Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Aug 7-13, 2022

Welcome to another week filled with informal writerly learnings. Enjoy them on your porch or deck with some iced tea or lemonade as you soak in the summer!

Richelle Lyn is acquiring a virtual mentor. Then, Jeanette the Writer is applying the scientific method to writing and editing. Lori Walker interviews Sarah Adlakha about time travel and alternate timelines in historical fiction. Later in the week, Dominique Richardson explores the ins and outs of writing a young adult novel. Finally, Helen Scheuerer shares five tips for writing a successful series. DIY MFA

A procrastinator’s guide to finishing things. Struthless

Sarah Callender enumerates the perks and perils of pursuing approval. Jim Dempsey: writers have a lot too think about. Kathleen McCleary: to tell the truth. Kathryn Craft wants you to fill your writing life. David Corbett wonders what your character is hiding: the power of secrets. Later in the week, Yuvi Zalkow shares the fuzzy secrets to writing a decent novel. Writer Unboxed

Is Siren Head the ultimate modern monster? Monstrum | PBS Storied

Melinda Van Lone considers fantastic fantasy and scintillating science fiction covers. Then, Sarah (Sally) Hamer wonders how many scenes does it take to tell your story? Ellen Buikema offers some important font considerations for writers. Writers in the Storm

K.M. Weiland wonders how perfect does your structural timing need to be? Helping Writers Become Authors

Why villains love contracts. Tale Foundry

C.S. Lakin shares four steps to create perfect plot twists. Live, Write, Thrive

Tiffany Yates Martin explains how suspense and tension work together to increase story impact. Then, Sangeeta Mehta interviews agents Allison Hunter and Jennifer Weltz about how books are adapted for the screen. Jane Friedman

How mountains inspire mythology. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Marissa Graff shares three tricks to reel in your readers with flashbacks. Then, September C. Fawkes explains why a strong plot requires a significant goal. Writers Helping Writers

Tiffany Yates Martin is having fun with query letters (no, seriously). Fox Print Editorial

Nine things to do before starting a novel. Shaelin Writes

Chris Winkle says your story needs tension, not violence. Oren Ashkenazi: Strange New Worlds reveals the danger of a theme-breaking plot. Mythcreants

The content genre: object of desire and values in story. Story Grid

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

Emily Zarevich uncovers the hoax that inspired Mary Shelley. JSTOR Daily

Ada Palmer: the plotter vs. pantser divide has been exaggerated. Tor.com

Shashi Tharoor says the attack on Salman Rushdie is also an attack on freedom of expression. The Quint

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

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

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, July 31-Aug 6, 2022

It is time, my writerly friends, to get your mental corn popping!

Dylan Lovan reports that feds charge four police officers in fatal Breonna Taylor raid. Associated Press

“A specific form of anti-Black racism”: scholars want Canadian apology for slavery on Emancipation Day. CTV News

Saba Aziz: hate crime reports in Canada surged during covid-19 pandemic: StatCan. Global News

Wency Leung wonders, is there a covid-19 endgame still in sight with BA.5 spreading fast? Not with vaccines alone. The Globe and Mail

Natalia Zinets says there’s a glimmer of hope as Ukraine grain ship leaves Odessa port. Reuters

Matthew Lee, Nomaan Merchant, and Aamer Madhani: Biden declares killing of al-Qaida leader is long-sought “justice.” Associated Press

The four things you need to be an expert. Vertasium

Arthur C. Brooks explains how to embrace doing nothing. Like literally. The Atlantic

Tracy Brower: this is how job stress can worsen your health, according to science. Fast Company

Lindsay Kohler explains why boredom at work is more dangerous than burnout. Forbes

Clark Quinn wonders if learning and development (L&D) language is limiting? Learnlets

Harold Jarche is navigating complexity (in personal knowledge management).

How Fahrenheit fails you. Answer in Progress

Ashley Strickland: rare type of galaxy dazzles in new Webb telescope image. CNN

Why is puberty so weird? Be Smart

Ian Sample reports that scientists create world’s first synthetic embryos. It’s more about understanding how organs develop in a fetus and the potential for growing transplants from stem cells like bone marrow for leukemia patients. The Guardian

Jill K. Robinson: in Polynesia, tattoos are more than skin deep. National Geographic

Allyson Chiu says when celebrities use private jets excessively, it’s a climate nightmare. The Washington Post

True facts: the self-sacrificing amoeba. Ze Frank

Thank you for visiting. I hope you took away something to support 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, July 31-Aug 6, 2022

Welcome to tipsday, your opportunity to fill up on informal writerly learnings for the week!

Also, I’m super excited for the launch of Pirating Pups at When Words Collide this coming Friday, August 12, at 3 pm MT, 5 pm EDT. WWC is virtual again this year and registration is FREE. Find out more on their website.

LA Bourgeois: stalk your curiosity. Stephanie BwaBwa suggests some more tools for your self-publishing toolbox. Then, Olivia Fisher is all about middle-grade fiction. Kris Calvin shows you how to use shared themes in your favorite childhood books to write as an adult. Later in the week, Gilbert Bassey lists five must-haves for a great ending. DIY MFA

Multiverses, nihilism, and how it feels to be alive right now. Like Stories of Old

Greer Macallister: the power of surprise. Donald Maass helps you write elusive inner moments. Then, Sarah Penner provides a writer’s guide to breaking the rules. Rheea Mukherjee shares three things she learned going on submission with her first book. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland shares 13 rules to becoming a better beta reader. Helping Writers Become Authors

Characters who never lived. Tale Foundry

Diana Stout points out the relation between the law of abundance and you as a writer. Then, Janice Hardy helps you create stronger characters by giving them roles. Stefan Emunds explains the yin and yang relationship between psychology and storytelling. Writers in the Storm

Elizabeth Spann Craig offers five tips for getting through a tough spot in a project.

Neil Chase pits antagonist vs. villain: what’s the difference? Writers Helping Writers

Shaelin explains why telling and exposition are actually good. Shaelin Writes

Joanna Penn interviews Sacha Black about lessons learned from three years as a full-time author. The Creative Penn

Nathan Bransford: try to make each scene do more than one thing.

Tiffany Yates Martin explains how Joanna Penn revises by measuring what she creates. Fox Print Editorial

Writing exercises for poets. Reedsy

Chris Winkle reveals how to give social justice feedback (in a way that won’t upset the author). Then, Oren Ashkenazi lists the five reasons prequel stories are so difficult. Mythcreants

Hillel Italie says antitrust trial puts publishing industry in the dock. Associated Press

Vittoria Traverso interviews Pablo Olbi about keeping the centuries-old tradition of Venetian bookbinding alive. Atlas Obscura

Ellen Gutoskey lists nine dirty words with appropriate secondary definitions. Mental Floss

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, July 24-30, 2022

It’s time, once again, to get your mental corn popping!

Amy Forliti reports that the last to ex-cops involved in George Floyd’s murder have been sentenced. Associated Press

Porter Braswell explains the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. Fast Company

Julia Métreaux: how to dismantle systemic ableism, according to disabled people. DAME

Matthew Rodriguez: the House passed the Respect for Marriage Act. 157 republicans voted against it. Them

Tom Yun and Melissa Lopez-Martinez report that Pope Francis issues apology for residential school abuses: “I ask forgiveness.” CTV News

Eric Reguly and Joy Spearchief-Morris: Pope Francis holds second mass amid calls for broader residential school apology. The Globe and Mail

Simon Lewis introduces us to the Ukrainian fighters standing in Russia’s way on the eastern front. Reuters

Helen Regan and Rhea Mogul report that Myanmar junta executes leading democracy activists. CNN

Maria Cheng: WHO declares monkeypox a global emergency; Canada confirms 681 cases. CTV News

Consent … is messy. Khadija Mbowe

Guy Kawasaki interviews Ayelet Fishbach about the art of goals, incentives, and motivation. The Remarkable People Podcast

Ellen Scott wonders, could “quiet quitting” be the answer to burnout? What you need to know. Metro

Darren MacDonald reports that more than $38 million in LU scholarship and bursary money gone, court filing shows. CTV News

Eclipses that don’t eclipse? SciShow Space

Vladimir Isachenkov and Marcia Dunn report that Russia to drop out of International Space Station after 2024. Associated Press

Amelia Soth: gold weights and wind scales in the Asante empire. JSTOR Daily

Willow Defebaugh: burning out. On the intersection of climate change and personal burnout. Atmos

Serge Pellissier wonders, can electric vehicle batteries be recycled? Fast Company

Olivia Box examines the interaction of ecosystems and extreme weather events. JSTOR Daily

Linda Geddes announces that fossil of earliest animal predator named after David Attenborough. The Guardian

Anna Kate Cannon introduces us to the plant of the month: white sage. JSTOR Daily

Vanessa Gera reports that Polish institute classifies cats as invasive alien species. And cats (and cat-lovers) ain’t too pleased. Associated Press

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project.

This weekend, I should have my super-massive July next chapter update posted (trying something new—we’ll see how it flies).

Until then, keep staying safe and well!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, July 24-30, 2022

Welcome to August! The dog days are here, and so is this week’s batch of informal writerly learnings 🙂

Kim Bullock offers some productivity lessons from a simpler time: praise, criticism, and self-reflection. Then, Elizabeth Huergo shares readings for writers: on writing (and revising) well. Kelsey Allagood is diagnosing writer’s block: symptoms, remedies, and prevention. Then, Julia Whelan hosts a deathmatch between first and second novels. Porter Anderson: just artificial, not intelligence. Writer Unboxed

The surprising origins of vampires (w/ Dr. Emily Zarka of Monstum). PBS Origins

K.M. Weiland explains how to structure a novel with multiple main characters. Helping Writers Become Authors

What is a masterwork? Definition and examples in books and film. Story Grid

Are bilinguals smarter? Otherwords | PBS Storied

Michelle Barker tackles the dreaded synopsis. Then, Dr. Natalie Dale shares three medical mistakes to avoid in your story. Writers Helping Writers

Kris Maze suggests you research your novel on a rambling road trip. Then, Lisa Hall-Wilson explains why first person POV is NOT deep POV. Shirley Jump wants you to use impossible choices to empower your conflict. Writers in the Storm

How the “manipulative victim” trope hurts female presenting people everywhere. The Take

Nathan Bransford says, don’t build your scenes around the information you think you need to impart.

E.J. Wenstrom shares lessons learned from joining a new social media network. Then, Sara Farmer lists her favourite mystery games. Later in the week, Erin La Rosa shares five ways to market your book as a debut author. DIY MFA

On world building death. Hello, Future Me

Wendy Sparrow explains how to make your editing process more efficient. Jami Gold

Sharon Oard Warner shows you how to move between scenes with summary and spacers. Jane Friedman

Tiffany Yates Martin says failure IS an option. Fox Print Editorial

Seven ways to outline your novel. Reedsy

Chris Winkle says a character goal isn’t a story, but it’s close. Then, Oren Ashkenazi (tongue firmly in cheek) lists six more ways to make your writing cinematic. Mythcreants

Livia Gershon: who made that word, and why? JSTOR Daily

Brian Attebery lists his top ten 21st-century fantasy novels. The Guardian

Thanks for spending some time with me! I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

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

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, July 17-23, 2022

It’s been hot and humid for the past couple of weeks. Nothing to compare with what some areas have experienced, but climate change is having its effect even up here in northeastern Ontario.

Grab a cooling beverage, put your feet up, and get your mental corn popping.

Steve Karnowski: ex-cop gets 2 ½ years for violating George Floyd’s rights. Associated Press

Katie Fustich says that Handmaid’s Tale imagery hurts the abortion fight. Teen Vogue

Ukraine and Russia: what you need to know right now. Reuters

Khadija Mbowe tackles the topic of men in pearls. You can always change your mind

Erica Alini explains why Canadians with long covid struggle to access financial aid. The Globe and Mail

Laurentian files plan of arrangement; announces Haché’s retirement. One thing the article doesn’t mention, that subsequently emerged on the news, is that they’re liquidating grant, scholarship, and research funding. I’m thinking some people aren’t going to stand for that. Sudbury.com

Gloria Liu: in praise of pointless goals. The Atlantic

Maggie Zhou explains why anti-goals might be the best approach to future planning. Refinery 29

Stephanie Vozza defines the four boundaries your brain needs to feel less overwhelmed. Fast Company

Guy Kawasaki interviews Pamela Hawley about how to foster volunteerism and social activism. The Remarkable People Podcast

Clark Quinn considers templates as content extensions. Learnlets

Pema Bakshi explains the 14 types of romantic crushes. Refinery 29

The JWST pictures you probably haven’t seen yet. SciShow

Will Dunham: scientists find a black hole deemed a “needle in a haystack.” Reuters

Why no one can agree on what’s really the tallest mountain. Be Smart

Ian Rose: every good bird does fine. JSTOR Daily

Carolyn Kormann is saving the butterfly forest. The New Yorker

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you found something to inspire a future creative project.

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, July 17-23, 2022

Welcome to the last tipsday of July (!) Is summer really half over? I’ll call for a moment of silence … Half over. Really? Damn. All rightie, then. Console yourselves with some informal writerly learnings.

Disha Walia: ready … set … writing prompts! Richelle Lyn helps you build your brain power. Then, Patrice Gopo explains how the direct address and epistolary essay can energize your writing. Mason Engel provides a reconnaissance report on creativity’s six greatest enemies. Later in the week, Anson Leung shares five tips for writing an emotional piece. DIY MFA

The home that lives in you. Tale Foundry

Jan O’Hara says, I hear sizzling. Where’s the steak? Then, Dave King wonders, how long should your book be? John J. Kelley is getting back to basics—the character arc. Writer Unboxed

Donnie Darko’s meaning of life. The Take

K.M. Weiland shares seven tips for opening your story in medias res. Helping Writers Become Authors

Angela Ackerman explains how to avoid writer’s guilt this summer. Then, Lynette M. Burrows helps you create a compelling plot with what-but-therefore. Ellen Buikema shares satisfying ways to end a story. Writers in the Storm

Aztec mythology and the origins of humanity. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Alexander Lewis shares the secret side careers of successful authors. Then, Sharon Oard Warner says, good scenes require specifics. Jane Friedman

Lisa Hall Wilson explains how to identify your character’s emotional triggers. Writers Helping Writers

Tips for discovery writers. Shaelin Writes

Nathan Bransford says, don’t count on agents and publishers to polish your diamond in the rough.

Tiffany Yates Martin: giving your all for the few. Fox Print Editorial

Genre conventions are the must-have elements of story. Worldbuilding in story: how to create a compelling alternate world. Character development: writing believable avatars that change. Story Grid

How to structure the third quarter. Ellen Brock

Kristen Lamb is experiencing optimism overdose: sometimes life stinks.

Chris Winkle cribs lessons from the appropriative writing of Gemma Doyle. Then, Oren Ashkenazi stages a three-way battle between The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Mythcreants

How to build a world building bible. Reedsy

V.M. Braganza lists ten women writing in the time of Shakespeare. Mental Floss

Mary Ann Sieghart asked Ian McEwen, Salman Rushdie, Richard Curtis, and others to recommend books by women every man should read. The Guardian

Silvia Moreno-Garcia shares her fascination with creation gone awry: on the build-a-humans of 19th-century literature. Literary Hub

And that was tipsday.

Thanks for taking the time to visit, and I hope you took away something too support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe, my writerly friends!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, July 10-16, 2022

How has your week been, my writerly friends? Good news: it’s thoughty Thursday and that means tomorrow is Friday 🙂 It’s time to get your mental corn popping in time for the weekend.

Where did the blind and Black musician trope come from? Historian’s Take | PBS Origins

Tamara Dean reveals the truth about the history of abortion in America. The Guardian

Matthew Wills relates the history of policing abortion. JSTOR Daily

Pro-life vs. pro-choice: Roe vs. Wade overturned. Uncomfortable Conversations with Emmanuel Acho

Mary Yamaguchi reports that Japan’s ruling party wins big in polls in wake of Abe’s death. Associated Press

Hannah Ellis-Petersen: Sri Lankans revel in overrun presidential palace. The Guardian

Len Gillis interviews Kim Fahner about her experience with long covid. Sudbury.com

Nihilism, absurdity, and hope … online and off. Khadija Mbowe

Savanah Walsh: Constance Wu says she attempted suicide after Fresh Off the Boat tweets stoked ire. Vanity Fair

Monica Torres lists five work personality traits that are actually forms of anxiety. The Huffington Post

Clark Quinn: emotion, motivation, or … Learnlets

Harold Jarche considers intentionality in personal knowledge management (PKM).

Melissa Angell: a good night’s sleep is vital for heart health. Inc.

The Webb’s forst four (actually seven) images explained. SciShow Space

The first images of the hidden universe from the James Webb Space Telescope. NASA

Marie-Louise Gumuchian reports that primatologist Jane Goodall gets a Barbie. Reuters

Catherine Bush wants us to become Earth’s aunties. “What if … we cared for the world’s future inhabitants like aunts? As if the people-to-be and the more-than-human are not ours — because they are not.” Noema

Thanks for stopping by, 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, July 10-16, 2022

This week promises to be a hot, humid one up here in northeastern Ontario. Stay cool. Stay well. And use some of your downtime productively perusing these informal writerly learnings.

Barbara Linn Probst takes a closer look at a place to write. Then, Jim Dempsey considers the right decisions to write. Kathryn Craft is seeing through a character’s eyes, literally. The Desmond Hall drops some writerly wisdom on us: lessons from The New Actors Workshop. Writer Unboxed

Sexy schoolgirl scale mail: an armour tier list. Jill Bearup

K.M. Weiland is clearing up some misconceptions about in medias res. Helping Writers Become Authors

Lisa Norman explains how to succeed as an author. Eldred Bird: it’s a mystery to me. Then, Jenny Hansen wonders, are writers born, or made? Writers in the Storm

Sue Coletta presents a back cover copy formula. Writers Helping Writers

The seven elements of a strong story. Reedsy

Your world building can captivate readers and never let them go. Kristen Lamb

Nathan Bransford: what happens on and off the page in your novel?

Lauren J. Sharkey says writing is about connecting. Adam Burgess considers Magic’s Pawn a classic LGBTQ+ high fantasy. Then, Lori Walker interviews Natalka Burian about flashbacks, time travel, and multiple mysteries. Later in the week, Lee Bukowski shares five tips for writing about sensitive subjects. DIY MFA

The Handmaid’s Tale—what’s come true and what hasn’t. The Take

The eastern/western genre: stories of subjugation and freedom. Story Grid

Sharon Oard Warner: the building blocks of scene. Jane Friedman

Tiffany Yates Martin goes beyond character goal and motivation—the longing and the lack. Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle shows how you can tell Kamala Kahn has ADHD. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories with clashing choices. Mythcreants

Writing 2nd person—the forgotten POV. Shaelin Writes

Brahmjot Kaur explains how Ms. Marvel went from “woke” and “cringe” to the franchise’s highest-rated. NBC News

Emily Zarevich tells the tale of Michael Field: one name, two (women) authors. JSTOR Daily

Nicole Chung interviews Pia Owens about negotiation tips for writers and creatives. The Atlantic

Writing advice from Rachel Yoder: take a break, hug a tree. Literary Hub

Thank you for spending some of your valuable time with me. I hope you found something to support your current work in process.

Until Thursday, be well and stay (cool and) safe!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, July 3-9, 2022

Welcome to thoughty Thursday, your opportunity to get your mental corn popping. And happy Friday eve, all!

Steve Karnowski reports that Chauvin sentenced 21 years for violating George Floyd’s civil rights. Associated Press

Samantha Beech and Dakin Andone: Jayland Walker suffered at least 60 wounds in fatal police shooting, Akron police chief says, as authorities release bodycam footage. CNN

Ashley Domingo Hendricks explains what dance activism is. JSTOR Daily

Aborting the sun: the facts, the feels, the action. Khadija Mbowe

Rebecca Deczynski says that, with Roe gone, entrepreneurs and brands are fundraising for reproductive rights organizations. Inc.

Crystal Echo Hawk: women’s bodies are no longer their own. For Native people, they never have been. Elle

Cazembe Murphy Jackson is a trans man who had an abortion: reproductive rights is everyone’s fight. Esquire

Satoshi Sugiyama and Chang-Ran Kim reveal that Shinzo Abe’s assassin used a handmade firearm. Reuters

Martin Finucane reports that Boston researchers may have found the biomarker for long covid. The Boston Globe

Clark Quinn wants instructional designers to think about activities beyond the course. Learnlets

Guy Kawasaki interviews Esther Dyson on what’s after success. The Remarkable People Podcast

Joe tries to land a plane (to prove a point). Be Smart

The Next Big Idea Club says it’s time to reframe our thoughts about anxiety. Here’s how to use it productively. “Treating all anxiety as a disease hinders us from finding ways to manage and use anxiety to our advantage, and from benefiting from treatments when we do need extra support.” Fast Company

Alex Pasternack wonders what physicists have found and what they’re looking for next at the CERN Large Hadron Collider. Fast Company

Meet the microbes that could eat your trash. TED-Ed

Olivia Box admires sacred trees in Japan. JSTOR Daily

Thank you for taking the time to visit. 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!