Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, March 15-21, 2020

I’ve tried to stay clear of covid-related news. We’re all consuming enough of that and I want to create a space for inspiration and learning and just plain entertainment. Still, there’s covid-adjacent material. I couldn’t avoid it completely.

Still, I hope you can get your mental corn popping in a positive and relatively stress-free manner this week.

Sophia Quaglia says, this ancient fish with arms might be the reason we have hands. Inverse

The wild reasons older people need less sleep. SciShow

Dr. Tracey Marks explains what night terrors are. I used to have these … and sleepwalk. It’s why I have an interest 🙂

Amy McKeever explains why we evolved to feel panic. National Geographic

Diana does 20 easy experiments in about five minutes. You can try these at home! Physics Girl

Liz Hund shares ten iconic museums you can tour online. The Points Guy

Is everyone going crazy? Nothing but Thieves

Be well, be kind, and stay safe and strong. The world needs you … and your stories.

ThoughtyThursday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, March 15-21, 2020

I hope you’re all staying safe and well in these troubling times. If you’re self-isolating or quarantining, you’ve probably already had a chance to see all the informal writerly learnings I share. If you haven’t, please see this as a helpful resource to spend you time productively if you’re having trouble concentrating for long stretches of time.

I am still working, but I work in employment that has been considered a critical service and, unfortunately, our virtual network is at capacity. Still, several of my colleagues are off because of the school and day care closures and I maintain social distancing to the degree possible. I bring lunch from home and eat at my desk. I have not travelled. When I don’t work, I only leave the house to walk the dog. My spouse is our designated shopper and is also taking care of shopping for our Moms. We’re all being as safe as we can.

Vaughn Roycroft: it’s the end of the world as we know it (and writing feels fine). Dave King says, do it again, do it again! Some practical advice about writing series. Barbara Linn Probst: 36 debut authors tell it like it is. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland tackles five questions about how to manage multiple points of view in your stories. Helping Writers Become Authors

Then, she suggests five inspirational reads (if you’re self-isolating or quarantining).

And … six happy movies or series. This video came first, actually. Katie starts off by explaining her covid-19 inspired idea for a video series.

Emily E.J. Wenstrom: writing unlikable characters readers will root for. Jane Friedman

Lucy V. Hays explains why all writers need a structural toolbox. Writers Helping Writers

Shaelin discusses how to plan a series. Reedsy

And … the trilogy, specifically. Reedsy

Leanne Sowul helps you write through depression. Pamela Taylor wants you to create authentic details about food. Then, Gabriela Pereira interviews E.J. Wenstrom about bringing a fantasy series to a close. Rosie O’Neill shares five ways to rekindle inspiration for your current writing project. DIY MFA

Then, E.J. Wenstrom visited Fiction University to explain how she tricked her pantser brain into plotting.

Oren Ashkenazi provides six tips for avoiding repetitive conflict. Mythcreants

She never wrote more than a page a day, but now, Eden Robinson has a Canada Reads finalist book. CBC

Stay safe and be well. Take care.

Tipsday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, March 8-14, 2020

There’s enough information on the interwebz about covid-19. I don’t need to add to the deluge here. But I have assembled a nice batch of resources to get your mental corm popping.

Joe looks at daylight saving time and whether it’s still a good idea. It’s okay to be smart

Katie Weeman: time has no meaning at the North Pole. Scientific American

Maria Popova: how Kepler invented science fiction and defended his mother in a witchcraft trial while revolutionizing our understanding of the universe. Brain Pickings

Stephanie Vozza explains how to tap into your brain’s four attention states to get more done. Fast Company

Tom Lamont tells the incredible tale of Dominic Van Allen, the homeless man who built a life underground. The Guardian

Jessica Stewart announces that a 100-year-old illustrated herbal has been available online since 2017. My Modern Met

When the Sahara was green. PBS Eons

Research shows that Mangrove conservation will pay for itself in flood protection. Phys.org

Sarah Keartes shares super macro photos that reveal the magical world of the tiniest creatures of the sea. Yes. It’s old, but it’s just so dang beautiful! Earth Touch News

Greta Keenan shares a recording of fish singing a dawn chorus on reefs just like birds. New Scientist

The Mind Circle shares pictures of Japanese and Siberian dwarf flying squirrels because they’re the cutest animals on the planet (!)

Ze Frank offers some true facts on the freaky nudebranchs.

Thanks for visiting. I hope you found something to inspire your next creative project (or at least entertain you).

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

ThoughtyThursday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, March 8-14, 2020

As the covid-19 crisis continues to escalate, keep calm and stock up on informal writerly learnings from the comfort of your home.

Sophie Masson advises us about creating and presenting writing workshops. Jim Dempsey: writing when you’re not writing. Juliet Marillier wants you to tell a tale for our times. Kathryn Craft says, let your protagonist’s light shine. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland uses critique to demonstrate six tips for introducing characters. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jenna Moreci shares her favourite paranormal tropes.

Laurence MacNaughton shares a six-point story checklist for powerful scenes. Then, Janice Hardy offers a three-step plan for returning to a partially finished manuscript. Fiction University

Jami Gold helps you find the right pace for your story. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford: everything writers need to know about book series.

Sara Letourneau offers some writing exercises for exploring the theme of man and the natural world. Later in the week, Dave Chesson shares five tips for levelling up your craft. DIY MFA

Some great tips for creating a consistent writing habit. Reedsy

Becca Puglisi shares eights ways to hook readers at the ends of chapters. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five plot twists that are too obvious. He tackles some well-known, bestselling, award-nominated, or award-winning novels and, while I can see and might even agree with the assessments, I’ll note that it did not have a negative impact on my enjoyment of the novels (well, with one exception, but I won’t get into that here). I think many readers enjoy these books regardless of, or despite, these faulty plot twists and that writing something similar won’t necessarily hurt your chances of publication. You can always strive to do better, and I think that’s the point of the article. Still, take it in context (and don’t panic). Mythcreants

Robert Lee Brewer explains how to daringly and correctly use semicolons. Writer’s Digest

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

Now more than ever, be well, my writerly friends.

Tipsday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, March 1-7, 2020

It’s time to get your mental corn popping. It’s also time to celebrate the coming weekend—happy Friday eve!

Brigit Katz: “David and Goliath” was once attributed to Giovanni Francesco Guerrieri, but it was actually painted by Artemisia Gentileschi. The Smithsonian Magazine

Priyanka Borpujari uncovers India’s forgotten power broker, Begum Samru. National Geographic

Eddie Linehan tells the tales of defiant Irish women in honour of International Women’s Day. A wee bit rambly, but that’s a storyteller for you 😉

Ian Hanington introduces us to the woman who discovered global warming—in 1856! The David Suzuki Foundation

Valerie Stimac tells you the best places to see the northern lights. Forbes

Aaron Kesel: physicist says parallel universes definitely exist and we may soon explore them. The Mind Unleashed

Veritasium explores the concept of many worlds with Sean Carroll.

Tesla’s solar panels a turning salt water into drinking water for 35,000 Kenyans. Return to Now

Jennifer Nalewicki explains how to surf Alaska’s bore tide. I don’t surf (and probably never will) but this is cool. The Smithsonian Magazine

Andrew Nikiforuk is talking to the botanist who talks to trees. The Tyee

AAA State of Play offers a clickable list of birds and the sounds they make.

Nara Schoenberg: near Fulton, a rare bald eagle thruple (two dads and a mom) comes together to mate and parent. The Chicago Tribune

Maddie Stone: the Great Barrier Reef is heading for a mass die-off of epic proportions. Vice

Sarah Cox: to understand BC’s push for the Coastal GasLink pipeline, think fracking, LNG Canada, and the site C dam. The Narwhale

Genevieve Carlton introduces us to meganeura, a prehistoric dragonfly with a two-foot wingspan. Ranker

Twisted Sifter shares a video that shows all the wildlife that crossed the fallen log over this stream.

Coming around to visual art again, someone created a guide on how to recognize famous artists and it’s surprisingly accurate (and funny). deMilked

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something to inspire your next creative project.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, March 1-7, 2020

Welcome to the second week of March, the week that starts out with daylight savings time and International Women’s Day, proceeds through the full moon, and ends with Friday the 13th!

You’re going to need some informal writerly learnings to see you through.

Greer Macallister says, instead of promotion, try participation. Nancy Johnson: you had me at the title. Donald Maass: it can’t happen here. Bryn Greenwood can’t decide whether it’s a sophomore slump or derailment. Steven James: they just won’t understand. File in writers is weird. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland: creativity vs. the ego, or, the value of unpublishable stories. Helping Writers Become Authors

James Scott Bell: synopsis writing made easy. Writers Helping Writers

Susanne Cokal lists four reasons to spend time with “bad” books. Jane Friedman

Nathan Bransford: you gotta tell the story. No matter what.

Shaelin offers eleven tips for new writers. I think these work for everyone. If nothing else, they’re good reminders. Reedsy

Jenn Walton explains how to deepen characters by assessing their fears. Sara Farmer introduces us to Jo March’s twisted sisters: the thrillers of Louisa May Alcott. Gabriela Pereira interviews Claire Waller about writing an unlikable but sympathetic protagonist. DIY MFA

Eldred Bird is colouring with words. Writers in the Storm

Kassandra Lamb explains the importance of backstory, or, how the brain connects the present with the past. Then, Janice Hardy shares three reasons your perfectly good scene is boring your readers.  Later in the week, Janice offers tips for showing character motivation. Fiction University

Jenna Moreci discusses the breaking point.

Chris Winkle explains how to describe female characters without degrading them. Then, Oren Ashkenazi recommends five questions to diagnose an overpowered hero. Mythcreants

Robert Lee Brewer extols the virtues of the Oxford, or serial, comma. Writer’s Digest

Sad news for the already small Canadian publishing scene. Bryan Eneas reports on the bankruptcy of Coteau books, closing their doors after 45 years. CBC

Thank you for visiting and I hope you came away with some fabulous resources to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well, my writerly friends 🙂

Tipsday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Feb 23-29, 2020

It was a news-heavy week. Take some time to get your mental corn popping.

Catharine Tunney: OPP arrest ten protestors at the Tyendinaga blockade site. CBC

Maria Cervantes reports on how Peruvian indigenous group wins suit to block oil exploration in Amazonian region. Reuters

SciShow Psych considers why we can’t remember our dreams.

Josh K. Elliott: Dagmar Turner plays the violin during brain surgery to retain her musical skills. Global

Lauren Smith: Leah Reddell creates “henna crowns” for women with cancer. HealthiNation

Elisha Fieldstadt reports that Katherine Johnson, the “computer” depicted in Hidden Figures has died at 101. NBC

Roy Allela invents gloves that turn sign language into audible speech. Black Business

Francky Knapp: the first man to reach the North Pole was an African American desk clerk the world forgot. Messy Nessy Chic

Ed Pilkington covers Harvey Weinstein’s conviction on two of five rape charges. The Guardian

Dr. Becky looks into the mystery of where all the antimatter has gone.

This solar-powered barge collects up to 50 tonnes of plastic waste a day. Return to Now

Greg Rosalsky explains why America is losing the toilet race. (I didn’t even know there was one …) NPR

Physics girl looks at the science of rainbows, fogbows, sun dogs, and glories …

James Burch: if dragons don’t exist, why are they everywhere? All Things Interesting

Max Knoblauch shares a video of a humpback whale breaching like some kind of hotshot dolphin. Mashable

Lisa Cinelli explains that your cat has a legitimate reason for getting hyper at bedtime. PopSugar

This is an old one, but funny. Bored Panda shares 30 pictures of animals that look like they’re about to drop the hottest albums of the year.

And that was a fairly full thoughty Thursday. Thank you for visiting and I hope you take away some ideas to inspire your next creative project.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 23-29, 2020

March first was lamb-like. I’m hoping for a gentle month. How about you?

Now, it’s time to get your fill of informal writerly learnings.

Tiffany Yates Martin lists ten specific ways to encourage your reader to like your protagonist. Kris Maze shares five steps to becoming a superstar self-editor. Writers in the Storm

Julia Munroe Martin is not above spying … again. Barbara Linn Probst is taking it scene by scene: the “middle level” of writing. Heather Webb tackles the social media meltdown and burnout. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland shares the professional resources she uses for all aspects of writing and publishing processes. Helping Writers Become Authors

Do you need to outline your book? Reedsy

Then, Shaelin recommends how to develop your best writing process. Reedsy

Joanna Penn interviews Barbara Poelle about finding and pitching a literary agent. The Creative Penn

Sarah Chauncey lists five flashback mistakes. Jane Friedman

Nathan Bransford: don’t release the tension.

Manuela Williams shares five tips for writing an author bio that stands out. DIY MFA

Jami Gold explains how to get advice from an editor. Later in the week, she wonders, do our stories have deeper meanings?

Chris Winkle lists the four essentials of an effective character arc. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains how to use failure in your story. Mythcreants

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

Until Thursday, be well!

Tipsday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Feb 16-22, 2020

I’m back, and it’s time to get your mental corn popping.

Juhyundred examines colonialism in Parasite. Amazing analysis. Tropics of Meta

SciShow investigates a possible cure for cancer (that was discovered by accident).

How unprocessed trauma is stored in the body. Medium

David Keys: a treasure trove of fine textiles reveals the importance of fashion to Bronze Age Britons. The Independent

Catherine Boeckmann shares the meanings of flowers. The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Sarah Barnes introduces us to Matt Burgess, the photographer who captures the moods of waves. My Modern Met

Madeleine Stone reports that the Antarctic peninsula is setting heat records, but they won’t stand for long. National Geographic

Does consciousness influence quantum mechanics? PBS Space Time

Lori Dorn shares an amazing video of an industrious mouse tidying up a retire electrician’s tool shed each night. Laughing Squid

The mating dance of the peacock spider. Ze Frank (who else?)

And that is your edutainment for the week. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’re taking away something to inspire your next creative project.

I might get my next chapter update out on the weekend.

Until then, be well, my writerly friends 🙂

ThoughtyThursday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 16-22, 2020

Here we are in the final week of February. Winter is crawling to its end, the light returns, and so does the hope of spring. Celebrate with some informal writerly learnings 🙂

Tasha Seegmiller: writer, you are separate from your craft. Barbara Linn Probst considers likeable and relatable: why (and how) do they matter? Writers in the Storm

Vaughn Roycroft has a new take on readership. Dave King: the web of writing. Kathleen McCleary has answers to questions about writing. Porter Anderson analyzes the Authors Guild’s 2020 Report. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland has some thoughts on how to be critical of stories in a way that makes a difference. Helping Writers Become Authors

Joanna Penn interviews Aiki Flinthart about writing fight scenes with female characters. The Creative Penn

Christina Delay wants you to fall in love with your second act. Angela Ackerman explains how to build powerful character relationships. Writers Helping Writers

Janice Hardy considers whether to stop and revise or keep writing the first draft. Fiction University

Brenda Joyce Patterson takes a deep dive into libretti. DIY MFA

Nathan Bransford helps you clear out the clutter around your verbs.

How to write character voices. Reedsy

Oren Ashkenazi explains why “but men are objectified, too” doesn’t hold up. Then, Oren lists ten ways to keep the authorities out of your plot. Mythcreants

Jami Gold wonders, what do you do with disappointment?

Robert Lee Brewer explains the difference between metaphor and personification. Writer’s Digest

Kate Knibbs says, the hottest new genre is doomer lit (formerly known as cli-fi). Wired

Charlie Jane Anders believes that to write about the future is to represent the past. Tor.com

Thank you for visiting and I hope you take away something to support your current work in progress.

Until next time, be well!

Tipsday2019