Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Apr 14-20, 2019

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend with family and friends.

After getting back to work, it’s time to reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings.

Gwendolyn Womack writes about the storyteller’s ladder. Jan O’Hara says we’re wired to display. Kathleen McCleary wants you to look at the flip side. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland explains how to use your outline when writing your first draft. Helping Writers Become Authors

Daniel Berkowitz stops by Jane Friedman’s blog to tell you that it’s okay not to tweet.

Lisa Cron: plot, inner change, or evocative writing—what really rivets readers? Later in the week, Colleen M. Story reveals the one thing writers miss when they try to improve. Writers Helping Writers

Leanne Sowul wants you to lose the mental clutter and find your focus (AKA Kon-Mari-ing your brain). Courtney Lazore lists five reasons to keep writing. DIY MFA

Jenna Moreci shares her top ten tips for creating an authentic character voice in dialogue.

 

Margie Lawson offers five tips for writing tears that carry power. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle discusses the five stages of becoming a fiction writer. Then, Oren Ashkenazi looks at five characters with strong arcs. Mythcreants

And that was tipsday for this week. I’ll be back on Thursday with your weekly dose of thoughty.

Until then, be well.

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Apr 7-13, 2019

I’ve got a bunch of resources here to get your mental corn popping.

Akshat Rathi: how we get to the next big battery breakthrough. Quartz

James Griffiths warns that Welsh and Hawaiian have been saved from extinction, but other languages may not be so lucky. CNN

Sandee LaMotte reports on the 99-year-old woman with all her organs in the wrong places. CNN

Jonathan D. Grinstein reveals a new way to detect Parkinson’s—by smell. Scientific American

Karen Weintraub: the adult brain does grow new neurons, after all. Scientific American

Antonio Regalado reports that doctors plan to test a gene therapy that could prevent Alzheimer’s. MIT Technology Review

It’s okay to be smart … about the AMAZING monarch butterfly.

 

To save the monarch butterfly, scientists are moving a forest 1,000 feet up a mountain. Kate Linthicum for the LA Times.

Before the image was released, Veritasium explains what it will look like and why (damned awesome, ‘cause he’s right on the money).

 

Mary Beth Griggs: see the first ever image of a supermassive black hole. The Verge

Natalie Grontcharova gives us a more complete picture: meet Katie Bouman, the woman behind the first image of a black hole. Refinery 29

After the image was released, Veritasium released a second video:

 

Mary Robinette Kowal: if space is the future, that future needs to include everyone. The Washington Post

Kate Sierzputowski shows us the Utrecht apartment transformed into a three storey tromp l’oeil bookcase. This is Colossal

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you found something to inspire a new creative project.

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

thoughtythursday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Apr 7-13, 2019

Happy Tuesday! Time to reward your hard work this week with some informal writerly learnings.

Rheea Mukherjee explains what it’s like to be the bi-cultural writer. Jim Dempsey helps you discover your characters’ goals. Sarah Callender asks, so you think you can write? Kathryn Craft encourages you to use short story collections as novel prompts. Writer Unboxed

James R. Preston has a conversation about pushing the envelope of first person. Becca Puglisi discusses first pages and character emotion. Julie Glover shares ten things she learned from ten years of writing. Writers in the Storm

K.M. Weiland: what is the relationship between plot and theme? Helping Writers Become Authors

Sara Letourneau provides some exercises for exploring the theme of family in your writing. Later in the week, Jeanette the Writer looks at five famously rewritten novels. DIY MFA

Jami Gold is worldbuilding a series but writing without a plan.

Oren Ashkenazi analyses six unsatisfying character arcs. Mythcreants

Nina Munteanu explains how walking in nature helps her write.

Jenna Moreci updates her list of the top ten worst romance tropes.

 

For balance, Jenna also shares her ten favourite villain tropes.

 

Jessica Leigh Hester: for centuries, know-it-alls carried beautiful, miniature almanacs wherever they went. Atlas Obscura

Nicola Davis reports on the latest research indicating that Beowulf was the work of a single poet. The Guardian

Alison Flood: “extraordinary” 500-year-old library catalogue reveals works lost to time. The Guardian

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you found something to feed your creative process or craft.

I invite you to return on Thursday for some thoughty inspiration.

Until then, be well!

tipsday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Mar 31-Apr 6, 2019

It’s time to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Chad Frischmann profiles the young minds solving climate change. BBC

Camille Bromley wonders, could a woman walk around the world today? National Geographic

Kara Wada covers the miserable history of seasonal allergies, from ancient China and Greece, to today. Quartzy

Shayla Love investigates the power of the nocebo effect. Vice

Sarah Barnes shares the work of Kate Allen, an artist with anxiety who illustrates lessons on mental health. My Modern Met

Kati Morton begins a new series on burnout with part 1: the history.

 

Adam Rasmi: new research suggests you should do anything but sit. Quartz

SciShow Space explains why our solar system is weird.

 

Ryan Bradley: the exploding bolts that get us into space. Popular Science

The Dodo presents the tiniest, fuzziest little horse.

 

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope some of these ideas are pop-corning around in your head, making creative connections and inspiring your creative work.

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

thoughtythursday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Mar 31-Apr 6, 2019

Just a small batch of informal writerly learnings this week. Things are heating up at the day job and it’s curtailed my curation (!) There’s still some good stuff in here. And you won’t be backlogged … maybe?

K.M. Weiland shares five ways to use theme to create character arc (and vice versa). Helping Writers Become Authors

Nancy Johnson invites you to embark on the quest for your muse. Donald Maass looks at the extraordinary world: how soon and how little? Bryn Greenwood writes … about a book (panic and pitches). Cathy Yardley is keeping (and losing) the faith. Writer Unboxed

Tamar Sloan wants you to be an emotionally intelligent writer. Writers Helping Writers

Colleen M. Story: the best decisions are made with three brains. Later in the week, Janice Hardy explains why the word “conflict” frustrates so many writers. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle explains how to write a travel story. Then, Oren Ashkenazi looks at five setting details with horrifying implications. Mythcreants

Jim C. Hines offers some writing advice.

Kassandra Flamouri shares five ways to write strong female characters. DIY MFA

I do hope you found something you need to improve your creative practice or craft.

Thanks for stopping by and I invite you to return on Thursday for your weekly dose of thoughty inspiration 🙂

Until then, be well, my writerly friends!

tipsday2016

The next chapter: March 2019 update

Here we are in April. My mind still boggles at how quickly the time passes. On the other hand, I never have enough time to get everything done that I want to. I seriously need to be more mindful. It might help me in my goal-setting to be more realistic in what I can do.

The month in writing and revision

In March, I continued drafting Tamisashki. My goal was to write 16,802 words and I wrote 16,796 words. Technically, that’s 100%, though I was 6 words short of my goal. (Pthbt!) The big difference is that I ended up writing through the last couple of weekends. I would have fallen far short, otherwise. I missed having my weekend breaks, but I wasn’t producing enough weekdays to give myself that luxury.

As I had mentioned in my 2018 review/2019 planning post, the day job is kicking into high gear now that we’re in April. As I expected, I won’t be able to keep up my drafting pace much longer. More work-related stress equals less energy for my creative pursuits. It is what it is.

I made an interesting discover with regard to my blogging goals. Somehow, at the beginning of my year, I DOUBLED all of my monthly blogging goals. Why the heck did I do that to myself? This means that I’ve actually met and exceeded all of my monthly blogging goals so far this year. This month, my goal was (once I realized my math error—I am numerically illiterate, I guess) 2,600 words. I blogged 3,699 words, or 142% of my goal.

It was my intention to get roughly half of my next Speculations column completed in March. This didn’t happen.

With respect to my short fiction goals, I had wanted to finish January’s story and two more shorter pieces to catch up on my short fiction challenge. I did, finally, finish January’s story and I got another 600 words on a new story, but I also submitted my completed short for critique and got distracted revising January’s story. I wrote 1,801 words and revise 1,547 words … My goal was 2,500 words. So … yay?

Initially, I’d thought I’d be revising around 21 poems for my collection. I only had 4 left that I deem to be publishable. I’m now in the process of transferring the poems into a clean document for submission. I have reconsidered my decision to self-publish, at least immediately. I’m going to try a few small presses before I bite the self-publishing bullet.

MarchProgress

Filling the well

On March 2nd, I went to see the Sudbury production of The Vagina Monologues. A few friends, including Kim Fahner and Liisa Kovala were in the production and another friend, Sarah Gartshore, produced.

It was a charity performance and tailored to the local performance, including some uniquely Canadian euphemisms for vagina, and a very compelling piece on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

The proceeds went to SWANS, the Sex Worker Assistance Network of Sudbury. It was a great night.

What I read and watched this month

I followed Rebecca Roanhorse’s Trail of Lightning up with Waubgeshig Rice’s Moon of the Crusted Snow. Like Roanhorse’s novel, Rice’s was set in a post-apocalyptic world, but in MotCS, the apocalypse is recent, and the story is told through the lives and experiences of the Anishnaabe residents of a fictional northern reserve.

It’s a slow burn at the beginning. Having recently secured reliable internet, cable, and cell phone service, the power outage that isolates the reserve is initially unremarkable. They’ve gotten so used to disruptions resulting from poor infrastructure that the chief and council has set aside diesel to run their generators, and most homes have wood stoves or furnaces for heat.

But winter is coming and, as the outage proves permanent, two young men, away at college, return home on snow machines, having escaped the chaos of the modern, white world denied the services we’ve come to rely on. When a white survivalist follows the snow machine tracks, the situation gets interesting, and increasingly dangerous. I loved it.

I finished Peter Godfrey-Smith’s Other Minds, about cephalopod intelligence and how it diverged from our own evolution and development.

I read Putting the Science in Fiction, edited (and contributed to) by Dan Koboldt. If you write science fiction and you aren’t a scientist yourself, you really need to pick this book up. It’s the least you should know about science from a number of disciplines.

Finally, I read Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone. It’s a young adult fantasy set in a created world based on West African mythology and the Yoruban culture and language. I liked it a lot, though the author couldn’t quite commit to her grimdark premise.

I went to my first theatre movie of the year: Captain Marvel. Like I’d miss that one 🙂 I loved it, even though it didn’t tread a lot of new ground. I’m looking forward to Endgame, now, and will probably drag Phil out to that one, too.

I finally finished season 2 of Wynonna Earp. I missed a lot of the later episodes because of a scheduling conflict and no PVR. It was a little weird, because I managed to catch all of season 3 when it aired. I was literally filling in the missing pieces. It was enjoyable because of the quirky characters and chick power, though the same qualities are also the source of some of my biggest complaints about the storytelling.

The rest of what I/we are watching right now is in progress. I’ve decided that I’ll refrain from commenting on the seasons/series that I haven’t finished watching yet. I tend to be a little slow in this respect, because I only watch Netflix/Amazon Prime on the weekends, and since I typically watch seasons/series as they come out, I often have 6 or 7 of them that I’m cycling through.

And that was March in this writer’s life.

Until the next time I blog, 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, Mar 24-30, 2019

Here’s your first batch of inspiration, research, and learning links for April.

Beth Gardiner reveals how the car industry hid the truth about diesel emissions. The Guardian

Michael Greshko: how a change in out diets may have altered the way we speak. National Geographic

SciShow News covers the cannonball pulsar and antibacterial metal.

 

Emily Underwood is listening to ketamine. Knowable

Eda Yu says, social media is ruining our memories. Vice

More SciShow News: neurogenesis may continue into your 80s and the mechanism of hallucinations.

 

Doug Bock Clark tells the harrowing tale of the underground railroad of North Korea. GQ

Douglas Preston reports on Robert DePalma’s discovery of evidence for the event that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. The New Yorker

This is the kind of behaviour we have to put up with in Torvi:

 

I hope at least one of these offerings got your mental corn popping, by which I mean, got those creative ideas ping-ponging around in your head.

This weekend, I’ll be writing up my next chapter update for March.

Until then, my friends, be well 🙂

thoughtythursday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Mar 24-30, 2019

Here we are in April (!) and here’s another week’s worth of informal writerly learnings.

Susan Spann explains how to prepare and use a DMCA takedown notice.  Liz Michalski is biting the bullet (journal) and tracking her writing habit. Barbara O’Neal: spring planting for writers. Heather Webb answers the question: no, really, why do you write? John J. Kelley wonders, whose character is it, anyway? Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland shares four pacing tricks to keep readers’ attention, courtesy of Captain Marvel. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jenna Moreci shares her top ten tips for writing your first chapter.

 

Jules Horne drops by Jane Friedman’s blog to discuss writing for audio: understanding attunement.

Joanna Penn interviews Damon Suede about strengthening your writing with the power of words. The Kobo Writing Life Podcast interviewed Damon a couple of weeks ago and it was both informative and entertaining 🙂 The Creative Penn

Manuela Williams: seven questions to ask when building your author brand. Gabriela Pereira interviews Samantha Downing, Barbara Poelle, and Jen Monroe about the author/agent/editor relationship. Laura Highcove lists five steps to create agency in your writing life. DIY MFA

Chris Winkle examines six stories sabotaged by their tone. Then, Oren Ashkenazi covers six common villain mistakes and how to avoid them. Mythcreants

Alison Flood looks at the rotten side of self-publishing: plagiarism, “book-stuffing,” and clickfarms. The Guardian

I hope you found something you can use in your creative practice or business.

Come back on Thursday for some thoughty inspiration.

Until then, be well, my friends!

tipsday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Mar 17-23, 2019

It’s time to get your mental corn popping.

Students perform haka to honour fallen classmates in Christchurch. The Guardian

Debra Bassett explores the complexity of grieving in the digital age. Fast Company

April Fulton: if life’s noises drive you mad, you may have misophonia. The brain is a weird and wonderful thing. NPR

Marina Koren looks at the seasons on other planets: on Pluto, it’s been spring since 1990. The Atlantic

SciShow considers the Pilot Wave Theory.

 

Kendra Louis-Pierre explains how almost every country in the world can power itself with renewable energy. Popular Science

Jessica Stewart profiles Debra Bernier, the artist who transforms driftwood into sculptures that look like spirits of nature. My Modern Met

Michael Greshko reveals the significance of the latest fossil find in China and how it sheds light on the Cambrian explosion. National Geographic

An owl compilation video from The Pet Collective 🙂

 

I hope you found something to inspire a new creative effort.

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

thoughtythursday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Mar 17-23, 2019

Here is your weekly batch of informal writerly learnings. Enjoy 🙂

K.M. Weiland wants you to find your thematic principle. Helping Writers Become Authors

Vaughn Roycroft, inspired by Jo Eberhardt’s last post, writes about layers of antagonism and why you should embrace them. Dave King: the lessons of genre. “In fact, here’s a dirty little secret: literary fiction often behaves like just another genre.” Julie Carrick Dalton looks at novel writing intensives as an alternative to the MA. Stephanie Cowell explores her novelist’s journey: the ghost worlds within me. Writer Unboxed

Chris Winkle: narrating a close point of view. Mythcreants

Chris Winkle produces the next instalment in the goal-oriented storytelling series: novelty. Then, Sara Letourneau has a helpful strategy if you’re struggling with flashbacks: try using the PAST method. Writers Helping Writers

Lisa Cooper Ellison offers a primer on schmoozing for introverts: how to network like a pro. Then, Barbara Linn Probst stops by to talk about beta readers: who, when, why, and so what? Jane Friedman

Mary Robinette Kowal shares some great advice for debut authors: so, you’ve been nominated for an award …  She follows up with another pithy piece on status and hierarchy shifts. Check out the series navigation links. This stuff is GOLD.

Helen J. Darling is helping you build your publishing team: your cover designer. DIY MFA

Alexa Donne muddles through the middle.

 

Janice Hardy digs into her archives for this fun test to check your scene’s narrative drive. Fiction University

Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes (better known as Bayard & Holmes) help you figure out which firearms can’t be silenced. Then, Margie Lawson drops by to discuss creating compelling cadence. Writers in the Storm

Angela Ackerman visits Jami Gold’s blog: creating characters who clash.

Jenna Moreci helps you identify your category (not genre).

 

Bryan E. Robinson, PhD shares eight ways to stay mentally fit and mindful during the writing process. Writer’s Digest

Nina Munteanu: surfing Schumann’s wave and catching the ion spray. Everything in life is vibration.

And that was Tipsday.

Hope you found something that will take your craft to a new level. Come back on Thursday for some thoughty.

Until then, be well!

tipsday2016