Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Oct 18-24, 2020

It is time, once again, to get your mental corn popping.

Catharine Tunney: Indigenous services minister calls raid on Nova Scotia fishing facilities and assault on the Mi’kmaw people. CBC

Brandon Young and Allan April: southwest Nova Scotia lobster pound destroyed by fire, one man hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. CTV News

Gimba Kakanda takes you inside the protests taking on police brutality in Nigeria. Time

Brando Simeo Starkey explains respectability politics and how a flawed conversation sabotages Black lives. Also called tone policing. From 2016. Yet again, these conversations are not new. The Undefeated

Ken Miller: Tulsa digs again for the victims of the 1921 race massacre. Associated Press

Michael A Fletcher reveals the results of a poll: Black Americans see a healthcare system infected by racism. National Geographic


Janelle Randazza lists eight covid-friendly ways to hand out candy this Halloween. Reviewed

Amanda Woytus: does virtual learning work for every student? Spoilers: It depends on how the lesson is delivered and whether the learner has any special needs. JSTOR Daily


Amy Alipio takes us inside the fortress known as “Dracula’s Castle.National Geographic

Reese Oxner reports that Colorado fire grows 100,000 acres in a day and hits Rocky Mountain National Park. NPR

Andrew Liszewski reports that Impossible Foods is now developing a plant-based alternative to cow’s milk. Gizmodo

Jan Hoffman and Katie Benner: Purdue Pharma pleads guilty to criminal charges for opioid sales. The New York Times

SciShow Space explains how to find dark matter with a billion pendulums.

Denise Chow: scientists clock the fastest interval of time in “zeptoseconds.” NBC News

Michael Walsh shares a map that shows every country’s most famous mythical creature. Nerdist

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you take away something to inspire your next creative project.

This weekend, I hope to get my next chapter update done before NaNoWriMo hits. Also, while I should get next week’s curation scheduled as well, those will be the last until December 8th. I will, however, post my progress, weekly. This year, as last, I will be a NaNo Rebel, because I will be working on the revisions for Reality Bomb. I’m focusing on getting a project completed before moving on to the next, these days, and I’m not at all ashamed to say that this year has thrown my writing for a loop.

It takes the time it takes.

Until the weekend, then, be well and stay safe, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Oct 18-24, 2020

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings 🙂

Black and Indigenous lives matter. All lives cannot matter until Black and Indigenous lives matter.

Wear your masks. Maintain physical distance if you can’t. Get you flu shot. We have to take care of each other if we’re going to get through this.

Janice Hardy provides an easy way to find your protagonist’s goal. Fiction University

Becca Puglisi wonders, is compassion fatigue is relevant for your characters? Then, Barbara Linn Probst considers dead and undead darlings. Writers in the Storm

Just in time for Halloween, Jenna Moreci shares her favourite monster tropes in fiction.

And then, Emily Zarka looks at the influence of the Romero zombie. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Finally, The Take considers the final girl trope.

Laura Highcove helps you use your writer’s intuition intentionally. Then, Bronwen Fleetwood considers age categories and wonders who’s being served by them. Later in the week, Gabriela Pereira interviews Carol VanDenHende about book marketing for busy writers. Savannah Cordova shares five bits of writing advice that actually work. DIY MFA

It has come to my attention that you don’t all love Birds of Prey. Cold Crash Pictures

Dave King says, don’t mess with Mama Nature. Then, Kathleen McCleary advises us about writing an ensemble: can we be a pod? Writer Unboxed

Lisa Hall-Wilson explains what you can learn from rhetorical questions in your manuscript. Writer Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford: your writing matters.

Elizabeth McGowan spent nearly two decades writing and revising her book. She finally found a publisher. Jane Friedman

Chris Winkle has some advice for writers using incantations in their magic systems. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains how Red Rising flubs class conflict. Mythcreants

Freytag’s pyramid: the five-act structure, explained. Reedsy

Kathleen Rooney explains how Frank London Brown’s Trumbull Park exposed the brutal legacy of segregation. JSTOR Daily

Dustin Nelson: these are the words that were added to the dictionary the year you were born. Thrillist

Lydia Dishman shares six covid-19 terms that would have made no sense in January. Fast Company

Waubgeshig Rice explains how to engage online (as a writer). Open Book

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something to support your current work in progress (or your upcoming NaNoWriMo).

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Oct 4-10, 2020

Welcome to thoughty Thursday, the curation that pops your mental corn 🙂

BLM-related posts and pandemic-related posts separated out for your convenience. Educating yourself is the least you can do.

Mako Fitts Ward examines the power of the intersectional protest image. JSTOR Daily

Jennifer Schuessler: Mellon Foundation to spend $250 million to reimagine monuments. The New York Times

Maya King hopes the Democrats don’t lose the battle over voter suppression. Politico

Kim Gallon: the Black press and disinformation on Facebook. JSTOR Daily

What is the QAnon conspiracy theory? CBS News

Janice Gassam Asare cites five reasons the “pipeline problem” is a myth. 2018. Again, these aren’t new issues. Forbes

John Paul Tasker reports on Annamie Paul’s historic election as the first Black [+Jewish+woman] leader of the Green Party [or any Canadian political party, for that matter]. CBC


Maan Alhmidi: teachers are concerned for their health and the quality of education as they deal with the challenges of the pandemic. The Globe and Mail

Kalyn Belsha says that teaching in-person and virtually at the same time is an instructional nightmare. ChalkBeat

How do pandemics end? BBC

Becky Little explains “mask slackers” and “deadly” spit: the 1918 flu campaigns to shame people into following the new rules. History

Sara Chodosh: it’s never been more important to get your flu shot. Popular Science

Lydia Wheeler: covid “long-haulers” ask who pays when sickness just won’t end. Bloomberg Law


Simi lists 30 signs of soul exhaustion. Medical News

What causes panic attacks and how can you prevent them? Cindy J. Aaronson TED-Ed

Nell GreenfieldBoyce and Madeline K. Sofia: the Nobels overwhelmingly go to white men—this year’s prize for medicine was no exception. NPR

Joel Achenbach reports that Andrea Ghez is among the winners of the Nobel Prize in physics for her work on black holes. The Washington Post

Dr. Becky delves into the work done to earn that Nobel.

Nell GreenfieldBoyce and Mark Katkov cover the Nobel Prize for Chemistry win for Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for their genome editing research. NPR

And … the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize goes to the World Food Program. Adela Suliman for NBC News.

Olivia Rosane shares a video of a meteoroid bouncing off Earth’s atmosphere. EcoWatch

Rory Sullivan and Sharon Braithwaite report that scientists have found intact brain cells in a man killed in Vesuvius eruption nearly 2,000 years ago. CNN

These 100-million-year-old microbes are still alive. (I think I shared an article on this a few weeks ago …) SciShow

Hedy Phillips: yep, just like humans, dogs can give blood. More than half my life ago, I worked in an emergency veterinarian clinic. They kept two blood donor cats on site and assessed surrendered or stray dogs (animal control was the next building over) for blood donor suitability. SugarPop

Thank you for visiting. I hope you found something to inspire your next creative project.

Until next tipsday, be well and stay safe, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 20-26, 2020

It’s time to get your mental corn popping.

BLM and covid-19 sections precede more general links.

Tessa Duvall offers a fact-check on the Breonna Taylor case. USA Today

Dylan Lovan, Piper Hudspeth Blackburn, and John Minchillo report on the two Louisville officers shot during the Breonna Taylor protests. Why? “The violence comes after prosecutors said two officers who fired their weapons at Taylor, a Black woman, were justified in using force to protect themselves after they faced gunfire from her boyfriend. The only charges were three counts of wanton endangerment against fired Officer Brett Hankison for shooting into a home next to Taylor’s with people inside.” AP News

Russell Contreras reveals how the story of the underground railroad to Mexico is gaining attention. Associated Press

Jacinda Townsend explains how the Green Book helped Black travellers navigate a segregated nation. Yes, this is from 2016. These conversations aren’t new. The Smithsonian Magazine

Sam Levine explains how Republicans gutted the biggest voting rights victory in recent history. Voter suppression/poll taxing in action. The Guardian

Mohammed Elnaiem revisits the death of South African activist Steve Biko. JSTOR Daily


Nicole Karlis reports that a covid vaccine may only last for a year based on the most recent findings. Salon

Olga Khazan: a failure of empathy led to 200,000 deaths. It has deep roots. The Atlantic

How losing your job changes you. SciShow Psych

Richard Herzog explains how Aztecs reacted to colonial pandemics. JSTOR Daily


Richard Wolf calls Justice Ginsberg a superhero who never quit as she returns to Supreme Court one final time. Ginsberg is the first woman to lie in state. USA Today

Jackson Katz: violence against women—it’s a men’s issue. This TED talk is from 2012. Have we made significant progress since? TEDxFiDiWomen 

Ruth Tam advises you to lift your head and lower your arms—you just might feel better. NPR

Meghan Keane explains how to say no, for the people pleaser who always says yes. NPR

Stephen E. Nash: what fire archaeology tells us about the bringing of the American West. Atlas Obscura

The truth about dog years. SciShow

Thieving pikas in the Rockies. Because pikas are CUTE! The Nature of Things | CBC

Sarah Miller Llana considers the Sudbury model: how one of the world’s major polluters went green. Christian Science Monitor

It’s probably not life on Venus … but it could be. SciShow Space

Thor Benson reveals project A119 and the time we almost nuked the moon. Wild. Digital Trends

Alex Sanz: NASA astronaut Kate Rubins intends to vote from the ISS. AP News

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something to inspire your next creative project.

This weekend I should be posting my next chapter update for September (!) Seriously, where has the time gone?

Until then, be well and stay safe, my writerly friends.

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 13-19, 2020

Welcome to thoughty Thursday, the curation of random stuff intended to get your mental corn popping.

Nina Bahadur explains how Black doulas are fighting the maternal mortality crisis. CBS

Rashawn Ray interrogates what defunding the police means and does the idea have merit? Brookings

Evie Muir: racial gaslighting and microaggressions can’t be ignored any longer. Refinery 29

Margot Gage Witvliet: I’m a covid-19 long-hauler and an epidemiologist—here’s how it feels to have symptoms for months. (Included in the BLM section because there are elements of racial gaslighting at play.) The Conversation


How and when will we have a covid-19 vaccine? ASAP Science

Sarah Newey and Paul Nuki explain how the pandemic set global development back 25 years in 25 weeks. The Telegraph

Sophie Haigney: the pandemic is transforming how Americans use public libraries, parks, and streets—and it’s depriving vulnerable people of space when they need it most. Insider

Minda Zetlin shares five habits that will help you stay focused all day and Traci Stein explains why they work. (To help with covid brain.) Inc.


Why do we dream? Amy Adkins | TED-Ed

Nina Totenberg reports on the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, champion of gender equality, at 87. NPR

Hope Reese interviews Noam Chomsky about his new book: there’s reason for hope. JSTOR Daily

Nadia Drake: possible sign of life on Venus stirs heated debate. National Geographic

Jonathan Amos wonders, will private firms win the race to Venus? BBC

Dark matter is even stranger than we thought. SciShow Space

Ian Bogost: your phone wasn’t built for the apocalypse. The Atlantic

Rachel Lovell explains how nanoclay turns desert into farmland in the UAE. BBC

Enjoy some frissons musicale with this Pentatonix cover of Tears for Fears’ Mad World.

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you’re able to take away something to inspire your next creative project.

Until next tipsday, be well and stay safe, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 6-12, 2020

Welcome to tipsday, my humble curation of informal writerly goodness.

Before we get to the resources, Black and Indigenous (and all other racialized or marginalized) lives matter. All lives cannot matter until Black and Indigenous lives matter.

We’re officially six months into #pandemic life and here in the northeast, we’re waiting for the other show to fall following the return to school last week. We’re already experiencing a bump in infection numbers, likely due to covid exhaustion and the relaxation of safety measures over the Labour Day long weekend.

Wear your masks, maintain physical distance, and wash your hands. We don’t have a vaccine yet.

Now let’s move on to supporting your creative endeavours.

Jael McHenry: is writing work? The answer is not as simple as you’d think. Jim Dempsey wants you to edit at your own pace. Then, Juliet Marillier offers some advice on writing a many-stranded story. Kathryn Craft shares a quiz actually helpful for writers. Later in the week, David Corbett discusses love, hope, and the dystopian darkness. Writer Unboxed

The “bury your gays” trope, explained. The Take

K.M. Weiland shares the 15 steps she uses to self-publish. Helping Writers Become Authors

Yen Cabag is creating believable characters. Elizabeth Spann Craig

The Disney princess trope, explained. The Take

Laurence MacNaughton shares the three-minute scene fix. Fiction University

Jami Gold wants you to explore your options for story conflict. Writers Helping Writers

Inigo vs. Westley: perfectly subversive. Why is this in tipsday? It’s all about storytelling through fight scenes! Jill Bearup

Angela Yeh believes that poetry can change the world. Later in the week, Sara Farmer interviews Ausma Zehanat Khan. DIY MFA

Chuck Wendig muses on plot and character (and giving writing advice at the end of the world). Terribleminds

Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes: fiction faves of the espionage pros. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle explains how our stories abandon morality for gray-colored lenses. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes the terrible movie climaxes from Marvel’s phase one. Mythcreants

Shaelin Bishop shares six misconceptions she had about writing. Shaelin Writes

Nina Munteanu considers cymatics and how frequency changes the very nature of matter and energy.

Anne Ray takes us on a journey from La Jetée to Twelve Monkeys to covid-19. JSTOR Daily

This first episode of the new season was awesome! Desmond Cole, Saleema Nawaz, and John Elizabeth Stintzi. Shelagh Rogers, The Next Chapter, CBC.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 30-Sept 5, 2020

Welcome to thoughty Thursday. Tomorrow is Friday! Revive yourselves for the weekend by getting your mental corn popping 🙂

Theresa Waldrop shares the latest news about the Portland protest shooting death. CNN

Safia Samee Ali: where protesters go, armed militia and vigilantes likely follow with little to stop them. NBC News

Ashitha Nagesh explains how “hyper-liberal” Portland’s racist past is resurfacing. BBC

The peace reporters. Videos of police violence at #BLM protests with the testimony of the people who took them. Content warning on this one. The videos of police violence are difficult to watch. They’re optional, though. You can just read the words of the people who took the videos and get a sense of what it means to be a witness in these difficult situations. The Verge


Jesmyn Ward waxes on witness and respair: a personal tragedy followed by pandemic. Vanity Fair

Why Tuesday feels like July and sometimes never during covid (how we perceive time). It’s Okay to be Smart

Jessica Stillman: the Greeks had a word for the specific kind of bad you’re feeling right now. Acedia. Inc.

Patrick Adams wants us to meet Gertrude Elion, the woman who gave the world anti-viral drugs. National Geographic


Heidi Wachter explains why we need to fill the greenspace gap. Shondaland

Studying the brain with quantum mechanics. SciShow Psych

Rachel Kraus wonders, what is an algorithm, anyway? Mashable

Jess Romeo sheds light on the long history of comet phobia. JSTOR Daily

Emily Zarka introduces us to Spring-Heeled Jack. PBS Storied | Monstrum

Daniel Oberhaus: gravity, gizmos, and Jim Woodward’s grant theory of interstellar travel. Wired

The Martian crustal dichotomy. SciShow Space

Carrie Whitney introduces us to the man behind the legend of Sitting Bull. How Stuff Works

Chadwick Boseman, rest in power. New Rockstars

Leah Greenblatt pays tribute to Chadwick Boseman: his life, his legacy, and his iconic roles. Entertainment Weekly

Stan Horaczek explains how cats and dogs see the world. Popular Science

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you took away something to inspire your next creative project.

Until next tipsday, be well and stay safe, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 16-22, 2020

It’s time to get you mental corn popping.

Guy Kawasaki interviews Kathryn Finney for the Remarkable People podcast.

Emmanuel Acho and Matthew McConaughy. Uncomfortable conversations with a Black man

Luke Noronha examines life after deportation: no one tells you how lonely you’re going to be. The Guardian

Amy Thomas wonders, as statues are torn down, which monuments should we visit? National Geographic

Mohammed Elnaiem: on Black power in the Pacific. JSTOR Daily

Laura Pitcher: the history of the colour white and the women’s suffrage movement. Teen Vogue

Bonnie Berkowitz shares several things you didn’t know (or forgot) about how women got the vote. The Washington Post

Jewel Wicker lists the 16 best quotes about women of colour deserving the right to vote. Teen Vogue


Locally, Nancy Johnson writes a letter to the editor: are we doing enough to control the pandemic? The Sudbury Star

Olga Khazan: America’s terrible internet is making quarantine worse. Why millions of students still can’t get online. The Atlantic

Emma K. Atwood and Sarah Williamson: plague and protest go hand in hand. JSTOR Daily


Elizabeth Yuko explains how to embrace uncertainty, even if you’re nervous. Life Hacker

Billie Eilish – My Future. Not what I was expecting. In the best way 🙂

Richard Hollingham: the pioneering surgeons who cleaned up filthy hospitals. BBC

Meilan Solly invites you to peer into the past with photorealistic portraits of Roman emperors. The Smithsonian Magazine

Karen Gardiner considers Denmark’s 300-year-old homes of the future. BBC

Maggie Hiufu Wong: Japan’s first-ever hotel in a wooden castle breathes new life into a fading rural town. CNN

Jonathan Smith introduces us to Patrick Cashin, who captured the secrets of the New York City subway. Huck

SciShow Space news explains what happened to Betelgeuse and reports an accident at Arecibo.

Laura Poppick explains how the origin of mud is linked to the origin of life. Knowable

Tori B. Powell: taking care of plants is a lesson in empathy. Shondaland

Thank you for visiting. I hope you found something to inspire your next creative project.

Until next tipsday, be well and stay safe, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

ThoughtyThursday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Aug 2-8, 2020

Black lives matter. Indigenous lives matter. All lives cannot matter until Black and Indigenous lives matter. These aren’t just words. They’re fundamental truths.

I just have to sigh and shake my head. Every “plan” for returning to school is so sketchy … I can’t even. And collectively, the US has just broken five million—FIVE MILLION—cases. The president is finally trying to behave like he cares. Sometimes. But it’s so clear he’s just gesturing emphatically because the election is coming up.

I won’t waste more words we’re all living in/though this nightmare. We know the score.

Let’s proceed to the informal writerly learnings.

K.M. Weiland shares five ways to help writers during the pandemic (plus giveaways to get you started). Helping Writers Become Authors

Science fiction that imagines a future Africa – Nnedi Okorafor. TED

Jeanette the Writer shares tips for editing our bias: how to refer to race in literature. Later in the week, Becca Puglisi helps you choose the right job for your character. DIY MFA

Jenna Moreci lists ten toxic attitude you need to drop as a writer.

Elizabeth Huergo considers Goya’s “The Dream of Reason Produces Monsters.” Donald Maass discusses suspense. Later in the week, Cathy Yardley considers writing with mental illness. Writer Unboxed

Jodi Turchin explains how to drive through the muddy middle of your novel. Fiction University

Lisa Hall-Wilson offers tips on how to research mental health and trauma for your characters. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford says, there’s no excuse for not knowing where your book fits in the market.

Chris Winkle counts down 12 signs a storyteller is building romantic and sexual chemistry. Then, Oren Ashkenazi compares the climaxes of all nine Star Wars movies. Mythcreants

Angela Ackerman stops by Jami Gold’s blog to explore love, work, and office romance.

Princess Weekes and Lindsay Ellis consider what War and Peace has to offer. It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Cynthia Barounis is choosing love over eugenics. JSTOR Daily

Karen Fricker and Carly Maga clarify Jesse Wente’s goal as new chair of the Canada Council for the Arts: to do less harm. The Toronto Star

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

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

Tipsday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 12-18, 2020

Happy Friday eve! Without further delay, it’s time to get your mental corn popping 🙂

An example of how white supremacy privileges things over humans. Black Lives Matter Toronto holds a press conference after three protestors are arrested for “defacing” statues. Don’t even look at the comments on this one if you’re not prepared to be triggered. CTV

Mary Hynes interviews Ijeoma Oluo on Tapestry. CBC

Ashawnta Jackson explains what the first Black-owned bookstore had to do with the underground railroad. JSTOR Daily

Sarah Gilbert: civil rights activist and politician, John Lewis—a life in pictures. The Guardian

Sonia Saraiya interviews Viola Davis: my entire life has been a protest. Vanity Fair

Paul McGuinness reveals the power of protest songs. uDiscover Music


Amy Greer, Nisha Thampi and Ashleigh Tuite: we can get children back to school full time, if we put the right strategy in place. The problem is, no one can agree on what that strategy is … The Globe and Mail

North Bay OPP charge Florida couple with failing to self-isolate. CBC

What happened when we all stopped, narrated by Jane Goodall. TED.Ed


Adam Mann: the universe’s clock might have bigger ticks than we imagine. Scientific American

Mary Robinette Kowal does a dramatic reading of her “peeing in space” Twitter thread for Uncanny Magazine. It is hilarious.

David Szondy: 75 years ago, the Trinity atomic bomb test changed the world forever. New Atlas

Mark Wilson says knock codes were supposed to be more secure than passwords or PINs, but they’re surprisingly easy to hack. Fast Company

Catie Keck shares everything we know about the 2020 Twitter hack (so far). Gizmodo

Nathanael Johnson: the population bomb didn’t detonate, but it turns out there’s a new problem. Grist

Feargus O’Sullivan goes behind the accidentally resilient design of Athens apartments. CityLab

Sophia Smith Galer reveals the accidental invention of the Illuminati conspiracy. BBC

SciShow busts the “alpha dog” theory.

Jimmy Thomson says, one solution to the world’s climate woes is Canada’s natural landscapes. The Narwhal

Alexandra Witze: how humans are altering the tides of the oceans. BBC

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project.

Until next tipsday, be well and stay safe, by kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

ThoughtyThursday2019