Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 13-19, 2018

Welcome to thoughty Thursday. You know what that means: tomorrow is Friday!

Jessica Bennett and Daniel Jones compile these 45 stories of sex and consent on campus. The New York Times

Megan Garber: David Foster Wallace and the dangerous romance of male genius. The Atlantic

Jim C. Hines offers some advice on setting boundaries.

Nicole Gallucci reports that ageism is becoming a major issue for corporations. The Globe and Mail

Tim Herrera lists three things that can help if you’re feeling burned out. The New York Times

Brian Resnick: 100 million Americans have chronic pain, but few use one of the best tools to treat it. Vox

SciShow Space: is there really an infinite multiverse?

 

Mary Schwager: new studies show humans love dogs more than other humans. I Love My Dog

This guy is a case in point. He bought 5,400 ball pit balls and made his dog the happiest dog in the world.

 

I hope something here got your mental corn popping.

Be well until next Tipsday!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 13-19, 2018

Another week has passed and, look, you’ve survived Monday. Good on ya 🙂 Have some informal writerly learnings as a reward. You know you deserve it.

K.M. Weiland lists five lies writers believe that actually hold them back. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jenny Hansen shows you how to use the twelve stages of physical intimacy to build tension in your fiction. Writers in the Storm

Margie Lawson encourages you to go deeper than the cold, hard stare. Writers in the Storm

Scrivener guru Gwen Hernandez explains how to save every word using Scrivener’s snapshot feature. Writers in the Storm

Annie Neugebauer helps you find the best readers for your novel at every stage. Writer Unboxed

Porter Anderson watches the Canadian problem with Access Copyright with interest and alarm. Authors I know whose work was copied for academic packages used to get paid. Universities rebelled and now they get nothing. Advocacy and authors. Writer Unboxed.

Nina Munteanu: science fiction asks, are we worth saving?

Jami Gold helps you figure out if your writing is any good. Later in the week, she wonders how much of yourself in in your writing?

Brenda Joyce Patterson explains why your writing should invite readers in. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Dharma Kelleher about transgendered characters in literature. DIY MFA

Sara Letourneau offers some advice on conducting informal interviews for story research. Writers Helping Writers

Janice Hardy helps you take away elements to fix a problem scene. Fiction University

Mira Singer reviews three movies with the wrong main character. Then, Oren Ashkenazi says that “historical accuracy” isn’t a reason to exclude diversity. Arguments I wish I’d had when I tried to present my secondary world fantasy to my MFA class for critique. #mistakesnaivewritersmake Mythcreants

Joanna Penn explains how to monetize a creative podcast in her interview on the Podcraft podcast. The Creative Penn

John Koenig’s The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (is back!): Silience.

 

And Pâro.

 

Anna Lovind discovered that in order to nurture her dream of writing, she had to give up something else: knowing when it’s time to let a dream die.

Anika Burgess reveals the artful imperfection of medieval manuscript repair. Atlas Obscura

Andres Liptak reports on the new documentary that will explore the life and legacy of Ursula K. Le Guin. I’m looking out for this one! The Verge

And that was Tipsday.

Be well until Thursday rolls around and then come back to get your weekly dose of thoughty 🙂

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 6-12, 2018

A few links to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Brian Resnick: Stephen Hawking’s final paper makes a hopeful case for the limits of existence. Vox

A super-massive black hole is hurtling toward Earth, but don’t worry, it’ll take about four billion years to get here. Sci-Tech Universe

Wil Wheaton shares his keynote speech for the NAMI Ohio’s statewide conference, Fulfilling the Promise: I live with chronic depression and I’m not ashamed.

SciShow: the strange (but true) history of hysteria.

 

Inverse: your brain on sugar with Shannon Odell.

 

Inverse: your brain on music with Shannon Odell.

 

Alfredo Carpineti: fasting for just one day can regenerate your stem cells. I wonder if the stomach flu counts? IFLS

Maggie posts about the history of our most common vegetables. The Plant Guide

Rosie McCall reports on a crow that steals a credit card, attempts to use it to buy a train ticket, and, after it fails, returns the card to its owner. Corvids rock my world. IFLS

I hope you found something in the mix to inspire.

Be well until next Tipsday!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 6-12, 2018

Here, once again, are your informal writerly learnings:

Jo Eberhardt: writers write, right? Writer Unboxed

Keith Cronin writes a thought-provoking post for Writer Unboxed: when a bad person makes good art. I’ve struggled with this issue myself and there are no easy answers, at least none that satisfy both my need for social justice and my need for quality art to consume.

Related: Another popular and powerful artist proves he can’t even be a decent human being. MIT to investigate allegations of bullying and unwanted sexual contact against Junot Diaz. MassLive

Juliet Marillier examines the angsty writer. Writer Unboxed

Kathryn Craft helps you compose your protagonist’s “I want” song. Writer Unboxed

Grace Wynter offers some tips for creating your novel’s soundtrack. Writer Unboxed

Nina Munteanu wonders, how do you know your story’s finished?

K.M. Weiland returns to her most common writing mistakes series with part 64: POV problems. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jenna Moreci reviews the pros and cons of traditional publishing (and busts a few myths).

 

Then, Jenna lists the biggest mistakes writers make.

 

Susan DeFreitas: what it really takes to break through with your first book deal. Jane Friedman

Penny Sansevieri offers six reasons to relaunch your book (in the age of the reboot). Jane Friedman

September C. Fawkes explains how to convey an established relationship quickly. Writers Helping Writers

Becca Puglisi is choosing the right details. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford shares everything writers need to know about pitching their books.

Emily Wenstrom explains what authors should know about Facebook’s “meaningful interactions” update. DIY MFA

Robin Lovett lists seven reasons why being unpublished is hard. You’re preaching to the choir, here, Robin 🙂 DIY MFA

Julie Glover explains when action isn’t a good thing in your novel. Writers in the Storm

Shawn Coyne gives us an insider’s look into the acquisition process: how literary agents target acquisitions editors. Steven Pressfield

Joanna Penn helps you manage stress, anxiety, and burnout. The Creative Penn

Chris Winkle discusses five types of disastrous reveals. Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb looks at a trademark issue that hit publishing news this week. Cocky blocked: how to nuke your brand from orbit.

Jami Gold: why we all need a writing community.

And that was Tipsday.

Be well until thoughty Thursday. *waves*

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 29-May 5, 2018

It’s Friday Eve and time to get your mental corn popping!

Isabel Bueno explains why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated. National Geographic

Madison Dapcevich reports on Sweden’s electric road that charges the cars that travel on it. IFLS

The Washington Post profiles the electronics-recycling innovator who’s going to prison for trying to extend computers’ lives.

Jonathan O’Callaghan reports on the discovery of a hidden galaxy orbiting the Milky Way. IFLS

Alfredo Carpineti: Hawking’s final theory about the universe has been published. IFLS

Matt Blitz takes us inside the epic search for extra terrestrial life. Popular Mechanics

This 50-km trail takes you through some of Ontario’s creepiest ghost towns. Narcity

Does your dog love you? Spoiler: turns out the jury’s still out on that one. SciShow Psych

 

Experts beg gardeners to check for hummingbird nests before they prune. Apost

Rosie McCall introduces you to the Superb Bird of Paradise, whose feathers are so black, they absorb 99.95% of light. IFLS

Florence + the Machine – Hunger

 

I hope you found something to inspire this Thoughty Thursday.

Be well until next Tipsday!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, April 29-May 5, 2018

Another week has passed and here I am with another batch of informal writerly learnings 🙂

K.M. Weiland asks, what should your characters talk about? Helping Writers Become Authors

Julie Carrick Dalton says, it’s time cli-fi (climate fiction) became its own genre. I agree in part … The examples she cites are from a number of different genres, though. I don’t know if publishing in general or marketing in particular will be willing to get on board. Stranger things have happened. Writer Unboxed

Therese Walsh explains why you think your writing is brilliant one day and horrible the next. It’s a thing. Writer Unboxed

Donald Maass considers authenticity vs. outline. As with many other aspects of craft, it’s a matter of balance, not one over the other. Writer Unboxed

Julie Glover walks you through the five stages of editing grief. Writers in the Storm

Fae Rowan helps you world build using deep POV. Writers in the Storm

Christina Delay is living for the writing wins. Writers in the Storm

Gabriela Pereira helps you write by design using colour theory. Writers Helping Writers

Kristen Lamb: why every writing project needs a synopsis, even though you hate writing them.

Elisabeth Kauffman tells you how to raise the stakes. DIY MFA

Kharma Kelley explains all authors need to know about the new EU law.

Chris Winkle: storytelling’s terminology problem. Then, Oren Ashkenazi critiques six underdeveloped love interests. Mythcreants

Kim Fahner considers Canada’s 20th Bookmark to be a “love letter” to Sudbury. The Sudbury Star

And then watch the unveiling!

 

Emily Petsko lists 25 foreign words with hilarious literal meanings. Mental Floss

More fun with words: the Merriam-Webster time traveler. Check out what words entered the dictionary the year you were born … or any other year since 1828 🙂

And that was Tipsday for this week.

Be well until Thursday!

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The next chapter: April 2018 update

Hey, all you writerly people 🙂

Here we are in May, Cinco de Mayo, in fact, and it’s time for my next chapter update.

It’s been a weird few weeks since I made my decision to stop posting every weekend. I had one weekend that was fairly restful, caught a flu and was sick for a week, and have spent the last week frantically catching up at work and at home.

I still think it was a good decision, but I’ll likely have to give it more time before I see real results.

I have formally announced my intention to hand off responsibility for the Sudbury Writers’ Guild newsletter, but elections (newsletter-er isn’t an elected position, but volunteer positions are filled at the same time as elected ones are voted upon) aren’t until the May meeting at the end of the month. Also, whoever decides to take over for me won’t do so until the beginning of the new SWG year in September. We usually break for the summer, so the June newsletter would be my last.

I’m still on the program committee and one of its sub-committees for the Canadian Authors Association, but my obligations have not been too onerous there. For now. If that changes, I’ll have to bow out.

On another front that I haven’t discussed much, I’m sad to report that my critique group has imploded. Well I’m two parts sad to one part relieved. I’m sad because I had great hopes, and relieved because it’s one less commitment to fulfill.

Several members were in the process of moving (some internationally) in January and February and so we delayed the start of the critiquing year. One submission has been made and I’ve read and critiqued it, but I haven’t heard from anyone else in the group about an online conference to actually discuss the submission, or anything else moving forward. I’m going to read through the submission one more time, finalize my written comments, and return them to the author. And then I’m going to pull the plug.

I may check out the novel critique group that the SWG runs. I need something. Writing in a feedback void isn’t getting me anywhere. I can continue to write and revise, but unless I can get some other eyes on the work, my revisions will lack direction and I’ll take so much longer to get anything ready for an editor, or for submission to agents or small publishers.

I got my taxes wrangled and, for the first time in a number of years, I’ve has absolutely no income to report from my creative work. No workshops. No panelist honoraria. No prize money. No sales of short fiction or even contributor copies. It’s a bit distressing. I’ve never had much income to report, but I’ve generally had something. It just makes me feel like I’ve been falling back, that it’s not just been my burnout, but something more insidious going on with me.

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I have, however, made strides with regard to my writing practice. For April, I set (or reset) the modest goal of 5,000 words written on Playing with Fire. I managed to write more days than not, and wrote 7,568 words, or 151% of my goal.

I also adjusted my writing goal for the blog given that I’m not posting most weekends. Even though I adjusted my blogging goal to 3,600 words, I wrote only 3,086 words, or 86% of my goal.

My DIY MFA post came in at 1,359 words of my 1,000-word goal, or 136%, and the SWG newsletter was 5,333 words of my 4,000-word goal, or 133%. Admittedly, the newsletter is not all my writing. I have submissions from the membership and the contests and inspirational quotes are found online and copied. Still, I have to fill in gaps, edit, format, and cobble all the disparate parts of the newsletter together into a more or less cohesive whole.

Overall, I wrote 128% more in the month than I set out to, and that makes me happy.

Though it was May 1st, I was able to attend one literary event, the staged reading of the latest iteration of Kim Fahner’s play, “Sparrows Over Slag.”

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Here are the actors, Morgan St. Onge, Matthew Heiti, and Sarah Gartshore.

Kim also had an artist talk afterward during which she explained the impetus for the play and its development.

On the Torvi front, we’re one class away from graduating from the beginner obedience class at Skiplyn Kennels, only to jump right into the intermediate class. Torvi is still a challenge. The second biggest problem now is her propensity to get up on counters, tables, desks, grab whatever she can get her teeth on, and run. She also jumps on people. We’ve been persistent with telling her to get off, and pushing her off, but she still hasn’t gotten the message.

The biggest problem is that she’s started peeing in the house again. We thought we had this licked, but no. So now we’re pacing around the yard reciting “do your pee” until she complies. She’s still distracted by everything. Even if she asks to go out, she forgets what she’s there for once she sees a bird, or squirrel, or a truck or a motorcycle goes by.

She’s showing steady improvement in all other areas, but those are the two stubborn problems.

Here’s a comparison: Torvi at seven weeks and Torvi at seven months 🙂

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As for the orchids, it’s all the fuchsia phalaenopsis. The pink has dropped all its blooms now.

And that’s all I have to report for this month. It’s been mostly good and I’m looking forward to better yet to come.

Until Tipsday, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

The Next Chapter

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 22-28, 2018

It’s time to get your mental corn popping for the final push to the weekend. Yes! Tomorrow is Friday. And today is Thoughty Thursday 🙂

Stephen Luntz discovers that trees have a “heartbeat,” too. IFLS

Linda Poon: new “mutant enzymes” could solve Earth’s plastic problem. Are they any better than recycling, though? The proof remains to be seen. City Lab

Another promising solution? Saqib Shah: first ever ocean plastic cleaner will tackle the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The New York Post

Why so few people on the Six Nations Reserve have clean, running water, unlike their neighbours. It’s not just remote or northern reserves. We really have to provide all people with the necessities of life. Like, yesterday. CBC’s “Out in the Open.”

Alek Minassian, the Toronto van attack suspect, praised “Incel” killer. BBC

Psychologists explain why you should be friends with people who swear a lot. We’re more fucking honest and intelligent 🙂 Rachel-Lee Thomas for Providr.

Do essential oils work? And why? (I guess that second question gives away the answer to the first …) SciShow

 

Can exercise treat depression? SciShow Psych

 

Scientists may have discovered the root cause of autism (and no, it’s not vaccines). Let’s first seek to understand ASD before we attempt to eradicate it. IFLS

Sara Burrows explains how one Texas school beat ADHD by tripling recess. Return to Now

Nina Strochlic reveals the race to save the world’s disappearing languages. National Geographic

Going grey the right way: everything you need to know about grey hair. Katie Martin for HealthyWay.

Nadia Drake: how 1.7 billion stars were mapped with dazzling 3-D precision. National Geographic

Alfredo Carpineti: Study reveals Uranus smells of farts. IFLS

Baby elephant chases the birds, falls, and runs to mom.

 

I hope something in this mix inspired you (or at least entertained you).

Be well until this weekend’s next chapter update.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, April 22-28, 2018

Happy Beltane, y’all. It’s May Day!

Never worry, never fear, Underdog your informal writerly learnings are here!

K.M. Weiland continues her ultimate first chapter checklist series with part three: introducing the story. Helping Writers Become Authors

Kathryn Craft wonders if you’re emotionally ready for a developmental edit? Writers in the Storm

Catherine McKenzie: theft by finding. Writer Unboxed

Barbara O’Neal posts about the importance of a private writing habit. Writer Unboxed

Heather Webb is considering good advice, bad advice, and figuring out how to write through the “shoulds.” Writer Unboxed

Erika Liodice helps you find your way back to writing. Writer Unboxed

Dan Koboldt explains how you can level up as a writer with peer critique. Writer’s Digest

Sara Letourneau: how themes are presented in short fiction. DIY MFA

In my latest column for DIY MFA, I delve into the possibilities for future space travel.

Joanna Penn discusses comparisonitis, or “everyone else is better than me” syndrome. The Creative Penn

Nathan Bransford tells you everything you need to know about novel word counts. Later in the week, he explains why writers should perfect their first thirty pages.

Cyndy Etler drops by Jane Friedman’s blog to explain how to become a bestseller through money, luck, or work (mostly work).

Chris Winkle helps you distinguish between structured and unstructured advice. Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb offers some perspective on self-editing your dialogue and characters.

Chris Yogerst explores how Stan Lee became the man behind Marvel. Los Angeles Review of Books

Sarah Laskow invites you to go medieval by attaching a book to your belt. Atlas Obscura

Be well until Thoughty Thursday!

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 15-21, 2018

Here are a few items to get your mental corn popping.

Cara Giaimo shares everything we know about birds that glow. Atlas Obscura

The Los Angeles Times editorial board says it’s time to phase out all single-use plastics.

David Costanza begs, can we please stop talking about generations as if they’re a thing? Slate

I didn’t know where to put this, really. Megan Senseney reviews the history of the spite house. Seems like an expensive way to get revenge to me. Urbo

Steven Silver offers an Apple crime roundup. Find out, among other things, how an Apple watch helped solve a murder. Writer fuel? You betcha! Apple Insider

Clive Irving lauds how veteran fighter pilot Tammy Jo Shults saved crippled Southwest flight 1380. The Daily Beast

Kyra Gaunt: how the jump rope got its rhythm. TED Talks

Artful science: Imogen Heap sings salt shapes.

 

And check out this beautiful moon Saturn occultation.

 

Inverse: Your Brain on Social Media. It’s not all bad …

 

Watch out, Grumpy Cat. Loki’s here to steal your throne. Vaiva Vareikaite for Bored Panda.

I hope you got some great ideas from this week’s batch of thought 🙂

Be well until next Tipsday!

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