Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 11-17, 2021

It’s time to get your mental corn popping! Let’s get right to it …

Ohimai Amaize unpacks the “social distance” between Africa and African Americans. JSTOR Daily

Charlottesville removes Robert E. Lee statue that sparked deadly rally. NPR

Thema Bryant-Davis and Egypt Leithman (of Pepperdine University) want to heal the wounds of racial trauma. Division 45

Allison Hopper: denial of evolution is a form of white supremacy. Scientific American

Louisiana teen, Zaila Avant-garde correctly spells “muraya” to win Scripp’s National Spelling Bee. ESPN

Zoé Samudzi is looking after (museums and human remains). Art Forum

Huu-ay-aht First Nation begin process of reclaiming cultural artefacts from Royal BC Museum. CBC

Coaches argue Laurentian’s pool must remain open: community impact will be “immense.” Sudbury.com

Could solar panels in space solve our energy needs? SciShow Space

Susan Montoya Bryan and Marcia Dunn report that billionaire Richard Branson reaches space in his own ship. Maybe reaches for space? Associated Press

Do we have more than five senses? Spoiler: hella yeah. SciShow Psych

Lauran Neergaard: device taps brainwaves to help paralyzed man communicate. Associated Press

Barrie, Ontario, devastated by tornado that left 5-kilometre path of destruction. CBC

Rescuers rush to save hundreds trapped by flooding in Europe as death toll tops 125. CBC

True facts: wild pigs (and their crazy cousins). ‘Cause fun and educational 🙂 Ze Frank

John Flesher reports that pup births a hopeful sign for Ilse Royale wolves. Associated Press

Thanks for taking the time to visit, 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: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 11-17, 2021

Welcome to tipsday, your opportunity to reward yourself for making it through Monday and stock up on informal writerly learnings.

Greer Macallister wonders if authors should review books. Then, Jim Dempsey discusses the inherent nature of story structure. Juliet Marillier charts the ups and downs of a writer’s journey. Later in the week, Julie Duffy wants you to choose your own adventure. Then, Kelsey Allagood shows you how to be creative when you’re feeling “blah.” Writer Unboxed

Jill Bearup analyzes the Loki ep. 6 fight scene.

Richelle Lyn explains how Creativity, Inc. inspired her. Later in the week, Rachel Smith reveals how to use sensory details in historical fiction. Then, F.E. Choe shares five tips for navigating writing events as an extreme introvert. DIY MFA

Lindsay Ellis reveals the unappreciated women writers who invented the novel. It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Janice Hardy offers some advice. Do, or do not. There is no try. Clarifying what your characters do. Then, Kristin Durfee explains how to plot your way back from an unruly idea. Later in the week, Rayne Hall considers 12 story ending twists that don’t work. Fiction University

Why we can’t save the ones we love. Like Stories of Old

K.M. Weiland provides a summary of all the archetypal character arcs. Helping Writers Become Authors

Lisa Hall-Wilson helps you write complex emotions in deep POV: shame.

Alli Sinclair wonders, what is your character’s love language (and why does it matter)? Writers Helping Writers

Why there are so many lesbian period pieces. The Take

Kristen Lamb explains why editing matters (and simple ways to make your work shine). Then, she’s spotting terminological inexactitude syndrome.

Nathan Bransford advises you to avoid naming universal emotions in your novel.

Kathryn Goldman answers the question: are fictional characters protected under copyright law? Then, Jessica Conoley points out the most significant choice of your writing career. Jane Friedman

Why Disney kids take over everything—corporate girlhood. The Take

Eldred Bird presents five more writing tips we love to hate. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle explains how Romanticism harms novelists. Then, Oren Ashkenazi examines how Michael J. Sullivan employs the Neolithic in Age of Myth. Mythcreants

Award-winning speculative fiction author (and Damon Knight Grand Master) Nalo Hopkinson joins UBC creative writing faculty. I may just have to invest in another degree! UBC

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

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

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 4-10, 2021

It’s that time of week again. Get your mental corn popping and celebrate the coming of another glorious weekend.

Jelani Cobb: Derek Chauvin’s trial and George Floyd’s city. The New Yorker

Karen Attiah says that the challenge for educators amid the critical race theory backlash is how to fight hot air. The Washington Post

Richard Alba, Morris Levy, and Dowell Myers bust the myth of the majority-minority America. The Atlantic

Sasha Banks reveals the problem with patriotism. The Atlantic

The lost graves of Louisiana’s enslaved people. The New York Times

Etant Dupain, Gerardo Lemos, Ivana Kottasová and Caitlin Hu: Haiti president Jovenel Moise assassinated in attack on his residence. CNN

Serpent River First Nation celebrates their first Pride: living their truth. CBC

First woman elected as grand chief of Mohawk council of Kahnawake. CBC

RoseAnne Archibald to lead Assembly of First Nations as national chief. CTV News

Catharine Tunney and John Paul Tasker: Inuk leader Mary Simon named Canada’s first Indigenous Governor General. CBC

Kayla Rosen reports that the Manitoba Métis Federation signs agreement with Canada to advance right to self-governance. CTV News

John Tonin: Lower Post holds ceremonial demolition of its residential school. Yukon News

In Spain, police probe suspected hate crime targeting gay man. Associated Press

Ben Leeson reports that the Jeno Tehanyi Olympic Gold Pool at Laurentian University is unlikely to open this year; mayor vows to help save facility. The Sudbury Star

You are not a visual learner. Veritasium

Cal Newport explains how to achieve sustainable remote work. The New Yorker

Jackie Flynn Morgensen says, the pandemic made science more accessible than ever. Let’s keep it that way. Mother Jones

Philip Wang: the “eye of fire” that erupted in the Gulf of Mexico is under control, says Mexican-owned oil company. CNN

Becky Ferreira: a massive lake suddenly vanished in Antarctica. Vice

The Moral of Flowers was an illustrated Victorian encyclopedia of poetic lessons from the garden. Brain Pickings

Are some species more important than others? | In our nature |It’s okay to be smart

Elise Kjørstad reveals that wolf packs don’t have alpha males or females; it’s just a misunderstanding. Phys.org

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you found something to inspire a future creative project. Let it percolate. A good story takes time to brew 🙂

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

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 4-10, 2021

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings. Enjoy!

Lauren J. Sharkey shares some advice about investments and returns. Then, Adam Burgess wonders if there’s a genre best suited to LGBTQ+ stories (and why it’s historical fiction). Gabriela Pereira interviews Emily R. King about fantasy inspired by Greek mythology. Later in the week, Aaron Poochigian shares a day in the life of a full-time poet. Then, Indiana Lee suggests five alternative tips to boost creativity for writers. DIY MFA

Jill Bearup tested corsets vs. knives (for science!)

Sophie Masson considers physical journeys in fiction. Then, Sarah Penner shares a pre-launch playbook for debut authors. Donald Maass wants you to think about pacing: faster than the speed of thought. Kathryn Craft presents the three Ws of scene orientation. Later in the week, David Corbett provides some advice on writing our country. Writer Unboxed

Kadija Mbowe analyzes Cuties.

K.M. Weiland explains how to use archetypal character arcs in your stories in part 22 of her archetypal character arcs series. Helping Writers Become Authors

Shaelin explains how to write historical fiction. Reedsy

And she follows it up with historical fiction tropes. Reedsy

Karen DeBonis wants you to find your writing rhythm. Then, Janice Hardy lists five steps to creating a unique character voice. Later in the week, Jenny Hansen (inspired by DeBonis) offers confessions of a devoted scene writer. Writers in the Storm

Why film and TV erased asexuality. The Take

Laurence MacNaughton explains how to stay motivated and keep writing. Fiction University

Becca Puglisi helps you change your reader’s perspective. Writers Helping Writers

Rachel Michelberg says, post-book launch depression is a thing. Jane Friedman

How film and Tv misrepresent neurodiversity. The Take

Kristen Lamb: the difference between magnificent and maddening is the burning desire.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch offers part eight of her fear-based decision-making series: fear and the future.

Nathan Bransford: don’t step on your surprises.

Chris Winkle shares five simple ways to make your prose easier to read. Then, Oren Ashkenazi lists six signs of a weak throughline. Mythcreants

Monique Gray Smith curated this list of 45 books that share stories and truths by Indigenous authors who identify as women and/or two spirit. CBC Books

Jane an Koeverden: Cherie Dimaline publishing sequel to The Marrow Thieves in fall 2021. CBC Books

Estefania Velez compiles this list of 15 books to celebrate disability pride. The New York Public Library

Guy Kawasaki interviews Haben Girma, lawyer, activist, and advocate for equal opportunities for people with disabilities. The Remarkable People podcast

Ellen Gutoskey lists the fascinating etymologies of 70 common words. Mental Floss

Thank you for taking the time to stop by. I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Join me at DIY MFA for my latest Speculations

This edition of Speculations came out on June 29th. I did not have the spoons at the time to post it in a timely manner.

Still, better late than never 🙂

This time around, Speculations focuses on the works of a handful of AAPI authors of science fiction and fantasy.

While you’re there, please check out the other great columnists and Gabriela’s fabulous resources.

Until tipsday, be well and stay safe!

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 27-July 3, 2021

It’s time, once again, to get your mental corn popping.

Ray Sanchez and Eric Levinson report on the sentencing of Derek Chauvin. Precedent-setting though it was, is 22.5 years enough? CNN

Adultification, explained (or, are Black girls less innocent?). Kadija Mbowe

Ex-president Jacob Zuma sentenced by South Africa’s top court. Andrew Harding supplies analysis. BBC

Jacqui Germain says, climate justice is a framework for understanding the world. Teen Vogue

The dark history of the Chinese Exclusion Act – Robert Chang TED-Ed

Kimmy Yam: viral images show people of colour as perpetrators of anti-Asian violence. That misses the big picture. NBC News

Amartya Sen: what British rule really did for India. The Guardian

Alex Migdal: 182 more unmarked graves discovered near Cranbrook, B.C. CBC

Daniella Zalcman: pictured with their past, survivors of Canada’s “cultural genocide” speak out. National Geographic

B.C. records 486 sudden deaths, almost triple the usual number, during heat wave. CBC

Rhianna Schmunk: ‘Most homes’ in Lytton, B.C., destroyed by catastrophic fire, minister says. CBC

Richard Grant answers the question, what did Stonehenge sound like? The Smithsonian Magazine

Joe offers a brief (and scientific) history of butts. ‘Cause I thought it appropriate to “end” with humour. Sorry, not sorry. It’s okay to be smart

Thanks for stopping by.  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: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 27-July 3, 2021

Welcome to another week of informal writerly learnings 🙂 Enjoy!

Erika Liodice explains how to create an authentic setting from a place you’ve never been. Matthew Norman advises, when in doubt, look about. Then, Deanna Cabinian offers some tips from a pregnant lady on deflecting unsolicited writing advice. Nancy Johnson shares three tips for mastering conflict in your novel. Later in the week, Julie Carrick Dalton is crafting climate futures we can survive. Writer Unboxed

Princess Weekes looks at WandaVision and the feminine madness. Melina Pendulum

K.M. Weiland completes her review of the flat archetypal arc with the mentor in part 21 of her archetypal character arcs series. Helping Writers Become Authors

Colleen M. Story lists three reasons writing is a healthy form of escape. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Writing compelling character relationships. Shaelin Writes

James Scott Bell says, act like a professional. Colleen M. Story explains how to tell the difference between procrastination and a true writing crisis. Writers Helping Writers

Princess Weekes loves Octavia E. Butler, the grand dame of science fiction. It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Tasha Seegmiller is exploring a character’s past wound. Then, Julie Glover shares five more quick dialog tips. Writers in the Storm

Emily Zarka looks at the macabre origins of the grim reaper. Monstrum | PBS Storied

My latest speculations: ten AAPI science fiction and fantasy authors to read right now. Later in the week, Lauren Eckhardt shared five ways to catch your golden butterfly. DIY MFA

Why slow adulting is a good thing. The Take

Kristine Kathryn Rusch presents part seven of her fear-based decision-making series: fear and all writers.

Rachelle Shaw lists ten alternative types of short fiction. Fiction University

Jane Friedman breaks down where her money comes from.

The dangerous woman. How we package female sexuality. The Take

Chris Winkle points out what you need to know when planning character arcs. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes six twists that hurt the story. Mythcreants

Nate Berg: stunning new museum brings Hans Christian Andersen’s stories to life. Fast Company

Hank you for taking the time to stop by, and I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

The next chapter: June 2021 update

Here we are in July, after a strangely introspective and quiet national holiday—on this side of the border, anyway. I won’t speak for my American friends. With the discovery of nearly a thousand unmarked graves near residential schools, I, and many Canadians of colonist descent, have been examining our collective lack of action with respect to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations.

If you read the calls to action—and I encourage you to—they’re mostly common sense. Ensure that all Indigenous communities have clean water, solid infrastructure, support for health and mental health needs, and so on. Reuniting Indigenous families, doing whatever we can to identify the occupants of unmarked graves, and demanding accountability from the Catholic church (other protestant denominations and the federal government have already apologized, but no further action has been taken) are the least we can do.

And how do we do it? Personal actions are a start, but we can act most powerfully by lobbying our local members of parliament and through voting. If swift action is not taken by the government in power, then we elect a government who will act.

With that, I’ll segue into my usual PSAs:

All lives cannot matter until all BIPOC lives matter.

Wear your masks, wash your hands, and get fully vaccinated. The delta variant wants to undo all our good work. Don’t let it!

The month in writing

The month started out well. I was making headway with Reality Bomb, and once I got the May next chapter update and my Speculations column dealt with, I even manages some more work on the short story I started … in April.

Then work (several days sacrificed to the meeting gods) and meetings (about 10 hours worth) for the Canadian Authors ramped up and my productivity went down.

I set myself a goal of revising 25,000 words on RB but adjusted it down to 20,000 words around the middle of the month. I’m into another section where I’m rewriting, not just revising, now, and most days, I’m lucky if I can get 250 words written. There’s a lot of resistance around this section of rewrite, which is how I know that it has to be done. It’s just taking more time than I’d like.

But I rewrote/revised 16,330 words in June, or 82% or my amended goal, so I’m happy enough.

In short fiction, I revised 567 words, or 38% of my 1,500-word goal. Again, I’ve gotten to the point where it’s writing and not revising (the story was only part-written before). This is where I return to the old NaNoWriMo saying: every word’s a victory.

I wrote 1,272 words for my Speculations column, or 127% f my 1,000-word goal. And I submitted it on time. Win!

Finally, I blogged 5,458 words of my 3,750-word goal, or 146%.

Of my total writing goal for the month, I achieved 141%, of my total revision goal, I achieved 79%, and overall, I achieved 90% of my combined goals for the month. Not bad 🙂

Of the projects I’m not tracking, I made progress on my Ascension master document (like that much better than bible …), I did brainstorm a new short story, but I didn’t finish the story from two months ago, or start revisions on another story.

You can only do what you can do.

Filling the well

On June 2nd, I attended another Tiffany Yates Martin webinar through Jane Friedman. Always a good investment, those. I also signed up for TORCon June 10-13 and attended a few sessions, but that was it with respect to writing related events.

I had an appointment with my registered massage therapist on the 10th and I don’t know if it was the weight loss or my ASD diagnosis, but I’ve never had a more relaxing, less painful massage.

On June 20th, I went out to my sister-in-law’s for a lovely afternoon of lawn games and BBQ. I didn’t even take pictures. Just relaxed. So much relax.

Had an appointment with my financial advisor to make a couple of small tweaks to our banking and investments.

And … on the 28th, I called first thing to book my second vaccination. In another week, I will be as fully protected as Pfizer allows 🙂 I did have more pain in my shoulder than I did last time, but I got my shot. I done a #goodjab.

I’m down to 154 lbs, but now most of my clothes are too big. Can I say I hate shopping? First world, privileged white woman problems.

What I’m watching and reading

The latest season of Grey’s Anatomy came to an end in June. Same old, same old. What can I say? It’s a guilty pleasure.

Nancy Drew also finished its season. It was okay. Still not sure I like the ghostbusters version of ND. She resolved the major problem of the season only to have more crop up. Par for the course.

Phil and I watched the second volume of Love, Death, and Robots. Some of the shorts were amusing, others grim. Not bad.

The History of Swearing was amusing, though. I hope they do more, though I think they’ll run out before too long.

I also watched two movies.

The first was Monkey Beach, based on an Eden Robinson novel of the same name. I’d been meaning to watch it since I found out about it (about the same time as the Trickster series came out). It was good. Sad, but hopeful.

Wonder Woman 1984 was bad, but not as bad as I was prepared for it to be. Compared to the first movie, though? Meh.

Only three books on the reading radar this month, but they were all great.

I read TJ Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea first. Pure joy. If you haven’t picked it up yet, do it.

Then, I finished Diana Harkness’s The Shadow of Night, to catch up with the series. It’s very interesting to see the differences between the two, and I could really understand the creative decisions behind the adaptation. Doing the book, as written, would not have worked visually. Like them both for different reasons and in their own respects.

Finally, I read The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. Ohmygodsogood! Just going to leave it there.

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

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

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 20-26, 2021

It’s time to get your mental corn popping. Yeah, it’s also Canada Day, but I’m not celebrating.

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor reveals the secret history of Black uprisings. The New Yorker

Ryan Eneas and Theresa Kliem contributed to this report: Cowessess First Nation finds hundreds of unmarked graves at Marieval Residential School in Saskatchewan. CBC

David A. Robertson: “My grandmother’s sister had a name. It was Maggie.” The Toronto Star

A history of Indigenous languages — and how to revitalize them | Lindsay Morcom TED

Shira Pinson: WWII codebreaker Alan Turing becomes the first gay man on a British bank note. NBC News

Jim Downs: how Jonathan Ned Katz rediscovered Eve Adams, the radical lesbian activist. The New Yorker

Total Solar Eclipses Shine a Light on the Solar Wind with Help from NASA’s ACE Mission. NASA

Life on Saturn’s moons? Not as we know it. Dr. Becky

Patrick Roberts excerpts from his latest book: how ancient societies reimagined what cities could be. The Guardian

Colin Packham: UN irks Australia by recommending that the Great Barrier Reef be listed “in danger.” Reuters

Thank you for taking the time to stop by, and I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project.

This weekend, I should be posting my next chapter update for June.

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

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 20-26, 2021

It’s the last tipsday of June 2021! The year’s almost half over 😦 Console yourself with some informal writerly learnings. They’re good medicine.

Carol Van Den Hende wants you to judge a book by its cover: how to SPARC great cover design. Then, Hailey Milliman helps you to improve the clarity of your writing. DIY MFA

Jill Bearup makes the perfect murder dress.

Vaughn Roycroft: the value of friendship in storytelling. Then, Catherine Adel West says, advocacy is not a bad word. Desmond Hall drops some writing wisdom. Writer unboxed

Princess Weekes: So, DC’s trying to tell us that Batman doesn’t eat out? (Yeah, it’s exactly what you think—but also a plea to see healthy depictions of female pleasure on screen.) Melina Pendulum

K.M. Weiland covers the flat archetype of the elder in part 20 of her archetypal character arcs series. Helping Writers Become Authors

Emily Zarka considers the urban legend of black-eyed children. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Susan DeFreitas outlines three strengths and three weaknesses of starting your novel with character. Jane Friedman

Kris Maze shares three steps to create write time. Then, Ellen Buikema provides some advice about using weather in fiction. Writers in the Storm

The rise of relentless optimism. The Take

Rayne Hall considers goal and motivation: what does your character want, and why? Then, Colleen M. Story poses four questions to help you determine whether your writing matters. Fiction University

Chris Winkle explains what redemption arcs tell us about forgiveness. Then, Oren Ashkenazi shares lessons from three bad fight scenes. Mythcreants

How the five stages of grief are misrepresented on screen. The Take

Ali Pitargue: BC authors reclaim Filipino folklore from colonial influences. CBC

Thanks for visiting! I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!