Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 16-22, 2018

It’s time to pop your mental corn. Get those creative connections ping-ponging around that skull of yours!

Jim C. Hines shares lessons from a viral #metoo tweet.

Michael Hobbes: everything you know about obesity is wrong. The Huffington Post

ASAP science teams up with Gigi Gorgeous to explore the science of being transgender.

 

Marie Heinen: Doug Ford, no power grab is worth undermining Canada’s solid foundation. The Globe and Mail

The Ottawa Citizen provides an update on the tornadoes that touched down in Ottawa and Gatineau: it’s devastating.

SciShow explains why the weak nuclear force ruins everything.

 

In SciShow Space news: cryovolcanoes on Ceres and Iridium flares.

 

Ryan F. Mandelbaum reports that scientists gave MDMA (ecstasy) to octopi … and learned something profound. Gizmodo

True facts about the cuttlefish. Ze Frank

 

And that was your edutainment for the week.

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

thoughtythursday2016

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 16-22, 2018

Looking for some informal writerly learnings? Don’t worry. I’ve found them:

Vaughn Roycroft is writing through uncertainty (with a writerly life jacket). Writer Unboxed

Dave King: wait, what? The power of ambiguity. Writer Unboxed

Annie Neugebauer explains how to process and filter feedback. Writer Unboxed

Julie Duffy: self-doubt is not good. Writer Unboxed

Laura Drake proposes a writer’s resolution anyone can keep. Writers in the Storm

From Beyoncé to the X-files: allusion power on the page. Margie Lawson guest posts on Writers in the Storm.

Angela Ackerman visits Writers in the Storm. What’s stronger than your character’s worst fear? Their unmet need …

A.K. Perry explores another of James Scott Bell’s signpost scenes: doorway of no return #1. DIY MFA

Brenda Joyce Patterson shares some practical magic: voice in character creation. DIY MFA

Jenn Walton presents five conversations you should have with your protagonist. DIY MFA

Chuck Wendig says that a writing career is a series of cliff-mitigation exercises. Terribleminds

Faith Okamoto shares five tips for characters who go against the flow. Then, Oren Ashkenazi presents six sources of conflict for your world. Mythcreants

Jami Gold wants you to proactively avoid issues with a brainstorming check.

Jenna Moreci lists the top ten she looks for in a book (for personal reading enjoyment).

 

Erik Kwakkel tells the tale of two medieval selfies: me, myself, and I. Medieval Books

The Captain Marvel trailer (looks awesome!)

 

And that was tipsday. Come back on Thursday for your weeky dose of thoughty.

Until then, be well!

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 9-15, 2018

And now … it’s time to get your mental corn popping.

Sharon Cohen for the Associated Press: why are native American women vanishing?

Thee lesser-known symptoms of depression. SciShow Psych

 

Zarria Gorvett exposes the strange truth about the pill. I was on various birth control pills for maybe five years combined, and this disconcerts me. BBC

Frank Martela recommends that you exercise, eat well, and help other because altruism has a surprisingly strong impact on your health. It’s what my sign-off is all about (be well, be kind, and stay strong). Scientific American

Bret Stetka reports how the infectious theory of Alzheimer’s Disease draws fresh interest. NPR

Lucy V. Justice, Martin Conway, and Shazia Akhtar: your earliest childhood memory is probably fake. Quartz

Simon Parkin asks, is there finally a cure for insomnia? The Guardian

The oldest planet ever discovered. SciShow Space

 

Katherine Lackey explores why Yellowstone’s ecosystem hasn’t been restored by the return of its wolves. USA Today

The Verge: we met the world’s first domesticated foxes.

 

And that was Thoughty Thursday.

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

thoughtythursday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 9-15, 2018

Another awesome week of informal writerly learnings.

Rochelle Deans covers for K.M. Weiland while she’s on hiatus: three tips for writing a story that’s better than its flaws. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jenny Hansen wonders, have you lost touch with your inner avid reader? Writers in the Storm

Julie Glover suggests four easy edits to make your story flow better. Writers in the Storm

David Corbett is gearing up for getting out: the conference experience. Writer Unboxed

Jami Gold drops by Writers Helping Writers to apply lessons from TV to chapter hooks: and … action!

Over on her own blog, Jami wonders, what do you want to write that you haven’t yet?

Kristen Lamb discusses time as a literary device: flashbacks vs. non-linear structure.

Laurence MacNaughton offers five tips for writing group success. Fiction University

Kristen Lamb helps you decipher the log line: can you pitch your entire story in one sentence?

Ellen Brock offers a two-part series on writing a query letter. Here’s part one:

 

And part two:

 

Here’s my latest DIY MFA column: world building with the celestial objects of our Solar System.

On episode 217 of DIY MFA Radio, Gabriela Pereira interviews Yang Huang: write dangerously. Later in the week, Gabriela presents the opposite is possible theory of character development. DIY MFA

Chuck Wendig says, you gotta trust in the process. Terribleminds

Jim C. Hines explains what to do when you’re called out on something problematic

Chris Winkle explains why English needs singular they. Then, Oren Ashkenazi discusses six pieces of misunderstood storytelling advice. Mythcreants

So looking forward to Outlander season 4.

 

Be well until Thursday, when you can visit again to pick up some thoughty 😉

tipsday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 2-8, 2018

The thoughty is a little more substantial this week.

Jim C. Hines considers all that “pro-life” encompasses, or what it should.

Darius Foroux says, the purpose of life is not happiness, but usefulness. Medium

Emily J. Smith: the art of being completely alone. Medium

Christopher D. Connors lists the ten qualities of an emotionally intelligent person. Medium

Brian Handwerk reveals that the benefits of probiotics might not be so clear cut. The Smithsonian Magazine

Sarah Chodosh explains how much your food waste harms the environment. Popular Science

Jane C. Hu goes inside the all-female trek to the north pole. Wired

New Evidence of Water on Jupiter! SciShow Space

 

Eric Mack celebrates NASA’s 60th anniversary: all about the space agency’s past, present, and future. CNet

True Facts: Bobbit Worm and Polychaete Pals – Ze Frank

 

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

Until next Tipsday, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

thoughtythursday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 2-8, 2018

It’s been a tasty week for informal writerly learnings 🙂

Donna Galanti explains how to build suspense: meet your readers in the middle and they will come. Writers in the Storm

It’s been a while, but Fae Rowan is back with part three of her series on five conflict-making choices your characters can make. Writers in the Storm

Anna Elliott: heartbeats. Writer Unboxed

Kathryn Magendie is letting go of the negative dark cycle. Writer Unboxed

Greer Macallister offers 25 truths about the work of writing. Writer Unboxed

Therese Walsh: that time Jane Friedman’s advice saved my novel. Writer Unboxed

Donald Maass has some suggestions in case you’re feeling stuck. Stories don’t get stuck; only writers do. Writer Unboxed

Related: Kristen Lamb wonders if your story is stuck and offers five reasons your novel is breaking down.

And another perspective: sometimes it’s okay to quit the thing you’re writing. Sometimes you have to quit writing a thing. As long as you don’t quit writing all the things. Chuck Wendig @Terribleminds.

Rachael Stephen: Solve any writing problem (with brainstorming!)

 

Then, she argues that you have to define your theme before you write (and dares you to fight her):

 

If you have sloppy writing habits, K.M. Weiland shares four strategies to deal with it. Helping Writers Become Authors

Merilyn Simonds drops by Jane Friedman’s blog: how long should it take to write a book?

James Scott Bell takes his turn in the Writers Helping Writers coaching corner: where’s your edge?

Leanne Sowul shares seven lessons learned from tracking her time. DIY MFA

Sera Fiana recommends five self-care tips to improve your writing process. DIY MFA

Jami Gold: what does it mean to write layered characters? Later in the week, she reflects on how goals, needs, and false beliefs create character conflict.

Ellen Brock shows you how to plot your novel fast.

 

Fay Onyx examines five common harmful representations of disability. Mythcreants

And that was Tipsday.

Come back for your weekly dose of Thoughty on Thursday!

Until then, be well, my writerly friends.

tipsday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 26-Sept 1, 2018

Just a bit of thoughty again, but I hope it’s enough to get your mental corn popping.

Abigail Jones: this is the suicide story you’re not hearing. Cosmopolitan

Dina Sachan says, stop pushing your sadness away; negative emotions can be good for you. Fast Company

Kate Knibbs: What’s your type? The Myers-Briggs test and the rise of the personality quiz. The Ringer

98.6 degrees is a normal body temperature, right? Not quite. Michele Cohen Marill for Wired.

Bryan Nelson reports on the giant deep-sea coral reef discovered off the South Carolina coast. Mother Nature News

Bianca Bosker delves into the nastiest feud in science. That is: what really killed the dinosaurs? The Atlantic/Medium

Waffles, the sidecar dog. The vid with her and friend, Biscuit, is only on Facebook, so this will have to do for now.

 

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

thoughtythursday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Aug 26-Sept 1, 2018

Ah, September. Did you have to come so soon? Now we say our fond farewells to summer and get back to work and school. Shore yourself up with some informal writerly learnings.

Shannon Baker and Jess Lourey want you to write what you fear: why, how, and a lifesaving bonus tip. Writer Unboxed

Julia Munroe Martin: confessions of a weary writer. Speaks to me in many ways. I, too, will never give up. Writer Unboxed

Jo Eberhardt explores writing, politics, and the fuzzy grey line between. In the end, all writing is political. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland shares five ways to use the enneagram to write better characters. Helping Writers Become Authors

Piper Bayard says, hacking isn’t just for thrillers anymore. Writers in the Storm

Laurie Schnebly Campbell: plot, character, and … what? Writers in the Storm

Roz Morris takes us on a virtual tour of her writing space. The rescued desk—where do you write? Nail Your Novel

Chuck Wendig explains why writing a series (especially as a new author) is really goddamned hard. Terribleminds

Sara Letourneau shares three ways of revising (or avoiding) preachy themes. DIY MFA

Damon Suede stops by Fiction University to talk about comp lit: claiming your place on the shelf.

Lizzie Shane drops by Jami Gold’s blog: how important is talent?

Chris Winkle wants you to account for character identification. Mythcreants

Oren Ashkenazi: five ways gods and the afterlife change a fantasy setting. Mythcreants

And that was tipsday for this week. Come back on Thursday for your weekly done of thoughty.

Be well until then!

tipsday2016

The next chapter: August 2018 update

Greetings, my writerly peeps!

I won’t say it again. I will not. If you’ve read the last few next chapter updates, you know what I’m resisting writing.

It’s still true, but I think that by this time, it goes without saying.

On to the writing progress report.

AugProgress

Once more, I fell short of my modest 5k writing goal on my current work in progress, Playing with Fire. I did write 3,828 words, or 77% of my goal, but I had some competing priorities that made it both necessary and the best I could do given the circumstances.

One of those priorities was a quick run-through of Marushka, as I broke the monolithic manuscript into chapters for posting online. I’ve just finished this task and will be writing up some further notes for me new critique group. In the process I bumped the word count for the draft up by about a thousand words. Draft 2.5 (‘cause this wasn’t really a true revision in any sense of the word) is now just shy of 78k words and I’m sure I’ll be able to take it into the 80-90k range once I have my critique notes.

So, technically, I revised 65,196 words of my 60k-word goal, or 100%

I also sacrificed some personal reading time to do an initial reading of the draft of another writer in the group. As one does in a critique group 🙂 Critiques were initially due by the end of August, but an extension has been granted. I have the time to so a second reading (at least) and put together some juicy notes.

August saw the recurrence of the due date for my DIY MFA column, which should be out on the 11th. It’s another big one, 1,632 words worth, and 163% of my goal.

Finally, I published 3,235 words on this blog in August, or 116% of my 2,800-word goal.

Overall, it’s been a good month with more hits than misses.

In September, I’ve set myself what I hope to be my final 5,000-word goal on PwF. I shouldn’t need that many words to finish off the draft (yes, I’m that close—so close I can taste it, as my mom would say) but I’ve given myself the “space” in case I need it.

Then, I’m going to organize my novel notes into a true series “bible” and begin outlining the final book in the Ascension series, Tamisashki, for NaNoWriMo 2018.

I’ll get to work on my critique and possibly take on another.

My next DIY MFA due date isn’t until October and so, because this won’t be a writing-heavy month, I’ve decided to take on a couple of learning opportunities, just for shits and giggles.

The first of these is the NaNoWriMo/Wesleyan prep course, offered through Coursera. The cost is nominal, and I get to see what Wesleyan offers.

The second is that I’m formally participating in Rachael Stephen’s Prep-tober this year (are we seeing the theme here?).

Writing is and always has been my happy place and that’s where I’m “spending” my creative energies.

Other aspects of my life are still in strange limbo-land, but there is hope/an ending in sight.

In other news, here are some Torvi pictures:

And my attempts at sunrise/sunset/moon pictures:

I’m no professional and all I’ve used here was the camera in my cell phone, but I thought I captured some lovely moments.

And that’s it for this month’s next chapter update.

Until the next time I blog, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

The Next Chapter