Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 5-11, 2020

It’s time to get your mental corn popping (and celebrate the coming weekend)!

Guy Kawasaki interviews Jamia Wilson for his Remarkable People podcast.

Phillip Morris asks, as monuments fall, how does the world deal with its racist past? National Geographic

Bryan Bender, Daniel Lippman, and Sarah Cammarata interview the descendants of Confederate generals who say they’d be happy to see their names go. Politico

Emilia Petrarea reports on solidarity at sea. Surfing protest for Black Lives Matter. The Cut

Carly Silver exposes the racist history behind the Victorian tea “infomercial.” JSTOR Daily


Ian Sample warns of serious brain disorders in people with mild coronavirus symptoms. The Guardian

R.M. Vaughan: how do we get back to work when the trauma of covid-19 persists? “Nobody cares about your neuroses as long as you’re productive. Never mind that 24/7 productivity is what got us here in the first place. You don’t have time to grieve whomever you lost – get back to work. And keep fronting positivity, fronting wellness, fronting that you’re fine, because that’s now part of your job.” The Globe and Mail

Sweden literally gained nothing from staying open during covid-19. The Week


Sarah Caplan explains how America’s hottest city will survive climate change. The Washington Post

SciShow considers the weird world of the Hang Sơn Đoòng caves.

Kellie Doherty suggests some house spirits to keep you company during #pandemiclife. Fantasy Faction

Giovanna Dell’Orto: migrant teens need school, but around the world they face pressure not to go. National Geographic

Matt Reynolds explains how to hack your brain into remembering almost anything. Wired

Physics Girl conducts some fun home science experiments.

Catie Leary show us how the golden ratio manifests in nature. TreeHugger

Dance United Yorkshire – open your eyes.

The Pentatonix – when the party’s over.

Thanks for visiting. 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.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 10-16, 2020

Welcome to week nine of #pandemiclife.

Here in Ontario, the Premiere has authorized some businesses to reopen. Street-facing retail stores that can deliver curb-side service. Veterinarians, groomers, and pet boarding businesses. Essential-adjacent health support services. My mother-in-law will be able to get her housekeeper back—physically distanced, of course. And golf courses. And cottage country (which really doesn’t want to be open, from what I’ve been hearing).

Will we have another spike? Will we have to dial back? I’m maintaining the status quo. Kind of. I’ll be delivering virtual training over the next couple weeks. It’s going to be interesting. And … I’ve already been asked to deliver the next session, which is pretty much back to back, because there aren’t enough trainers who are comfortable with the platform, or even virtual training, to spread out the burden.

There are apparently five such courses to be delivered between now and September. I hesitate to be on the hook for all of them. But this may be my work life, moving forward.

I’ll keep you updated.

In the meantime, please enjoy some informal writerly learnings 🙂

K.M. Weiland uses a brave critique volunteer’s work to discuss seven possible hooks for your opening chapter. Helping Writers Become Authors

K.B. Jensen explains how to throw a virtual book launch using Facebook Live. Then, Chantel Hamilton provides a comprehensive guide to finding, hiring, and working with an editor. Jane Friedman

Shaelin Bishop continues her series on developing a novel with part 4: form, style, and voice. Reedsy

Joanna Penn interviews Larry Brooks about how to develop strong fiction ideas. The Creative Penn

Leanne Sowul touts the power of paying attention. Later in the week, Sarah Fraser lists five signs you’re ready to work with an editor. DIY MFA

Jim Dempsey helps you decide, your words, or your editor’s? Juliet Marillier: consolation or challenge? Kathryn Craft shares eight ways to unblock your scene’s potential. Writer Unboxed

September C. Fawkes explains how plotlines add dimension. Writers Helping Writers

Jami Gold wonders whether breaking the rules is easy or hard.

Jenna Moreci says imposter syndrome sucks, but you don’t.

Nathan Bransford tells you everything authors need to know about dialogue tags.

Aliza Mann explains how to get back on track when all your planning fails. Fiction University

Kristen Lamb wants you to create a story-worthy problem that will captivate an audience.

How the strong black woman trope has evolved. The Take

Barbara Linn Probst lists three motivations to write: artistry, identity, and legacy. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle says, no. “Art” does not entitle you to spread harmful messages. Then, Oren Ashkenazi gets facetious with seven musts for dominating a fantasy battle. Mythcreants

Richard Marpole goes for a walk among the trees: a look at forests in myth and media. Fantasy Faction

Esther Jones: science fiction builds resilience in young readers. Phys.org

Simon Winchester: has “run” run amok? It has 645 meanings … so far. NPR

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ve taken away something to support your current work in progress (or planning/development of same).

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

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, April 23-29, 2017

It’s another week chock full of informal writerly learnings 🙂

K.M. Weiland shares three ways to make your fiction more visual. Helping Writers Become Authors

Later in the week, Kate returns with how to write (and not write) expository dialog(ue).

Colleen Oakley guest posts on Writer Unboxed: how to make your readers believe the unbelievable (or, the importance of facts in fiction).

Barbara O’Neal explores the complex power of mapping the world of your novel (with neuroscience!). Writer Unboxed

Heather Webb explains why changing up your writing process from book to book works. Writer Unboxed

Allie Larkin says fighting writing stage fright is about more than picturing your readers in their underwear. Writer Unboxed

Kathryn Craft: to sleep, perchance to dream. Writers in the Storm

Jamie Raintree asks, are you writing out of fear, or love? Writers in the Storm

Sara Letourneau: seven steps to honouring your reality. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira recommends some must-read books for your writing library. DIY MFA

Kolina Cicero reviews Scratch for DIY MFA.

Angela Ackerman shares some of her fantastic finds for writers. Writers Helping Writers

Julie Glover guest posts on Jami Gold’s blog: four common copy editing issues to watch for.

Bonnie Randall guest posts on Fiction University: what writing rules do you always get wrong?

Elizabeth Sims guest posts on Jane Friedman’s blog: four methods for developing any idea into a great story.

Jenna Moreci helps you choose your next story.

 

Margaret Atwood shares seven tips for writers. Writer’s Digest

Roz Morris pleads with reviewers: can we open up a dialogue about self-published books? Nail Your Novel

Chris Winkle helps you depict internal conflicts. Mythcreants

Oren Ashkenazi examines five stories that are afraid of their own premises. Mythcreants

Aaron Miles returns with part two of sieges and siegecraft: defenders. Fantasy Faction

Kate Elliott: the status quo does not need world building. Tor.com

Eight words that changed the way we think. Kelley Grovier for the BBC.

Marie Mutsuki muses on the nature of fairytales and storytelling from east to west. [yes, it’s from last year, but it’s awesome] Literary Hub

Alexandra Alter reviews William Gibson’s Agency. The New York Times

Jeff Vandermeer and Cory Doctorow discuss the future of science fiction and the world. Electric Lit

Twelve women authors share how Margaret Atwood made them feminists. Elle

Another oldie but goodie from 2015. Emily Asher-Perrin thinks Real Genius is the geek solidarity film that nerd culture deserves. Tor.com

Germaine Lussier takes a look at the trailer for Kingsman: the Golden Circle. i09

And this is how we improve our craft 🙂

Hope something here gave you what you need to get to the next level.

Be well until thoughty Thursday comes along to pop your mental corn!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, April 2-8, 2017

There’s so much writerly goodness out there, I wish I had more time to devote to curating these informal writerly learnings for you.

Aliette de Bodard guest posts on Terribleminds: in defense of uncanny punctuation. I love semicolons, too!

K.M. Weiland adds number 58 to her most common writing mistakes series: too much description. Helping Writers Become Authors

Later in the week, Kate shows you how to write stories your readers will remember.

Then, Kate pops over to Jerry Jenkins’ blog: two ways to find out if a scene deserves a place in your story.

Kathleen Jones guest posts on Jane Friedman’s blog: six ways to prepare for writing as a second career.

Angela Ackerman shows you how to use timelines to organize story details. Writers Helping Writers

Lisa Preston offers seven strategies for revising your novel. Writer’s Digest

Penny Sansevieri helps us decode Amazon keywords. Writers in the Storm

Fae Rowan shares five tips to get your characters—and you—through adversity. Writers in the Storm

Janice Hardy introduces us to a fun way to learn story structure. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle shares five signs your story is ableist. Mythcreants

Oren Ashkenazi looks at six objectively good stories and finds ways to make them better. Fabulous analysis. Mythcreants

Laurel K. Denton guest posts on Writer Unboxed: changing horses mid-stream (or how not to panic over a mid-book structure revision).

James Scott Bell asks, is your fiction big enough? Writer Unboxed

Donald Maass wants you to captivate readers with your opening lines: casting the spell. Writer Unboxed

Bryn Greenwood: write a book, save the world. Writer Unboxed

Kathryn Magendie explores this writing life. Writer Unboxed

Emily Wenstrom helps you grow your online platform in real life. DIY MFA

Shameless self-promotion time again: it’s me! Defining speculative fiction. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Susan Perabo for DIY MFA radio.

Bess Cozby offers five tips for revising your trunk novel. DIY MFA

Kristen Lamb: the single best way to become a mega-author. Later in the week, she follows up with how you can make all ads, marketing, and newsletters work better.

Jeff Lyons visits Jami Gold’s blog again: creating a strong moral premise for our story.

Michael Everest responds to a provocative post and explains the difference between giving up and giving in. Fantasy Faction

David Barnett responds to the same “failed novelist” post. The Guardian

Alex Brown unpacks Marvel’s “diversity doesn’t sell” argument and explains what diversity really means. Tor.com

The Hugo and Campbell awards finalists announced! Locus

This grammar vigilante stalks the Bristol night putting apostrophes in their right places. Ladies and gentlemen, the BBC gives you, the Apostrophiser!

I hope you learned something tasty 🙂

Be well until Thursday when you can come back for some thoughty inspiration!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, March 26-April 1, 2017

Holy cow, lookit all the informal writerly learnings 🙂

K.M. Weiland covers seven stages of being a writer. Helping Writers Become Authors

Later in the week, Kate helps you notch up your scene conflict.

Fred Johnson guest posts on Jane Friedman’s blog: how to get violence right in your fiction.

Grace Wynter joins Writer Unboxed as a contributor: Look! Up in the sky! It’s a … writer?

Catherine McKenzie: are you tired of writing? Writer Unboxed

Tracy Hahn-Burkett helps you have patience over the long, long haul. Writer Unboxed

Jo Eberhardt unpacks the relationship between envy, perfectionism, and the work of writing. Writer Unboxed

Susan Spann: how to avoid pay to play publishing contracts. Writer Unboxed

Jenna Moreci: Show vs. Tell, part 2. When to tell.

 

Kimberly Brock has the blank page blues. Writers in the Storm

Kathryn Craft says we can do it all—but should we? Writers in the Storm

Ruth Harris shares some stress busters and burnout beaters. Anne R. Allen’s blog

Leanne Sowul: how one skeptic became a meditation convert. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Jessica Strawser for DIY MFA radio.

G. Myrthil explains why kid lit matters. DIY MFA

Linda Bernadette Burgess shares five ways to manage multiple creative passions. DIY MFA

Emily Temple says that if any literature is going to change the world, it’s going to be young adult. Literary Hub

Fantasy Faction explores sieges and siegecraft. Part one: attackers.

Jeff Lyons returns to Jami Gold’s blog: what is high concept and how can I create it?

Lilith Saint Crow stops by Terribleminds: when a short story won’t stay short for long.

Nina Munteanu: the power of myth in storytelling.

Bonnie Randall wonders, do sensitivity readers hurt or help our novels? Fiction University

Nathan Bransford says that the key to a great query letter is summarizing through specificity.

Barbara Kyle shares ten query letter tips.

Pamela Hodges explains how to edit your novel like a New York publisher. The Write Practice

John Koenig makes another entry in the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows: morii.

 

S.B. Divya reveals the seed of her novel Runtime. Tor.com

Malka Older’s not predicting the future, she’s just observing the present. Tor.com

Sunny Moraine: resistance through speculative fiction. Tor.com

Leah Schnelbach revisits Nausicaä of the Valley of the Winds, twenty years on. Tor.com

Am I pathetic because I still love Buffy? I guess I’m not alone: Katharine Trendacosta shares pics from the Entertainment Weekly Buffy reunion photo shoot. i09

Three translators respond to Arrival. Susannah Greenblatt for Words without Borders.

Adam Frank explains how great science fiction shows like The Expanse prepare us for the future. NPR

Evan Narcisse shows us the Valerian trailer. i09

Hope you enjoyed the writerly goodness.

See you Thursday for some thoughty 🙂

Be well until then.

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