Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, April 26-May 2, 2020

We’re staying the course here. I will likely be working from home for the foreseeable. I could also see our local and regional management making the case that we can and should continue to work from home on a permanent basis.

My current position has been largely virtual since I moved into it eleven years ago. There’s still an element of the surreal to the situation (where does the job end, how do I transition into home/creative life?) but now that we’re closing in on two months of pandemic life and  six weeks (for me) of working from home, I’m finding my way to a workable routine.

Here’s hoping that whatever your circumstances are, that you’re finding your feet, so to speak. Everyone’s dealing with “stuff.” Take a break and peruse some of these informal writerly learnings.

Tasha Seegmiller offers five tips for having hard conversations. Ellen Buikema teaches you how to love your hateful antagonist. Writers in the Storm

K.M. Weiland lists 15 productive tasks you can do when you don’t feel like writing. Helping Writers Become Authors

How to master fight scenes (a follow up from the other fight scene video I shared—as Tim will tell you, please watch that one first). Hello, Future Me

Justin Attas explains the puzzle piece plotting method: using what you know to build what you don’t. Susan DeFreitas is helping you develop your writing practice, part five: neurohacks. Later in the week, C.S. Lakin touts the three Ms of character setup. Jane Friedman

Developing a book, part 2: the characters. Reedsy

Nathan Bransford tells you everything you need to know about inciting incidents.

Related: Jami Gold explains the difference between the inciting incident and the first plot point.

Jenn Walton shares three ways to preserve your creativity. DIY MFA

Chris Winkle lists five reasons tension is missing from your story. Then, Oren Ashkenazi considers six ridiculous cultures in speculative fiction. Mythcreants

Nina Munteanu uses a walk in the forest to discover hidden character archetypes.

Alison Flood: study shows most authors hear their characters speak. Do you? The Guardian

Keziah Weir says poetry is having its moment. Vanity Fair

Thank you for visiting. I hope you found something to assist you with your current work in progress, even if you’re not actively writing.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Tipsday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 19-25, 2020

I hope you’re bearing up in these surreal times. Try not to feel pressured to learn a new language or finish that novel or whatever weighs on your creative conscience. Interest will return when it will, the words will sing their siren song again. It just may take some time. Be kind to yourself. We’re all struggling.

While you adjust to our changing circumstances, don’t forget to feed your brain with some interesting stuff. Get your mental corn popping with thought Thursday 🙂

50 things we’ve learned in the 50 years since the first Earth Day. The Smithsonian Magazine

And, while Earth Day was last week, there’s no reason for you not to extend the celebration. Kaitlin Thomas lists 20 ground-breaking nature documentaries you should watch. TV Guide

It’s also the 30th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope. It’s okay to be smart celebrates with a fly-through of some of the best images. And a lovely poem by Dr. Katie Mack!

Kristine Wen shows you how to cook and bake with lavender without making your food taste like grandma’s soap. Chow Hound

Kier Holmes explains how to use coffee grounds in your garden. Gardenista

Olivia Kelly is watching Dublin bloom: city thrives under new “wilding” policy. The Irish Times

Jelisa Castrodale reports on the 1,000-year-old mill that’s resumed production due to lack of flour. Food & Wine

Sarah Wells: tech eroded sleep quality in the 1800s. Can tech restore it now? About biphasic sleep, the advent of electricity, and sleep trackers. Inverse

Katie Falkingham reveals the strict and secret world of bicycle racing in Japan. BBC

Amanda Capritto says, this is the best time of day to exercise (backed by science). Spoiler: it’s any time you can bloody well fit it in 🙂 Cnet

Will Bardenwerper: army ranger school is a laboratory of human endurance. Outside Online

Riley Black explains why bats are one of evolution’s greatest puzzles. The Smithsonian Magazine

Zoe Denenberg wonders why dogs walk in circles before they lie down. Southern Living

Thanks for visiting. I hope you took away something to inspire your next creative project (even if it stays in percolation mode for a while).

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

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 12-18, 2020

Again, I’ve assembled a variety of resources. Some will help you understand what may be happening to you as you physically distance; some will offer some virtual experiences to help fill the extra hours (if you have them); some are the usual interesting articles and posts that will get your mental corn popping.

Brit Dawson explains why we’re all having bizarrely vivid dreams in pandemic lockdown. Dazed

Tanner Saunders compiles a list of 100+ fun things to do at home right now. Then, Evie Carrick shares 13 virtual train rides from around the world. Travel+Leisure

The Toronto Zoo offers online animal streams and educational resources. Durham Radio News

And … watch the Stratford Festival’s YouTube channel for Shakespeare!

Alex Beggs helps you get into making your own pasta. In case you’re tired of baking or have baked yourself into a sugar coma/larger size. Bon Appetit

Monstrum: The Jinn

Ralph Jones interviews Arthur Brand, the world’s greatest art detective. BBC

Matthew Wills: who were the ladies of Llangollen? JSTOR Daily

Emma Taggart: NYC parks are using a designer’s tree font to plant secret messages with trees. My Modern Met

Why the heck are we ticklish? It’s Okay to be Smart

The Mind Circle shares 18 photos that prove the capybara can befriend anyone. ‘Cause we can all use a little calming capy.

Adorbs pictures of dogs (and cockatoos and cats) before and after being called a good boy. Sad and Useless

SciShow explains the delightful mutation that defines Siamese cat appearance.

Thanks for the visit. I hope you take away something to support you in this time of physical distancing, to inspire your next creative project, or to entertain you.

Until next tipsday, stay safe and be well, be kind, and stay strong (even if you don’t think you can). The world needs your stories.

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 5-11, 2020

This week’s curation is a mix of ways to entertain yourself, covid-19-adjacent articles, and general thoughtiness. It’s time to get your mental corn popping.

Sydney Perkowitz: how to see the invisible universe. JSTOR Daily

Jamie Cater says, your cosmic address is the trippiest thing you’ll learn today. Travel + Leisure

Space germs were a literal thing. Why the Apollo 11 astronauts were quarantined. Vox

Brian Ferguson reveals Scotland’s claim to fame as the birthplace of the f-word (and an interesting BBC documentary to watch if you have access). The Scotsman

Erin Blakemore explains why plague doctors wore those strange beaked masks. National Geographic

Arthur C. Brooks shares the three equations of a happy life. The Atlantic

Livia Gershon explains how people during the Depression managed to laugh. JSTOR Daily

Mary Alice Miller: digital burnout was coming, and the pandemic is expediting it. Vanity Fair

Jonathan Watts shares his journey into the Antarctic. The Guardian

Jessica Leigh Hester wants you to let your mind wander with these gloriously detailed maps. Atlas Obscura

Zoe Baillargeon recommends the best online cooking classes and tutorials. The Manual

Camryn Rabideau suggests six indoor gardening projects for *any* size of home. Food52

SciShow introduces us to the white smokers of The Lost City and how they may have had a role in the origin of life on our planet.

Atlas Obscura shares images of Puzzlewood, the inspiration for the Lord of the Rings movie.

Corinne Segal shares this livestream of the bird library for you and your cat(s) to enjoy. Literary Hub

Jonna Jinton – The Wolf Song

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you took away something to inspire your next creative project, or just to fill the well until inspiration strikes.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, March 29-April 4, 2020

Here are a bunch of resources and useful information for your time of physical distancing. It’s time to get your mental corn popping.

Rachel Donadio explains how a millennial Prime Minister is leading her country through crisis. Vogue

Rodger Sherman: the eight types of people we turn into on Zoom. The Ringer

Erin Blakemore wonders what people used before toilet paper? Cause toilet stuff is fun 🙂 National Geographic

Amber Gibson: there’s an art to isolation—here’s how to stay centred. Medium

Sherpa says, wash your paws!

Starlight Williams shares five inspiring no-travel experiences. National Geographic

Joe Berkowitz lists 88 movies, music, series, and books releasing in the next month. Fast Company

Jennifer Nalawicki says that you can watch these six flower bloom events from your couch. The Smithsonian Magazine

Mike Mettler lists six must-see rockumentaries to shelter in place with. Sound & Vision

A.R. Williams: untouched 4,400-year-old tomb discovered in Saq’qara, Egypt. National Geographic

Michael Greshko: interstellar space is even weirder than expected. National Geographic

Robin George Andrews reports on the bizarre lifeforms found thriving in ancient rocks beneath the sea floor. Cause extremophiles! National Geographic

Jeff Goodell is concerned about rising tides, troubled waters, and the future of our oceans. Rolling Stone

Marina Koren considers the changes in land, sea, and air that have already resulted from the pandemic. The Atlantic

Chris Sweeny: the wondrous life and mysterious death of golden eagle 1703. The Guardian

Giedrė Vaičiulaitytė shares 30 photos by Julius Kähkönen that look like they come from dreams. Bored Panda

True facts about the giraffe. Ze Frank

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you took away something to support you in these challenging times, or to inspire your next creative project.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, March 22-28, 2020

In need of some distraction? You’re in luck. Thoughty Thursday is here to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Alex Beard: can AI ever replace the classroom? The Guardian

Laura Millan Lombrana: the post-virus economic recovery could be a green one. This is the hope of many people I know. Bloomberg

Elizabeth Landau discovers that the Fibonacci sequence is everywhere—even the stock market. The Smithsonian Magazine

Allison Meier: 18th Century lovers exchanged pictures of their eyes. JSTOR Daily

Stevie Keen shares ten photography projects you can do at home. Amateur Photographer

Eric Gross shares photographs of frozen waves in an alpine Colorado lake. PetaPixel

Jessica Stewart shares enchanting photos of Madeira’s Fanal Forest and its 500-year-old trees. My Modern Met

How Earth’s tides gave us life as we know it. SciShow Space

Tom Ward takes us inside Victor Vescovo’s mission to reach the bottom of all the world’s oceans. Wired

Ruth Doherty reports that Google Earth has released virtual tours of 31 of the world’s most incredible national parks. Country Living

Stella’s best leaf jumps of all time 🙂 Joy!

Lydia Schrandt shares ten of the best animal live cams for you to watch. 10 Best

PBS Eons answers the age-old question. The egg came first.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you take away some inspiration for your next creative project, or just some interesting reading and entertainment to ease your isolation.

This weekend, I’ll be diving into my March next chapter update.

Until then, be well, be kind, and stay strong. Now, more than ever, the world needs your stories!

ThoughtyThursday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, March 22-28, 2020

I hope you’re all keeping safe and well.

I’m now working from home and only leaving to walk the dog. Phil continues to be our designated shopper. We’re all remaining as isolated as possible given the circumstances.

While you’re at home, you might have the time to catch up on your informal writerly learnings.

Julianna Baggott is creating in the time of quarantine. Liz Michalski: sea glass. Heather Webb says, the beauty is in the words. John J Kelley: for the love of Moira—the arc of a memorable character. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland touts the power of hopeful stories in a stressful time. Helping Writers Become Authors

E.J. Wenstrom explains how authors can build a true community of fans. Later in the week, Savannah Cordova lists five signs your story’s structure needs work. DIY MFA

Shaelin shares six ways to improve your craft. Reedsy

Barbara Linn Probst visit’s Jane Friedman’s blog to explain the when, why, and how of peer critique and professional editing.

Lisa Hall-Wilson explains how to write compelling emotional triggers. Ellen Buikema explores white space on the page. Writers in the Storm

The Take takes on the weird girl trope.

Chris Winkle helps you make the most of your narrative premise. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains why zombies aren’t a good pandemic parallel. Mythcreants

Meg LaTorre shares ten fantasy tropes she loves. iWriterly

Jami Gold explains how point of view affects dialogue.

Nina Munteanu: dreams and perceptions and “the other.”

Robert Lee Brewer clarifies fable vs. parable vs. allegory. Writer’s Digest

Adrienne Westenfeld recommends the best books for distancing yourself from reality right now. Esquire

Open Culture introduces us to the world’s first author: the Sumerian High Priestess Enheduanna.

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

Until Thursday, be well!

Tipsday2019

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

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

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