Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Jan 15-21, 2023

It is time, once again, to get your mental corn popping 🙂 Get your brain in gear for a creative weekend!

George Yancy: ableism enables all forms of inequity and hampers all liberation efforts. TruthOut

New fluorescent dye can light up the brain and help locate tricky tumours like glioblastoma. Rice University

Guy Kawasaki interviews Robert Waldinger about how to be happy. The Remarkable People Podcast

Richard Sima wonders, why do we get our best ideas in the shower? The Washington Post

Zarmminaa Rehman explains what happens when online fandoms go too far. The Walrus

Jennifer Chu: MIT engineers grow “perfect” atom-thin materials on silicon wafers (which may facilitate next generation transistors). MIT News

Billions of celestial objects revealed in gargantuan survey of the Milky Way. NoirLabAstro

Using paleogenomics to elucidate 10,000 years of immune system evolution. Institut Pasteur

Jan M. Olsen: Norway archaeologists find world’s oldest runestone. Associated Press

Sarah Gibbens explains why your recycling doesn’t always get recycled. National Geographic

Seth Borenstein: new ice core analysis shows sharp Greenland warming spike. Associated Press

Rachael Funnell: four key genes explain how the whales got so big. IFLS

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something to inspire a future creative project.

Until my next chapter weekly update, be well and stay safe; be kind and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Jan 15-21, 2023

You survived Monday! Reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings.

And a picture of a cloud that looks like a phoenix. Do you see it?

Jan O’Hara says, if you’re not writing, you may have ego-trapped yourself. Dave King: is prologue past? Desmond Hall drops some writing wisdom on pacing this month. Then, Diana Giovinazzo is learning to love the synopsis—Honey, I shrunk the plot! Writer Unboxed

Angela Ackerman explains how to write a book from start to finish in 13 steps. Then, Lynette M. Burrows helps you make flat characters genuine in eight (sort of) easy steps. Eldred Brid: do you have a story? Answer these six questions to find out! Writers in the Storm

Bad writing habits to stop in 2023. Reedsy

K.M. Weiland shares six lessons from four years of writer’s block. Helping Writers Become Authors

Elizabeth Spann Craig: when you’re stuck as a writer. Anyone see a theme here? Anyone? Bueller?

What critics don’t recognize about Avatar: The Way of Water. Like Stories of Old

Marissa Graff shares five ways to approach your novel like a trial lawyer. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford wants you to infuse your character’s desires into their observations.

Popular writing methods I don’t use and alternatives to try. Shaelin Writes

Tiffany Yates Martin explains why we can’t look away from White Lotus. Fox Print Editorial

Lori Walker interviews Kendare Blake about rebooting a beloved series. Then, Regina Meyer shares five tips on running your own book public relations and marketing. Amy Wallen lists 12 steps to get your book written. DIY MFA

Chris Winkle explains how to describe characters. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories with strong ensemble casts. Mythcreants

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

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well.

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Jan 8-14, 2023

Has it been a long January week? Refresh yourself in time for the weekend by getting your mental corn popping 🙂

Nina Bai reports that nasal injections could treat long-term COVID-19-related smell loss. Stanford Medicine

Researchers identify protein that helps skin cancer spread throughout the body. Queen Mary University of London

Tony Parrottet introduces us to the misunderstood Roman empress who willed her way to the top. The Smithsonian Magazine

Aja Romano says Friday the 13th isn’t unlucky. It’s a meme disguised as superstition. Vox

Joshua Rothman: how should we think about our different styles of thinking? The New Yorker

Abelardo Riojas provides a natural language playlist that will generate a playlist you can plug into Spotify based on keywords and phrases you enter. Fun, if nothing else.

J.R. Patterson wonders, why do kids hate music lessons? The Walrus

Joni Mitchell to be first Canadian recipient of prestigious Gershwin Prize. CBC

Monica Hesse considers a woman on the moon: why has one small step taken so long? The Washington Post

Ivan Pereira reveals that a rare, green comet to pass by Earth this week. ABC News

NASA’s TESS discovers planetary system’s second Earth-sized world. Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The Future search for life. SciShow Space

Adam Symington presents a cool resource: mapping the world’s river basins by continent. Visual Capitalist

Bruce Bower reports that complex supply chains may have appeared more than 3,000 years ago. Science News

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project.

Until my next chapter weekly update, be well and stay safe; be kind and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Jan 8-14, 2023

It’s tipsday! Your chance to stock up on informal writerly learnings!

Nick Taylor explains how to create authentic queer characters. Louise Harnby

Kelsey Allagood wonders, how do you explain climate change to a magnolia tree? Then, Jim Dempsey explains how to write a successful novel. Juliet Marillier muses on the power of story. Next, Kathryn Craft points out three key places where stakes will shape your story’s meaning. David Corbett is writing cromulent dialogue. Writer Unboxed

The poem no one understands. Tale Foundry

Elizabeth S. Craig offers some tips on how to handle reviews as an author. Spunk on a Stick

Hannah Jacobson explains how to find the best awards for your book. Then, Lisa Norman wants you to EAT your heart out to empower your web site. Jenny Hansen points out the importance of great mentors (for you and your books). Writers in the Storm

C.S. Lakin points out the intersection of voice and deep point of view. Live Write Thrive

Joanna Penn interviews Roz Morris about how to (finally) finish your novel. The Creative Penn

Write your book in 2023. Reedsy

Ambre Leffler helps you use water’s superpower of creative flow in winter. Then, Angela Yeh says flash fiction is no flash in the pan. Neil Chase shares seven tips to create a unique sidekick character. Next, AK Nevermore lists five things feeding the lie that there’s no time to write. DIY MFA

Tiffany Yates Martin says backstory is essential to story—except when it’s not. Then, Hattie Fletcher answers the question: Is it OK to ask for before/after examples from a freelance editor? Jane Friedman

Sue Coletta helps you make an unbreakable promise to readers. Becca Puglisi offers some thoughts on writing insecure characters. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford shows you how to live creatively.

Tiffany Yates Martin asked an AI, what does AI mean for writers? Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle lists 12 sources of wish fulfillment for your story. Then, Oren Ashkenazi hosts another three-way ANTS battle between Severance, Andor, and Interview with a Vampire. Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb wonders, is writing a career or a hobby?

Rebecca Solnit: why we need new stories about climate. The Guardian

The Idioms: Largest idioms dictionary. Courtesy of David Corbett (above).

Amanda Perry covers the Griffon Poetry Prize shakeup: new rules, new controversy. The Walrus

Guy Kawasaki interviews Julia Cameron (for the second time) about her new book Write for Life. The Remarkable People Podcast

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well.

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Jan 1-7, 2023

It’s that time of the week again. Get your mental corn popping!

Edward González-Tennant remembers the Rosewood Massacre. JSTOR Daily

The 1918 pandemic never ended. SciShow

Killing cancer with cancer. The Harvard Gazette

Anne Trafton reveals that self-assembling proteins can store cellular “memories.” MIT News

Danielle Han considers aspymmetrical powers: economic and cyber espionage. JSTOR Daily

Robert Lea reports that a feeding black hole blows cosmic bubbles during high-energy burp. Space.com

Large volcanic outburst discovered on Jupiter’s moon, Io. Phys.org

Emma Thomson: these mighty pyramids were built by one of Africa’s earliest civilizations. National Geographic

Bizarre Cretaceous bird from China shows evolutionarily decoupled skull and body. Chinese Academy of Sciences

Lauren Biron reports that Berkeley Lab scientists develop a cool new method of refrigeration. Berkeley Lab

Lina Zeldovich: waste not, want not. JSTOR Daily

Oliver Milman reports that the US government approves use of world’s first vaccine for honeybees. The Guardian

Nikki Kolb shares her experience living with wolves. Catapult

Ian Sample says the tail does not wag the dog when it comes to agility. The Guardian

Thanks for visiting. I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project.

Until my next chapter weekly update, be well and stay safe; be kind and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Jan 1-7, 2023

Welcome back to tipsday, your opportunity to get your fill of informal writerly learnings.

A heavily cloud-veiled moon above a winter naked tree.
A heavily veiled moon.

Chuck Wendig shares his writer’s resolution 2023: mounting an aggressive defense. Then, he declares, “Eat shit, robots!” (Or: No, the absolute intrusion of artificial intelligence is not inevitable.) Terribleminds

Lisa Hall-Wilson explains how to edit for deep point of view.

Visions of the future onscreen vs. reality—what came true? The Take

Greer Macallister considers choosing your habit, which reframes resolutions or goals in terms of habit-forming. Thought-provoking for this time of year. Then, Allyson Rice says, I’m sure I’ve landed on a federal list somewhere. Donald Maass discusses chaos and creating fiction. Then, Sarah Callender explains when good enough is good enough. Terah Shelton Harris discusses what we ask of our readers. Writer Unboxed

Elizabeth S. Craig offers some thoughts about writer self-care for the New Year.

Beatrix Potter: the secret life of a Victorian genius. Absolute History

Angela Ackerman wants you to force your character to make hard choices. Then, Colleen M. Story shares five reasons it’s still a good idea for a writer to have a blog. Writers Helping Writers

Ken Brosky reveals the biggest mistake even expert writers make. Then, Michael Evans presents the author-creator marketing playbook. Jane Friedman

How to set writing goals and actually achieve them. Reedsy

Karen DeBonis explains how to talk about your book. Then, J. Alexander Greenwood reveals how to get booked on a podcast by answering one question. Writers in the Storm

Tiffany Yates Martin finds out how Kyla Zhao revises by writing her way out of loneliness. Fox Print Editorial

Gabriela Pereira interviews Mary Robinette Kowal about writing diverse characters via nuanced shifts in language. Then, Manuela Williams talks about point of view in poetry. Stacy Frazer takes you from idea to drafting in five steps. Then, AK Nevermore shares how finding her tribe helped silence her self-doubt. DIY MFA

Chris Winkle analyzes five stories that crawl along. Then, Oren Ashkenazi says that the Willow series is a terrible sequel. Mythcreants

Hey! January 1st was public domain day 2023. Ever wanted to write something based on a property coming into the public domain? Duke Law

Another fabulous resource, courtesy of Jane Friedman: Dr. Mardy’s Dictionary of Metaphorical Quotations. Having trouble putting something to words? Find out how other writers and thinkers have done it. It really helps.

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well.

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Dec 25-31, 2022

It is time, for the first time in 2023, to get your mental corn popping!

32 ways to be better at life. Facetious and personal, but fun. Struthless

New biomarker test can detect Alzheimer’s neurodegeneration in blood. University of Pittsburg Medical Centre

Yasemin SaplaKoglu: what causes Alzheimer’s? Scientists are rethinking the answer. Quanta

NIH researchers use 3D bioprinting to create eye tissue. It’s being used for research for now, but could there be other applications? The National Institutes for Health | National Eye Institute

Watch the latest water satellite unfold its solar panels. Phys.org

23 astronomical events to look for in 2023. Stacker

Tim Stephens reveals that the Bering Land Bridge formed surprisingly late during the last ice age. UC Santa Cruz

Molly Rosbach and Loren Davis report that Oregon State archaeologists uncover the oldest known projectile points in the Americas. Oregon State University

Polar bears disappearing from Churchill, Manitoba (Canada), the polar bear capital of the world. The Guardian

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: Informal writerly learnings, Dec 25-31, 2022

Welcome to 2023, y’all! The week between Christmas and New Year’s is always a little quiet. I still managed to curate some informal writerly learnings for you 🙂

Jeanette the Writer answers the question: when should I start editing? Then, Lori Walker interviews Amy Christine Parker about maximizing your first chapter with great opening lines and characterization. Stephanie Dethlefs shares five things Pixar teaches about cause and effect. DIY MFA

Eldred Bird wonders what separates a good writer from a great writer. Writers in the Storm

Why fantasy isn’t just for kids. Tale Foundry

Tiffany Yates Martin helps you figure out if an editor is worth the money. Then, Susan DeFreitas poses three questions to ask yourself before you draft (or revise) a novel. Jane Friedman

Tiffany Yates Martin discusses rejecting “bests” and resolutions. Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle: what is a throughline in writing? Mythcreants

50 words you’ll want to start using. The List Show | Mental Floss

Katrya Bolger engages with textual healing: the novel world of bibliotherapy. The Walrus

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well, my writerly friends.

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Dec 18-24, 2022

For the last time in 2022, it’s time to get your mental corn popping!

Amy Briggs explains how an ancient revolt sparked the festival of lights. Hanukkah. National Geographic

Dedi Hayoun reports that signs of Salome, said to be nurse to baby Jesus, unearthed in Israel. Reuters 

Christin Bohnke introduces us to the Onna-Bugeisha, the female samurai warriors of feudal Japan. JSTOR Daily

Why do we get embarrassed? Be Smart

Brain circuit that converts spatial goals to escape actions discovered. Sainsbury Wellcome Centre

Eric Berger reports that after a long struggle with Martian dust, NASA’s InSight probe has gone quiet. Ars Technica

In conversation with Dr. Jo Barstow. Dr. Becky

40-year study finds mysterious patterns in temperatures at Jupiter. NASA

Researchers find over 100 new ancient designs in Peru’s Nazca lines. CNN

Bob Yirka reveals a huge, 2,000-year-old Mayan civilization discovered in northern Guatemala. Phys.org

Jill Gralow reports that scientists freeze Great Barrier Reef coral in world-first trial. They’re preserving coral larvae in the hope of future restoration. Reuters

Jules Bernstein is decoding the secret language of photosynthesis. UC Riverside

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

I hope to have my next chapter update and year-end round up posted on the weekend.

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Dec 18-24, 2022

I hope your holidays were merry and bright, filled with the love of family and friends.

It’s time to fill up on informal writerly learnings for the last time in 2022 (!) Enjoy.

Stephanie BwaBwa shares six self-publishing principles for a fulfilling authorial career. Then, Olivia Fisher offers six things to focus on when editing the first draft of your kid lit story. Carol Van Den Hende takes a look at book cover trends heading into 2023. Then, A.H. Plotts provides fives steps for turning your story into a film. DIY MFA

Sherlock Holmes isn’t who you think he is. Tale Foundry

Vaughn Roycroft wishes joy to the (writerly) world—post-pub edition. Then, Natalie Hart wants you to be strong like a sphincter. Porter Anderson discusses another diversity. Then, Diana Giovinazzo muses on taking a pause and reconnecting with our creativity. Writer Unboxed

Lisa Norman: welcome to the future, part 3. Then, Lynette M. Burrows helps you put ground under their feet. Ellen Buikema gathers some tips for writing magical realism. Writers in the Storm

Tiffany Yates Martin says give it a rest. Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle discovers how Brandon Sanderson’s debut novel holds up. Then, Oren Ashkenazi asks five plot questions that will help you revise your manuscript. Mythcreants

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

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well!