disclaimer: I am not perfect and neither are my notes. If you notice anything that requires correction or clarification, please email me at melanie (dot) marttila (at) gmail (dot) com.

Panellists: Amanda Sun, Mary Fan, Gerald Brandt, Matt Bin

HowToGetAnAgentPanel

AS: Online resources that can help you get an agent: #MSWL, Miss Snark, Query Shark, Guide to Literary Agents blog.

MB: #MSWL is critical these days.

GB: You have to do the research.

MF: There are writers who get an agent and their first novel fails to sell, their second novel fails to sell, but then their third sells big.

MB: The agent has to love your book.

GB: If your query doesn’t match their submission guidelines, it will be rejected.

AS: I used to be an acquiring editor for Room. If a submission didn’t meet the submission requirements, I’d never see it. It would go straight to the spam folder.

Q: How formal does your query have to be? I write YA.

GB: You have to be professional up front. Your second paragraph, where you’re pitching the novel has to have the flavour of your book, but it’s a sales pitch.

MB: The agent wants to understand how your book works and why it will appeal to readers.

MF: 250 words is a good goal length for your query.

Q: At what point do you look for an agent?

GB: As soon as you have a book that’s finished and ready to go out into the world.

MB: Query agents first. If you submit to publishers, agents will have their sales channels limited. Remember, it’s your agent’s job to sell your book to publishers.

GB: Take advantage of pitch sessions at conferences and conventions.

AS: And work on your next book.

GB: The agent is in it with you for the life of your career.

Q: So querying an agent first is better? Is that because editor A might love you book and editor B might hate it?

GB: At Penguin Random House, if one editor rejects the book, all of them do.

MF: That can happen at agencies, too. Agents can move around, too.

Q: What happens when your agent leaves the agency?

GB: In my experience, I was given the option to follow the agent or stay with the agency.

MB: When agents send your novel to publishers, they do so with a different perspective.

MF: I know a writer whose agent is all business. Some agents will want to help edit or develop the work prior to submission to publishers.

MB: Look at the agent’s reputation before you sign with them. You have to be able to work with them.

GB: When an agent is interested in your work, the tables turn.

MF: When you get an offer, don’t be afraid to ask for references.

AS: Don’t be too eager. You don’t have to back down 100% of the time. It’s a partnership.

MF: There are some Schmagents who aren’t legitimate. There should be no reading fee.

GB: The money should flow to the author. Check out Writer Beware and Preditors and Editors.

MB: Querying is the traditional road. Networking at conferences and conventions can help.

GB: But don’t be stalkery. Have your elevator pitch ready, just in case.

AS: Don’t burn your bridges. Publishing is a surprisingly small world.

MF: Maybe we should talk about the structure of a query? It’s three paragraphs. Introduce yourself and your book. The second paragraph is your pitch. Then the third paragraph is about you and your qualifications.

GB: List publication credits if you have any, memberships in any writing organizations. Make sure you look serious.

AS: Your introductory paragraph should focus on the reasons you’re querying this particular agent. Have you met at a con? Do you write books in the same genre as other authors they represent?

Q: Do you use Canadian, or US spelling?

GB: Everything should be in US spelling.

MF: Your comps (comparative novels) should be published in the last three years.

AS: X meets Y is a popular formula to use. Agents can use it to pitch to publishers.

MB: We should also mention online pitch contests like #PitMad. Look them up. Most of them are on Twitter and you have a limited time to pitch directly to agents. Use the hashtag. If an agent likes your 140 character pitch, they’ll respond to you. The rules are all online.

Q: How long should my book be?

MF: It really depends on your genre and category. There are a lot of resources for this online.

Q: Should you query to an agent if you mostly write short fiction?

AS: You can do that without an agent and, in fact, most agents won’t represent short fiction, even for authors they represent for novels.

GB: Collections of short stories are a hard sell.

And that was time.

Next weekend, it will once more be time for a next chapter update (already?).

Be good and write well!

Home and garden update

So this one’s not going to be much in the way of words, but there will be a lot of pics 🙂

As of last fall, the work the city had promised to do for us when they repaved Marttila Drive was still not done.

In October, one crew came by to build our new front steps. Even though I asked for an estimate on rebuilding the side steps, too, the contractor never got back to me.

But the work was done. Ok.

NoOneWillTripOnThat

No one’s going to trip on that

In December (remember we didn’t have snow until Boxing Day) another crew arrived to do the interlocking brick. They didn’t go under the front steps, though and now the side steps, our old, but very solid steps we made ourselves, overhangs the brick.

Oh well. We’ll build ourselves a new set  . . . someday.

brickwork

Notice the former garden that’s now growing out from under the front steps

In February, in the middle of a snow storm, yet another crew arrived to install the railing on the retaining wall. It had already snowed quite a bit and they had to excavate the cement pylons they had to bolt the railing to.

RailingYay

Unfortunately, one of them was not placed properly.

railingfail

Stable as hell

With regard to the garden, I planted the raised bed Phil built for me last year.

gardenplanted

The transplanted hops vice and clematis seem to be happy.

hps

clematis

Now if I could only get around to weeding . . . 😦

Phil has now added solar power to our gazebo.

WorkinOnTheLectrics

So we can work outside, even after sunset. Summer office: accomplishment unlocked!

GazeboAtNight

And that is this writer’s life.

I’ll be back in a bit with the latest Ad Astra reportage.

Exposing my essentials with the DIYMFA Launch Team

How’s that for a provocative title? As Geroge Takei would say, oh, myyyyyy!

So here was week 12’s prompt:

QOTW 12: What Are Your Essentials?

You don’t need to own every book in the world, but there are some essentials that every writer should have on his or her shelf. Today, I want to know: What are your essentials? What are your go-to “read like a writer” resources?

content_QOTW-12

Okay, and here I defect to another of my writerly mentors, K.M. Weiland. Kate wrote this post back in 2014: the ten commandments of reading like a writer. I’d start there. But then, I’d grab a paperback of Jane Eyre: Writer’s Digest Annotated Classics. You won’t really be able to get the most out of it with the ebook version.

Kate, in analysing and annotating Jane Eyre for WD, shows you how to read like a writer. And, she gives you worksheets and questions, and—well, let’s just say I learned a lot from this book 🙂 I reviewed it, too.

Another a-MA-zing (and yes, you heard the angels singing on that capitalized MA) resource is her Story Structure Database. In each entry, a different novel or movie is analyzed in terms of story structure. Most entries Kate writes herself, but some are submitted by readers. Treasure trove.

And that, my friends, is all you’ll ever need to help you dissect a story with your big, squishy, writer brain.

Essential writing craft books:

Anything by Donald Maass

Anything by Natalie Goldberg

Anything by Ursula K. Le Guin (she’s written a lot about writing—LURVE!)

All the Nail Your Novel books by Roz Morris

Outlining your Novel and Structuring your Novel, plus both workbooks by K.M. Weiland

Page After Page and Chapter After Chapter by Heather Sellers

Take Joy by Jane Yolen

On Writing by Stephen King

The Right to Write by Julia Cameron

Self-editing for Writers by Browne and King

The Artful Edit by Susan Bell

Sometimes the Magic Works by Terry Brooks

Adventures in the Screen Trade and What Lie did I Tell? More Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman

Story by Robert McKee

I think I’d better stop there. I have to confess to being a writing craft book junkie. It’s half of my informal learning on the subject 🙂

As far as novels and stories that I read . . . egads, I have five shelves full in my office alone. You don’t want to know how many Rubbermaid tubs I have in my basement (cause I don’t have room for them anywhere else). And don’t get me started with ebooks.

In short, I read everything. Most of my reading will be in my chosen genre, but even so, I try to alternate YA and adult fantasy, and different sub-genres of fantasy. I read classics, historical fiction, the occasional mystery and even romance novels. I read literary novels, science fiction, and the occasional horror, though I can’t confess to loving that last. I read thrillers, though I don’t enjoy them as much as some of the other genres I read. I’ll read short stories, but again, they don’t tend to be my favourites, at least so far.

I try to learn something from everything I read.

I also do the nutty and read multiple books at once. I’ll even listen to them on Audible while I walk, or work at something non-noisy, like stripping and refinishing stuff. I usually have to pause for the sanding bits, though 😀

I can’t even list my favourite authors anymore without filling a page.

And since I read so much, I have to be selective about the books I review, because I’d really rather be working on my WIPs. You know, day job and all.

So that’s Mellie’s wild world of reading.

See y’all tomorrow! Have a lovely, warm summer night!

Catching up with the DIYMFA Launch Team

Since I was away last weekend, I have a leetle catching up to do. So you get twice the DIYMFA QotW this week.

Let’s start with the week 11 prompt:

QOTW 11: What’s Your Favorite Supporting Character Archetype, and Why?

As you already know, at DIY MFA, we’re big on archetypes. We’ve talked about protagonist archetypes and supporting character archetypes on the site and podcast. We even created our Storytelling Superpower quiz by understanding what different protagonist archetypes want (and how that want drives the story). This week, I want you to turn your attention to the supporting cast. What’s your favorite supporting character archetype and why?

Muse-inks

We’ve established previously that my storytelling superpower is the Protector. All of my protagonists are trying to protect, or save something. Interestingly, I think they all start out as survivors and make the transition to protector. Check out Gabriela’s Storytelling Superpower video series (it’s free!) to find out more 🙂

I’ll approach this by going through each of my WIPs and look at who I’ve written by way of supporting characters. I’ll also limit it to the main supporting characters. For example, my epic fantasy has a lot of characters. It’s the nature of the beast; so I’ll do y’all the favour of not covering all of the supporting cast members.

By the way, I’ve based my assessment on the 12 character archetype system. I know there are a lot more potential archetypes out there, but I, like Gabriela, wanted to keep it simple 😉

Interestingly, these are mostly groupings of three (protagonist + 2 supporting characters). Nice how I managed to get the whole power of three thing without even thinking about it (!) If you want to find out more about the power of three, check out the DIYMFA book, coming soon!

Initiate of Stone/Apprentice of Wind

Protagonist: Ferathainn Devlin. She’s an uninitiated mage from whom war takes everything. She starts out wanting to take revenge on the man she believes to be responsible, but when she realizes there’s more at stake, like, the fate of her world, she has to choose between revenge and sacrifice.

Eoghan: Eoghan doesn’t fit neatly into one archetype. This is because he is physically transformed over the course of the first novel.

He starts out as an innocent, a postulant monk living in a dormitory with a bunch of other orphans, waiting to be called to serve. His much older brother, a priest, is accused of, and executed for, heresy. Eoghan is exiled, and then the goddess Auraya calls him to become her Kas’Hadden, her hammer of light. That’s where the transformation comes in.

On his way, though, fleeing the destruction of war and trying to help the wounded and dying left in the wake of it, he finds Ferathainn, apparently dead. He decides to make her his last stand. He will save her no matter what. And he does, though it involves months of care to nurse her back to health. So he becomes caregiver.

And once Auraya insists, he finally goes to her where she waits, at the Well of Souls, and she transforms him into her holy warrior, her hammer of light. And he becomes a hero/warrior. He has been made to spare his goddess the indignity of murder.

Dairragh: Dairragh transforms, too, though not in the same way as Eoghan. He starts out as the son of an aging lord, eager to prove himself and inherit Gryphonskeep and its lands. He’s been taking care of things in all but name for years now, and is impatient for his father to recognise that he is worthy. He is the ruler without anything to rightly rule.

After Gryphonskeep is destroyed, his father killed, and the gryphons slaughtered, he is taken in by the anogeni, the hidden people, and through their influence, he learns shamanism.

When he meets Ferathainn, Dairragh is becoming the magician.

Figments

Protagonist: Charlene Kalveras (Chas). Chas has been pretty messed up since her father was murdered. Depression and nightmares have yielded to insomnia. When she starts to see things the other kids can’t, she’s worried she’s had some kind of psychotic break. When her figments turn out to be real, though, she discovers a whole other world, and truths about herself and her father that she could never have suspected.

Chas is a protector-mage, an hereditary group of magic-using humans devoted to maintaining balance between Earth and Regnarium (think Plato’s world of ideals mashed up with Jung’s universal unconscious—crazyworld of myth, fairy tale, and, of course, gods).

Ben: Ben is one of Chas’s two best friends. They’ve known each other all their lives. He’s an athlete and a beautiful brown boy who’s smart enough to get by without studying and has developed an unrequited crush on Chas. She’s just been so damaged since her dad was killed, he can’t help himself. He wants to fix things for her.

Though there are shades of the caregiver and lover in there, Ben’s pure everyman. He’s the realist. He keeps Chas grounded.

Finn: The other of Chas’s life-long friends, Finn, might seem to be another everyman. Every person? Whatever, that’s not her. She’s perfectly average, in most respects, but she has a secret fondness for dreams and dream interpretation. Finn also has no internal censor. She says everything she thinks and has to really struggle to be polite sometimes.

When Chas finally reveals what’s happened to her, Finn is on board. She is the creator, the visionary. It’s no surprise to any of them that she has some of the mage-blood in her family, too.

To make the dynamic of the threesome just a little more problematic, Finn’s crushing on Ben, and Chas is aware of the awkeird love triangle but she doesn’t feel anything romantic for Ben and wants nothing more than for Ben to shift his moony gaze to Finn.

Marushka

Protagonist: Marushka. She’s a weirdo, but anyone would be, in her place. Stolen at birth by Baba Yaga (who then ate her mother—shudder), she’s lived in Baba’s sentient hut, Khizhina (literally, hut), all her life. She has no idea how old she is and aside from a few adventures into the normal world to attempt to go to school, or get some books to read, she’s never left Khizhina. Until, that is, Khizhina tells her she has to take Baba Yaga’s place.

Khizhina has mercifully segregated Marushka from her horrid kidnapper/captor, who regularly dines on young, homeless people. Marushka can’t bear the thought of becoming a cannibalistic hag and runs away.

Out in the world, though, she learns she can’t escape her destiny. First, her latent powers begin to express themselves. Second, a patriarchal shadow organisation, bent on destroying goddess-power and subjugating all women for all time, targets Marushka and tries to take her out of the game before she becomes the next Yaga.

She’s socially awkward and doesn’t make friends.

Declan Russell: Declan’s parents decide to foster Marushka. He’s never met anyone like her before and is pretty much instantly smitten. He’s a computer geek/gamer-boy, loves death metal, and is a brown belt in Aikido. His younger sister, Cindy, is the pain in his ass.

In a home invasion and arson (an attack by the shadow org) Declan’s family is killed and only he and Marushka are rescued. Kind of. They’re not allowed to go out, even to the police. Marushka’s birth father, Alex Solomon, who led their rescue, calls it protective custody.

Who the heck is this girl?

He’s the lover.

Yuki Oshiro: Yuki is the Matriarch of the Oshiro family, one of a number of Old Families who have been tasked with the preservation of goddess-power and women’s agency in the world. Her mother actually represents the Oshiros on the Matriarch Council, because boring, and because Yuki would much rather have boots on the ground. She has to be doing something concrete and meaningful. She leaves the political manoeuvring to the Council.

When Marushka suggests a clandestine invasion of the shadow organisation’s stronghold, Yuki can’t resist. Now if they could only dump the kid . . .

Yuki’s another hero/warrior.

This one’s not such a neat grouping. Marushka’s constantly moving, constantly changing circumstances, from Khizhina, to a Children’s Aid Society group home, to foster care, to her (surprise-surprise) birth father’s other family home, and then finally to the Oshiro’s. She doesn’t have a lot of time to make friends, not that she’s any good at it. Declan attaches himself to her, and, after the Russells are killed, Marushka feels responsible for him.

Another attack happens while Marushka and Declan are with the Solomons and after Marushka manages to save them, Yuki, who’s been on patrol, takes them to her family’s home. Yuki’s a bit of an odd duck herself, and so she kind of likes Marushka. That whole goddess thing—bonus. Until Declan proves himself, which he does, she’d as soon turn him over to the CAS.

Reality Bomb

Protagonist: Brenda O’Connell. Brenda is a PhD candidate in physics and astronomy who becomes aware that a fellow candidate, Simon, is attempting to prove that time travel into the past is possible. She tries—and fails—to stop him resulting in the destruction of their reality and the relocation of her consciousness into her alternate self in another reality, nearly a year in the past.

Her alternate self is nothing like her and Brenda has no idea how she’s going to make her situation known to her other self, let alone how she’s going to try to figure out if Simon’s alternate self is heading toward the same disastrous experiment in this world.

B2: This is another weird one. Brenda’s alternate self is in the fashion design program at an art school co-located with Brenda’s university. She’s a cool girl, fashion whore, hard partier, and pretty much everything Brenda’s not, including straight (!)

When Brenda finally is able to make contact, B2’s first reaction is to think she’s insane. Understandably. They fight each other over everything, initially, but eventually come to an uneasy understanding. Brenda can’t do anything without her alternate self.

Over time, they start to influence each other—until disaster happens.

B2 is the explorer/hedonist. Truthfully, Brenda’s a little repressed. She needs B2’s influence.

Morgan Estys: Morgan was the woman Brenda was in love with in her reality. In the alternate world, she’s in the journalism program, and the key to uncovering Simon’s secret lab where he is trying to prove that time travel into the past is possible.

Morgan is the sage.

Gerod and the Lions

Protagonist: Gerod Tucker. Gerod is the youngest boy and the second youngest child of the very large Tucker family. His father, Old John, values strong hands and strong backs, neither of which Gerod possesses. He’s small for his age, not that anyone knows what that is, and makes it his business to try to take care of his family, who all work on Lord Somber’s land and estate. Still, the Tuckers are destitute.

It’s a lean year, and the Child Merchants always come in lean years to buy the ‘surplus’ children of the poor and sell them to the noble families and merchants in the big cities, far away.

Gerod’s been working on a plan, and a hiding place for himself and his little sister, Annabelle, but the Child Merchants come to his village before Gerod is ready, and when Old John sells Annabelle in Gerod’s absence, Gerod chases after the Child Merchants, determined to rescue his sister.

Unfortunately, by himself he can’t fight the large and well-armed Child Merchants. In desperation, he attempts a night rescue, but the cries of the frightened children alert the Child Merchants, sending Gerod running, pell-mell through the woods, into an enormous tent, and right into the paws of a lion.

Maisy: Maisy is the lioness whose enclosure Gerod stumbles into. Prior to her capture in her distant home, Maisy was the queen of her pride, and proud mother of many cubs. A rival fought her and beat her, killing her cubs and driving her out of the pride. She doesn’t mind being in a cage so much. It saves her from having to think about her home and her poor babies . . .

She quite likes this furless cub that fell into her cage. He understands her. He can speak to her. She thinks she’ll keep him.

Maisy is another caregiver, a mother-figure who will actually defend him.

Brawn: Brawn is the lion-tamer of Melchior’s Arcadia of World Oddities. Maisy is his best girl and the one he performs with most for the villagers who come to see them. He also has Tefta and Neruk, but those lionesses belonged to royalty and have never taken well to training. When he sees a boy in the cage with his Maisy, he knows the child must be something special and he’s not disappointed. He brokers a deal between Gerod and Master Melchior. The Arcadia will help Gerod find his sister and get her away from the Child Merchants if Gerod will perform with the lions.

Brawn is a mentor, another kind of caregiver.

So I think the caregivers have it, followed by the hero/warrior.

I wouldn’t say I have a favourite character archetype. As a plantser (combination plotter and pantser), everything starts with the characters for me. I start with my protagonist and the other supporting characters just seem to appear around her or him as the story world forms around them. And then I make bad things happen to them, muwahahahahaha!

I’ll be back in a few with QotW #12!

Tomorrow: Ad Astra 2016 reportage continues with ‘How to get an agent,’ and I’ll have a long overdue post of the home and garden variety 🙂

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 12-18, 2016

The tragic news of the week was, of course, the Orlando mass shooting. And all of them are writerly types . . .

CIA undercover. Powerful message.

 

Will your job go extinct? Janet McFarland lists all the prospects for The Globe and Mail.

An estimated six million Canadians live in isolation. Social researchers are now calling it a hidden epidemic. Andre Picard for the UC Observer.

Forest bathing’ embraces the healing power of trees. CTV News.

Laser technology reveals cities concealed under the earth which would have made up the world’s largest empire in 12th century. The Guardian.

The Heraldic College of Arms includes rules for same sex couples.

13 untranslatable words that reflect the complexity of love. CBC.

 

A dying star metamorphoses into a butterfly. Phil Plait for Slate.

White curtain auroras over Finland. Design you trust.

The Public Domain Review features the Compendium of Demonology and Magic (c. 1775).

The unbelievable tale of Jesus’ wife. Ariel Sabar for The Atlantic. And for balance, Karen King responds to the unbelievable tale of Jesus’ wife.

It’s all good.

See you on the weekend for some DIYMFA catch-up 🙂

Thoughty Thursday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 12-18, 2016

Your writerly goodness for the week.

Most common writing mistakes, part 51: one-dimensional characters. K.M. Weiland. Helping writers become authors. Kate returns with these eight tips for editing other writers’ work while remaining friends. And . . . for the hat trick: grab readers with a multi-faceted characteristic moment.

Writing “linked novels,” a series of standalones sans spoilers. Katy Rose Guest Pryal on Writer Unboxed.

Cassandra Khaw is vexed about voice. Terribleminds.

Kristen Lamb explores using time as a literary device.

Angela Ackerman guest posts on Writers in the Storm: how to deliver critical backstory using setting.

This is where I was last weekend: Mark Medley reports on the Canadian Writers’ Summit. The Globe and Mail.

I’m also a professional member of the CAA, so here are a couple of CWS bits of news relating to the CAA literary awards (which were presented there):

Alexis Daria covers the do’s and don’ts of querying your novel. DIYMFA.

Janet Reid warns against shopping an offer. And over on Query Shark, she posted no, no, and no.

Kameron Hurley engages in some real publishing talk: author expectation and entitlement.

Choosing the best categories for your book sales on Amazon. BookBaby.

Ceridwen Dovey wonders if reading can make you happier. The New Yorker.

Misc Magazine: The future according to women.

The Heroine Bookstore interviews A.M. Dellamonica.

John Glover writes about the life and afterlife of horror fiction on Postscripts to Darkness.

J.K. Rowling’s Harvard commencement speech.

 

Now it’s time to get writing 🙂

Tipsday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 5-11, 2016

The Stanford rape case was all over the interwebz last week, as were the stunned reactions.

Jessica Valenti remembers her life as a sex object. The Guardian.

The rebel virgins and desert mothers who were written out of early Christian history. Alex Mar for Atlas Obscura.

Mallory Ortberg presents gleeful mobs of women murdering men in western art history. The Toast.

Hazel McCallion says, ageism is getting old. The Globe and Mail.

Adam Grant: unless you’re Oprah, ‘be yourself’ is terrible advice. The New York Times.

Teen suicides in Woodstock, Ontario prompt discussion of the effectiveness of anti-bullying programs. CBC’s The Current.

Iona Sharma: ‘A’gailleann’: on language-learning and the decolonisation of the mind. The Toast.

We learn more about our language by listening to the wolves. Holly Root-Gutteridge for Aeon.

John Beckett shares the reasons why he thinks the otherworld is bleeding through. Patheos.

Wow. Look at this self-sustaining community (Now This):

 

Indigenous communities are teaching scientists about nature. The comment that accompanied this article when shared by a friend: it took them this long to figure it out? Vox.

Gene drive therapy may be used to fight malaria. NPR.

Scientists discover a new cat species roaming Brazil. Monga Bay.

Oh, that’s what those bright spots on Ceres look like. Phil Plait for Slate.

Maryana Kopylova makes these alien toys. Space kittehs! Whatever, they’re cool. Brainberries.

This is Colossal shares Kevin Peterson’s hyperrealistic paintings of children and animals exploring urban remains.

ASAP Thought shares five ways to reduce mental health stigma.

 

Liz Fosslien and Molly West share six illustrations that show what it’s like in an introvert’s head. Susan Cain’s Quiet Revolution blog.

You’ll feel better at work with these two-minute habits. Robin Madell for The Business Insider.

This makes me happy 🙂 Pharrell Williams offers a masterclass to students at the NYU Clive Davis institute.

 

And . . . if you like lovely folk harmonies, you’ll want to watch this documentary of Dala’s tour to Alaska.

 

There is no light without the darkness and no darkness without the light.

Be well until next week.

Thoughty Thursday