Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, March 19-25, 2017

Another bumper crop of informal writerly learnings for you!

K.M. Weiland shares nine tips that will help you create opening and closing lines that readers will love to quote. Helping Writers Become Authors

Later in the week, Kate helps you determine when it’s a good idea to use a made-up setting.

Shanna Swendson guest posts on Fiction University: is your plot complex, or chaotic?

Vaughn Roycroft is embracing perseverance. Writer Unboxed

Maya Rock helps you prepare for the emotional roller coaster of revision. Writer Unboxed

Dave King takes a look at Stephen King, a master of suspense and suspension of disbelief. Writer Unboxed

Heather Webb tackles writing through the soggy, infuriating, anxiety-inducing middle. Writer Unboxed

Dan Blank encourages us to use the magic wand of generosity. Writer Unboxed

Jeff Lyons guest posts on Jami Gold’s blog: how to make every story idea the best it can be.

Constance Renfrow lists five story openings to avoid. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Dan Blank on DIY MFA radio.

Kolina Cicero shares five tips for reading like a writer. DIY MFA

Jenna Moreci: show vs. tell.

 

Chuck Wendig has some considerations for you, if you want to be a professional writer. Terribleminds

Kameron Hurley guest posts on Writer’s Digest: how to build fantastic worlds.

Amber Mitchell offers six tips for fantasy worldbuilding. Writer’s Digest

Jennie Nash visits the Writers Helping Writers coaching corner: how to rescue a book in danger of dying.

Jody Hedlund suggests three ways to add depth to your novel.

Kristen Lamb helps you evaluate whether or not you have a story (or just 85,000 words). Later in the week she  wonders, do some people lack the talent to be authors?

Jenny Hansen shares some helpful hacks to build a strong brand. Writers in the Storm

As a follow up to Jenny’s post, Jami Gold offers some tips for keeping our sanity while building a brand.

Alice Sudlow offers a lesson on phrasal verbs. The Write Practice

Merriam-Webster explores the history of thon, the proposed and forgotten gender-neutral pronoun.

Grace O’Connell interviews Robert J. Sawyer for Open Book.

Wyl Menmuir shares data from the app that helped him write his Booker long-listed debut. The Guardian

Natalie Zutter shares the full length trailer for Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Tor.com

Hope this gave you something you needed to keep creating.

Be well until Thursday!

tipsday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, March 12-18, 2017

Just a little thoughty for you this week.

Grace Bains likes doing things alone and thinks people should stop worrying about it. ScoopWhoop

Ozymandias statue found in the mud. The Guardian

Phil Plait reports about astronomers who found a black hole “eating” a white dwarf. Blastr

Robert Lang, the origami master and physicist. Great Big Story

 

Is the future of AI chatbots that speak in their own language? Cade Metz for Wired.

Clive Thompson: how being bored out of your gourd makes you creative. Wired

Holly Riordan: Anxiety makes you look like an asshole. Thought Catalog

Jenna Birch reports on the German research that has found the cause of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Teen Vogue

Laurie Stras shares radical motets from a 16th century nunnery. The Guardian

March 17th is also St. Gertrude’s Day. She’s the patron saint of cats. Mel Campbell for Junkee.

How the Norse described their history. Oxford University Press

 

I hope that got your mental corn popping.

See you on the weekend for more WorldCon 2016 reportage.

Until then, stay well.

Hugs.

thoughtythursday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, March 5-11, 2017

Time to get that mental corn popping!

Some lovely pieces for #InternationalWomensDay

Today I rise. Films for Action

Jina Moore shares 16 stories that will expand your mind on IWD. Buzzfeed

Australian school boys share the stories of their female friends: why feminism is important to me.

 

Courtney Shea: why sports psychologist Dr. Peter Jensen works like he’s a smoker. The Globe and Mail

A Danish psychologist says “positive thinking” has turned happiness into a duty and a burden. Olivia Goldhill for Quartz.

Jen Schwartz says the secret to happiness is to simplify. Outside

The Usual Routine: why empaths act strange around inauthentic people.

Artists have structurally different brains. Melissa Hogenboom for the BBC.

Susan Storm profiles the INTJ personality. Psychology Junkie

Olivia Goldhill: Blaise Pascal understood that people are best convinced by their own data. Quartz

Rutger Bregman makes the case for universal basic income. The Guardian

The Medievalist think these ten Medieval women are worth knowing about.

Explore Canada’s great women on Canada’s History.

Paul Dalby writes about Maria Lindsay Cobham, Canada’s pirate queen. Canada’s History

Nanaboozhoo and the Wiindigo: An Ojibwe History from Colonization to the Present. Bezhigobinesikwe Elaine Fleming for Tribal College: Journal of American Indian Higher Education.

A rabbit hole in a farmer’s field leads to “mystery caves.BBC

Farah Halime profiles the millennial who might be the new Einstein. Ozy

Katherine Hobson: what going to Mars will do to our minds. Five Thirty Eight

Mark Malloy reports on scientists who have discovered how to upload knowledge into your mind. The Telegraph

Ryan F. Mandelbaum reports on the observation of time crystals. Gizmodo

Dana Dovey: scientists identify the first sign of Alzheimer’s Disease. MSN

Patton Oswalt explains why pop culture gets grieving wrong. Ari Shapiro for NPR.

The second sight among Scots Irish. McCain’s Corner

George Dvorsky shares the first footage of one of the most reclusive whales in the world. Gizmodo

It’s been a long day, and you’ve earned this video of Sir Patrick Stewart greeting his new foster dog. William Hughes for the A.V. Club.

Hope you got your fill of thoughty.

Until next I blog, be well.

thoughtythursday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, March 5-11, 2017

The writerly goodness just keeps on coming 🙂

K.M. Weiland offers the next in her most common writing mistakes series: dead end relationships. Helping Writers Become Authors

John J. Kelley: the care and feeding of relationships. Writer Unboxed

Bryn Greenwood explains hot bunking for writers. Writer Unboxed

Kathryn Craft explores the power of unexpected elements. Writer Unboxed

Emily Cavanaugh helps you take yourself seriously as a writer—before anyone else does. Writers in the Storm

Orly Konig-Lopez explores living with writerly self-doubt. Writers in the Storm

James Scott Bell is in the Writers Helping Writers coaching corner: conflict and suspense belong in every kind of novel.

Dan Blank guest posts on Writers Helping Writers: the daily practice of growing your audience.

Jamie Raintree examines authenticity and the discomfort of vulnerability.

Robin Lovett extols the merits of happily ever after. DIYMFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Clare Mackintosh for DIYMFA radio.

Jami Gold: right brain vs. left brain vs. creativity.

What’s the purpose of story structure for readers? Jami Gold

E.R. Ramzipoor guest posts on Janice Hardy’s Fiction Univerity: token or broken? Writing LGBT.

How to outline your novel, part 2. Jenna Moreci

 

Susan Spann lists ten questions you should ask before you accept a publishing deal. Writers in the Storm

Nevertheless, she persisted: a Tor.com flash fiction project. Awesome stories by awesome writers.

Margaret Atwood: what The Handmaid’s Tale means in the age of Trump. The New York Times

Molly McArdle takes a look at the rise of Roxane Gay. Brooklyn Magazine

Mary Walsh is coming out with her first novel! CBC Books

Kathleen O’Grady reports on the discovery of a true language universal. Ars Technica

David Schultz: some fairy tales may be 6,000 years old. Science Magazine

Robert MacFarlane considers Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising the eeriest novel he knows. 1843 Magazine

Twenty questions with Ursula K. Le Guin: The Times Literary Supplement

Simon Tolkien writes about his grandfather and how WWI inspired The Lord of the Rings. BBC

Here’s a literary cold case for you: Jane Austen may have died of arsenic poisoning. Christopher D. Shea and Jennifer Schuessler share the evidence, and the theory, so far. The New York Times

And that was your informal writerly learnings of the week.

See you Thursday!

Be well until then.

tipsday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Feb 26-March 4, 2017

This week’s mental corn popping fuel is all—or almost all—about the ladies 🙂

Nicole Mortillaro: Oldest traces of life on Earth discovered in Quebec, dating back roughly 3.8 million years. CBC

Elon Musk to build three more gigafactories to change the way the world uses energy. Lorraine Chow for EcoWatch.

Ellen Dolgren: why don’t women talk about perimenopause? CBC

ASAP Thought: being a woman.

 

Chimamanda Adichie’s 15 suggestions on how to raise a feminist daughter. Audie Cornish for NPR.

Madison Pauly provides a brief history of men taking credit for women’s accomplishments: “I made that bitch famous.” Mother Jones

The Daily Health Post gets down and stretchy with your piriformis.

This week’s kawaii: baby sloth talk. Bright Side

We’ll see you on the weekend for more WorldCon 2016 reportage.

Be well until then!

thoughtythursday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Feb 19-25, 2017

It’s time to pop that mental corn, people.

In the war between Baby Boomers and Millennials, we’ve forgotten the hard-working, hard-playing Generation X. Um, no. We haven’t. Interesting article nonetheless. David Barnett for The Independent.

Jon Brooks: Girl? Boy? Both? Neither? A new generation overthrows gender. KQED Science

How slavery changed the DNA of African Americans. Michael White for the Pacific Standard.

Sarah Dziedzic discusses African-Canadian history with Cheryl Foggo. Canadian Living

Tristan Hopper recounts how smallpox decimated BC. The National Post

Bruce Kasanoff: intuition is the highest form of intelligence. Forbes

Anna Lovind: what if you’re on the wrong train?

I love language, and so, when I saw this article on Queens, the linguistic hub of the world, I had to share. Thanks, Lori. You always post teh awesome. Gus Lubin for The Business Insider.

This makes me sad, though. Kat Eschner: four things that happen when a language dies. The Smithsonian Magazine

Elizabeth Kolbert writes about why facts don’t change our minds. The New Yorker

Phil Plait: SpaceX nails the landing after an historic launch. Blastr

Umir Abrar is slightly embarrassed. A giant, dark galaxy is orbiting ours, but astronomers just noticed it. Physics Astronomy

Seven Earth-sized planets found orbiting around a nearby (relatively speaking) star. Phil Plait for Blastr.

NASA presents a celebration of clouds.

Brian Cox explains how the Large Hadron Collider disproves the existence of ghosts. BBC

Healthy Holistic Living shows you how to make a bee waterer to help support pollinating insects 🙂

Lauren Cassani Davis: horses can read human facial expressions (more than dogs or chimpanzees). The Atlantic

Moby just released four hours of free music composed for yoga and meditation. Educate Inspire Change

Imogen Heap – Run-time.

 

I hope you’ve got some good ideas to fuel you through the week.

See you Saturday for my February 2017 update 🙂

Be well until then!

thoughtythursday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 19-25, 2017

And here we are for another week of informal writerly learnings.

K.M. Weiland shares eight ways to master your story’s pace. Helping Writers Become Authors

Vaughn Roycroft: the significance of small gestures. Writer Unboxed

Jeanne Kisacky shares her experience with post-project depression and recovery. Writer Unboxed

Chuck Wendig says you must write unafraid, without fear of failure. Terribleminds

Jami Gold asks, are there story elements you avoid writing?

Jeanne Cavelos guest posts on Writer Unboxed: the importance of the adversarial ally.

Stephanie O’Brien: how to write a fight scene readers will love. The Write Practice

Kristen Lamb says description is writer’s crack, but you have to find the write balance.

Jamie Raintree: there are no shortcuts. Writers in the Storm

Emily Wenstrom shares five ways to show readers you’re their perfect match. DIYMFA

Dan Blank encourages you to embrace your boundaries. Writer Unboxed

Heather Webb considers what fiction trends say about us. Writer Unboxed

Betsy Dornbusch guest posts on Terribleminds: the new relevance of the fantasy novel.

Veronica Sicoe wonders what happens when “professional writing career” isn’t your end-all goal?

Sara Letourneau joins the Writers Helping Writers resident writing coaches: using text-to-speech software as an editing tool.

Gabriela Pereira interviews Brian Meehl on DIYMFA radio: the only way forward is back.

Chris Winkle offers six tips on how to challenge bigotry in your work. Mythcreants

Oren Ashkenazi explores five underused settings in speculative fiction. Mythcreants

Pixar and the Khan Academy team up to produce The Art of Storytelling. And … it’s FREE!

Colleen Gillard wonders why the British tell better children’s stories. The Atlantic

Jason Daly reports that ancient Egyptian stories will be published in English for the first time. The Smithsonian Magazine

Michael Livingston shares the tales of his favourite five medieval women warriors (including Lagertha!). Tor.com

Space says that Mary and the Witch’s Flower captures the spirit of Studio Ghibli.

Brain full? Good. Now get writing!

See you Thursday!

tipsday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Feb 12-18, 2017

Time to warm the ole brain pan. There’s mental corn that needs popping.

Arnie Seipel shares the dark origins of Valentine’s Day. NPR

Daniele Cybuskie relates three fairy tale romances in honour of Valentine’s Day. Medievalists.net

Henry Rollins: what side of history do you want to be on? LA Weekly

Mario Livio reports on the discovery of Winston Churchill’s lost essay on alien life. Nature

Tom Hale shares these stunning aquatic vistas by finalists of the underwater photograph of the year competition. IFLS

Cats sailed with the Vikings to conquer the world. Bec Crew for Science Alert.

Katy Evans reports on how dogs and monkeys judge you on how you treat others. IFLS

Do crows have funerals? You betcha. Ask a Mortician

 

Tom Hale encourages you to observe the evidence of evolution in your own body. IFLS

Lesley Alderman: the year of conquering negative thinking. The New York Times

Linda Rodriguez McRobbie reports on the people who never forget and what they’re teaching us about memory. The Guardian

Sarah Knapton: our seas have become a plastic graveyard, but can technology turn the tide? The Telegraph

Google’s “DeepMind” AI understands the benefits of betrayal. Robin Andrews for IFLS.

I admit it. I was #furiouslyhappy to find this list of more than 150 learning resources compiled by Janet Alexandersson for Medium.

Here’s hoping creative connections are being made.

See you on Saturday for more WorldCon 2016 reportage.

Stay strong, be kind, and be well!

thoughtythursday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 12-18, 2017

All rightie, then! Let’s get to the writerly goodness.

K.M. Weiland shares eight ways to troubleshoot your scenes and five ways to make them fabulous. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jami Gold explores the different ways in which you might approach story structure for a trilogy. Later in the week, Shaila Patel guest posts: creating the right first impression.

Sharon Bially writes about galleys: what are they and why you need them. Writer Unboxed

Leanne Sowul stresses the positive: what stress can do for you. DIYMFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Dr. Sally Parry, Executive Director of the Sinclair Lewis Society, for DIYMFA radio.

Oh! And lookie, lookie, who’s joining the DIYMFA team? Why me and three other awesome genre columnists! Now it can be told!

Joel Eisenberg guest posts on Kristen Lamb’s blog: you’re too smart to go down stupid.

Chuck Wendig wonders, is it time, dear writer, to ditch your literary agent? Terribleminds

Then, he trots over to Writer’s Digest to post 15 ways to earn your audience as a writer.

Becca Puglisi makes another entry in the character motivation thesaurus: realizing a dream. Writers Helping Writers

Oren Ashkenazi examines five cases of unfulfilled foreshadowing. Mythcreants

Andrew Falconer explains why fantasy writers should embrace their heritage. Mythcreants

Jennifer Schaeffer compiles 51 of the most beautiful sentences in literature for Buzzfeed.

How Shakespeare invented thinking on the page. Oxford Handbooks Online

 

Marie Howe: protecting your inner life in times of political turmoil. Literary Hub

Taylor Jones: linguists have been discussing “shit gibbon.” I argue it’s not entirely about gibbons. Hilarious. Insightful. Creative. Inspiring. I now have a new lexicon of swearage to draw upon 😀

Nnedi Okorafor states that The Parable of the Sower is the dystopia for our age, not Nineteen Eighty-Four. Modern Ghana

Philip Pullman announces a companion trilogy for His Dark Materials. NPR

The Legend of Korra continues in Dark Horse comics. James Whitbrook for i09.

Phil Plait writes a not really Bad Astronomy review of Arrival. Blastr

And that was your informal writerly learnings for the week.

Come back on Thursday for some thoughty 🙂

Be well until then.

tipsday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Feb 5-11, 2017

I hope this batch of thoughty pops your mental corn (i.e. sets off a chain reaction that results in awesome creativity)!

Why the Middle Ages are called the dark ages. Medievalists.net

Dr. Dark Age begins a series on the “Dark Enlightenment” on Public Medievalist with this post: a brief history of a terrible idea. Fascinating reading. The gist is this: “’Dark Enlightenment’ (DE) is a theory dreamed up by self-styled Internet philosophers who claim to trace modern-day problems to the end of the Middle Ages. According to DE proponents, the Enlightenment’s humanism, democracy, and quest for equality are responsible for the decay of Western civilization.”

Simon Segal reports on the case of the curious crystal weapons (sorry to max out the alliteration there). Curious Mind Magazine

Lady Gaga on GoalCast: remember who you are.

Leroy Little Bear: Canada is a pretend nation. REDxTalks

Sylvia Van Kirk relates the tale of Thanadelthur, the Chipewyan known as “Slave Woman.” Canada’s History Mel’s note: Thanadelthur’s life and deeds were recorded primarily by the white men whom she helped. Keep this in mind as you read.

Robert Kolker introduces us to Thomas Hargrove, a life-long “data guy” who’s working on an algorithm that identifies trends in unsolved murders. Bloomberg Businessweek

Cade Metz says the danger of artificial intelligence isn’t Skynet, but the end of the middle class. Wired

Bad astronomer Phil Plait has moved to SyFyWire and shares this amazing image of Jupiter from below. Later in the week, Phil turns his gaze earthward to examine the mysterious blue jets that blast up from certain storm clouds. Then, he offered some tips on how to best see Friday’s penumbral lunar eclipse. Sadly, it was a snowy night here in the Sudz, and I couldn’t see a thing 😦

Anna Vlasits introduces us to the secret, skin-powered alphabet of squid. Wired

Short, but sweet, I hope you agree 🙂

See you on the weekend with more WorldCon reportage.

Be well, be kind, and stay strong!

thoughtythursday2016