Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Oct 24-30, 2021

And … this will be the last thought Thursday until December 9th! Get your mental corn popping 🙂

The media and the missing; ‘Missing White Woman Syndrome’ explained | Khadija Mbowe

Tanya Talaga reveals that Canada has not truly released all residential school records. The Globe and Mail

Martha Troian: a Cree family’s canoe is returned, after sitting in a University of Saskatchewan storage room for years. Maclean’s

Haley Ott reports that UK women are being drugged by needles in nightclubs. It’s the evolution of the roofie, folks. CBS News

Mari Yamaguchi: Japan’s Princess Mako relinquishes royal status to marry commoner. Associated Press

Public Health Sudbury and District issues covid-19 order as region becomes a hot spot. And we were doing so well … CBC

Sarah Larson reveals Brené Brown’s empire of emotion. The New Yorker

Dopamine isn’t just a happy chemical. SciShow Psych

William Deresiewicz: human history gets a rewrite. The Atlantic

GM to install 4,000 electric car charging stations across Canada. CBC

Ben Turner: scientists capture images of bizarre “electron ice” for the first time. Space.com

Tariq Malik reports that the Sun fires off major solar flare from Earth-facing sunspot. Space.com

An alternative to dark matter? SciShow Space

Jackie Wattles reveals that the alarm that went off on SpaceX’s all-tourist spaceflight was … the toilet. Toilet humour in SPACE #FTW! CNN

Olivia Box explains why the belowground ecosystem matters. JSTOR Daily

Suzanne Simard, author of Finding the Mother Tree, heads up The Mother Tree Project.

Kelli Bender reports on very good doggo Bear, who saved koalas during the Australian wildfires, and was honoured with an award. People

Mary Jo DiLonardo announces that dozens of bison released on Sioux tribal lands in South Dakota. Treehugger

Squil-le-he-le Raynell Morris and Tah-Mahs Ellie Kinley: one stolen whale, the web of life, and our collective healing. Grist

Thank you for taking the time to visit, and I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project.

I’ll pop in on the weekend for my first mini-update.

Until then, be well and stay safe; be kind and stay strong. The world needs your stories.

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Oct 24-30, 2021

This will be the last tipsday until December 7th! Yup, it’s NaNo again. So, stock up for the month and feel free to peruse past weeks’ posts as well. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but this tipsday is jam packed full of writerly goodness. Enjoy!

Kim Bullock faces a fork in the writerly road. KL Burd: “The loss we carry, a sea we must wade.” Elizabeth Huergo discusses genre and its discontents. Then, Milo Todd is losing the magic of writing: The Sweatbox. Heather Webb: Halloween is all about fear; turns out, so is publishing. Writer Unboxed

Racism and horror | Khadija Mbowe

K.M. Weiland poses six questions to help you avoid repetitive scenes. Helping Writers Become Authors

Lisa Cooper Ellison says that structure isn’t the Holy Grail you’re looking for. Jane Friedman

Vivek Hariharan shares six tips for expanding a novel into a series. Live, Write, Thrive

Princess Weekes reveals what the f—k happened behind the scenes of Justice League. Melina Pendulum

Kris Maze offers a worry-free approach to double down on your writing goals. Then, Laurie Schnebly Campbell asks, how deep should you go into your POV? Kathleen Baldwin makes the case for “was” and the much maligned passive voice. Writers in the Storm

Shaelin explains how to write a horror novel. Reedsy

Then she follows up with the best and worst horror tropes. Reedsy

Sue Coletta: what are pinch points and where do they go? Then, Colleen M. Story explains how to tell if you’ve found the best book marketing niche. Lisa Hall-Wilson lists five ways trauma makes your character an unreliable narrator. Writers Helping Writers

Kris Hill is creating characters using collaborative storytelling. Then, Manuela Williams explains how to organize a collection of poetry. Gabriela Pereira interviews Debbie Macomber about writing and publishing a Christmas novel. Then, Alison Stine explains how to write a cli-fi novel. Sarah Van Arsdale shares five ways to resist the inexorable forces pulling you from your writing. DIY MFA

On her own channel, Shaelin shares 20 NaNoWriMo tips. Shaelin Writes

Chuck Wendig reviews the worldbuilding in Villeneuve’s Dune. Emmie Mears shares five things she learned building a writing career the wrong way. Terribleminds

Chris Winkle lists five important ways episodic stories are different. Then, Oren Ahskenazi analyzes To Sleep in a Sea of Stars: how Paolini undercooked his setting. Mythcreants

Princess Weekes shares everything you didn’t know about the father of science fiction. It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Patricia A. Jackson shares a pantser’s tale: follow the white rabbit. Fiction University

Emily Zarka presents the werewolf’s modern metamorphosis. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Kristen Lamb explains how horror can improve your writing in any genre.

Guy Kawasaki interviews Seth Godin: marketing god, blogger, and author. The Remarkable People Podcast

“Queerbaiting” is a tricky term. Don’t abuse it. The Take

Alan Garner: “You don’t want to have a brilliant idea for a novel at the age of 87.” The Guardian

Ena Alvarado reveals the science and slavery in Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko. JSTOR Daily

Hanna Flint says that Dune is an accomplished escape into the realm of cinematic Arab appropriation. The New Arab

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

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Oct 17-23, 2021

We’re almost at the end of October! Will you NaNoWriMo this year? I’m still not sure. If I do, I’ll be a rebel and will probably set a goal considerably lower than 50k words. We’ll see.

Jesse Washington: history is made as reparations start to flow in Evanston, Illinois. The Undefeated

Olivia Sanchez and Meredith Kolodner explain why white students are 250% more likely to graduate than Black students at public universities. The Hechinger Report

Lizzo and the art of flaunting. Khadija Mbowe

Heidi Atter: Inuk woman creates language book to showcase fading Inuktitut dialect. CBC

John Reinan announces that the Mille Lacs Band launches Ojibwe language books. Star Tribune

Namrata Verghese explains Orientalism: a stereotyped, colonialist vision of Asian cultures. Teen Vogue

Hilary Whiteman reports that Australia’s offering money to help victims leave violent partners. CNN

Tanya Melendez reveals how TV lied about abortion. Vox

Sharon Pruitt-Young: covid 19 memes helped us cope with life in a pandemic, new study finds. NPR

Eleanor Cummins considers the self-help no one needs right now. The Atlantic

Monica Kidd reveals that Canada doesn’t know how bad its doctor shortage is, let alone how to fix it. The National Post

How to summon spirits. JSTOR Daily

Glaciers are disappearing as fast as you can ski down them. Climate Games | Physics Girl

Jonathan Watts: 99.9% of scientists agree climate emergency caused by humans. The Guardian

Justin Rowlatt and Tom Gerken uncover a document that reveals nations lobbying to change the “Red Alert” climate report ahead of COP26. BBC

Sand dunes shouldn’t exist. Here’s why they do. It’s okay to be smart

Michael Greshko: NASA’s Lucy mission blasts off to solve the mysteries of the solar system. National Geographic

Tom Metcalfe reports that signs of Vikings in North America found in tree rings and radioactive carbon. NBC News

David Graeber and David Wengrow unfreeze the ice age and reveal the truth about humanity’s deep past. The Guardian

How ancient whales may have changed the deep ocean. PBS Eons

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project.

Just to let you know, I probably won’t have a next chapter update for October if I decide to NaNo this year. Also, after the first week, weekly curation will be suspended for the rest of November. I’ll do weekly NaNo updates, as I have in past years, and do a double next chapter update for October and November in December.

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Oct 17-23, 2021

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings 🙂 Enjoy!

Jan O’Hara receives a wake-up call. Then, Dave King is writing in both directions. Barbara Linn Probst reviews the three aspects of revision: reworking, refining, and revisioning. Later in the week, Desmond Hall drops some more bite-sized writerly learnings on us. Writer Unboxed

Angela Ackerman explains how to make your characters’ choices more difficult. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jill bearup wants to talk to you about your enemies to lovers fixation (see Jenna Moreci, below, for a little writerly how-to).

Jessica Conoley shows you how to use your analyzer switch to increase productivity. Then, Stephanie Bourbon shows you how to fly by the seat of your pants—and win NaNoWriMo. Lizbeth Meredith asks: does the idea of promoting your book make you queasy? Jane Friedman

Emily Zarka recounts the killer origins of the werewolf. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Becca Puglisi reveals how internal conflict fits into the character arc. Live, Write, Thrive

Then, Becca shifts blogs to further discuss failure, conflict, and character arc. Then, Lisa Norman covers publishing dilemmas, distribution, and disruption. Ellen Buikema touts the benefits of writing SMART goals. Writers in the Storm

Jessica Thompson is subverting expectations in satisfying ways. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Louise Harnby answers the question: what is narrative distance?

The “mean girl” trio – three types of bad female leaders. The Take

Nathan explains how to raise the stakes in a novel. Then, Lindsay Syhakhom declares that writing in the library is wonderful. Nathan Bransford

Jeanette the Writer helps you figure out where to put the comma. Tammy Lough: romantic gestures create heat waves. Gabriela Pereira interviews Stephanie Bwa Bwa about world building and the YA fantasy serial. Then, Jessica Vitalis is tackling heavy subjects with middle grade readers. Angela Yeh shares five fun ways to get your butt in the chair (and keep it there). DIY MFA

Jenna Moreci offers her top ten tips for writing enemies to lovers.

J.D. Edwin shares six helpful ways any writer can overcome burnout. The Write Practice

Piper Bayard explains that outside of Hollywood movies, not everything can be “silenced.” Kristen Lamb

Bonnie Randall offers a few foundations of fear in fiction. Fiction University

Chris Winkle explains the problem with multiple viewpoints. Then, Oren Ashkenazi tests how useful Elmore Leonard’s ten rules of writing are. Mythcreants

Shaelin critiques Leonard’s rules, too. It’s interesting to note the differences … Reedsy

Sudbury’s YES Theatre hopes to build new outdoor venue. I remember when this space was open for movie nights and poetry readings and all kinds of artistic events. CBC

A process for the transfer of energy and feeling: George Saunders on the key to great storytelling. Brain Pickings

Kinship: Ursula K. Le Guin’s love poem to trees, the interleaving of life and death, and the eternal flame of being. The Marginalian (formerly Brain Pickings)

Thank you for taking the time to visit, and I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

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

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Oct 10-16, 2021

Welcome to thoughty Thursday, your chance to get our mental corn popping in time for the weekend!

Trone Dowd reports that the cops and paramedics involved in Elijah McClain’s death charged with homicide. Vice

Rashad Robinson: hurricane Ida’s destruction was the direct result of years of systemic racism. Salon

Howard W. French explains how Africa was erased from the history of the modern world: built on the bodies of slaves. The Guardian

Matthew Wills says that the Zoot Suit Riots were race riots. JSTOR Daily

Adeoluwa Atayero announces that the First Nations University of Canada launches journalism program. CBC

Nick Murray: Nunavut Inuit sue territorial government over right to education in Inuktut. CBC

Erin Pottie reports that IBM opens school program for Mi’kmaw students in Cape Breton. CBC

B.C. park name change recognizes ancestral home of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. CBC

Amelia Mavis Christnot explains why Indigenous Peoples’ Day is gaining traction as an American Holiday (over Columbus Day). Second Nexus

Rowaida Abdelaziz reports that over two thirds of Muslim Americans have faced Islamophobia. The Huffington Post

Christine Byrne explains why budget cooking tips are useless for low-income families. I’m still trying to figure out if the featured video is self-consciously ironic (all-white anchors, white people featured)? The Huffington Post

Yessenia Funes wonders whether COP26 will be a climate summit or a superspreader event. Atmos

Olivia Campbell reveals that Hildegard von Bingen was all about a woman’s right to bodily autonomy. JSTOR Daily

Diana shows us something that travels faster than the speed of light. Physics Girl

Ethan Siegal reveals that the Big Bang isn’t the beginning of the universe anymore: surprise! Big Think

Chelsea Gohd reports how William Shatner was moved to tears by space launch with Blue Origin. Space.com

Ruth Hamilton rocked awake by meteorite chuck crashing into her bed. CBC

Olivia Box wonders, will we lose fall colors to climate change? I hope not. JSTOR Daily

Thanks 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 10-16, 2021

This week’s batch of informal writerly learnings is loaded with writerly goodness 🙂

Stephanie Bwa Bwa shows you how to grow your email list (and your influence). Later in the week, Helena Hunting is finding work-life balance as a full-time author. Then, Brian Leung shares five tips for finding the kind genius writer in your mad genius writer. DIY MFA

Tim Hickson reveals the true ending of Lord of the Rings. Hello, Future Me

Janice Hardy explains how narrative distance affects telling: how far is too far? Then, Dario Ciriello waxes on the importance of commas, meter, and reading aloud for the fiction writer (with help from Cordia Pearson). Fiction University

Jill Bearup takes issue with The Guardian’s list of the top 20 duels.

Tiffany Yates Martin explains why you can’t stop thinking about “Bad Art Friend.” Then, Jim Dempsey is telling the truth in fiction. Kathleen McCleary: when you’re the passive protagonist of your own writing life. Then, Kathryn Craft wants you to make your big issue work through story (part 1). Anne Brown: spiders, snakes, public speaking, and querying agents. Later in the week, Kelsey Allagood explains why you should tackle that ambitious dream project now. Writer Unboxed

Shaelin tells you everything you need to know about publishing your short fiction. Reedsy

K.M. Weiland introduces us to the archetypal antagonists of the mage arc: evil and the weakness of humankind. Helping Writers Become Authors

Sarah Tinsley shares seven ways to create an empathetic antagonist. Live, Write, Thrive

Lori Freeland helps you figure out whether to comma, or not to comma (part 1). Then Piper Bayard lets us peek through a window into the top four organizations (writing spies). Lynette M. Burrows wants you to discover your writing strengths (and weaknesses). Writers in the Storm

On her own channel, Shaelin helps you handle rejection. Shaelin Writes

Angela Ackerman asks: who’s standing in your character’s way? Jane Friedman

Nathan explains how to make your novel un-put-down-able. Then, Christine Pride shares what she learned about writing from being an editor. Nathan Bransford

Piper Bayard shows you how to write the good fight. Then, she provides a writer’s guide to knowing your weapon. Kristen Lamb

The anti-Disney messaging of … Disney movies. The Take

Chris Winkle explains how to create a mysterious atmosphere. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes six magic powers that writers had to ignore. Mythcreants

Kristin Nelson makes the case that content creators deserve a larger slice of the earnings pie. Pub Rants

Maria Tatar discusses her new book Heroine with a 1,001 Faces with Moira Weigel. Harvard Book Store

Wab Kinew reflects on Canada Reads and the meaning of reconciliation. CBC Books

Three northern Ontario writers in the running for the Governor General’s Awards. CBC

Thank you for taking the time to stop by, and I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Oct 3-9, 2021

The weekend is in sight! It’s time to pull your head out of work and get your mental corn popping 🙂

Kimberly Brown Pellum reveals how Maryrose Reeves Allen taught Black women’s self-care during Jim Crow. JSTOR Daily

Renée Lilley reports that residential school day scholars may be able to start claims process in December. Students who went home at night suffered the same abuses but weren’t included in the 2006 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. CBC

Literacy program launched for Indigenous elders, residential school, and day school survivors. CBC

Amar Chebib (film) and Dan Greene (text) present the story of how Cree skateboarding legend Joe Buffalo grapples with the trauma of Canada’s residential schools. The New Yorker

University of Sudbury transfers online Indigenous studies courses to Kenjgewin Teg. CBC

Joe can’t believe he’s making another Covid video. It’s okay to be smart

Lizzy Davies reports that the WHO endorses use of first malaria vaccine in Africa. The Guardian

True facts: the mosquito. Ze Frank

Key findings from the Pandora Papers. The Washington Post

Our first glimpse of the dark side of the moon. SciShow Space

Stuart Campbell, Elizabeth Healey, Yaroslav Kuzmin, and Michael D. Glascock reflect on John Dee’s obsidian mirror: the mirror, the magus, and more. Yes. An actual scholarly paper 🙂 Cambridge University Press

Guy Kawasaki interviews Olympia Yarger: entrepreneur and maggot evangelist. The Remarkable People podcast

Olivia Box: what does a tree see? On the importance of “witness” trees. JSTOR Daily

Robby Berman says, crows are self-aware, just like us. Big Think

Thank you for taking the time to visit, and 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 3-9, 2021

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers! It’s time to indulge in some informal writerly learnings. Enjoy!

K.M. Weiland presents the archetypal antagonists of the crone arc: death blight and tempter. Helping Writers Become Authors

Greer Macallister seeks success without self-promotion. Then Jeanne Kisacky is walking the line between insanity and perseverance. Donald Maass reveals the secret of passive protagonists: seeking vs. suffering. Nancy Johnson: the blessed curse of the second book. Then, David Corbett discusses the character in secret search of midnight. Writer Unboxed

Jill Bearup made armor. In a cave shed. From a box of scraps.

Karen DeBonis helps you navigate a story identity crisis. Then, Eldred Bird wonders, what (the heck) is a MacGuffin? Jenny Hansen: writing and the law of loss aversion. Writers in the Storm

Shaelin helps you edit your short story. Reedsy

Angela Ackerman says, if you want powerful conflict, you can’t forget the stakes. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Then, over on Jami Gold’s blog, Angela explains how to write conflict without “bad guys.”

Bethany Henry is making magic systems that work and wow. Fiction University

Why fat phobia is still a problem onscreen. The Take

E.J. Wenstrom presents book promotion graphics for newbies. Then, Sara Farmer looks at some modern girl detectives. Maan Gabriel shares hacks to combat writer’s block and develop discipline. Then, Jane Elizabeth Hughes offers five tips for writing a historical mystery. DIY MFA

Seth Harwood says, your writing matters; a coach can help. Jane Friedman

The Bond Girl, her secret, and her future. The Take

Chris Winkle explains how to keep mysteries from looking like mistakes. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories that break their worlds’ themes. Mythcreants

Lindsay Syhakhom: writing and the art of surrender. Nathan Bransford

Allison Flood celebrates Abdulrazak Gurnah’s 2021 Nobel Prize in literature win. The Guardian

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

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

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Sept 26-Oct 2, 2021

Moar treats to get your mental corn popping.

Tim Arango and Shaila Dewan: more than half of police killings are mislabeled (and thus, uncounted), according to new study. The New York Times

Can we ever stop obsessing over race? Khadija Mbowe

Anastasia Tsioulcas reports that R. Kelly found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking. NPR

Emma Farge and Hereward Holland reveal that WHO employees took part in Congo sex abuse during Ebola crisis. Et, tu, WHO? Reuters

Roberta Hill explains how she survived residential school. Toronto Life

Juanita Taylor reveals how the Inuit practice of Kakiniit is etched on the skin. CBC

Endangered Tlingit language has only a few hundred speakers. Mariella Wentzell is out to change that. CBC

Akiko Busch: the invisibility of older women. The Atlantic

Amy Davidson Sorkin explores the supply-chain mystery. The New Yorker

Danny Westneat is wondering why society went off-kilter during the pandemic. Apparently, there’s a book about it. Published in 2019. The Seattle Times

Cal Newport talks to Chris Herd: is going back to the office a broken way of working? The New Yorker

Totten Mine update: 35 trapped miners safe after rescue; 4 more on long trek out of mine. The Sudbury Star

Creating a template for habitable exoplanets. SciShow

Alexandra Larkin: Hubble discovers six mysteriously dead, massive galaxies from early universe. CBS News

Michelle Gamage and Zoe Yunker report that judge ends Fairy Creek injunction in a bombshell decision. The fight to protect old growth continues. The Tyee

On Ecological Disconnect, Climate Despair, and Our Changing Relation to “Nature.” Like Stories of Old

Angela Dewan: Greta Thunberg roasts world leaders for their “blah, blah, blah” on climate change. CNN

Simon Hattenstone documents the transformation of Greta Thunberg. The Guardian

Sierra Garcia: climate change and the criminal justice system. JSTOR Daily

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

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Sept 26-Oct 2, 2021

Welcome to October, my favourite month of the year 🙂 It’s all informal writerly learning treats and no tricks, all month long.

Erika Liodice explores the creative connection between travel and writing. Then, Robin LaFevers is navigating self-doubt. Jennie Nash recommends seven business books every writer should read. Then, Julie Carrick Dalton advises you about knowing when NOT to write. Deanna Cabinian examines the time vs. productivity paradox. Writer Unboxed

Kristen Lamb shares five simple ways to finish a book by making (not finding) time. Then, Cait Reynolds wonders, is podcasting the new blog? Kristen Lamb

Tim Hickson talks soft worldbuilding. Hello, Future Me

K.M. Weiland introduces us to the archetypal antagonists for the king arc: cataclysm and rebel. Helping Writers Become Authors

Susan DeFreitas: can fiction make a difference in the world? Jane wonders whether Black voices in publishing is a trend or a movement. Then, Jane considers what authors earn from digital lending at libraries. Jane Friedman

Shaelin helps you draft a short story. Reedsy

Following up on her last instalment on planting bugs, Piper Bayard explains how to find bugs (writing spies). Then, Kris Maze compares pros and cons of using Scrivener and Plottr for outlining. Writers in the Storm

Elizabeth Spann Craig looks at the pros and cons of outlining.

Death worms: fact or fiction? Monstrum | PBS Storied

Joanna Penn and Mark Leslie Lefebvre discuss co-authoring The Relaxed Writer. The Creative Penn

Nathan Bransford explains when to get feedback on your novel. Then, Shalene Gupta reveals how to make and keep writer friends. Nathan Bransford

Richelle Lyn is challenging a genre identity crisis. Then, T.J. Torres offers some advice for committed BIPOC writers. DIY MFA

The “white trash” trope and its hidden agenda. The Take

Sofia Jeppsson clears up seven misconceptions about madness and psychosis. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five movies critics loved but audiences hated. Mythcreants

Richard Marpole says that you’re writing medieval fantasy wrong. Fantasy Faction

Kristin Nelson reveals the connection between velocity, volume, interval, and the New York Times Bestseller List. Then, Angie Hodapp reveals that genre isn’t everything and high concept isn’t king. Pub Rants

How to tell she’s definitely not a Mary Sue. The Take

All the LOLs: the hilarious dictionary of Finnish language and culture. Design You Trust

Allison Flood announces that Laura Jean McKay wins the Arthur C. Clarke Award. The Guardian

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

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