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!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 28-July 4, 2020

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

Because the only restaurant service other than take out currently allowed in our city is on a patio, local restaurants have been erecting patios all over the place, even getting exemptions from the municipal by-laws to create patio spaces on sidewalks. The complication, of course, is that people with disabilities, of which there are many living in the downtown core where most of these patios are popping up, are now having to use the street and risk what traffic there is, to move from place to place.

Yes, our economy needs to recover, but not at cost to the disadvantaged members of our community.

We have to commit to using the disruption of covid-19 to recover in a sustainable and respectful way. This is our chance to change our society for the better.

Thanks for your attention. Here are your informal writerly learnings for the week.

The Take takes on the white savior trope.

Natalie Hart is gaining wisdom and whimsy from the natural world. Donald Maass: we are unsafe. Then, Bryn Greenwood is on the way to Jerusalem (not quite what you think). Barbara Linn Probst clarifies that it’s not write what you know, but write from what you know: cooking life into fiction. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland examines the three stages of a writer’s life and how your age affects your writing. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jenn Walton wants you to write outside your comfort zone. Then, Bronwen Fleetwood wonders, is this a YA thing? On pay rates, racism, and toxicity in publishing. DIY MFA

Elizabeth Hartl shares some tips for overcoming imposter syndrome. Writers Helping Writers

Jenna Moreci returns with ten more tips for evoking emotion in your writing.

Jami Gold provides five ways to climb the learning curve.

Chris Winkle shares lessons from the terrible writing of Eragon’s sequel. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories that killed the wrong character. Mythcreants

Writing the morally ambiguous character. Shaelin Writes

Anthony R. Cardno interviews Nisi Shawl for Pride Month.

20 Canadian books for kids and teens to read for National Indigenous History Month. CBC Books

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

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 7-13, 2020

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

Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Trans non-binary folks are non-binary folks.

These pandemic times are increasingly complex ones. Protests against anti-Black racism and anti-Indigenous racism continue even as the world begins to “reopen.” Black and Indigenous people continue to suffer from and die because of police violence but, as has been pointed out, police violence is only the symptom. Institutionalized racism is the virus that must be eradicated.

Here in Canada, the RCMP has recently done an about face, first denying their endemic racism, and then admitting it and committing to do better. In the meantime, Indigenous and Black lives continue to be threatened.

People across the publishing industry—across all media, in fact—have been fired for their racism. Various governments are seriously considering defunding their police. Monuments to white supremacy are falling.

And TERFs who expose their prejudices are being publicly and thoroughly schooled.

The world is still in chaos. But with the continued protests, change is coming. I continue to hope and to support efforts to achieve reform and justice. I continue to listen and learn, because there’s so much I don’t know, and I want to do better.

Onto the informal writerly learnings!

Why poetry is so important/powerful/relevant right now. “Hollow” – Bristol’s City Poet, Vanessa Kisuule.

Jenny Hansen lists the eight Cs of character development. Writers in the Storm

Nya Wilcox busts six writing excuses and explains how she wrote—and published—a novel at the age of eleven. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jane Friedman recommends questions to ask your publisher before you sign the contract.

Laura Highcove offers an introduction to writer’s intuition. DIY MFA

The Take explains the superhero genre.

Jami Gold helps you make the right impression with character introductions. Writers Helping Writers

On her own blog, Jami shares four further tips for making the right impression for your characters.

Jenna Moreci offers her first ten tips for evoking emotion through your writing.

Jim Dempsey is writing and hiking. Kathryn Craft shares six ways to add a dash of foreign language. Then, Laurie R. King helps you keep your series fresh. Writer Unboxed

Janice Hardy reveals the hidden danger backstory poses for writers (and it’s not what you think). Fiction University

Nathan Bransford: listen to your characters, but don’t let them run away with your story.

Hard worldbuilding vs. soft worldbuilding. And yes, Tim does discuss Harry Potter as an example of soft worldbuilding, so be warned if J.K.’s recent TERF-dom is offensive or triggering for you. Hello, Future Me

Chris Winkle is judging what backstory to keep and what to let go. Then, Oren Ashkenazi lists what does and doesn’t make a signature weapon cool. Mythcreants

And that is tipsday for this week. Thank you for visiting, and I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe. Be willing to listen, learn, and do better.

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Oct 21-27, 2018

Here’s a good selection of articles and posts to get your mental corn popping (making those creative connections).

Fake news and lies: the caravan edition. Jim C. Hines (AKA the voice of reason)

Rachel Monroe profiles the FBI of the National Park Service. Outside

Former CIA chief explains how spies use disguises. Wired

 

Ivan Semeniuk interviews Canada’s newest Nobel Prize winner, Donna Strickland: I just wanted to do something fun. The Globe and Mail

Douglas Fox wants you to meet the endoterrestrials. The Atlantic

Phil Plait shares an awesome video that shows you how big the biggest stars really are. SyFy

Farhad Manjoo: a future where everything becomes a computer is as creepy as you feared. The New York Times

Emily Mullin explains how tuberculosis shaped Victorian fashion. The Smithsonian Magazine

Antonio Regalado relates one family’s race for a gene therapy cure. MIT Technology Review

Diana Kwon reports on the nerve pathway linking the stomach to the brain’s pleasure centers. Scientific American

Alex Williams: maybe your sleep problem isn’t a problem. Me? I’d prefer to sleep until 8 or 9 am and slowly roll into the day. Too bad I can’t actually do that. The New York Times

Sarah DiGuilio explains why some researchers think “brain tingles” could be the next big trend in relaxation. My ASMR aren’t triggered visually or auditorily, but tactilely. I’ve always had a thing for someone running their fingers lightly over my back. I used to bug my best friend to do it when I was a kid. NBC News

Sadie Caron says that nature is a free and easy way to manage anxiety. North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper

Maybe my stoicism and introversion are hard-wired? Laura Studarus explains how the Finnish survive without small talk. BBC

Check out this guilty dogs compilation. Laugh & Grin

 

Be well until the weekend!

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 29-Aug 4, 2018

Thanks for coming back! It’s Friday eve and time to get your mental corn popping.

Anne McLaughlin reminds us that August first is Lughnassadh.

Ephrat Livni: the artful science behind the scent of bottled rain. Quartz

Brian Kahn exposes how the quietest place in America is becoming a warzone. Gizmodo

Brad Stulberg introduces us to the equation that will make us better at everything. Outside

Christa Couture hosts a summer edition of CBC’s “Tapestry”: rethinking disability.

Michael Finkel explores the amazing journey our minds go on when we sleep. National Geographic

Annaliese Griffin recommends Wednesday as the best day to take off. Quartzy

Shannon Odell: your brain on alcohol. Inverse

 

Natalie Wolchover: the peculiar math that could underlie the laws of nature. Wired

Nadia Drake gives us the facts on the underground lake found on Mars. National Geographic

​This star might be hiding new elements. SciShow Space

 

Jesse Grady explains what dog and cat years really mean. Popular Science

Julija Televičiūtė brings us the story of how a puppy saved from a fire became a fire fighting dog. Bored Panda

Ze Frank: true facts about the owl. Not as hilarious as some, but still cute 🙂

Until the next time I blog, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 1-7, 2018

A few items to get your mental corn popping.

Gloria Galloway reports: Anishinaabe territory straddling Manitoba and Ontario named Canada’s first mixed UNESCO World Heritage site. The Globe and Mail

A bunch of posts about maps arrived in my inbox this week:

Dalmeet Singh Chawla says, scientists rarely admit their mistakes, but a new project wants to change that. UnDark

We might be totally wrong about Alzheimers Disease – SciShow

 

Alex Johnstone: how your age affects your appetite. BBC

SciShow Psych – why does nature make you feel better?

 

Have a happy Friday and an awesome weekend.

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

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 5-11, 2016

The Stanford rape case was all over the interwebz last week, as were the stunned reactions.

Jessica Valenti remembers her life as a sex object. The Guardian.

The rebel virgins and desert mothers who were written out of early Christian history. Alex Mar for Atlas Obscura.

Mallory Ortberg presents gleeful mobs of women murdering men in western art history. The Toast.

Hazel McCallion says, ageism is getting old. The Globe and Mail.

Adam Grant: unless you’re Oprah, ‘be yourself’ is terrible advice. The New York Times.

Teen suicides in Woodstock, Ontario prompt discussion of the effectiveness of anti-bullying programs. CBC’s The Current.

Iona Sharma: ‘A’gailleann’: on language-learning and the decolonisation of the mind. The Toast.

We learn more about our language by listening to the wolves. Holly Root-Gutteridge for Aeon.

John Beckett shares the reasons why he thinks the otherworld is bleeding through. Patheos.

Wow. Look at this self-sustaining community (Now This):

 

Indigenous communities are teaching scientists about nature. The comment that accompanied this article when shared by a friend: it took them this long to figure it out? Vox.

Gene drive therapy may be used to fight malaria. NPR.

Scientists discover a new cat species roaming Brazil. Monga Bay.

Oh, that’s what those bright spots on Ceres look like. Phil Plait for Slate.

Maryana Kopylova makes these alien toys. Space kittehs! Whatever, they’re cool. Brainberries.

This is Colossal shares Kevin Peterson’s hyperrealistic paintings of children and animals exploring urban remains.

ASAP Thought shares five ways to reduce mental health stigma.

 

Liz Fosslien and Molly West share six illustrations that show what it’s like in an introvert’s head. Susan Cain’s Quiet Revolution blog.

You’ll feel better at work with these two-minute habits. Robin Madell for The Business Insider.

This makes me happy 🙂 Pharrell Williams offers a masterclass to students at the NYU Clive Davis institute.

 

And . . . if you like lovely folk harmonies, you’ll want to watch this documentary of Dala’s tour to Alaska.

 

There is no light without the darkness and no darkness without the light.

Be well until next week.

Thoughty Thursday