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!

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!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Aug 8-14, 2021

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings.

Ann Marie Nieves answers your book PR and marketing questions (part 4). Then, Jim Dempsey wants you to enhance your fantasies with a dose of reality. Kathryn Craft hopes you aim for the “extra” in ordinary. Then, Kathleen McCleary says, sometimes you’re the windshield; sometimes you’re the bug. Gwen Hernandez helps you create a series bible in Scrivener. Later in the week, Dee Willson connects the dots between research, sex, and related remedies. Writer Unboxed

Tim Hickson is killing characters. Hello, Future Me

Lori Freeland is talking location, location, location! Bring your book to life, part 2. Then, Jenny Hansen says, it’s okay to fall down. Eldred Bird contemplates coming out of hibernation. Writers in the Storm

The messy meaning of zombie stories. Like Stories of Old

Janice Hardy says, if you want a tighter point of view, ditch the filter words in your novel. Then, E.J. Wenstrom is creating creatures for speculative worlds. Ann Harth offers a nine-step plotting path to a stronger novel. Fiction University

K.M. Weiland shares three things to know about the ending of a story. Helping Writers Become Authors

Lindsay Ellis shares nine things she wished she knew before publishing her first novel.

Jane Friedman wonders, should MFA programs teach the business of writing? Then, E.J. Wenstrom explains what to know while you write dual point of view. Jane returns to show you how to harness community to build book sales and platform. Jane Friedman

Stefan Emunds examines eight elements that get readers invested in your story. Live, Write, Thrive

Shaelin Bishop explains why she’s a discovery writer. Shaelin Writes

Manuela Williams offers something for your poet’s toolbox: generate ideas and inspiration. Then, Kris Hill promotes worldbuilding using tabletop games. Tori Bovalino: genre-bending and The Devil Makes Three. Later in the week, Sarah R. Clayville shares five bad habits to quit like a champ. DIY MFA

Fire cat or fire cart? The history of Japan’s Kasha. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Marissa Graff says, don’t let excess baggage bring down your character’s plane. Then Angela Ackerman poses problems and solutions for describing a character’s emotions. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford explains how to come up with good comp titles for your book. Then, Christine Pride walks you through how an editor at a publisher acquires a book. Nathan Bransford

The “asexual” Asian man. The Take

Kellie Doherty introduces us to some of the mythological creatures of Alaska. Fantasy Faction

Chris Winkle: Project Hail Mary shows when flashbacks work, and when they don’t. Mythcreants

Joanna Penn offers a primer on the metaverse for authors and publishing: web 3.0, AR, VR, and the spatial web. The Creative Penn

Souvankham Thammavongsa shares her feelings about winning the Scotiabank Giller Prize. CBC’s The Next Chapter

What to call that weird thing your pet does. Merriam Webster

Megan McCluskey reveals how extortion scams and review bombing trolls turned Goodreads into many authors’ worst nightmare. Time

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: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 25-31, 2021

Welcome to thoughty Thursday, your chance to get your mental corn popping. The weekend’s in sight! We’ll get there 🙂

Christian Spencer reports that the majority of Americans want the history of racism and slavery taught in schools. The Hill

Li Zhou explains why Illinois’s new law requiring Asian American history in schools is so significant. Vox

Dianne Lugo: 100 years after forceful removal, Nez Perce people celebrates reclaimed homeland. Statesman Journal    

Matthew Wills considers vaccine hesitancy in the 1920s. See, it’s nothing new 😦 JSTOR Daily

Andrew McKevitt shares some foundations and key concepts about guns in America. JSTOR Daily

InSight reveals the deep interior of Mars. NASA

How do supermassive black holes grow? Dr. Becky

What the new black hole discovery tells us. Physics Girl

Climate tipping points are now imminent, scientists warn. Deutche Welle (DW)

Sara Burrows: woman turns non-recyclable plastic into bricks seven times stronger than concrete. Return to Now

Kim Fahner: we, and those who come after, have a stake in what happens to the Laurentian Trail System. Sudbury.com

Mary Hynes interviews Robin Wall Kimmerer about the spirit of life in everything. CBC’s Tapestry

Why is sex a thing? It’s okay to be smart

Weird body parts. SciShow

Siobhan Leddy: Leonora Carrington brought a wild, feminist energy to surrealist painting. Artsy

Maya Wei-Haas reports that this 890-year-old sponge fossil may be the earliest animal yet found. National Geographic

Thanks for taking the time to stop by, 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: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 18-24, 2021

It’s the last tipsday of July? Where the hell has the time gone? And so fast? Ah well, console yourselves with some informal writerly learnings.

Jan O’Hara shares what an unnatural book marketer learned while Marie Kondo-ing her house. Then, Dave King exposes the dangers of editing. Barbara Linn Probst explains what to do when you take a break from your work in progress. Heather Webb says, when the going gets tough, the though get going (in publishing). Late in the week, John J. Kelley offers some tips for when characters meet: close encounters of he initial kind. Writer Unboxed

What is Toph’s character arc? Hello, Future Me

K.M. Weiland: why everyone should write (even if you think you stink). Helping Writers Become Authors

Angela Ackerman promotes writing character descriptions that hook readers. Then, Sudha Balagopal encourages you to flavor your fiction with foreign expressions. Later in the week, Ellen Buikema encourages you to think about why you’ve chosen the road to writing. Writers in the Storm

Copyediting vs. proofreading. Reedsy

Bonnie Randall helps you access deep point of view via description (and a writing exercise). Fiction University

Nathan Brandford wants you to try to separate process from product (outcomes).

Is your book ready for an editor? Reedsy

E.J. Wenstrom shows you how to plan an online book launch. Then, Sara Farmer considers classic girl detectives. Gabriela Pereira interviews Brandie June about character dynamics in a fairy tale retelling. Later in the week, Kim Catanzarite shares five copyediting mistakes you’re probably making (and how to eradicate them). DIY MFA

El Silbón: The Deadly Whistler of the South American Grasslands. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Angie Hodapp shares four ways to create inter-character conflict. Pub Rants

Becca Puglisi helps you figure out whether fight, flight, or freeze is your character’s default response. Writers Helping Writers

Chris Winkle explains how to make large conflicts exciting. Mythcreants

Chimera: mythology’s magical multi-species monster. Tale Foundry

Kathleen Newman-Bremang: it isn’t just Gossip Girl—TV has a major colorism problem. Refinery 29

35 Canadian books to check out this summer. CBC Books

Phil Pirello introduces us to the version of Aliens we never saw. SyFy

Kim Stanley Robinson considers the novel solutions of utopian fiction. The Nation

Davide Tristan: one megahit later, we check in with the creator of Enola Holmes. ABC27

Vicky Qaio reports that Canadian authors C.L. Polk and Silvia Moreno-Garcia among World Fantasy Award finalists. CBC books

Neda Ulaby: when your book publishes in a pandemic. NPR

And that was tipsday. Thanks 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: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 11-17, 2021

It’s time to get your mental corn popping! Let’s get right to it …

Ohimai Amaize unpacks the “social distance” between Africa and African Americans. JSTOR Daily

Charlottesville removes Robert E. Lee statue that sparked deadly rally. NPR

Thema Bryant-Davis and Egypt Leithman (of Pepperdine University) want to heal the wounds of racial trauma. Division 45

Allison Hopper: denial of evolution is a form of white supremacy. Scientific American

Louisiana teen, Zaila Avant-garde correctly spells “muraya” to win Scripp’s National Spelling Bee. ESPN

Zoé Samudzi is looking after (museums and human remains). Art Forum

Huu-ay-aht First Nation begin process of reclaiming cultural artefacts from Royal BC Museum. CBC

Coaches argue Laurentian’s pool must remain open: community impact will be “immense.” Sudbury.com

Could solar panels in space solve our energy needs? SciShow Space

Susan Montoya Bryan and Marcia Dunn report that billionaire Richard Branson reaches space in his own ship. Maybe reaches for space? Associated Press

Do we have more than five senses? Spoiler: hella yeah. SciShow Psych

Lauran Neergaard: device taps brainwaves to help paralyzed man communicate. Associated Press

Barrie, Ontario, devastated by tornado that left 5-kilometre path of destruction. CBC

Rescuers rush to save hundreds trapped by flooding in Europe as death toll tops 125. CBC

True facts: wild pigs (and their crazy cousins). ‘Cause fun and educational 🙂 Ze Frank

John Flesher reports that pup births a hopeful sign for Ilse Royale wolves. Associated Press

Thanks 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!