Muse-Inks: Still striving for balance

Greetings all you writerly people!

July is off to a good start. My plan seems to be working. By focusing on one revision and one short fiction project, I’ve been able to get back on the horse, so to speak.

On Thursday evening, there was a special meeting of the Sudbury Writers’ Guild to attend, so I took that night off revision and writing, but made up for it on Friday.

I’m also busily drafting my next piece for DIY MFA. Like the last one, it’s going to be a bit long, but I have a strategy that will hopefully keep it manageable and leave me with material for a second post on the topic. Stay tuned 🙂

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good week for quality sleep. I guess I have to take the bad with the good.

Looming (less than 3 weeks away!) is my great adventure to the Baltic. Yes, early, early, on the morning of July 27th, I’ll be flying down to Toronto in enough time to find the Air Iceland kiosk, get through customs, and board my flight to Hamburg, via Reykjavik.

The Writing Excuses Cruise will be visiting Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallin, and St. Petersburg, with tonnes of writing workshops in between, from July 29 to August 5. Then I hop a short flight from Hamburg to Helsinki on the 6th, rent a car to run up to Marttila (yes!—isn’t that awesome?) on the 7th, tour around Helsinki all day on the 8th, and then take in the amazing that is WorldCon from August 9 to 12 (it runs to the 13th, but my return flight takes off early that day … ).

It’ll be my first time outside of continental North America. I’m excited and nervous, and, let’s just be honest here, scared out of my wee gourd. I know I’ll have a fabulous time. This is a bucket-listy kind of writerly adventure, after all, but iz still escared.

I’m not afraid to fly, or of the plane crashing, or anything like that. I’m afraid that I’ll miss one of my connections, and therefore the cruise, altogether. I’m afraid my boarding passes, which, to this point, are all virtual, will not materialize, or that my embarkation form for the cruise won’t arrive. I’ve received confirmation that some of the forms were late. I should be hearing about my embarkation form soon.

Oh, and did I mention? I’m going by myself. Sweet baby Jesus.

I’m getting jittery just writing about it.

Went out for dinner with a dear friend, Kim, on Friday night and she says the trip will empower me. I don’t doubt it. But I’ve travelled on my own before. Just not such a big trip so far away with so many moving parts.

In other news … we’ve been enjoying the fruits (and vegetables, and herbs) of our labours. The strawberry harvest is just about done, and the raspberries are about to start. Friends have been dutifully decimating the rhubarb, and we’ve been harvesting greens for salads and sandwiches. And lots of herbs. Chives, parsley, lemon thyme … We’re almost overrun by the sage. And our beans are starting to climb the trellis.

GardenJuly

I’d show you the patio garden, but I haven’t finished weeding it yet and so it mostly looks like purple clover. *blushes*

Inside, I’ve been enjoying my orchids. I have no idea how, but I’ve managed to get two plants to flower. I’ll take it 🙂

OrchidsBloom

That’s it for this week in the writerly life.

Next week, I think I’m going to do a series discoveries post, just to shake things up a bit.

In the meantime, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories 🙂

Muse-inks

Muse-Inks: A week in this writer’s life and more lessons in vulnerability

Greetings, writerly folk!

Fun stuff first.

On Tuesday of this past week, the Sudbury Writers’ Guild held its annual picnic on the lovely patio of one of our members 🙂 This is the first year in … several, that we’ve actually had a picnic outside. In recent years, because we’ve paid for the rental space, we’ve held the “picnic” in our regular meeting room.

Though the point is to get together and socialize before our summer break, it was nice to enjoy the lovely weather we’ve had recently.

Also on Tuesday, my latest column for DIY MFA went live. It was on time travel. I kind of gravitated to the topic because one of my works in progress deals with time travel, in a way, and so I’ve been researching the various theories. I’m kind of proud of this one. I’m proud of all of them, really 🙂

On Wednesday, I took part in the quarterly DIY MFA call. Gabriela has a number of new columnists and interns. It was great to get in touch with everyone and meet all of the new additions to the team.

Thursday was the final meeting of the Canadian Authors Association CanWrite! sub-committee prior to the conference. That’s next weekend, and will necessitate a brief blogging vacay. Just for the weekend. Curation will go on as usual 🙂

Then, just today, I participated in my first urban hike, a cooperative event put on by the Rainbow Routes Association and The Greater Sudbury Poet Laureate, Kim Fahner. The poets from the Sudbury Street Poetry Project were invited to accompany hikers on a downtown route which visited the various businesses and organizations where our poems were posted.

PoetryHike

We paused to read our poems at each location, and chatted between. Just after my stop at NISA, it started to drizzle, and then to rain. We ended up at the Farmer’s Market and the drumming circle performing there, where Louise Visneckie crashed the performance and read her work with drum accompaniment 🙂

As I mentioned last week, I was courting burnout and so, I decided to take a break from writing and revision for a while.

In the meantime, writers have continued to post their thoughts about writing every day, especially if the writer has a day job. Even for writers who work on their craft full time schedule days off. It’s important to give yourself space.

What I discovered this week is that even if I’m not writing and revising, I’m still writing and revising. I carry a small moleskine with me all the time and I made a number of notes on my various works in progress. Even when I’m not writing, it’s where my heart and soul live.

This weekend, Phil and I are also pupsitting for Phil’s sister.

Buster

Isn’t Buster a lovely boy?

So, I’d thought that, perhaps, I’d get back into the habit this weekend, but I have to put the final SWG newsletter together, and I think I might defer until Monday.

I’ve been considering giving myself a regular day off. Perhaps Friday.

I am feeling better, though. More centred.

Another reason for this is that I’ve continued to listen to Brené Brown’s The Power of Vulnerability sessions.

Stuff I’ve learned:

I’m addicted to shame. I said this last week, but now, I want to unpack that statement. When things go to shit, it’s always my fault. I don’t think, “It’s unfortunate this happened.” I think, “I’m a bad person because I let it happen/couldn’t stop it.”

That’s the core difference between guilt and shame. In guilt, you’re accountable, you take responsibility but, because it’s the action that was thoughtless or hurtful, you can take ownership and change your behaviour. With shame, it’s not the action, but the actor, who is thoughtless or hurtful. It’s much more difficult to change behaviour when the story you tell yourself is that you’re hardwired that way.

I live in a continual state of low expectation because it’s easier than getting excited about things and being disappointed.

You can’t love anyone else more than you love yourself. This gets people’s backs up, but it’s true. If you don’t have compassion for yourself, how can you ever show it to others?

I overshare as a defence strategy. Brené Brown calls it spotlighting. I don’t know if I do it consciously, with intent, but I’m very open with some parts of my life, sometimes with people who might be classed more as acquaintances, than as friends. It makes people back off and confirms my bias that I’m a bad person. I’m not worth knowing.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all this new insight. Yet. I now know that I have these issues and I’m learning some strategies to address them. I’m just not sure how I’ll get from point A to point B.

Mindfulness and baby steps. Like anything else, it’s a matter of patience and practice.

I also think I’m going to start gratitweeting. Blame Brené Brown and Kim Fahner, who is half way through her second year of the daily gratitude practice. I’m not sure when, but I think it’s a way to bring the good stuff to mind. It’s too easy to take those things for granted, and then you can too easily slip into hopelessness and depression.

I don’t expect the transformation to be immediate, but I do expect that it will help me manage my mood.

As always, I’ll keep you informed.

As I mentioned, next weekend there will be no post, and the weekend after will be July 1st (Canada Day!) and it’ll be time for my next chapter update.

Until next I blog, be well, be kind, and stay strong.

Muse-inks

The next chapter: April 2017 update

Greetings, writerly friends 🙂

Yes, it’s that time of the month again—no, not that time—it’s time for my next chapter update. Yay (flailing Kermit arms)!

Ok, maybe that’s a little too enthusiastic.

That’s what spring does to me, though.

Even though we haven’t had a particularly warm spring up here, the fact that there are more hours of sunlight each day really helps me find my energy.

And what do I do with that energy? I overcommit. That’s what I do.

What does that look like in 2017? Let’s see …

  • work full time;
  • write as much as I can, evenings and weekends;
  • produce the monthly Sudbury Writers’ Guild newsletter;
  • serve on the Canadian Authors Association Program Committee (and various sub-committees); and
  • sign up for Writing the Other with Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford (yay—it’s awesome, but I can’t keep up with the assignments and so feel crap about it).

Truly, though Writing the Other is one of the bit of writerly awesome to happen this past month. It continues through to the middle of May, so I’ll save the deets for a future weekend wrap-up post. Suffice it to say for now, though, that I would recommend the course to anyone.

A second is my continued semi-regular SF&F column with DIY MFA, Speculations. As I mentioned last week, I’ll be posting to share those columns on the blog. The next one should be coming up Tuesday, and it’s a dreamy one, so stay tuned 🙂

A third bit of awesome was that I participated in was the Sudbury Poetry Project. April was National Poetry Month, after all. When Kim Fahner, Sudbury’s Poet Laureate put out the call, I wrote a new poem and submitted it.

thiswintersky

“this winter sky” was inspired by what has been a particularly gloomy winter here in Northern Ontario. I believe that almost everyone who lives in the northern hemisphere experiences some degree of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and those of us predisposed to depression tend to feel the effects of SAD more than others.

More than, that, though, the poem is about the hope that blossoms when one recovers, or learns to live with, mental illness. This is why I was honoured to have the poem posted outside the Northern Initiative for Social Action (NISA) which is a safe place where survivors of mental illness and consumers of mental health services can gather, learn, and heal.

And now, onto the writing progress report 🙂

April was a decent month. I finished my latest revision of Initiate of Stone. Unfortunately, it only reduced the overall word count of the novel by a few thousand words 😦 I was, however, after a short respite, move on to Apprentice of Wind.

I also revised two short stories for submission to a contest and an open anthology call. We’ll let you know how that goes in the future.

All the new writing in April was once again on this blog.

AprilProgress

Here’s how the numbers break down:

  • 79,078 words revised on the Ascension series, or 113% of my 70k goal.
  • 4,105 words of short fiction revised, or 164% of my 2,500 goal (makes up for not revising any short fiction in the last two months).
  • 6,098 words written on the blog, or 92% of my 6,600 goal.

That’s a total of 83,183 words revised and 6,098 words written. That’s not counting my column for DIY MFA, which I really don’t have a place for on the tracking sheet.

What’s up next: I’m going to continue work on revising AoW, which I don’t anticipate will be finished until next month. Revision will yield (I hope) to writing with respect to short fiction. We’ll see how everyone likes the new plan for the blog.

Next week, I’m heading down to Story Masters in Toronto, with Donald Maass, James Scott Bell, and Christopher Vogler, but that, of course, means that there will be no post next weekend. I’ll have another wrap-up post to share on this lovely event later in the month.

And then we’ll see. This writer’s life is never boring, that’s for sure.

Until next I blog, be well, be kind, and stay stong, because this winter sky will always yield to the light.

The Next Chapter

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Nov 27-Dec 3, 2016

And it’s the triumphant return of Tipsday!

K.M. Weiland continues her how to outline for NaNoWriMo series with this instalment: how to write a scene outline you can use. Not to worry, links to all previous posts in this series are included. Helping Writers Become Authors

A.E. Siraki guest posts on Jami Gold’s blog. NaNoWriMo: good or bad, let’s move forward.

Jane Friedman asks, do you know what you’re capable of? Writer Unboxed

Julia Munroe Martin shares one of her takeaways from the Writer Unboxed Unconference: how do you want your novel to change the world?

Anne Greenwood Brown examines the pinch point in this post for Writer Unboxed.

Cathy Yardley helps us write when life sucks. Writer Unboxed

Juliet Marillier shares her struggle following the review of her latest series proposal at the Writer Unboxed Unconference: when bad news is good news.

Jo Eberhardt explores intertextuality: stories within stories (within stories). Writer Unboxed

Roz Morris offers three ways to get maximum impact from a story. Nail Your Novel

Oren Ashkenazi examines five characters with too much spinach, and offers advice on how you can avoid the same pitfalls. Mythcreants

Chris Saylor explains the proper use of ellipses and dashes on Marcy Kennedy’s blog.

Heidi Ulrichsen reports on Greater Sudbury Poet Laureate, Kim Fahner’s project to bring poetic grafiti to storefronts downtown. The Northern Life/Sudbury.com

Amanda Michalopoulou looks at how literature teaches us to understand “the other” in these divided times. The Guardian

Ian Failes explains how designers created the stunning alien language in Arrival. Thrill List

Aimee Bender shares her thoughts on why fairy tales still inspire modern female writers. Wired

Bryan Washington wonders why there aren’t more famous black science fiction authors. The Awl

Beth Elderkin (and the whole i09 crew) is hooked on the latest Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 trailer. Baby Groot is ADORBS!

Referring back to Jo Eberhardt’s piece on intertextuality, Tom Blunt parses Westworld’s literary references. Signature

That’s it for your informal writerly learnings this week. Come back next week for moar. MOAR, I tell you!

By the way, what do you think of my new graphic (keep in mind that I’m not a professional graphic artist)?

Be well until Thursday, when I’ll have a little thoughty for you 😉

tipsday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Oct 23-29, 2016

The informal writerly learnings are here!

Your #NaNoWriMo round up for the week:

Danielle Daniel discusses her memoir, The Dependent, with the ladies of The Social.

Sudbury’s Poet Laureate, Kim Fahner, writes in defense of school libraries. The Republic of Poetry

K.M. Weiland: how to properly motivate your bad guy. Helping Writers Become Authors

Roz Morris shares some thoughts on book marketing. Nail Your Novel

Robin Lovett explains why deadlines are not your worst enemy. DIYMFA

James Scott Bell: writer, this is your job. Kill Zone

Barbara O’Neal explores writing with the knowledge of time. Writer Unboxed

Dan Blank: dealing with a slump. Writer Unboxed

Karen Woodward writes in defense of constraints.

Janice Hardy guest posts on Writers in the Storm: how filtering point of view affects show, don’t tell.

Marcy Kennedy blogs about conflict.

Veronica Sicoe continues her storyworld design series with transportation technologies.

Chris Saylor returns to Marcy Kennedy’s blog with his monthly editorial clarification post: “I could care less.”

Jamie Raintree shares her path to publication (part two!).

Janet Reid addresses the issue of young writers. “Publishing will break your heart. Writing will fill your heart.” Truer words . . .

Joanna Penn interviews Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith on The Creative Penn podcast.

Tamerra Griffen unpacks a situation of academic racism on Buzzfeed: a professor circles the word “hence” on Tiffany Martinez’s paper and notes “This is not your word.” Bonus: here is Tiffany’s response to the incident (linked in the Buzzfeed article).

Foz Meadows explores the relationship between romance and queerness, and the difference between genre and device. Shattersnipe

Meg Elison: if women wrote about men the way men write about women. McSweeney’s

Katherine Langrish explores death in classic fantasy. Seven Miles of Steel Thistles

Sadness. 2016 has taken so many great creators from us. Sheri S. Tepper, 1929-2016.

Award news:

The Governor General’s Award winners announced.

The OAC presents its indigenous arts protocols:

 

Joseph Boyden speaks out for the #WeMatterCampaign

 

Baihley Grandison shares a lovely infographic with untranslatable words from other languages. Writer’s Digest

Rajeev Balasubramanyam states that the Nobel committee got it wrong: Ngugi wa Thiong’o is the writer the world needs now. The Washington Post

Christopher Marlowe will be credited as Shakespeare’s co-author in New Oxford editions of the Henry VI plays. Dalya Alberge for The Guardian.

Connie Verzak considers Tobias Menzies to be the Snape of Outlander. The Daily Record

And that concludes my first and last Tipsday for the month of November.

The next Tipsday will be coming your way on December 6th, after the furor of #NaNoWriMo has subsided.

Be well until then, my writerly friends.

Honour your creative path.

Virtual hugs to the awesomesauce that is you!

tipsday2016

The next chapter: September 2016 update

Another month has passed and I don’t know where it went. Yes, September was a short month, but I spent most of it focusing on Initiate of Stone and Apprentice of Wind, working long hand, in my journal and on scrap paper, so none of it was spreadsheet-worthy.

So all I have to show for it is my month of blogging, 9,151 words, 158% of my goal.

septemberprogress

Surprisingly, even with two months of no revision, I’m still at 96% of my revision goal for the year. Yeah, I was kind of a beast January through July 🙂

This is to say that I’m making great progress, fine tuning my epic fantasy series. This month, if I finish a second round of revisions on AoW (which means I will be able to show some actual revision progress on my Writing and Revision Tracker*), I have some solid planning in place for the third novel in the series, which has a new working title—Wavedancer.

I should be well-placed to rock NaNoWriMo 2016. I must temper expectations by letting you know that I’ll once more be out of town, training, for the first few days of November (1st through 4th), and, I’ll be participating in Wordstock Sudbury 2016 ** the weekend following, November 5th.

I can’t guarantee a “win” this year, but, as I’ve said in the past, any words I write in the month of November are words that didn’t exist before. It’ll be a win, for me, regardless. I already expected to be drafting into December, in any case, because, epic 🙂

Querying has been temporarily suspended while I rework the first chapter, query letter, and synopsis for IoS.

Something that’s been very helpful is K.M. Weiland’s Character Arcs Course on the Digital Freedom Academy. I’m working through at my own pace. LURVE!

I’m also reading Kate’s Structuring Your Novel, and an ARC of her forthcoming Structuring Your Character Arcs. All of it is serving to, with my memories of the original blog/vlog/pocast posts that became the basis of these books and her course, ingrain Kate’s techniques in my long-term memory.

So helpful.

I can’t even.

Finally, I’m trying to find an editor/mentor with whom I can work, long-term, to develop my drafts into finished products. I will, of course, let you know how that goes.

kimnorthbay

In September, I also attended a couple of writerly events. The first was 100,000 Poets for Change in North Bay, Sept 22. I went on a poetic road trip with my friend and Sudbury Poet Laureate, Kim Fahner 🙂

Then, last night, I took a friend to the launch of Danielle Daniel’s memoir, The Dependent. Latitude 46, the publisher, put on a lovely event in the catering space at Verdiccio’s. There was music, food, and a reading by Danielle. And, of course, I bought her book 🙂thedependentlaunch2

It’s so nice to be able to support local arts and artists.

Today, despite it being Culture Days weekend here in Sudbury, and chock full of events, I had to retreat.

September also marked the first meeting of the 2016-17 Sudbury Writers’ Guild season, and it was anthology-palooza. We’re hoping to have Sudbury Ink, which features two of my speculative stories, printed in time for Wordstock.

The anthology is a promotional tool for the Guild and just shows the variety of the talent within the SWG. Having said that, it does have an ISBN and will be a formal, self-published, writing credit.

We hope to have a launch event, aside from Wordstock, later in the year. I’ll keep you posted 🙂

Although I attempted to gather my C.V. together for a Canada Council Works in Progress Grant, I realized the significant gaps in it. I haven’t kept track of the workshops I’ve attended, organized, or delivered. I haven’t kept track of the readings I’ve done. I have some forensic investigation of my writerly exploits to complete before December, when the Ontario Arts Council Northern Writers grant application is due.

I just couldn’t get my shit together for the CC app. It’s due today. Next year, the CC will be moving to a new funding model, so I might have a better chance then, in any case.

I’m also looking forward to how my writing life will take shape in coming years.

In past years, I was focused on writing in preference to everything else. I have six novels to show for it, but only one was even close to complete. This year, I focused on revision, but was only able to do a basic run-through of each novel, get the lay of the land, so to speak, and make notes for more in-depth revisions in the future.

I want to plan out a reasonable pattern which will balance writing and revising and hopefully allow me to get something to market.

The basic idea, for now, is to focus on in-depth revision on one project from January through to March, draft a new novel, April and May, revise another novel June through August, focus on NaNo prep and other projects (short fiction?) in September and October, participate in NaNo in November, and finally finish whatever might be outstanding from the NaNo project in December and prep for my next in-depth revision.

It may be ambitious, but my plans are always subject to change, given life 😉

And that was the month of September in this writer’s life.

Next week, I’ll get on with session reportage from WorldCon.

*Jamie Raintree, the creator of the Writing and Revision Tracker I use (and have used for years), is busy preparing the 2017 version. Watch this space for news on when the 2017 tracker is ready for order! Seriously, it’s worth it.

**Wordstock Sudbury 2016 will take place from November 3-5, 2017. Though I’ll be out of town training for the Thursday and Friday events, I will be manning the Indie Bookstore for a while on Saturday, and then participating in the commercial genre fiction panel in the afternoon! There will also be an opportunity to read at the open mic Saturday night. I’ll let you know more as the schedule is firmed up.

The Next Chapter

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 12-18, 2016

The tragic news of the week was, of course, the Orlando mass shooting. And all of them are writerly types . . .

CIA undercover. Powerful message.

 

Will your job go extinct? Janet McFarland lists all the prospects for The Globe and Mail.

An estimated six million Canadians live in isolation. Social researchers are now calling it a hidden epidemic. Andre Picard for the UC Observer.

Forest bathing’ embraces the healing power of trees. CTV News.

Laser technology reveals cities concealed under the earth which would have made up the world’s largest empire in 12th century. The Guardian.

The Heraldic College of Arms includes rules for same sex couples.

13 untranslatable words that reflect the complexity of love. CBC.

 

A dying star metamorphoses into a butterfly. Phil Plait for Slate.

White curtain auroras over Finland. Design you trust.

The Public Domain Review features the Compendium of Demonology and Magic (c. 1775).

The unbelievable tale of Jesus’ wife. Ariel Sabar for The Atlantic. And for balance, Karen King responds to the unbelievable tale of Jesus’ wife.

It’s all good.

See you on the weekend for some DIYMFA catch-up 🙂

Thoughty Thursday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 5-11, 2016

June already? OMG! Where has the year gone? Oh well, console yourselves with some writerly goodness.

C.S. Lakin explains how writers can bring setting to life through personification. Live, write, thrive.

K.M. Weiland: how to write the perfect plot (in two easy steps). Helping writers become authors.

Chris Ebock teaches us how to develop a great story in three (or four) steps. Fiction University.

Chris Winkle shares seven rules of effective prose. Mythcreants.

All the world’s a book: acting for writers. Allie Larkin on Writer Unboxed.

Write about inner demons without boring your reader into a coma. I love Kristen Lamb’s sense of humour 😀

Chuck Wendig’s inimitable writing advice: what exactly makes a damn good story? Terribleminds. Now when this was shared on the listserv of one of my writing associations, the following was quoted: “A man catches a fish isn’t much of a story, because his problem isn’t a problem.” And responded to: erm, Old Man and the Sea? Moby Dick? Yeah, well. Read it in context.

With Pooh’s demise last year, I’ve been missing the distinct feline voice in writing craft. Welcome Harper Hodges to The Write Practice: Seven steps to write more.

Emily Wenstrom shares some marketing magic with the seven points of contact for authors. DIYMFA.

Janet Reid offers her thoughts on this question: so, how do you know if you’re a good writer?

Susan Spann offers a warning about non-disclosure clauses on Writers in the Storm.

A.J. Hartley: writing people of colour as a white author. Tor.com

Stephen Burt reviews Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland series for The New Yorker.

Kim Fahner shares some of the things she learned at the Alice Munroe Festival of the Short Story.

Kameron Hurley shares an excerpt from The Geek Feminist Revolution on the Tor blog: what are you fighting for?

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at the Girls Write Now awards ceremony: fuck being likeable. Jezebel.

Dear broke reader: your sense of entitlement is killing me. Sarah Madison.

The British Fantasy Awards shortlists are revealed. The Guardian.

The Sunburst Society releases its 2016 longlist.

Ken MacLeod for Orbit Books: Is science fiction past its sell-by date?

Molly Mcardle interviews Daniel José Older for Brooklyn.

X-rays reveal 1,300 year-old writings inside later book bindings. The Guardian.

The 1,000 year-old manuscript of Beowulf has been digitized and is now available online. Open Culture.

Shakespeare and the supernatural.

 

Benjamin Dreyer annotates Shirley Jackson’s sublime first paragraph in Hill House. Signature Reads.

Lisa Rosman asks, can a movie about editing be Genius? Signature Reads.

Jamie prepares for the battle of Prestonpans on Outlander. Vanity Fair.

Until next week, cheers!

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 8-14, 2016

All kinds of writerly goodness for you this week!

K.M. Weiland has made no secret of her disappointment in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. In classic Kate fashion, she gleans writerly goodness from the experience. Planning your story: what George Lucas can teach you (not) to do. Helping writers become authors.

Later in the week, she offered eight tips for writing child characters.

Jessi Rita Hoffman explains how to write a thrilling action scene for Writer Unboxed.

Sophie Masson shares the building blocks of great young adult fiction. Writer Unboxed.

Lisa Cron advises: don’t accidentally give your characters a time out. Writer Unboxed.

Margaret Dilloway explores overcoming impostor syndrome for Writer Unboxed.

Christine Frazier shows you why your hero should eavesdrop and make a bad assumption (in four steps). The Better Novel Project.

Janice Hardy looks at writing a character with a gender not your own. Fiction University.

Dan Koboldt offers some tips for creating fundamentalist religions in fantasy.

Chris Winkle offers strategies for defeating the contrivance boogeyman. Mythcreants.

Jami Gold wonders if your plot obstacles are too easy, too difficult, or just right?

Jennie Nash studies great opening lines. The Book Designer.

Chuck Wendig advises us to defy reality and become artists. Terribleminds.

Jami Gold explores how to reach your potential through writing feedback.

Angela Ackerman offers six rules that will keep your critique partnerships golden. Writers helping writers.

Gabriela Pereira interviews Charlaine Harris for the DIYMFA podcast.

Annie Neugebauer says, don’t hate the query—master it! Writer Unboxed.

Janet Reid shares a checklist of things you need to be thinking about between offer and acceptance.

Susan Spann offered some advice on royalty clauses in publishing deals and how authors get paid. Writers in the Storm.

Karina Sumner-Smith guest posts on Janice Hardy’s Fiction University: is a quick release schedule right for you and your books?

My friend, Kim, is back on the road. This time, she spends an afternoon with Margaret Atwood.

Micah Solomon offers three books that will help you to radically improve your writing. BookBaby

Cory Doctorow shares his vision of how publishers, libraries, and writers could work together. BoingBoing.

Delilah S. Dawson wrote this beautiful post on writing and grieving: someday this pain will be useful to you.

Natalie Zutter shares Nnedi Okorafor and N.K. Jemesin in conversation: masquerade, initiation, and science fiction and fantasy. Tor.com

Bustle wants you to diversify your reading list with these 23 LGBTQ books with a person of colour as a protagonist.

What Bustle says your to-be-read list says about your personality.

Ferris Jabr revisits the lost gardens of Emily Dickinson. The New York Times.

Kathryn Hughes looks at the dystopian world of Beatrix Potter. The Guardian.

Shakespeare and death:

 

Women swept the Nebulas! i09.

Jo Walton reviews Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning for Tor.com.

A Ken Liu short story will be made into a movie. i09.

John Marcotte reports that Marvel is committing to a Black Widow movie (at some unknown point in the future). Heroic Girls.

And, speaking of Marvel, the next X-Men movie is due out May 27th: X-Men Apocalypse.

Here’s the teaser:

 

And the official trailer:

 

Buzzfeed shared what was a sneak peek of Outlander’s next episode (I saw it Sunday) but I thought I’d post it anyway. “Ovaries explode!” – funnee.

See you Thursday for some thoughty stuff 🙂

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, April 24-30, 2016

Another lovely batch of writerly goodness for you!

First some Sudbury poet laureate news 🙂

Adriana Nicolucci interviews Kim Fahner for Our Crater.

More poet laureate goodness: it’s been a busy week at Sudbury’s libraries. Jessica Watts for The Sudbury Star.


K.M. Weiland asks, do you have a writing superpower (and why you shouldn’t)? Helping writers become authors. Later in the week, she helps us understand how to write scenes your readers will rave about.

Roz Morris shares tips on how to blend a parallel, allegorical fantasy plot into your novel. Nail Your Novel.

Bonnie Randall guest posts on Janice Hardy’s Fiction University: battling the block.

Marcy Kennedy returns with part two of her reading like a writer mini-series.

Chuck Wendig: What I’d like to say to young writers, part two.

Leanna Renee Hieber guest posts on Terribleminds: what to do when the bottom drops out.

James Scott Bell guest posts on Writer Unboxed: how to weave a message without pummelling your readers.

Steven Pressfield: I can’t squeeze my theme in! My favourite bit: “This is why writing (or the pursuit of any art) is, to me, a spiritual enterprise. It’s an endeavor of the soul. The stories we write, if we’re working truly, are messages in a bottle from our Self to our self, from our Unconscious/Divine Ground/Muse to our struggling, fallible, everyday selves.”

Later in the week, Shawn Coyne posts this: the designated driver. I’ve been listening to The Story Grid podcast and Tim Grahl has just finished his first draft.

Nina Munteanu explores the writer-editor relationship: editors preparing writers.

Stephen Stratford writes an essay on the dark arts of editing for The Spinoff.

Query Shark Janet Reid sounds off on why you should avoid querying services.

Author brands: Which kind of influencer are you? Carly Watters.

Martha Alderson guest posts on Jane Friedman’s blog and shows us how to use a plot planner.

Jami Gold looks at brain science from the perspective of how we, as writers, imagine.

I may have shared this before, but it’s a good article: how stories change the brain. Paul J. Zak for Greater Good.

This is long as heck, but Tor.com covers (almost) all the science fiction and fantasy adaptations in production and already on the air.

Charlie Jane Anders explores the moment when science fiction diverged from competence porn. i09.

Cassandra Clare created a fantasy realm and aims to maintain her rule. Penelope Green for The New York Times.

The secrets of medieval fonts. Medieval Books.

David Tennant as Puck. Just ‘cause it’s Shakespeare’s 400th 🙂

Shakespeare is dead: six hot takes. Literary Hub.

Rob Brydon shares Shakespearean phrases in everyday use.

 

The Doctor’s Long Story, a fan video with heart. Radio Times.

John Boyega and James MacAvoy to voice Netflix’s Watership Down. Comic Book Resources.

Nathan Fillion joins the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy 2, with more than just a prosthetic-covered cameo. Peoples Choice.

Electric Lit shares an infographic that explains the real history behind Game of Thrones.

Sarah Mesle reviews the first episode of season six for the LA Review of Books.

Until Thursday, be well.

Tipsday