Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 26-Aug 1, 2020

We’ve nearly made to the end of another week of #pandemic life. Console yourself and welcome the weekend by getting your mental corn popping.

Tarannum Kamlani: The Book of Negroes is more relevant than ever as Black lives matter takes centre stage. I watched the mini-series and I’m reading the book. Marvelous! CBC

Emmanuel Acho talks with Carl Lentz about race and religion. Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man

Isabel Wilkerson reveals America’s “untouchables” and the silent power of the caste system. The Guardian

Josh Jones: W.E.B. Du Bois devastates apologists for confederate monuments and Robert E. Lee (1931). Open Culture


Natasha Hinde says, you can still burnout while working from home. The Huffington Post

Kate Starbird shares some lessons from the pandemic: disinformation campaigns are a blend of truth, lies, and sincere beliefs. The Conversation

Amy McKeever lists the covid-19 vaccine developments to follow. National Geographic


Joan Donovan explains why Congress should look at Facebook and Twitter. MIT Technology Review

Cait Munro explains how black and white photography became a complicated symbol of female empowerment. “This kind of vague hashtag activism also recalls the great black square debacle of a few months ago, in which a bunch of people posted black squares alongside #blacklivesmatter in supposed solidarity with the movement, only to drown out important information about nationwide protests by flooding feeds and relevant hashtags with, basically, nothing. The black square then became something of a symbol for performative wokeness, and now is mostly a punch line leveled against white people who do too much without really doing anything at all.” Refinery 29

Biological sex is a spectrum, too. Not new, but interesting. SciShow

Amelia Soth reveals the socially sanctioned love triangles of Romantic-Era Italy. JSTOR Daily

Carly Silver: this is how they wiped themselves in ancient Rome. JSTOR Daily

Kate Yoder considers the surprising reasons people ignore the facts about climate change. Grist

Matt Simon: mad scientists revive 100-million-year-old microbes. Wired

Veritasium explains how scientists found the missing matter (not dark matter) in the universe.

Jenny McGrath interviews Kate Greene about her four-month stay in a simulated Mars habitat and what she learned. Digital Trends

Jamie Carter explains how many people will be needed to colonize Mars. Forbes

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

As you might have surmised by now, my next chapter update will be a week late. It was unavoidable. You’ll find out why this weekend (I promise!).

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

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 14-20, 2020

Listen, learn, and do better. This is the work. I hope some of the following will help.

Hal Johnson of Bodybreak explains how the show was a response to racism.

Ibram X. Kendi: the difference between antiracist and not racist. TED


Jessica Zucker wonders if you’re feeling anxious as the country reopens? You’re not alone. Vogue

When things fall apart: Tibetan Buddhist nun and teacher Pema Chödrön on transformation through difficult times. Brain Pickings

Gloria Liu: walking is making a major comeback. Outside

Katelyn Burns introduces us to the trans kids helped by a pioneering project. The Guardian

Jon Hamilton: scientist’s pink cast leads to discovery about how the brain responds to disability. NPR

Matthew Sherrill wonders why John Ackerman is buying up America’s underground. Outside

PBS Eons looks at the world before plate tectonics.

Ethan Siegal explains the science behind the ridiculous headline: 36 alien civilizations in the Milky Way? Forbes

Chris Lee reveals what life on a movie set will look like in 2020. The Vulture

True facts about cats’ killer senses. Ze Frank

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you took away something that will support your next creative project.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 7-13, 2020

Once again, I’m offering a cross section of relevant articles, posts, and videos that have helped me learn about anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism here in Canada and in the US.

An African Canadian response to the pandemic and international uprisings.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson: reflections on the colour of my skin. Star Talk


Google now has a “streetview” of the International Space Station.

Chris Wright: the remarkable stuff scientists get done as they work from home. Wired

Amanda Mull writes about the end of minimalism (or, the triumph of clutter). The Atlantic

Sarah Gibbens: the Bajao are the first known humans to be genetically adapted to diving. National Geographic

Eve Conant looks at lucky charms around the world: from evil eyes to sacred hearts. National Geographic

Dr. Emily Zarka introduces us to the Jorōgumo, the deadly spider woman from Yokai lore. Monstrum

Sarah Prager reveals that in Han Dynasty China, bisexuality was the norm. JSTOR Daily

Luke Fater introduces us to six comfort foods born of historic times of discomfort. Atlas Obscura

David Klein: how eggshells and coffee grounds can make your garden grow. I’ve since been informed that coffee grounds are toxic to insects, birds, and animals. Maybe do your research. Chowhound

Thanks for stopping by. 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, be willing to listen, learn, and do better, and stay strong. The world needs your stories, now more than ever.

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 31-June 6, 2020

It’s time to get your mental corn popping.

Because I’m listening and learning and want to do better:

What a future without police could look like. Desmond Cole. Walrus talks.

Lawrence Hill on racism in Canada and the US after George Floyd’s death. CBC

 

Nadia Drake covers the Dragon capsule docking with the International Space Station. National Geographic

Dave Mosher: SpaceX’s Endeavour spaceship has made history by docking with the International Space Station with two NASA astronauts. Business Insider

SciShow Psych delves into the reason we’re having weird covid dreams.

Jessica Stewart shares this ancient Roman mosaic discovered in pristine condition beneath a vineyard in Italy. My Modern Met

Jennifer Pattison Tuohy: the beginner’s guide to propagating houseplants. Dwell

Emily Chung: these Canadian species are found nowhere else on Earth. CBC

Jake Rossen figures out what pets see when they watch television. Mental Floss

Thanks for visiting and I hope you found something to inspire a future 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, May 31-June 6, 2020

Black lives matter. Indigenous lives matter. All lives cannot matter until Black and Indigenous lives matter. I’m listening, I’m learning, and I’m trying to do better.

2020 has been an apocalyptic year between covid-19, George Floyd’s murder, and the resulting fed up protests. Last week I was mired in despair, complicit in my silence, and deeply aware—and ashamed—of my white privilege.

I’ve read Black authors, Indigenous authors, and authors of other cultural backgrounds. I’ve taken a few Writing the Other courses. I’ve long thought that Canada’s greatest shame was our treatment of Indigenous peoples, but I hadn’t realized the hateful legacy of Canada’s treatment of Black people. I’m deeply grateful to the Black writers who’ve published insightful articles in the Canadian media during the last week (I’ll share some of them on Thursday and in ensuing weeks).

I have hope, though, because all four officers involved in George Floyd’s murder have been charged, even though it took some time to happen. I have hope because of all the protests, not only across the US, but also across Canada and all over the world, in which white and black protestors have stood, or knelt, side by side, demanding change.

I understand it is only a beginning and that we cannot ease the pressure on our elected officials until true and lasting change occurs. But I have hope.

Now, onto the informal writerly learnings.

Therese Walsh: the ourstory of now (BLM). Don Maass: the quest in the quest (BLM). Jael McHenry is getting comfortable with failure. Writer Unboxed

David Chariandy in conversation with Lawrence Hill.

K.M. Weiland shares 11 exercises to enhance your visual storytelling skills. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jami Gold explains the point of foreshadowing. Later in the week, she suggests how to format unusual dialogue.

Jeanette the Writer: even MS Word says two spaces after a period is an error. Gabriela Pereira: this needs to be said (BLM). DIY MFA

Janice Hardy explains why you should tighten your novel’s narrative focus. Fiction University

Kristen Lamb says, unforgettable characters are fashioned from damaged pieces.

Michelle Barker warns of the dangers of anecdotal writing. Writers Helping Writers

Jenna Moreci discusses the worst friendship tropes in fiction (starting at 3:22).

Mira Singer analyzes three genre-defining books with underutilized tropes. Then, Oren Ashkenazi examines six characters with poorly handled arcs. Mythcreants

Chi Luu: the linguistic case for shit hitting the fan. JSTOR

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you were able to find something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe. Whatever your lane (education, support, donate, protest) become part of the solution. And vote with your conscience. We need to put pressure on our politicians to make change stick.

Tipsday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 17-23, 2020

Another week of #pandemiclife, another batch of informal writerly learnings.

Before we get to those, though, here is my weekly update:

Though Ontario’s efforts at “reopening” have been cautious, numbers of confirmed cases have increased. Some of this is to be expected, but testing has not kept up. The federal government is trying to get the tech companies on board to have 1 tracing app across platforms (Android and Apple). While Phil and I did take my mom and Torvi out for an afternoon of physically distanced fun at his sister’s (she’s worked hard on her back yard this year, increasing the size of her patio to accommodate a gazebo, making a proper fire pit, and various planter boxes) we were careful to stay two metres apart.

Phil made a couple of yard games, a set of lawn dice for outdoor Yahtzee and a Finnish game called mölkky. I’ll let you look the latter up on the interwebz 🙂 We played a couple games and had an enjoyable afternoon.

Onto the curation!

K.M. Weiland strikes a balance between creativity and distraction: 13 tips for writers in the age of the internet. Helping Writers Become Authors

Janice Hardy is clarifying ambiguous pronouns. Then, Orly Konig wants you to organize the chaos using these five revision tips for pantsers. Fiction University

Gabe lists the four questions every pitch must answer. Bookish Pixie

Marjorie Simmins offers an excerpt of her Q&A with Lawrence Hill: memoir beyond the self. Then, Susan DeFreitas returns with part seven of her developing a writing practice series: engrained. Jane Friedman

Shaelin finishes her series on developing a novel: creating a writing plan. Reedsy

E.J. Wenstrom lists ten ways to connect with readers while physically distancing. And here’s my latest column: mythic storytelling with the tarot, part three. In which I create an outline for a fantasy story using the tarot. Jason Jones shares five tips to get your book on local media. DIY MFA

Dave King goes into the woods. Barbara Linn Probst is learning from Pinoccio how to create a character who’s fully alive. Writer Unboxed

Christina Delay thinks you might as well jump—into the third act. Writers Helping Writers

Ellen Buikema takes a look at body language in writing. Writers in the Storm

The Take looks at the girl next door.

Jami Gold explores the spectrum of third person point of view. Then, she helps you develop a powerful point of view.

Chris Winkle explains how to plot a series. Then, Oren Ashkenazi considers the world building of The Expanse. Mythcreants

Kelly Grovier: the women who created a new language. BBC

Deborah Dundas: Amazon hurt them. The lockdown hurt them. Now there’s a painful loss in court. Canada’s book biz — authors, publishers, retailers — is hunting for a new business model. The Toronto Star

Thank you for visiting. I hope you’ve found something to support you with your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Tipsday2019