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!

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!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, May 29-June 4, 2022

It’s time to get your mental corn popping!

Kelly Hayes: hope is not a given. We must cultivate it together. Truthout

Patrick Washington says that white supremacy is America’s love language. Word in Black

Ashawnta Jackson explains how Black radio changed the dial. JSTOR Daily

Ali Breland unpacks mass shootings and our never ending doomcycle. Mother Jones

A message from the Future II: The Years of Repair. The Intercept

100 days of war in Ukraine: a timeline. France 24

Andrea Woo and Marcus Gee report that BC to decriminalize possession of small amounts of “hard” drugs, like cocaine, fentanyl, and heroine. The Globe and Mail

Guy Kawasaki interviews Jennifer Kerns about women’s rights. The Remarkable People Podcast

Janice Gassam Asare interviews Dr. Raquel Martin talks race-related stress and why burnout must be treated as a systemic issue. Forbes

The euphoria of Elliot Page. Esquire

Ina Fried predicts the future of the office could look like a Starbucks. Axios

Douglas Perry: clinging to an 8-hour workday? Research suggests 5 hours is better. The Seattle Times

Clark Quinn recommends that instead of asking what’s in it for me, ask, what’s in it for them? Learnlets

Forgetting doesn’t reverse the learning process. Neuroscience News

Livia Gershon: scientific seances in twentieth-century Iran. JSTOR Daily

The absurd search for dark matter. Veritasium

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne reports that a new law unchains fusion energy. Phys.org

Princeton University reveals that electrons in a crystal found to exhibit linked and knotted quantum twists. Phys.org

This machine makes hurricanes! Be Smart

Olivia Box considers the imperiled inland sea. JSTOR Daily

Craig Welch: will the oldest tree on Earth survive climate change? National Geographic

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, May 22-28, 2022

Wish a fond farewell to May with some informal writerly learnings.

Stephanie BwaBwa shares some editing tools for your self-publishing toolbox. Then, Robin Farrar Maass reveals what her MFA taught her and what she learned on her own. Lori Walker lists five ways to deal with burnout. DIY MFA

The psychology of Severance. Like Stories of Old

Vaughn Roycroft considers an Audible enhancement to storytelling. Gwen Hernandez: losing the plot means writing by the seat of your pants. Kelsey Allagood wonders, are your words working hard enough? Danielle Davis: it’s not me, it’s the story. Kathryn Magendie considers painting a chair, when it’s just painting a chair. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland helps you deepen your book’s theme with the thematic square. Helping Writers Become Authors

Princess Weekes thinks Marvel needs to really get Elektra right.

Tiffany Yates Martin poses four questions to ask when writing flashbacks. Then, Laurie Schnebly Campbell wonders, when is your story done? Ellen Buikema is writing memorable character flaws. Writers in the Storm

Colleen M. Story suggests four things to remember when writing about difficult subjects. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Catherine Baab-Maguira presents the Julie & Julia formula: how to turn writing envy into writing success. Then, Sonya Hubers helps you market your book with your values. Jane Friedman

Erica Brozovsky wonders, is gossip … good? Otherwords | PBS Storied

Liz Alterman explains the ins and outs of blurb requests. Then, Becca Puglisi considers subterfuge in dialogue. Writers Helping Writers

The love genre: stories about obsession, courtship, and marriage. Story Grid

Kristen Lamb predicts that boutique books will be the fall of the mega-author titans.

What is xenofiction? Tale Foundry

Tiffany Yates Martin wonders, how can writing matter in the face of suffering? Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle shares four ways to create a bittersweet ending. Then, Lewis Jorstad introduces us to four supporting characters your hero can learn from. Mythcreants

Why do we love problematic romances? The Take

Claire Handscombe: the one line that’s missing from all writing advice. Book Riot

Michele Debczak lists seven facts about Octavia Bulter’s Kindred. Mental Floss

Oliver Holmes reports that “How to Murder Your Husband” author found guilty of murdering husband. Life isn’t stranger than fiction … The Guardian

Thank you 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!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, May 15-21, 2022

The penultimate tipsday of May, marked by the serenade of spring peepers and red-wing blackbirds; the scents of crab apple blossoms and lilacs and poplar sap; and thunderstorms that spark and roll overhead. Refill your well with some informal writerly learnings.

Disha Walia wants you to find your motivation for writing speculative fiction. Then, E.J. Wenstrom explains what to do about author platforming when you’re burned out. Sara Farmer lists more of her auto-buy mystery authors. Later in the week, Brittany Capozzi lists five answers we get from writing letters to ourselves. DIY MFA

The psychology of Zuko. Avatar: The Last Airbender. Hello, Future Me

K.M. Weiland recommends six ways to find your best ideas before you start writing. Helping Writers Become Authors

Sandy Vaile shares four essential elements you need to create a workable novel. Then, Holly Lasky asks you to guess who’s in the driver’s seat of your creativity? Lynette M. Burroughs explains how the forces of antagonism frame your story. Writers in the Storm

Darn it, you made me care. Jill Bearup

Susan Defreitas wonders, why write when the world is on fire? Jane Friedman

C.S. Lakin: outlining your novel for success. Live, Write, Thrive

Seven character development exercises. Reedsy

Elizabeth Spann Craig: stress and writing.

Dave King is getting to know evil. Then, Barbara Linn Probst gives us three writing exercises for three different points in the writing process. Kristina Stevens wonders how you adapt real life into fiction. Writer Unboxed

How sun mythologies are universal (featuring PBS Space Time). Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Christina Delay explains what to do when you feel like a hack. Then, Marissa Graff shares four ways your protagonist is sabotaging you (and how to fight back). Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford: breaks, permission, and writing.

Olaseni Ajibade explores mental health in fiction: the monster you feed. Dan Koboldt

This story will save your imagination. Tale Foundry

Tiffany Yates Martin: high praise, big promises … and crickets. Fox Print Editorial

Kristen Lamb says weakness is blood in the water for narcissist sharks.

How the tech villain became the most hated character. The Take

Chris Winkle shares lessons from the summary writing of Illuminae. Then, Oren Ashkenazi critiques the second half of Pixar’s rules of storytelling. Mythcreants

Angie hodapp explains what to do when your entire manuscript turns out to be a prologue. Pub Rants

Guy Gavriel Kay wonders what we lose—and gain—as book tours move online? Literary Hub

Thank you for spending some time with me, and I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress, whatever stage it’s at.

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

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

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

Ibram X. Kendi: the danger more republicans should be talking about. (Spoiler: it’s white supremacy.) The Atlantic

Whitney Bauck interviews Reverend Lennox Yearwood: culture-building as climate work. Atmos

Mariupol mayor urges residents to flee as Russia mounts eastern Ukraine offensive. CBC

Emily Zarevich introduces us to Lesya Ukrainka: Ukraine’s beloved writer and activist. JSTOR Daily

Amy Cassidy, Mostafa Salem, Caroline Faraj, Obayda Nafaa and Jack Bantock: dozens injured in Sweden in riots after Quran burning. CNN

Laurentian mess didn’t bubble up; it trickled down. Sudbury.com editorial board

Melody Wilding lists eight signs of overfunctioning that lead to burnout (and how to stop). Forbes

Sadhbh O’Sullivan says there’s a reason we procrastinate, and it isn’t laziness. Refinery 29

Deepa Purushothaman and Lisen Stromberg: leaders, stop rewarding toxic rock stars. Harvard Business Review

Clark Quinn says we’re using the wrong bucket lists. Learnlets

Harold Jarche considers writing at electric speed. Then, he looks at the power of story.

Erin Blakemore tries to explain why Easter is celebrated with bunnies and eggs. National Geographic

Doyle Rice and Dinah Voyles Pulver: UN IPCC report shows the globe is on “track toward an unlivable world.” USA Today

Solar superflares and aurora science. Physics Girl

Guy Kawasaki interviews Neil deGrasse Tyson: astrophysicist, planetary scientist, and author. The Remarkable People Podcast

Nadia Drake explains why NASA has been ignoring Uranus. That may soon change. National Geographic

Bob McDonald interviews Riley Culberg about how the ridges on the surface of Europa could mean water—and life. CBC’s “Quirks and Quarks”

Florence + the Machine – Free

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

Even though May first is Sunday, I won’t be composing my next chapter update until the first full weekend in May. That’s the May 7-8 weekend. Just so you know.

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, March 20-26, 2022

It’s the last tipsday of March! Three months of 2022 passed, and … what do I have to show for it? Actually, I have a fair amount. I just have to remind myself that just because my head has been in #revisionhell for the past three months doesn’t mean that I haven’t accomplished anything else (!)

In any case, it’s time to stock up on informal writerly learnings for the last time in March.

Disha Walia wants you to appreciate speculative storytelling elements with these book recommendations. Then, Jeanette the Writer suggests when to stop editing: enough is enough. Gabriela Pereira interviews Brian Leung: writing about difficult subjects with a distinct first-person voice. Later in the week, Jessie Kwak explains how to recapture joy in your writing. Finally, Alexis M. Collazo shares five daily practices to stay happy, healthy, and writing. DIY MFA

Damn, you’re ugly: a Witcher armour review. Jill Bearup

K.M. Weiland poses three questions to make sure you’re not missing out on important scenes. Helping Writers Become Authors

Lisa Norman introduces you to the invisible reader you don’t want to ignore. Then, Lisa Hall-Wilson shares four ways to write the lived experience of trauma. Ellen Buikema is using the sixth sense in writing. Writers in the Storm

Do progressive reboots actually work? Melina Pendulum

Matthew Norman shares what the Beatles taught him about the difficulty of art: a hard day’s work. Then, Erika Liodice lists ten ways to find inspiration in Key West: sunshine and the creative mind. Kelsey Allagood asks, are you an accidental info-dumper? Then, Julia Whelan explains how to write a book without writing a book: what burnout taught her about process. John J. Kelley is rediscovering wonder and wisdom at Planet Word Museum. Writer Unboxed

Know your writing tropes. Reedsy

Tiffany Yates Martin is weaving flashbacks seamlessly into story. Then, Susan DeFreitas shares the secret of successful openings. Jane Friedman

Joanna Penn interviews Nikesh Shukla about Your Story Matters. The Creative Penn

The screwed-up history of English spelling. Otherwords | PBS Storied

Nathan Bransford: writing in times like these (and do click through to Morten Høi Jensen’s Gawker article—it’s excellent).

Inciting incident: how to start a story. Story Grid

A whole dynasty of Bi emperors. Xiran Jay Zhao

Tiffany Yates Martin: what do you do when the worst happens? Again, I recommend clicking through to listen to the podcast Tiffany discusses. Then she tackles the question: how do you write enduring stories? Fox Print Editorial

Kristen Lamb says that SEO is the key to working smarter, not harder.

Becca Puglisi shares nine tension-building elements for character dialogue. Writers Helping Writers

Chris Winkle shares lessons from the empty writing of The Alchemyst. Then, Oren Ashkenazi stages a high fantasy battle royale. Who will win: Name of the Wind, The Fifth Season, or Way of Kings? Mythcreants

Thank you for spending some time with me. I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Feb 27-March 5, 2022

Welcome to tipsday, your opportunity to fill up on informal writerly learnings, every Tuesday (if you want more—moar—check out the archives). Enjoy!

Melissa Haas shares leisure learning links for February 2022. Then, Richelle Lyn shares tales of a solopreneur. Gabriela Pereira interviews Gillian McDunn about neurodiversity, family dynamics and cooking in contemporary middle grade fiction. Dana De Greff helps you open doors in your writing. DIY MFA

Tim Hickson focuses on the most important moment in any story. Hello, Future Me

Kim Bullock introduces us to the little library banned book project. Then, Tiffany Yates Martin reviews some words you’re probably using wrong. Donald Maass: theme vs. meaning. Liza Nash Taylor shares the arc of one author and two book launches in five acts: Freytag’s pandemic. Yuvi Zalkow: storytelling and the Hero’s Journey. Writer Unboxed

The myth of heroic masculine purpose. Like Stories of Old

K.M. Weiland shares five red flags that indicate you might need a break from writing. Helping Writers Become Authors

Tiffany Yates Martin wants you to dig deeper than description for more nuanced characters. Then, James R. Preston wants you to get out from behind the keyboard. Writers in the Storm

How to write your novel’s first chapter. Reedsy

Joanna Penn interviews Johnny B. Truant about pivoting on the creative journey. The Creative Penn

Lisa Poisso recommends best practices for working with an independent editor. Then, Becca Puglisi shares some tips for landing a guest-posting gig. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford wants you to show your characters getting from point a to point b.

Finding your writing process. Shaelin Writes

Jessica Conoley reveals what your writing is training you for. When you change alongside your book: Q&A with Mansi Shah. Jane Friedman

Chris Winkle explains how to write an unhappy ending. Then, Oren Ashkenazi reveals why sequels don’t erase errors in the first book. Mythcreants

Adze: the shapeshifting firefly from West Africa. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Kristen Lamb is creating dimensional characters with personality traits.

Ashawnta Jackson reveals the short but influential run of Ebony and Topaz. JSTOR Daily

Angelarium: The Book of Angels. Tale Foundry

George Saunders helps you overcome uncertainty in writing. Literary Hub

Priya Sidhar wonders, was Brandon Sanderson’s video about burnout relatable? Medium

Unreliable narrators: why we love to be lied to. The Take

Jonathan Thornton provides a readers’ guide to the Finnish weird in translation. More for my TBR list! Tor.com

Leigh Haber interviews Diana Gabaldon about season six of Outlander. Droughtlander ENDED Sunday! Yay! Oprah Daily online

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!

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!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Aug 9-15, 2020

Welcome to another week of informal writerly learnings.

Black lives matter. Indigenous lives matter. All lives cannot matter until all Black and Indigenous lives matter. Truth.

Dr. Tam has stated that we should prepare for a second wave of infection in the fall and that we’ll probably be living with covid until 2022 (at least). And young people have been out partying without health precautions in the hundreds in BC.

Children and youth have been getting sick more often, and now they’ve confirmed that young people are more likely to be asymptomatic carriers. Provincially, there has been additional money given to school boards to improve HVAC systems and hire more teachers, but, you know, too little, too late. How do they expect all this work to be accomplished in two and a half weeks (and less, for some school boards)?

There are times that being right makes you sad.

I hope the following shores you up.

K.M. Weiland demonstrates four ways to write sequel scenes that grip readers. Helping Writers Become Authors

Laura Highcove helps you develop your awareness. Then, Bronwen Fleetwood discusses diversity in kidlit: better isn’t enough. Later in the week, Sara Farmer interviews Silvia Moreno-Garcia. DIY MFA

The deeper meaning of time travel stories, explained. The Take

Randy Susan Meyers says that if you’re terrified about writing your novel, that’s excellent! Then, Barbara Linn Probst wants you to begin at the beginning … or maybe not. Kathryn Craft introduces us to hook and inciting incident, the power couple of “must read now!” David Corbett explores identity, authenticity, relationships, and our characters. Writer Unboxed

Princess Weekes considers what makes good queer representation in 2020. Melina Pendulum

Bi-sexuality stories on screen. The Take

Laurence MacNaughton lists six crucial character relationships. Then, Janice Hardy explains why you shouldn’t edit as you go (for the companion post, why you should, click through). Fiction University

September C. Fawkes shares six tricks to layer on stakes. Later in the week, Chrys Fey answers the question: what is writer’s burnout? Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford offers some tips for non-linear narratives.

Leigh Cheak has some Post-It note tips for plotters and pantsers. Then, Lisa Hall-Wilson answers eight questions about deep point of view. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle lists five common problems with metaphors. Then Oren Ashkenazi considers six consequences of poorly thought-out magic systems. Mythcreants

Roger Kruez: what irony is not. The MIT Press Reader

Robert J. Sawyer: we’re all living in a science fiction novel now. The Toronto Star

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

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe.

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