Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Jan 17-23, 2021

It’s been another eventful week. Time to take stock and get your mental corn popping.

I’m not going to share anything about the inauguration itself. Everyone either watched it live or after the fact, I’m sure. The first 100 days is the proof in the pudding. I’m hopeful, but 2021’s rocky start enforces a certain caution. America has been collectively traumatized over the last four years and, as Chuck Wendig points out, healing takes time, and healing is painful.

Using your voice is a political choice | Amanda Gorman TED

Alexander Smith reports that the world watches as Biden leads a humbled US struggling to contain its crises. Day one gets off to a good start. NBC News

Maegen Vazquez: Trump administration releases racist school curriculum report on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. And then, on inauguration day, the 1776 report disappeared. CNN

Huw Jones and Estelle Shirbon report that London will remove statues linked to the slavery trade. Reuters

Ye Charlotte Ming: trapped in museums for centuries, Maori ancestors are coming home. Atlas Obscura

Marieke Walsh reports that as Pfizer covid-19 vaccine delays worsen, deliveries cut by 60%. And it’s not just Canada. The delays are affecting the US and some European countries, too. The Globe and Mail

Meanwhile, in Sudbury, where vaccines haven’t even been delivered yet, the health unit reports eight new confirmed cases of covid-19. On the large scale, it’s a drop in the bucket, but it just reflects that no where is safe, especially if people choose to travel and visit family in defiance of the stay-at-home order. Sudbury.com

Ashley Burke, who’s been following the story since the earliest allegations surfaced, gives us the scoop on the independent review into the claims of toxic workplace under Julie Payette. I am so disappointed that someone I respected could be capable of such abuse and mismanagement. CBC

Ian Austen: Canada’s Governor General resigns amid reports of a toxic workplace. The New York Times

Moonscapes. Dr. Noah Petro, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter team, NASA Goddard

Astronomical records in trees. SciShow Space

Damian Carrington reveals that electric car batteries with five-minute charging times have been produced. The Guardian

Sneaky ways green chemistry is making our world safer. SciShow

Olga R. Rodriguez reports that the monarch butterfly population moves closer to extinction. Associated Press

There’s so much we got wrong about corals. SciShow

Natasha Daly shares joy over first White House shelter dog reflecting increasing embrace of rescue pets. National Geographic

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you found something to inspire your next 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, Jan 17-23, 2021

I’ve gathered lots of informal writerly learnings, this week. Stock up and enjoy!

Janice Hardy provides a lifeline for when writing is no longer fun. Then, Rochelle Melander wants you to dump old myths and discover a new solution to procrastination. Later in the week, Janice is back with five steps to your next novel idea. Fiction University

Jill Bearup investigates the feasibility of fighting in a corset.

Jan O’Hara shares some writing self-care for when the world is afire. Then, Dave King wants you to focus! Therese Walsh describes Jan 20, 2021 as a semi-colon moment. Liz Michalski helps you root down and rise up. Writer Unboxed

Shaelin helps you structure a novel with Freytag’s Pyramid. Reedsy

And then, she covers the Fichtean Curve. Reedsy

Angela Ackerman: authors aren’t your competition. Then, Barbara Linn Probst considers ways of seeing, ways of writing. Writers in the Storm

K.M. Weila presents the three character arcs of the Karpman Drama Triangle. Helping Writers Become Authors

On her own channel, Shaelin Bishop offers 15 tips for writing better short stories. Shaelin Writes

Allison K. Williams explains how to restart your unfinished book. Jane Friedman

Elizabeth Spann Craig is returning to writing after a break.

Savitri and Satyavan: The legend of the princess who outwitted Death – Iseult Gillespie TED-Ed

Lisa Hall-Wilson shares seven ways deep POV creates emotional connections with readers. Writers Helping Writers

Jenn Walton helps your boost your creativity. Anita Ramirez suggests five ways to keep writing through a crisis. DIY MFA

The southern woman trope, explained. The Take

And … gaslighting: what does it meme? The Take

Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five useless powers in popular stories. Mythcreants

David Silverberg: at Bakka-Phoenix, the beloved science fiction and fantasy bookstore, you can let your geek flag fly. The Toronto Star

Matt Galloway interviews Nalo Hopkinson on the ‘joyful’ responsibility of being a leading Black voice in sci-fi writing. CBC’s The Current

Jeffrey Brown and Anne Azzi Davenport: poet tapped for inauguration to spread message of unity. PBS News Hour

And … Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem.

Thanks for spending some time with me. I hope you took away 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, Jan 10-16, 2021

Welcome to another thoughty Thursday! Time to get your mental corn popping. Read on …

Everything we can’t say. A new project by Black journalists that will totally be worth watching.

Sonia Moghe: New York attorney general sues NYPD for “brutal” handling of George Floyd protestors. CNN

Lois Beckett reveals that US police three times more likely to use force against leftwing protestors. The Guardian

Simukai Chigudu documents his life in the shadow of Cecil Rhodes: colonialism had never really ended. The Guardian

Marissa Evans shares the relentlessness of Black grief. The Atlantic

Gulbahar Haitiwaji and Rozenn Morgat recount how Haitiwaji survived a Chinese “re-education” camp for Uighurs. The Guardian

Why do we lie? It’s okay to be smart

Doyle Rice: 2020 falls just short of Earths hottest year on record as global warming continues. USA Today

Karla Cripps and Shawn Deng report that China’s new bullet train can withstand extremely cold temperatures. A precursor to Snowpiercer? CNN

Using microbes to mine on Mars. SciShow Space

We come from the stars: Indigenous astronomy, astronauts, and star stories. CBC’s Unreserved

Icelanders celebrate the end of Christmas with bonfires for the elves. Iceland Wonder

Timothy Roberts introduces us to photographer Drew Doggett, who captures fairy-tale-like horses roaming Iceland’s beautiful landscape. Greater Good News

Kevin Duong examines the symbolism of the French Revolution. Flash mob: revolution, lightning, and the people’s will. The Public Domain Review

Julian Lewis explains how El Anastui broke the seal on contemporary art. The New Yorker

Wild cephalopod ink. SciShow

Thanks for visiting. I hope you took away something to inspire your next 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, Jan 10-16, 2021

Another week, another bunch of informal writerly learnings. Enjoy!

Janice Hardy wonders, is your plot going somewhere readers will follow? Then, Janice offers some guides for using internal conflict that make sense. Fiction University

Brené Brown: Why Your Critics aren’t the Ones Who Count. 99u

Sandra Wendel explains the differences between line editing, copy editing, and proofreading. Jane Friedman

Christina Kaye shows you how to start, build, and grow your email list. Helping Writers Become Authors

Shaelin Bishop demonstrates line editing. Shaelin Writes

Ellen Buikema promotes the value of writing young adult literature. Writers in the Storm

Megan Taylor Morrison shares eight growing pains she had while learning to edit equitably. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Emily Zarka considers the Baba Yaga: the ancient origins of the famous witch. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Jim Dempsey explains what to expect from an editor. Juliet Marillier is writing in wild times. Then, Kathryn Craft presents seven sneaky ways to spotlight story wisdom. Writer Unboxed

Alli Sinclair helps you write better dialogue. Writers Helping Writers

The Simp trope, explained. The Take

Chris Winkle addresses feminists and romance fans: let’s fight our common enemy. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains how Legendborn created an enthralling love triangle. Mythcreants

The Gold Digger trope, explained. The Take

Judith Herman: eleven words that don’t mean what you think they mean. Mental Floss

Thank you for stopping by, 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, Jan 3-9, 2021

It’s thoughty Thursday! Fortify yourself for the weekend and get your mental corn popping (i.e. get those ideas ping-ponging around inside your skull)!

The Capitol insurrection held me horrified. It still does. And the continued attempts of a certain despot to assail social media to issue a call to arms to disrupt the inauguration have me once again fearing for the future. This is not just America’s problem. It has the potential to disrupt nations across the world.

Katrin Bennhold and Steven Lee Myers report how America’s friends and foes express horror as Capitol attack shakes the world. The New York Times

Aaron Morrison: race double standard clear in rioters’ Capitol insurrection. Associated Press

Todd Richmond and Michael Tarm: no charges for Wisconsin officer who shot Jacob Blake. No justice. Associated Press

Dylan Lovan reports that two police officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s death have been fired. Still, no justice. Associated Press

Allison Miller reveals the hidden meaning of a notorious experiment. In a 1961 grant application, filed before the Eichmann trial was in full swing, Milgram “proposed to study the conditions under which compliance with authority could be increased or decreased—knowledge that had obvious military and political applications.” JSTOR Daily

Some good news: Doha Madani reports that the Red Sox hired Bianca Smith for minor league team, the first Black woman to coach in pro baseball. NBC News

Ashawnta Jackson say that when mambo was king, its creators were stereotyped. JSTOR Daily

And all this political and racial injustice while we’re in the midst of a pandemic.

Darren MacDonald: lockdown in northern Ontario to extend until Jan 23rd, but schools reopen Jan 11th. “… the province said the positivity rate for kids aged 12-13 years old increased from 5.44 per cent in late November, early December to nearly 20 per cent in early January.” CTV News

We have to do better, people.

How alchemy led to modern-day chemistry and medicine. SciShow

Gabriella Marchant: Australian “super seaweed” supplement that reduces cattle gas production wins $1million international prize. And … it was discovered by accident (!) Australian Broadcast Corporation

Graham Averill announces that New River Gorge is the US’s newest national park. Outside

Three ways exoplanets rocked planetary science. SciShow Space

Andrew Fazekas lists ten spectacular stargazing events to observe in 2021. National Geographic

Brent Lang: women directed a record number of films in 2020. Variety

Sylvia Poggioli introduces us to the women uncovering the lost works of female Renaissance artists (because, who else?). NPR

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something to inspire your next 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, Jan 3-9, 2021

Welcome to tipsday, your chance to top up on informal writerly learnings.

Janice Hardy shares an easy fix for tighter point of view. Hint: nix those filter words! Fiction University

Greer Macallister offers the gift of critique. How to by way of how not to … Sarah Penner encourages you to rethink resolutions and habits as writers in 2021. Donald Maass: the real vs. the unreal. Nancy Johnson compiles this list of published authors sharing wisdom from their debut journeys. David Corbett: what now, storyteller? Writer Unboxed

The female assassin trope, explained. The Take

K.M. Weiland shares seven lessons learned in 2020. Helping Writers Become Authors

Karen DeBonis shares her writing goal for 2021: let go to love more (AKA, how I stopped worrying and learned to love editing). Janice Hardy offers a different approach to writing success this year (i.e. how dumping self-imposed deadlines can increase productivity). Julie Glover: how much of our real life shows up in our fiction? Writers in the Storm

Emily Zarka introduces us to the Kasogonagá: Sky Deity and Absolute Cutie. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Nathan Bransford explains how to set meaningful goals.

Colleen M. Story explains why writers should take more risks this year. Writers Helping Writers

Victoria R. Girmonde: worldview and the MG/YA genre. Story Grid

The wicked stepmother trope, explained. The Take

Sara Farmer interviews Elizabeth Little. Then, Gabriela Pereira wonders, where do we go from here? DIY MFA

Joe Bunting offers definitions and examples of the six shapes of stores. The Write Practice

Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five popular stories with conflicts that are too difficult. Mythcreants

Ron Friedman: rotating spacecraft and artificial gravity. Sci and Sci-fi

Clair Armitstead provides the 31-day literary diet for January 2021. Sure, we’re half-way through the month already, but who says you have to finish it all in January? Be a rebel. Start now and continue your literary snacking into February! The Guardian

Jesse Wente is reframing Indigenous stories in joy. CBC’s Ideas

Why should you read Toni Morrison’s “Beloved”? – Yen Pham TED-Ed

Kritika Agrawal shares seven fascinating facts about Octavia Butler. Mental Floss

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you took away 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, Dec 27, 2020-Jan 2, 2021

It’s time to get your mental corn popping.

The Skimm summarizes the year in racial justice in the US.

Rich McKay reports that an Ohio police officer is fired for fatally shooting an unarmed Black man. The criminal investigation is ongoing. Reuters

It takes a community to eradicate hate | Wale Elegbede TED

Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain Alhathloul sentenced to nearly 6 years in prison. CBC

South Africa surpasses one million infections as cases surge. BBC

Pfizer reports no data to support that a single dose of their vaccine offers protection after 21 days. Axios

Natalie Neysa Alund, Yihyun Jeong, and Brinley Hineman report that Anthony Warner, identified as the bomber, died in the Nashville explosion he set off. The Tennessean

Kelly Boutsalis looks into teaching Indigenous star stories with Wilfred Buck. The Walrus

Doggerland: a real-life Atlantis. SciShow

Why we can’t measure the speed of light. Veritasium

Jess Romeo: you don’t catch colds from being cold! On the persistence of folk belief. JSTOR Daily

Blake Stilwell recounts that time when Jimmy Carter saved Canada from nuclear destruction. We are the Mighty

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you took away something to inspire your next 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, Dec 27, 2020-Jan 2, 2021

Here comes the first tipsday of the new year. Time to indulge in some informal writerly learnings.

Laura Highcove: how your writer’s intuition knows what advice works best for you. Later in the week, Gabriela Pereira interviews Alexandra Monir about the dystopian superhero story. Then, Kim Lozano shares five musts for writing a compelling story beginning. DIY MFA

Princess Weekes: Wonder Woman 1984 was a bitter disappointment. Melina Pendulum

Janice Hardy offers a five-minute fix to jumpstart your scene. Fiction University

Shaelin Bishop offers her advice on how to finish your novel in 2021. Reedsy

Tasha Seegmiller delves into a writer’s authentic self. Then, Fae Rowan offers three words to help you thrive in 2021. Writers in the Storm

The Himbo trope, explained. The Take

The likeable sociopath trope, explained. The Take

Kelsey Allagood: what Gandhi taught me about telling stories that mean something. Later in the week, Jeanne Kisacky shares strategies for restarting a cold project. Writer Unboxed

Shaelin Bishop shares what she learned about writing in 2020. Shaelin Writes

Bunny lists five Arab and Muslim stereotypes to avoid. Mythcreants

All Stories Matter: The Need for Afro-Futurism | Ramatoulie Bobb | TEDxRoyalCentralSchool

Nina Munteanu is embracing the paradox of creative destruction.

Foz Meadows writes a response to Meghan Cox Grudon and the Wall Street Journal. About the classics and teaching them in a modern context. shattersnipe: malcontent & rainbows

The Backlisted podcast considers the influence of Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising with Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris, co-authors of The Lost Words and The Lost Spells.

Livia Gershon reveals sci-fi pen pals James Tiptree Jr. and Joanna Russ. JSTOR Daily

The Merril Collection, AKA the Spaced-Out Library, is 50! Toronto Public Libraries

Thanks for stopping by. 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, Dec 20-26, 2020

It’s New Year’s Eve, the last thought Thursday, and the last curation of the year! This is your last opportunity to get your mental corn popping for 2020.

Chloe Alexander: body cam footage shows officer Jose Santos shooting Joshua Feast. It’s graphic. It’s distressing. This young man did not have to die. KENS5 News

Gregory S. Schneider reports that statue of General Robert E. Lee is removed from US Capitol. The Washington Post

Emmanuel Acho – How to have uncomfortable conversations with your loved ones.

Phoebie Shamiso Chigonde profiles nuclear scientist Senamile Masango. The Weight She Carries

15-year-old Jessica Hyatt, a Black woman chess champion, wins $40k scholarship. Season two of The Queen’s Gambit, anyone? Black News

Elly Belle: how white people can hold each other accountable to stop institutional racism. From last year, but we can’t lose sight of our responsibilities. Teen Vogue

Ryan Patrick Jones: Health Canada approves Moderna covid-19 vaccine. Between Pfizer and Moderna, we should have 1.2 million vaccinations available by Jan 31st. Good news for long-term-care homes, Indigenous populations in remote areas, and the rest of our valiant health care and other front-line workers! CBC 

Jamie Carter explains why 2020’s longest night of the year is special. Forbes

Mistletoe shouldn’t exist. SciShow

Danielle Prohom Olson considers the spirit of winter solstice: doe, a deer, a female deer. Gather Victoria

Dennis Zotigh shares Indigenous winter solstice traditions: a season of storytelling and ceremony. The Smithsonian Magazine

Ask an Elder: winter solstice in the Cree tradition. CBC

Piqsiq melds Inuit throat singing with classic Christmas tunes. CBC

Piqsiq – Coventry Carol

Researchers create entangled photons 100 times more efficiently than previously possible. The goal is to see quantum laptops in the backpack of every child. We’ll see. Phys.org

Chelsea Gohd reports that, following Arecibo’s collapse, China is opening the world’s largest radio telescope to international scientists. Space

Jonathan O’Callaghan and Lee Billings: alien hunters discover mysterious signal from Proxima Centauri. Scientific American

How Joan Feynman demystified auroras. SciShow Space

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupts and earthquake rattles area. CBS News

Barnaby de Hoedt: hemp batteries are better than lithium and graphene. UK Cannabis Social Clubs

Thank you for visiting. I hope you found something to inspire your next creative project.

This weekend, I’ll be assembling my December next chapter update and year-end round up.

Until then, be well and stay safe, and have a happy New Year!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Dec 20-26, 2020

It’s the last tipsday of 2020! Quick, get your informal writerly learnings while they last!

Janice Hardy suggests you try this fun exercise to shake up your muse. Fiction University

How to write descriptively – Nalo Hopkinson. TED-ed

Ellen Buikema explains how she moved from pantser to plantser. Then, Kris Maze shares productivity hacks from bestselling writers. Writers in the Storm

Shaelin Bishop makes a craft video on writing experimental fiction: the unity of form and concept. Shaelin Writes

Kristen Lamb considers amazing grace: what do we do when we’re our own worst critic?

Princess Weekes: is Dune the most important scifi series ever? It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Jeanette the Writer reviews the words that shaped 2020. Jo Wnorowski shares five ways journaling improves your life.  DIY MFA

The Becky trope, explained. The Take

And, the sexy vampire trope, explained. The Take

Chris Winkle lists five ways to build your storytelling muscles. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains how Interview with a Vampire shows the strengths and weaknesses of adaptation. Mythcreants

Emily Zarka considers the Pontianak, the vengeful, violent, vampiric ghost of southeast Asia. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Waubgeshig Rice: Indigenous identity and the responsibility of telling stories. Open Book

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

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!