Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 8-14, 2018

I’ve been a little short on the thoughty, lately. Heat kind of melts my brain. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Helen Thomson: strange stories of extraordinary brains and what we can learn from them. The Wall Street Journal

Lauren Sharkey: why don’t we know more about migraines? BBC

Richard Hollingham reports on the rocket scientists mixing up a giant firework. BBC

Kate Brown reports on a female-led art restoration movement in Florence and how it’s reshaping the canon. Art Net News

Do animals like music? SciShow

 

Enjoy your Friday and your weekend.

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

thoughtythursday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 25-March 3, 2018

Gentle readers, here are your informal writerly learnings for the week:

K.M. Weiland says, don’t write scenes—write images! Helping Writers Become Authors

Christina Delay: the attraction of passion. Writers in the Storm

Lisa Hall-Wilson shares five quick ways to shift description and setting into deep POV. Writers in the Storm

Julia Munroe Martin is getting in touch with the inner magician. Writer Unboxed

Magic cloaks, lucky charms and other writerly superstitions. Sarah McCoy explores writers’ rituals on Writer Unboxed.

Barbara O’Neal wants you to imagine your ideal reader. Writer Unboxed

Sophie Masson examines some of the great last lines of fiction. Writer Unboxed

Kristen Lamb explains how writing a story from the end results in a mind-blowing read.

Janice Hardy warns, over-explaining will kill your novel. Fiction University

Emily Wenstrom tells you how and why to clean your email subscriber list. DIY MFA

Bess Cozby rises to new challenges the DIY MFA way. DIY MFA

Rebecca Monterusso returns to DIY MFA: five reasons it’s time to call an editor.

Chuck Wendig shares three truths about writing and how the writing gets done. Terribleminds

Chris Winkle reveals the one big thing most manuscripts lack. Mythcreants

Jami Gold fills in more blanks in her writing craft master lists: theme development.

Angela Ackerman shares three ways setting can steer your story’s plot. Writers Helping Writers

Mary Robinette Kowal: ask a puppet, episode 4.

 

Ruth Harris lists eight common mistakes readers hate—and how to fix them. Anne R. Allen’s blog

Nina Munteanu: how art reveals truth in science.

Shoshana Kessock compares the feminism of Black Panther to the feminism of Wonder Woman.

Be well until Thursday!

tipsday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Jan 28-Feb 3, 2018

Here are a few things to get your mental corn popping!

Michael Carroll: the richness of everyday life. Mindful

That F word. The state of feminism in the wake of Weinstein and the #metoo movement. CBC’s “Out in the Open” with Pia Chattopadhyay.

Annett Heide introduces us to Maxi Bauermeister, who lives as both a man and a woman. Zeit Magazin

A conversation with Native Americans on race. The New York Times Op-Docs season 6 by Michele Stephenson and Brian Young.

Miranda Larbi shares photos of 19th century interracial couples—incredible examples of love overcoming law. Metro

The Bell Let’s Talk Day impact video. I’ve participated/supported the event for years now.

 

Phil Plait: no, the eclipse and a planetary alignment will not cause massive earthquakes. Sheesh. SyFy

I’m an unapologetic lunatic, so the super moon/blue moon/eclipse/blood moon was kind of a big thing. Here’s a time lapse of the January 31st super blue blood moon over NASA’s JPL. I couldn’t see it here in the Sudz because it was overcast 😦

 

And the highlights from the Griffiths Observatory.

 

February first is St. Brigid’s Day. Here’s some Irish folklore and traditions surrounding the day. ‘Cause I’m paganish.

 

Conscious Reminder presents the evidence for dream telepathy. ‘Cause I’m a huge fan of dreams and various freaky parasomnias.

Vincenzo Pietropaolo writes about Toronto’s oldest tree. The Toronto Star

Nicola Davis reveals how orcas can imitate human speech. The Guardian

Minsmere murmuration:

 

Hope you found something to inspire your next great work.

Be well until the weekend!

thoughtythursday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Jan 14-20, 2018

Your informal writerly learnings for the week 🙂

K.M. Weiland explores four reasons we write. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jan O’Hara wrestles with tense and point of view. Writer Unboxed

Gabriela Pereira stops by Writers Helping Writers to help you harness your creative momentum.

Brenda Joyce Patterson shows you how to set and keep your writing resolutions. DIY MFA

Gabriela also posts to DIY MFA: how to read like a writer.

Margie Lawson helps you put wow on the page. Writers in the Storm

Annie Neugebauer compares writing to mountain climbing. It’s an apt metaphor. Summit fever and knowing when to say whoa. Writer Unboxed

Chuck Wendig offers some assorted thoughts on imposter’s syndrome, gathered in a bouquet. Terribleminds

Janice Hardy compares plotting the novel with plotting single scenes. Fiction University

Kristen Lamb: the lies that bind (and how to free yourself).

Chris Winkle explains how to use your conlang (constructed language) without ruining your story. Mythcreants

Anna Hecker: the problem with sensitivity readers isn’t what you think it is. Writer’s Digest

Elsa Sjunneson-Henry belongs where the people are and shares her compelling thoughts on disability and The Shape of Water. Tor.com

Margaret Atwood: am I a bad feminist? The Globe and Mail

Barbara Kingsolver: #metoo isn’t enough and why women have to get ugly. The Guardian

Charlotte Ahlin lists 11 habits that all science fiction readers have in common. Bustle

Be well until Thursday!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 16-22, 2017

This will be my last Tipsday for a few weeks, but it’s a good ‘un 😉

K.M. Weiland delves into writing voice and the six things you need to know to improve it. Helping Writers Become Authors

Sacha Black visits Writers Helping Writers: myths and misconceptions of villains and mental health.

Then, Dario Ciriello drops by to discuss plotting for pantsers. Writers Helping Writers

Janice Hardy continues her birth of a book series with developing your characters. Fiction University

Jerry Jenkins stops by the BookBaby blog: become a demanding self-editor.

Annie Neugebauer explains why thought triggers are the Chekov’s gun of writing tricks. Writer Unboxed

Louie Cronin: stupid advice I have taken about writing. Writer Unboxed

Orly Konig Lopez: the shifting priorities of your writing career. Writers in the Storm

G. Myrthil: when life throws your writing routine off balance, remember these three things. DIY MFA

Linda Bernadette Burgess shares five things to remember when your manuscript hits close to home. DIY MFA

Oren Ashkenazi lists five magic items that break their stories. Mythcreants

Joanna Penn interviews Jeff Goins on the Creative Penn podcast.

Frank Miniter offers a no nonsense guide to marketing your book. Forbes

Kim Fahner talks about the Raining Poetry Project on CBC’s Morning North.

Nicole Brewer speaks of the influence of Anakana Schofield and Miriam Toews. Many Gendered Mothers

Constance Grady rereads Jane Austin’s most romantic scene: “I am half agony, half hope.” Vox

Christina DesMarais lists 43 embarrassing grammar errors even smart people make. Inc.

The 2017 Sunburst Award Shortlist.

Liz Bourke, Sleeps with Monsters: stop erasing women’s presence in SFF. Tor.com

Nikki Vanry lists five SFF novels with badass middle aged heroines. Book Riot

Hillary Kelly: our biggest questions after the Game of Thrones season 7 premiere. The Vulture

Eeeeeee! Emily Asher-Perrin announces the 13th Doctor! Tor.com

And moar eeeee! Leah Schnelbach shares the thrilling new trailer for Stranger Things 2. Tor.com

So much good stuff is coming out of SDCC 🙂 Germaine Lussier shares the latest Thor: Ragnarok trailer. i09

Come back on Thursday for some thoughty 🙂

Until then, be well.

tipsday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 18-24, 2017

Here’s a bundle of stuff to get the mental corn popping.

Cathy Alex introduces us to Autumn Peltier: the twelve year old Indigenous girl who speaks for water. CBC

Ben Chapman looks at Finland’s experiment in universal basic income. The Indepedent

Adam Greenfield introduces us to a sociology of the smartphone. I’ll admit, Phil can be irritated by how much I use my phone, but my addiction’s not that bad in perspective. Longreads

I listened to this interview last Sunday—so good. And so important. Michael Enright interviews Daphne Merkin about staying alive despite her near-constant wish to die. The Sunday Edition on CBC.

Emma Young uncovers Melanie Goodwin’s life with multiple personalities. BBC

Alex Williams: Prozac nation is now the united states of Xanax. How anxiety is taking over as the leading mental illness in the US. The New York Times

David Nield reports: forgetting things could actually make you smarter. Science Alert

ASAP Science explores memory. Can you remember this?

 

Kristy Hamilton: researchers reveal the multi-dimensional universe of the brain. Mind blowing—lol! IFLS

Bec Crew reports: the first filmed DNA replication changes everything we thought we knew. Science Alert

SciShow asks, can you be allergic to sunlight? Oh, yeah.

 

Samantha Masunaga interviews Sue Finley, who was hired as a “computer” in 1958, about her long career at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The LA Times

I do not help my wife. Ladies pass it on

Casey Smith: DNA shows that cats domesticated themselves (ahem, or us …). National Geographic

Annalee Newitz shows how cats are extreme outliers among domestic animals. Ars Technica

Elephant conservation is more important than you think. Samburu for The Economist.

This ferret really wants her human to love her babies. Bored Panda

Happy-making music for the week: Walk off the Earth covers Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of you.”

 

Be well until the weekend!

thoughtythursday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 14-20, 2017

A little bit of this and a little bit of that, all to get your mental corn popping 🙂

SOS Safety Magazine lists four signs of a person with high-functioning depression. This is me.

How stress changes the brain and body (with helpful TED-Ed video). Mindful

ASAP Science shares seven ways to reduce your stress right now.

 

Wendi looks at the dark side of empathic people. Parhlo

Jesse Menayan shares what he and the Casper research team discovered about how couples affect each other’s sleep. Yeah, it’s a big ole advertisement, but the research is interesting and sleep is important. Medium

Dom Galeon: our brains might be 100 times more powerful than we thought. Futurism

Heidi Priebe profiles the personal hells of each Myers-Briggs personality type. My personal hell? Learning how everything I’ve said or done has hurt someone else, intentional or otherwise. Yup. Writhing already. Thought Catalog

A wee clip from Michael Moore on Finland’s school system.

 

Simon Parkin: teaching robots right from wrong. 1843 Magazine

Etan Vlessing covers the creation of A World without Canada, a dystopian series narrated by Dan Ackroyd and featuring Robert J. Sawyer. The Hollywood Reporter

Richard O. Prum writes of duck sex and the patriarchy. Though it’s hard to tell from the title, this is an amazing article. The New Yorker

Gaze in awe at these colourized photos of Russian women snipers, who terrorized the Nazis in WWII. Julian Robinson for Mail Online.

Alex Tizon tells the heart wrenching story of his family’s slave. The Atlantic

Chris Jones shares footage of how narwhales use their tusks. IFLS

Skandinavian folk on nyckelharpa, by Myrkur:

 

And your kawaii for the week: Ozzy, the desk weasel.

 

See you Saturday for my wrap up post about Writing the Other. Tasty, tasty!

Be well until then, my friends.

thoughtythursday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 7-13, 2017

Time to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Torey Van Oot sits down with Malala Yusafsai to discuss her Nobel and college. Refinery 29

Katie-Anne Laulumets explains how to love a daughter of the forest. The Elephant Journal

Thom Dunn shares 17 stunning photos of black Victorians that show what history really looked like. UpWorthy

Medievalists.net: women’s medicine and feminine embodiment in Morte D’Arthur, a middle English Trotula treatise, and The Mists of Avalon.

Nathan H. Lents, PhD, reveals the big news about homo naledi. Skeptic

Travis M. Andrews reports on a dinosaur fossil so well-preserved, it looks like a statue. The Washington Post

Here’s the additional cutural appropriation posts I promised:

Alli Kirkham shares a comic about double standards. Everyday Feminism

A Fordham professor becomes an accidental icon. BoredPanda

Rania Naim says, you’re allowed to leave … Thought Catalog

Dave Booda promises, it’s not lame to ask a woman’s permission. The Good Men Project

Lesley Stahl: what the last Nuremburg prosecutor alive wants the world to know. 60 Minutes

Steve Paulson: Roger Penrose’s theory on how consciousness doesn’t compute and why some scientists disagree. Nautilus

Steve John Powell looks at mindfulness: the Japanese skill that everyone wants to copy. BBC

Emma Seppala: happiness research shows the biggest obstacle to creativity is being too busy. Quartz

Phil Plait: colliding clusters of galaxies make gorgeous waves. Blastr

NASA’s Juno spacecraft beams back the sharpest images of Jupiter yet. EWAO (Earth. We are one.)

Wasn’t sure where to put this … Kate Rose discusses the full moon crossing Vishika, or, as a friend said, full moon in scorpio. The post comes with a lovely disclaimer 😉 The Elephant Journal

Selena Chambers pays tribute to the women surrealists helping her through the new political reality. Literary Hub

Marissa Fessenden reports that Lake Michigan is so clear its shipwrecks are visible from the air. Smart News

Adam Rogers: all the trees will die, and then so will you. Wired

Thomas Dambo makes wooden giants and then hides them around Copenhagen. Can You Actually

The bucket, A.K.A. some guy put a go pro at the bottom of a bucket. It’s quite cool, though. And tranquil.

 

This weekend, I’ll have a post about Story Masters for you.

Until next I blog, be well.

thoughtythursday2016

WorldCon 2016: The state of feminist fantasy

Disclaimer: I am not perfect and neither are my notes. If you notice anything that requires clarification or correction, please email me at melanie (dot) marttila (at) gmail (dot) com and I will fix things post-hasty.

FemFant

Panellists: Julia Rios, Ann Leckie, Dr. Janice M. Bogstad, Tessa Gratton

Joined in progress …

AL: In science fiction, feminist authors and novels are being recognized. Why isn’t this happening in fantasy?

JMB: In a culture where everyone is equal, can there be feminism? We’d have to step back and compare.

TG: The feminist conversation is very dynamic right now. Feminism is a tool for dismantling the patriarchy and the conversation is complicated by sexism, ageism, ableism, racism, etc. We can’t talk about feminism in isolation. There’s a lot of intersectionality. I think Kate Elliot and N.K. Jemisin are feminist fantasy authors.

AL: When someone looks at the genre from the outside, feminist fantasy isn’t identified as a sub-genre.

TG: Science fiction is more overtly political.

JR: When people talk about science fiction, everything gets lumped together. Aren’t the classical texts fantasy? Aren’t fairy tales fantasy? What happens when women authors retell myth and folklore? I’d put forth Catherynne M. Valente and Angela Carter as feminist fantasy authors.

JMB: People outside the genre depend on the frame. In academic circles, they call it the literature of the fantastic. Robin Hobb’s novels have feminist themes. Game of Thrones can be read as feminist. Does it have prominent female characters? Yes. Is it feminist fantasy, though? Perhaps that’s another discussion. How do we define fantasy separate from science fiction? Patricia Briggs and Kij Johnson write feminist stories. We’ve had realistic fiction for a very short period of time, relatively speaking. We’ve had fantasy forever. What else is Beowulf?

JR: Who influenced you as a writer?

TG: I have two big influences: Kate Elliot, because she interrogates the issues I want to explore, and Katharine Kerr.

AL: Andre Norton was a big influence on me. There’s a question as to whether she was feminist. C.J. Cherryh doesn’t consider herself a feminist. I didn’t identify as feminist initially.

JR: If an author identifies as feminist, are their novels feminist?

JMB: People describe a feminist author in relation to their work. Are there feminist themes, gestures, sentiments expressed in the work? We need to define our terms first. Is there a canon of feminist fantasy?

TG: I’m uncomfortable imposing a definition of feminism that doesn’t address intersectionality. You can’t talk about sexism in isolation.

JMB: The same people who wrote science fiction also wrote fantasy. Russ was a lesbian. Intersectionality was part of the discussion. We just didn’t call it that.

TG: Explorations of young adult feminist fantasy aren’t interested in anything before Twilight. It’s the opposite problem.

AL: In science fiction, all of the classic feminist authors are from the 70’s. But current novels are being used to say that this is a new conversation in isolation from history. We need perspective regardless.

And that was time.

This was the last of my session notes from WorldCon 2016.

Next weekend: I’m going to talk about changing things up on the blog a bit and reasons 🙂

Until then, as ever, be kind, be well, and stay strong. Tell your stories. We need them.

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, March 5-11, 2017

Time to get that mental corn popping!

Some lovely pieces for #InternationalWomensDay

Today I rise. Films for Action

Jina Moore shares 16 stories that will expand your mind on IWD. Buzzfeed

Australian school boys share the stories of their female friends: why feminism is important to me.

 

Courtney Shea: why sports psychologist Dr. Peter Jensen works like he’s a smoker. The Globe and Mail

A Danish psychologist says “positive thinking” has turned happiness into a duty and a burden. Olivia Goldhill for Quartz.

Jen Schwartz says the secret to happiness is to simplify. Outside

The Usual Routine: why empaths act strange around inauthentic people.

Artists have structurally different brains. Melissa Hogenboom for the BBC.

Susan Storm profiles the INTJ personality. Psychology Junkie

Olivia Goldhill: Blaise Pascal understood that people are best convinced by their own data. Quartz

Rutger Bregman makes the case for universal basic income. The Guardian

The Medievalist think these ten Medieval women are worth knowing about.

Explore Canada’s great women on Canada’s History.

Paul Dalby writes about Maria Lindsay Cobham, Canada’s pirate queen. Canada’s History

Nanaboozhoo and the Wiindigo: An Ojibwe History from Colonization to the Present. Bezhigobinesikwe Elaine Fleming for Tribal College: Journal of American Indian Higher Education.

A rabbit hole in a farmer’s field leads to “mystery caves.BBC

Farah Halime profiles the millennial who might be the new Einstein. Ozy

Katherine Hobson: what going to Mars will do to our minds. Five Thirty Eight

Mark Malloy reports on scientists who have discovered how to upload knowledge into your mind. The Telegraph

Ryan F. Mandelbaum reports on the observation of time crystals. Gizmodo

Dana Dovey: scientists identify the first sign of Alzheimer’s Disease. MSN

Patton Oswalt explains why pop culture gets grieving wrong. Ari Shapiro for NPR.

The second sight among Scots Irish. McCain’s Corner

George Dvorsky shares the first footage of one of the most reclusive whales in the world. Gizmodo

It’s been a long day, and you’ve earned this video of Sir Patrick Stewart greeting his new foster dog. William Hughes for the A.V. Club.

Hope you got your fill of thoughty.

Until next I blog, be well.

thoughtythursday2016