It’s that time of the week again—time to pop your mental corn! Give yourself the gift of thoughty, and welcome a happy Friday with a satiated brain 🙂
How to capture a ghost particle. PBS Space Time
Alex Fox relates how nuns are converting their convent into a wetland to fight flooding in New Orleans. The Hill
Geology In shows us the incredible crystal caves of Naica, Mexico.
That time the Mediterranean Sea disappeared. PBS Eons
Zaria Gorvett: medications that change who we are. BBC
Markham Heid explains why you wake up at the same time every night. Medium
Why a strong immune system may mean more severe cold symptoms. SciShow
Elle prints an excerpt from Anna Wiener’s Uncanny Valley: dispatches from the front line of Silicon Valley sexism.
Jason Beaubien: with their land in flames, aboriginals warn fires show deeper problems in Australia. Indigenous land management practices could have mitigated the disaster. NPR
Graham Redfearn reports that the Australian bushfires have reached Kangaroo Island where several species of unique wildlife are threatened. The Guardian
Tim Sohn: how Tom Mustill became “The Whale Detective.” Outside online
Moon Child shares 33 photos of weird and rare flowers that look like something out of a fairy tale.
Ze Frank brings the awkward and hilarious with the mating dance of the ostrich.
Thank you for visiting and I hope you can take away something to inspire your next creative project. Or … maybe something amusing 🙂
Until next tipsday, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories.
It’s a lovely, sunny Sunday after 20 cm of snow. Please enjoy these informal writerly learnings!
Janice Hardy shares three things to remember when revising from a critique. Later in the week, Janice help you craft hook lines that draw readers in. Fiction University
Christopher Hoffmann: what your dialogue tags say about you. Then, Sangeeta Mehta interviews Jim McCarthy and Paula Munier about what it means to be a full-time author. Finally, Jane herself lists five common story openings you want to avoid—if you can help it. Jane Friedman
Tamar Sloan offers a writer’s roadmap to capturing an unhappy relationship. Writers Helping Writers
Jenna Moreci lists her favourite family tropes.
Nancy Johnson finds a new year brings fresh author envy. “But anticipatory angst is real, if a bit irrational, and I sometimes envy authors who make lists I’m not even eligible for, wondering if my own trajectory will be on par with theirs.” Juliet Marillier wants to be a light in the darkness. What will you use your writerly superpowers for this year? Kathryn Craft is bridging temporal story gaps. David Corbett: wherein we resume our discussion of evil. Writer Unboxed
Jenn Walton hopes you’ll use personality tests to enhance character development. Heather Viera shares five tips for creating a relaxing workspace. DIY MFA
Julie Glover: will your character fight, flee, or freeze? Writers in the Storm
Chris Winkle lists five masquerade explanations and why they’re bad. Then, Oren Ashkenazi points out six military blunders in speculative fiction. Mythcreants
Chuck Wendig blogs at clouds (to make a point about blogging). Terribleminds
Robert Lee Brewer distinguishes between heroes and heros. Writer’s Digest
Hélène Schumacher: is this the most powerful word in the English language? BBC
Georgie Hoole introduces us to Cecil Court: the secret alley full of curious old bookshops. Secret London
Thanks for your time and attention. I hope you came away with something you need for your current work in progress.
Until next time, be well, my writerly friends 🙂
It’s time to get your mental corn popping.
Jamie Carter offers a skywatcher’s guide to 2020. Forbes
Caleb Scharf wonders if we’re alone in a crowded Milky Way. Scientific American
Joe explains the benefits of launching rockets from the moon. It’s okay to be smart
Physics Girl shares part three of her visit to CERN.
Shayla Love: how long is right now? Fave bit: physics says “right now” may be an illusion … that’s not to say we should all become chrono-nihilists … Vice
The MIT Technology Review considers how a virtual version of da Vinci’s glass orb helps explain its weirdness.
Mike Cannon-Brookes: how to harness imposter syndrome for the greater good. TED Talks
James Hamblin says, your bedroom is too hot. Get your mind out of the gutter! The Atlantic
Darryl Fears: on land, Australia’s rising heat is “apocalyptic.” In the ocean, it’s worse. The Washington Post
Thanks for stopping by. I hope something here inspires your next creative project.
Until tipsday, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!
It’s the first tipsday of 2020! Get yourself some informal writerly learnings here 🙂
Kris Maze offers some New Year’s reflections on wellness and this writer’s life. Eldred Bird says, let your characters tell the story. Writers in the Storm
Ten qualities an agent wants to see in a writer. Bookends Agency
Bess Cozby suggests five writing resolutions beyond “write every day.” Tammy Lough helps you ramp up your dialogue with help from Isaac Newton. Samantha Hanni shares five ways to aid your editor. DIY MFA
Donald Maass revisits the un-con a second time: emotional tipping points. Barbara Linn Probst shares a 2020 vision. Julianna Baggott wants you to set aside the planning and the pantsing and consider a land of your own invention. Writer Unboxed
Jenna Moreci lists ten things you should do before you write your novel. My favourite bit: Writing a book is hard. Books don’t just fall out of your mind vagina. 😀
Chuck Wendig says that in 2020 you should write with a knife to your back and the cliff’s edge at your feet. Terribleminds
Chris Winkle explains how The Rise of Skywalker finally made Kylo Ren worth redeeming. Mythcreants
Thank you for visiting and I hope you found something to fuel your current work in progress.
Until Thursday, be well!
Welcome to 2020!
Lots of videos today, but there’s still something in here that will pop your mental corn.
Veritasium looks into the science of resolutions (and why most of them fail).
The strange and unexpected reason ice is slippery. It’s okay to be smart
Nadia Drake reports that Betelgeuse is acting strangely, and astronomers think it might be going supernova. National Geographic
SciShow Space news shares their biggest, brightest, most (superlative) news of the year.
Matt O’Dowd answers the question, does life require a multiverse? PBS Space Time
Physics Girl considers how the large hadron collider (LHC) can help us identify dark matter.
Jessica Stewart shares Yaoyao Ma Van As’ heartwarming illustrations of the bond between a dog and their owner. My Modern Met
Thank you for stopping by. I hope you came away with something to inspire your next creative project.
Until the weekend (next chapter for December and year-end review), be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories 🙂
The time from Solstice through New Year’s Eve is generally slow for informal writerly learnings. Everyone is (and rightly so) spending time with friends and family, celebrating. Thus, this week will be video heavy, but it’s all writerly goodness 🙂
Also, happy New Year and new decade, everyone! May it bring us hope and peace and all good things.
Tasha Seegmiller: reflecting and goal-setting for writers. Writers in the Storm
Joanna Penn and Orna Ross reflect on a decade of self-publishing. The Creative Penn
Helen J. Darling offers six tips on working with an editor (post-NaNoWriMo). DIY MFA
Shaelin talks about writing a great first line. Reedsy
Gabe explains how to write backstory. Bookishpixie
And here’s Tim Hickson’s take on flashbacks and backstory. Hello, Future Me
Chris Winkle wants you to tame your exposition. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains how to tell a story within a story. Mythcreants
Thanks for visiting and I hope something in this mix has given you what you need to progress in your current work in progress.
Until next time, be well!
It’s Boxing Day! I got up early this morning to go shopping (my once annual spree) and am now ensconced for our family get together. Take some time to get your mental corn popping with these thought provoking (or just plain fun) links.
Juli Fraga wants to help you conquer your social anxiety over the holidays. NPR
Lisa Wood Shapiro recounts her quest for clean air. Wired
Andrea Romano explains how long you should take off work to feel productive again. Travel and Leisure
Matthew Gault: the best optical illusion of the year will mess with your head. Vice
Alexandra Ossola: can algae save the planet by changing the way we eat? Quartz
Jaymi Heimbuch shares macro photos of snowflakes that reveal impossibly perfect designs. Treehugger
PBS Space Time considers the validity of cosmological natural selection (i.e. that black holes create new universes).
The fuzzy origins of the giant panda. PBS Eons
Chris Baraniuk: corvids could be the smartest animals other than primates. BBC
Joshua Rapp Learn explains why birds sing to their eggs and how these songs might help their offspring survive climate change. Smithsonian Magazine
Find out all about Leonard, the mudskipper, with Ze Frank.
Thank you for taking time out of the holiday whirlwind to stop by and peruse the offerings.
Until next week, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories 🙂
It’s Christmas Eve! Time to unwrap your package of informal writerly learnings.
Erika Liodice suggests a new approach for the New Year: un-resolutions. Vaughn Roycroft: the hygge writer. Dave King goes in search of the story beyond the story. Writer Unboxed
Barbara Linn Probst suggests some visual-spatial tools for mapping—and enhancing—you story. John Peragine: the most difficult conversation for writers. Laura Drake recommends using comparison for power. Writers in the Storm
Is it possible to write an original story? Reedsy
K.M. Weiland shows you how to explore theme through your secondary characters: six important questions to ask. Helping Writers Become Authors
Lucy V. Hay shows you three steps to writing diverse characters. Angela Ackerman wants you to build a roadmap to the author future you want. Writers Helping Writers
Jenna Moreci goes over the pros and cons of past and present tense.
Jeanette the Writer answers an editorial question: how do I use italics? Manuela Williams shares five ways to build your author brand when you’re super busy. DIY MFA
Jami Gold explains how to write a strong resolution.
Chris Winkle: agency is what that sexy lamp is missing. Then Oren Ashkenazi suggests eight holiday presents for the fictional character in your life. Mythcreants
Robert Lee Brewer: should you use e-mail or email? Writer’s Digest
Neil Gaiman on the Tim Ferris show.
Thanks for visiting. I hope you take away something you need for your current work in progress.
Until next time, be well, my writerly friends … and to all, a good night!
As we slide into the home stretch of the week, please take some time to get your mental corn popping 🙂
Because we’re getting around to that time of year … Sweden’s St. Lucia tradition.
Sesame Street puppeteer Caroll Spinney (Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch) dies at age 85. A sad day for all Muppet maniacs. MPR News
ESA shares incredible images of Mars’ Korolev crater. RT
Jenn Granneman declares, I’m an introvert, and this is just my face. Introvert, Dear
Julia Naftulin shares a study on narcissism showing that baby boomers are more sensitive than millennials. Insider
Dr. Becky explains why the speed of light is a constant and the upper limit of the speed we could possibly achieve.
Merrit Kennedy reports on a 44,000-year-old Indonesian cave painting that’s rewriting the history of art. NPR
Emma Taggart shares Anna Speshilova’s charming watercolour illustrations of women and their animal companions. My Modern Met
Old Dog Haven discusses dementia in senior dogs. It’s never easy to say goodbye to a companion, but there’s more than just physical health to consider.
Molly Frommer reports on the sad news that the Wild at Heart wildlife rescue and refuge facility is forced to close its doors. CTV News
Thanks for the visit and I hope you found some inspiration for your next creative project.
Until next tipsday, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories.
Here are some informal writerly learnings to peruse while you’re preparing for, or celebrating, the holidays.
Lori Freeland says that show, don’t tell, are the three most misunderstood words in a writer’s vocabulary. Then, Colleen M. Story shared seven ways writers can overcome holiday anxiety. Julie Glover is saying no to get to a more important yes. Writers in the Storm
Shaelin shares five of her favourite tropes. Reedsy
Rheea Mukherjee makes notes on writer dreams, gratitude, and the anxiety of authenticity. Jim Dempsey wants you to manipulate your reader’s point of view. Sarah Callender asks, is imitating the greats helpful or harmful? Kathryn Craft is manipulating story time for maximum effect. David Corbett shares a lesson in forgiveness from The Crown. Writer Unboxed
K.M. Weiland critiques: ten ways to write a better first chapter using specific word choices. Helping Writers Become Authors
Roz Morris shares five post-NaNoWriMo ways to use the holidays to keep your new writing habits … without revising too early. Nail Your Novel
Abigail K. Perry digs into James Scott Bell’s signpost scene 13: the final battle. Brenda Joyce Patterson takes a deep dive into the essay. Then, Constance Emmett shares five tips for post-publication survival and success. DIY MFA
Robert Lee Brewer points out the difference between lets and let’s. Writer’s Digest
Nathan Bransford offer the eight essential elements of a story.
Chris Winkle shares five ways to make multiple points of view more engaging. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains why some dark topics are more sensitive than others. Mythcreants
Tim makes some excellent points about writing power escalation. Hello, Future Me
Heidi Fiedler stops by The Creative Penn: five ways to quiet your inner editor.
Jami Gold asks, what’s your core story?
Thank you for stopping by. I hope you’re leaving with some great resources for your current work in progress.
Until Thursday, be well!