Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 19-25, 2019

It’s time to get your mental corn popping!

Jon Hamilton: how the brain shapes pain and links ouch with emotion. NPR

Eric Barker shares FBI behaviourist Robin Dreeke’s seven tips to get people to like you. The Ladders

SciShow Space news considers Pluto’s ocean and MU 69 (the snowman-looking asteroid New Horizons passed in January).

 

Eddie King says that learning Morse code is still a valuable skill, even in the 21st century. Quartz

Nicole Javorsky tells the tale of how David Romero is bringing new life to Frank Lloyd Wright’s lost designs. CityLab

‘Cause Imogen. Telemiscommunications

 

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, May 19-25, 2019

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings.

Vaughn Roycroft explains what makes a story epic … to him. Barbara O’Neal wonders, are you making writing harder than it needs to be? Heather Webb: protecting your creative mindspace. Writer Unboxed

Fae Rowan is soldiering on. Writers in the Storm

K.M. Weiland shares 20 of the most instructive quotes about writing. Helping Writers Become Authors

Victoria Mixon is contrasting and condensing characters: two sides of the same coin. Writers Helping Writers

The Tale Foundry looks at Sir Terry Pratchett’ unifying voice.

 

Allegra Huston stops by Jane Friedman’s blog to share the two basic rules of editing (and one rookie mistake).

Pamela Taylor is creating authentic character details: names. Research is fun! Then, Gabriela Pereira interviews Jodi Thomas: turning characters into people. DIY MFA

Chris Winkle helps you understand appropriative worldbuilding. Then, Oren Ashkenazi warns against seven ways writers sabotage beta reading. Mythcreants

Jami Gold explains how pacing helps readers care about our characters.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something useful.

Be well until thoughty Thursday!

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 12-18, 2019

And now, it’s time to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Marina shares the dark saga of Katie Bouman (the woman who rendered the final image of the black hole). April 15, 2019 The Atlantic

Anne Harrington tells the tale of psychiatry, racism, and the birth of “Sesame Street.” UNDark

Milt Estrow recounts the many, many theories about Leonardo da Vinci. The Atlantic

Czerne Reid show us the “lost” book of exquisite botanical drawings rediscovered after 190 years. Women in STEM connection: the author/illustrator was Anne Wollstonecraft. National Geographic

Allison C. Meier: designing the butterfly-friendly city. CityLab

SciSchow says the bee-pocalypse is … fake.

 

Laura Tenenbaum blows the lid off three plastic recycling myths. I thought I was a good environmental citizen. Turns out we’ve all been lied to. Forbes

It’s okay to be smart takes a look—ha!—at where your eye colour really comes from.

 

SciShow news reports that we’re one step closer to understanding aging (and other effects of oxidative stress).

 

I hope something here has given you inspiration or research tools for a new creative project.

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, May 12-18, 2019

And here is your latest curation of informal writerly learnings.

Sophie Masson talks big publishers, small publishers, and contract negotiations. Jim Dempsey wants you to tune out your self-doubt. Julie Carrick Dalton praises the power of writerly kindness. Porter Anderson considers the place of place in our writing. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland shares five ways writers (try to) fake their way to good storytelling. Helping Writers Become Authors

James Navé and Alegra Huston stop by Jane Friedman’s blog: how to plan a book reading that delights your audience.

September C. Fawkes offers story structure in a flash. Then, Sacha Black wants you to nip and tuck your saggy middle with conflict. Writers Helping Writers

Jeanette the Writer covers the stages of editing grief. Later in the week, Gabriela Pereira interviews Sam Sykes about the emotional weight of storytelling. DIY MFA

Jami Gold wonders, are you a pantser, a plotter, or something in between? Click through to the original tweet by Cheyenne A. Lepka—it’s AWESOME! Warmed this old gamer’s heart 🙂

Jenny Hansen shares Brené Brown’s top ten tips for success. Laura Drake follows up on Jenny’s column with this: dare to be vulnerable in your writing life. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle wants you to understand exploitative plots. Mythcreants

Guy Gavriel Kay offers some writing advice: don’t take writing advice. Literary Hub

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something to help you with your latest creative project.

Until Thursday, be well, my writerly friends!

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 5-11, 2019

Here is your video-free thoughty Thursday. It’s time to get your mental corn popping!

Mike Crawley reports on more Ford cuts: Ontario Telemedicine Network lays off 44 staff. CBC

Some good news: Parliament passes Charlie Angus’ motion to establish a national suicide prevention action plan. Kate Rutherford for the CBC.

Ben Lindburg interviews David Deutsch and Scott Aaronson about the plausibility of the time travel in Avengers: Endgame. The Ringer

Roy Scranton shares how lessons from a genocide can prepare humanity for the climate apocalypse. MIT Technology Review

Scott Rosenburg explains what Apple, Facebook, and Google really mean when they talk about “privacy.” Axios

Jared Lindzon reveals that 75% of staff at this successful IT company are on the autism spectrum. Fast Company

Emily Esfahani Smith: these deaf entrepreneurs are launching a tiny home retreat and they hope their hearing visitors leave enlightened. The Washington Post

Audubon’s Bird Note invites you to fall in love with the crow’s mating coos.

I hope you found something to spark your next creative project.

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, May 5-11, 2019

I hope everyone had a marvelous Mother’s Day. Looking forward to Victoria Day long weekend here in Canada 🙂 In the meantime, please enjoy your weekly batch of informal writerly learnings.

Greer Macallister says, history wasn’t white, so historical fiction shouldn’t be either. Kathryn Craft shares six tips for creating good bridging conflict. Juliet Marillier introduces you to the writer’s dog. David Corbett shares what teaching in prison is teaching him. Writer Unboxed

Critiquing an excerpt from a brave volunteer, K.M. Weiland reveals eight quick tips for show, don’t tell. Helping Writers Become Authors

Emmanuel Nataf stops by Elizabeth Spann Craig’s blog to explain why science fiction is needed now more than ever.

Jenna Moreci returns with more dialogue advice.

 

Janice Hardy: how a limited vs. tight point of view can confuse writers. Fiction University

Marc Graham guest posts on The Creative Penn: becoming a story shaman.

Meg LaTorre visits Writers Helping Writers: how should I publish my book?

Piper Bayard considers backstory: the more I know, the less you have to. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle wants you to understand character representation. Mythcreants

Elizabeth Winkler: was Shakespeare a woman? The Atlantic

Florence + the Machine: Jenny of Oldstones (from Game of Thrones).

 

And that was tipsday for this week.

Come back on Thursday to add some thoughty into your life 🙂

Until then, be well!

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Apr 28-May 4, 2019

It is once more time to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Kaitlin Sullivan reports that neuroscientists have just brought pig brain cells back to life and how that changes our view of death. Popular Science

Karen Weintraub explains how scientists take a step toward decoding speech from the brain. Scientific American

SciShow Psych: can you become a morning person?

 

Jayshree Pandya wonders, are machines conscious? Forbes

Elizabeth Flock announces that the flip phone is back. Have people had enough of constant connection? PBS

Hannah Gadsby’s TED Talk: three ideas. Three contradictions. Or not.

SciShow Space News tackles the question of how fast the universe is expanding.

 

Liz Langley explains how bioluminescence works in nature. National Geographic

Catherine Zuckerman invites us to see the worlds oldest trees by starlight. National Geographic

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you found some inspiration in these links.

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, Apr 28-May 4, 2019

Another week has passed. Console yourself with some informal writerly learnings.

Kathryn Craft shares five reasons it may be time to leave your writer’s group. Later in the week, Julie Glover asks, if your story was a fairy tale, which one would it be? Writers in the Storm

Alexa Donne offers this writing hack: the rule of three.

 

Brunonia Barry gives you some straight talk about the morning after. Donald Maass looks at the first five lines. Elizabeth Huergo is consciously framing the story. Annie Neugebauer explores what happens when risks go wrong. Barbara Linn Probst shares the results of a survey: why do readers love some novels? Writer Unboxed

Abigail K. Perry examines another of James Scott Bell’s signpost scenes with number nine: the doorway of no return (the second). Brenda Joyce Patterson takes a deep dive into flash fiction. DIY MFA

Jami Gold considers the power of character arcs.

Chris Winkle wants to help you plan your story’s opening passages. Then, Oren Ashkensazi lists seven signs a sequel will be bad. Mythcreants

Alexandra Alter reports on the success of Canadian chain Indigo south of the border. I’m all for the success of Canadian business, but I prefer my book stores to be book stores and the success of Chapters/Indigo domestically is driving many independent book stores out of business or keeping them from opening their doors in the first place. The New York Times

Shane Koyczan’s powerful “Places.”

 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you found something to help you progress in your creative journey.

Come back on Thursday for your weekly dose of thoughty.

Until then, be well!

tipsday2016

The next chapter: April 2019 update

Happy Cinco de Mayo! And happy belated Beltane/May Day/Lady Day, if you celebrate such things 🙂

The first four months of this year have disappeared and I’m still wondering where the time went.

The month in review

As anticipated, April was a tough month. The day job kicked into high gear and I found myself struggling to get the words out. When you go from devoting roughly 50 to 75% of your total daily energy to you day job to 100%, it really leaves you running on empty at the end of the day.

I persevered to the degree possible, but I couldn’t finish Tamisashki. I did well, though, considering. Of my 16,260-word goal, I wrote 14,892 words, or 92% of my goal.

I blogged 3,264 words of my 2,800-word goal, or 117%.

And I wrote 975 words for my latest Speculations column for DIY MFA. I aim for around 1,000 words and usually go over, so I’m actually kind of proud of the underwriting in this case.

AprilProgress

You will notice that I have dropped the short fiction goal and short fiction anthology goal. I’ve had to admit defeat in this respect. I still have revised/finished/submitted my January story yet and my February story isn’t even half written yet. While I have my poetry collection more or less complete, I’m still formatting and then I’m going to ask some friends to help me organize them more coherently, so that’s kind of ongoing as well.

Needless to say, with the increased pressures at the day job, I don’t anticipate having the time or energy to devote to additional projects for the foreseeable.

This month, I was supposed to move on to the re-read of my entire Ascension series with an eye to revision. I will get to this, but I’m going to finish Tamisashki first, and finish work on the poetry collection (so I can send it to the aforementioned friends), and the two short stories.

I will continue with the usual curation on the blog, I have another Speculations column due at the end of the month, and I also wanted to start spiffing up another draft for my critique group.

Plus, there is ongoing critiquing to conduct for same.

So that’s where I’m at and where I’m headed.

Filling the well

This month, I attended the launch of Kim Fahner’s latest collection of poetry, These Wings. Kim’s launches are events. She’s a born storyteller, a lovely singer, and a wonderful teacher. There’s a story behind every poem she writes and every song she sings. I think that’s the Irish in her 😉

The collection is Kim’s fifth and was published by Pedlar Press in Newfoundland, where she’s heading next week for her East Coast launch. She’s already been to Toronto and Windsor for readings and I want to encourage anyone out there who’s fond of poetry (and even those who aren’t) to head out to your nearest bookstore (or computer) and get this lovely book. It’s awesome.

What I’ve been watching and reading

I’ll start off with an omission from last month’s watching list. I watched the full season of Deadly Class. That I forgot to mention is so soon after it ended should say something about how much (or little) it impressed me. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great, either.

This past month has only seen the end of Star Trek: Discovery. I enjoyed it, as I enjoyed the first season, but the end of it seemed a little too pat. Oh, so this is why we’ve never heard of Discovery or the spore drive before. This is why we don’t know Spock’s adopted sister, Michael. This is why we don’t know anything about Section 31. I guess the rest of Discovery’s story is in the far future?

In movies, Phil and I finally watched Dead Pool 2. It was funny, but I didn’t like it nearly as much as the original.

I also dragged Phil to the cinema to see Avengers: Endgame. I think it’s too soon to get spoilery about it, so I won’t. There was a lot of good in the movie, loose ends tied up appropriately, hope for the future, satisfying conclusion overall. I had the feels. I tend to agree with those who criticize how the women’s stories were handled, however, and Phil (as Mr. Science) was not impressed at the handwavium at work with regard to the time travel MacGuffin.

Reading-wise, I read J.A. Mclachlan’s The Sorrow Stone, a historical novel with fantasy elements. A grieving young mother sells her sorrow in the form of a nail from her child’s coffin and throws in her wedding ring to ensure the deal is struck. In the wake of the transaction, however, the young mother loses not only her sorrow, but also her compassion and many of the memories associated with those emotions. The pedlar with whom she makes the trade inherits her emotions (bad news for his business) and ill luck dogs him until he reaches home to find his youngest child dying of a mysterious illness.

There’s a good portion of mystery in the novel and it added needed tension to what might otherwise have been a tale of two people trying to escape the karma of their bad decisions.

I also read Jane Austen’s Emma. This was one of the classics I held over from my university years. Though I’d read Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice, and enjoyed them both, I just never got around to poor Emma Woodhouse. It’s only confirmed my admiration of Austen.

J.A. Andrews is a member of my critique group and I decided to pick up her series, The Keeper Chronicles. I read the first book in the series, A Threat of Shadows this past month and I’m happy to report that I enjoyed it. It has all the markings of a fairly typical secondary world fantasy with elves, dwarves, and magic, but there are some nice twists and a solid magic system with understandable rules—all of it essential to the plot.

And that was a month in this writer’s life.

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

The Next Chapter

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Apr 21-27, 2019

Here are some media links that I hope will get your mental corn popping.

Our provincial government is cutting everything. Nurses, arts funding, education, they even cancelled OHIP coverage for out of Canada health issues (not that we had extensive coverage, but we had some) … here are just three of the distressing articles that have come out in the past week:

Those of you who don’t live in Ontario, let alone Canada, may wonder why you should care. It’s just one more conservative government making the average citizen’s life worse in the name of fiscal responsibility (read catering to big business). See any familiar themes?

The World Wildlife Fund assesses Canada’s protected habitats and finds them wanting. What we could be doing better to protect endangered habitat and species and prevent climate change at the same time.

In the good news column: Autumn Peltier named chief water commissioner by Anishnabek Nation. CBC

SciShow Space looks at how life might evolve without liquid water

 

David Robson: the dreams you can’t remember may never have occurred. The Atlantic

Emily Dreyfuss: you’re not getting enough sleep, and it’s killing you. Wired

Simon Makin explains how ketamine changes a depressed person’s brain. Scientific American

SciShow Psych: depression isn’t just a chemical imbalance

 

And that was your thoughty Thursday for the week.

This weekend, I’ll be posting my next chapter update for April. I’ve had to admit defeat and reorganize my plans for the year. Come on by and see what’s been going on in this writer’s life.

Until then, be well!

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