Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Jan 13-19, 2019

And here we are with another wee of informal writerly learnings 🙂

Roz Morris: are you bored? The one writing rule you really need. Nail Your Novel

But I won’t do that. What do sex and revisions have in common? Bryn Greenwood explains on Writer Unboxed.

Brad Frazer explains why 2019 is a big year for the public domain. Jane Friedman

Lisa Cron explains how to get emotion onto the page. Writers Helping Writers

Janice Hardy presents three ways moral dilemmas can strengthen your novel. Later in the week, Janice provides alternative ways to describe character reactions. Fiction University

Phoebe Wood points out a plotting error that most writers make:

 

Andrea J. Johnson shares five cutthroat tips for writing killer action. DIY MFA

Elisabeth Kaufmann recommends beat sheets for the win! DIY MFA

Goal setting for people who actually want to get stuff done – Jenna Moreci

 

Chuck Wendig: in writing, progress doesn’t always look like progress. Terribleminds

Chris Winkle asks (and answers) the question, should you give non-human groups marginalized traits? (Spoiler: NO.) Mythcreants

Merriam-Webster explores the anatomy of a book in 17 words.

Thanks for dropping by and I hope something here provided the advice or guidance you need to take the next step(s) in your creative project.

Come back on Thursday for some research-y inspiration.

Until then, be well!

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Jan 6-12, 2019

YouTube has invaded thoughty Thursday, this week, but it should get your mental corn popping, anyway 🙂

Erin Winick: get ready for these rocket milestones in 2019. MIT Technology Review

SciShow Space wonders if there are planets even more habitable than Earth out there. (Spoilers: the answer is yes!)

 

Veritasium looks at how we determine the spin of a black hole and why it’s important.

 

Ephrat Livni looks at how physics explains why time passes faster as you age. Quartz

Signs of high-functioning depression that you shouldn’t ignore. BetterHelp

 

Ferris Jabr: how beauty is making scientists rethink evolution. The New York Times

Solving the mystery of the Great Unconformity. SciShow

 

What women with autism want you to know. Iris

 

Thanks for stopping by!

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

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Jan 6-12, 2019

Are you looking for your informal writerly learnings? Why, here they are!

Lisa Hall-Wilson shares nine tips for creating successful antagonists in any genre. Writers in the Storm

Janice Hardy wonders, is structure strangling your writing? Later in the week, she offers an easy tip for tightening you novel’s plot. Fiction University

Jim Dempsey: the different types of editing explained (and how to determine which one you need!). Writer Unboxed

Juliet Marillier: is fudging history ever ok? Writer Unboxed

David Corbett examines truth in fiction: writing what you don’t believe. Writer Unboxed

Kathryn Magendie muses on the mathematical equations of perfection in nature. Writer Unboxed

Sacha Black says, if you want your readers to fall in love with your hero, you have to create the perfect hero lens. Later in the week, C.S. Lakin stops by to share some all-important considerations when crafting a scene. Writers Helping Writers

Abigail K. Perry looks at the midpoint in her latest column of signpost scenes: the mirror moment. DIY MFA

Brenda Joyce Patterson takes a deep dive into poetry. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews David Corbett: a masterclass on character. DIY MFA

Chris Winkle delves into six common wordcraft mistakes in manuscripts. Then, Oren Ashkenazi looks at six reasons the Fire Nation is such a good villain. Mythcreants

Creative Principles takes a quick tour of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types with examples from life and screen.

 

Charlie Jane Anders: Play to your strengths? Hell, no. Why you should play to your weaknesses as an author. Tor.com

And that was tipsday for this week.

Come back on Thursday for your weekly dose of thoughty.

Until then, be well, my writerly friends 🙂

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Dec 30, 2018 – Jan 5, 2019

Get your mental corn popping with some thoughty this Thursday.

Gloria Hillard reports on how abused wolves and troubled teens find solace in each other. NPR

Kelly McGonigal: how to make stress your friend. TED Talks 2013 (yes, it’s old, but it’s good)

Aida Edemariam delves into Roxane Gay and her philosophy: “Public discourse rarely allows for nuance. And see where that’s gotten us.” The Guardian

Mark Lorch: the periodic tables we almost had. Quartz

Neel V. Patel introduces us to Farout, the newest, most distant member of our solar system. Popular Science

SciShow Space considers why it’s so hard to land on Mars.

 

And then, they compile several of their videos to tell you everything your need to know to live on Mars.

 

Michael Greshko wonders, now that China’s landed on the far side of the moon, what’s next? National Geographic

The “snowman” shape of Ultima Thule is revealed by NASA’s New Horizons. Jonathan Amos for the BBC.

Thanks for visiting. I hope you found something inspiring in the mix.

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

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Dec 30, 2018 – Jan 5, 2019

It’s time to get your weekly dose of informal writerly earnings!

My latest column for DIY MFA came out on New Years Day! Why every writer needs a room of their own (even if it’s not a room).

Emily Wenstrom invites you to join the conversation on the digital platform of your choice. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews David Morrell about crafting the Victorian novel for DIY MFA radio.

Chuck Wendig says, in 2019, you must persist, persist, persist! Terribleminds

Jenna Moreci compares the pros and cons of first person and third person narration.

 

Donald Maass: the inner/outer balance. Writer Unboxed

This year, Therese Walsh encourages you to pursue your contentment and your chaos. Writer Unboxed

Sophie Masson shares some book contract “red lines” from a recent presentation she gave on publishing contracts. Writer Unboxed

Annie Neugebauer: forest for the trees. Writer Unboxed

Jo Eberhardt says, follow your mountain. Writer Unboxed

Katrin Schumann says, your number one secret weapon is writing communities. Jane Friedman

Barbara Poelle answers another funny you should ask question for Writer’s Digest: why did my literary agent stop submitting my manuscript?

Bunny provides a field guide to six infectious YA clichés. Love the first image and caption. We see Bella (of Twilight), and the caption reads, what do you mean, I fit all six? LOL! Mythcreants

Jill Schlesinger: small bookstores are booming after nearly being wiped out. CBS

And so, this edition of tipsday comes to a close.

Be well until Thursday, when you can come back for a little thoughty 🙂

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The next chapter: December 2018 update and year-end review

Let’s just get right into it with what happened in December.

My goals had been to continue drafting Tamisashki at the rate of about 500 words a day, to complete and submit my next DIY MFA column, to resume blogging, and complete a couple of critiques for my group.

Then, life intervened.

I slipped on the ice and fell on my right knee while walking Torvi. It was my third fall on that knee since August and the repeated trauma finally caught up with me. The first night, though I didn’t feel much pain, the knee swelled up so much that I couldn’t bend the joint or bear weight on it. When I looked at it, jest because it was feeling weird, it looked like the alien from Alien was trying to break out of my kneecap.

So, the next day I spent at the clinic, getting x-rays, icing and elevating, and plying the injury with anti-inflammatories.

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Though Phil “officially” retired Nov 30th, he returned to work to install a new piece of software. They haven’t managed to hire his replacement yet and he knew it was coming, but it was only supposed to be for Dec 11th and 12th. It turned out that he was working right through to Dec 28th. And, when he came home from work on the 20th, he had an abscess in one of his teeth.

Two appointments with his dentist on the 21st and the 31st fixed him up, but when the dentist’s insurance specialist submitted his claim, they were informed that his coverage had ceased. Though Phil retired, he’s on a salary continuance with access to his benefits right through to March 31st of 2019. So, he had to sort that out, too.

Turns out that was just a computer glitch (ironically). The insurance company had, in fact, processed the claims, but the system was erroneously sending out notifications, both through its online interface and by email/snail mail, that the claims had been refused.

Phil now has written confirmation that the claims have been processed and paid.

Between all that, I didn’t get as much as I’d hoped done. While I submitted and edited my column on time and completed my critiques, I only 67% of my writing goal on Tamisashki. Still, 10,346 words is nothing to sneeze at.

Also, toward the end of the month, and year, I decided to devote some time to planning out my 2019 writing year. More on that in a bit.

It took me a while to get back on track with curation after my NaNoWriMo break. So, I ended up being a bit short on my writing goal for the blog at 1,994 of 2,600 words, or 77%.

My DIY MFA Column came in at 1,047 words of my 1,000-word goal, or 105%.

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One thing I discovered, during my convalescence from my fall, was that standing really does improve my productivity. When I sit, whether at work or at home, when I write, I tend to lose track of my posture when I sit. I get so focused, regardless of what I do, that I tend to hunch over or slouch. My back, neck, and shoulders hurt more. It affects my breathing and I tend to feel more fatigued.

I’m happy to say that, with my doctor’s approval, I’m back to standing. I’ll let you know whether I notice any improvement. This is an anecdotal, personal experiment, of sorts, but it is supporting my preference for standing while working.

The holidays were quiet and understated. We did not exchange gifts. My sister-in-law hosted Christmas dinner at her place. Phil and I took Torvi out early in the day so that we could hit a local dog park with Buster.

We had a fabulous meal and played a few games of Sequence before returning home, with containers full of leftovers, around ten in the evening.

I took a picture of lovely sun dogs on the last weekend of December.

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And that was that.

2018 was a hard year. I had to work through my burnout and get to the bottom of it, which took me a lot longer than I expected. I thought, with my experiences in 2017, I’d have been able to work through the worst of it by the end of that year. Because Phil’s health problems and then his work problems were a big part of the reasons why I was burned out in the first place, I wasn’t able to dig my way out until he was able to dig himself out.

Accordingly, my plans for 2018 were all shot to hell. I didn’t finish drafting Playing with Fire until September. That was my year.

On PwF, I wrote 55,867 words of my 55,000-word goal, or 102%.

For Tamisashki, I wrote 47,174 words, or 72% of my 65,500-word goal.

I wrote about nine columns for DIY MFA, or 12,744 words of my 9,000-word goal (142%). Yeah. I tend to write long. Gotta work on that.

On the blog, I wrote 43,823 words of my 42,000-word goal, or 104%.

And I compiled six newsletters for the Sudbury Writers’ Guild until I resigned from those duties, writing 31,008 words of my 24,000-word goal, or 129%.

Finally, I “revised” Marushka for the critique group, managing 77,021 words of my 80,000-word goal, or 96%.

Interestingly, I managed 98% on my writing goal and 96% on my revision goal for the year.

 

 

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Not bad at all.

In 2019, I’m going to be continuing to draft Tamisashki. I figure that will take me to the end of April. Then I’m going to take two months to read the whole series, remap all the novels, and organize my series bible. With this final novel, though I’m not yet half way through it, I’ve had a number of ideas that reshape the world. I’m glad I decided to finish the series before getting into heavy revisions. The whole will be more cohesive and the story much improved as a result.

While I read and sort things out with the series, I’m going to prepare a draft of Reality Bomb for the critique group to work on.

After the reading and remapping, I’m going to get into those heavy revisions on the Ascension series. I hope to make it through the first three novels by September before I have to begin work on my outline for my 2019 NaNo project in October.

I’ve decided to begin finishing off the rest of the series I’ve started. I’m going back to Mageblood, my YA urban fantasy. It’s definitely going to be a duology.

That will fill up my November and December for 2019.

In addition to blogging and continuing my columns for DIY MFA, I’m trying two experiments this year.

First, I’m going to write an original short story every month and submit them to paying markets. I have ideas for four of them brainstormed and I’m working on one as we speak. So far, so good.

What do I hope to gain through this experiment? The knowledge that I can write short fiction and improve sufficiently to get some more of my work out there in the world.

The second experiment is one that I’ve talked about for a number of years, but never committed to. I’m going to work on a poetry collection and two collections of short fiction (one speculative and one non-speculative), all of which I’m going to self-publish in ebook format only. For now. If they generate enough interest, I might make them publish-on-demand (PoD) in the future.

The idea behind this is that I want to have something representative of my body of work to date. Also, even if they’re only ebooks, having some short form collections available will be valuable from a marketing perspective. The more work one has out in the world, the more one’s name is circulated.

Between the new short fiction I produce, and the collections of past work, I see this as another step forward in my platform building. Finally, having my stories edited and published will also give me material with which to start a newsletter. That probably won’t get set up until 2020 but starting the groundwork now will make that project easier in the future.

Although this might all seem very ambitious, I am, at least at the moment, feeling capable of doing it. I may well have to adjust my goals as the year progresses, but I’ve never had a problem doing that in the past.

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A week into 2019, and things are going well.

I’ll keep you updated.

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

The Next Chapter

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Dec 23-29, 2018

Just a few thoughty links to get your mental corn popping. We’re starting off the year … gently.

Kyle Dickman examines how Baldomero Olivera is finding opioid alternatives in cone snail stings. Popular Science

Luke O’Neil revisits “Earthrise” at 50: the photo that changed how we see ourselves. The Guardian

Andrew Fazekas lists the top astronomical events in 2019. National Geographic

Marcelo Duhalde: for Forbidden City concubines in imperial China, beauty was more a curse than a blessing. South China Morning Post

Mack Lamoureux considers the strange case of the Antarctic researcher who allegedly attacked a colleague because he wouldn’t stop spoiling novels. “The two researchers were spending time at the Bellingshausen station for about half a year before Savitsky allegedly went all stabby.” Vice

I hope you found something to inspire your creative efforts.

Come back on the weekend for my next chapter update and 2018 wrap-up post.

Be well until then.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Dec 23-29, 2018

Happy New Year! Hope everyone has had some time to make peace with 2018 and is looking forward to 2019.

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The holiday week is always a little scant with respect to content. Still, here’s a small, but tasty batch of informal writerly learnings to start 2019 right 🙂

Julie Glover: is the new WordPress format stressing you out? It hasn’t hit up here yet, but I anticipate some angst when it does. Writers in the Storm

Joanna Penn interviews Mark Leslie Lefebvre about long-term publishing success. Later in the week, Joanna and Orna Ross help you position yourself for writing and publishing success in 2019. The Creative Penn

Leanne Sowul says, forget resolutions; reflection is the key. On Boxing Day, Gabriela Pereira interviewed me, Brenda Joyce Patterson, and Stacy Woodson for a special DIY MFA radio team episode! DIY MFA

Katrina Bird guest posts on Jane Friedman’s blog: three story planning books to consider.

Eris Young: seven things writers get wrong about language. Mythcreants

Cold Crash Pictures critiques five more scientific inaccuracies in film.

 

And that was the first Tipsday of the year! Come back on Thursday for some thoughty.

Until then, be well, my friends.

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