Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Mar 10-16, 2019

It’s time to get your mental corn popping!

Jessica Conditt: Good Omens and the art of avoiding Armageddon. Engadget

ASAP Science exposes the biggest lie about climate change.

 

Michaeleen Doucleff reveals how Inuit parents teach kids to control their anger. NPR

Dr. Brian Goldman interviews Alan Alda about teaching doctors empathy on CBC’s “White Coat, Black Art.”

SciShow Space looks at three solar systems astronomers can’t quite figure out.

 

Noor Al-Samarrai: a medical manual linking medieval Ireland to the Islamic world has been found. Atlas Obscura

Philippe Bohstrom reports that the beads found in 3,400-year-old Danish graves were made by King Tut’s glassmaker. Haaretz

Use your head … and your butt … like Nancy, the bolas spider. Ze Frank

 

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

thoughtythursday2016

Advertisements

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Mar 10-16, 2019

Another week, another bunch of informal writerly learnings 🙂

There’s not as much as usual, because last week’s Facebook outage sacrificed a whole day’s worth of curation. Sorry, but it’s still the easiest way for me to track my online reading.

Nina Munteanu explains how to stoke the scintillation of inspiration.

Julianna Baggott offers three clues that you may be a more productive writer. Kathryn Craft tells you when to let go of your original inspiration. Writer Unboxed

Christina Delay wants you to invite creativity through meditation. Writers in the Storm

K.M. Weiland says that plot, character, and theme are the greatest love triangle of all time. Helping Writers Become Authors

Elisabeth Kauffman answers a question about character description and POV. Stephanie Jo Harris shares five tips for fearless writing. DIY MFA

Chris Winkle answers a writing question: how do I keep my non-productive immortal race from becoming problematic? Then, Chris teams up with Oren Ashkenazi: five ways your characters can acquire magic. Finally, Oren tackles five more underpowered antagonists. Mythcreants

Jami Gold talks about story threads and fixing the rips in our stories. Victoria Mixon explains how to layer character for believable fiction. Writers Helping Writers

Alexa Donne tries to help you figure out if you’re a good writer.

 

Mary Hynes: when hope is “punk” and grudge is forgiveness. “Tapestry” on CBC.

Ben H. Winters wonders what the make-believe bureaucracies of science fiction say about us? The New York Times

And that was Tipsday. Come back on Thursday for some fuel for your thoughts.

Until then, be well, my friends!

tipsday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Mar 3-9, 2019

It’s time to get your mental corn popping!

Maya Wei-Haas says, if you’re tired of Daylight Savings Time, check out these places that are trying to end it. National Geographic

Chris Baraniuk: the new weapon in the fight against crime. BBC

AC Shilton lists nine ways to stop using so much single-use plastic. Outside Online

Laura Staugaitis shows us an art installation in the Hebrides that demonstrates the impact of climate change. This is Colossal

Scott Wilson wonders, could the massive aquifer under the Mojave Desert help solve California’s water problem? The Washington Post

Caren Chesler writes about the technological vision quest. It’s not all about a cure (though at least one man is waiting for just that). It’s more about giving those with limited to no vision technological aids so that they can more easily navigate the world on their terms. Popular Mechanics

Michael Greshko examines how we make, remember, and forget memories. National Geographic

Deborah MacKenzie: we may finally know what causes Alzheimer’s—and how to stop it. New Scientist

Apoorva Mandavilli reports on the second patient cured of H.I.V. and why this is a milestone in the global AIDS epidemic. The New York Times

Gianluca Mezzofiore: two astronauts will perform the first all-female spacewalk in history. CNN

SciShow Space news edumacates us about Mars’ ancient underground lakes and SpaceX’s successful Demo 1 mission.

 

Physics Girl explains Stephen Hawking’s final theory about black holes. It involves soft hair.

 

Deborah Netburn digs into an archaeological find: more than 140 children may have had their hearts torn out in ancient Peru. L.A. Times

Louise Pryke introduces us to Enheduanna, princess, priestess, and the worlds first author. The Conversation

Open Culture shares the news: The Book of Kells has now been digitized.

PBS Eons looks at the islands of huge hamsters and giant owls.

 

Bored Panda shares the photographs of Lisa, AKA ostdrossel, who set cameras in front of her birdfeeders. They’re amazing and hilarious.

Linda Lombardi wonders, do anxious owners make for anxious dogs? National Geographic

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something to fuel your creative efforts.

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

thoughtythursday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Mar 3-9, 2019

I have a lot of informal writerly learnings for you this week.

By the way, a couple weeks ago, I decided to group posts by blog/source. Are you liking this slight rearrangement, or do you find it more difficult to read? Let me know, if you wish, in the comments. I can always change things back. More whitespace on the page can be helpful for readers.

Oren Ashkenazi examines six common mistakes in fight scenes and explains how to avoid them. Bunny explains how to use the uncanny in your writing. Mythcreants

Greer Macallister explains what it means to be a working writer. Sophie Masson outlines the options for planning your book launch (‘cause not every publisher has budget for that anymore). Donald Maass eschews his usual concise and pithy titles in this installment: nasty, menacing, and murderous protagonists and why we love them. Alma Katsu offers tips for complex historical research. David Corbett writes about what it means to sink into the bog. Kathryn Magendie wants to thank those who encourage us to write and dig deeper. Writer Unboxed

Joanna Penn interviews Sacha Black on how to create heroes and villains for the Creative Penn podcast. Then Bharat Krishnan stops by to discuss how to write diversity authentically. The Creative Penn

James Scott Bell visits Writers Helping Writers: does every protagonist need an arc? Spoilers: yes, but it doesn’t have to be a positive or negative change arc. Sometimes … it’s flat (no change). Janice Hardy stops by later in the week to point out three ways writers tell, don’t show and how to fix them.

Abigail K. Perry examines another of James Scott Bell’s signpost scenes. This time, #8: pet the dog. Brenda Joyce Patterson takes a deep dive into flash non-fiction. Gabriela Pereira interviews Anita Sarkeesian and Ebony Adams for DIY MFA radio. Rachel Thompson list five ways to celebrate women and non-binary authors on International Women’s Day. DIY MFA

Fae Rowan wants to write the perfect book. Spoiler: it’s not possible. What to do instead 😉 Then, Julie Glover wonders, have you forgotten to have fun writing? Writers in the Storm

Susan DeFreitas: when your query reveals a story-level problem. Jane Friedman

Self-rejection: what it is, why you do it, and how to chuck its ass out an airlock. Chuck Wendig, Terribleminds.

Ammi-Joan Paquette is taming the synopsis with these four steps. Writer’s Digest

Jami Gold says, what makes a story uplifting is more than a happy ending.

Rosa Saba: authors irritated by “smug” defense of the Vancouver website they say is stealing their work. Readers, shun ebook.bike. SHUN! The Toronto Star

And that is tipsday for this week. Come back on Thursday for some inspiration and research resources.

Until then, be well, my friends!

tipsday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Feb 24-Mar 2, 2019

It’s time to get your mental corn popping with some thoughty Thursday links 🙂

Mary McNamara shares the amazing Emma Thompson’s letter to Skydance regarding the reasons she chose to leave Luck. #metoo LA Times

Jonathan Watts says that concrete is the most destructive material on Earth. The Guardian

David Dobbs: climate change has entered its blood sucking phase. The Atlantic

Ed Yong reports on the troubling discovery made in the deepest ocean trenches. The Atlantic

SciShow Space considers what life might be like on a tidally locked planet.

 

SciShow Psych looks at depression and anxiety and what psychologists and neuroscientists have discovered about them.

 

And they science the shit out of inspiration 🙂

 

Thu-Huong Ha shows us how Bolivia’s most Instagrammable houses showcase indigenous peoples’ reclaimed power. Quartz

Messy Nessy opens their cabinet of Chic curiosities to tour Bernie Madoff’s underwater ballroom. This was featured in Roz Morris’s novel, Lifeform Three. If you like abandoned places or cool architecture, this will be your thing 🙂

Lily Strelich tries to solve an artful mystery: why are Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings breaking out in pimples? The Smithsonian Magazine

And that was your thoughty for the week.

Until next time, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories.

thoughtythursday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 24-Mar 2, 2019

All rightie, then! It’s time for some informal writerly learnings.

Lisa Hall-Wilson: how to make dominant female characters likeable. Then, Tiffany Yates-Martin helps you get unblocked and avoid writer’s block. Later still, Orly Konig shares the secrets to turning a lemon into a book. Writers in the Storm

Julia Munroe Martin advises on the care and feeding of the weary writer. Barbara O’Neal is a writer seeking experiences (it’s called filling the well). Then, Jeanne Kisacky asks, what keeps your characters up at night? Writer Unboxed

Jenna Moreci offers her top tips on writing healthy relationships.

 

K.M. Weiland examines her difficulties with writing: seven things to try when writing is hard. Helping Writers Become Authors

Janice Hardy explains the difference between archetypes, tropes, and clichés. Later in the week, Janice explores one common way writers weaken their descriptions. Fiction University

Emily Wenstrom shares her tips for decluttering your social media accounts.  My latest column came out on Tuesday. How to build an alien: extremophiles. Then, Gabriela Pereira interviews Glynn Stewart about twisting the tropes of military science fiction. DIY MFA

Jerry B. Jenkins stops by Writers Helping Writers to help you write backstory through dialogue.

Chris Winkle wants you to plan super light stories. Mythcreants

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you found something to help you progress in your creative endeavours.

Be well until next time!

tipsday2016

The next chapter: February 2019 update

Here we are in March and the goals I set at the beginning of the year are falling apart.

FebruaryProgress

Once again, I managed to meet and marginally exceed my monthly drafting goal for Tamisashki. I aimed for 15,176 words and wrote 15,561, so 103%. Once again, I tried to aim for more production during the week so I could rest on the weekends 🙂

I undershot on the blog again, writing 3,824 of 4,200 words, or 91%.

My latest DIY MFA column was due, and I wrote 1,091 words of my 1,000-word goal, or 109%. Yay there.

My short fiction is where I’ve dropped the ball pen. My intention was to finish my January story and then write a flash piece for February. I didn’t manage to do either. I did write another 1,186 words on my January story and I’m in sight of the end, but then there’s revision, critique, and a final edit to get through before I send it out into the wild.

I ended up writing 47% of my short fiction goal and not even finishing a story. Ah well. I suck at short. It’s something I hope to change, but it’s tough going. I’ve had to cut back the story several times and I keep thinking that sacrificing content makes the story weaker. This isn’t the case, necessarily. It is my perception, though, and probably one of the reasons short is so difficult for me.

I also fell short on the poetry editing. I made it through all the poems that I had previously compiled in the collection, most (but not all) of them previously published and am now in a position of adding in the poems that I have written since I last worked on the project and deciding where they go. I also have to rearrange some of the poems. There is one section that I created that only has three poems in it. I figure I can find places for them elsewhere and make things flow a bit better. Finally, there’s one sprawling poem that I want to restructure. I had done this previously, but I seem to have lost all trace of the document 😦

Because of this change in emphasis, I decided to give it a bit of a break while I rally that part of my writerly brain geared up for the next push. I edited 23 of 28 poems, or 82% of my goal.

Overall, I write 21,662 words of my 22,876-word goal, or 95% for the month. The poetry was the only revision project on my radar right now and so I managed 82% of my revision goal.

Filling the well

I attended the Dbaajmawak Indigenous Writers’ Series on Feb 28, 2019. It was hosted by Greg Scofield in the Brenda Wallace Reading Room at Laurentian University. This session featured authors were Waubgeshig Rice and Rosanna Deerchild.

I’m currently reading Waub’s novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow. I’d picked it up at Wordstock last fall but didn’t have a chance to get him to sign it. Mission accomplished 🙂

Rosanna’s reading of her powerful poetry gave me the shivers several times, prompting me to get her latest collection, calling down the sky, and get her to sign it as well.

I participated in the Writing the Other Building Inclusive Worlds course, and while I didn’t get to several of the writing assignments, the lectures and discussions were great. I’m a newbie in this arena and very hesitant to speak, or write, my thoughts. It was a challenge, but in a good way. I’m finding my way to awareness of my own biases, dismantling my assumptions, and learning to be a good ally, if nothing else.

I also took part in Dan Blank’s Social Media for Writers Facebook group. I enjoy his videos and insights. More than anything else, it confirms that I’m on the right track, though I really do need to put together an author newsletter. It’s work for the future, once I have my poetry collection and short fiction collections out. I’ll probably look at migrating this blog from WordPress.com to a self-hosted version at that time, as well, but again, in the future. And I’ll have to see how other aspects of my life align with these plans.

The month in reading and watching

In terms of books, I finished Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Wild Shore and enjoyed it. I read Bo Bolander’s short story “Our Talons can Crush Galaxies.” I enjoyed it, but it was more for the unconventional form of the story rather than the story itself. I also finished Elizabeth Bear’s Range of Ghosts, which I loved.

I burned through Naomi Novik’s Uprooted and Spinning Silver and loved them both, the latter, if anything, more than the former. It was more about the relationships between the young women of the novel and about what one sacrifices for family. Uprooted is based on the fairy tale of Baba Yaga, and Spinning Silver takes on Rumplestiltskin, but Novik takes both is very different directions from the source material.

Sarah Selecky’s Radiant, Shimmering Light was my more literary read of the month. It was interesting. The protagonist, Lilian, is a social media (mostly Instagram) obsessed creative entrepreneur. She paints animal portraits with auras, a talent (to see those animal auras) she’s had since she was a child. Selecky spent part of her childhood in Sudbury, and so I enjoyed the periodic references to my home town in the novel and Lilian’s latest-spoken wish in the book to get a cottage somewhere in the northeast and devote herself to her work.

Lilian is another unreliable narrator and that’s probably why I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I could have. Though there’s also a lot of female friendship in the novel, it all has a thin, unrealistic veneer, much like our social media obsessed age. The book left me with some major questions that I would have preferred more grounding on, but like Lilian, they’re left floating. It reminded me, in part, of Margaret Atwood’s Lady Oracle, which also left me dissatisfied.

Then, I read Rebecca Roanhorse’s Trail of Lightning. Perfection. It’s the only read this year so far that I’ve given five stars to.

I caught The Incredibles 2, and thought the movie a worthy successor. Jak-Jak is hilarious (I did LOL). The characters all aged and had newer problems to deal with and the writers did a good job or resolving those more personal issues in the midst of the continued super-ban and latest global crisis.

Phil and I enjoyed The Umbrella Academy. I was somewhat disappointed when Vanya lost her mind and went all murder-y and apocalyptic. We discussed it, and there were indications that Vanya’s power used her rather than the other way around, but I was still left wondering why the writers made those particular, misogynist choices. I also understand that Vanya’s arc in the series was different than her arc in the graphic novel (which I would have found more dissatisfying—I Googled) but if they wanted to take her character in a different direction, they could have made braver, more original decisions.

I also finished watching the latest season of Frontier, Jason Mamoa’s passion project, on Netflix. It’s a kind of love/hate show for me. The continual tug of war between the same group of people is getting tiresome. It’s dark, but fairly historically accurate, so far as I can tell. I’ll probably continue to watch it.

And that it for this month’s update.

Until my next blog post, 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, Feb 17-23, 2019

Thoughty Thursday’s here with a mixed bag of edutainment to get your mental corn popping!

Jamie Shreeve: if life exists beyond Earth, how do we find it? National Geographic

SciShow reveals what scientists have discovered to date about Stonehenge—and how much more remains to be learned.

 

Sharanya Deepak investigates how climate change has put Kashmir’s saffron under threat. Eater

David Roberts looks at the California coalition tackling one of the hardest, unsexist aspects of climate policy. Vox

Messy Nessy Chic profiles the real ice queens: women who conquered the cold wearing corsets.

SciShow Psych looks at the enneagram personality types and the science (or lack thereof) that supports them.

 

Ross Andersen reveals how scientists are totally reconsidering animal cognition. The Atlantic

Last weekend, I shared a picture of two pileated woodpeckers dancing around a tree trunk on social media. This is what they were up to 😉

 

Sarah Zhang figures out why we think cats are psychopaths. It’s just “resting cat face.” The Atlantic

True facts about the lemur. Ze Frank. Man, I’ve missed these!

 

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something inspiring in thoughty Thursday.

This weekend, I’ll be posting my monthly next chapter update.

Until then, be well, my friends.

thoughtythursday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 17-23, 2019

Good evening, my lovelies! It’s time to peruse your informal writlerly learnings for the week 🙂

Leanne Sowul exposes the battle between time and energy. Later in the week, Bess Cozby shows you four ways to protect your creative brain. And then, Marielle Orff shares five steps to giving an awesome podcast interview. DIY MFA

Vaughn Roycroft: storytelling and stepping beyond the veil. Writer Unboxed

Rachael Stephen explains how to revise your story.

 

Phoebe Wood shares her strategy for turning your first draft into a second draft.

 

Angela Ackerman stops by Writers in the Storm to share the One Stop for Writers Fast Track Tool for character creation. Then, Tasha Seegmiller invites you to sit with your discomfort: negotiating difficult critiques. Later in the week, Laura Drake shows you how to exorcise redundant writing.

Becca Puglisi visits Helping Writers Become Authors: seven things your character is hiding.

Oren Ashkenazi: seven signs of bad media analysis. Mythcreants

Diego Courchay describes how an Italian writer’s fictional garden became a place of literary pilgrimage. Atlas Obscura

And that is tipsday for this week. Be sure to check in on Thursday for your weekly dose of thoughty.

Until then, be well!

tipsday2016