Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Oct 3-9, 2021

The weekend is in sight! It’s time to pull your head out of work and get your mental corn popping 🙂

Kimberly Brown Pellum reveals how Maryrose Reeves Allen taught Black women’s self-care during Jim Crow. JSTOR Daily

Renée Lilley reports that residential school day scholars may be able to start claims process in December. Students who went home at night suffered the same abuses but weren’t included in the 2006 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. CBC

Literacy program launched for Indigenous elders, residential school, and day school survivors. CBC

Amar Chebib (film) and Dan Greene (text) present the story of how Cree skateboarding legend Joe Buffalo grapples with the trauma of Canada’s residential schools. The New Yorker

University of Sudbury transfers online Indigenous studies courses to Kenjgewin Teg. CBC

Joe can’t believe he’s making another Covid video. It’s okay to be smart

Lizzy Davies reports that the WHO endorses use of first malaria vaccine in Africa. The Guardian

True facts: the mosquito. Ze Frank

Key findings from the Pandora Papers. The Washington Post

Our first glimpse of the dark side of the moon. SciShow Space

Stuart Campbell, Elizabeth Healey, Yaroslav Kuzmin, and Michael D. Glascock reflect on John Dee’s obsidian mirror: the mirror, the magus, and more. Yes. An actual scholarly paper 🙂 Cambridge University Press

Guy Kawasaki interviews Olympia Yarger: entrepreneur and maggot evangelist. The Remarkable People podcast

Olivia Box: what does a tree see? On the importance of “witness” trees. JSTOR Daily

Robby Berman says, crows are self-aware, just like us. Big Think

Thank you 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: Informal writerly learnings, Oct 3-9, 2021

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers! It’s time to indulge in some informal writerly learnings. Enjoy!

K.M. Weiland presents the archetypal antagonists of the crone arc: death blight and tempter. Helping Writers Become Authors

Greer Macallister seeks success without self-promotion. Then Jeanne Kisacky is walking the line between insanity and perseverance. Donald Maass reveals the secret of passive protagonists: seeking vs. suffering. Nancy Johnson: the blessed curse of the second book. Then, David Corbett discusses the character in secret search of midnight. Writer Unboxed

Jill Bearup made armor. In a cave shed. From a box of scraps.

Karen DeBonis helps you navigate a story identity crisis. Then, Eldred Bird wonders, what (the heck) is a MacGuffin? Jenny Hansen: writing and the law of loss aversion. Writers in the Storm

Shaelin helps you edit your short story. Reedsy

Angela Ackerman says, if you want powerful conflict, you can’t forget the stakes. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Then, over on Jami Gold’s blog, Angela explains how to write conflict without “bad guys.”

Bethany Henry is making magic systems that work and wow. Fiction University

Why fat phobia is still a problem onscreen. The Take

E.J. Wenstrom presents book promotion graphics for newbies. Then, Sara Farmer looks at some modern girl detectives. Maan Gabriel shares hacks to combat writer’s block and develop discipline. Then, Jane Elizabeth Hughes offers five tips for writing a historical mystery. DIY MFA

Seth Harwood says, your writing matters; a coach can help. Jane Friedman

The Bond Girl, her secret, and her future. The Take

Chris Winkle explains how to keep mysteries from looking like mistakes. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories that break their worlds’ themes. Mythcreants

Lindsay Syhakhom: writing and the art of surrender. Nathan Bransford

Allison Flood celebrates Abdulrazak Gurnah’s 2021 Nobel Prize in literature win. The Guardian

Thanks 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: Popping your mental corn, Sept 26-Oct 2, 2021

Moar treats to get your mental corn popping.

Tim Arango and Shaila Dewan: more than half of police killings are mislabeled (and thus, uncounted), according to new study. The New York Times

Can we ever stop obsessing over race? Khadija Mbowe

Anastasia Tsioulcas reports that R. Kelly found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking. NPR

Emma Farge and Hereward Holland reveal that WHO employees took part in Congo sex abuse during Ebola crisis. Et, tu, WHO? Reuters

Roberta Hill explains how she survived residential school. Toronto Life

Juanita Taylor reveals how the Inuit practice of Kakiniit is etched on the skin. CBC

Endangered Tlingit language has only a few hundred speakers. Mariella Wentzell is out to change that. CBC

Akiko Busch: the invisibility of older women. The Atlantic

Amy Davidson Sorkin explores the supply-chain mystery. The New Yorker

Danny Westneat is wondering why society went off-kilter during the pandemic. Apparently, there’s a book about it. Published in 2019. The Seattle Times

Cal Newport talks to Chris Herd: is going back to the office a broken way of working? The New Yorker

Totten Mine update: 35 trapped miners safe after rescue; 4 more on long trek out of mine. The Sudbury Star

Creating a template for habitable exoplanets. SciShow

Alexandra Larkin: Hubble discovers six mysteriously dead, massive galaxies from early universe. CBS News

Michelle Gamage and Zoe Yunker report that judge ends Fairy Creek injunction in a bombshell decision. The fight to protect old growth continues. The Tyee

On Ecological Disconnect, Climate Despair, and Our Changing Relation to “Nature.” Like Stories of Old

Angela Dewan: Greta Thunberg roasts world leaders for their “blah, blah, blah” on climate change. CNN

Simon Hattenstone documents the transformation of Greta Thunberg. The Guardian

Sierra Garcia: climate change and the criminal justice system. JSTOR Daily

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

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Sept 26-Oct 2, 2021

Welcome to October, my favourite month of the year 🙂 It’s all informal writerly learning treats and no tricks, all month long.

Erika Liodice explores the creative connection between travel and writing. Then, Robin LaFevers is navigating self-doubt. Jennie Nash recommends seven business books every writer should read. Then, Julie Carrick Dalton advises you about knowing when NOT to write. Deanna Cabinian examines the time vs. productivity paradox. Writer Unboxed

Kristen Lamb shares five simple ways to finish a book by making (not finding) time. Then, Cait Reynolds wonders, is podcasting the new blog? Kristen Lamb

Tim Hickson talks soft worldbuilding. Hello, Future Me

K.M. Weiland introduces us to the archetypal antagonists for the king arc: cataclysm and rebel. Helping Writers Become Authors

Susan DeFreitas: can fiction make a difference in the world? Jane wonders whether Black voices in publishing is a trend or a movement. Then, Jane considers what authors earn from digital lending at libraries. Jane Friedman

Shaelin helps you draft a short story. Reedsy

Following up on her last instalment on planting bugs, Piper Bayard explains how to find bugs (writing spies). Then, Kris Maze compares pros and cons of using Scrivener and Plottr for outlining. Writers in the Storm

Elizabeth Spann Craig looks at the pros and cons of outlining.

Death worms: fact or fiction? Monstrum | PBS Storied

Joanna Penn and Mark Leslie Lefebvre discuss co-authoring The Relaxed Writer. The Creative Penn

Nathan Bransford explains when to get feedback on your novel. Then, Shalene Gupta reveals how to make and keep writer friends. Nathan Bransford

Richelle Lyn is challenging a genre identity crisis. Then, T.J. Torres offers some advice for committed BIPOC writers. DIY MFA

The “white trash” trope and its hidden agenda. The Take

Sofia Jeppsson clears up seven misconceptions about madness and psychosis. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five movies critics loved but audiences hated. Mythcreants

Richard Marpole says that you’re writing medieval fantasy wrong. Fantasy Faction

Kristin Nelson reveals the connection between velocity, volume, interval, and the New York Times Bestseller List. Then, Angie Hodapp reveals that genre isn’t everything and high concept isn’t king. Pub Rants

How to tell she’s definitely not a Mary Sue. The Take

All the LOLs: the hilarious dictionary of Finnish language and culture. Design You Trust

Allison Flood announces that Laura Jean McKay wins the Arthur C. Clarke Award. The Guardian

Thank you for taking the time to visit, 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, Sept 19-25, 2021

It’s Truth and Reconciliation Day in Canada! Here’s how you can participate. Afterward, get your mental corn popping with any or all of the following:

Jessica Nordell explains why some people get dangerously different health care: the bias that blinds. The Guardian

Janelle Harris Dixon: when a Black woman disappears, who’s trying to find her? Zora

Kelsey Vlamis reports that 710 Indigenous people, mostly girls, were reported missing in Wyoming, the same state where Gabby Petito disappeared. Insider

London’s first Indigenous-led family centre with language and culture at its core gears up for official opening. CBC

George Monbiot is shocked to see so many leftwingers lured to the far right by conspiracy theories. The Guardian

Nick Boisvert: Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig returned to Canada after being detained in China for almost three years. CBC

Erica Pandey: the pandemic made our work weeks longer. Beware burnout, people! Axios

Justin Bachman reports that SpaceX’s Inspiration4 flight touches down off Florida coast. Bloomberg

Was the big bang a white hole? Dr. Becky

Bill Gourgey presents the Brilliant 10: the most innovative, up-and-coming minds in science. Popular Science

Micha Hiugen: file not found (or, how digital natives don’t understand information management and architecture). The Verge

Sonia Fernandez cites evidence that a cosmic impact destroyed ancient city in the Jordan Valley. Phys.org

Dr. Kevin Dann: the spiralist. ‘Cause spirals! Public Domain Review

Joe Fassler reports that lab-grown meat is supposed to be inevitable, but the science tells a different story. Long, but worthwhile. Like many new, potentially climate saving technologies, the real costs aren’t apparent, but we can’t solve those problems unless further research is done. The Counter

This simple code is behind nature’s most complex patterns. It’s okay to be smart

Danny Funt says that pets can help fight climate change with an insect-based diet. Their owners just need to come around to the idea. The Washington Post

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

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

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

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

September’s almost over (!) Not keen on how time warps these days. In any case, another week has passed and here’s another batch of informal writerly learnings 🙂 Enjoy!

Lauren J. Sharkey is fighting imposter syndrome: faker. Then, Adam W. Burgess explains why LGBTQ+ fiction writers need to read LGBTQ+ history. Tammy Pasterick is writing about the immigrant experience. Then, Heather Campbell lists five things she wished she knew about writing a novel. DIY MFA

Shaelin shows you how to conceptualize a short story. Reedsy

Vaughn Roycroft: a writer’s senses working overtime. Then, Dave King is world building through architecture. Alma Katsu: what to expect when your novel is reissued. Then, Heather Webb gives us the 411 on writing retreats. Liz Michalski: space and shadows. Then, Desmond Hall drops some more writing wisdom on us. Bite-sized writerly learnings #FTW! Writer Unboxed

On her own channel, Shaelin shares everything you need to know about writing workshops. Shaelin Writes

K.M. Weiland presents the archetypal antagonists for the queen arc. Helping Writers Become Authors

Lisa Norman lists five reasons tech can’t replace editors. Then, Lisa Hall-Wilson offers her best pro tip for writing deep POV. Ellen Buikema shares five things kids taught her about writing. Writers in the Storm

Erica Brozovsky shares 60 euphemisms for death. Otherwords | PBS Storied

How much do I need to describe my character’s appearance? Lucy V. Hay has answers. Then, Becca Puglisi says, if you need compelling conflict, choose a variety. Writers Helping Writers

Tiffany Watson explains how to format your manuscript for a designer or publisher. Then, Allison K. Williams explains what it takes to be a freelance editor. Jane Friedman

Why do people think Huck Finn is racist? It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Kristine Kathryn Rusch: comparison is the thief of joy.

Lindsay Syhakhom explains how to protect your manuscript from computer meltdowns and hackers. Nathan Bransford

Love, according to Studio Ghibli. The Take

Chris Winkle shows you how to create an elemental magic system. Oren Ashkenazi: how useful are Neil Gaiman’s eight rules of writing? Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb tackles brave new writing and learning to think outside the book.

Jason Asenap: Reservation Dogs is just the beginning of an Indigenous storytelling explosion. Esquire

Monisha Rajesh: pointing out racism in books is not an attack—it’s a call for industry reform. The Guardian

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, Sept 12-18, 2021

Welcome to fall! It’s thoughty Thursday, your opportunity to get your mental corn popping in time for the weekend!

Jelani Cobb: the man behind critical race theory. The New Yorker

Matt Lavietes reports that the Department of Justice limits use of chokeholds and no-knock warrants. Axios

Patty Nieberg: police in Elijah McClain’s hometown racially biased, officials say. Associated Press

Alysia Harris: “We have to evaluate the motives of health care institutions.” Scalawag

Curtis Bunn: digital records from 19th century give Black families a glimpse of their ancestry. NBC News

Ashawnta Jackson explains how Eyes on the Prize, one of the most influential historical documentaries of all time, almost didn’t get made. JSTOR Daily

Sagamok Anishnawbek, Mississauga, and Serpent River First Nations to host ceremony before searching residential school site. CBC

Kelly Hayes reports that Line 3 resisters light the way in a battle for life on Earth. TruthOut

Lindsey Bark reports that Lawrence Panther teaches first Cherokee language class at University of Arkansas. Cherokee Phoenix

Leila Fadel: for many American Muslims, the legacy of 9/11 is the fight for civil rights. NPR

1,000 Dreams shares the stories of refugees. Compelling.

Livia Gershon: evading abortion bans with mutual aid. JSTOR Daily

Brian Naylor: Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, and Maggie Nichols blast the FBI’s mishandling of their allegations about Larry Nassar. NPR

Joe Friessen and Molly Hayes: Western University reels as student dies from assault; social media sparks investigation into sexual violence. The Globe and Mail

Avis Favaro, Elizabeth St. Philip, and Alexandra Mae Jones take us inside an Ontario ICU where all the covid-19 patients are largely young, and all unvaccinated. CTV News

Guy Kawasaki interviews Juliet Funt (daughter of Alan, of Candid Camera fame) about how you can really be productive at work (spoiler: it’s not do more with less). The Remarkable People Podcast

The entire SpaceX Inspiration4 launch. The exciting part is in the last 30 minutes or so, but if you have the time, the commentary throughout is fascinating. NASA Spaceflight

Frank Jacobs: did dark magic conjure up the British Empire? Big Think

Alice Albina reviews history from Boudicca to modern Britain: the dream of island utopias ruled by women. The Guardian

Olivia Box explains how wind energy could affect marine ecosystems. JSTOR Daily

Jessica Steward shares Albert Dros’ enchanting photos of Madeira’s ancient Fanal Forest filled with 500-year-old trees. My Modern Met

The mystery of Earth’s disappearing giants. In our nature | It’s okay to be smart

Thank you for visiting, 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, Sept 12-18, 2021

It’s tipsday! That means you’ve made it through Monday 🙂 Celebrate with some informal writerly learnings.

Sophie Masson is cooking up great book buzz. Then, Jim Dempsey explains how to tap into your characters’ emotions. Barbara Linn Probst wants you to go beyond description with story-relevant aspects of setting. Then, Matthew Norman shares the best writing advice he’s ever gotten. Kelsey Allagood says, active protagonists are tools of the patriarchy. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland looks at the archetypal antagonists for the hero arc: the dragon and the sick king. Helping Writers Become Authors

Shang Chi: I can see clearly now … Jill Bearup

Jennie Nash asks, why write this book? Then, Anna David explains why and how she got her rights back from HarperCollins. Jane Friedman

Eldred Bird: everything has a story. Then, Piper Bayard explains how to bug a room (writing spies). Jenny Hansen: what if my [insert person] reads this? Writers in the Storm

John Kerr lists five story structures to use in your writing. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Kellie Doherty introduces us to some autumn deities. Fantasy Faction

How do we criticize our own? (Also, stop calling Lizzo a mammy.) Melina Pendulum

Jami Gold: if your story’s not behaving, try going deeper into structure. Then, Christina Kaye lists the three things you should consider before choosing your fiction genre. Writers Helping Writers

Olivia Fisher recounts her long road to becoming a freelance editor, part 1. And here’s my latest Speculations: one author’s journey on the autism spectrum. Sonia Hartl explains the importance of friendships in YA. Then, Kanh Ha shares five tips on writing fiction. DIY MFA

The Oedipus Complex: Film and TV’s Freudian obsession. The Take

Kristen Lamb considers types of plot twists and why they’re amazing for stories.

Christine Pride explains how a book goes from acquisitions to books store shelves. Nathan Bransford

Chris Winkle explains why you shouldn’t write a masterpiece. Then, Oren Ashkenazi scores WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki on engagement. Mythcreants

Susanna Clarke: I’d really ceased to think of myself as a writer. The Guardian

5X15 presents Neil Gaiman and Susanna Clarke.

Beth Cato: shared pain. Nature

James Whitbrook: Marvel’s Eternals star, Lauren Ridloff, wants movie theatres to be more accessible for everyone. Gizmodo

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

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Sept 5-11, 2021

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

K.M. Weiland delves into the archetypal antagonists of the maiden: the authority and the predator. Helping Writers Become Authors

Penny C. Sansevieri provides a checklist for in-person book events. Then, Colleen M. Story wants you to cure your internal frustrated writer. Julie Glover reveals the social side of social media for writers. Writers in the Storm

Carol Van Den Hende lists three criteria for effective author posts on LinkedIn. Then, Amy Ayres provides a history of humor writing. Gabriela Pereira interviews Finola Austin about historical fiction, the Brönte family, and the original Mrs. Robinson. Then, Julie Broad lists five ways to make “no” work for you. DIY MFA

Was James Bond a swashbuckler? Jill Bearup

Sarah Penner explains who’s who in your publishing village. Then, Juliet Marillier is writing female characters in historical fantasy. Kathryn Craft presents seven ways to add an undercurrent of tension. Then, David Corbett wonders, will there be a Dr. Strangelove for the war on terror? Writer Unboxed

James Scott Bell says that if you want success, get back to joyous writing. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford: don’t be too easy on your characters. Then, Lindsay Syhakhom explains how to stop writing a novel. Nathan Bransford

Khadija Mbowe analyzes Gossip Girl and the possessive investment in beige.

Barbara Linn Probst is choosing a publicist (again): assessing your changing needs. Jane Friedman

Chris Winkle wonders, which descriptive details are excessive to readers? Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb shares three simple ways to hook readers into your series.

The myth of post-feminism. The Take

Bristol manuscript fragments of the famous Merlin legend among the oldest of their kind. Phys.org

Lauren Sarner interviews Reservation Dogs star Devery Jacobs: Indigenous stories in Hollywood are long overdue. New York Post

11-year-old from Victoria publishes Kwakʼwala language book following UNESCO competition win. CBC

33 Canadian books coming out in September we can’t wait to read. CBC Books

Thank you for taking the time to stop by. 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, Aug 29-Sept 4, 2021

Welcome to thoughty Thursday, your chance to get your mental corn popping in time for the weekend!

Eric Levenson and Stella Chan report that grand jury indicts police officers and paramedics in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain. CNN

Mohammed Elnaiem: what is critical race theory? JSTOR Daily

Khadija Mbowe: who benefits from all this outrage and division?

Hannah Kost: pipe ceremony held at Calgary City Hall to start planning a permanent residential school memorial. CBC

Adam Edelman reports that the Supreme Court declines to block Texas’ restrictive abortion law, dealing a blow to Roe vs. Wade. NBC News

Karen Gallardo: on the front lines, this is what the seven stages of severe covid-19 look like. Los Angeles Times

Denis Constantineau: Laurentian has lost trust of Francophone community. The Sudbury Star

Joe Hernandez provides the latest updates on Ida, the hurricane thrashing the Gulf Coast. NPR

How mirrors could solve our energy problem. Physics Girl

Paola Rosa-Aquino: floating wind turbines could open up vast ocean tracts for renewable power. The Guardian

Christine Rankin: two Canadians win gold and break records at the Paralympic games. CBC

Extreme senses. In our nature | It’s okay to be smart

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you took away something to inspire or inform a future creative project.

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