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!

Join me at DIY MFA for my latest Speculations

This Speculations is special to me. And personal. If you’ve been reading my monthly updates, you’ll be familiar with some of what I share.

Speculating Neurodiversity: One Author’s Journey on the Autism Spectrum.

While you’re there, please check out some of the other excellent columns, Gabriela’s resources, and courses.

And until tomorrow, 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, Jan 3-9, 2021

Welcome to tipsday, your chance to top up on informal writerly learnings.

Janice Hardy shares an easy fix for tighter point of view. Hint: nix those filter words! Fiction University

Greer Macallister offers the gift of critique. How to by way of how not to … Sarah Penner encourages you to rethink resolutions and habits as writers in 2021. Donald Maass: the real vs. the unreal. Nancy Johnson compiles this list of published authors sharing wisdom from their debut journeys. David Corbett: what now, storyteller? Writer Unboxed

The female assassin trope, explained. The Take

K.M. Weiland shares seven lessons learned in 2020. Helping Writers Become Authors

Karen DeBonis shares her writing goal for 2021: let go to love more (AKA, how I stopped worrying and learned to love editing). Janice Hardy offers a different approach to writing success this year (i.e. how dumping self-imposed deadlines can increase productivity). Julie Glover: how much of our real life shows up in our fiction? Writers in the Storm

Emily Zarka introduces us to the Kasogonagá: Sky Deity and Absolute Cutie. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Nathan Bransford explains how to set meaningful goals.

Colleen M. Story explains why writers should take more risks this year. Writers Helping Writers

Victoria R. Girmonde: worldview and the MG/YA genre. Story Grid

The wicked stepmother trope, explained. The Take

Sara Farmer interviews Elizabeth Little. Then, Gabriela Pereira wonders, where do we go from here? DIY MFA

Joe Bunting offers definitions and examples of the six shapes of stores. The Write Practice

Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five popular stories with conflicts that are too difficult. Mythcreants

Ron Friedman: rotating spacecraft and artificial gravity. Sci and Sci-fi

Clair Armitstead provides the 31-day literary diet for January 2021. Sure, we’re half-way through the month already, but who says you have to finish it all in January? Be a rebel. Start now and continue your literary snacking into February! The Guardian

Jesse Wente is reframing Indigenous stories in joy. CBC’s Ideas

Why should you read Toni Morrison’s “Beloved”? – Yen Pham TED-Ed

Kritika Agrawal shares seven fascinating facts about Octavia Butler. Mental Floss

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

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 21-27, 2019

July is winding down and we’re heading into the dog days of summer: August. We’ve already had more than our share of hot, humid days—fact, I’m not complaining—and I’m trying to make the most of each one. I hope you’ve been making meaningful progress in your creative projects.

It’s time to reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings 🙂

Janice Hardy offers a Sunday writing tip: reveal something new in every scene. Then she wonders, are you asking—and answering—the right story questions? Fiction University

Alexa Donne talks about nailing your beginnings (first sentence through first act).

Tracy Hahn-Burkett says, if you want to make a difference, tell a story. Heather Webb offers some notes from a book tour. Keith Cronin shares some serious lessons from a fool on a hill. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland explains how to make your plot a powerful thematic metaphor. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jenn Walton says, let your imagination run wild. Gabriela Pereira crawls inside the mind of a worldbuilding junkie with Fonda Lee. DIY MFA

Angela Ackerman visits Writers in the Storm to discuss character building for pantsers.

Jenna Moreci discusses some of the differences between flat and round characters.

Justin Attas wants you to create a credible magic system. Writers Helping Writers

Lisa Bell wonders, is your writing plan ready for a crisis? Jami Gold

Chris Winkle explains what storytellers should know about normalization. Choose compassion. Write stories that normalize the positive. Then, Oren Ashkenazi examines five stories with premises that don’t suit their settings. Mythcreants

Structuring a chapter. Reedsy

CBC books recommends ten Canadian science fiction and fantasy books you should be reading.

Ada Hoffman is moving towards a neurodiverse future by writing an autistic heroine. Tor.com

Thanks for visiting. I hope you’ve found something for your writerly toolkit.

If you’re looking for some inspiration or research material, be sure to come back on Thursday for some thoughty links.

Until then, be well, my friends 🙂

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 5-11, 2019

Here is your video-free thoughty Thursday. It’s time to get your mental corn popping!

Mike Crawley reports on more Ford cuts: Ontario Telemedicine Network lays off 44 staff. CBC

Some good news: Parliament passes Charlie Angus’ motion to establish a national suicide prevention action plan. Kate Rutherford for the CBC.

Ben Lindburg interviews David Deutsch and Scott Aaronson about the plausibility of the time travel in Avengers: Endgame. The Ringer

Roy Scranton shares how lessons from a genocide can prepare humanity for the climate apocalypse. MIT Technology Review

Scott Rosenburg explains what Apple, Facebook, and Google really mean when they talk about “privacy.” Axios

Jared Lindzon reveals that 75% of staff at this successful IT company are on the autism spectrum. Fast Company

Emily Esfahani Smith: these deaf entrepreneurs are launching a tiny home retreat and they hope their hearing visitors leave enlightened. The Washington Post

Audubon’s Bird Note invites you to fall in love with the crow’s mating coos.

I hope you found something to spark your next creative project.

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

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Apr 28-May 4, 2019

It is once more time to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Kaitlin Sullivan reports that neuroscientists have just brought pig brain cells back to life and how that changes our view of death. Popular Science

Karen Weintraub explains how scientists take a step toward decoding speech from the brain. Scientific American

SciShow Psych: can you become a morning person?

 

Jayshree Pandya wonders, are machines conscious? Forbes

Elizabeth Flock announces that the flip phone is back. Have people had enough of constant connection? PBS

Hannah Gadsby’s TED Talk: three ideas. Three contradictions. Or not.

SciShow Space News tackles the question of how fast the universe is expanding.

 

Liz Langley explains how bioluminescence works in nature. National Geographic

Catherine Zuckerman invites us to see the worlds oldest trees by starlight. National Geographic

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you found some inspiration in these links.

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

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Jan 6-12, 2019

YouTube has invaded thoughty Thursday, this week, but it should get your mental corn popping, anyway 🙂

Erin Winick: get ready for these rocket milestones in 2019. MIT Technology Review

SciShow Space wonders if there are planets even more habitable than Earth out there. (Spoilers: the answer is yes!)

 

Veritasium looks at how we determine the spin of a black hole and why it’s important.

 

Ephrat Livni looks at how physics explains why time passes faster as you age. Quartz

Signs of high-functioning depression that you shouldn’t ignore. BetterHelp

 

Ferris Jabr: how beauty is making scientists rethink evolution. The New York Times

Solving the mystery of the Great Unconformity. SciShow

 

What women with autism want you to know. Iris

 

Thanks for stopping by!

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

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 3-9, 2018

It’s Friday eve! W00t! And now, to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Ashifa Kassam: the toxic legacy of Canada’s CIA brainwashing experiments. The Guardian

John J. Lennon: this place is crazy. A prisoner-journalist’s inside look at mental health in prison. Esquire

Katie Morton: how is ASD expressed differently in females?

 

Mihai Andrei reports that, after successfully passing trials, a Lyme disease vaccine may be available soon. ZME Science

Dirk Schulze-Makuch: fingerprints of Martian life. Air & Space Magazine

What Pacific Islanders want you to know. Buzzfeed video

 

State of emergency declared for Ontario’s turtles after hundreds are run over. Marina von Stackelberg for the CBC.

R.J. Wilson examines the reasons behind many of your dog’s interesting habits. URBO

We all know someone who can’t handle being hungry, AKA the hangry otter.

 

Have a lovely weekend and we’ll see you next Tipsday.

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

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 22-28, 2018

It’s time to get your mental corn popping for the final push to the weekend. Yes! Tomorrow is Friday. And today is Thoughty Thursday 🙂

Stephen Luntz discovers that trees have a “heartbeat,” too. IFLS

Linda Poon: new “mutant enzymes” could solve Earth’s plastic problem. Are they any better than recycling, though? The proof remains to be seen. City Lab

Another promising solution? Saqib Shah: first ever ocean plastic cleaner will tackle the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The New York Post

Why so few people on the Six Nations Reserve have clean, running water, unlike their neighbours. It’s not just remote or northern reserves. We really have to provide all people with the necessities of life. Like, yesterday. CBC’s “Out in the Open.”

Alek Minassian, the Toronto van attack suspect, praised “Incel” killer. BBC

Psychologists explain why you should be friends with people who swear a lot. We’re more fucking honest and intelligent 🙂 Rachel-Lee Thomas for Providr.

Do essential oils work? And why? (I guess that second question gives away the answer to the first …) SciShow

 

Can exercise treat depression? SciShow Psych

 

Scientists may have discovered the root cause of autism (and no, it’s not vaccines). Let’s first seek to understand ASD before we attempt to eradicate it. IFLS

Sara Burrows explains how one Texas school beat ADHD by tripling recess. Return to Now

Nina Strochlic reveals the race to save the world’s disappearing languages. National Geographic

Going grey the right way: everything you need to know about grey hair. Katie Martin for HealthyWay.

Nadia Drake: how 1.7 billion stars were mapped with dazzling 3-D precision. National Geographic

Alfredo Carpineti: Study reveals Uranus smells of farts. IFLS

Baby elephant chases the birds, falls, and runs to mom.

 

I hope something in this mix inspired you (or at least entertained you).

Be well until this weekend’s next chapter update.

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