Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 16-22, 2019

A nice, plump bunch of juicy informal writerly learnings. Yes. I have fresh strawberries on the brain. I drool watching them ripen in the garden!

Anthea Lawson Sharp (who writes romance as Anthea Lawson and Fantasy as Anthea Sharp) talks about the craft of short fiction. Later in the week, Margie Lawson writes about the power of silence on the page. Writers in the Storm

Vaughn Roycroft shares a father’s legacy. Sonja Yoerg: writing characters with personality using Myers-Briggs. Erika Liodice asks, are you a student? Resounding YES here 🙂 Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland makes the final instalment in her Dos and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel series: five ways to earn your audience’s loyalty. Helping Writers Become Authors

Julia Roberts says, writer’s block is a gift (and explains why). Then, H.R. D’Costa shares five ways to ensure readers don’t abandon your book. Jane Friedman

Lisa Lowe Stauffer stops by Fiction University. Jamie Fraser eats an apple: using objects to inject character and world building into dialogue. Later in the week, Janice Hardy explains what setup in a novel actually means and then follows that up with four steps to establish the beginning of your novel.

Chris Winkle makes the next instalment in her goal-oriented storytelling series: tension. Writers Helping Writers

Jenna Moreci offers her definitions of active and passive characters and her tips for writing active characters.

Interestingly, Alexa Donne also expounds on character agency and growth. A theme?

Nathan Bransford explains how to work with a literary agent on edits.

Emily Wenstrom advises what to do when your social media growth stagnates. Here’s my latest speculations column: what psychology and neuroscience contribute to your stories. DIY MFA

Chris Winkle extracts some lessons from the writing of The Name of the Wind. Then, Oren Ashkenazi considers building democracy in your fantasy world. Mythcreants

Tale Foundry introduces us to eight of Sir Terry Pratchett’s clever(est) characters.

Roz Morris shares the “under-arrest” test for ensuring a satisfying ending. Nail Your Novel

CD Covington thinks the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is good fiction but bad science. Because language.

Lynn Neary and Patrick Jarenwattananon celebrate Joy Harjo’s appointment as the first Native American US poet laureate. NPR

That should be enough to see you through until Thursday when I have a tidy batch of thoughty for you 🙂

Until then, be well, my writerly friends!


More randomness from which creative connections might arise

Good afternoon!

I wanted to post these ramblings separately from my post regarding the Luminaries reading.

The power of an awesome haircut

I have to set this one up a bit. A number of years ago, the best stylist I’d ever had moved out of our area of town.  I made the attempt to support her by traveling out of my way, but life got increasingly hectic, and I just couldn’t keep it up.  I went to one of the local places, but the one good stylist there went on maternity leave, and then always seemed occupied when I went in for a trim.

Last year, I decided to get “chunky” bangs.  This was fine, until this year and several haircuts later, each by a different person, I decided that I wanted to grow them out.

I have no pictures of this hairy period, but I looked like hell.  My two increasingly lengthy chunks flipped out and looked like a couple of fuzzy horns.  I knew only time and patience would fix it and determined to wait the horrible hair out.

Then, a few weeks ago, my mom told me that Diane (the awesome stylist) had sold her business, and set up in her basement, once again in the south end of Sudbury.

At the time, I was overwhelmed at work and at home and not in the take action mood.  This past week, however, I worked a lot at “letting go” all of those things over which I have no control.  It’s been a very good week.  So yesterday, I made an appointment with Diane.

I knew it would life a weight from my shoulders–long hair is surprisingly heavy and you never realize just how heavy until it’s cut away–but I had no idea how good it would feel, and how lovely the result.

This was the result 🙂

Diane is a consummate professional.  She knows her business and she doesn’t mess around.  She asks, like all stylists, what you want, but then she sets to and you’re in her hands.

Those hands are skillful.  They inspire confidence.  Every snip is purposeful, and she really approaches a haircut as a piece of art.  It was wonderful to be able to trust someone so completely for a while.

The result was two inches shorter, layered artfully, and Diane even straightened my hair, something I never take the time to do myself.  It felt considerably lighter too.

Really, it was just what I needed, even though I didn’t know it.  Funny how that happens.

Mel is happy.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and Larry Crowne

Mentioned last night when I logged off that I was going to watch Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and I have to say that I was disappointed.

Though more faithful to the comic (Ghost Rider can come out in the day), the story wasn’t all that compelling.  Nicholas Cage was looking very much like he didn’t want to be there, and his transformation sequences were entirely too drawn out.  With respect to that, he ended up sounding half the time like his character Big Daddy, from Kick-Ass, in my opinion, a much better character and performance, and something that hearkens back to some of his early, quirky roles.

I like the quirky.

Fast forward to this morning and Larry Crowne.  While I missed the beginning, I was immediately on board with Tom Hanks and his portrayal of a middle-aged man having to start over.

I loved the characters.  Julia Roberts as the long-suffering college teacher and spouse of a porn-addicted writer, so-called, was awesome.  Unfortunately, the chemistry between the two leads left something to be desired.  Hanks often ended up looking at Roberts like she was insane.

Still, I enjoyed it a lot more than the second Ghost Rider.

The sounds of fall

This morning wasn’t a quiet Sunday morning.  It’s rarely quiet around here: I live on a busy street corner where a lot of traffic passes.

But this morning, I was struck by the sounds of fall.  In the Carolina Poplars across the street, chickadees and tardy starlings chirped and chittered.  I listened to the leaves falling.  It was amazing.  Over the noise of the traffic and the sound of the birds, I could hear each leaf fall onto the bed of them at the foot of each tree.

Last night was the first night that the temperature fell below zero (degrees celsius) so even though the wind was still, the leaves were falling.  Time has come.

Today, I finally gave over and put the furnace on.  Tomorrow, the winter clothes come out of storage and the tank tops go into hibernation until spring and the Hallowe’en door decoration comes out.  Tomorrow is also our (Canadian) Thanksgiving dinner.  Looking forward to some time with family.

Look for my post on the LUminaries reading series later today.