Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, March 14-20, 2021

Spring has sprung, the grass is ris’, do you know where your informal writerly learnings is? Sorry. Old rhyme from childhood (if you substitute birdies for informal writerly learnings). I prolly should have left it there, eh?

Karen Abbott-Trimuel asks, are you happy? Vaughn Roycroft is waking from a dream. Then, Dave King shares another episode of the reality show. Stacey Allagood offers six writing lessons from an actual backyard gardener. Writer Unboxed

Does your book need a prologue? Reedsy

Janice Hardy shares four ways a strong point of view strengthens a novel. Later in the week, Bonnie Randall considers the intersection between cathartic writing and cathartic reading. Fiction University

What is a denouement and how do you write one? Reedsy

K.M. Weiland continues her archetypal character arcs series with part six: the crone arc. Helping Writers Become Authors

Self-care for writers. These are truly excellent. Shaelin Writes

Monya Baker offers six tips for writing in deep third person point of view. Then, Nancy Stohlman considers jealousy in the age of quarantine: the green-eyed monster. Jane Friedman

For St. Patrick’s Day, Emily Zarka looks at the leprechaun: from gold-loving cobbler to cultural icon Monstrum | PBS Storied

Julie Glover explains what happens when illness interrupts your writing. Writers in the Storm

Lucy V. Hay points out three things worth thinking about before you start your novel. Writers Helping Writers

WandaVision’s sitcom universe. The Take

Nathan Bransford recounts a year of covid.

Ambre Dawn Leffler recommends you sync your creative process with birdsong. Heather Campbell lists five ways writing a novel is like running a marathon. Then, Alexander Weinstein introduces us to 4th person perspective: the we without an I. DIY MFA

The origins of the e-girl. The Take

Chuck Wendig tackles the craft question, should writers write every day? Terribleminds

Chris Winkle helps you understand conflict and tension. Then, Oren Ashkenazi is (facetiously) taking the politics out of six popular stories. Mythcreants

El Jones’ poem, “Glass Hands,” is everything I want to say about the pandemic. CBC’s “The Current”

Sierra Garcia: how early sci-fi authors imagined climate change. JSTOR Daily

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: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 13-19, 2020

Welcome to thoughty Thursday, the curation of random stuff intended to get your mental corn popping.

Nina Bahadur explains how Black doulas are fighting the maternal mortality crisis. CBS

Rashawn Ray interrogates what defunding the police means and does the idea have merit? Brookings

Evie Muir: racial gaslighting and microaggressions can’t be ignored any longer. Refinery 29

Margot Gage Witvliet: I’m a covid-19 long-hauler and an epidemiologist—here’s how it feels to have symptoms for months. (Included in the BLM section because there are elements of racial gaslighting at play.) The Conversation


How and when will we have a covid-19 vaccine? ASAP Science

Sarah Newey and Paul Nuki explain how the pandemic set global development back 25 years in 25 weeks. The Telegraph

Sophie Haigney: the pandemic is transforming how Americans use public libraries, parks, and streets—and it’s depriving vulnerable people of space when they need it most. Insider

Minda Zetlin shares five habits that will help you stay focused all day and Traci Stein explains why they work. (To help with covid brain.) Inc.


Why do we dream? Amy Adkins | TED-Ed

Nina Totenberg reports on the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, champion of gender equality, at 87. NPR

Hope Reese interviews Noam Chomsky about his new book: there’s reason for hope. JSTOR Daily

Nadia Drake: possible sign of life on Venus stirs heated debate. National Geographic

Jonathan Amos wonders, will private firms win the race to Venus? BBC

Dark matter is even stranger than we thought. SciShow Space

Ian Bogost: your phone wasn’t built for the apocalypse. The Atlantic

Rachel Lovell explains how nanoclay turns desert into farmland in the UAE. BBC

Enjoy some frissons musicale with this Pentatonix cover of Tears for Fears’ Mad World.

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you’re able to take 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, Aug 30-Sept 5, 2020

Starting a short week with a Tuesday-that-feels-like-a-Monday is tough. Fortify yourselves with some informal writerly learnings.

First: Black lives matter. Indigenous lives matter. All lives cannot matter until Black and Indigenous lives matter.

#pandemiclife is entering its sixth month and there’s no end in sight even though everyone has covid brain and is exhausted by the restraint and safety restrictions.

Today marked the return to schools for most children in Ontario. I wish them well, but I still worry. We’ve been told to expect a bump in infections, like it’s acceptable to sacrifice children’s and teachers’ and their families’ health.

Please wear your masks, respect social distancing, wash your hands, and stay safe.

Nancy Johnson explains what it’s like writing while Black in times like these. Kristan Hoffman hopes you’ll try these ideas to stay active in your writing life. Donald Maass wonders what—and how much—belongs in your novel? Erika Liodice explains how to give an out-of-print book new life through self-publishing. Liza Nash Taylor says she’s late to the party: on being a debut novelist at 60. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland shares seven considerations for your antagonist’s motivations (which will save you so much trouble). Helping Writers Become Authors

Orly Konig: suspenders for pantsers. Fiction University

James Scott Bell describes hanging upside down and other creative moves. Writers Helping Writers

The feminist trope explained. The Take

Jenn Walton: sweet writing is made of dreams. Then, Brenda Joyce Patterson explains how to establish a literary mentorship. Later in the week, Neha Mediratta wonders, are you giving yourself a chance? Then, A.R. Taylor offers five tips for creating your villain. DIY MFA

What is a motif? How is it different from theme and symbol? And how can you use motif in your writing? Reedsy

Joe Ponepinto advises that if you want to avoid rejection, take the writer out of the story. Jane Friedman

Angie Hodapp says, your protagonist must fail. Pub Rants

Jami Gold considers the black moment: understanding our options.

Shaelin explains how to raise your story’s stakes. Reedsy

Chris Winkle lists nine options for high stakes conflict without violence. Oren Ashkenazi: The Umbrella Academy shows us why it’s important to plan your powers. Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb explains how story forges and refines character.

Rahil Sheikh introduces us to Kuli Kohli: “They wanted to drown me a birth—now, I’m a poet.” BBC

Thank you for visiting and I hope that you found something that will support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe, my writerly friends.

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Aug 16-22, 2020

Welcome to another week of informal writerly learnings!

Black lives matter. Indigenous lives matter. All lives cannot matter until Black and Indigenous lives matter. This is a fundamental truth.

The EI ERB and CERB have been extended for the third time and three new transitional benefits are being created to support Canadians in this crisis. It’s resulted in chaos at work, but chaos has been the rule since March 15th.

Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Stay within your bubbles and avoid crowded events. Take care and stay safe. You don’t know who you could be putting at risk with careless behaviour.

K.M. Weiland shares five exercises for honing your story instincts. Helping Writers Become Authors

Vaughn Roycroft explains why he prefers novels with prologues. Dave King is discussing fiction in the time of plague. Then, Sarah Penner shares the results of a working-from-home survey: navigating changes to our work environments. Later in the week, Porter Anderson discusses emergent voices. Writer Unboxed

Shaelin Bishop shares some of her favourite writing techniques. Shaelin Writes

Tasha Seegmiller: every novel needs a village. Then, Barbara Linn Probst advises us to read like a writer and write like a reader. Later in the week, John Peragine explains the vital importance of your writing community. Writers in the Storm

The muse trope, explained. The Take

Rochelle Melander suggests some tools for revision. Fiction University

Christina Delay uses the lyrics of “Yesterday” to look back at the first act. Writers Helping Writers

Helen J. Darling helps you build your author newsletter list. Then, Pamela Taylor helps you figure out whether you’re writing historical fiction, or something else. Later in the week, Chere Hughes describes the key features of a no-fear critique. DIY MFA

Susan DeFreitas explains what your first 50 pages reveal. Jane Friedman

Nathan Bransford wants you to be very careful with dreams and hallucinations in novels.

Chris Winkle explains why story structures like the Hero’s Journey don’t work. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories with anticlimactic endings. Mythcreants

What English can’t do. NativLang

Alexandra Alter: “We’ve already survived an apocalypse”: Indigenous authors are changing science fiction. The New York Times

Thanks for visiting and I hope you’re taking away something that will support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe.

Tipsday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 5-11, 2020

Black lives matter. Indigenous lives matter. All lives cannot matter until Black and Indigenous lives matter.

We may be reopening, but for the love of all that’s holy, please wear a mask when you go out in public/to a business/outside your social bubble. Maintain social distancing, even if you think it’s stupid/ridiculous. Parents, pester your schoolboards, provincial, and federal politicians for a proper plan for the return to school. All we need is to have a class, or—heaven forefend—an entire school, of children and their teachers infected with covid-19.

We still don’t know the long-term effects of this damn virus, though serious neurological and cardio-pulmonary involvements have already been seen, even in asymptomatic patients. People who have had covid once, have been infected again, months later, and a few have even been symptomatic for months.

Despite the need to recover economically, we need to protect our communities while doing so. It’s a tricky balance to strike and we have to do this right.

On that cheery thought, please enjoy these informal writerly learnings 😀

Concepción de León, Alexandra Alter, Elizabeth A. Harris and Joumana Khatib interview Black publishing professionals: a conflicted cultural force. The New York Times

Tiffany Yates Martin explains how to weave in backstory without stalling your story. Then Nancy Johnson interviews Laura Rossi about publishing in a pandemic from a book publicist’s perspective. Melanie Conklin wonders, what about book two? Kathryn Craft is helping you identify and craft your inciting incident. Finally, David Corbett gets into more of his covid dreams and the lessons he’s learning from them: a visitor and a sin. Writer Unboxed

12 tips for new short story writers. Shaelin Writes

K.M. Weiland: how to get things done as a writer, or how this INTJ leverages her te. Helping Writers Become Authors

Orly Konig lists three reasons you should quit writing. Fiction University

Nathan Bransford says, even minor characters have needs and desires.

Sara Letourneau explains how to create discussion questions using your book’s themes. DIY MFA

The Take considers the controversial history of the hero cop trope.

John Peragine touts the importance of the triple edit. Writers in the Storm

Jami Gold suggests you get organized, for the sake of your creativity and your career.

Shonna Slayton recommends you improve your fiction by studying the Brothers Grimm. Writers Helping Writers

Nam Kiwanuka interviews Amanda Leduc about ableism and disability in fairy tales. TVO

Chris Winkle lists seven common reasons protagonists are unlikable. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains how Frank Herbert sabotaged his own ideas. Mythcreants

Jen Sookfong Lee: what Anne of Green Gables taught me about grief. The Walrus

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you’ve taken away something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe, my writerly friends!

Tipsday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 31-June 6, 2020

It’s time to get your mental corn popping.

Because I’m listening and learning and want to do better:

What a future without police could look like. Desmond Cole. Walrus talks.

Lawrence Hill on racism in Canada and the US after George Floyd’s death. CBC

 

Nadia Drake covers the Dragon capsule docking with the International Space Station. National Geographic

Dave Mosher: SpaceX’s Endeavour spaceship has made history by docking with the International Space Station with two NASA astronauts. Business Insider

SciShow Psych delves into the reason we’re having weird covid dreams.

Jessica Stewart shares this ancient Roman mosaic discovered in pristine condition beneath a vineyard in Italy. My Modern Met

Jennifer Pattison Tuohy: the beginner’s guide to propagating houseplants. Dwell

Emily Chung: these Canadian species are found nowhere else on Earth. CBC

Jake Rossen figures out what pets see when they watch television. Mental Floss

Thanks for visiting 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.

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 26-May 2, 2020

We’re heading toward the end of another week. Get ready for the weekend by getting your mental corn popping. Or just entertain yourself. There’s never any pressure with thoughty Thursday 🙂

May first was Beltane. Claire Schofield explains when the Gaelic May Day festival is, blessings, rituals, and pagan origins. The Scotsman

Rosie Flanagan considers the impossible architecture of dreams. gestalten

How science is trying to understand consciousness. SciShow

Cynthia Gorney reveals the funky science of yeast, the gassy microbe behind your bread. National Geographic

Laura Regensdorf interviews Jessica Meir about returning home to a completely different planet. Vanity Fair

Carol Off interviews David George Haskell, who says trees have their own songs. CBC, “As It Happens”

Dave Deibert reports on the first bison calf born on Wanuskewin land since 1876. Saskatoon StarPhoenix

I’m just a wee bit sceptical about this one, but TimeOut claims that animals are reclaiming cities now that humans are staying inside more.

Karen McVeigh: silence is golden for whales as lockdown reduces ocean noise. The Guardian

True facts about killer surfing snails. Ze Frank

Lydia Schrandt lists ten wild animal cams that will take you on safari. USA Today 10 Best

Michael Waters explains why your pet is acting like a weirdo now that you’re working from home. Vox

Kermit – The Rainbow Connection. The Muppets

Thanks for stopping by and a hope that you’ve taken away something to inspire your next creative project, even if it’s in the percolation stage. Percolation is important.

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, Feb 23-29, 2020

It was a news-heavy week. Take some time to get your mental corn popping.

Catharine Tunney: OPP arrest ten protestors at the Tyendinaga blockade site. CBC

Maria Cervantes reports on how Peruvian indigenous group wins suit to block oil exploration in Amazonian region. Reuters

SciShow Psych considers why we can’t remember our dreams.

Josh K. Elliott: Dagmar Turner plays the violin during brain surgery to retain her musical skills. Global

Lauren Smith: Leah Reddell creates “henna crowns” for women with cancer. HealthiNation

Elisha Fieldstadt reports that Katherine Johnson, the “computer” depicted in Hidden Figures has died at 101. NBC

Roy Allela invents gloves that turn sign language into audible speech. Black Business

Francky Knapp: the first man to reach the North Pole was an African American desk clerk the world forgot. Messy Nessy Chic

Ed Pilkington covers Harvey Weinstein’s conviction on two of five rape charges. The Guardian

Dr. Becky looks into the mystery of where all the antimatter has gone.

This solar-powered barge collects up to 50 tonnes of plastic waste a day. Return to Now

Greg Rosalsky explains why America is losing the toilet race. (I didn’t even know there was one …) NPR

Physics girl looks at the science of rainbows, fogbows, sun dogs, and glories …

James Burch: if dragons don’t exist, why are they everywhere? All Things Interesting

Max Knoblauch shares a video of a humpback whale breaching like some kind of hotshot dolphin. Mashable

Lisa Cinelli explains that your cat has a legitimate reason for getting hyper at bedtime. PopSugar

This is an old one, but funny. Bored Panda shares 30 pictures of animals that look like they’re about to drop the hottest albums of the year.

And that was a fairly full thoughty Thursday. Thank you for visiting and I hope you take away some ideas to inspire your next creative project.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Dec 8-14, 2019

Here are some informal writerly learnings to peruse while you’re preparing for, or celebrating, the holidays.

Lori Freeland says that show, don’t tell, are the three most misunderstood words in a writer’s vocabulary. Then, Colleen M. Story shared seven ways writers can overcome holiday anxiety. Julie Glover is saying no to get to a more important yes. Writers in the Storm

Shaelin shares five of her favourite tropes. Reedsy

Rheea Mukherjee makes notes on writer dreams, gratitude, and the anxiety of authenticity. Jim Dempsey wants you to manipulate your reader’s point of view. Sarah Callender asks, is imitating the greats helpful or harmful? Kathryn Craft is manipulating story time for maximum effect. David Corbett shares a lesson in forgiveness from The Crown. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland critiques: ten ways to write a better first chapter using specific word choices. Helping Writers Become Authors

Roz Morris shares five post-NaNoWriMo ways to use the holidays to keep your new writing habits … without revising too early. Nail Your Novel

Abigail K. Perry digs into James Scott Bell’s signpost scene 13: the final battle. Brenda Joyce Patterson takes a deep dive into the essay. Then, Constance Emmett shares five tips for post-publication survival and success. DIY MFA

Robert Lee Brewer points out the difference between lets and let’s. Writer’s Digest

Nathan Bransford offer the eight essential elements of a story.

Chris Winkle shares five ways to make multiple points of view more engaging. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains why some dark topics are more sensitive than others. Mythcreants

Tim makes some excellent points about writing power escalation. Hello, Future Me

Heidi Fiedler stops by The Creative Penn: five ways to quiet your inner editor.

Jami Gold asks, what’s your core story?

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you’re leaving with some great resources for your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well!

Tipsday2019