Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 26-August 1, 2015

Tipsday is back, full force. Feel the Writerly Goodness 😉

K.M. Weiland shares four ways to write a likeable protagonist at the beginning of the character arc. Helping writers become authors.

Related: Chris Winkle asks (and answers), do characters need to be likeable? Mythcreants.

Here are two ways to make the most of your climactic setting, Katie’s Wednesday vlog.

Writer Unboxed continues its Diversity series with Gabriel Valjan: Import foreign cultures into your fiction.

Jami Gold shines a light on diversity issues.

Kim Bullock gets confessional on Writer Unboxed: The elephant in my living room.

How to write a novel in the dark, by Siobhan Adcock. The Daily Beast.

This is crazy-awesome Writingeekery. MJ Bush decided to live blog her 24 hour write-a-thon to draft her next book.

More Writer Unboxed: Jo Eberhardt shares a personal story about the power of fiction. [Mel’s note: Mary Brown’s The Unlikely Ones was one of the books I latched onto in my university years. Wonderful.]

Jeff Gerke guest posts on C.S. Lakin’s Live, Write, Thrive blog about hacking your reader’s brain.

Callie Oettinger revisits a past post on Steven Pressfield’s blog: Lay a little heavy on the business side.

Your second life starts when life cracks you open. Justine Musk on stepping into the bigger story.

Virginia Woolf believed that the best mind is an androgynous mind. Brainpickings.

Janis Joplin speaks about creativity and rejection in her final, lost interview, rediscovered and animated. Fabulous. Brainpickings.

Portland Monthly features home grown author Ursula K. le Guin. Amazing read.

Ever thought, ‘gee, I’d like to ask Ursula K. le Guin about writing’? Well, now you can! The Book View Cafe.

Neil Gaiman talks in his sleep. His wife, Amanda Palmer, found a forgotten recording of one of their nocturnal conversations and created this whimsical animated short. Brainpickings. [Mel’s note: I take a strange kind of comfort in the fact that I talk in my sleep, too. Phil doesn’t record our conversations, though.]

Fantasy writer N.K. Jemesin upends the racist and sexist status quo. The Guardian.

Haruki Murakami shares the moment he knew he’d be a writer. The Telegraph.

Jill Soloway calls for a matriarchal revolution in film. The Vulture.

How changing your reading habits can improve your health. Fast Company.

Charlie Jane Anders of i09 writes about ten books we pretend to have read and why we really should. For the record, I’ve only read one of these, Dune.

Foz Meadows writes about Sens8 for Tor.com. Just for the record, Phil and I loved the shite out of this Netflix Original.

CBC is now producing webseries: The Riftworld Chronicles. Tamoh Penikett stars 🙂

Buzzfeed presents seventeen (gif) faces that every grammar nerd will relate to.

Authors tweet #tenthingsnottosaytoawriter. Entertainment Weekly.

Interesting stuff coming up on thoughty Thursday, See you then!

Tipsday

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 19-25, 2015

Not an overwhelming amount of thoughty this Thursday, but quality is the thing.


The tragic news of the week is the earthquake in Tibet. Zee News.

Before and after images of the devastation from Think Progress.

My thoughts and prayers, such as they are.


Last week I shared an article about how there are not enough psychiatrists and too many in need. This week: why Doctors don’t have clients . . . Psychiatric Times.

Your passion isn’t your bliss; nor is it your bitch. Justine Musk.

Sir Ken Robinson on how creative schools can transform education. CBS News.

Cancer research in Sudbury is making progress. Here’s the news article and the interview from Morning North. CBC.

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s ambition is to make science hip. LA Times.

Shedding light on dark matter and dark energy with Patricia Burchat. TED Talk.

Life in the deep ocean, a TED Talk by David Gallo.

North Brother Island: the last unknown place in New York city. Brainpickings.

More abandoned places. This time: Creepy brothels. Scribol.

When cancer in dogs isn’t just a matter of bad luck. Vet Street.

If I fits, I sits! Why cats (of all sizes) love boxes. IFLS.

Watch an octopus catch and eat a crab. Wicked! Geekologie.

Diving giraffes and bouncing elephants. Awesome animation on i09.

I’ll catch up with you next on Satuday. Break a pencil until then.

Thoughty Thursday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Oct 19-25, 2014

Thoughty Thursday is all over the map this week. It’s just the kind of week we had, here in Canada.

This was the big news in Canada last week: The lone gunman who attacked Parliament Hill. CBC News.

Mother Jones on how we did with the reporting of the incident.

Our heroes:

Nathan Cirillo The Toronto Star

Patrice Vincent CBC

Kevin Vickers CBC


 

You are your own damned permission slip. This post is one of the reasons I love Justine Musk. You go girl. Hell, I go, too!

I don’t even . . . Why are people making such a fuss about Renee Zellweger’s new look? Plastic surgery shaming? WTF?

Your brain on dreams, with Michio Kaku. I love this dude. Big Think.

End the stigma surrounding mental illness.

 

The Business Insider posts 20 tips for sitting at your desk without hurting your back. I had an ergonomic assessment at work a few weeks ago and the video aligns perfectly with what I was told.

Fibromyalgia isn’t “all in the head.” The Liberty Voice.

The Cryptik Movement speaks about the consciousness of trees. This is really something.

I’m not afraid of spiders, but the Goliath bird-eating spider makes me shudder. IFLS.

The tagline heading around with this next IFLS feature was, the Scottish invented sex! A Scottish fish, that is 🙂

The strange beauty of the deep ocean. IFLS.

Are we getting closer to a green energy breakthrough? IFLS.

A working hover board? Back to the future! IFLS.

The real cyborgs: where wearable technology is taking us. The Telegraph.

Lindsey Stirling does a steampunk western video for Roundtable Rival.

 

Sadness, now. Photographer says goodbye to her beloved pooch after sixteen years.

See you Saturday with more WWC 2014 reportage (I hope).

Thoughty Thursday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 10-16, 2014

Of course, the big news of the week was the death of Robin Williams. I loved his work as a comedian and an actor. The circumstances of his death were tragic, but as a friend posted, so was his mental illness, the periodic substance abuse he engaged in throughout his life, and the effect that must have had on his family. The man touched me. He made me laugh. I’ll miss him. I’m just saying.

On that note, IFLS posted this on identifying and overcoming depression.

And my friend Kim wrote this lovely post. Seriously, one of the best I’d read on the subject.

The Globe and Mail’s offering: Thoughts on depression from an artistic mind, by Michael Redhill.


Shaking my head, not so briefly, to evict the maudlin.

This is verging on the Writerly Goodness, but I decided to put Justine Musk’s post, the art of being a heroine, in my Thoughty Thursday curation because it’s not so much about writing as about the intersection of myth and womanhood. Thoughty indeed.

Why we can’t catch our own typos, from Wired. Brain science explains why writers need editors.

Wired features Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to win mathematics’ most prestigious prize.

A video love letter to Curiosity from Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

How wolves change rivers. This is amazing. IFLS.

What’s the smallest thing in the universe? IFLS features Talk Nerdy to Me.

The “super moon” of August 10th, as seen from space. IFLS.

The Atlantic featured more photos of the super moon on its In Focus page.

Imogen Heap has to be my favourite musical artist. Just lurve her to pieces. So when CBC music featured her new release Sparks as a “First Play” selection, I had to tune in. I listened to the whole thing in one night. The video is a great look behind the scenes too. Heaven. Of course, Ima buy it too, but I couldn’t resist the awesome.

A couple of great covers from Walk off the Earth. First, Rude, by Magic!

Next up, Say something, by A Great Big World.

Think I got carried away by music this week. Lindsey Stirling, Master of Tides.

And Beyond the Veil. This one caught me, because Fer spends a bit of time there . . . A candidate for the revision soundtrack?

This. Saturday. Can’t. Wait.

And this is fabulous: a fan made his own opening sequence for Doctor Who. Steven Moffatt saw it, and guess what happened? Space.

Thoughty Thursday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the Interwebz April 13-19, 2014

TipsdayLet’s see what we gots here …

Part 9 of K.M. Weiland’s Creating Stunning Character Arcs series:

http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2014/04/character-arcs-9.html

the 10 Commandments of Social Media Etiquette for Writers. Anne R. Allen’s blog.

http://annerallen.blogspot.ca/2014/04/the-10-commandments-of-social-media.html

Agent Carly Watters on why you want an agent who reads:

http://carlywatters.com/2014/04/14/agent-who-reads/

Eight steps to an agent, a publisher, and a two-book deal by Becca Puglisi.

http://writershelpingwriters.net/2014/04/eight-steps-agent-publisher-two-book-deal/

Brevity in Science Fiction – Veronica Sicoe. She was my new discovery this week, thanks to MJ Bush 🙂

http://www.veronicasicoe.com/blog/2014/04/brevity-in-science-fiction/

Jami Gold wonders whether genre fiction can be art:

http://jamigold.com/2014/04/can-genre-fiction-be-art/

Justine Musk on Beauty in the broken places.

http://justinemusk.com/2014/04/17/wounds-to-light-the-art-of-making-beauty-in-the-broken-places/

(Mel’s note: I write an SF story called The Broken Places. Not sure if it’s beautiful, but I’m biased.)

Patty Jansen on how she writes:

http://pattyjansen.com/blog/how-i-write-so-many-books/

And Roz Morris on hers. Follow the strange. LOVE!

http://writerlycommunity.azurewebsites.net/following-strange-write/

6 things you should know about your story.

http://lopopololiterary.com/2014/04/17/some-things-you-should-know-about-story-six-to-be-precise/

The WoMentoring Project. Just check it.

http://womentoringproject.co.uk/

Rochelle Sharpe: Be relentless.

http://rlsharpe.wordpress.com/2014/04/17/writing-tip-wednesday-be-relentless/

Muses rejoice!

There’s something you should know about me

Photographic illustration of a near-death-expe...

Photographic illustration of a near-death-experience. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve almost died … twice

Both times, I was under the knife for what should have been straightforward surgical procedures: a tonsillectomy and an appendectomy.  Both experiences changed me profoundly.  How?  I’ll share that with you in future posts.

I’m reopening the confessional category of my site, My history as a so-called writer, with a series that might strike you as a little morbid.  It’s about death and how it’s shaped my life.  Originally, this was to be a two-part guest post on Monique Liddle’s Bends in the Road, but since them it’s metamorphosed into something a little bigger, and I hope, better.

Yes, I’ve had a couple of near-death experiences, and my father and grandparents have all passed, leaving their marks on my heart and soul, but I’m not just talking about actual death here.  Mental illness and addiction, which I think of as two kinds of personality assassination, have also had their affects on me and my family.

If the ‘you-who-wants-to-live-in-this-world’ dies, even metaphorically, how can that be any better than actually dying?  It’s a question, I believe, that leads many to the depths of depression and suicide, which may seem like the logical conclusion of such ruminations.

I’m starting this series with Bell’s Let’s Talk initiative in mind as well as my impending bell-talkpersonal season of sorrow: my father’s birthday, the anniversary of his admission into the hospital for what proved to be his ultimate decline, the anniversary of his death and funeral, followed by Father’s Day.

I also thought this was a timely topic after listening to Michael Enright’s interview with Bob Ramsay last Sunday on CBC’s The Sunday Edition.  Bob died on the operating table, but didn’t have the typical near-death experience that most people report.  In fact he didn’t remember much of anything at all.  You can visit the link above, see some listener response, and listen to the podcast yourself.

Finally, I’m reading Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project.  I picked it up on the recommendation of a friend and have been reading through it.  It’s a little slow going for me, since I’ve gone through some of what she writes about in my own way previously, and because I just can’t relate to some of the other experiences that she writes about.  I hope to share some of my  insights on happiness throughout this series as well.

On that note, this past week, I read Justine Musk’s blog post on the pursuit of happiness.  I think she has some valid points.

My encounters with death (physical and spiritual) have informed my development as a creative person and shaped the way that I respond to various negative events in my life.

What I’m hoping to accomplish

This isn’t supposed to be purely confessional or self-serving in any way.  I am a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) kind of gal, but to be honest, I expose myself as a means of defence.  If I share too much information (TMI), people tend to react in one of two ways:

  1. They never ask me a personal question again and generally leave me alone, or
  2. They understand I choose to share the deeply personal or embarrassing details of my life in an attempt to deepen my connection with the people who are important to me.

It’s a way of knowing who your friends are and of deepening your relationships with the people who mean most to you.

Doing this on my blog has been a bit of a mixed blessing.  I blogged most of my embarrassing, personal stuff early on in Writerly Goodness’s existence, thus ensuring that few people would actually look at it.  I wasn’t really risking much, but I also had no idea if this was the kind of subject material that would resonate with my readership.

I’ve mentioned a few times in various posts about how shy I am.  It would be very difficult for me to speak about these issues in a face-to-face kind of way without getting freaky and spastic.  This has happened, though.  It wasn’t pretty.

So now I’m pulling out the big guns again in an attempt to connect more with my friends on the interwebz and in the hope of sharing something of the themes and interests that inform my writing.  I’d like to start a conversation about these issues without getting self-indulgent because I think they are important to many creative people out there.

It’s an experiment of sorts and I’d love to hear from you.  What do you think about it?  Would it be of value to you?  Would you be willing to put yourself out there, along with me, on this crazy journey?

Let me know.  Please keep in mind that I moderate all comments and I have the dreaded day job.  If your comment doesn’t show up right away, it’s because I haven’t had a chance to review and respond yet.  Rest assured, I make every attempt to respond in a timely manner.  Your comments are important to me 🙂

Writerly Goodness, signing off.