Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Oct 17-23, 2021

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings 🙂 Enjoy!

Jan O’Hara receives a wake-up call. Then, Dave King is writing in both directions. Barbara Linn Probst reviews the three aspects of revision: reworking, refining, and revisioning. Later in the week, Desmond Hall drops some more bite-sized writerly learnings on us. Writer Unboxed

Angela Ackerman explains how to make your characters’ choices more difficult. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jill bearup wants to talk to you about your enemies to lovers fixation (see Jenna Moreci, below, for a little writerly how-to).

Jessica Conoley shows you how to use your analyzer switch to increase productivity. Then, Stephanie Bourbon shows you how to fly by the seat of your pants—and win NaNoWriMo. Lizbeth Meredith asks: does the idea of promoting your book make you queasy? Jane Friedman

Emily Zarka recounts the killer origins of the werewolf. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Becca Puglisi reveals how internal conflict fits into the character arc. Live, Write, Thrive

Then, Becca shifts blogs to further discuss failure, conflict, and character arc. Then, Lisa Norman covers publishing dilemmas, distribution, and disruption. Ellen Buikema touts the benefits of writing SMART goals. Writers in the Storm

Jessica Thompson is subverting expectations in satisfying ways. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Louise Harnby answers the question: what is narrative distance?

The “mean girl” trio – three types of bad female leaders. The Take

Nathan explains how to raise the stakes in a novel. Then, Lindsay Syhakhom declares that writing in the library is wonderful. Nathan Bransford

Jeanette the Writer helps you figure out where to put the comma. Tammy Lough: romantic gestures create heat waves. Gabriela Pereira interviews Stephanie Bwa Bwa about world building and the YA fantasy serial. Then, Jessica Vitalis is tackling heavy subjects with middle grade readers. Angela Yeh shares five fun ways to get your butt in the chair (and keep it there). DIY MFA

Jenna Moreci offers her top ten tips for writing enemies to lovers.

J.D. Edwin shares six helpful ways any writer can overcome burnout. The Write Practice

Piper Bayard explains that outside of Hollywood movies, not everything can be “silenced.” Kristen Lamb

Bonnie Randall offers a few foundations of fear in fiction. Fiction University

Chris Winkle explains the problem with multiple viewpoints. Then, Oren Ashkenazi tests how useful Elmore Leonard’s ten rules of writing are. Mythcreants

Shaelin critiques Leonard’s rules, too. It’s interesting to note the differences … Reedsy

Sudbury’s YES Theatre hopes to build new outdoor venue. I remember when this space was open for movie nights and poetry readings and all kinds of artistic events. CBC

A process for the transfer of energy and feeling: George Saunders on the key to great storytelling. Brain Pickings

Kinship: Ursula K. Le Guin’s love poem to trees, the interleaving of life and death, and the eternal flame of being. The Marginalian (formerly Brain Pickings)

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: Popping your mental corn, Oct 10-16, 2021

Welcome to thoughty Thursday, your chance to get our mental corn popping in time for the weekend!

Trone Dowd reports that the cops and paramedics involved in Elijah McClain’s death charged with homicide. Vice

Rashad Robinson: hurricane Ida’s destruction was the direct result of years of systemic racism. Salon

Howard W. French explains how Africa was erased from the history of the modern world: built on the bodies of slaves. The Guardian

Matthew Wills says that the Zoot Suit Riots were race riots. JSTOR Daily

Adeoluwa Atayero announces that the First Nations University of Canada launches journalism program. CBC

Nick Murray: Nunavut Inuit sue territorial government over right to education in Inuktut. CBC

Erin Pottie reports that IBM opens school program for Mi’kmaw students in Cape Breton. CBC

B.C. park name change recognizes ancestral home of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. CBC

Amelia Mavis Christnot explains why Indigenous Peoples’ Day is gaining traction as an American Holiday (over Columbus Day). Second Nexus

Rowaida Abdelaziz reports that over two thirds of Muslim Americans have faced Islamophobia. The Huffington Post

Christine Byrne explains why budget cooking tips are useless for low-income families. I’m still trying to figure out if the featured video is self-consciously ironic (all-white anchors, white people featured)? The Huffington Post

Yessenia Funes wonders whether COP26 will be a climate summit or a superspreader event. Atmos

Olivia Campbell reveals that Hildegard von Bingen was all about a woman’s right to bodily autonomy. JSTOR Daily

Diana shows us something that travels faster than the speed of light. Physics Girl

Ethan Siegal reveals that the Big Bang isn’t the beginning of the universe anymore: surprise! Big Think

Chelsea Gohd reports how William Shatner was moved to tears by space launch with Blue Origin. Space.com

Ruth Hamilton rocked awake by meteorite chuck crashing into her bed. CBC

Olivia Box wonders, will we lose fall colors to climate change? I hope not. JSTOR Daily

Thanks for visiting. 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, Oct 10-16, 2021

This week’s batch of informal writerly learnings is loaded with writerly goodness 🙂

Stephanie Bwa Bwa shows you how to grow your email list (and your influence). Later in the week, Helena Hunting is finding work-life balance as a full-time author. Then, Brian Leung shares five tips for finding the kind genius writer in your mad genius writer. DIY MFA

Tim Hickson reveals the true ending of Lord of the Rings. Hello, Future Me

Janice Hardy explains how narrative distance affects telling: how far is too far? Then, Dario Ciriello waxes on the importance of commas, meter, and reading aloud for the fiction writer (with help from Cordia Pearson). Fiction University

Jill Bearup takes issue with The Guardian’s list of the top 20 duels.

Tiffany Yates Martin explains why you can’t stop thinking about “Bad Art Friend.” Then, Jim Dempsey is telling the truth in fiction. Kathleen McCleary: when you’re the passive protagonist of your own writing life. Then, Kathryn Craft wants you to make your big issue work through story (part 1). Anne Brown: spiders, snakes, public speaking, and querying agents. Later in the week, Kelsey Allagood explains why you should tackle that ambitious dream project now. Writer Unboxed

Shaelin tells you everything you need to know about publishing your short fiction. Reedsy

K.M. Weiland introduces us to the archetypal antagonists of the mage arc: evil and the weakness of humankind. Helping Writers Become Authors

Sarah Tinsley shares seven ways to create an empathetic antagonist. Live, Write, Thrive

Lori Freeland helps you figure out whether to comma, or not to comma (part 1). Then Piper Bayard lets us peek through a window into the top four organizations (writing spies). Lynette M. Burrows wants you to discover your writing strengths (and weaknesses). Writers in the Storm

On her own channel, Shaelin helps you handle rejection. Shaelin Writes

Angela Ackerman asks: who’s standing in your character’s way? Jane Friedman

Nathan explains how to make your novel un-put-down-able. Then, Christine Pride shares what she learned about writing from being an editor. Nathan Bransford

Piper Bayard shows you how to write the good fight. Then, she provides a writer’s guide to knowing your weapon. Kristen Lamb

The anti-Disney messaging of … Disney movies. The Take

Chris Winkle explains how to create a mysterious atmosphere. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes six magic powers that writers had to ignore. Mythcreants

Kristin Nelson makes the case that content creators deserve a larger slice of the earnings pie. Pub Rants

Maria Tatar discusses her new book Heroine with a 1,001 Faces with Moira Weigel. Harvard Book Store

Wab Kinew reflects on Canada Reads and the meaning of reconciliation. CBC Books

Three northern Ontario writers in the running for the Governor General’s Awards. CBC

Thank you for taking the time to stop by, and I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Oct 3-9, 2021

The weekend is in sight! It’s time to pull your head out of work and get your mental corn popping 🙂

Kimberly Brown Pellum reveals how Maryrose Reeves Allen taught Black women’s self-care during Jim Crow. JSTOR Daily

Renée Lilley reports that residential school day scholars may be able to start claims process in December. Students who went home at night suffered the same abuses but weren’t included in the 2006 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. CBC

Literacy program launched for Indigenous elders, residential school, and day school survivors. CBC

Amar Chebib (film) and Dan Greene (text) present the story of how Cree skateboarding legend Joe Buffalo grapples with the trauma of Canada’s residential schools. The New Yorker

University of Sudbury transfers online Indigenous studies courses to Kenjgewin Teg. CBC

Joe can’t believe he’s making another Covid video. It’s okay to be smart

Lizzy Davies reports that the WHO endorses use of first malaria vaccine in Africa. The Guardian

True facts: the mosquito. Ze Frank

Key findings from the Pandora Papers. The Washington Post

Our first glimpse of the dark side of the moon. SciShow Space

Stuart Campbell, Elizabeth Healey, Yaroslav Kuzmin, and Michael D. Glascock reflect on John Dee’s obsidian mirror: the mirror, the magus, and more. Yes. An actual scholarly paper 🙂 Cambridge University Press

Guy Kawasaki interviews Olympia Yarger: entrepreneur and maggot evangelist. The Remarkable People podcast

Olivia Box: what does a tree see? On the importance of “witness” trees. JSTOR Daily

Robby Berman says, crows are self-aware, just like us. Big Think

Thank you 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!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Oct 3-9, 2021

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers! It’s time to indulge in some informal writerly learnings. Enjoy!

K.M. Weiland presents the archetypal antagonists of the crone arc: death blight and tempter. Helping Writers Become Authors

Greer Macallister seeks success without self-promotion. Then Jeanne Kisacky is walking the line between insanity and perseverance. Donald Maass reveals the secret of passive protagonists: seeking vs. suffering. Nancy Johnson: the blessed curse of the second book. Then, David Corbett discusses the character in secret search of midnight. Writer Unboxed

Jill Bearup made armor. In a cave shed. From a box of scraps.

Karen DeBonis helps you navigate a story identity crisis. Then, Eldred Bird wonders, what (the heck) is a MacGuffin? Jenny Hansen: writing and the law of loss aversion. Writers in the Storm

Shaelin helps you edit your short story. Reedsy

Angela Ackerman says, if you want powerful conflict, you can’t forget the stakes. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Then, over on Jami Gold’s blog, Angela explains how to write conflict without “bad guys.”

Bethany Henry is making magic systems that work and wow. Fiction University

Why fat phobia is still a problem onscreen. The Take

E.J. Wenstrom presents book promotion graphics for newbies. Then, Sara Farmer looks at some modern girl detectives. Maan Gabriel shares hacks to combat writer’s block and develop discipline. Then, Jane Elizabeth Hughes offers five tips for writing a historical mystery. DIY MFA

Seth Harwood says, your writing matters; a coach can help. Jane Friedman

The Bond Girl, her secret, and her future. The Take

Chris Winkle explains how to keep mysteries from looking like mistakes. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories that break their worlds’ themes. Mythcreants

Lindsay Syhakhom: writing and the art of surrender. Nathan Bransford

Allison Flood celebrates Abdulrazak Gurnah’s 2021 Nobel Prize in literature win. The Guardian

Thanks 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!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Sept 26-Oct 2, 2021

Moar treats to get your mental corn popping.

Tim Arango and Shaila Dewan: more than half of police killings are mislabeled (and thus, uncounted), according to new study. The New York Times

Can we ever stop obsessing over race? Khadija Mbowe

Anastasia Tsioulcas reports that R. Kelly found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking. NPR

Emma Farge and Hereward Holland reveal that WHO employees took part in Congo sex abuse during Ebola crisis. Et, tu, WHO? Reuters

Roberta Hill explains how she survived residential school. Toronto Life

Juanita Taylor reveals how the Inuit practice of Kakiniit is etched on the skin. CBC

Endangered Tlingit language has only a few hundred speakers. Mariella Wentzell is out to change that. CBC

Akiko Busch: the invisibility of older women. The Atlantic

Amy Davidson Sorkin explores the supply-chain mystery. The New Yorker

Danny Westneat is wondering why society went off-kilter during the pandemic. Apparently, there’s a book about it. Published in 2019. The Seattle Times

Cal Newport talks to Chris Herd: is going back to the office a broken way of working? The New Yorker

Totten Mine update: 35 trapped miners safe after rescue; 4 more on long trek out of mine. The Sudbury Star

Creating a template for habitable exoplanets. SciShow

Alexandra Larkin: Hubble discovers six mysteriously dead, massive galaxies from early universe. CBS News

Michelle Gamage and Zoe Yunker report that judge ends Fairy Creek injunction in a bombshell decision. The fight to protect old growth continues. The Tyee

On Ecological Disconnect, Climate Despair, and Our Changing Relation to “Nature.” Like Stories of Old

Angela Dewan: Greta Thunberg roasts world leaders for their “blah, blah, blah” on climate change. CNN

Simon Hattenstone documents the transformation of Greta Thunberg. The Guardian

Sierra Garcia: climate change and the criminal justice system. JSTOR Daily

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

Until next tipsday, we bell and stay safe; be kind and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Sept 26-Oct 2, 2021

Welcome to October, my favourite month of the year 🙂 It’s all informal writerly learning treats and no tricks, all month long.

Erika Liodice explores the creative connection between travel and writing. Then, Robin LaFevers is navigating self-doubt. Jennie Nash recommends seven business books every writer should read. Then, Julie Carrick Dalton advises you about knowing when NOT to write. Deanna Cabinian examines the time vs. productivity paradox. Writer Unboxed

Kristen Lamb shares five simple ways to finish a book by making (not finding) time. Then, Cait Reynolds wonders, is podcasting the new blog? Kristen Lamb

Tim Hickson talks soft worldbuilding. Hello, Future Me

K.M. Weiland introduces us to the archetypal antagonists for the king arc: cataclysm and rebel. Helping Writers Become Authors

Susan DeFreitas: can fiction make a difference in the world? Jane wonders whether Black voices in publishing is a trend or a movement. Then, Jane considers what authors earn from digital lending at libraries. Jane Friedman

Shaelin helps you draft a short story. Reedsy

Following up on her last instalment on planting bugs, Piper Bayard explains how to find bugs (writing spies). Then, Kris Maze compares pros and cons of using Scrivener and Plottr for outlining. Writers in the Storm

Elizabeth Spann Craig looks at the pros and cons of outlining.

Death worms: fact or fiction? Monstrum | PBS Storied

Joanna Penn and Mark Leslie Lefebvre discuss co-authoring The Relaxed Writer. The Creative Penn

Nathan Bransford explains when to get feedback on your novel. Then, Shalene Gupta reveals how to make and keep writer friends. Nathan Bransford

Richelle Lyn is challenging a genre identity crisis. Then, T.J. Torres offers some advice for committed BIPOC writers. DIY MFA

The “white trash” trope and its hidden agenda. The Take

Sofia Jeppsson clears up seven misconceptions about madness and psychosis. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five movies critics loved but audiences hated. Mythcreants

Richard Marpole says that you’re writing medieval fantasy wrong. Fantasy Faction

Kristin Nelson reveals the connection between velocity, volume, interval, and the New York Times Bestseller List. Then, Angie Hodapp reveals that genre isn’t everything and high concept isn’t king. Pub Rants

How to tell she’s definitely not a Mary Sue. The Take

All the LOLs: the hilarious dictionary of Finnish language and culture. Design You Trust

Allison Flood announces that Laura Jean McKay wins the Arthur C. Clarke Award. The Guardian

Thank you for taking the time to visit, and 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: Popping your mental corn, Sept 19-25, 2021

It’s Truth and Reconciliation Day in Canada! Here’s how you can participate. Afterward, get your mental corn popping with any or all of the following:

Jessica Nordell explains why some people get dangerously different health care: the bias that blinds. The Guardian

Janelle Harris Dixon: when a Black woman disappears, who’s trying to find her? Zora

Kelsey Vlamis reports that 710 Indigenous people, mostly girls, were reported missing in Wyoming, the same state where Gabby Petito disappeared. Insider

London’s first Indigenous-led family centre with language and culture at its core gears up for official opening. CBC

George Monbiot is shocked to see so many leftwingers lured to the far right by conspiracy theories. The Guardian

Nick Boisvert: Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig returned to Canada after being detained in China for almost three years. CBC

Erica Pandey: the pandemic made our work weeks longer. Beware burnout, people! Axios

Justin Bachman reports that SpaceX’s Inspiration4 flight touches down off Florida coast. Bloomberg

Was the big bang a white hole? Dr. Becky

Bill Gourgey presents the Brilliant 10: the most innovative, up-and-coming minds in science. Popular Science

Micha Hiugen: file not found (or, how digital natives don’t understand information management and architecture). The Verge

Sonia Fernandez cites evidence that a cosmic impact destroyed ancient city in the Jordan Valley. Phys.org

Dr. Kevin Dann: the spiralist. ‘Cause spirals! Public Domain Review

Joe Fassler reports that lab-grown meat is supposed to be inevitable, but the science tells a different story. Long, but worthwhile. Like many new, potentially climate saving technologies, the real costs aren’t apparent, but we can’t solve those problems unless further research is done. The Counter

This simple code is behind nature’s most complex patterns. It’s okay to be smart

Danny Funt says that pets can help fight climate change with an insect-based diet. Their owners just need to come around to the idea. The Washington Post

Thanks for taking the time to stop by. I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project.

This weekend, I should be posting my next chapter update for September.

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Sept 19-25, 2021

September’s almost over (!) Not keen on how time warps these days. In any case, another week has passed and here’s another batch of informal writerly learnings 🙂 Enjoy!

Lauren J. Sharkey is fighting imposter syndrome: faker. Then, Adam W. Burgess explains why LGBTQ+ fiction writers need to read LGBTQ+ history. Tammy Pasterick is writing about the immigrant experience. Then, Heather Campbell lists five things she wished she knew about writing a novel. DIY MFA

Shaelin shows you how to conceptualize a short story. Reedsy

Vaughn Roycroft: a writer’s senses working overtime. Then, Dave King is world building through architecture. Alma Katsu: what to expect when your novel is reissued. Then, Heather Webb gives us the 411 on writing retreats. Liz Michalski: space and shadows. Then, Desmond Hall drops some more writing wisdom on us. Bite-sized writerly learnings #FTW! Writer Unboxed

On her own channel, Shaelin shares everything you need to know about writing workshops. Shaelin Writes

K.M. Weiland presents the archetypal antagonists for the queen arc. Helping Writers Become Authors

Lisa Norman lists five reasons tech can’t replace editors. Then, Lisa Hall-Wilson offers her best pro tip for writing deep POV. Ellen Buikema shares five things kids taught her about writing. Writers in the Storm

Erica Brozovsky shares 60 euphemisms for death. Otherwords | PBS Storied

How much do I need to describe my character’s appearance? Lucy V. Hay has answers. Then, Becca Puglisi says, if you need compelling conflict, choose a variety. Writers Helping Writers

Tiffany Watson explains how to format your manuscript for a designer or publisher. Then, Allison K. Williams explains what it takes to be a freelance editor. Jane Friedman

Why do people think Huck Finn is racist? It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Kristine Kathryn Rusch: comparison is the thief of joy.

Lindsay Syhakhom explains how to protect your manuscript from computer meltdowns and hackers. Nathan Bransford

Love, according to Studio Ghibli. The Take

Chris Winkle shows you how to create an elemental magic system. Oren Ashkenazi: how useful are Neil Gaiman’s eight rules of writing? Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb tackles brave new writing and learning to think outside the book.

Jason Asenap: Reservation Dogs is just the beginning of an Indigenous storytelling explosion. Esquire

Monisha Rajesh: pointing out racism in books is not an attack—it’s a call for industry reform. The Guardian

Thank you for visiting, 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: Popping your mental corn, Sept 12-18, 2021

Welcome to fall! It’s thoughty Thursday, your opportunity to get your mental corn popping in time for the weekend!

Jelani Cobb: the man behind critical race theory. The New Yorker

Matt Lavietes reports that the Department of Justice limits use of chokeholds and no-knock warrants. Axios

Patty Nieberg: police in Elijah McClain’s hometown racially biased, officials say. Associated Press

Alysia Harris: “We have to evaluate the motives of health care institutions.” Scalawag

Curtis Bunn: digital records from 19th century give Black families a glimpse of their ancestry. NBC News

Ashawnta Jackson explains how Eyes on the Prize, one of the most influential historical documentaries of all time, almost didn’t get made. JSTOR Daily

Sagamok Anishnawbek, Mississauga, and Serpent River First Nations to host ceremony before searching residential school site. CBC

Kelly Hayes reports that Line 3 resisters light the way in a battle for life on Earth. TruthOut

Lindsey Bark reports that Lawrence Panther teaches first Cherokee language class at University of Arkansas. Cherokee Phoenix

Leila Fadel: for many American Muslims, the legacy of 9/11 is the fight for civil rights. NPR

1,000 Dreams shares the stories of refugees. Compelling.

Livia Gershon: evading abortion bans with mutual aid. JSTOR Daily

Brian Naylor: Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, and Maggie Nichols blast the FBI’s mishandling of their allegations about Larry Nassar. NPR

Joe Friessen and Molly Hayes: Western University reels as student dies from assault; social media sparks investigation into sexual violence. The Globe and Mail

Avis Favaro, Elizabeth St. Philip, and Alexandra Mae Jones take us inside an Ontario ICU where all the covid-19 patients are largely young, and all unvaccinated. CTV News

Guy Kawasaki interviews Juliet Funt (daughter of Alan, of Candid Camera fame) about how you can really be productive at work (spoiler: it’s not do more with less). The Remarkable People Podcast

The entire SpaceX Inspiration4 launch. The exciting part is in the last 30 minutes or so, but if you have the time, the commentary throughout is fascinating. NASA Spaceflight

Frank Jacobs: did dark magic conjure up the British Empire? Big Think

Alice Albina reviews history from Boudicca to modern Britain: the dream of island utopias ruled by women. The Guardian

Olivia Box explains how wind energy could affect marine ecosystems. JSTOR Daily

Jessica Steward shares Albert Dros’ enchanting photos of Madeira’s ancient Fanal Forest filled with 500-year-old trees. My Modern Met

The mystery of Earth’s disappearing giants. In our nature | It’s okay to be smart

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!