Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Dec 1-3, 2022

Welcome to the return of thoughty Thursday (post-NaNo 2022)! It’s time to get your mental corn popping.

Matthew Wills reveals the origins of child protection. JSTOR Daily

Livia Gershon wonders what fundamentalism is. JSTOR Daily

Alexis Wright considers the inward migration in apocalyptic times. Emergence Magazine

Find your dark why. Struthless

Clémentine Pirlot takes you inside the autistic experience. Code Like a Girl

Elana Spivak: nightmares have plagued humans for millennia—have we finally learned how to tame them? InVerse

The unexpected measure that makes the modern world tick. Be Smart

Nergis Fertina reports that a small tweak to genes may finally enable us to regrow cartilage. Interesting Engineering

Dyani Lewis: ancient skull found in China could be million-year-old homo erectus. Nature

How do you find the Moon’s best picnic spot? SciShow Space

Will Dunham reports that scientists build “baby” wormhole as science fiction moves closer to fact. Reuters

Amelia Soth: Cairo’s Zabbaleen and the secret life of trash. JSTOR Daily

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, Dec 1-3, 2022

A short week of informal writerly learnings to get back on track with curation. Enjoy!

Angela Ackerman explains how to write antagonists readers can’t help but like. Writers Helping Writers

Tiffany Yates Martin learns how Vaughn Roycroft revises by redefining success. Fox Print Editorial

Why “female entertainment” still gets written off. The Take

Grace Bialecki explains the power and necessity of sitting with your critiques. Then, Adele Annesi presents an argument for setting aside arc in story development. Jane Friedman

Liza Nash Taylor makes some notes to self on making room to move ahead. Henriette Lazaridis wants to linger, tinker, savor: taking the time to get it right. Writer Unboxed

We might never speak to aliens. Here’s why. Hello, Future Me

James R. Preston offers five tips to manage the book galley journey. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle shows you six places to trim slow prose. Then, Oren Ashkenazi shares what Legends and Lattes teaches us about light stories. Mythcreants

Three act structure: writing a strong first act. Reedsy

Three act structure: writing an engaging middle. Reedsy

A.H. Plotts presents show, don’t tell: your novel as a movie script. DIY MFA

Merriam-Webster’s word of the year 2022 is … gaslighting.

And that was tipsday. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress, whatever stage they’re at.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Oct 23-29, 2022

Welcome to the last thoughty Thursday until December 15th.  Get your mental corn popping while you can 🙂

I won’t disappear completely, though. I’ll be doing my NaNo mini updates every weekend.

Bill Hutchinson reports that former police officer J. Alexander Kueng pleads guilty in George Floyd death case. ABC News

Amy Romer explains how a First Nation rallied against the foster care system: “The new residential school system.” The Walrus

Jonathan Landay: Russia rehearses response to nuclear attack as tensions rise over “dirty bomb” allegation. Reuters

John Paul Tasker reports that Canadian handgun sales freeze takes effect. CBC

Laura Hensley wonders, why was the Lyme Disease vaccine thrown away? The Walrus

Harmeet Kaur says Diwali is having a mainstream moment in the US. CNN 

Ellen Walker unveils the horror of our favourite monsters. JSTOR Daily

Go inside the Great Pyramid of Giza. A virtual experience you can get lost in. The Giza Project

Amelia Soth: walking streetlamps for hire in seventeenth-century London. JSTOR Daily

Jessica Stillman says pretending to be extroverted doesn’t help introverts be more successful. Inc.

Marguerite Ward says the “glass cliff” is a serious problem in corporate America. Here’s how to dismantle it. Insider

Diana dove in a nuclear submarine. Physics Girl

Andreas Muller: a physicist explains what quantum entanglement is. Fast Company

Alex Wilkins: the lightest neutron star ever found could contain compressed quarks. New Scientist

Will Sullivan reports that NASA team begins study of UFOs. The Smithsonian Magazine

Camille Fine shares the last solar eclipse of the year in photos. USA Today

Steve Gorman: NASA instrument detects dozens of methane super-emitters from space. Reuters

Thomas Gualtieri and Kati Pohjanpalo explain how cold seawater can heat Helsinki’s homes. Bloomberg

Why eight eyes are better than two (if you’re a spider). Be Smart

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

Until my first NaNo mini update, be well and stay safe; be kind and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Oct 23-29, 2022

Welcome to November! This will be the last tipsday until December 13th (!) That’s right, I’m NaNoing again and foregoing curation until December. Get your fill of informal writerly learnings now!

You could always peruse the archives if you miss tipsday too much 😉

Vaughn Roycroft presents Murphy’s Law—the unboxed writer’s version. Elizabeth Havey: what was that phrase about authenticity? Kelsey Allagood shares what horror teaches us. Then, Sarah Penner is making the most of Canva with these seven design ideas for writers. Victoria Strauss explains when new isn’t better: the value of experience. Writer Unboxed

Clive Barker’s weirdest monster. Tale Foundry

C.S. Lakin stops by K.M. Weiland’s site: how writers can infuse mood in story settings. Helping Writers Become Authors

Over on her own site, Susanne discusses writing about difficult emotional experiences. Live, Write, Thrive

Then, Susanne explains how to quickly establish the setting in scenes. Elizabeth Spann Craig

How school makes you a bad writer. Answer in Progress

Kris Maze offers the ABCs of school author talks: how to engage kids. Eldred Bird: writing horror vs. writing terror. J. Alexander Greenwood is making a podcast love connection. Writers in the Storm

Why the Bechdel test isn’t enough. The Take

Manuela Williams suggests some revision strategies for your poet’s toolbox. Then, Dominique Richardson wonders, should you write a YA series today? John Matthew Fox lists five ways movies sabotage your writing skills. DIY MFA

Don’t force your characters to ask leading questions just so you can deliver exposition. Nathan Bransford

Ann-Marie MacDonald on her new novel Fayne and the stage adaptation of Fall on Your Knees. CBC’s Q

Elizabeth Sims lists 20 reasons everybody should write short stories. Then, Michael Mohr reveals the secret sauce to being a good writer. Jane Friedman

Rayne Hall explains how to write a spooky ghost story. Fiction University

Why ASL was banned in America. Otherwords | PBS Storied

Tiffany Yates Martin discusses peopling your stories (and your world) with individuals. Fox Print Editorial

Colleen M. Story shows you how to tell if you’re self-publishing your book for the right reasons. Writers Helping Writers

What makes a good story idea? Shaelin Writes

Chris Winkle shares lessons from the entitled writing of Yarnsworld. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories that fail at human resources. Mythcreants

Sir Salman Rushdie has lost sight in one eye, agent Andrew Wylie. BBC

Thank you for spending some time with me. I hope you took away something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well.

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Oct 16-22, 2022

It’s time to bid farewell to October. Merry Samhain, to those who observe, and happy hallowe’en to everyone else 🙂

It’s time to get your mental corn popping!

Matthew Wills considers the reverse freedom rides in light of recent incidents of forced migration. JSTOR Daily

Guy Kawasaki interviews Dolly Chugh about how to drive social change. The Remarkable People Podcast

Putin tightens grip on Ukraine and Russia with martial law. Associated Press

Quiet quitting is the future of work culture. The Take

Eliza Strickland: with this bionic nose, covid survivors could smell the roses again. IEEE Spectrum

Fergus Walsh reports that BioNTech is using covid vaccine technology to crack cancer. BBC

Michelle Donovan explains how the Black Death shaped the evolution of immunity genes, setting the course for how we respond to disease today. Brighter World | McMaster University

Wyn Reynolds: DNA gives colloidal crystals shape-shifting and memory. Northwestern University

Sheon Han explains how to prove you know a secret without giving it away. The zero-knowledge proof. It’s a computer science thing. Quanta

NASA’s Webb takes star-filled portrait of Pillars of Creation. NASA

Jennifer Ouellette says, “It’s the BOAT”: astronomers observe brightest of all time gamma-ray burst. Ars Technica

Elizabeth Howell: entire known universe recreated in Minecraft by an 18-year-old. Watch the video. Both insane and awesome. Space.com

Jo Marchant reveals that first known map of night sky found hidden in medieval manuscript. Nature

A resource you can lose yourself in: old maps online.

Getting into the spirit of the season, Nathan Strauss suggests 16 spooky places to visit. National Geographic

Alex Lawson wonders, is the great hydrogen gamble: hot air, or the net-zero holy grail? The Guardian

James Ashworth reports that Siberian remains could represent the first known neanderthal community. Natural History Museum

Drs. Georg Hochberg and Tobias Erb (et al.) go back to the future of photosynthesis. Max Planck Gesellschaft

Scientists peel back banana DNA to reveal mystery ancestors. Phys.org

Tim Vernimmen reports that the world’s biggest marine reserve seems to be doing its job. National Geographic

Thanks for stopping by. 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 16-22, 2022

This is the final tipsday of October (!) Will you NaNoWriMo this year? I am. It will probably be another NaNo rebel combo, though I will be focusing on Alice in Thunderland. It might actually be a novella, though I’m not certain, yet.

In any case, it’s time to get your fill of informal writerly learnings. Enjoy!

Richelle Lyn is teaming up with other solopreneurs. Then, Jeanette the Writer explains what an editor actually does. Stephanie Dethlefs helps you get to know your ideal reader. Later in the week, Ashley Christiano offers five meditations to help you find your writing confidence. DIY MFA

Jan O’Hara discusses journaling and the writer (episode: man versus table saw). Then, Barbara Linn Probst is grappling with the awkward question of “women’s” fiction. Sophie Masson considers food in fiction. Writer Unboxed

Janice Hardy lists five ways dialogue can annoy your readers. Fiction University

K.M. Weiland reveals the nine negative character arcs in the enneagram. Helping Writers Become Authors

This fairy tale is an actual nightmare. Tale Foundry

Becca Puglisi lists the ingredients for a successful story climax. Margie Lawson says, here be monsters: writers beware! Lynette M. Burrows shares seven ways to increase your creativity through workspace design. Writers in the Storm

Jessica Conoley is writing through the impossible. Then, Hattie Fletcher explains how to avoid taking edits too personally. C.S. Lakin helps you use weather to convey mood in fiction. Jane Friedman

On her own site, Susanne shares tips on how to bring setting to life in your fiction. Live, Write Thrive

Marissa Graff suggests five micro-edits to hook readers on your first page. Then, Julie Artz shares her top three world-building pitfalls and how to avoid them. Writers Helping Writers

The Rings of Power has a narrative momentum problem. Like Stories of Old

Nathan Bransford wonders, can you see what is and isn’t on the page?

Tiffany Yates Martin explains how to speak as well as you write (part 2). Fox Print Editorial

Kristen Lamb reveals why we love, hate, and need horror.

Chris Winkle explains why you should consider present tense. Mythcreants

Roz Morris interviews Jessica Bell on making good decisions about cover design. Nail Your Novel

Louise Harnby answers this question: can I place a dialogue tag before the character’s speech?

How to prevent creative burnout as a writer. Reedsy

Hannah McGregor shares how her Harry Potter podcast made her a better scholar. The Walrus

Jeff Beer explains why Marvel’s She-Hulk finale is the best branded content of the year. Fast Company

Michelle Cyca interviews Ann-Marie MacDonald on exile, imagination, and her new gothic ghost story. The Walrus

John Garth explains how J.R.R. Tolkien came to write the stories that were the source material for The Rings of Power. The Smithsonian Magazine

David Routt: HBO’s House of the Dragon was inspired by a real medieval dynastic struggle over a female ruler. The Conversation

Thanks you for spending some time with me, and I hope you took away something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well.

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Oct 9-15, 2022

Happy Friday eve! It’s time, once again, to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Austen McCoy: After Floyd. What has changed and what has not since George Floyd was killed. The Baffler

Baltimore prosecutors drop charges against Adnan Syed after receiving DNA test results. WBAL

Eteng Ettah explains how Abbott Elementary shows us schools without police. Scalawag

Aoife Walsh: Crimea Bridge: Putin accuses Ukraine of “terrorism.” BBC News

Jon Gambrell: protests over Mahsa Amini’s death reach key oil industry. Associated Press

Joseph Pierce says your land acknowledgement isn’t enough. Hyperallergic

John Loepky and Alex Green point out that politicians with disabilities are rare because of barriers, discrimination. Teen Vogue

Varena Coscia explains how SARS-CoV-2 communicates with human cells. And how this “contactome” might result in new therapies. Phys.org

Gabrielle Blair: Why the Least a Man Can Do Is Ejaculate Responsibly. The Remarkable People Podcast

History in Three Dimensions | Daniele Cybulskie | TEDxMilton

Will Sullivan reports that scientists find fungi in cancerous tumors. But what does it mean? The Smithsonian Magazine

Aria Bendix: in a novel experiment, brain-like human tissue implanted in rat brains influenced the rodents’ behavior. NBC News

Hunter’s moon shines in October skies. USA Today

Mark Belan presents this animated map: where to find water on Mars. Visual Capitalist

Jonathan Amos: NASA’s Dart changed the path of asteroid. BBC

The heaviest element yet detected in an exoplanet’s atmosphere. It might rain iron?! Phys.org

The unbelievable story of the earth’s most epic flood. Be Smart

Franco Mariotti says, protecting Laurentian’s greenspace would be visionary. Sudbury.com

Adele Peters: these mini wind turbines are designed for rooftops. Fast Company

True facts: sea cucumbers. Ze Frank

Thank you for visiting. 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, Oct 9-15, 2022

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings!

LA Bourgeois says, imagination, engage! Then, Stephanie BwaBwa shares some marketing systems and automations to support your self-publishing career. Olivia Fisher is tapping into the hearts of kids: crafting authentic voice in middle grade. DIY MFA

Ann Marie Nieves answers your PR and marketing questions, part IX: do you twerk? Then, Jim Dempsey wonders, is your book any good? Kathleen McCleary is out of character. Kathryn Craft on story and death and life. Then, David Corbett is crafting an unforgettable villain with lessons from Louise Fletcher’s portrayal of Nurse Ratched. Writer Unboxed

How this became the sad girl era. The Take

K.M. Weiland shows you nine positive characters arcs in the Enneagram. Helping Writers Become Authors

Janice Hardy shares five fun ways to take advantage of your characters’ fears. Then, Ellen Buikema lists ten ways to start your story. Later in the week, Julie Glover discusses the hardest book she’s ever written. Writers in the Storm

Hank Quense helps you build your own digital planner with Scrintal. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Gaia, the mother of creation. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Sue Coletta helps you construct the skeleton of your story. Then, Angela Ackerman says that the key to a successful NaNoWriMo is using October wisely. Later in the week, C.S. Lakin says less is more when it comes to describing setting. Writers Helping Writers

Jessica Bell points out the key elements of eye-catching book cover design. Joni B. Cole: you have a great idea for a story. Where do you start? Catherine Baab-Maguira explains why it’s better to write about money, not for money. Jane Friedman

Preptober tips! Do these ten things before NaNoWriMo. Reedsy

Nathan Bransford answers the question, “When should I stop sending query letters?”

Kristen Lamb considers motivation and how what drives us defines us.

Tiffany Yates Martin: how to speak as well as you write, part 1. Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle considers movement, the 2,300-year-old story principle. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories undermined by their epilogues. Mythcreants

Roz Morris: becoming you—how to develop confidence as a writer. Nail Your Novel

Overcoming perfectionism as a writer. Shaelin Writes

Sahar Arshad: from Never have I Ever to Bridgerton, the Desi girl era is here at last. Teen Vogue

Matthew Vogt: pantheon of superheroes. JSTOR Daily

Joyce Kinkead recounts the 5,000-year history of writer’s block. The Conversation

Jordan Pruett wonders, what counts as a bestseller? Public Books 

KC Hoard conducts a roundtable with designers: book cover confidential. The Walrus

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress, whatever stage they’re at.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well.

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

It’s thoughty Thursday, and you know what that means: tomorrow’s Friday! Celebrate by getting your mental corn popping in time for the weekend 🙂

Sean Lahman and Kayla Canne report that Rochester to pay $12M to settle lawsuit filed by Daniel Prude family, largest civil rights settlement in city’s history. Democrat & Chronicle

Livia Gershon considers women leaders in Africa: the case of the Igbo. JSTOR Daily

Errin Haines: it’s almost 100 days since Dobbs. What has changed? 19th News

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha says able-bodied leftists cannot abandon disabled solidarity to “move on” from covid. Truthout

Hugo Bachega and James Fitzgerald: Russian troops forced out of Lyman in eastern Ukraine. BBC

Nine NATO members urge support for Ukraine after annexation. Associated Press

Hyung-Jin Kim, Kim Tong-Hyung and Mari Yamaguchi report that North Korea sends missiles soaring over Japan in escalation. Associated Press

Study is first to show role of genomic changes in specific brain cells in Alzheimer’s disease. University of Exeter

Mechanism used by metastatic cancer to infiltrate liver found. Osaka Metropolitan University

New route to evolution: how DNA from our mitochondria gets into our genome. University of Cambridge

Anne Cleary: what is déjà vu? Psychologists are exploring the creepy feeling of having lived through an experience before. The Conversation

Nostalgia, the gift that keeps getting rebooted. Khadija Mbowe

Clark Quinn: myth persistence (in learning design). Learnlets

Renee Dudley and Daniel Golden introduce us to the self-taught tech geniuses fighting cybercrime: ransomware hunters. The Guardian

Michael Sheetz reports that SpaceX launches Crew-5 mission for NASA, carrying astronauts to space station. CNBC

How to Build for Human Life on Mars | Melodie Yashar | TED

Ronan O’Connell takes us inside the Irish “hell caves” where Hallowe’en was born. National Geographic

Pacific Ocean set to make way for world’s next supercontinent … in 200 to 300 million years from now. Phys.org

Your city is full of fake buildings. Here’s why. Answer in Progress

Mélissa Godin introduces us to the women fighting fire with fire. Atmos

Aysha Khan says that plants by school playgrounds protect kids from road pollution. Next City

Scientists crack upcycling plastics to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, advancing a recent study. University of Illinois

Damian Carrington: wax worm saliva rapidly breaks down plastics. The Guardian

Eleanor Cummins takes us inside one of the world’s first human composting facilities. The Verge

Livia Gershon offers a natural history of dragons. JSTOR Daily

Talia Ogliore: study reports first evidence of social relationships between chimpanzees and gorillas. Washington University in St. Louis

Haley Weiss: dark extinction has scientists worried. Here’s what they’re doing about it. CNET

Nancy Darling explains why your dog likes to flirt with other people. Psychology Today

Thank you for visiting. 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, Oct 2-8, 2022

Fall is in the (very chilly) air! Hope all my Canadian friends had marvelous Thanksgiving weekends, but now, it’s back to the grind. Hello, Tuesday-that-feels-like-a-Monday. It’s time to reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings 🙂

K.M. Weiland explains (very briefly) how to pull off a plot twist. Helping Writers Become Authors

Karen DeBonis recommends you celebrate every writing milestone. Lisa Norman: welcome to the future, part 2. Stefan Emunds shares three principles to make your story experience as real-to-life as possible. Writers in the Storm

Tikbálang, the Filipino nightmare shapeshifter. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Elizabeth Spann Craig shares five tips to make your life easier as a writer.

Greer Macallister: knowing your no. Donald Maass returns with more novels that shouldn’t work but do, and why. Then, Sarah Callender is stealing style, structure, and subject from other writers: imitation and emulation. Susan DeFreitas: I’ll feel what she’s feeling.  Yuvi Zalkow is rewriting the bookstore event. Writer Unboxed

Jill Bearup gets creative: the fantasy heroine vs. the writer.

Joe Ponepinto is writing small for a bigger impact. Then, Allison K. Williams says motivation doesn’t finish books. Allison also starts her “Ask an Editor” series answering this question: when should writers stand their ground rather than defer to an editor? Jane Friedman

Tim Hickson fixes the final season of Legend of Korra. Hello, Future Me

E.J. Wenstrom helps you overcome the book promotion scaries. Then, Sara Farmer presents her favourite Jane Austen mysteries. Lori Walker interviews Carol Van Den Hende about finding inspiration and writing purpose-driven fiction. Then, Mason Engel reveals the secret to maintaining the motivation—and discipline—to write: writeforce. Rita Zoey Chin shares five tips for writing dynamic characters. DIY MFA

How to brainstorm effectively. Reedsy

Janice Hardy explains why “the worst that can happen” is terrible writing advice. Fiction University

Becca Puglisi says themes and symbols go together like peas and carrots. Writers Helping Writers

Tiffany Yates Martin discovers how Emi Nietfeld revises: writing and real life. Fox Print Editorial

How to structure a short story. Shaelin Writes

Chris Winkle explains when to kill a hero—or not. Then, Oren Ashkenazi hosts another three-way ANTS death match between Three Parts Dead, House of Blood and Earth, and A Master of Djinn. Mythcreants

Emily Zarevich wonders if Mary Wollstonecraft’s Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark was the original Eat, Pray, Love. JSTOR Daily

Justyna Pawlak and Simon Johnson announce that the scrutiniser of self, France’s Annie Ernaux, beats long path to Nobel literature prize. Reuters

And that was tipsday. Thanks for spending some time with me, and I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress, whatever stage they’re at.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well, my writerly friends.