Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Sept 25-Oct 1, 2022

We’re rounding the bend to the weekend. Fortify yourself by getting your mental corn popping.

Amanda Connolly reports that Black public servants face trauma amid class action. Global News

Kimmy Yam and Shakshi Venkatraman reveal that Adnan Syed faced racial stereotypes in court that weren’t scrutinized. NBC News

Torture and ill-treatment of Haitian asylum-seekers rooted in anti-Black racism. Amnesty International

Jon Gambrell and Adam Schreck: Russia’s call-up splits EU; Ukraine says it shows weakness. Associated Press

Nadeem Badshah summarizes what we know on day 214 of the invasion. The Guardian

Ivana Saric: Nord Stream pipeline leaks were an act of sabotage, EU says. Axios

Amir-Hussein Radjy says Iran’s anti-veil protests draw on long history of resistance. Associated Press

Darren Major: on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Murray Sinclair challenges Canadians to be mindful, year-round. CBC

Peter Sagal puts a face on the senseless gun violence in the US: killed for walking a dog. The Atlantic

Rob Ferguson reports that Ontario tries to delay shutdown of Pickering nuclear station amid electricity “supply crunch,” sources say. The Toronto Star

Julia Simone-Rutgers: no place to live. One person’s search for a place to call home reveals a public housing system stretched to its limits. The Walrus

Jessica Stillman: a neuroscientist explains when it’s time to start worrying about your memory. Inc.

Shape-shifting fat cells fuel breast cancer growth. And they may lead to new treatments (!) Medical Xpress

Allie Volpe shares the sleep advice no one tells you. Vox

Ashawnta Jackson: vampires and public health. JSTOR Daily

Jenna Benchetrit says “quiet quitting” isn’t really quitting, but it’s forcing employers to adapt. Essentially, it’s the backlash against hustle culture. CBC

Clark Quinn considers the power of emotion. Learnlets

The fatal physics of falling objects. Veritasium

James Doubek: Jupiter is coming its closest to Earth in decades. NPR

NASA’s Juno shares first image from flyby of Jupiter’s moon Europa. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Ashley Strickland reports that NASA’s DART mission successfully slams into an asteroid. One small collision for humankind … 🙂 Then, Webb, Hubble space telescopes share images of DART slamming into an asteroid. CNN

Sarah Collins says there’s new evidence of liquid water beneath the south polar ice cap of Mars. University of Cambridge

Smriti Mallapaty: China’s Mars rover finds evidence of catastrophic floods. Nature

Elizabeth Howell announces that SpaceX’s Crew-5 mission will carry Native American woman to orbit for first time. Space.com

Grace Toohey reports that Mexico earthquake triggers “desert tsunami” 1,500 miles away in Death Valley cave. Phys.org

John Bartlett: Gran Abuelo in Chile could be the world’s oldest tree. The Guardian

Dogs love the smell of stress. SciShow

More on the same: dogs can smell when we’re stressed, study finds. Phys.org

Thank you for spending a little time with me, and I hope you found something to inspire a future creative project.

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Sept 25-Oct 1, 2022

Welcome to October! Energize yourself for the rest of the week with some informal writerly learnings.

Tiffany Yates Martin explains why plots fail. Then, Amanda Miller shares five ways to use community marketing for your book. Jane Friedman

Jenny Hansen suggests a strength-based approach to writing. Then, Lisa Hall-Wilson explains why rhetorical questions help you go deeper with emotions. Eldred Bird is writing through life’s storms. Writers in the Storm

C.S. Lakin helps you show the world through your character’s senses. Live, Write, Thrive

Angela Ackerman says, if you want lifelike characters, create a character bible. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Sauron wasn’t always evil. What happened? The Philosophy of Tolkien. Hello, Future Me

Vaughn Roycroft talks turning points. Then, Kelsey Allagood shares decision trees, angry bees, and other writer brain hacks. Julia Whelan: I’ve heard such mixed things. Jeanne Kisacky wonders who are you reading now? Writer Unboxed

Becca Puglisi explains how to reveal a character’s inner conflict. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford encourages you to close off your protagonist’s easy off-ramps.

Richelle Lyn is designing a logo from scratch. Then, Melanie Bell offers five things to think about when writing a coming-of-age story. Barbara Rubin shares how she found balance between capturing joy, sorrow, humor, and rage in her writing. DIY MFA

Tiffany Yates Martin answers the question, how much should you plot your stories? Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle says storytellers must stop dehumanizing prisoners. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five overshadowed characters in popular stories. Mythcreants

How H.P. Lovecraft wrote the unimaginable. Tale Foundry

Nalo Hopkinson has won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction

Sean Wetselaar says Judy I. Lin’s recipe for success is fantasy and a cup of tea. The Walrus

Adrian Daub writes about losing oneself in the geography of fantasy worlds: here at the end of all things. Longreads

Guy Kawasaki interviews Min Kym about her book Gone: A Girl, a Violin, and a Life Unstrung. The Remarkable People Podcast

Jessica Winter explains how E. Nesbit used her grief, her politics, and her imagination to create a new kind of children’s book. The New Yorker

Check out Publishers Weekly’s annual publishing in Canada report. Interesting reading.

Thanks for taking the time to visit. I hope you took away something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well!

The next chapter: September 2022 update

October, already! I know pumpkin spice latte season officially started in September, but October feels more PSL to me. So here: have some guinea pigs talking PSL 🙂

An oldie, but a goodie 🙂

Your monthly PSAs:

All lives cannot matter until Black, Indigenous, and people of colour lives matter.

Continue to observe public health guidelines (washing hands, maintaining physical distance, masking where you can’t, getting your vaccinations as recommended). Covid is endemic and new variants continue to crop up. Take care of yourselves and the people you love.

Russia’s unprovoked war in the Ukraine continues and continues to be deplorable. I stand with the Ukraine.

Reproductive rights are everyone’s fight!

My new plan for my updates, to have my template open and write throughout the month as things happen is working a treat. Going to keep doing it.

The month in writing

I took it easy. Kind of. There was a flurry of writing admin at the start of the month. Finished the beta read/crit I promised (haven’t heard back, though, so thinking I might have overstepped?). Submitted the Ontario Arts Council grant application, for better or worse. Continued vetting book coaches.

Then … I took it easy 🙂

Continued my slow way through Reality Bomb (again) in anticipation of working with a book coach. The good news is that It’s resulted in a net loss of words. There are still several chapters that are longer than I’d like, but progress is being made. I probably won’t be finished until part-way through October.

Other that that, and blogging, I didn’t do much else. The short story’s stalled. The poetry is still pedestrian. I haven’t read any more of the Ascension series or worked any further on Alice in Thunderland.

Not sure what all this means. Think I just need a break.

As I did last month, I didn’t set a revision goal for RB. If I added words to the draft, I noted it in my tracker. If revision resulted in a negative word count, I didn’t. The interesting thing is that, though I added about 1,500 words between August and September, the overall word count on the draft has shrunk by more than 2,000. I’m now entering the second half of the second act, where most of the cutting has to occur, so I anticipate a lot of shrinkage between now and the time I complete this pass. I don’t know if the net loss will get the draft down to 100k, but we’ll see how far I get.    

I blogged 118% of my 5,500-word goal, or 6,477 words.

And that was that.

I also had a meeting of the Branch Support and Development Committee for the Canadian Authors Association (CAA) to attend on September 29th.

Filling the well

I watched the replay of Dan Blank’s “Identify Your Ideal Readers” webinar, facilitated by Jane Friedman, and two Authors Publish webinars, Marin Sardy’s “How to Create Vivid Metaphors that can Transform Your Writing” and Michael Kleber Diggs’ “The Art of Poetic Efficiency.” I also watched the replay of Krista Ball’s “Going Solo: A Beginner’s Guide to Finding Readers with Indie Publishing,” a joint presentation from SF Canada and the CAA. Replays are such a blessing.

Finally, the Writer Unboxed OnConference started on September 29th. I appreciate that they’re extending the OnCon over several weeks and holding major sessions and workshops in the evenings or on weekends. It’s a great model for writers with day jobs 🙂

I attended a family get-together on the 10th out at my sister-in-law’s. Her kitchen is mostly done, and it looks beautiful! A great barbeque (hamburgers and hotdogs) with potato salad, bean salad, and baked beans. With no-sugar-added blueberry pie and strawberry-rhubarb crisp with no-sugar-added ice cream. Gotta love the Chapmans 🙂 It was a rare chance to indulge.

The lovely reno—all the cabinets were salvaged/recovered. Phil did the counter tops.

My support group is back in session for the fall and the September session was about burnout, which was beneficial. My semi-annual dentist appointment has resulted in some changes to my oral care routine. The fractures in my teeth haven’t progressed, but my lower labial frenula is pulling my gums down. If things progress, I might need a frenectomy (not looking forward to that).

I also had my orthotics checked and got a new pair along with new shoes, both needed and expensive. The shoes are Gore-Tex, though and will be waterproof and longer lasting. My toes poke through the mesh of regular runners. And I had an appointment with my registered massage therapist.

Last month, Torvi turned five! She’s clearly not impressed.

What I’m watching and reading

In the watching department, Phil and I caught The Sandman (Netflix). Having listened to the audiobook production, I really appreciated the choices made to bring what was a serialized comic, with a number of episodic digressions, to a more or less cohesive whole. Phil enjoyed it, too, but we’re both worried that Netflix will do the stupid and not fund the second season. Because subscriptions.

Then, we watched the final season of Locke & Key (Netflix). There were a plethora of irritating plot holes. For instance, Dodge hitches a ride with Bodie when he uses the time key to try to defeat her in the past and then, when he attempts to escape using the ghost key, she jumps into his body, leaving him a ghost tethered to the family graveyard. But there’s a fail safe on the time key that returns any out-of-time elements to their proper time when the timer runs out. Dodge, still in Bodie’s body when this happens, disappears along with Bodie’s body. There is a contrived solution using the animal key that apparently pulls Bodie’s body back from the past so he can inhabit it again. And what happened to Dodge’s body hidden under Bodie’s bed? We never find out.

Stuff like that took much of the enjoyment out of the series.

Next, I watched Thor: Love & Thunder (Disney +). I loved it. Phil started watching it with me, expecting the typical Marvel movie, and had to leave part way through to run his virtual RPG, but he’s going to watch the rest of it himself at some point (actually I watched the second half again along with him 🙂 ). You’ll laugh, you’ll cry (maybe), you’ll love it. I’ll say no more.

Season three of Snowpiercer (Netflix) ended in a weird place, but I’ll have to back up for context. At the start of the season, the train has separated (again) and neither is thriving. Using Melanie’s data, they’ve been searching for a habitable place in the world, to no avail. Layton does pick up a survivor, however, and decides to rejoin and take over Big Alice before heading to the final data point on Melanie’s list of possible habitable zones, the Horn of Africa.

The train reunites, with the requisite battle and loss of life, Wilford is taken into custody, and Layton puts their destination to a vote, but asks the survivor to lie to support going, even though there is no guarantee they will find what they’re looking for.

There’s a lot of side drama, including a knife battle between Layton and Pike, because Pike thinks Layton will get them all killed. They find Melanie, miraculously alive, but she outs Layton’s lie and the risks associated with going to the Horn, igniting another civil war, which Wilford capitalizes on.

Melanie seems to ally with Wilford, but it turns out to be a secret plan between her and Layton to expel Wilford from the train and then split the train (again). Layton and the passengers who wish to, will head for the Horn, and Melanie will continue on with the rest of the passengers, even though the train is falling apart.

Months later, Layton reaches the Horn and habitable conditions are confirmed. Meanwhile, Melanie sees an explosion in the distance. Apparently, season 4 will be the last.

Bridgerton season two was much better than season one. Not half so self-conscious of the messages they were trying to convey. It was more enjoyable as a result.

In terms of books, I read The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin. I liked it a lot. I only had time to read part of the novel in university because the summer course was only six weeks, and I didn’t have time to read everything. I enjoyed the novel a lot but see some of the problematic aspects that some readers complain of.

I read Rocannon’s World a long time ago, and The Dispossessed in that same science fiction class I couldn’t finish TLHoD for. I might fill in the gaps in the Hainish Cycle.

Then, I read Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao. A fabulous futuristic reimagining of history. Zhao has talked about this on her YouTube channel. 18-year-old Zetien signs up to be a Chrysalis (giant, transforming robot) co-pilot, with the aim of revenging her sister’s death in the misogynist pilot system. She achieves her goal fairly quickly, but then she’s taken into custody and forced to co-pilot with Li Shimin, who’s chi is so strong, his co-pilots never survive. There’s political intrigue, polyamory, and alien mecha-beasts that turn out not to be so beastly, or alien, in the end.

Next, I read … Nona the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir. What can I say? I lurve the Locked Tomb series. I know there are readers who can’t get around her style and structure of storytelling, but I have to consume these books as soon as they’re released. So looking forward to Alecto the Ninth.

In Gideon, the titular character, sacrifices herself so that Harrow can become a lichtor. In Harrow, things aren’t going well with the transition to lichtorhood, and … almost everyone seems to die, though with necromancers, you just know that never sticks. Now, in Nona, the titular character has no memory of who or what she is, and her remembered life is all of six months. I won’t say anything more for fear of spoiling the experience for you.

Finally, I read Brenda Ueland’s If You Want to Write. This classic craft book has been on my shelf for years and I finally read it. It’s a kind, gentle, and short book about allowing yourself to write, enabling yourself to write. She’s firmly in the pantser/gardener/discovery writer camp.

And that was September in this writer’s life.

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

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Sept 18-24, 2022

As we say farewell to September, fortify yourself for the last quarter of the year by getting your mental corn popping 🙂

Janelle Griffith: ex-Minneapolis police office sentenced to three years in George Floyd’s murder. NBC News

Erin Doherty: Cambridge joins elite universities grappling with ties to slavery. Axios

Erin Doherty reports that another nuclear power plant is at risk from Russian missiles. Axios

Karl Ritter: Putin issues partial military call-up, risking protests. Associated Press

Kim Fahner says Laurentian must rebuild, appeal to a variety of students. The Sudbury Star

The sharp axe method. Struthless

Theresa Massony says six planets are retrograde right now, which explains everything. Pop Sugar

Lori Cuthbert explains why the autumn equinox ushers in fall. National Geographic

Emily Zarevich introduces us to the lady who might have been Queen of England. JSTOR Daily

Rachel E. Gross: “feminist science” is not an oxymoron. Slate

Marshall Sheppard shares lessons from a mermaid about representation in science and engineering. Forbes

Mitochondia are the powerhouses of … Alzheimer’s? SciShow

Leila Gray take us beyond AlphaFold: AI excels at creating new proteins. University of Washington (UW) Medicine

Moss repair team also works in humans. Potential progress for the treatment of hereditary diseases. University of Bonn

Nina Bai announces that Emmanuel Mignot wins Breakthrough Prize for discovering the cause of narcolepsy. Stanford Medicine

New and ancient lessons from lunar eclipses. SciShow Space

NASA’s InSight “hears” its first meteoroid impacts on Mars. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Robert Lea: JWST’s first images of Mars reveal atmospheric secrets. Space.com

Laura Betz, Hannah Braun, and Christine Pulliam: new Webb image captures the clearest view of Neptune’s rings in decades. NASA

Grace Ebert: a rare glimpse of Comet Leonard’s last moments wins Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest. And the runners up aren’t bad, either. This is Colossal

Why it took 200,000 years to invent the wheel. Answer in Progress

Jesus Diaz says this new wind turbine concept isn’t like any we’ve seen before. Fast Company

Check out Audubon’s new Bird Migration Explorer! I could get lost in this for HOURS.

Rivka Galchen: peak cuteness and other revelations from the science of puppies. The New Yorker

Thanks for visiting! I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project.

I should be posting my next chapter update for September this weekend.

Until then, keep staying safe and well!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Sept 18-24, 2022

It’s the last tipsday of September. Finish off the month in style by filling up on informal writerly learnings!

Disha Walia advises what not to include in the first chapter. Then, Angela Yeh helps you move past the middle muddle mood. Best line: “Writing a novel isn’t all sunshine and unicorn butts.” Adam W. Burgess presents LGBTQ+ literature in translation: Notes of a Desolate Man. Helen Scheurerer offers a masterclass in planning and writing a series. Later in the week, Diane Cohen Schneider shares five tips on how to add facts to fiction without sounding wonky. DIY MFA

Why Marilyn Monroe deserved much, much better from us. The Take

Matthew Norman recounts the thrill of changing lanes. Then, Dave King shares the view from inside. Barbara Linn Probst tell some wild and crazy research tales, or the things we do for our stories. Then, Julie Carrick Dalton explains how to attend a literary conference without checking a bag: keep calm and carry-on. Writer Unboxed

What’s up with your shoes? Another armour tier list. Jill Bearup

Janice Hardy suggests five ways to revive a novel that doesn’t work. Fiction University

Penny C. Sansevieri explains why writing conferences matter for writers. Then, Lynette M. Burrows helps you make music with character voices. Ellen Buikema is writing minor characters that matter. Writers in the Storm

Kahina Necaise presents the top four challenges of fantasy worldbuilding and how to overcome them. Live, Write, Thrive

Valkyries: the real story behind these warriors of legend. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Di Ann Mills shares the art and purpose of subtext. Then, Jennifer Browdy is transforming coal into diamonds: telling painful true stories through fiction. Jane expands on her DOJ vs. PRH antitrust trial coverage in The Hot Sheet to explain why it doesn’t change the game for authors, regardless of outcome. Lisa Cooper Ellison says, to nail your book proposal, think synergies, not sections. Jane Friedman

Worldbuilding with giant monsters. Tale Foundry

Lucy V. Hay helps you reach the finishing line and celebrate a completed book. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford warns, don’t let your opening cement in your mind.

Literally no one likes a grammar cop. Otherwords | PBS Storied

Kristen Lamb explains how shame, regret, and guilt shape story.

Christina Delay advises us about avoiding blocks and refreshing ideas. Jami Gold

How much does it cost to self-publish a book? Reedsy

Chris Winkle points out seven easy sources of real-world danger. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes six stories with cheap cop-outs. Mythcreants

Lucy Knight announces that Hilary Mantel, celebrated author of Wolf Hall, dies aged 70. The Guardian

The five principles of revision. Shaelin Writes

Leah Drayton reveals Toni Morrison’s advocacy against censorship: truth is trouble. The New York Public Library

Stephanie Morris shares autumnal equinox writing tips and rituals. Write of Die Tribe

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you found something toe support your current work(s) in progress, whatever stage they’re at.

Until Thursday, keep stay safe and well, my writerly friends!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Sept 11-17, 2022

Happy equinox, to those who celebrate. Welcome fall!

It’s time to get your mental corn popping in time for the weekend.

Robin Maynard: Canadian education is steeped in anti-Black racism. The Walrus

Michelle Cyca presents the curious case of Gina Adams, “pretendian.” McLean’s

Vasilisa Stepanenko: Zelenskyy states burial site contains torture victims. Associated Press

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: a visual explainer. The International Crisis Group

Greg Allen: in a surprise, the defense rests early in the Parkland School shooting trial. GPB News

Michael Tarm and Joey Cappelletti report that R. Kelly convicted of child porn, enticing girls for sex. Associated Press

Julia Métreaux says, before long covid, there was post-polio syndrome. JSTOR Daily

New study reveals mechanism for how disease-spreading prions migrate from one species to another. Phys.org

Sanah Ahsan is a psychologist, and she believes we’ve been told devastating lies about mental health. The Guardian

Simon Lewson takes us inside the mental health crisis facing college and university students. The Walrus

Where did Mercury’s spots come from? SciShow Space

Jesus Diaz says a new satellite brighter than any star could ruin the night sky. Fast Company

Will Sullivan: scientists discover planet with the potential to support life. The Smithsonian Magazine

Hannah Devlin reports that Saturn’s rings could be the result of a moon that strayed too close. The Guardian

Connie Lin explains why Changesite-(Y) could fuel a goldrush for lunar mining. Fast Company

Wyatte Grantham-Philips reports that NASA’s Perseverance rover finds organic matter in rock samples, begging the question, did life ever exist on Mars? USA Today

Two new papers on the Fagradalsfjall eruption published in the newest issue of Nature. Institute of Earth Sciences

Bob Yirka reports that a new study of the Gough map shows what might be the lost islands of Welsh folklore. Phys.org

Laura Fletcher reveals a breakthrough discovery in carbon capture conversion for ethylene production. Phys.org

The biggest myth about climate change. Be Smart

Chinese researchers test maglev cars. The Byte | Futurism

Ian Rose tells a precautionary tale. JSTOR Daily

Adele Peters: a NASA scientist designed a platform to track the carbon in every tree on the planet. Fast Company

Conifer communication is complex and can be altered by air pollution. The University of Eastern Finland

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project.

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Sept 11-17, 2022

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings.

Therese Walsh reveals the problem behind the problem. Then, Jim Dempsey offers all the writing advice you’ll ever need. Juliet Marillier loves the magic of a writing retreat. Later in the week, Desmond Hall drops some more writing wisdom on us: escalations 1, 2, and 3. Writer Unboxed

Becca Puglisi offers this simple equation: conflict + choices = character agency. Helping Writers Become Authors

Let’s cosplay like it’s 1499. Jill Bearup

Janice Hardy says that the catalyst for character change is the dark night of the soul. Fiction University

Lori Freeland: not just another post on POV. Then, Colleen M. Story explains how your author platform helps you do more than sell books. Lisa Norman: welcome to the future, part 1. Writers in the Storm

Monstrous plants and the people who invent them. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Lisa Poisso says that feedback and editing are matters of the right eyes at the right time. Jami Gold considers point of view: is deeper always better? Writers Helping Writers

Jami follows up with this post on her own site: is deep POV always the best choice?

Junji Ito’s most disturbing story. Tale Foundry

Colice Sanders is rethinking transgender narratives. Then, Disha Wallia explains how to write a hook for speculative fiction. Carol Van Den Hende talks to Deborah Mortimer about intellectual property: copyrights, trademarks, and design marks, oh my! Later in the week, Heather Davis poses five questions that will guarantee you novel has a sturdy structure. DIY MFA

Kristen Tsetsi interviews Kern Carter about how business and creativity go hand in hand. Then, Susan DeFreitas lists three ways writerly grit leads to publishing success. Jane Friedman

How to structure your novel’s climax | Fourth quarter story structure. Ellen Brock

Tiffany Yates Martin wonders how you value your creative worth. Fox Print Editorial

Kristen Lamb lists the seven deadly sins of prologues.

Chris Winkle lists six ways to add emotion to your writing. Then, Oren Ashkenazi hosts a head-to-head-to-head ANTS showdown between Hawkeye, Moon Knight, and Ms. Marvel. Mythcreants

How to figure out what’s wrong with your story. Reedsy

Guy Kawasaki interviews Elizabeth Gruner about the Zen of writing, reading, and learning. The Remarkable People Podcast

Cait Gordon: the ableism and privilege behind “You must write every day.”

Rebecca Jennings says, in The Rings of Power, it’s not horrifying to be a woman. Vox

Alexi Duggins reports that The Rings of Power stars speak out against racist “threats, harassment, and abuse.” The Guardian

And that was tipsday.

Thanks for taking the time to visit, and I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well, my writerly friends!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Sept 4-10, 2022

Tomorrow is Friday, and we’re halfway through September (!). Get your mental corn popping in time for the weekend 🙂

Jordan Laird provides a timeline of the Columbus police fatal shooting of Donovan Lewis. The Columbus Dispatch

Jamie Ducharme reports that US medical schools are struggling to overcome centuries of racism in healthcare. Time

Matthew Wills reveals the truth about Isabella Van Wagenen. JSTOR Daily

Lorenzo Tondo and Julian Borger: UN calls for demilitarised zone around Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. The Guardian

Hanna Arhirova and Yuras Karmanau report that Ukraine claws back territory. Associated Press

China earthquake death count rises to 74 as lockdown anger grows. Associated Press

Two suspects sought for Saskatchewan stabbings now face charges, 10 dead and injured count rises to 18. CBC

Julie Steenhuysen and Jennifer Rigby reveal long covid’s link to suicide: scientists warn of hidden crisis. Reuters

James Gallagher: new malaria vaccine is world-changing, say scientists. BBC

Buckingham Castle announces that Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8, 2022. BBC

Clark Quinn recommends you test and tune your learning solutions. Learnlets

Derek Thompson: your career is just one eighth of your life. The Atlantic

Why you should daydream. Elizabeth Cox | TED-Ed

Simon Lewson explains what Canada’s largest art heist reveals about the art world’s shady side. The Walrus

Manuel Ausloos and Sybille de La Hamaide report that restoration of Notre Dame’s smoke-damaged stained glass begins. Reuters

Maggie Zhou: you’re not scared of failing, you’re scared of succeeding. Refinery 29

Guy Kawasaki interviews Cassie Holmes about applying the science of happiness to life. The Remakable People Podcast

Hasima Khatib tells you how to survive 2022’s third Mercury retrograde starting September 9th. Vogue

Will Sullivan reveals that a lunchbox-sized device is making oxygen on Mars. The Smithsonian Magazine

Donna Lu reports that a new solar-powered invention creates hydrogen fuel from the atmosphere. The Guardian

Scott FaLee explains how changes in length of day affect the brain and subsequent behaviour. UC San Diego

Yvaine Ye reports that embryos with DNA from three people develop normally in first safety study. Nature

Brian Handwerk: the earliest known amputation was performed 31,000 years ago in Borneo. The Smithsonian Magazine

Yvonne Gordon wonders what ancient secrets lie beneath this little-known Irish bog? National Geographic

Bob Yirka reports that over 90% of identifiable trash in the North Pacific Garbage Patch comes from just six countries. And Canada and the US are two of them 😦 Phys.org

Clodagh Kilcoyne and Conor Humphries: Irish nuns bid to turn their convent green. Reuters

True facts: parasitic birds. Ze Frank

How tardigrades bear dehydration. University of Tokyo

Giulia de Amicis presents a fascinating infographic depicting 40 different animal sleep patterns. Visual Capitalist

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you found something to inspire a future creative project.

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Sept 4-10, 2022

So far, September has been an awesome month, weather-wise. We’ve even had to use the portable air conditioner here and there.

Without further ado, here are your informal writerly learnings for the week. Enjoy!

LA Bourgeois suggests you boost your creativity with a break. Then, F.E. Choe helps you overcome the preciousness of your prose. Lori Walker interview Khirsten Wierman about overcoming differences and the ability to change. Kyomi O’Connor explains how she uses writing as a healing tool. Later in the week, Ellen Barker shares five ways to use literary fiction to write about the pressing topics of today. DIY MFA

How we overcorrected the damsel in distress. The Take

Greer Macallister points out the second most important thing. Then, Tiffany Yates Martin wonders, are you telling yourself the wrong stories? Donald Maass considers novels that shouldn’t work, but do—and why. Then, Kathryn Craft is exposing inner conflict in non-POV characters. David Corbett checks out a new model for self-publishing—Emily Kimelman. Writer Unboxed

Janice Hardy helps you take the work out of writing a scene. Then, Angela Ackerman explains how to use conflict to show character development. Fiction University

Chinnamasta: the headless goddess of self-sacrifice. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

K.M. Weiland wonders, do you need personal experience to write about something? Helping Writers Become Authors

Angela Ackerman explains how to amp up your conflict. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Angela Ackerman says, if you want to build tension, encourage your reader to ask questions. Then, Tom Bentley explains why persistence pays the weary writer. Allison K. Williams reveals how to get published in Modern Love, McSweeney’s, or anywhere else you want.  Jane Friedman

Kris Maze offers more ways to fix filler words. Then, Piper Bayard is writing about robberies and burglaries. Writers in the Storm

How to stay creative as a writer. Reedsy

Nathan Bransford says, don’t criticize a book’s editing unless you saw the original manuscript.

Chris Winkle shares some lessons learned from the cursed writing of Vicious. Then, Oren Ashkenazi evaluates five tropes that sound cool but rarely work. Mythcreants

Tiffany Yates Martin offers a caveat scriptor: when creators become the customers. Fox Print Editorial

Lincoln Michel unpacks some of the stats emerging from the PRH/SS Merger trial: no, most books don’t sell only a dozen copies. It’s a substack newsletter, but you can read one article for free.

We added 370 new words to the dictionary for September 2022. Merriam-Webster

And that was tipsday.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress, whatever stage it’s at.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well, my writerly friends!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Aug 28-Sept 3, 2022

We’re rounding the bend and almost to the weekend. Pour on that last bit of speed by getting your mental corn popping!

Dr. Torvi, mid-operation.

No charges in police killing of Rayshard Brooks. BBC

How did Al Sharpton become a joke? Princess Weekes

Yessica Fisch reports that Russia, Ukraine trade claims of nuclear plant attacks. Associated Press

Dave Lawler: Ukraine launches counteroffensive to retake Russian-occupied Kherson. Axios

Jamey Keaten and Edith M. Lederer announce that the UN cites possible crimes against humanity in China’s Xinjiang. Associated Press

Jessica Stillman explains how to spot an emotional vampire and a 5-step process to defeat one, when you do. Inc.

Dr. Patricia Lockwood: scientists pinpoint the brain area responsible for effortful helping behaviour (AKA altruism). The University of Birmingham

Bill Hathaway wonders what makes the human brain different? Yale neuroscientists reveal clues. Yale News

Stefan Van der Stigchel reveals what the science says about daydreaming and concentration. The MIT Press Reader

Guy Kawasaki interviews Fran Houser about how to kindly, gently, and powerfully embrace your work. The Remarkable People Podcast

Laura Ungar: zombie cells central to quest for active, vital old age. Associated Press

The world’s highest jumping robot. Veritasium

Tariq Malik reports that NASA calls off Artemis I moon rocket launch over engine cooling issue. Space.com

Webb inspects the heart of the phantom galaxy. The European Space Agency

Hannah Devlin reveals historic JWST images showing exoplanet in unprecedented detail. The Guardian

S.N. Johnson-Roehr: Caroline Herschel claims her comet. JSTOR Daily

The ominous reason Phobos has lines on it. SciShow Space

Mount Sinai Hospital researchers find spaceflight may be associated with DNA mutations, increased risk of heart disease, and cancer. Phys.org

Dinah Voyles Pulver: melting Greenland ice sheet will raise sea levels nearly a foot, study finds. USA Today

Leo Sands reports on the Pakistan floods: one third of the country is under water, minister says. BBC News

Abir Ahmar: parched UAE turns to science to squeeze more rainfall from clouds. Reuters

Sarah Keartes explains how giant isopods got supersized. Hakai Magazine

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you found something to inspire a future creative project.

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