Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 5-11, 2019

I hope everyone had a marvelous Mother’s Day. Looking forward to Victoria Day long weekend here in Canada 🙂 In the meantime, please enjoy your weekly batch of informal writerly learnings.

Greer Macallister says, history wasn’t white, so historical fiction shouldn’t be either. Kathryn Craft shares six tips for creating good bridging conflict. Juliet Marillier introduces you to the writer’s dog. David Corbett shares what teaching in prison is teaching him. Writer Unboxed

Critiquing an excerpt from a brave volunteer, K.M. Weiland reveals eight quick tips for show, don’t tell. Helping Writers Become Authors

Emmanuel Nataf stops by Elizabeth Spann Craig’s blog to explain why science fiction is needed now more than ever.

Jenna Moreci returns with more dialogue advice.

 

Janice Hardy: how a limited vs. tight point of view can confuse writers. Fiction University

Marc Graham guest posts on The Creative Penn: becoming a story shaman.

Meg LaTorre visits Writers Helping Writers: how should I publish my book?

Piper Bayard considers backstory: the more I know, the less you have to. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle wants you to understand character representation. Mythcreants

Elizabeth Winkler: was Shakespeare a woman? The Atlantic

Florence + the Machine: Jenny of Oldstones (from Game of Thrones).

 

And that was tipsday for this week.

Come back on Thursday to add some thoughty into your life 🙂

Until then, be well!

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 23-29, 2018

Welcome to thoughty Thursday where the goal is to get your mental corn popping!

That Phoenix debacle that keeps popping up from time to time in my social media feeds or these curations? Yeah, that one. Here’s a video that may help explain things:

 

Sarah DiGiulio explains why your weird dreams actually make a lot of sense (according to neuroscience and psychology). NBC News

Megan Feldman Bettencourt: how forgiveness has been weaponized against women. In other words, to truly forgive someone, they have to be held accountable. Harper’s Bazaar

Linda Rodriguez McRobbie reports on the dead beneath London’s streets. Smithsonian Magazine

SciShow introduces us to the incredible biodiversity of Lake Baikal—plus, extremophiles!

 

Matt Reynolds examines the almighty tussle over whether we should talk to aliens or not. SETI, METI, and the arguments for and against. Wired

Stephanie Pappas: humans contribute to the Earth’s wobble. Scientific American

SciShow Space looks at the Dark Matter vs. MOND debate.

 

Eric Mack: NASA turns 60 and it’s reinventing itself for the SpaceX era. Cnet

Adrien Mauduit shares his time-lapse video of the skies over Tenerife:

 

Florence + the Machine cover Tori Amos’s “Cornflake Girl.”

 

Beck: Colours

 

I hope you found something interesting in this edutainment mix.

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

Until then, be well, my writerly friends 🙂

thoughtythursday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 17-23, 2018

Happy Friday eve! Let’s get your mental corn popping so you can make it through to the weekend 🙂

Valerie Valdes turned her twitter stream into a post because we need to hear this message. And it’s not just for millennials. It applies to everyone: smart kids eventually grow up. A Candle in Sunshine

Andrew Zalesky wonders, is there any truth to anti-aging schemes? Popular Science

ASAP Science: Can loneliness kill you?

 

Inverse: Your brain on kittens with Shannon Odell.

 

SciShow Psych: Are there “male” and “female” brains?

 

Samanth Subramanian: the world’s top art-forgery detective explains how to spot a perfect fake. The Guardian

Sarah Scoles reports on how NASA is learning the best way to grow food in space. Popular Science

Seán Doran: Gorganum Chaos (there’s also gorganum chaos 2, if you’re interested)

 

Peter Gwin: the horses that changed history. The Wall Street Journal (yes, really)

Lia Eustachewich: how Koko forever changed the way we think about gorillas. It’s heartbreaking that this compassionate and independent spirit is gone. The New York Post

Ze Frank’s True Facts: The Fruit Bat. This may be an old one, but it’s still hilarious.

 

Florence + the Machine – Big God

 

I hope you enjoyed your edutainment for the week, and possibly got some inspiration for your work-in-progress.

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

thoughtythursday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 29-May 5, 2018

It’s Friday Eve and time to get your mental corn popping!

Isabel Bueno explains why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated. National Geographic

Madison Dapcevich reports on Sweden’s electric road that charges the cars that travel on it. IFLS

The Washington Post profiles the electronics-recycling innovator who’s going to prison for trying to extend computers’ lives.

Jonathan O’Callaghan reports on the discovery of a hidden galaxy orbiting the Milky Way. IFLS

Alfredo Carpineti: Hawking’s final theory about the universe has been published. IFLS

Matt Blitz takes us inside the epic search for extra terrestrial life. Popular Mechanics

This 50-km trail takes you through some of Ontario’s creepiest ghost towns. Narcity

Does your dog love you? Spoiler: turns out the jury’s still out on that one. SciShow Psych

 

Experts beg gardeners to check for hummingbird nests before they prune. Apost

Rosie McCall introduces you to the Superb Bird of Paradise, whose feathers are so black, they absorb 99.95% of light. IFLS

Florence + the Machine – Hunger

 

I hope you found something to inspire this Thoughty Thursday.

Be well until next Tipsday!

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

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

Alana Ketler: doctors explain how hiking changes our brains. Collective Evolution

Krista Langlois: why scientists are starting to care about cultures that talk to whales. Smithsonian Magazine

Patricia Emonds: these twins, one black and one white, will make you rethink race. I know NG has received a lot of “too little, too late” criticism about this issue, but the article is interesting. National Geographic

Watch NASA’s 4K tour of the moon. Goddard Observatory

 

And, because Jupiter, an infrared fly by of Jupiter’s north Pole. NASA

 

Florence + The Machine – Sky full of song.

 

I hope you have a grand Friday and a fabulous weekend.

Be well until next Tipsday!

thoughtythursday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 3-9, 2016

I hope you’re all visual learners, ‘cause this thoughty Thursday’s jam-packed with videos!

It’s autism acceptance month 🙂

Photographer, Michelle Marshall, documents Afro-Caribbean gingers. Black Girl Long Hair.

Ten inspiring Muslim women every person should know.

 

Mike Veny: Mental illness is an asset. TED Talk.

 

A psychiatrist thinks the key to happiness might be swallowing the right bacteria. Business Insider.

Things about anxiety nobody talks about. The Mighty.

 

Six reasons why touch is amazing. ASAP Thought.

 

Vi Hart muses on the tools we use.

 

Crash course physics is here! Phil Plait for Slate.

The first photograph of light as both particle and wave. Phys.org

The music of the spheres. Literally. EWAO.

Jessica Cail on NOVA’s secret lives of scientists 🙂

 

WWF Hungary released this amazing video – Paper world. Vimeo.

It’s okay to be smart asks, how do bees make honey?

 

And for your entertainment:

MsMr – Wrong Victory

 

And Florence + The Machine. Queen of Peace & Long and Lost.

 

Enjoy, my friends.

See you on Saturday for an origin story and some anime series discoveries.

Thoughty Thursday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Oct 18-24, 2015

An interesting mixed bag this week.

How science helped to swing the Canadian election. The Guardian.

Michael Kimmel explains why gender equality is good for everyone, even men. TED Talks.

Shirley Cheechoo makes Brock University history. The Brock News.

Why blacks have Irish last names. Note: It was pointed out to me that there is a difference between indentured servitude and slavery. Something to keep in mind as you read. I’m not looking to be inflammatory.

Care for a road trip? You should try Ireland’s wild Atlantic way. National Geographic.

Eric Barker offers three anger management tips from neuroscience. Time.

Happiness: eight awesome new facts you should know. PsyBlog.

How solitude can change your brain in profound ways. Jane Porter for Fast Company.

i09 presents the creepy world of abandoned asylums.

The teen who hacked into the CIA Director’s email explains how he did it. Wired.

What New Horizons is showing us about Pluto’s moon, Charon. Phys.org.

Jackfruit might be a meat substitute. And yes. It’s a fruit. The Business Insider.

The Issus coleoptratus is the only insect that has biological gears. The Smithsonian.

There are whales alive today that were born before Moby Dick was written. The Smithsonian.

An animal shelter on Kauai allows visitors to take dogs on day trips. This is sweet. The Los Angeles Times.

Florence + the Machine: Delilah.

Sorry to say, but Saturday posts are on hold until NaNoWriMo is over. Then, I’ll start in on the Can-con panel reportage.

In the meantime, look forward to Tipsday and Thoughty Thursday between now and then.

Have a great weekend!

Thoughty Thursday

Wordsmith Studio Homecoming 2015: What are you reading?

For the best effect, please read the headline of this post with an incredulous tone 😉

WSS Homecoming 2015

1) What are you reading?

Just like I work on multiple project in my writing, I read multiple books, both ebooks and print, cause I kind of have this problem. I can’t stop buying books of any variety (!)

So here’s my current reading list:

  • 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. Although I’m sure it suffers in translation, I’m enjoying this novel immensely.
  • InFusion by Scott Overton. I’m beta reading this SF novel for an author friend. I’ll save my specific feedback for him, but, just so you know, I think it’s great 🙂
  • The Art of Work by Jeff Goins. On finding your calling. It’s kind of serendipitous that I found out about this book back in January.
  • Moon Called by Patricia Briggs. I picked this up last year after seeing Patricia at Ad Astra. I figured I should get off my butt and read it . . .
  • Pain, Porn, and Complicity by Kathleen McConnell. An academic work on SF&F movies and television series. It’s been a while since I dipped my toes in that particular non-fiction pool.
  • Lock In by John Scalzi. I’m listening to this on Audible. Narrated by the inimitable Wil Wheaton.

2) What was your favorite read in the last year (or month, or…)?

My favourite reading of recent recall is A Turn of Light by Julie Czerneda. I rated it five stars, though I haven’t written a proper review. Yet. This is the kind of fantasy novel I love to read. It’s also the kind I write and there were a lot of similarities between Czerneda’s Jenn Nalynn and Ferrathainn Devlin, the protagonist from my WIP. I was enthralled to the end 🙂

3) Do you have a favorite genre?

Yes and no. I favour fantasy novels of any age range, but I also read science fiction, historical fiction, the classics, mysteries, and romance novels (though I must say I haven’t read many of those recently). I try to alternate fiction and non-fiction reading, as well. Again, most on my non-fiction reads tend to be writing craft books, but I also read as a form of research for my various works in progress, and sometimes, stuff that I’m just interested in. I learn something from everything I read, even if I don’t particularly enjoy the book. In other words, I read as a writer.

4) Bend one step further: are there alternative forms of writing or art that you have found inspiring or even dabbled in?

In my “searching” phase of university (the undeclared years) I majored in music and art at different times. Performance anxiety put the brakes on my music career, though I still love to sing. I was summarily drummed out of art class when my professor called me nothing more than an “illustrator.” From time to time, I still sketch, but I’ve honestly never been very good. I’ve sunk all my creativity into my writing for a number of years now. In 2000, I did the crazy, being in between jobs, and auditioned for a Theatre Cambrian production of Hair (Y2K). I sang and danced in that, for what it’s worth 😉

6) Back to your main inspiration: Do you have “mentor” titles for the writing you are working on?

I’ll reframe this in terms of “comps,” or comparative works. As I mentioned above, I learn something from every book I read, so I don’t have any “mentor” titles, per se, though I would identify several novels/authors whose work I aspire to.

  • The above-mentioned Julie Czerneda and her A Turn of Light. I’ve committed to read more by Julie.
  • Juliet Marillier’s Celtic legend inspired Seven Waters series.
  • Guy Gavriel Kay’s novels. Though he writes in a created world, it is based on painstaking historical research. I’m not that dedicated, but I love the stories he writes. He’s actually made me cry in the reading.
  • Sherri S. Tepper. Just anything she writes. I love her ideas. Or should I say lurve?

6) If you didn’t already do this for #4, what music inspires your writing?

Okay, now you’re going crazy. Or you will if I offer up all 963 songs on my iPod (!) Suffice it to say that any music I like is generally something I’ll add to my playlist. I have music from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and the new millennium. I like some pop, a lot of alternative, celtic, and world music. I also have more eclectic selections on CD: The Rites of Spring, Satie’s gymnopedies, The Symphonie Fantastique, Carmina Burana, Gregorian chant, a number of Sequentia recordings (including the Eddas), gamelan music, Tibetan singing bells, shakuhachi flute music . . .

My favourite artists (I’ll pick up just about anything they release):

  • Imogen Heap
  • Tori Amos
  • Sarah Slean
  • Florence + the Machine

7) Have you ever thought of this: what book is your main character reading?

Interesting question. I’ll even answer it.

  • Ferathainn Devlin: Sadly, all of Fer’s reading would be studying for her forthcoming initiation, so all of it would be history, scholarly works on magic, or non-fiction works on herbs and simples, astronomy, and the like.
  • Charlene Kalveras: School textbooks, and, because of what’s happened to her father, true crime.
  • Gerod: Owing to his impoverished upbringing in an environment of medieval feudalism, Gerod doesn’t know how to read. He learns, though.
  • Marushka: She hasn’t had any formal schooling, hopping around the world in a magical hut, so she’s had to teach herself everything. She steals books from libraries and reads omnivorously.

8) Do you have a favorite book, article or magazine for writing advice?

Again, I have several 🙂

  • Writing the 21st Century Novel, Donald Maass. Currently on loan to a member of my critique group. Actually all of Maass’s books have helped me immensely.
  • Any of K.M. Weiland’s writing craft books.
  • Any of Roz Morris’s Nail Your Novel series.
  • And the books that have helped me find my way to the writing life: Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Mind and Writing Down the Bones; Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write; Heather Sellers’ Page After Page and Chapter After Chapter; Stephen King’s On Writing; Terry Brooks’s Sometimes the Magic Works; Jane Yolen’s Take Joy; and Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Wave in the Mind.

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Alrightie, then!

I’ll have a wee Sundog snippet tomorrow about miscellaneous stuff, ‘cause sometimes you need miscellaneous stuff, you know?

Muse-inks

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Feb 15-21, 2015

Emojis for introverts, brought to you by The Huffington Post.

Why we’re part of a sexual spectrum, not a dichotomy. Nature.

Why even reasonable people still doubt science. National Geographic.

Pain really is all in your head. NPR.

More wonderful abandoned places from PBS Newshour.

And pictures of an abandoned Ontario house brought to you by HGTV.

Kids reacting to rotary phones:

 

Hilarious dog fetch fails:

 

Zoo babies from The Smithsonian Channel:

 

A Muppet classic for you:

 

Absolutely loving Florence + the Machine’s latest:

 

And that, she be it ’til Saturday.

Thoughty Thursday