Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Jan 16-22, 2022

It’s the last tipsday of January 2022. Get your informal writerly learnings to see you through the week.

Disha Walia is debunking myths about speculative fiction. Then, Ambre Dawn Leffler suggests you bring coziness to winter writing with hygge. Pamela Taylor shows you where to start with historical fiction. Then, Barb Geiger says, no really. Show. Don’t tell. DIY MFA

The pretty girl trope. The Take

Katey Schultz is getting off the hamster wheel. Then, Jan O’Hara shares what her pup taught her about writing. Dave King reveals how to learn to write. Then, Barbara Linn Probst is finding the path to authenticity. Porter Anderson explores the inevitable näiveté of the past. Writer Unboxed

10 tips for writing strong dialogue. Reedsy

Harrison Demchick explains the roles of causality and plot structure in literary fiction. Then, Jane shows you how to plan and host worthwhile online events. Jane Friedman

Ellen Brock explains how to write the status quo in your novel.

Lisa Hall-Wilson reveals how to use physical pain to show a character’s past trauma. Then, Michelle Barker shows you how self-editing can take your novel to the next stage. Writers Helping Writers

Is there any hope for the Netflix adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender? Hello, Future Me

Angela Ackerman says that if you want your characters to stand out, give them a skill. Then, Lynette M. Burrows shares the things she wishes she knew before she published (part 1). Jenny Hansen shares two aha-moments that boosted her writing confidence. Writers in the Storm

Erica Brozovsky asks, is swearing good for your brain? Otherwords | PBS Storied

Chris Winkle helps you outline a short story in seven steps. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains how Sanderson bungled culture in Way of Kings. Mythcreants

Dune: why do people even like this book? Tale Foundry

Kristen Lamb examines the relation between branding and attention: busy brains in a busy world.

Angie Hodapp discusses kishōtenketsu and non-western story structures. Pub Rants

The gaslit Disney Princess. The Take

Nina Munteanu: when we burn books

Natalie Zutter says that there are no heroes or villains in Station Eleven, just fans. Tor.com

Reeves Wiedeman delves into the mystery of the spine collector. Vulture

Thank you for visiting, and 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: Popping your mental corn, Jan 9-15, 2022

Happy Friday eve! Gear up for a weekend of creativity by getting your mental corn popping 🙂

Annabelle Timsit reports that Maya Angelou to become the first Black woman on a US quarter. The Washington Post

Leah Asmelash announces that a new Barbie honors journalist Ida B. Wells. CNN

Enzo Dimatteo reports that Ontario’s school reopening announcement turns into a gong show. Now Toronto

Moira Donovan reveals how two-eyed seeing mixes Indigenous knowledge with Western science in Nova Scotia. CBC

Kate Harding: have we forgotten how to read critically? Dame

Harley Rustad explains why tourists experience “India syndrome.” The Guardian

China’s forgotten warrior queen – Fu Hao. Xiran Jay Zhao

Bianca Marschke-Kunz tells the tale of the scholar and the king: Alcuin and Charlemagne. Medievalists.net

Can Moon colonies get oxygen from … the Moon? SciShow Space

Nadia Drake feels relief as NASA’s most powerful space telescope finishes risky unfolding. National Geographic

Jess Romeo shares the real science of the multiverse. JSTOR Daily

Thank you for stopping by, and 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, Jan 9-15, 2022

You’ve made it through Monday! Reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings. They’re good for your writerly soul 🙂

Sophie Masson offers her first impressions on book covers. Then, Jim Dempsey considers a fusion of fiction with fact. Juliet Marillier is finding hope in the power of storytelling. Kathryn Craft: determining relevant conflict, or … the curious case of the constipated elephant. Then, David Corbett ponders distraction, focus, silence. Writer Unboxed

Teenage girl makes chaotic life choices. Jill Bearup

Allison K. Williams explains how to get your writing done when New Year’s resolutions don’t work (and they usually don’t). Then, Kayla Kauffman warns, don’t let your characters fall into the daily routine trap. Sharon Oard Warner reveals what can happen when you resolve to write a little every day. Jane Friedman

External conflict vs. internal conflict. Reedsy

K.M. Weiland reflects on the six gifts she gave herself in 2021. Helping Writers Become Authors

Lisa Norman explains whether you’re languishing or flourishing how to recapture your writing mojo. Kathleen Baldwin: who are your readers and why does it matter? Then, Julie Glover wonders what you need to write regularly. Writers in the Storm

The Fates: Greek mythology’s most powerful deities. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Joanna Penn interviews William Kenower: a writer’s guide to the end of self-doubt. The Creative Penn

Sue Coletta explains how to kill your darlings: writers, get a knife. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford explains how to avoid overcorrecting after receiving feedback.

Why the Madonna-whore complex still reigns. The Take

Manuela Williams shares her must-read books on the craft of poetry. Then, Gabriela Pereira interviews Leslie Vedder about world building and character friendships in a YA fairy tale retelling. Jeanette the Writer explains how to balance fiction writing with writing for pay. Then, Soleah K. Sadge shares five ways a five-pillar foundation can help build your author brand. DIY MFA

The pandemic onscreen is … The Take

Chris Winkle explains how to keep your favourite character from ruining your story. Then, Oren Ashkenazi lists five ways Arcane could have been better. Mythcreants

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

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Jan 2-8, 2022

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

Jelani Cobb: justice for Ahmaud Arbery. The New Yorker

Vanessa Romo, Becky Sullivan, and Joe Hernandez report on the conviction of the officer responsible for Daunte Wright’s death. (Dec. 23, 2021) NPR

Brett Forester and Fraser Needham report that Canada and First Nations report details of $40 billion draft deals to settle child welfare claims. It’s the biggest settlement in Canadian history. This is what the Feds were doing when they appealed to the HRC last year. You’d think they’d just come out and say they were aiming to provide a bigger payout, no? APTN News

Ryan Patrick Jones: Ontario’s new pandemic strategy risks “out of control” transmission, epidemiologists warn. CBC

Sharon Guynup: can covid-19 change your personality? Here’s what the brain research shows. National Geographic

Gavin Francis says, “We need to respect the process of healing.” A GP comments on the overlooked process of recovery. The Guardian

Joe Palca: a Texas team comes up with a covid-19 vaccine that could be a global game-changer. NPR

Jodi McIsaac relates her fumbling attempt to reconnect with the child she gave away. The Globe and Mail

Your brain once had a superpower. Could you get it back? SciShow

Cal Newport says that it’s time to embrace slow productivity. We need fewer things to work on, starting now. The New Yorker

S. Mitra Kalita lists three New Year’s resolutions for employers right now. Charter Works

Lauren Grush reports that NASA successfully deploys complex sunshield on James Webb Space Telescope. The Verge

Sidney Perkowitz introduces eight women astronomers you should know. JSTOR Daily

Jonathan O’Callaghan: graphene loophole could provide “clean and limitless” energy in the future. ILFS

We’re drowning in plastic pollution. Can we actually fix it? Be Smart

Nicola Davis reports that dogs may be able to tell difference between speech patterns. The Guardian

Carol Mithers: the veterinarian brings his healing presence to pets of the unhoused. The Smithsonian Magazine

Thanks 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, Jan 2-8, 2022

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

LA Bourgeois explains why you should stop using the word “should.” Then, Jeanette the Writer wonders how much you should pay an editor? DIY MFA

Ellen Brock provides her writing guide for intuitive plotters. This one feels spot on for me 🙂

Greer Macallister expounds on your novel’s two beginnings. Only begin. Therese Walsh: recovery from (something that tastes an awful lot like) shame. Donald Maass: gods, monsters, and murderbots. Julie Duffy lists the five Fs you should give while writing. Beth Havey: the power of place. Writer Unboxed

Bad writing habits to drop in 2022. Reedsy

Karen DeBonis says that in medias res is a very good place to start your novel. Then, Joseph Lallo offers some advice about worldbuilding for sci-fi authors: terraforming. Lori Brown is embracing the mystery of deep POV. Writers in the Storm

Elizabeth Spann Craig talks about making mini-plans and mini-goals for the year.

Princess Weekes discusses the women of Jane Austen. It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Jane Friedman says that BookTok is a safe haven for young, female readers. Jane Friedman

Colleen M. Story shares four strategies to help writers focus in a world of distractions. Writers Helping Writers

Sympathy for the #pickmegirl The Take

Chris Winkle explains how writing instructors forgo the most vital fiction lesson. Oren Ashkenazi: Way of Kings shows us the damage meta-mysteries can do. Mythcreants

Guy Kawasaki interviews Julia Cameron, queen of change, creative inspiration, and prolific writer. The Remarkable People Podcast

Is Trinity the “real” one? The Take

Jami Attenberg: rejection gave me a fresh start, a new year. “Writing is holy, as my friend Patricia Lockwood says. It is true that it is hard to make it as a writer, or any kind of artist, for that matter. But if you love to write, you should write forever.” The Guardian

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

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Dec 26, 2021-Jan 1, 2022

We’re a bit short on the thoughty this week. What there is, is interesting, though. Get your mental corn popping. At least a little.

Maryn McKenna: covid will become endemic. The world must decide what that means. Wired

Nishita Jha: welcome to the jungle. On the Smithsonian’s #metoo moment. Buzzfeed

The real reason we’re all so busy (and what to do about it). Dorie Clark | TEDxBoston

The European Space Agency is opening a 50-year-old Christmas present from the moon. Phys.org

Louise Lerner: to find the very highest energy ghost particles in the universe, a new detector will soar over Antarctica. SciTech Daily

The most anticipated space missions of 2022. SciShow Space

Ayesha Rascoe: it’s not science fiction. Scientists have really made robots that reproduce. NPR

Becky Ferreira reports that cavers reach the bottom of an ancient “well of hell” for the first time. Vice

Andrew Curry reveals the immense mystery older than Stonehenge. BBC

Thanks 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, Dec 26, 2021-Jan 1, 2022

It’s the first tipsday of 2022! Posts generally decline over the holiday weeks, so it’s a bit of a slow start. Still, get your fill of informal writerly learnings, such as they are. We should be back on track next week.

Stephanie BwaBwa helps you set up your authorial calendar for success. Then, Olivia Fisher says, it’s time to be finished with your novel. Gabriela Pereira interviews Charlie Jane Anders about crafting a dynamic short story. Then, Disha Walia shares six psychologically-proven tricks to end procrastination. Finally, Heather Campbell shares five tips to build a consistent writing practice. DIY MFA

The best movies of 2021. Like Stories of Old

Kris Maze helps you build your author platform with these five social media trends for 2022. Then, all the regular contributors share their one word to guide their writing journeys in 2022. Writers in the Storm

Why Grey’s Anatomy’s Dr. McDreamy isn’t dreamy. The Take

Kristen Lamb offers a simple formula for the life you want.

Chuck Wendig offers his writer’s resolution for 2022: the necessary act of selfishly seeking joy. Terribleminds

Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five unnecessary world additions in popular stories. Mythcreants

A Tomorrow. Shane Koyczan

Jane Friedman provides this handy list of new publishers and agents in 2021. The Hot Sheet

Katy Waldman: what Lois Lowry remembers. The New Yorker

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

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

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Dec 19-25, 2021

It’s New Year’s Eve eve! Get your mental corn popping for the last time in 2021.

Joshua Adams: Martin Luther King Jr. did not dream about banning critical race theory. Color Lines

Alexander Quon: Ottawa announces $700K in funding to support Cowessess First Nation’s efforts at former residential school site. CBC

Aliyah Chavez: solstice is a time to reflect and replenish. While solstice was last Tuesday, I think the whole holiday season shares this theme. Indian Country Today

Britt Julious wonders, who are Christmas movies for? On diversity and gender equity in romantic holiday movies. Harper’s Bazaar

Do CIS boys just wanna have fun, too? Gender policing. Khadija Mbowe

Kim Fahner shares her experience with breakthrough covid on Morning North. And here’s the print version. She’s not brave and strong because she shared her story. She shared her story because she’s brave and strong. CBC

Monica Kidd reveals that the fear of losing freedom common thread behind vaccine hesitancy, according to cross-cultural survey. Healthy Debate

Krissy Holmes and Ramraajh Sharvendiran cover barriers to physician recruitment and employment in Newfoundland. CBC

Why do we dream? It’s okay to be smart

Guy Kawasaki interviews Catherine Price: author, speaker, and creator. The Remarkable People podcast

Christin Bohnke: the disappearance of Japan’s third gender. JSTOR Daily

Diana talks to Katie Mack about our expanding universe. Physics Girl

Neil deGrasse Tyson explains the James Webb Space Telescope. Star Talk

Watch the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (Christmas Day!). NASA Space Flight

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

I should be posting my December update and 2021 year in review post on the weekend.

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Dec 19-25, 2021

Ack! It’s the last tipsday of 2021! Where did the year go?

E.J. Wenstrom suggests three author platform resolutions for 2022. Then, Sara Farmer shares her favorite children’s mysteries (so far). J.L. Torres offers a masterclass in short fiction, voice, and opening lines. Then, Carol Van Den Hende considers five 2021 book cover trends. DIY MFA

Tim Hickson shares the seven stories that changed his life. Hello, Future Me

Lisa Norman lists nine keys to being media ready. Then, Ellen Buikema explains how to use sound to make your writing memorable. Writers in the Storm

Tom Scott walked into a bar … and then I threw him out a window. Jill Bearup

Vaughn Roycroft: joy to the (writerly) world! Then, Kelsey Allagood says, keep making art, even if the world is ending. Kasey LeBlanc explains how not to miss the forest for the trees: appreciating the long and winding writing road (and its many detours, pitfalls, and stumbles). Then, Erika Liodice shares the 3-2-1 rule for protecting your work in progress. Natalie Hart recommends you give the gift of a good book gush. Writer Unboxed

Dynamic vs. static characters, and why you need both. Reedsy

Susan DeFreitas wonders, what makes a story feel like a story? Jane Friedman

Chris Winkle shares lessons from the vague writing of The Remnant Chronicles. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five movies that audiences loved but critics hated. Mythcreants

Chuck Wendig offers his thoughts on The Matrix: Resurrections, or the conversations art has with itself. Terribleminds

Santa’s cruel fairy tale cousin, the demon of frost. Tale Foundry

Nina Munteanu explains why you should keep a journal.

Hua Hsu considers the revolutionary writing of bell hooks. The New Yorker

Emma Cline unpacks Joan Didion’s specific vision. The New Yorker

Toniann Fernandez: Jeremy O. Harris and Samuel Delaney in conversation. The Paris Review

Beginnings at the End of Love: Rebecca West’s Extraordinary Love Letter to H.G. Wells in the Wake of Heartbreak. The Marginalian

Julia Métraux wonders if Trinity’s the real hero of The Matrix. JSTOR Daily

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Dec 12-18, 2021

It’s time to gear up for the busy holiday weekend by getting your mental corn popping!

Nicquel Terry Ellis and Eva McKend: Black parents say movements to ban critical race theory is ruining their children’s education. CNN

Nylah Burton explains what we lose when we focus on whiteness in interracial relationships. Refinery 29

Gary Younge: what covid taught us about racism—and what we need to do now. The Guardian

Princess Weekes and Yhara Zayd celebrate Gabrielle Union (Gab the GOAT) and offer an F-U to colorism and tokenism. Melina Pendulum

Clara Pasieka: Popular N.W.T. tourist attraction becomes on-the-land healing camp. CBC

Dan Ninham: Boozhoo! Ojibwe-speaking puppets hit the airwaves. Indian Country Today

Dorothy Stewart interviews legendary Abenaki filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin: much more profound than hope. CBC

Sarah N. Lynch reports that abuse survivors reach $380 million settlement with USA Gymnastics. Reuters

Sudbury’s Laurentian University to get provincial bailout as members of board of governors resign. CBC

Three types of identity crisis (and how to deal with them). Like Stories of Old

Matthew Blackman: does law exist to provide moral order? JSTOR Daily

Diana explains what Schrödinger’s cat really means. Physics Girl

Sierra Garcia reports on the process of destroying “forever chemicals” for good. JSTOR Daily

Elisa Shoenberger says, go ahead, call your dog your “fur baby.” Science supports you. Slate

Thanks for visiting. I hope you found something to inspire a future creative project.

Merry Christmas, all!

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