Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 18-24, 2016

The thoughty is gaining strength again.

The Golden clock: how one simple time hack can increase your happiness at work. Steve Farber for Inc.

Eric Barker explains how mindfulness really works. The Week

Anna Lovind explores the truth about procrastinators and overachievers.

The Dalai Lama redefines the word terrorist. Patheos

Lolly Daskal lists seven reasons employees quit, even when they like their jobs. Inc.

Katharine Trendacosta lists this year’s Emmy winners, including Tatiana Maslany (eeee!). i09

Rami Malek is the Emmy’s first non-white best actor winner in 18 years. Tahirah Hairston for Fusion.

Toronto’s new street signs present the indigenous history of street names. CBC

A new generation suffers from mercury poisoning at Grassy Narrows. CBC

A DNA study confirms that indigenous Australians are the most ancient civilisation on Earth. Hannah Devlin for The Guardian.

The US faces a scathing UN human rights review. Natasja Sheriff for Aljazeera America.

Laura Kastner explores the boy code and toxic masculinity. This is another reason why everyone needs to be a feminist. Parent Map

Chelsea G. Summers: the politics of pockets. Racked

France has banned plastic cups, plates, and cutlery. Shehab Khan for The Independent.

Ancient Persians built really effective ice houses. The Vintage News

The Vintage News shares the good reasons why castle stairs were built spiralling clockwise.

Ross Kenneth Urkin reports on the forgotten Jewish pirates of Jamaica. The Smithsonian

Farnam Street shares The Feynman Technique, the best way to learn anything.

George Dvorsky reports that scientists have finally figured out why tardigrades are so indestructible. Gizmodo

No, NASA did not just change your astrological sign. Ria Misra for Gizmodo.

Futurism shares an infographic on human evolution into the near and far future.

Jennifer Ouellette: quantum cat experiment captured on camera. Gizmodo

Allyson Souza shares seven reasons your dog should sleep in your bed. Little Things

Dogs vs. stairs. Petcha

 

Here’s hoping your mental corn is well and truly popped.

See you Saturday for the September edition of the next chapter.

Thoughty Thursday

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 18-24, 2016

You want moar informal writerly learnings, you say?

Here they are!

K.M. Weiland shares the secret to writing dynamic characters: it’s always their fault. Helping writers become authors

Later in the week, Kate returns with more lessons from the MCU: stay true to your characters.

Tonia Marie Harris guest posts on Writer Unboxed: confessions of an intrepid mermaid.

Lisa Cron digs deeper into the response to her last Writer Unboxed post, in which she posited an alternative to the plotter/pantser dichotomy. It’s hard to own what you believe.

Dave King: give your characters roots. Writer Unboxed

Lisa Janice Cohen shares the seven lessons she’s learned over five years and six novels. Writer Unboxed

Dan Blank: share your voice. Writer Unboxed

Chuck Wendig: here’s how to finish that fucking book, you monster. Terribleminds
Later in the week, Chuck posts: it’s art that will help us survive.

Susan Brooks returns to Janice Hardy’s Fiction University: the importance of genre specificity, part two. Then, Janice guests on C.S. Lakin’s Live, write, thrive: are you making these three common revision mistakes?

Megan Hannum shares five apps that will help you revise your manuscript. DIYMFA

Laura Drake: nail that first line. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle shares her insights into creating your antagonist’s journey. Mythcreants

W.B. Sullivan shares six ways to cultivate urgency that will captivate readers. The Write Life

Rebecca Smith: what Jane Austin can teach us about building suspense. Literary Hub

Alice Sudlow posts on the proper order of adjectives.* The Write Practice

*It should be noted that I posted about this in past weeks, including Chuck Wendig’s take.

Indigenous or aboriginal, which is correct? CBC

Roz Morris offers her views on writing as a hobby, an art, a profession, a business, or a vocation. Is there a difference and why is it important? Nail your novel

Kimberly Brock embraces her inner weirdos on Writers in the Storm.

Kirsten Oliphant posts on Jane Friedman’s blog: how to leverage the power of someone else’s platform without being smarmy. Later in the week, Andrea Dunlop shares five questions you should ask yourself when you’re getting ready for a book launch.

So this was a thing that happened:

Writescape profiles Jenny Madore.

Leonard Cohen celebrates his birthday with a present to us. Bob Boilen for NPR.

Buzzfeed lists 28 underused words that you should start using.

Jane Friedman offers her annual state of publishing update.

Publishers Weekly shares the results from their publishing industry salary survey. The trends and disparity are still unsettling.

Susanne Althoff looks at The Bestseller Code and how algorithms could save publishing but ruin novels. Wired

Viet Thanh Nguyen unpacks the complicated issue of diversity in publishing. The Library Journal

Alyssa Wong, Alice Sola Kim, Cat Valente, and Seth Dickenson discuss diversity in science fiction. Leah Schnelbach for Tor.com.

The Fantasy Faction presents part five of their gender and stereotyping in fantasy series: bisexual characters.

Emily V. Gordon says that television writers are doing a better job at portraying characters with mental illness. The New York Times

Keri Walsh: the taming of the bard. Public Books

Watch the PBS trailer for their documentary, Maya Angelou: And still I Rise. The Vulture

More sadness: Terry Jones diagnosed with dementia 😦 The Telegraph

Cinephelia & Beyond takes an in-depth look at Alan Parker’s Angel Heart.

A Nigerian comics startup is creating African superheroes. Lily Kuo for Quartz.

Sarah Gailey posits that Hermione Granger is more than just a sidekick. Tor.com

Watch the Stranger Things kids warm up the Emmy audience with their version of “Uptown Funk.” Entertainment Weekly

And now, I’m a little exhausted.

See you Thursday!

Tipsday

Series discoveries: Midseason follies, part deux

Hey, gang!

This is going to be a short post to catch up on the few midseason series I watched after my last post of this nature in April.

Beware. Spoilers ahead.

Game of Thrones

After last season’s heap of misogyny, I was hoping for better in this season. I was (thankfully) not disappointed.

Yeah. Jon Snow died, but Melisandre brought him back and now claims that he is the one who was prophesied. Having died, however, Jon was free of his oath to the Nightswatch and moved south to retake Winterfell.

Sansa and Theon survived their leap from the walls. Sansa met up with Jon and together they retook Winterfell (not without great cost or the help of the young puppet of the Vale) and the bastard of Bolton got his just desserts.

Theon has reunited with his sister and they’ve taken (actually stolen) the ironborn fleet and offered it to Dani. Uncle Euron may still kill them, but I’m kind of liking the alliance.

Arya is finally a faceless one (yay!), but her story suffered the most from implausibility of any in the series this season. I have great hopes for her, and a theory that I won’t share in case I’m wrong. It would be so cool if I’m right, though 🙂

Bran has become the new three eyed raven, and we now know Hodor’s heart-wrenching backstory. I have no idea what’s going to happen now as most of the children of the forest appear to be dead. Even with his new powers, what can Bran do on his own?

Dani’s finally in control of her dragons and should be retaking the seven kingdoms with her fearsome brood, Dothraki hoard, Unsullied, and I’m kind of excited to see what happens with her. Also interesting, another red priestess has appeared and is saying that Dani is the one who was prophesied.

Does this mean Dani and Jon are destined to kill each other or share the throne after they’ve driven back the White Walkers?

Cersei is certifiably insane. I think her number will be up shortly.

So aside from some glaring plot holes, I was pleased. Even though the body count continued to rise, sometimes sensationally rather than for legitimate plot reasons, I could deal. With the new, compressed schedule, I’m thinking they had to eliminate a lot of secondary plot lines and subplots post-hasty.

Two short and delayed seasons until the end of all.

Stranger Things

OMG. Loved this series so much, I don’t know if I can properly express it without babbling.

80’s nostalgia. A truly kick-ass young female protagonist. Great, geeky supporting roles. Tonnes of Easter eggs and homage. Heaven!

The story was fast-paced and compelling. The end of the season was satisfying and I’m so happy they’re working on season two.

No spoilers here. I want you all to watch it. Go on. Binge!

The only movie/show I’m looking forward to more is the adaptation of Ready Player One.

Outcast

This was a recommendation from a work friend. Phil and I were looking for something to watch and decided to give it a try.

Though the story is about a man who has been surrounded by possessed people all his life (mother, wife) and discovers that he has the ability to drive out the possessing spirits, there was something off about the season, more than what you’d expect from a story about possession.

I wasn’t watching so much because I enjoyed it, but because I wanted to see if the writers would answer any of the story questions in a satisfying way. There were answers, and they were surprising, but not satisfying.

Lucky Man

This series is interesting. It’s billed as Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, but it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with any Marvel property.

In fact, it had the feel of a gritty police procedural with paranormal influences like River, which Phil and I also watched and enjoyed.

A London Police detective and addicted gambler inherits a mystical bracelet that endows him with incredible luck.

I’m not sure if I would have watched it if there was anything else on, but I have and don’t regret it.

Outlander season two was fabulous. Loved it. Too much of a fangirl to offer critique.

Orphan Black was awesomesauce and I’m so pleased Tatiana Maslany got her Emmy. So well-deserved.

My main guilty pleasure and only reality television I watch, So You Think You Can Dance, did a next generation version, and it was amazing and adorable.

I’ll probably do a Fall 2016 series discoveries toward the end of October when I’ve had the chance to see most of the new offerings. I can tell you, I’m not terribly optimistic with all of the retreads, but we’ll see.

Series Discoveries

Mel’s movie madness September 2016 edition

I actually watched most of these earlier in the year. I caught cold twice, once in February and again in March. Aside from watching Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel, which I’ve since convinced Phil to watch so I could enjoy it again, I watched a few movies.

I’m just going to go over four here, but I’ve also caught The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay, Part 2, The Scorch Trials, and The F Word. I enjoyed them, but they weren’t provocative.

These were:

Snowpiercer

Holy dystopia, Batman.

When an attempt to reverse global warming backfires, the world is left a frozen wasteland. The only sanctuary is a train that continually circles the earth and contains the last survivors of mankind.

The movie started dark and only got worse. The protagonist is an antihero who starts in the caboose, the poorest section of the train. Abuse, murder, and the theft of children set him on a desperate mission to reach the fabled engineer and mutiny.

Progress through the train is measured in death and several scenes are almost Gilliam*-esque in their quality. Absurdity and grotesquery only serve to reinforce the nightmarish existence of the people on the train.

When our “hero” reaches the engineer, Wilford, the rebellion is revealed to be another planned part of life aboard the train. Population needs to be controlled and small children are required to act as replacements for worn out parts.

The train is a self-contained ecosystem. Everything must be controlled.

Oooh. This one was dark. But it made me think.

*Not incidentally, the hero’s mentor is named Gilliam.

Jupiter Ascending

This movie has been trashed by the best, and I don’t disagree with the criticism levelled at it. But it was fun.

I enjoyed it despite all the ridiculousness.

Check out Emily Asher-Perrin’s review for Tor.com for a much more thoughtful take 🙂

Kill Your Darlings

I wanted to watch this one because it was about the beat poets.

I know the facts were fictionalized for the screen, but it was a well-written, well-acted, and compelling story.

And, of course, it made me think, not about the beat poets, but about the characters and their various journeys on screen. That, for me, is what makes a movie, when I forget what it’s supposed to be about.

The Danish Girl

Eddie freakin’ Redmayne.

The Danish Girl is a lush period piece about Dutch painter Einar Wegener, as he uncovers his identity as female, becomes Lili Elbe, and seeks a doctor compassionate enough to help her become fully female.

This movie tore my wee heart.

As tragic as the ending was, the movie was about love that transcends gender as Einar’s wife, Gerda, and their friend Hans, support Lili to the end, and negotiate their various relationships through the journey that is transition. None of them are perfect, but the movie is all the more heart rending for it.

So beautiful.

Thanks for stopping by to read my thoughts on these movies.

I’ll catch you up on the rest of the midseason follies in a bit.

Mel's Movie Madness

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 11-17, 2016

Time to get your mental corn a-poppin’!

Anna Lovind wants you to find the vision that wants to be born through you.

Kristen Lamb takes aim at the fashion industry.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: we should all be feminists. TEDX Euston.

 

Illustrator Rasneth (Razzy) shows bros why everyone needs feminism. Bust

Daphne Patai: how diversity came to mean “downgrading the west.” Minding the Campus

Throat singer Tanya Tagaq combats indigenous stereotypes. Liz Przybylski for KCET.

Exorbitant food prices on the James Bay coast mean that children are going hungry. Olivia Stefanovich for CBC.

The Irena Sendler story.

 

Sweden is officially moving to a six-hour work day.

 

The wreckage of Sir John Franklin’s HMS Terror may have been found. Garrett Hinchey for CBC.

Phil Plait features Xkcd’s latest comic on global warming. Slate

Anna Nowogrodzki shares a first glimpse of a black hole being born from a star’s remains. New Scientist

Ria Misra reports on new evidence that points to a different theory for the moon’s formation. Gizmodo

The Martian landscape looks like Utah. Phil Plait for Slate.

Wasn’t sure where to put this . . . creepy. David Brown reports on the discovery of a skeleton that points to cannibalism in the Jamestown colony. The Washington Post

Photographer, Lorenzo Montezemolo, takes enchanting long exposure shots of fog over California. My Modern Met

Elyse Wanshel lists ten ways dogs show they love you. The Little Things

Hugs and stuff, ‘cause you’re all grand, you are!

See you Saturday for some movie madness and some series discoveries (midseason follies).

Thoughty Thursday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 11-17, 2016

Tipsday is chock full of informal writerly learnings!

K.M. Weiland digs into subtext and gives practical examples for how you can identify and apply subtext in your stories. Helping writers become authors

Later in the week, Kate shares more lessons from the MCU: how to choose the right antagonist for your story.

Roz Morris offers an exercise to show how you can shape your tone in your novel. Nail your novel

Vaughn Roycroft discusses the importance of storytelling in turbulent times. Writer Unboxed

Sara Letourneau helps you find the “why” behind your story. DIYMFA

David Corbett helps you fill linguistic holes with some super fun words. Writer Unboxed

Carly Watters shares four ways to write better dialogue.

Jami Gold: when is backstory necessary? Later in the week, Jamie returns with tips on balancing your story elements.

Margie Lawson offers her rule #17: finessing backstory. Writers in the storm

David H. Safford guest posts on Writers Helping Writers with advice on hunting down story holes using a novel journal.

Janice Hardy continues her blog tour on Marcy Kennedy’s blog. Create an editorial map to make revisions easier. This is, incidentally, part of my process 🙂

Karen Woodward explores short story structure.

Gabriela Pereira interviews Jerry Jenkins on DIYMFA radio.

Christine Frazier compares Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Better Novel Project

Janet Reid shares six reasons she said “no,” recently.

Frances Caballo guest posts on Jane Friedman’s blog. A social media strategy that works: CARE about your readers.

Tim Grahl shares his perspective on the effectiveness of Facebook as a marketing tool for authors.

Authors offer their best writing tips. The Guardian

The Baltimore Sun shares John E. McIntyre’s “trigger warning” from his editing class at Loyola University, Maryland.

Moira Donegan covers the Emily Books Symposium session: what is women’s writing? The Awl

Kerry Gold’s L’affaire Galloway explores the UBC incident in its context and subtext (because there’s so much that hasn’t been stated). The Walrus

Janet Reid shares her thoughts on the difference between racism and using potentially offensive language in context in response to one college’s unequivocal idea of cultural sensitivity.

Mary Robinette Kowal offers a textile metaphor for cultural appropriation.

Jim C. Hines unpacks Lionel Shriver’s speech on cultural appropriation.

And here’s Foz Meadows’ response to Lionel Shriver.

Related (because it occured at the same literary festival): a journalist quotes a writer without permission. Liz Spayd for The New York Times.

Award news! Sunburst Award winners announced!

Literary Hub interviews the Biblioasis Bookstore in Windsor.

Wordstock, Sudbury’s literary festival. Nov 3-5, 2016. CBC

Canadian literati are coming to Sudbury for Wordstock. South Side Story

Last week marked the centenary of Roald Dahl’s birth. Here are a couple of the articles that were posted in tribute.

Shane Koyczan: 152 (audio only)

 

Wasn’t sure where to put this mixed bit of news. Sad to have lost him, but end-of-life issues are never simple and I honour his right to make this decision. Author W.P. Kinsella ended his life last week under Canada’s new assisted dying legislation. The Guardian

Take a look at Salvador Dali’s paintings of Alice in Wonderland. The Earth Child

Seanan McGuire digs into Pamela Dean’s Tam Lin. Tor.com

Joel Minty offers advice to first-time readers of Steven Erikson’s Gardens of the Moon. Tor.com

Alex Brown reviews the fall 2016 television SFF line up for Tor.com.

Germaine Lussier reports that Disney’s new production of A Wrinkle in Time has its lead. i09

The Curiosity is a fairy tale film about selkies 😀 Germaine Lussier for i09.

Connie Verzak offers some fodder for Droughtlander sufferers. The Daily Record

Hope you enjoyed, my creative friends.

See you on Thursday for some thoughty 🙂

Tipsday

Something apropos of nothing

I’ve gotten back into pendants lately.

I used to wear necklaces a lot . . . aeons ago, but found them inconvenient in more recent years.

When I started swimming regularly, it was a pain to have to remove them (and often forget them). When I got into yoga, it was a similar issue, with pendants/charms slapping into my face in various poses.

In the last couple of years, though, I’ve grown fond again. I don’t have the time to swim, and no longer have a membership at the Y to facilitate it. I do some simple yoga in the mornings, on my own, and I don’t have to worry about leaving my necklaces anywhere that might result in my losing them.

So here’s the new line up.

pendants

It started with the lovely knotwork angel my friend, Margaret, picked up for me in Wales (far left). This was followed by the raven (October’s charm in one Celtic system), the Brigit’s cross, and the green man.

Last Christmas, my sister-in-law, Stephanie, gave me the Origami Owl pendant. At the time, it included a typewriter, a birthstone (my dad’s), my initial, and the purple dangle. I added a paw, for Nuala, Zoe, Thufir, and Tripod, a dragonfly (transformation), a bee (I’m a business expertise advisor, or BEA, at work), and the infinity and tree of life dangles. It’s a little cluttered, but that’s me 🙂

In August, my mom-in-law brought me back the sea glass pendant from an artisan in PEI, when she and Stephanie vacationed on the east coast. I love sea glass and it turns out to be very symbolic of my writerly life.

I have others. A set of earnings and necklace that are dolphins curled around fluorite balls, a pegasus with a quartz crystal dangling from it, a meditating goddess, a dragonfly, a unicorn, and some much older, gold jewellery that I keep for sentimental reasons. I might pull these out and share at some point, but for now, I’m too lazy to do it 😛

This is all just to say that I like necklaces again.

Something truly apropos of nothing 😉

Next weekend, I hope to do another double post on Saturday, finishing off the midseason follies and reviewing a few of the more interesting movies I watched in the last year. Then it will be time for my next chapter update the weekend after that, and I’ll finally move on to some of the interesting panels and presentations I attended at WorldCon.

Be prepared for another weekend blogging hiatus in November, for NaNoWriMo. I’m just putting this out here now, because I won’t be on leave, as I’d hoped.

Be well until next I blog 😀

Renovation MADNESS

Before I dive in, I have to let you know that Phil has been very good about not involving me in the actual destruction, or the reconstruction. I know nothing of ‘lectrics (as Phil calls them). I’ve just tried to keep the house clean and keep up with the weekly business of laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, and that kind of thing.

Because of Phil’s various health issues, this is going to be a slow reno. We’re going at Phil’s pace, which is largely on the weekends. But . . . because he’s been feeling so good lately, as a result of the medications he’s on and the changes we’ve made in diet/lifestyle, he felt good enough to tackle the project in the first place.

He chose the living room/dining room area of our small house because it would be a relatively easy reno. Strip it all down, clean up the ‘lectrics, insulate, vapour barrier, drywall, mudding and sanding, floor sanding and refinishing, and painting/finishing details.

The bedroom took about two weeks of solid work, and he had the closet to deal with.

He expected to be done before the end of October, thus making my leave with income averaging and a new puppy a possibility.

But things never go as planned, especially with a house as old as ours.

In a way, it’s good that the pay issues at work caused me to reconsider my leave. It may work out better, even though I was really looking forward to a new little squirmer. It will be that much sweeter when we can.

The ‘lectrics turned into a massive undertaking. When we had previously tackled my office and the bedroom, the ‘lectrics were fairly simple. Phil just removed all the old stuff and ran new wiring.

The living room . . . not so simple.

livingroomrenobegins

It begins.

The room is directly above the panel, and Phil saw right away that he couldn’t leave things the way they were.

There were hidden junction boxes, as many as five wires snaking through a single hole, and three generations of wiring dating back to the original build sometime in the 1940’s. All of this is not up to current building code.

So, Phil patiently turned off the power, traced the wiring through the ceiling, basement, and sometimes the walls, removed the old crap, and replaced/rerouted the wiring efficiently and cleanly. Not all of it, though. There were several places where it looks like additions to the house were built over/around the existing wiring. Phil would not have been able to get at it without removing the siding and original wood from the outside of the house.

He wasn’t about to do that.

As it was, he had to cut holes in the kitchen and side entry to track down and replace some of the old wiring. These will be patched up temporarily pending renovation of those areas.

The pictures:

demofinishedish5

Demo done (kind of).

sept17-1

View from the kitchen (today).

sept17-2

A fresh start.

I’m not going to show you the devastation in the other areas of the house, the problematic wiring, or the piles of old wiring (currently waiting at the end of the driveway for the second delivery of a bin and removal).

Things should be more straightforward from here on out.

I’ll offer further updates later in the year.

Have another short post coming up. Stay tuned.

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 4-10, 2016

Just a wee bit of thoughty, this week.

A timeless icon, Olivia de Havilland turns one hundred. The Daily Mail

Emma Garman reviews the life of Jane Morris, the Pre-Raphealite muse. The Paris Review

If you read last week’s curation, you’ll know that I don’t personally subscribe to the pursuit of happiness ideal. Like Matt Inman (The Oatmeal), I’ve learned that contentment is a much better place to be. Also, to feel anything at all, other than rage, after a depressive episode, is, like, awesome. I don’t need to, or want to, be bouncing-off-the-walls happy. One extreme in emotion usually heralds its opposite.

Still, I read and share all these posts and articles on happiness. What’s up with that? If you take the word happiness out of the equation, these are all really good tips to live a good, meaningful life. That’s what leads to contentment. So there you are: Mellie’s philosophy.

Joseph Mercola lists 22 things happy people do differently. Epoch Times

Emily Hartridge: Q&A on anxiety.

 

Artificial intelligence could help diagnose mental disorders. Joseph Frankel for The Atlantic.

The impossible propulsion drive is heading to space. David Hambling for Popular Mechanics.

Juno reveals Jupiter, the surprising and weird king of planets. Phil Plait for Slate.

Tom Metcalfe looks at seven potential means of interstellar travel. Fodder for the SF author? You betcha! LiveScience

Brain training with the Oculus Rift is helping paraplegics regain sensation and muscle control. Amazing (and hopeful) stuff.

 

Hope that was enough to get the mental corn a-poppin’ 😉

Thoughty Thursday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 4-10, 2016

Lots of informal writerly learnings for you this week 🙂

K.M. Weiland posts another instalment in her most common writing mistakes series. Last week, it was part 53: no contractions in dialogue. Helping writers become authors

Later in the week, Kate returns with more lessons from the MCU: the right way and the wrong way to foreshadow.

Janice Hardy guest posts on Writers helping writers: how to stay organized during revision.

Later she posts on killing your darlings on her own Fiction University blog.

Sophie Masson offers some tips on how to use real-world places to inspire fictional settings. Writer Unboxed

Donald Maass: intensity. Writer Unboxed

Steven Pressfield examines the inciting incident and the call.

I shared the Tweet that inspired Chuck Wendig’s grammar rant last week. I’d also heard Grammar Girl, Mignon Fogarty, discuss it on her podcast a week or two earlier. Chuck brings up some good points, though. The ideal order of adjectives may well be how they sound best when spoken, and this can vary between English speaking countries as well as regionally, within each country, based on dialectical differences. Words like absolute and must, while they exist in the English language, sometimes don’t apply to it universally.

Annie Neugebauer is back with part two of her query letter mini-series: the extras. Writer Unboxed

Professional book critic, Laura Miller, extols the merits of Amazon reader reviews. Slate

If you’re going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, you’d better start planning now. Bess Cosby for DIYMFA.

Sarah Selecky wonders how we make the time to write? An exploration of the concept of white space as it applies to process. Story is a state of mind

With timeframes ranging from 2.5 days to 16 years, this infographic on how long it takes to write a novel could give you the encouragement you need. Or not. Mental Floss

Jael Richardson outlines six reasons you should attend a Canadian literary festival. Includes lists of festivals into 2017. Open Book Toronto

Award news: The Scotiabank Giller Prize 2016 long list.

Gail Anderson-Dargatz: when the book is ready, it will find a home. The Globe and Mail

Ann Patchett: If writers are to survive, we must take responsibility for ourselves and our industry. The Guardian

This was the big, and somewhat controversial, news lat week. No, the internet hasn’t killed the printed book. Most readers still prefer them. Daniel Victor for The New York Times.

K.C. Alexander: publishing while female (A.K.A. why I stopped internalizing your shit). Terribleminds

Dashka Slater exposes the uncomfortable truth about children’s books. Mother Jones

Nisi Shawl: representing my equals. A discussion of how and why she chose the eleven POV characters in Everfair. Tor/Forge blog

Why Yassmin Abdel-Magied walked out of the key note speech at the Brisbane Writers Festival. Medium

The do’s and don’ts of writing a transgendered or non-binary character. The story and its writer

Brooks Barnes considers this summer’s mega-hits and super flops in cinema. Was this the year that movies stopped mattering? The New York Times

Natalie Zutter has updated the (very long) list of SFF works coming to the big and little screens, from the rumoured to in production. Tor.com

This is beautiful. Though it was completed more than a decade ago, this is the first time I’ve seen Destino, Walt Disney’s collaboration with Salvador Dali.

 

Marvel’s Luke Cage is the unapologetic, black superhero we’ve been waiting for. Evan Narcisse for i09.

Here’s the trailer for the next MCU movie I’m looking forward to: Dr. Strange.

 

And . . . Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

 

Come back Thursday for a short but insightful bit of thoughty.

Tipsday