Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Oct 22-28, 2017

Here are your informal writerly learnings for the week.

Janice Hardy continues her 31 day online writing workshop for preptober. Day 22: the inciting event. Day 23: the first act problem. Day 24: the act two choice. Day 25: the midpoint reversal. Day 26: the act two disaster. Day 27: the three act plan. Day 28: the climax. Day 29: the wrap up. You’ll have to read the rest yourself on Fiction University.

Marie lists 24 novels that started off as NaNoWriMo projects. Goodreads


K.M. Weiland: four ways to prevent story structure from becoming formulaic. Helping Writers Become Authors

Angela Ackerman visits Jane Friedman’s blog: using dysfunctional behaviour to reveal characters’ wounds. Then Jordan Rosenfeld takes a turn: four ways to start a scene.

Terri Frank invites you to go beyond Westworld and reinvent the western. DIY MFA

Brenda Joyce Patterson helps you write through fear and anxiety. DIY MFA

Kathryn Craft offers five tips to help you survive a career quake. Writers in the Storm

Jamie Raintree guest posts on Writers in the Storm: waking up early to write. Then, Jamie pops over to Writer’s Digest: building self-care habits so you can write your best work.

Barbara O’Neal helps you vanquish the killer critic. Writer Unboxed

Bran L. Ayres guest posts on Jami Gold’s blog: want to write with diversity but not sure how? Later in the week, Jami wonders, how do you persevere?

Mark O’Neill stops by The Creative Penn: writing while under the influence of depression.

Joe Fassler talked to 150 writers and collected the best advice they had. Literary Hub

Jess Zafarris and Cris Freese share six lessons writers can learn from Netflix’s Stranger Things. Are you binging? You’re binging, aren’t you? Writer’s Digest

This will be the last Tipsday until December—!

Be well through the time change and whatever challenges November presents you.

You are awesome just as you are.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 25-July 1, 2017

Happy Independence Day to all my friends in the US!

Here’s a new crop of informal writerly learnings for you 🙂

K.M. Weiland helps you calculate your novel’s length before writing. Helping Writers Become Authors

Then, Kate hops over to Writers Helping Writers to share her three step plan for outlining a novel.

Back on her own site, Kate asks six questions to help you choose the right POV. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jane Friedman unpacks the advice to follow your passion: what does that even mean?

Kathryn Craft: four times inaction can help your writing life. Writers in the Storm

Jamie Raintree extols the virtues of camp nano on Writers in the Storm.

Jami Gold explores chronic problems: writing and burnout.

Janice Hardy continues to share her process: clarifying the idea. Fiction University

Elizabeth Foster visits Writers Helping Writers to discuss overcoming negativity bias.

Susan Spann explains the truth behind popular copyright myths. Writer Unboxed

Gabriela Pereira interviews Karen Dionne for DIY MFA radio.

Emmie Mears visits Terribleminds to share what writing the Alaya Storme series taught her about mental illness: you have comrades in this trench.

Jenna Moreci: how to write antagonists and villains.

 

Eleanor Wachtel interviews Arundhati Roy about love, war, and the fragility of happiness. CBC

John Pfordresher explores the possibility that Jane Eyre was written as a secret love letter. Literary Hub

Denise Frohman – Accents.

 

Fran Wilde convenes an engineering in science fiction and fantasy round table. Tor.com

And that’s it until Thursday.

Be well until then.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 21-27, 2017

Another week of informal writerly learnings? Get set to open your goodie bag 🙂

K.M. Weiland debunks five misconceptions about writing. Helping Writers Become Authors

Later in the week, Kate posits that great comedy is meaningful, and shares four tips to help you make it so.

Kathryn Craft reviews the decade in publishing. Writers in the Storm

Kimberly Brock says, you’re writers, not waiters. Writers in the Storm

Jane Friedman advises on how much you should personalize a query letter.

Elizabeth Huergo pays tribute to C.D. Wright: songs and their landscapes. Writer Unboxed

Heather Webb teaches a survey course in time management: writing through our busy lives. Writer Unboxed

Dan Blank says, if you want to be successful, surround yourself with success. Writer Unboxed

Jamie Raintree: let your writing process be your own (and how to discover it).

Bonnie Randall gets into character minutiae and seemingly irrelevant details. Fiction University

Stacy B. Woodson shares her fantastic experience at Malice Domestic 2017. DIY MFA

Jami Gold challenges us to deal with character stereotypes.

Kristen Lamb reveals how shame is at the heart of good fiction.

Will Hindmarch explains how to give great notes a writer can use. Magic Circles

Nina Munteanu gives you the tools you need to make a believable world.

Writer and geologist Alex Acks examines Arakkis, Tatooine, and the science of desert planets. Worldbuilding advice from Tor.com.

Jo Walton looks at genre fiction’s obsession with Belisarius, with a lovely recommendation for Guy Gavriel Kay’s Sarantium novels. Tor.com

Darlene Naponse is a Reveal – Indigenous art award Laureate.

Emily Temple curates some pearls of wisdom—on writing and life—from Jamaica Kincaid in honour of her 68th birthday. Literary Hub

These are old human themes: Margaret Atwood on the enduring power of The Handmaid’s Tale. CBC

James Whitbrook watches the new Game of Thrones trailer. i09

I hope you’re having a lovely week.

Be well until next I blog 🙂

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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, March 5-11, 2017

The writerly goodness just keeps on coming 🙂

K.M. Weiland offers the next in her most common writing mistakes series: dead end relationships. Helping Writers Become Authors

John J. Kelley: the care and feeding of relationships. Writer Unboxed

Bryn Greenwood explains hot bunking for writers. Writer Unboxed

Kathryn Craft explores the power of unexpected elements. Writer Unboxed

Emily Cavanaugh helps you take yourself seriously as a writer—before anyone else does. Writers in the Storm

Orly Konig-Lopez explores living with writerly self-doubt. Writers in the Storm

James Scott Bell is in the Writers Helping Writers coaching corner: conflict and suspense belong in every kind of novel.

Dan Blank guest posts on Writers Helping Writers: the daily practice of growing your audience.

Jamie Raintree examines authenticity and the discomfort of vulnerability.

Robin Lovett extols the merits of happily ever after. DIYMFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Clare Mackintosh for DIYMFA radio.

Jami Gold: right brain vs. left brain vs. creativity.

What’s the purpose of story structure for readers? Jami Gold

E.R. Ramzipoor guest posts on Janice Hardy’s Fiction Univerity: token or broken? Writing LGBT.

How to outline your novel, part 2. Jenna Moreci

 

Susan Spann lists ten questions you should ask before you accept a publishing deal. Writers in the Storm

Nevertheless, she persisted: a Tor.com flash fiction project. Awesome stories by awesome writers.

Margaret Atwood: what The Handmaid’s Tale means in the age of Trump. The New York Times

Molly McArdle takes a look at the rise of Roxane Gay. Brooklyn Magazine

Mary Walsh is coming out with her first novel! CBC Books

Kathleen O’Grady reports on the discovery of a true language universal. Ars Technica

David Schultz: some fairy tales may be 6,000 years old. Science Magazine

Robert MacFarlane considers Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising the eeriest novel he knows. 1843 Magazine

Twenty questions with Ursula K. Le Guin: The Times Literary Supplement

Simon Tolkien writes about his grandfather and how WWI inspired The Lord of the Rings. BBC

Here’s a literary cold case for you: Jane Austen may have died of arsenic poisoning. Christopher D. Shea and Jennifer Schuessler share the evidence, and the theory, so far. The New York Times

And that was your informal writerly learnings of the week.

See you Thursday!

Be well until then.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 19-25, 2017

And here we are for another week of informal writerly learnings.

K.M. Weiland shares eight ways to master your story’s pace. Helping Writers Become Authors

Vaughn Roycroft: the significance of small gestures. Writer Unboxed

Jeanne Kisacky shares her experience with post-project depression and recovery. Writer Unboxed

Chuck Wendig says you must write unafraid, without fear of failure. Terribleminds

Jami Gold asks, are there story elements you avoid writing?

Jeanne Cavelos guest posts on Writer Unboxed: the importance of the adversarial ally.

Stephanie O’Brien: how to write a fight scene readers will love. The Write Practice

Kristen Lamb says description is writer’s crack, but you have to find the write balance.

Jamie Raintree: there are no shortcuts. Writers in the Storm

Emily Wenstrom shares five ways to show readers you’re their perfect match. DIYMFA

Dan Blank encourages you to embrace your boundaries. Writer Unboxed

Heather Webb considers what fiction trends say about us. Writer Unboxed

Betsy Dornbusch guest posts on Terribleminds: the new relevance of the fantasy novel.

Veronica Sicoe wonders what happens when “professional writing career” isn’t your end-all goal?

Sara Letourneau joins the Writers Helping Writers resident writing coaches: using text-to-speech software as an editing tool.

Gabriela Pereira interviews Brian Meehl on DIYMFA radio: the only way forward is back.

Chris Winkle offers six tips on how to challenge bigotry in your work. Mythcreants

Oren Ashkenazi explores five underused settings in speculative fiction. Mythcreants

Pixar and the Khan Academy team up to produce The Art of Storytelling. And … it’s FREE!

Colleen Gillard wonders why the British tell better children’s stories. The Atlantic

Jason Daly reports that ancient Egyptian stories will be published in English for the first time. The Smithsonian Magazine

Michael Livingston shares the tales of his favourite five medieval women warriors (including Lagertha!). Tor.com

Space says that Mary and the Witch’s Flower captures the spirit of Studio Ghibli.

Brain full? Good. Now get writing!

See you Thursday!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 5-11, 2017

And here, for your edumacation, is Tipsday!

K.M. Weiland presents most common writing mistakes, part 56: unfulfilled foreshadowing. Helping Writers Become Writers

Later in the week, Kate explains why you should write a story with a plot.

Jael McHenry wonders, how do you cook your books? Writer Unboxed

June Stevens Westerfield: why you need a media kit, even if you aren’t published yet. Writers in the Storm

Michael Hauge joins the Writers Helping Writers coaching crew: does your character description create a powerful image? Then, Angela Ackerman advises how to accurately describe your character’s pain. Writers Helping Writers

Janice Hardy offers a simple trick to create a stronger first person narrative. Fiction University

Naomi Hughes returns to Jami Gold’s blog with her top three writing craft issues: how to spot ‘em, and how to fix ‘em. Later in the week, Christina Delay offers her five steps to avoid overwriting.

Constance Renfrow lists the eight most common reasons she sends a rejection. DIYMFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Sebastian Barry on DIYMFA radio.

Jamie Raintree: writers, we are the lucky ones.

Kameron Hurley: yes, you can say no to your editor(s).

Katy Waldman looks at how sensitivity readers are changing the publishing ecosystem: is my novel offensive? Slate

Chris Saylor talks about capitalization on Marcy Kennedy’s blog.

Susan Spann wants pirates to beware: how to prepare and use a DMCA takedown notice. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle shares some lessons from the sloppy writing of The Tommyknockers. Mythcreants

Let’s go back to a future where science fiction does good time travel. Wired

David Mitchell offers his perspective on writing: “ignore everything else.” Joe Fassler for The Atlantic.

Publishers Weekly shares the full text of “Bad Feminist” author Roxane Gay’s Winter Institute 12 keynote speech.

Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura: Mr. Darcy, you’re no Colin Firth. The New York Times

Eeee! The Avengers: Infinity Wars teaser. i09

And that was your informal writerly learnings for the week.

See you Thursday *waves*

Be well until then.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Jan 15-21, 2017

And here it is, your informal writerly learnings for the week!

K.M. Weiland offers her insight into how to outline a series of bestselling books. Helping Writers Become Authors

Janice Hardy starts a two part series about finding your voice. First up: how to find your character’s voice. Fiction University

Are you revising? Then check out April Bradley’s tips on pacing and momentum. Writers Helping Writers

Dianna Gunn shares her experience with resistance: letting your story end at the end. DIYMFA

Sloan Tamar: five things psychology can teach writers. Writers Helping Writers

Dave King revisits the power of words. Writer Unboxed

Annie Neugebauer muses on the challenge of finding the balance between dreaming and working. Writer Unboxed

Writer Unboxed obtained permission to reprint this fabulous post by Christie Aschwanden: stop trying to be creative.

Jamie Raintree gives us a productive two-for this week: a different kind of writing productivity and the importance of knowing your priorities and sticking to them.

Jami Gold: what if I can’t find beta readers?

Kristen Lamb says, never tell me the odds—how to get your head right for success.

Jenny Hansen shares Maya Angelou’s writerly wisdom on Writers in the Storm.

A moment of tangency. The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (apparently soon to be out in book form!). This guy’s a poet.

 

Charles Chu looks back at Frank Herbert and his definition of success. You don’t write for fame and fortune. You write so you can have more time to write. Medium

Fiona Macdonald peeks at the racy side of Jane Austin. BBC

Punny. The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog … after a few tries 😉

 

Alexandra Alter reports on an unfinished Mark Twain fairytale that will soon see the light of day. The New York Times

Swapna Krishna looks at the time travel in Timeless. Is it possible? Tor.com

Spencer Kornhaber interviews Brit Marling about The OA and the dark side of science. As I said when I posted this to FB, I enjoyed the series … until the last episode. Though I called it, that couldn’t compensate for the deep dissatisfaction I felt in the wake of the final episode. Still, it’s nice to find out more about what inspired the series. The Atlantic

Looking forward to this, because Emma. The full set of Beauty and the Beast trailers.

 

Hope this curation gives you what you need to keep creating. The world needs your stories!

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The next chapter: December 2016 update and year in review

My goodness, here we are in 2017 (!) and now it’s time for me to take stock of my year. Did I accomplish what I hoped to at the beginning of the year?

We’ll get back to that in a few.

First, I have to sum up (‘cause there is too much—I live by PB references) December 2016.

I knew when I decided to tackle Wavedancer, the third book in my epic fantasy series, for NaNoWriMo 2016 that I wouldn’t even come close to finishing the draft (it is EPIC fantasy, after all) in November. I was, however, foolish enough to think, initially, at least, that I’d write another 50k words in December and finish the draft by the end of the year.

I should have known better.

This is the fourth year I’ve done NaNo, and my third win. Each year, I enter December in a fog, still half-living in the world of my novel. I work a day job. There’s no way I could keep up the NaNo pace for another whole month.

Accordingly, I adjusted my expectations to 500 words a day and, though there were two days I didn’t write at all and a few assorted low-count days in the mix, there were also five days in which I wrote over a thousand words, so it all came out in the wash.

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To be more specific, of the 15,500 word goal for the month, I wrote 18,859 words, exceeding my goal by 3,359 words 🙂

Blogging 5,610 words brought my writing total for the month to 21,600 words.

Not 50k, but not bad at all 🙂

Back to my year-end review.

2016 was the first year that Jamie Raintree incorporated separate columns and totals for revision in her Writing Tracker, now called the Writing & Revision Tracker.

Though I’ve looked back at 2015’s and 2014’s trackers, the totals were skewed because in 2014, I didn’t track my revisions, and in 2015, I was tracking my revisions at one counted word for every two words revised. So there’s no real point in trying to compare.

What I set out to do at the beginning of 2016 was to go through all of my written novels to date and start to revise.

I’m happy to say that I accomplished this goal, but things didn’t go quite as I’d hoped. They never do. Quite.

For most of the novels, it was more of a getting reacquainted with the stories and the characters. I didn’t do a lot of revising, but now that I have the lay of the land, so to speak, the next passes will all be more in-depth.

I already mentioned that, having revised my goals post-NaNo, I did write two thirds of Wavedancer. To be specific, I wrote 71,157 words between November and December, and I will continue in that vein until the draft is done in my estimation.

I continued to query Initiate of Stone, but finally got it through my thick skull that it’s not the best project to use when trying to get a deal. So I’m changing gears and going to prepare another project for querying this year. We’ll see how it goes.

How did all this shape up as far as numbers went?

yearend

Of my 138,100 word writing goal, between all projects, I wrote 169,288 words, or 123%. Considering all the revision I was doing, that’s a lovely total.

With respect to revision, I managed 359,114 words of my 375,000 goal, or about 96%.

Some things happened in the year that I didn’t plan on, however.

Though it didn’t happen until July, I wrote a new piece of short fiction. I hadn’t expected that with my focus on the novels. It was a good surprise 🙂

January through March, I participated in the first offering of the Story Genius course created by Jennie Nash and the story genius herself, Lisa Cron. It was something unexpected, but I couldn’t let the opportunity pass. I had to try to make space for the course in my overall plan for the year and ended up making some poor decisions that didn’t serve me well.

While my experience in the course wasn’t, overall, a positive one, I still love the Story Genius method (and book—go get it!) and I would recommend it highly to anyone who can devote 100% of their time to the work. You will reap the benefits.

I just learned, in the most ego-wrenching way possible, that I cannot learn on someone else’s schedule. Especially while I’m working full time. I also made the decision to use Apprentice of Wind, the second in my epic fantasy series, as the project for my work in the course. Story Genius, in the form I took it, was not intended for novels that are already drafted, or for books other than the first in a series. I understand that strategies and approaches for projects of this type have been developed since.

These issues were entirely of my own creation and should not cast any doubt on the excellence of the course, of Lisa or Jennie, or of their dedicated team of editors.

I signed up for K.M. Weiland’s Character Arcs course through the Digital Freedom Academy. It’s entirely self-paced and Kate has loaded her usual extras into the course materials. Her Creating Character Arcs book also came out in the fall, and I definitely recommend both. I am a fangirl, though.

In August, I signed up for another Nelson Literary Agency course on the first five pages. NLA courses are excellence sources of feedback from professional agents who know what makes a successful submission.

At the end of September, I enrolled in a Mary Robinette Kowal Short Fiction Intensive. Blew my mind.

Finally, as far as courses go, I signed up for a course by Kristen Lamb on writing query letters and synopses.

I also tried my hand at #PitchWars for the first time with Reality Bomb, and while I didn’t make the extremely competitive cut, I did have a positive experience thanks to the team who considered my proposal, Michael Mammay and Dan Koboldt. It’s quite an eye-opener, and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to test the waters with one of their novels.

It was a lot of fun and another pleasant surprise.

As far as conferences and conventions, I attended Ad Astra, The Canadian Writers’ Summit, and my very first WorldCon last year.

I was also pleased to participate as a panellist at Wordstock Sudbury 2016.

And I had two stories published in the Sudbury Writers’ Guild anthology, Sudbury Ink, which launched in November.

Complicating all that, Phil had some significant health issues to deal with at the beginning of the year (now resolved), and, from August through to November, he renovated our living room after work and on the weekends.

We’re still waiting for the last pieces of furniture to be delivered, and he’ll be working on building wall-to-wall bookshelves, as the weather allows (he’s working in the unheated garage) throughout the winter. Pictures will be forthcoming in a future post.

Looking at all of that written out, I accomplished a helluva lot last year.

I think I’m going to have to ease back a bit in 2017, work smarter instead of harder.

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

What are my plans for 2017?

Well, you know I’m not one for resolutions. I have goals that I work steadily toward and amend as required.

First, I’ve nabbed my copy of Jamie Raintree’s 2017 Writing & Revision tracker. I’m setting up the projects in series this year, and will identify different novels in my Ascension series with different colours so I’ll be able to distinguish them and extract the numbers I need to feed my production geek.

I’ll continue to finish drafting Wavedancer, as I mentioned (way) above. At my current rate, I should be finished by the end of February.

Once drafting is done, I’m going to return to revising. I should be able to get through all of the novels in the course of the year. Again, as I mentioned above, I intend these revisions to be more in depth and to address some of the structural issues, as I see them, in the stories.

I’m going to be working with a coach to get Reality Bomb reworked. It’s something else I’m trying in my quest to improve my craft. My hope is that I’ll be able to query RB later this year.

With the short fiction surprise last year, I’ve actually had another idea I want to work on, and some other ideas for revising a couple of my other stories to improve them. Accordingly, I’ve made some room for these projects in my plan.

For NaNoWriMo, I’m going to tackle the fourth novel in the epic fantasy series, tentatively titled Playing with Fire.

I may also have a new, semi-regular writing gig to tell you about. I don’t want to let the cat out of the proverbial bag yet, but if it materializes, you can be sure I’ll let you know all the tasty deets I can 🙂

I’ve already signed up for the Story Masters Workshop in May. Donald Maass, James Scott Bell, and Christopher Vogler are coming to Toronto. This is a squee-worthy score, in my books. It was another opportunity I couldn’t let pass.

When I heard that the No Excuses cruise was going to be in Europe this year and timed to immediately precede WorldCon in Helsinki, I was seriously considering signing up. Unfortunately some non-writerly priorities make both the cruise and WorldCon impractical. Mellie haz a sad.

In fact, I may not attend any conferences or conventions at all this year. We’ll see how things shape up.

The reason for this dialling back is that Phil, who’s in his 50’s now, wants to proceed with renovations to the kitchen and bathroom this year. Though he will continue to do as much of the work himself as he can, these two projects will require a significant financial investment. And we haven’t paid off the living room renovation yet.

We also want to get another puppy. This will depend on whether my employer sorts out their payroll issues and I can apply for another self-funded leave. I will need the time to train our new dependent, furry quadruped. Again, deets will be forthcoming as I can share them.

On that front, if the payroll issues at work are sorted, I’ll finally see my acting pay from mid-February to the end of September last year, less about a thousand dollars outstanding from my last self-funded leave.

We’ve heard that union negotiations have resulted in an offer, the terms of which look reasonable. If we vote to ratify the new contract, it will mean about two and a half years of retro pay and a signing bonus, again, dependent on when the payroll issues can be sorted.

Our car loan should be paid off in late spring, as well, and so, between it all, we’ll have a little extra money to use to pay down our debts.

Phil got a promotion and raise last year from his employer, so we figure this will be the year to finish the renovations.

As you can see, this is going to be a different kind of year, but I’m hopeful that everything will work out.

Besides, come the end of February, it will be the Chinese Year of the Rooster (I’m a rooster!) and I think the powers that be might finally be aligning in my favour 😉

Here’s to a fabulous and productive 2017 for everyone.

Love and light and loads of good words to you all!

The Next Chapter

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Dec 18-24, 2016

It’s a week full of informal writerly learnings. My seasonal gift to you, dear reader 🙂

K.M. Weiland offers us the number one way to write intense story conflict. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jamie Raintree wonders, what lights your creative fire? Writers in the Storm

James Preston guest posts on Writers in the Storm: believe in your work—it’s more important than you think.

Laura Drake offers some advanced craft tips on Writers in the Storm.

Becca Puglisi helps us find the sweet spot in which to start. Writers Helping Writers

Dave King dives into writer’s block. Writer Unboxed

Lance Schaubert shares some tips on how to find your working title. Writer Unboxed

Kathleen McCleary guides us back to our story. Writer Unboxed

Heather Webb discovers the power of stepping out, stepping in, and bringing the light. Writer Unboxed

Dan Blank encourages you to be more like yourself. Writer Unboxed

Marcy Kennedy explores how our characters’ apologetic language creates and resolves tension.

Chris Winkle shares some tips on depicting child characters. Mythcreants

Constance Renfrow explains how to streamline your editing experience. DIYMFA

Kristen Lamb tells us the hard truth about publishing.

Chuck Wendig: the key is always hope. Terribleminds

Kameron Hurley speculates about Christmas and the future.

Are those speculative fiction titles on the 2017 Canada Reads Longlist? Oh, yes. They are! CBC

Octavia Butler tried to warn us about politicians who “want to make America great again.” Wired

When David Brin shared this, I thought … woah, Nausica! And these paintings by Jakub Rozalski really do evoke that aesthetic. He’s a little bit steampunk, and a little bit Akira? Design you can trust

Jeff LaSala resolves the eagle conundrum in Lord of the Rings. Tor.com

Remember that piece I shared last week about the Swinton/Cho email exchange? Well, Gene Demby unpacks the kerfuffle for NPR.

Jeanette Ng introduces us to Imagined Cities/Ice Fantasy, the Chinese take on western epic fantasy. Medium

Ooh! And here’s an early look at Blade Runner 2049. Wired

Lynette Rice has an Outlander sneak peek to help see you through droughtlander. Entertainment Weekly

Be well until Thursday, when you can come on back for your weekly dose of thoughty!

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