Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, June 26-July 2, 2022

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings. And so it goes …

Vaughn Roycroft is living an artist’s life with lessons from Kate Bush. Then, Erika Liodice is finding inspiration in unexpected places. Tessa Barbosa shares some easy tricks for crafting memorable characters. Then, Sarah Callender is writing (and living) in the midst of fear. Barbara O’Neal considers the practice. Writer Unboxed

Tim fixes Legend of Korra season 2. Hello, Future Me

K.M. Weiland offers eight ways to avoid cardboard characters and plot contrivances. Helping Writers Become Authors

Susan DeFreitas explains how (and how not) to write queer characters: a primer. Then, Tiffany Yates Martin reveals how to improve your storytelling by studying other people’s. Jane Friedman

That … could have gone better? (Analysis of Luke vs. Vader in Empire Strikes Back.) Jill Bearup

Kris Maze says re-gear your writing career—take risks to revitalize. Then, Jenny Hansen shares Kurt Vonnegut’s ten tips for successful writing. L.A. Mitchell is opening the top-secret client vault on ghostwriting (and how you can find your first). Writers in the Storm

Teresa Conner shares three design secrets for captivating book adds. Hyacinthe M. Miller helps you avoid writing stereotypes of people of color. Writers Helping Writers

Death by misadventure—Passing and the nature of identity. Princess Weekes

LA Bourgeois is battling the guilt monster. Then, F.E. Choe offers a few, humble thoughts on voice. Michael Bourne lists five ways to turn your setting into a fully realized character. DIY MFA

Tiffany Yates Martin points out the main writing skill you may be neglecting. Fox Print Editorial

Moiya McTier—Trickster gods and the mortals who love them. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Chuck Wendig says sometimes writing is finding a place to put all your rage, sorrow, and even joy. Terribleminds

Chris Winkle explains how to write a first-person retelling. Then, Oren Ashkenazi reveals the myth of conflict-free story structures. Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb: writing to formula vs. formulaic writing.

Thank you for visiting with me 🙂 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, June 19-25, 2022

It’s the last thoughty Thursday of June! Early happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends and early happy Independence Day to my friends south of the border.

Mon M: the Uvalde shooting is just the latest example of why we need abolition. Prism

Jia Tolentino says America’s not going back to the time before Roe. We’re going somewhere worse. The New Yorker

Vanessa Taylor explains why Muslim teens love surveillance memes. Teen Vogue

Max Hunder and Tom Balmforth: Ukraine to withdraw from Sievierodonetsk as Russia closes in. Reuters

Laurentian gets court approval to sell the Art Gallery of Sudbury. They haven’t said what they’re doing with the art collection. Yet. CBC

Frances Solá-Santiago wonders what’s really behind TikTok’s “weird girl aesthetic”? Refinery 29

Why you can’t smell yourself (and other ways your senses lie to you). Be Smart

Clark Quinn is all about reality checks. Learnlets

Danielle D. King and Megan R. McSpedon explain what leaders get wrong about resilience. Harvard Business Review

Guy Kawasaki interviews Gloria Romero, former senator, author, and feminist. The Remarkable People Podcast

Rina Torchinsky says, get your binoculars: five planets are lined up nicely for you to see at dawn this month. NPR

“Do fabulous science”: Jane Rigby. SciShow Space

Robert Lea: fastest nova ever seen “rings” like a bell thanks to feeding white dwarf. Space.com

Nina Lakhani introduces us to the farmers restoring Hawaii’s ancient food forests that once fed an island. The Guardian

Olivia Box spotlights improving communications around climate change. JSTOR Daily

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

This weekend, I hope to post my June next chapter update (we’ll see how that works out).

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, June 19-25, 2022

Welcome to the final tipsday of June! Fill up on informal writerly learnings for the last time this month.

Sara Farmer lists more of her favourite Sherlock Holmsian mystery series. Then, Abigail K. Perry analyzes the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Angela Yeh explains why all writers should play with poetry. Then Angela unlocks writer’s block sideways. Later in the week, Lewis Jorstad lists five reasons your novel’s premise is a powerful writing tool. DIY MFA

Nathan Bransford provides a novel revision checklist.

How to write a non-fiction book proposal. Reedsy

Matthew Norman explains how his career in advertising helped shape him as a novelist. Dave King: when worlds collide. Kelsey Allagood wants you to let your words grow wild. Then, Deanna Cabinian wonders, when is obsession a good thing? Victoria Strauss warn about the predatory contracts of serial reading/writing apps. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland helps you understand the new normal world of a story’s resolution. Helping Writers Become Authors

Erica Brosovsky suggests some foreign words we need in English. Otherwords | PBS Storied

Lisa Norman explains why you want people to hate your website. Then, Megan Ganesh promotes diversity and inclusion in writing. Eldred Bird says Chekov’s gun is a double-edged writing sword. Writers in the Storm

Nina Amir reveals how to quickly develop a writing habit. Live, Write, Thrive

Elizabeth Spann Craig points out yet another use for outlines.

Allison K. Williams reveals why agents don’t give feedback—and where to get it instead. Jane Friedman

The curse of creativity. Tale Foundry

Becca Puglisi wants you to go beyond the superficial character talents and skills. Jami Gold

Cheryl Rainfield helps you avoid writing mental health stereotypes. Writers Helping Writers

Tiffany Yates Martin asks, are you writing safe or risking your readers? Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle explains how to make your character novel. Then, Oren Ashkenazi says that the three-act structure is a mirage. (!) Very insightful and something that’s been bothering me about most story “structures.” Mythcreants

Workplace dystopias aren’t fiction. They’re here. The Take

Angie Hodapp talks rhetorical story development. Then, Kristin Nelson asks, can a writer set out to write a bestselling novel? Pub Rants

Kristen Lamb explains why we play “follow the reader.”

Terry Nguyen says we need rituals, not routines. Vox

Cassie Josephs: Murderbot is an autistic-coded robot done right. Did I not nail this in my last next chapter update? Oh, yeah. I did. Tor.com

Thank you for spending some time with me. 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, June 12-18, 2022

It’s thoughty Thursday, and you know what that means. It’s time to get your mental corn popping!

Guy Kawasaki interviews John Biewen, author, journalist, and documentarian, about the origins of racism. The Remarkable People Podcast

Jon talks with Isabel Wilkerson about white resentment. The Problem with Jon Stewart

Jazmin Graves Eyssallenne introduces us to Mumbai, where Indian Ocean diasporas and cosmopolitanisms meet. JSTOR Daily

Hans van der Burchard, Clea Caulcutt, Christopher Miller, and Jules Darmanin: Germany, France, and Italy back EU candidate status for Ukraine. Politico

Danica Kirka: UK cancels first flight deporting asylum-seekers to Rwanda. Associated Press

Marie Woolf reports that the “Whiskey War” between Canada and Denmark over tiny arctic island ends peacefully with deal. CTV News

Cameron Mclean reports that retired priest, 92, charged after decade-long investigation into residential school sexual assault. CBC

Peggy Lam reveals that specialized clinics to treat long covid are in demand, and physicians say they can’t keep up. CBC

Jessica Stilllman suggests you try this magic two-minute, research-backed trick for a better night’s sleep. Inc.

Romano Santos wonders, are you sleeping properly? Vice

Emily Graslie explains how shoulders took over the world. SciShow

Jessica Thiefels shares everything you need to be happier, according to science. Fast Company

Clark Quinn: critical instructional design (ID)/learning experience design (LXD) differences? Learnlets

Rachel Triesman advises the best way to was the Strawberry Full Moon (on June 14th). NPR

Marcia Dunn reports that NASA launches study of UFOs despite “reputational risk.” Associated Press

Diana introduces us to a new phase of matter: 4th dimensional time crystals. Physics Girl

Olivia Box: turf algae and kelp forests. JSTOR Daily

Katie Hunt explains why cats go crazy for catnip. CNN

Thank you for spending some time with me. 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, June 12-18, 2022

Welcome to tipsday, you’re opportunity to get your fill of informal writerly learnings. Enjoy!

K.M. Weiland helps you understand the underworld of a story’s third act. Helping Writers Become Authors

Ann Marie Nieves: book promotion and marketing questions answered, part VIII. Lisa Janice Cohen recommends a writer’s buddy system. Then, Barbara Linn Probst is walking back to “what do I really want?” AKA the miracle question. Julie Carrick Dalton is seeking the existential, the intimate, and the urgent: essays that model masterful storytelling. Writer Unboxed

Tim Hickson says show don’t tell (is a lie). Hello, Future Me

Ellen Buikema wants you to write a compelling first line. Then, Lynette M. Burrows helps you create compelling scenes with the motivation-reaction unit (MRU). Lori Freeland: to comma or not to comma (part 4). Writers in the Storm

Jodé Millman issues a call to arms against banning books. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Jill Bearup explains how to fight in Versace.

Becca Puglisi helps you avoid writing stereotypes of religious figures. Jami Gold: “They’re all gonna die!” Wait. Why does that matter? Writers Helping Writers

Over on her own blog, Jami follows up with this post: what gives our stories meaning?

Nathan Bransford explains how to write a synopsis for your novel.

Shaelin explains how to submit to literary magazines. Reedsy

Ambre Dawn Leffler suggests three small steps to get your writing back on track. Then, Marina Barakatt introduces us to the comic Shutter. Linda Murphy Marshall offers five words of encouragement for writers. Then, Mary Adkins explains how to use the enneagram to create fictional characters. DIY MFA

Kristen Lamb considers neurodivergence: being different in life and fiction.

Emily Zarka and Josef Lorenzo uncover UFOs and alien abductions. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Tiffany Yates Martin wonders, are you paying attention to your progress? Fox Print Editorial

Jane provides a step-by-step walk-through of Amazon Ads for beginning authors. Jane Friedman

Chris Winkle explains how to make your character selfless. Then, Oren Ashkenazi pits Andy Weir against himself in a three-way competition: The Martian vs. Artemis vs. Project Hail Mary. Mythcreants

Shaelin suggests questions to ask while you’re revising. Shaelin Writes

Thanks for stopping by, 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, June 5-11, 2022

Happy Friday eve! Prepare yourself for the final push to the weekend by getting your mental corn popping!

John Flesher and Ed White report that Michigan officer charged with murder in Patrick Lyoya shooting. Associated Press

Livia Gershon reveals the unbearable middle passage. On the melancholy of the enslaved. JSTOR Daily

Billy McEntee lists 15 essential plays, books, and movies for understanding the history or queer liberation. them

Lexi McMenamin: the Johnny Depp Amber Heard verdict doesn’t matter after the internet made a spectacle of abuse. Teen Vogue

Dareh Gregorian and Kaitlyn Francis report on Uvalde native Matthew McConaughey’s plea for gun control: “Make these lives matter.” NBC News

Muizz Akhtar wonders what would it mean to treat guns the way we treat cars? Vox

Arash Javanbakht explains how mass shootings affect our brains, even if we aren’t directly harmed. Fast Company

Dave Davies: historian Carol Anderson uncovers the racist roots of the 2nd amendment. NPR

John Leicester reports that Russia hits Kyiv with missiles; Putin warns West on arms. Associated Press

Matthew Wills recounts the long history of same-sex marriage. JSTOR Daily

Harmeet Kaur announces that a newly issued US quarter celebrates Cherokee leader Wilma Mankiller. CNN

Ashley Andreou considers antifatness in the surgical setting. Scientific American

Is that a cold or are your organs flipped? SciShow

Adela Suliman and Ellen Francis: “needle spiking” fears rise in Europe, but crime is “really difficult” to trace. The Washington Post

Shauneen Miranda reports that the EU will soon require all cell phones to have the same charging port. NPR

Peter Keating: the Stanford lab startup that found a constructive way to capture carbon. Inc.

Adam Vaughan: climate change means people are losing 44 hours of sleep a year. New Scientist

Kieran Mulvaney reveals that humpback whales face major setback from climate change. National Geographic

Livia Gershon explains how street dogs spend their days. JSTOR Daily

Thank for spending some time with me. 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, June 5-11, 2022

Monday’s in the rear-view and we’re one day closer to the weekend! Celebrate with some informal writerly learnings.

K.M. Weiland helps us understand the adventure world of a story’s second act. Helping Writers Become Authors

Richelle Lyn explains how to build an online portfolio. Kris Hill: doom, hope, and ten candles. Manuela Williams wonders, what is confessional poetry? Then Ashley Christiano returns with part 2 of her tarot for storytellers series: from tarot spread to novel outline. DIY MFA

Start writing your book. Reedsy

Louise Harnby explains how to use parentheses (round brackets) to convey simultaneity in fiction.

Beth Harvey considers the lure of literary symbolism. Then, Tiffany Yates Martin explains how tension and microtension keep your readers hooked. Kathleen McCleary walks the Camino as a creative reset. Then, Kathryn Craft wonders whether to challenge or concede to copy edits. David Corbett is weaving a life: the three levels of dramatic action. Writer Unboxed

Shaelin explains how she got her literary agent. Shaelin Writes

Penny C. Sansevieri shares four ways non-fiction authors can succeed in the “age of free.” Then, Colleen M. Story shares her top seven places to find people to write great blurbs. Piper Bayard helps you write believable driveway crime: carjacking and kidnapping. Writers in the Storm

Meghan Harvey wonders, is hybrid publishing ethical? Then, Kris Spisak says that if you’re looking for beta readers, turn the question around. Jane Friedman

How ancient mythologies defy the gender binary. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Elizabeth Spann Craig defines who we’re writing for.

The war genre: honor and dishonor in pro-war, anti-war, and kinship stories. The society genre: stories of power and impotence. The status genre: stories of success and failure. Story Grid

Lisa Poisso offers three ways to infuse character voice. Then, Drew Hubbard helps you avoid writing LGBTQ+ stereotypes. Writers Helping Writers

This story is about rabbits, but it will still change your life. Tale Foundry

Nathan Bransford wants you to avoid aimless stage direction.

Tiffany Yates Martin reveals the best character tool you may not be using. Fox Print Editorial

The brainy brunette trope. The Take

Kristen Lamb explains why mastery should matter to authors.

Chris Winkle explains how to make your character sympathetic. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes six important story elements introduced too late. Mythcreants

Danielle Daniel draws on her ancestors’ past in debut novel Daughter of the Deer. CBC’s “the Next Chapter” with Shelagh Rogers

Thank you for taking the time to stop by, and I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress (whatever stage it’s at).

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, May 29-June 4, 2022

It’s time to get your mental corn popping!

Kelly Hayes: hope is not a given. We must cultivate it together. Truthout

Patrick Washington says that white supremacy is America’s love language. Word in Black

Ashawnta Jackson explains how Black radio changed the dial. JSTOR Daily

Ali Breland unpacks mass shootings and our never ending doomcycle. Mother Jones

A message from the Future II: The Years of Repair. The Intercept

100 days of war in Ukraine: a timeline. France 24

Andrea Woo and Marcus Gee report that BC to decriminalize possession of small amounts of “hard” drugs, like cocaine, fentanyl, and heroine. The Globe and Mail

Guy Kawasaki interviews Jennifer Kerns about women’s rights. The Remarkable People Podcast

Janice Gassam Asare interviews Dr. Raquel Martin talks race-related stress and why burnout must be treated as a systemic issue. Forbes

The euphoria of Elliot Page. Esquire

Ina Fried predicts the future of the office could look like a Starbucks. Axios

Douglas Perry: clinging to an 8-hour workday? Research suggests 5 hours is better. The Seattle Times

Clark Quinn recommends that instead of asking what’s in it for me, ask, what’s in it for them? Learnlets

Forgetting doesn’t reverse the learning process. Neuroscience News

Livia Gershon: scientific seances in twentieth-century Iran. JSTOR Daily

The absurd search for dark matter. Veritasium

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne reports that a new law unchains fusion energy. Phys.org

Princeton University reveals that electrons in a crystal found to exhibit linked and knotted quantum twists. Phys.org

This machine makes hurricanes! Be Smart

Olivia Box considers the imperiled inland sea. JSTOR Daily

Craig Welch: will the oldest tree on Earth survive climate change? National Geographic

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, May 29-June 4, 2022

It’s tipsday! You know what that means. It’s time to get your fill of informal writerly learnings 🙂

LA Bourgeois: victory celebration required. Jeanette the Writer explains the difference between writing and editing. Then, Lori Walker interviews Rebecca Scherm about writing the near future: climate change and big tech. Carol Van Den Hende lists three benefits to speaking at industry conferences. Later in the week, Angela Yeh shares five ways to develop a creative ritual you’ll want to keep. DIY MFA

Fight me! Jill Bearup

K.M. Weiland: understanding the normal world of a story’s first act. Helping Writers Become Authors

Tom Bentley: this pretty much (book) covers it. Kasey LeBlanc provides some tools to help you on your querying journey. Donald Maass: your microcosm, our world. Grace Wynter interviews Mel Todd about going from fanfiction to $150K. Then, Liza Nash Taylor triple-dog dares you to make a pass: revising your draft. Writer Unboxed

Shaelin reacts to writing advice from Twitter. Reedsy

Eldred Bird says that if you’re going mobile, you need a mobile media kit. Then, Janice Hardy shares ten ways to un-stick your novel. James Preston wonders who’s in charge of your story? Writers in the Storm

Becca Puglisi wonders, is compassion fatigue is relevant to your characters? Then, Lucy V. Hay helps you avoid writing stereotyped female characters. Writers Helping Writers

Mapinguari: fearsome beast and protector of the rainforest.  Monstrum | PBS Storied

The horror genre: stories of life and damnation against uncanny, supernatural, and ambiguous monsters. The thriller genre is a blend of action, crime, and horror stories. Story Grid

Kristen Lamb suggests writing fast and furious to outrun Spock brain.

Nathan Bransford explains how to utilize exposition and context in a novel.

Closeted bullies are all over our screens. How real is this trope? The Take

Barbara Linn Probst tells you what to remember, do, avoid, and expect when getting book endorsements (blurbs). Jane Friedman

Chris Winkle explains how to create moral dilemmas that are actually moral. The, Oren Ashkenazi points out the difference between relatable and mediocre heroes. Mythcreants

Ten kids’ books by Canadian Asian authors to read in honour of Asian Heritage Month. CBC Books

David A. Robertson curates this list of 48 books by Indigenous writers to read about and understand residential schools. CBC Books

Emily Pullen recommends new LGBTQ fiction for Pride 2022. The New York Public Library

Thanks for stopping by. 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, May 22-28, 2022

Welcome June, the unofficial beginning of summer (the solstice is only three weeks away …)! Celebrate by getting you mental corn popping 🙂

Brett Samuels reports that Biden to sign policing order on second anniversary of George Floyd’s death. The Hill

Anthony Conwright explains the trouble with white fragility discourse. African American Policy Forum

Seth Freed Wessler reports that Erin Edwards warned that a new grain elevator would disrupt sacred Black history. Her employer deleted her findings. ProPublica

Barbara Ransby: Black feminism insists that we not take the attack on “Roe” as an isolated issue. Truthout

Acacia Coronado and Jim Vertuno: gunman kills 19 children, 2 teachers in Texas school rampage. Associated Press

Luis Noe-Bustamante, Neil G. Ruiz, Mark Hugo Lopez, and Khadijah Edwards: about a third of Asian Americans have changed their daily routines over concerns about threats and attacks. Pew Research

John Sudworth reveals the faces from China’s Uygher detention camps. BBC

Chris Brown reports that somehow, cherished Blackfoot items ended up in Devon, England. Now, they’re heading home. CBC

Laverne Cox honoured as first transgender Barbie. BBC

Rob Picheta and Hafsa Khalil report that we’re finally learning more about long covid. CNN

Brigid Schulte says it’s not your job to fix your work stress. Slate

Clark Quinn recommends the late adopter strategy. Learnlets

Guy Kawasaki interviews Zoe Chance: writer, teacher, researcher and climate philanthropist. The Remarkable People Podcast

Ali Sundermier announces that superconducting x-ray laser reaches operating temperature colder than outer space. Phys.org

A simple but compelling question: where does the candle wax go? SciShow

Linda Geddes: scientists create tomatoes genetically edited to bolster vitamin D levels. The Guardian

Helena Horton reports that an ancient forest found at bottom of huge sinkhole in China. The Guardian

Thank you for taking the time to visit, and I hope you found something to inspire a future creative project.

I should be posting my next chapter update this weekend.

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