Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Jan 21-27, 2018

Get your informal writerly learnings right here!

K.M. Weiland looks at the words that changed your life and how that helps you discover what made you a writer. Helping Writers Become Authors

Emily Wenstrom shows you how to kickstart 2018 with an author website audit. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Joe Fassler for DIY MFA radio.

Lila Diller lists five types of books writers should read. DIY MFA

Lisa Cron stops by Writers Helping Writers to pose this question: what does your protagonist want before the story starts?

Elizabeth Huergo: woke writing. “… we shouldn’t wait to write and ask questions until we have lost the ability to do both …” Writer Unboxed

Barbara O’Neal explains what writers do in times of trouble. Writer Unboxed

Heather Webb writers about harnessing the kinetic energy of writing—and what happens if you don’t. Writer Unboxed

Jenny Hansen: what kinds of social media posts go viral? Writers in the Storm

Janice Hardy explains the difference between a scene and a sequel. Fiction University

Rachael Stephen shows you how to organize your novel using a bullet journal.

 

Jami Gold: romance and the language of consent.

Oren Ashkenazi lists five good stories that turned creepy. Good points all. Though I enjoyed some of the shows mentioned, it was an eye-opener to realize how deeply ingrained misogyny is. As writers, we should aim higher, strive to do better. Mythcreants

Jane Hirshfield explains how the liminal frees us from the prison of self (excerpted from “writing and the threshold life”). Brainpickings

David James Nicoll is fighting erasure: women SF writers of the 70s, A through F. Tor.com

I’m absolutely devastated by Ursula K. Le Guin’s death. It was to be expected, but, as other authors have pointed out, she could have died at 108 and it still would have felt too soon.

Here are a few of the slew of tributes:

The Handmaid’s Tale season two trailer.

 

Be well until Thursday, my friends!

tipsday2016

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Muse-inks: Health and wellbeing

Trigger warning: I’m going to discuss feminine health in this post. If that makes you squeamish, you may want to skip this one.

So … I’ve been mentioning for a few weeks now that I had an upcoming procedure. Well, I had the procedure on Monday (Jan 22) and all went well.

The procedure was an ablation. I’ll let those of you who don’t know what that is look it up on your own.

I’m perimenopausal, and since I turned 40, my periods have been getting worse in terms of flow and pain. For the last three years, I’ve been anemic and on iron supplements. 2016 was a very bad year with one period (onset to onset) of 15 days. Yup. I think I stopped bleeding for two or three days before I started up again. That was followed by an epic 25-day bleed (35-day cycle) replete with three two-day episodes of what I’ve lovingly come to call endometrial slugs.

A friend of mine called them blood babies but … babies are cute. These things are not. I think endometrial slugs is a far more descriptive and apt phrase for them.

Hormones don’t work for me (believe me, I’ve tried them all) and so that wasn’t a solution. Being on the pill has generally worsened my mental health and that’s not something I’m willing to sacrifice for the sake of a “happy” period.

After that hellish end to 2016, I called my doctor, got an appointment, got a referral, and was put on the list for ablation as of March last year. Yes, it takes that long for surgeries considered elective to be scheduled, particularly when surgical times for gynecological procedures are cut. I still love our health care system, but there’s room for improvement.

Last weekend, I was nervous. I also have a condition called malignant hyperthermia. I’ll let you look that one up, too.

Suffice it to say, I can’t have regular anaesthetic. If I do, it could set off a hyperthermic reaction in my muscles, including my heart and intercostals, causing them to seize. MH is a fairly new condition and is thought to explain a lot of mysterious operating table deaths due to cardiac arrest in patients who were otherwise healthy.

Don’t worry, there are special anaesthetics they can use for me, but that means I have to be the first operation of the day because there can’t be a trace of other anaesthetics in the system. Everything must be flushed in preparation. It was a very early morning for this permanently exhausted pigeon.

But it all went well. Everyone was well-aware of my MH and every precaution was taken. They had to keep me for four hours post-operatively to be sure that my temperature wasn’t spiking. I’ve been feeling warm through the week, but not feverish. Though it’s been years since my last operation, I seem to remember that happening. Nothing unusual. But it’s good that I’ve had the week off work. Just to be sure.

The best outcome of ablation is the complete cessation of bleeding. This is what I hope for but am too realistic to expect. Any improvement will be welcome. I’m of an age where, by the time the beneficial effects of the ablation fade, I should be in full menopause.

I don’t want to be anemic, and therefore exhausted, anymore. I don’t want to take prescription medication to deal with the pain of menses. I don’t want to have to take days off work because, even with the most absorbent feminine protection, I still bleed through and ruin clothes.

I’m looking for an improvement in my quality of life.

Bonus pupdate

Torvi turned four months yesterday (Jan 26) and is now 35 pounds. She’s slowly coming around. Mornings are particularly good. She’s all cuddly and sweet when she’s sleepy 🙂

There’s still the odd accident in the house. Phil and I haven’t figured out her signals yet but, overall, Torvi’s doing as well as you’d expect a four-month-old puppy to do.

The shepherd “saddle” is becoming more pronounced, but her fur is still so soft. Some of her nails have grown in black (most are white) and her white socks are becoming speckled with brown. Her buttery puppy belly is slowly furring over.

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Last night the power went out three times. We had tuna sandwiches for our candlelit supper.

I’ve had to pause in writing this post twice to take Torvi out. The first time, thin cloud veiled the gibbous moon. The second time, the sky was clear, and I could see Orion hanging out just below the moon.

Overall, life is good.

Until my next blog, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories.

Muse-inks

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Jan 14-10, 2018

A few articles to get your mental corn popping.

Not that bad. Katy Kati Kate: momming your ass off

Jennifer Wright: women are afraid men will murder them. Harper’s Bazaar

Suzannah Weiss offers a psychological explanation for why compliments are so embarrassing. The Cut

Kaya Oaks shares what medieval women taught her about being 40. On Being

Judith Graham reveals the secret to keeping your brain sharp as you grow older. It may be simpler than you think. Business Insider

Anika Burgess: the secret paths that led Ireland’s Catholics to forbidden mass. Atlas Obscura

Nikhil Sonnad explains that it’s tea if by sea and cha if by land and why the world has two words for tea. Quartz

Paul Cooper expounds on the timeless allure of ruins. BBC

Jenn M. Jackson: Martin Luther King Jr. was more radical than we remember. Teen Vogue

The extraordinary life of Nikola Tesla. Richard Gunderman for The Smithsonian Magazine.

Is the interbrain a kind of human wifi? IFLS

Bored Panda features photographs from the world’s coldest village.

Monitoring the wildlife overpass on highway 69, March 20, 2017.

 

A close encounter between a fox and a snowy owl. CTV News

Be well until the weekend!

thoughtythursday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Jan 14-20, 2018

Your informal writerly learnings for the week 🙂

K.M. Weiland explores four reasons we write. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jan O’Hara wrestles with tense and point of view. Writer Unboxed

Gabriela Pereira stops by Writers Helping Writers to help you harness your creative momentum.

Brenda Joyce Patterson shows you how to set and keep your writing resolutions. DIY MFA

Gabriela also posts to DIY MFA: how to read like a writer.

Margie Lawson helps you put wow on the page. Writers in the Storm

Annie Neugebauer compares writing to mountain climbing. It’s an apt metaphor. Summit fever and knowing when to say whoa. Writer Unboxed

Chuck Wendig offers some assorted thoughts on imposter’s syndrome, gathered in a bouquet. Terribleminds

Janice Hardy compares plotting the novel with plotting single scenes. Fiction University

Kristen Lamb: the lies that bind (and how to free yourself).

Chris Winkle explains how to use your conlang (constructed language) without ruining your story. Mythcreants

Anna Hecker: the problem with sensitivity readers isn’t what you think it is. Writer’s Digest

Elsa Sjunneson-Henry belongs where the people are and shares her compelling thoughts on disability and The Shape of Water. Tor.com

Margaret Atwood: am I a bad feminist? The Globe and Mail

Barbara Kingsolver: #metoo isn’t enough and why women have to get ugly. The Guardian

Charlotte Ahlin lists 11 habits that all science fiction readers have in common. Bustle

Be well until Thursday!

tipsday2016

Muse-inks: SAD and pupdate

AKA, Another week in the writerly life.

I seem to write about this every year: seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Winter up here is northeastern Ontario is a dark season. It’s not as dark as the communities further north, but the sun doesn’t rise until after we go to work in the mornings and it sets about the time we come home.

My new desk at work (moved in the spring of last year) had lovely, large windows, but many days are overcast. My usual level of tired, driven by anemia and hormones and neurotransmitters, is exaggerated by the low levels of light.

I’ve mentioned in a past post that the snow came early this winter. Or rather it came on time. The previous two years, we had green Christmases. When the snow arrived in early November, it was followed by bitter cold, then unseasonably warm. It’s been vacillating between the two extremes since. It’s been a brutal season for colds and flu. I’m so glad I got my flu shot early.

When I was young, I was an early bird. Up at 6 am without a complaint, but I’d fall asleep any time after 10 pm. I remember one late dinner after several hours of travel during which I could not keep my eyes open. Now … I drag myself out of bed with difficulty in the morning. Everything takes longer because I’m fighting to keep my eyes open. As a consequence, I’m usually writing later into the night.

This past week, I’ve generally gone to bed around midnight and still had to get up early, so I could walk Torvi before breakfast and heading to work.

I feel like that meme: I’m not an early bird or a night hawk; I’m some kind of permanently exhausted pigeon.

In other health-related news, I’m going to be off work this week due to a medical procedure I’ve been waiting for since last March. I’m hopeful that it will improve my quality of life, but nervous because it means anaesthetic.

Due to another condition, I can’t have regular anaesthetics. My surgery is booked first thing so that the special anaesthetic I can have can be used before the systems are contaminated with other anaesthetics. It means an even earlier day. I’ll get to catch up on my sleep later, though.

Onto the pupdate.

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Last week, Torvi had what we can only conclude was a case of the new dog flu that’s supposed to be going around. We have no idea where she picked it up, but she was splitty for three days. No parasites, no blood, no vomiting. She continued to eat and drink as normal. She wasn’t dehydrated. She hadn’t gotten into anything that could have cause her to be sick. She didn’t have anything to eat that she hadn’t had in the last couple of months.

We sorted things by restricting her food and administering a puppy-appropriate dose of Pepto-Bismol. Since then, she’s been fine and no signs of a resurgence.

That’s all for this week.

Be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories.

Muse-inks

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Jan 7-13, 2018

This week was thoughtier than usual 🙂

Dana Goodyear: can Hollywood change its ways? The New Yorker

Joseph Shapiro exposes the sexual assault epidemic that no one talks about. NPR

Zdravko Cvijetic lists 13 things you must give up to live the life you want. Uplift

Judith Graham says that good friends might be your best brain booster as you age. Scientific American

Ed Yong pays tribute to the transgender scientist who changed how we understand the brain. The Atlantic

The benefits of deep sleep and how we can get more of it. Dan Gartenberg’s TED Talk.

 

Holly Butcher was diagnosed with Ewings sarcoma and posted an inspirational message on the eve of her death. BoredPanda

Mya Fourstar aims for college basketball and life beyond the reserve. Jesse Dougherty for The Washington Post.

Arthur C. Clarke predicts the internet in 1962.

 

Dave Mosher reports on the Jupiter probe’s latest mind-bending images of the gas giant. The Business Insider

Andrew Fazekas shares his top eight must-see sky events of 2018. National Geographic

NPR’s Skunk Bear explores the sci-fi sound of singing ice.

 

SciShow: Egyptian Blue. Modern applications for an ancient pigment.

 

Shake your silk-maker: the dance of the peacock spider.

 

The firefly experience.

 

I hope something in this curation got your mental corn popping.

Be well until the weekend.

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Jan 7-13, 2018

Here we are with another week’s worth of informal writerly learnings!

K.M. Weiland shares the five secrets of good storytelling (that writers forget all the time). Helping Writers Become Authors

Janice Hardy points out four reasons readers stopped caring about your story. Later in the week, Janice returns with, do your characters have the right flaws? Fiction University

Colleen M. Story shares the one technique you need to nail your writing goals. Writers in the Storm

Orly Konig: confessions of a workshop flunkie. Writers in the Storm

Julie Glover responds to Fae Rowan’s voracious reader post of last week. Slow: meandering reader ahead. Writers in the Storm

Jenna Moreci shares her recommendations for writing resolutions.

 

Sacha Black offers some advice on owning your writing career in 2018. Writers Helping Writers

Lisa Hall-Wilson stops by Writers Helping Writers to help us write characters with PTSD.

Sara Letourneau explores the theme of legacy in Station Eleven. DIY MFA

My latest column at DIY MFA was also up last week 🙂 Speculating your future: five steps to FIT goals.

Dawn Field lists five questions you don’t want your readers to ask. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Joan Dempsey for DIY MFA radio.

Then, Gabriela stops by Writer’s Digest to bust three myths that hinder creativity.

Juliet Marillier: a new year for writers. Writer Unboxed

Julie Carrick Dalton shares what she learned about writing a dual timeline novel. Writer Unboxed

Jami Gold explains how to tap into strong emotion through memory.

Kristen Lamb says, the publishing cold war is ending.

Autocrit lists five idioms with unexpected origins.

Porter Anderson explores Teos and Finland’s endless forest.

Janice Bradbeer tells the tale of science fiction author Judith Merril and the very real story of Toronto’s spaced-out library. The Toronto Star

Mehera Bonner takes us inside The Handmaid’s Tale’s sophomore season. Marie Claire

Be well until Thursday!

tipsday2016

Muse-inks: A week in this writer’s life

The beginning of 2018 is proving to be a challenge.

At my day job, were heading into a busy quarter. Training and monitoring and an in-person team learning event.

The medical procedure I’ve been waiting for since last March has finally been scheduled for the week after next.

Torvi continues to improve, but she’s still a (32 pound!) puppy and Phil and I and my mom, who watches Torvi weekdays while we work, have had our hands full. We’re still getting used to the continual disruptions life with a puppy requires.

Since I’m twelve years older than I was the last time I did this, I find I’m exhausted. It’s worth it, but I wish I could catch up on my sleep. Maybe when Torvi’s older.

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For now, as she closes in on four months, the shepherd in her is coming out, personality-wise as well as physically. Her head, shoulders, legs and paws are still super-soft. I just want to cuddle her ALL the time. When she’s not biting me *sigh*

Four out of five people in my critique group are in the process of moving and so the start of that new adventure will be delayed.

And that’s about it for the week.

Bed’s calling.

Until Tuesday, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories 🙂

Muse-inks

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Dec 31, 2017 – Jan 6, 2018

Here’s some stuff that might just get the mental corn popping 🙂

More on the continuing Phoenix debacle: public servants have until January 31st to deal with 2017 overpayments. Matthew Kupfer for the CBC.

John Leland says, if you want to be happy, think like an old person. The New York Times

How society destroys your creativity.

 

Brenda Knowles: the biggest wound of relationships and how to avoid it. Space2Live

Eric Andrew-Gee says, your smartphone is making you stupid, antisocial, and unhappy, but why can’t you put it down? The Globe and Mail

Danny Vinik reports on the real future of work. Politico

Astronomy calendar for 2018:

 

Kemp Reweti – Maori harpist.

 

And that was your edutainment for the week.

Be well until the weekend!

thoughtythursday2016