Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Sept 12-18, 2021

It’s tipsday! That means you’ve made it through Monday 🙂 Celebrate with some informal writerly learnings.

Sophie Masson is cooking up great book buzz. Then, Jim Dempsey explains how to tap into your characters’ emotions. Barbara Linn Probst wants you to go beyond description with story-relevant aspects of setting. Then, Matthew Norman shares the best writing advice he’s ever gotten. Kelsey Allagood says, active protagonists are tools of the patriarchy. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland looks at the archetypal antagonists for the hero arc: the dragon and the sick king. Helping Writers Become Authors

Shang Chi: I can see clearly now … Jill Bearup

Jennie Nash asks, why write this book? Then, Anna David explains why and how she got her rights back from HarperCollins. Jane Friedman

Eldred Bird: everything has a story. Then, Piper Bayard explains how to bug a room (writing spies). Jenny Hansen: what if my [insert person] reads this? Writers in the Storm

John Kerr lists five story structures to use in your writing. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Kellie Doherty introduces us to some autumn deities. Fantasy Faction

How do we criticize our own? (Also, stop calling Lizzo a mammy.) Melina Pendulum

Jami Gold: if your story’s not behaving, try going deeper into structure. Then, Christina Kaye lists the three things you should consider before choosing your fiction genre. Writers Helping Writers

Olivia Fisher recounts her long road to becoming a freelance editor, part 1. And here’s my latest Speculations: one author’s journey on the autism spectrum. Sonia Hartl explains the importance of friendships in YA. Then, Kanh Ha shares five tips on writing fiction. DIY MFA

The Oedipus Complex: Film and TV’s Freudian obsession. The Take

Kristen Lamb considers types of plot twists and why they’re amazing for stories.

Christine Pride explains how a book goes from acquisitions to books store shelves. Nathan Bransford

Chris Winkle explains why you shouldn’t write a masterpiece. Then, Oren Ashkenazi scores WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki on engagement. Mythcreants

Susanna Clarke: I’d really ceased to think of myself as a writer. The Guardian

5X15 presents Neil Gaiman and Susanna Clarke.

Beth Cato: shared pain. Nature

James Whitbrook: Marvel’s Eternals star, Lauren Ridloff, wants movie theatres to be more accessible for everyone. Gizmodo

Thanks for taking the time to stop 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, Sept 5-11, 2021

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

Mariama Sojourner Eversley explains how the US Department of Justice can defund the police. The Forge

Chante Davis: Sunrise Movement’s Gulf Coast Trek highlights need for civilian climate corps. Teen Vogue

Mexico statue of Columbus to be replaced with one honoring Indigenous women. Associated Press

Meredith Deliso and Emily Shapiro report that Virginia removes 12-ton Robert E. Lee statue from Richmond’s monument avenue. NBC News

Sarah Roach explains how older workers are sidelined in tech. Protocol

Matthew Wills: what makes vaccine mandates legal? JSTOR Daily

Eleanor Beardsley: the Paris trial for the 2015 attacks began September 8, 2021. NPR

Trilateral path to university in Sudbury. CTV News

How much of you is alive? It’s okay to be smart

Brandon Specktor: strange, repeating radio signal near the center of the Milky Way has scientists stumped. Space.com

Matthew S. Williams explains why we should keep going to space instead of fixing Earth first. Interesting Engineering

World’s biggest machine capturing carbon from air (and mineralizing it and injecting it deep in the ground) turned on in Iceland. The Guardian

Jason Gregg: can birds help us avoid natural disasters? Hakai Magazine

Thank you for visiting, 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, Sept 5-11, 2021

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

K.M. Weiland delves into the archetypal antagonists of the maiden: the authority and the predator. Helping Writers Become Authors

Penny C. Sansevieri provides a checklist for in-person book events. Then, Colleen M. Story wants you to cure your internal frustrated writer. Julie Glover reveals the social side of social media for writers. Writers in the Storm

Carol Van Den Hende lists three criteria for effective author posts on LinkedIn. Then, Amy Ayres provides a history of humor writing. Gabriela Pereira interviews Finola Austin about historical fiction, the Brönte family, and the original Mrs. Robinson. Then, Julie Broad lists five ways to make “no” work for you. DIY MFA

Was James Bond a swashbuckler? Jill Bearup

Sarah Penner explains who’s who in your publishing village. Then, Juliet Marillier is writing female characters in historical fantasy. Kathryn Craft presents seven ways to add an undercurrent of tension. Then, David Corbett wonders, will there be a Dr. Strangelove for the war on terror? Writer Unboxed

James Scott Bell says that if you want success, get back to joyous writing. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford: don’t be too easy on your characters. Then, Lindsay Syhakhom explains how to stop writing a novel. Nathan Bransford

Khadija Mbowe analyzes Gossip Girl and the possessive investment in beige.

Barbara Linn Probst is choosing a publicist (again): assessing your changing needs. Jane Friedman

Chris Winkle wonders, which descriptive details are excessive to readers? Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb shares three simple ways to hook readers into your series.

The myth of post-feminism. The Take

Bristol manuscript fragments of the famous Merlin legend among the oldest of their kind. Phys.org

Lauren Sarner interviews Reservation Dogs star Devery Jacobs: Indigenous stories in Hollywood are long overdue. New York Post

11-year-old from Victoria publishes Kwakʼwala language book following UNESCO competition win. CBC

33 Canadian books coming out in September we can’t wait to read. CBC Books

Thank you for taking the time to stop 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, Aug 29-Sept 4, 2021

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

Eric Levenson and Stella Chan report that grand jury indicts police officers and paramedics in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain. CNN

Mohammed Elnaiem: what is critical race theory? JSTOR Daily

Khadija Mbowe: who benefits from all this outrage and division?

Hannah Kost: pipe ceremony held at Calgary City Hall to start planning a permanent residential school memorial. CBC

Adam Edelman reports that the Supreme Court declines to block Texas’ restrictive abortion law, dealing a blow to Roe vs. Wade. NBC News

Karen Gallardo: on the front lines, this is what the seven stages of severe covid-19 look like. Los Angeles Times

Denis Constantineau: Laurentian has lost trust of Francophone community. The Sudbury Star

Joe Hernandez provides the latest updates on Ida, the hurricane thrashing the Gulf Coast. NPR

How mirrors could solve our energy problem. Physics Girl

Paola Rosa-Aquino: floating wind turbines could open up vast ocean tracts for renewable power. The Guardian

Christine Rankin: two Canadians win gold and break records at the Paralympic games. CBC

Extreme senses. In our nature | It’s okay to be smart

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you took away something to inspire or inform 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, Aug 29-Sept 4, 2021

Welcome to another week of informal writerly learnings! Notice the change in the title of this curation. After years of writerly goodness found on the interwebz, I thought it was time for a change.

Yuvi Zalkow writes his acknowledgements. Then, Tom Bentley considers purple prose and the word surgeon’s scalpel. Donald Maass is creating character safety zones. Then, Grace Wynter interviews Yasmin Angoe—just one more thing. Liza Nash Taylor shares some event tips ‘n’ tricks for the vain, shallow, and/or insecure. Writer Unboxed

Loki, the MCU, and narcissism. Lindsay Ellis

K.M. Weiland indicates the six archetypal antagonists for each of the six archetypal character arcs. Helping Writers Become Authors

Savannah Cordova explains why reading short fiction is the best thing you can do for your writing. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Main character syndrome: why you should be self-centred. The Take

September C. Fawkes takes a closer look at person vs. fate conflict. Then, Angela Ackerman recommends you tap this powerful source if your story needs more conflict. Writers Helping Writers

Anita Ramirez has a finished manuscript—now what? Angela Yeh: chasing my muse. Cheryl Grey Bostrom says that tone of voice is more than personality. Then, Kim Catanzarite shares five ways to turn your plot into a page-turner. DIY MFA

Janice Hardy lists five ways your story hurts your novel. Then, James R. Preston shares his thoughts about point of view: myth vs. reality. Writers in the Storm

Shaelin Bishop shows you how to structure your book without an outline. Shaelin Writes

Chris Winkle wonders, how can writers make description evocative? Then, Oren Ashkenazi looks at five villains with contrived wins. Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb challenges you to pitch your entire story in one sentence with a log line.

Shanna Swendson wants you to try these tricks if you’re struggling with writer burnout. Fiction University

Black Swan: a cautionary tale about perfectionism. The Take

Jane Friedman likes Substack, but the PR is getting ridiculous.

Jessica Singer: BookTok’s novel approach to books is helping Canadian authors and retailers reach new audiences. CBC Books

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

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

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 22-28, 2021

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

Kristin Corry says that the new era of Black reality TV feels more like real life. Vice

Umme Hoque: the pandemic put adult pressures on many young girls. Prism

Ben Andrews: hundreds join the final leg of residential school survivor’s 79-day “Walk of Sorrow.” CBC

Elissa Carpenter reports that the former residential school sites at Piikani Nation are being investigated: “It’s not going to be an easy task.” CBC

Ryerson University to (finally) change its name amid reckoning with history of residential schools. But we’ll have to wait until next spring to find out what the new name will be. CBC

Kory Floyd explains why we missed hugs. The Conversation

Alain de Botton on existential maturity and what emotional intelligence really means. Brain Pickings

Why are so many autistic adults undiagnosed? Kip Chow | TEDxSFU

Christy Ann Conlin: the old lady who waits within me. CBC

A two-for from Livia Gershon. First: the changing meaning of “mysticism.” Then, she describes a holy trinity in ancient Egypt. JSTOR Daily

Jessica Stewart: Vermeer painting restoration reveals a cupid painting obscured for over 350 years. My Modern Met

Why we should be thinking about energy storage. Physics Girl

Alyse Stanley invites you to go on a panoramic video tour of Mars with the Curiosity Rover. Gizmodo

Tom Metcalfe reports that Hubble captures an “Einstein Ring.” NBC News

Kate Aranoff: is democracy getting in the way of saving the planet? The Guardian

Alex Young shares Nandi Bushell’s performance of “Everlong” with the Foo Fighters at the Forum. I’m not ashamed to admit, tears of joy came to my eyes when Nandi started playing. Consequence

The real reason dogs kick when you give them skritches. SciShow

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

This weekend, I should be posting my next chapter update for the month of August.

Until then, be well and stay safe, everyone!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Aug 22-28, 2021

And here it is, the last day of August (!) How did that happen? Get your informal writerly learnings now, before summer disappears!

Susan DeFreitas lists the three strengths and three challenges of starting your novel with theme. Then, Carol J. Michel explains how to market your book without social media. Jane Friedman

Tiffany Yates Martin shares the one tool that transforms your writing. Then, Tasha Seegmiller composes a letter to a writer: keep learning. Laurie Schnebly Campbell is tremendous, terrible, triumphant. Writers in the Storm

Elizabeth S. Craig is regaining confidence.

C.S. Lakin lists seven sensory elements that writers ignore. Live, Write, Thrive

To kill … To Kill a Mockingbird? It’s Lit | PBS Storied

C.S. Lakin explains how to nail the purpose of your novel’s scenes. Then, Lisa Hall-Wilson shows you how to use trauma strategically to create an emotional arc. Writers Helping Writers

David Corbett: the people we think we know (and the characters they inspire). Then, Diana Giovinazzo helps you utilize video games in your writing. Heather Webb says, if you want to be a career author, you have to avoid pitfalls (and a few trips, too). Then, Natalie Hart touts the gift of hunger. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland shares the main reason your story’s premise is important. Helping Writers Become Authors

Studio Ghibli’s Ponyo: a love letter to the natural world. The Take

Savannah Cordova provides an honest appraisal of Amazon exclusivity for first-time authors. Then, Marina Barakatt considers the merits of The Wicked + the Divine. Leora Krygier considers multigenerational trauma in memoir. DIY MFA

Ann Harth offers a layered method for creating consistent characters. Fiction University

Kristen Lamb considers writer’s block: is it laziness, or a critical part of being a long-time author?

Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories that neglect tension. Mythcreants

Why super heroine movies don’t empower us all. The Take

K.W. Colyard explains why authors can’t get enough of this little-known fairy tale. Bustle

Vida Cruz declares, we are the mountain: a look at the inactive protagonist. Fantasy Magazine

Clive Thompson explains how data science pinpointed the creepiest word in Macbeth. OneZero

Steve Edwards is misunderstanding Thoreau: reading neurodiversity in literature and in life. Literary Hub

Sebastian Leck reports that a unique literary festival focuses solely on Haudenosaunee storytelling and publishing. CBC

Peter Knegt: the first piece of queer Mauritian literature ever published is by Montreal’s Kama La Mackerel. CBC

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

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 15-21, 2021

Welcome to thoughty Thursday. You know what tomorrow is 😀 Rev up for the weekend by getting your mental corn popping!

Yordanos Eyoel and Aimee Allison report that women of color are the undercapitalized warriors of American democracy. The Hill

Lil’ Wayne: mental health doesn’t discriminate. Uncomfortable conversations with Emmanuel Acho

Eva Fedderly introduces us to the Black architects who built New Orleans. Architectural Digest

Kevin Waite reveals the little-known history of how slavery infiltrated California and the American West. The Conversation

Critical race theory. Khadija Mbowe

Ethan Sawyer reports that six more First Nations in BC launch investigation into residential school sites. CBC

Anne Applebaum believes that liberal democracy is worth a fight. The Atlantic

Robert Fife and Steven Chase: Canada working “closely” with allies on evacuation from Kabul amid “extremely fluid” situation. The Globe and Mail

Kait Hanson: 10 girls on Afghanistan’s robotics team rescued. NBC News

Death toll reaches nearly 2,000 after Haiti’s earthquake. BBC

Brianna Milord: after the earthquake, a mayor in Haiti struggles to console his town. The New Yorker

Desmond Brown: University of Guelph to establish Indigenous research lab, unique at a Canadian university. CBC

Course aims to keep Stoney language alive for years to come. CBC

Rose Minutaglio introduces us to Annie Vang, the woman who created an app to save her endangered language. Elle

Bob Yirka: analysis of returned Stonehenge core sample helps explain megalith’s durability. Phys.org

Physics Girl compares battery and hydrogen electric cars.

Sierra Garcia: tidal power is the forgotten renewable resource. JSTOR Daily

Why some species team up to survive. In our nature | It’s okay to be smart

Benji Jones reports that animals are shrinking. Blame climate change. Vox

Thanks for stopping by, 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: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Aug 15-21, 2021

You’ve made it through Monday! Reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings 🙂

Vaughn Roycroft is living with unpublished characters. Then, Barbara O’Neal is finding the particular. Barbara Linn Probst considers writing: is it an art, identity, or profession? Why not all three? Later in the week, Porter Anderson gets provocative about flights of self-censorship. Then, Kelsey Allagood explains how creation myths affect character motivation. Writer Unboxed

Princess Weekes explains how true crime reveals the corruption and failures of the legal system. Melina Pendulum

K.M. Weiland explains why you should always identify your characters, pronto. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jane (herself) says, the value of book distribution is often misunderstood by authors. Then, Tiffany Yates Martin shares the secret to a tight, propulsive plot: the want, the action, the shift. Sangeeta Mehta interviews agents Michelle Brower and Jennifer Chen Tran about whether you should publish with a small press. Jane Friedman

Related: E.J. Wenstrom shares what she’s learned in six years of small press publishing. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Story structures: In medias res. Reedsy

Melinda VanLone offers some advice for branding a series. Then, Lisa Norman lists seven things every author website needs. Miffie Seideman offers some helpful advice on writing about drugs: Fentanyl 101. Writers in the Storm

Andrea Turrentine shares two key factors in successfully outlining stories. Live, Write, Thrive

Rayne Hall lists 11 reasons you should submit your short stories to anthologies. Then, Janice Hardy wonders, why ask why? Because your readers will. Bonnie Randall considers the risks and rewards of uncommon narrative structures. Fiction University

Nathan Bransford advises what to cut when your book is too long. Nathan Bransford

Seven-point story structure. Reedsy

Ambre Dawn Lefler wants you to be a conference guru. Then, Susan Francis Morris explains how writing helped her live life after trauma. Later in the week, LA Bourgeois offers five ways to trick yourself into writing. DIY MFA

E.J. Wenstrom explains why we need ADHD representation in fiction. Terribleminds

Christina Delay is breaking free. Writers Helping Writers

Chris Winkle: what do writers need to describe? Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five characters with the wrong skill set. Mythcreants

Why it’s time to write out the nag. The Take

Angie Hodapp introduces us to the trinity of premise, plot, and prose. What happens when one is missing? Then, Kristin Nelson shares 14 reasons why agenting is harder now than it was 20 years ago. Pub Rants

Nina Munteanu: to boldly go where no human has gone before ….

Rebecca Thomas explores Mi’kmaw language in poetry collection: I Place you into the Fire. CBC’s The Next Chapter

Vicky Qiao reports that Ojibway journalist and author Tanya Talaga to write three new nonfiction books. The first will be published in 2023. CBC

Thank you for taking the time to visit. 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: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 8-14, 2021

Happy Friday eve! Get your mental corn popping in time for the weekend 🙂

Melissa Kimble covers Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka, and the revolutionary power of Black women’s rest. Glamour

Genelle Levy: the real history of Black Martha’s Vineyard. Narratively

Related: the history of Wampanoag (on Martha’s Vineyard).

Frankie Huang: can we solve America’s food appropriation problem? Grub Street

Alex Hern reports that a student proves Twitter algorithm “bias” toward lighter, slimmer, younger faces. The Guardian

You’re not dumb. You’re just not wealthy and/or *whispers* white. Khadija Mbowe

The Warrior Walk for Healing Nations honours children and residential school survivors. CBC

Terry Tang reports that there have been over 9,000 anti-Asian incidents since the pandemic began. Associated Press

Matthew Wills explains how blind activists fought for blind workers. JSTOR Daily

Josie Fischels shows you how to watch “the best meteor shower of the year.” NPR

Rivka Galchen declares that NASA’s new telescope will show us the infancy of the universe. The New Yorker

Maya Wei-Haas shares what we know about the Mars rover failed sample attempt. National Geographic

Joey Roulette reports that NASA’s new space suits are delayed, making a 2024 Moon landing “unfeasible.” The Verge

Livia Gershon bets you’ll never believe who invented curbside recycling. JSTOR Daily

Tom Pattinson: the wonders of Greta Thunberg. Vogue Scandinavia

Olivia Box warns of climate change’s dangerous effects on the boreal forest. JSTOR Daily

Nina Chestney and Andrea Januta: UN climate change report sounds “code red” for humanity. Reuters

Lizzie Marx tells the tale of a beached whale (and ambergris): picturing scent. The Public Domain Review

A purr-fect match! Animal shelter posts lonely pets on Tinder. Reuters

And that was thoughty Thursday. Thanks for stopping by. 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!