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

Things for which I am thankful in 2017

I know that gratitude is something that’s supposed to be reserved for Thanksgiving, but in this year of political upheaval and general dreck, I wanted to share my list of things for which I am thankful in 2017.

Things have been shifting for me in the past couple of years. I’m not expending as much energy at the day job and trying to focus on what makes me happy, namely, writing and my family.

Accordingly, the first item on my list is: Phil.

Though he may not understand me all the time, Phil has been unfailingly supportive and loving. We really are the best of friends.

I am also grateful for my mom, who, likely because I’ve chosen not to have kids, continues to care for me long after I’ve become an independent adult. Phil and I should be taking care of her, and we do, but moms are moms, ya?

I give thanks for my extended family, Phil’s mom and sister and her husband. We’re a small family up here, but that’s just the right size for us.

I’m thankful for my dearest friends, Margaret, Kim, Yana, Sandy, Sharon, and Stacy. These people have been in my life for a long time and even if we don’t chat often, we do keep in touch and keep each other grounded.

I’m grateful for my job, believe it or not. Having a day job gives me enough disposable income to travel and attend writerly events. It also gives me the opportunity to take self-funded leaves, like the one I just finished. While it’s still a dream of mine to be able to quit and devote my time to my craft, for now, it remains a dream. And I have some great co-workers, many of whom I count among my friends.

I’m thankful for my writing community, locally, and on line. There are so many of you, now, that I can’t list you all. But know that you’ve all contributed to my development as an artist. If I ever do get a novel published, it will be due, in part, to all of you.

I’m very thankful to have had the opportunity to attend the Writing Excuses Baltic Cruise. It really was a transformative event, as I continue to say.

And I’m thankful for Torvi, though she’s driving me a bit mad with her puppy shenanigans at the moment.

TorviGoodGirl

Here she is, doing her best imitation of a good dog 😉 The perspective’s off a bit because of the angle I took the picture at. Her head is still big, proportionally, but not that big …

We weighed her yesterday. She’s 25 pounds and on Tuesday, she’ll be three months old (!)

Phil and I have been ready to welcome a new pup into our lives for about a year. This fall, everything came together like it was kismet. Torvi was meant to be our pup.

And now, all that’s left is to say Merry Christmas. And to those who celebrate other traditions, I hope you have had, or will have, the best of times with family and friends. That’s what this time of year is all about, after all.

Blessings to you all!

Be kind, be well, and stay strong. The world needs your stories.

Muse-inks

The next chapter: Thanksgiving and September 2017 update

Before I get into the personal stuff, I want to shout out to all those affected by hurricanes Harvey/Irma/Maria, and now Nate. I support various relief funds and hope that money reaches those in need. I know that the Canadian government has pledged $160k for relief in the Caribbean. We stand ready to assist.

I also want to decry the Las Vegas mass shooting and, though I have no impact on American policy as a Canadian, I voice my opinion that improved gun control is your best action to prevent such tragedy in the future. While I am realistic enough to know that it’s unlikely to happen any time soon, I hope that reason will prevail.

And now—to the update.

September was a calm and reasoned month, writing and revision wise. I set myself the task of getting through the revision of Reality Bomb. I had to add a character and a chapter, change the setting, change the climax a bit, and parse for continuity. So it wasn’t so much about polishing prose as it was about structure and flow.

SeptemberProgress

Like this? Jamie Raintree has launched the 2018 writing and revision tracker. It’s worth every penny!

I’m happy to say I met that goal as of September 30, revising 53,594 words, or 107%, of my 50K word goal.

Writing wise, thanks in part to my WXR/European adventure blog posts, I wrote 8,134 words of my 6,600 word goal, or 123%.

I also wrote my next column for DIY MFA and proposed a #5onFri column for them.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to NaNoWriMo prep in September. I’ll have to cram that into October.

Aside from NaNo prep (which I have now started), I’ll be writing my DIY MFA columns, continuing the blogging, and doing another run through of RB. I’ve already added another chapter, but my word count on the draft continues to be shy of my 80K goal. I’m at about 75K, so not that far off, but, as I mentioned in my last next chapter update, I’ll be submitting RB for critique next year, and I want to make sure the draft’s at least passable.

It’s Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. I’ve already feasted with the fam (hence the Sunday post), but I wanted to spend some time expressing my thanks for the various good things in my life.

I had at one time considered a daily gratitude post, but that’s just not me. I’ve also realized it’s not necessary. Every post I share is shared out of gratitude for what I’ve learned. Every picture I post, likewise, is a show of gratitude—for my garden, home, Phil and all the things he does around here to make our place even more “ours.”

I take pictures of family and friends, writing events, pets, and so forth, because I want to share with everyone just how awesome it is to have these people and things in my life.

So, if I share it, it’s because I’m thankful for it in some way and I’m duly thankful for everyone and everything I have in my life.

Some people and things that I’m extra thankful for:

  • Phil, always and forever.
  • Mom, ‘cause she still takes care of me after all these years.
  • Barb, Steph, and Ger, ‘cause it’s nice (as an only child) to have more family.
  • Kim, my wordly soul sista.
  • Margaret, my oldest (like, we’ve known each other since we were seven), dearest, BFF.
  • The awesome novel critique group I hooked up with at WXR. No pressure, but I hope we can all help bring each other to the next level.
  • My job, because, while I no longer enjoy many aspects of it, it enables me to do amazing things like my European adventure. Also, I have the benefit of periodic self-funded leaves, which, I’m pleased to say, I’m taking advantage of again this year. Six weeks, this time, just in time for NaNoWriMo.
  • Our soon-to-be puppy! Yes, once my leave was approved, I started the hunt … and this is the little dear we found thanks to Furever Furbaby Rescue. We’re going to visit her next weekend and should be officially adopting her sometime after November 14.

There are other things, but I’m still in the process of working those out.

Life is good.

Until next I blog, dear friends (for whom I’m also very grateful), be kind, be well, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

The Next Chapter

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Dec 25-31, 2016

It’s a right mix of edutainment this week, but I hope it still pops your mental corn!

A Sudbury teen, missing since December 20, is found on Christmas Eve. Sudbury Star

Petula Dvorak: the Hannuka/Christmas convergence couldn’t be more symbolic of the light we need to embrace. The Washington Post

Oliver Burkeman reports on why time management is ruining our lives. I might argue that this would only apply to those for whom the skill does not come naturally. The Guardian

Feeling less than grateful? Some people are just wired that way. Katherine Hobson for NPR.

Emily Hartridge talks about her top four anxiety challenges.

 

Depression is all in your head—and now, doctors know where. Second Nexus

Alan Yu explains how a diet high in fat and sugar affects your memory. NPR

Becca Martin hates to break it to you, but you are the reason your life sucks. Thought Catalog

Madeleine Davies: becoming ugly. Jezebel

Bec Crew reports on a new Alzheimer’s therapy that fully restores memory function. Science Alert

Antonio Regalado: everything you need to know about gene therapy’s most promising year. MIT technology review

Phil Plait shares a fabulous photo of a lunar fogbow. Slate

In England, you can camp in abandoned medieval churches. David Wilson for Atlas Obscura.

I’m all about Immie (Imogen Heap) this week. Lifeline:

 

Canvas:

 

You know where to find me:

 

Neglected space:

 

Coming up on the weekend: I’ll be looking at December’s writing progress and wrapping up 2016.

Be well until then, my lovely people 🙂

thoughtythursday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 7-13, 2016

Canadian Olympic news:

I’ve shared articles to Facebook that later turned out to be erroneous. I’ve curated some of them here with their debunking articles appended. As a public service, I’m sharing the Snopes’ guide to fake news sites and hoax purveyors. You’re welcome.

80,000 Hours explores the qualities that make a job a fulfilling career. High income isn’t the main consideration. Follow the links at the bottom of each part through to part six and map out your career path (aimed at 20-somethings, but everyone can assess, or reassess, their careers using their quizzes and tools).

Sudbury writer Laura Stradiotto shares a personal story that every woman needs to read: I was happily married with kids and I made the decision to have an abortion. Chatelaine

Eckhart Tolle: You’re not your Facebook ego.

 

Allie Brosch’s Hyperbole and a Half is amazeballs awesomesauce. Read about her adventures in depression. It doesn’t end on a happy note, but there’s more to read on her site, and in her book. For my money, there’s no one who describes what it’s like to have depression better.

Anna Lovind muses on what we are called to do when our hearts are breaking. She also writes about how people use the excuse of not having enough time to skimp on self care: that’s the most ridiculous thing she’s ever heard.

Kimmy Dee reports on five scientific reasons our idea of happiness is wrong for Cracked.

Brother Devid Steindle-Rast recommends five small gestures of gratitude that counteract violence. Uplift

Jennifer Wolkin shares more about the brain-gut connection. Mindful

Last week, I shared an article about how scientists have discovered a new kind of light. This week, it’s a new kind of fire that may be useful in cleaning up oil spills. Andrew Liszewski for Gizmodo.

A new trans-Neptunian object (TNO) is making the solar system look a whole lot weirder. Shannon Hall for New Scientist.

Kivi Park will become Sudbury’s largest outdoor recreation space. South Side Story

Archived photos of Sudbury will change the way people see our city. Up Here

And here’s the mural Ella and Pitr were commissioned to create for the Up Here festival. CBC

In honour of International Left-Hand Day, BrainPickings reviews David Wolman’s book A Left-Hand Turn Around the World.

The theory of how North America was populated is wrong. Emily Chung for the CBC.

Paulette Steeves, an Indigenous anthropologist, is challenging the origin story of First Nations peoples. Denise Ryan, The Vancouver Sun.

Alan Yuhas reports on a recently uncovered Mayan tomb that sheds light on the “Snake Dynasty.” The Guardian

John Vidal examines how millions of trees brought a broken landscape back to life. The Guardian

Okay, tourists. Stop stacking rocks at Hanakapiai beach. It’s not pono (right). Christine Hitt, Hawai’i Magazine

Maddie Stone reports on the Greenland shark, which may hold the cure to aging. Gizmodo

The White Wolf Pack reports on a couple of heroic beavers from Ogden, Utah, who stopped a fuel spill with their dam, but had to be taken to a wildlife rescue for rehabilitation as a result.

A cockatoo freaks out a bunch of cats by meowing at them. Daily Kaos

That should get your mental corn a-poppin’.

With any luck, I’ve tracked Mary Robinette Kowal down and delivered the decoded phrase 🙂 So looking forward to meeting her (among others) at WorldCon.

See you on the other side (that’s the 27th)!

Thoughty Thursday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Nov 22-28, 2015

Not gonna give you my NaNo update this Thursday. You’re going to have to wait until Sunday and my epic Next Chapter update (October and NaNoWriMo). Also, I’m writing the draft through to the end, using my momentum to put this one to rest before the end of the year!

Andrew Rosenthal of The New York Times muses on fear and the high cost of terror.

As a final ‘f-you,’ the failing Harper government made 49 patronage appointments. iPolitics.

On that topic, here’s an infographic on logical fallacies.

Anna Lovind explores the roles we play and the freedom that hides behind them.

Arthur C. Brooks advises us to choose gratitude because it will make us happier. The New York Times.

If you get a PhD in Canada, don’t expect an income commensurate with your investment. In other words, you work for the passion, which, for many, is compensation enough. The Globe and Mail.

There’s a wrinkle in the frontal lobe that has been linked to hallucinations. BBC.

Scientists report that people who talk to themselves are geniuses. LifeHack.

These students planted 800 year old seeds and recovered an extinct variety of squash. Wimp.

The US Government is retiring all research chimpanzees. IFLS.

Michio Kaku wonders if déjà vu is caused by parallel universes. Open Culture.

Phil Plait celebrates two scientific anniversaries. Slate.

David Tennant celebrates 100 years of general relativity. Gizmodo.

Earthables shares 16 examples of fairytale architecture in Norway.

A neuroscientist-artist creates dazzling images of the brain. Live Science.

Take a look at this beautiful kinetic horse sculpture. Make.

Lightning at 7200 frames per second (FPS) is AMAZING. Emphasis on the ZING!

After six years and 720,000 attempts, this photographer captures the perfect kingfisher dive. Bored Panda.

Making art with fire:

 

Mashable presents this photo-essay on the North American Indian, 1904-1924.

Teddy Girls, the fashion subculture that time forgot. AnOther.

And yes, you read that right at the top of this post. Now that NaNo is over, I’m returning to Saturday posting 🙂 First is Next Chapter, which will be up Sunday instead of Saturday because of a family function this week. Then, I’m rewinding to CanCon 2015 and I’ll be sharing those posts into next year!

Lot’s of Writerly Goodness coming your way.

See you soon.

Thoughty Thursday