Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Jan 27-Feb 2, 2019

And here I am, back with your weekly dose of informal writerly learnings.

Kathryn Craft: the story that holds you back. Hint: it’s the one you tell yourself. Writers in the Storm

Kim Bullock advises you to vanquish emotional overwhelm to increase productivity. Writer Unboxed

Elizabeth Huergo honors Mary Oliver on Writer Unboxed: walk slowly and bow often.

Cathy Yardley guides you from cool idea to premise. Writer Unboxed

Jo Eberhardt mines her (misspent/not misspent) RPG youth: when your characters have minds of their own. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland shares her nine writing goals for 2019. Helping Writers Become Authors

Manuela Williams shares five simple SEO tips for authors. DIY MFA

Pamela Taylor explains how to create authentic details: keeping secrets. DIY MFA

Bess Cozby shares her experience going for six weeks without social media. DIY MFA

Sofia Ashdown shares her top ten editing tips. The Creative Penn

Chuck Wendig explains the story about the story, or, how writers talk about their books. Terribleminds

Becca Puglisi guest posts on Jerry Jenkins’ blog. Got subtext? Writing better dialogue.

Janice Hardy explains what writers need to know about hooks. Fiction University

Chris Winkle shares lessons from The Maze Runner’s point of view disaster. Then, Oren Ashkenazi tackles the problem with oppressed mages. Mythcreants

I post about writer’s grief. WarpWorld

Sangeeta Mehta lists 19 diversity-focused writing conferences and events in 2019. Writer’s Digest

I hope you found something you need to fuel your creative efforts this week.

Come back on Thursday to get your weekly batch of thoughty.

Until then, be well.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 3-9, 2017

Here are your informal writerly learnings for the first full week of September (!)

K.M. Weiland continues her most common writing mistakes with part 62: head-hopping POV. Helping Writers Become Authors

Colleen M. Story explains how your time personality influences your writing productivity. Writers in the Storm

Susan Spann explains the law (and ethics) of conference blogging. Writers in the Storm

James Scott Bell stops by the Writers Helping Writers coaches’ corner: using the novel journal to make writing breakthroughs.

Vaughn Roycroft is fortified by gratitude. Writer Unboxed

Donald Maass muses on what makes a journey. Writer Unboxed

Here’s the second part of my exploration of The Hero’s Journey on DIY MFA.

Crash Course Mythology – The Hero’s Journey and the Monomyth. They do a really good job of illustrating how some of the stages of The Hero’s Journey are optional, or can be shifted 🙂

 

Leanne Sowul: it’s back to school time at DIY MFA—what do you want to learn?

Kristen Lamb explains why suffering is essential for great fiction.

Jeff Lyons returns to Jami Gold’s blog to bust the rest of the top ten writing myths.

Rachel Chaney is Dan Koboldt’s equine expert for this article: matching horses to use, climate, and characters in fiction.

And then, Judith Tarr contributed in praise of the hard-working fantasy horse to the Tor.com blog. What do these ladies have against Friesians, anyway?

Rebecca Solnit: if I were a man. The Guardian

Isabella Biedenharn: Libba Bray has some thoughts on this all-female Lord of the Flies remake. Entertainment Weekly

What growing up in the sulphur city taught me about beauty. Christine Schrum on the Latitude 46 blog.

Cat Rambo announces that games writers will be eligible for an award in the 2018 Nebulas. Geekwire podcast.

Tor.com presents Ursula K. Le Guin’s introduction to the Library of America’s The Hainish Novels & Stories, volume one.

OMG. Droughtlander’s almost over! Actually, the first ep will have aired by the time I post this. Still. OUTLANDER!

 

Ever think Gandalf was a dick? Well, so does Emily Asher-Perrin: five things Gandalf should have admitted instead of being a jerk. (ROFL-hilarious) Tor.com

So I went to WorldCon in August, eh? This happened. The Tea & Jeopardy live podcast taping with George R.R. (Really Really) Martin!

 

Enjoy, and be well until Thoughty Thursday!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Jan 15-21, 2017

And here it is, your informal writerly learnings for the week!

K.M. Weiland offers her insight into how to outline a series of bestselling books. Helping Writers Become Authors

Janice Hardy starts a two part series about finding your voice. First up: how to find your character’s voice. Fiction University

Are you revising? Then check out April Bradley’s tips on pacing and momentum. Writers Helping Writers

Dianna Gunn shares her experience with resistance: letting your story end at the end. DIYMFA

Sloan Tamar: five things psychology can teach writers. Writers Helping Writers

Dave King revisits the power of words. Writer Unboxed

Annie Neugebauer muses on the challenge of finding the balance between dreaming and working. Writer Unboxed

Writer Unboxed obtained permission to reprint this fabulous post by Christie Aschwanden: stop trying to be creative.

Jamie Raintree gives us a productive two-for this week: a different kind of writing productivity and the importance of knowing your priorities and sticking to them.

Jami Gold: what if I can’t find beta readers?

Kristen Lamb says, never tell me the odds—how to get your head right for success.

Jenny Hansen shares Maya Angelou’s writerly wisdom on Writers in the Storm.

A moment of tangency. The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (apparently soon to be out in book form!). This guy’s a poet.

 

Charles Chu looks back at Frank Herbert and his definition of success. You don’t write for fame and fortune. You write so you can have more time to write. Medium

Fiona Macdonald peeks at the racy side of Jane Austin. BBC

Punny. The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog … after a few tries 😉

 

Alexandra Alter reports on an unfinished Mark Twain fairytale that will soon see the light of day. The New York Times

Swapna Krishna looks at the time travel in Timeless. Is it possible? Tor.com

Spencer Kornhaber interviews Brit Marling about The OA and the dark side of science. As I said when I posted this to FB, I enjoyed the series … until the last episode. Though I called it, that couldn’t compensate for the deep dissatisfaction I felt in the wake of the final episode. Still, it’s nice to find out more about what inspired the series. The Atlantic

Looking forward to this, because Emma. The full set of Beauty and the Beast trailers.

 

Hope this curation gives you what you need to keep creating. The world needs your stories!

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 17-23, 2016

Lots of videos for your edutainment this week 🙂

Science confirms: men are terrified of smart women. I was sceptical. Not all men are like Phil, or most of the men I know, I guess. The Mind Journal.

Speaking of smart women . . . Melissa McCarthy can’t get respect. The Vulture.

Lolly Daskal shares seven rituals successful people use to de-stress and stay productive. Inc.

Jordan Gray asks four honest-as-fuck questions that we can use to chart our courses to bliss.

Money can buy happiness, but only if you spend it the right way. Quartz.

Tor Constantino helps us switch from pursuing happiness to being happy with these five tips. Entrepreneur.

James Webb writes about existential depression in gifted children. Creatives of any age tend to succumb to this. The Unbounded Spirit.

Time captures the aftermath of the recent Japan earthquakes.

Tesla unveils a new battery that can power your home off the grid. Eat Tomorrow.

NASA saw something come out of a black hole for the first time. Blastr.

On SciShow: Restless leg syndrome. It’s a thing. I have it when I get anaemic.

 

It’s okay to be smart looks at how slime molds are redefining our idea of intelligence.

 

ASAP Thought wonders, what makes tattoos permanent?

 

And . . . should you swear more often?

 

Ask a Mortician delves into a bog body murder mystery.

 

Patrick Lynch supplies proof that the Pythagorean Theorem predated Pythagoras. Phys.org

The White Wolf Pack shares some amazing photos of the Sami, Finland’s indigenous people.

If you like abandoned places as much as I do, you owe it to yourself to check out Iris van Wolferen’s site.

Dangerous Minds presents Herbert Baglione’s eerie shadow paintings in an abandoned psychiatric hospital.

Ten really weird crow facts. Aves Noir.

Beethoven’s 5th in the style of Chopin by Syd R. Duke.

 

Les frissons musicale! The Amalgamation Choir.

 

And, on that note (pun intended) I’m out of here until next Tipsday!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Thoughty Thursday

Muse-inks: The dream vs. reality (check)

On my way to London in August, I was listening to the radio when I heard Beck’s “Dreams.” It’s been on my playlist since.

I don’t know if it’s the driving foot-drum or the grunge-y guitar. I love this song.

Dreams have always been a BIG part of my process. I get ideas from them. I percolate writing ideas into concepts through daydreaming. I studied shamanism for a few years wherein the primary mystic delivery system is dream.

Not incidentally, my characters often receive insight from dreams.

I have dreams for my writing career, too. I may have mentioned them a few times on this blog.

Particularly since “winning” NaNoWriMo my first time out in 2013 and subsequently joining the (some would say) cult of word count tracking, I’ve learned that I’m capable of more than I thought in terms of writing productivity.

I share my productivity, or lack thereof, with you each month on my Next chapter updates.

If you look closely, though. I don’t write a heck of a lot.

My daily drafting would probably average about 250-300 words, or around a page. Sometimes I have a good day and I write 500 or a 1000 words, but some days I don’t write at all. I fit it in where I can around work, blogging, television, and the stuff of life like laundry, gardening, family dinners, and housework.

I’d like to think that if I had the opportunity to write “full time” I’d jump at it. But I *know* I wouldn’t be writing for 7.5 hours a day, five days a week. I’d probably write in the afternoons, primarily. I could still get a shit-load of writing done in that time, though.

I think.

A friend of mine shared that she’d written a thousand words in an hour on her current work in progress. That’s impressive. Other authors I follow report similar results, or better. Several of them with much more demanding lives than I have.

Catherine Ryan Howard recently blogged about her year of amazing productivity (watch Tipsday for that post) and I’ve shared a past post by Kameron Hurley, in which she wrote marathon 10k weekends because that was the only time her day job and life allowed her to have uninterrupted writing time.

Can I do that? I honestly don’t know. I’ve never had to.

A couple of other authors I follow (Marie Bilodeau and Jim C. Hines) have recently made the brave leap into full time writing. It takes more dedication than you think it will to make the writing life work.

I’ve been thinking about this again because I’m querying Initiate of Stone right now. If an agent decided to offer me representation at this point, I wouldn’t be able to leave the day job and focus on writing. If my agent was so lucky as to get me a deal contingent on additional novels, I’d have to find a way to bull my way through everything, including my resistance, to get the work done.

Right now, I make the choice to spend Saturday (and sometimes Sunday) mornings with my mom. On my days off, I generally do that, too. It’s not a duty. It’s something I want to do. Tomorrow, I’ll be taking her out shopping. She’s my best bud as well as my mom.

All the social media stuff that backs up during the week falls into the weekend as well. And preparing my weekly curation posts.

I let this happen.

Part of me says this is the way it is. Another part of me says that the day job gives me the excuse/luxury/lack of urgency to be lazy. I don’t need to grind out words to meet a deadline and pay this month’s (or heaven forbid, last month’s) bills.

I’m also thinking about my potential productivity as I head into another NaNoWriMo while I’m working, and travelling for work, during November. My only goal for this year is to beat last year’s 28,355 word effort.

In August, due to my two and a half week trip delivering training, I gave up posting on the weekends. I think I’m going to do that in November, too, even though I’ll have Can-Con sessions to report on. Y’all will just have to be patient 🙂

I continue to discover that I can do more than I think I can when I have the proper motivation.

If nothing else, I’ll try and see what happens.

The dream is still alive despite the reality check.

What about you, dear reader? Will your dreams survive the reality check?

Until next week! *waves*

Muse-inks

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, September 20-26, 2015

Strap your thinking caps on people!

Anna Lovind asks, what fears do you have to face to commit to making your dream a reality?

Sir Ken Robinson explores creativity in teaching. Mind/Shift.

Elizabeth Gilbert on the connection between creativity and curiosity. The Science of Us.

The Canadian Supreme Court rules that we have the right to doctor-assisted suicide. A victory for compassion. The Globe and Mail.

One scientist proposes that starting work before 10 am is tantamount to torture. Personally, I’d be inclined to agree, but from the comments when I posted this to Facebook, everyone has their peak times, and many people start their work days early. The Plaid Zebra.

Four ways to recognize gaslighting. Everyday Feminism.

Why your new mantra for inner peace should be “I don’t care.” Elephant Journal.

The one practice you need to be truly happy. MindBodyGreen.

99u presents the four productivity styles.

Music from Anne Boleyn’s songbook is performed for the first time in 500 years. itv.com

A whale fossil was discovered in the mountains. How cool is that? i09.

The secret lives of horses. Scientific American.

How the Dark Net is going mainstream. Jamie Bartlett’s TED Talk.

More proof presented that galaxy-spanning super civilizations do not exist in the local universe. i09.

Hubble captures an incredible image of an exploding star. IFLS.

Cyanobacteria could be the key to colonizing (and terraforming) Mars. Gizmodo.

It’s always good to keep your scientific terms straight. Hypothesis, theory, and law. It’s Okay to be Smart.

Creativity is about seeing interesting and unexpected connections between apparently disparate things. I’ve given you the raw material. Now get thoughty with it.

See you Saturday!

Thoughty Thursday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, August 9-15, 2015

Four methods to invigorate your prose with surprising sentences. K.M. Weiland.

Moar Katie: How not to waste your story setting’s full potential.

The love that dare not appear in print. David Corbett for Writer Unboxed.

The socially awkward writer. Sarah Callender for Writer Unboxed.

Roz Morris guest posts for Romance University on what you need to do for your NaNoWriMo preparation.

Harry Connolly shares what keeps him writing full time. Jim C. Hines.

The five things productive writers do differently. Joe Bunting guests posts on Tim Grahl’s blog.

Kristen Lamb explains what went wrong with True Detective, season 2.

To the lab! Veronica Sicoe writes about creating alien species in three steps.

Joanna Penn and Guy Windsor discuss the difficulties of writing good sword fights.

Just call her our lady of dark grace. Silvia Moreno-Garcia responds to commenters who call her a “little bitch” for daring to publish an anthology of Lovecraftian tales written by women.

Why do people say that the novel is dead? The New York Times.

Deborah Malcom was inspired by Neil Gaiman to create Meh, her wordless picture book that helps kids understand mental health issues. The Big Issue.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s first fantasy story to be published. Aaaannd, it’s from the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic poem. The Guardian.

Hear Shakespeare’s plays in Renaissance English. Open Culture.

Cannabis found in Shakespeare’s pipes (!). As a friend said, this explains The Tempest! The Telegraph.

Russell Smith offers six tips to help you write and publish your first novel. The Globe and Mail.

Five Room writers talk about their favourite writing tools.

Being a medieval librarian was hard work. Medieval books.

New images from the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Entertainment Weekly.

More Tipsday coming up next week, but in the meantime, swing back for some thoughty on Thursday 😉

Tipsday

The Next Chapter: February 2015 update

As you may have been able to surmise from recent weekend posts, February was a rough month for me. March is gearing up to be another such, but, the good news? Apparently, work misery doesn’t affect my creative life 😉

February 2015 Progress

Revisions of Initiate of Stone overtook drafting of Marushka, quantity wise. Blogging dropped a bit, and short fiction increased as I got back on that horse after my rejections in January.

I submitted a fantasy piece to the Friends of the Merril contest and I’m pleased to announce that I made the long list. I can’t disclose the name of the piece at this time because the judging is blind and I don’t want to prejudice the judges one way or the other. For those of you who may be in on the secret, please don’t let the cat out of the bag for the same reasons, please and thank you. Judging should be complete by the end of March. I hope to have more good news to share.

January was my best-ever month, productivity-wise, at 25,717 words, but, amazingly, February wasn’t far behind with 23,592 words between all active projects.

Revisions of IoS clocked in at 11,851 words (and remember revised totals are halved), Marushka at 3,859 words (this was the speed at which I expected the drafting to go—last month was a surprise), and short stories at 1,206 words. The blog’s share of the total word count was 6,676.

Year to Date Summary

As you can see by the summary tab, I’m 33% toward my goal of revising IoS, 31% toward my drafting goal for Marushka, 25% of my goal for short stories, and 16% of the way to my annual blog word count goal. It’s nice to see those bar graphs growing as I progress.

What’s up for March?

I’ll be submitting three stories to the Sudbury Writers’ Guild anthology, and revising another piece of short fiction for another market.

There are a couple of anthologies I’d like to submit to in April, and so I’m going to start drafting those. Both anthologies are themed, and I don’t have anything suitable in my current oeuvre.

I’m going to continue revising IoS. So far, I’m quite pleased with my progress. I’ve hit a point, though, where I have to start rewriting chunks of the novel because I’m writing out one of the characters. It’s a little more challenging than I expected, switching into drafting mode in the middle of revisions. In fact, it’s kind of stumped me this first week of March. I had to resort to writing by hand to get back into the groove.

I’m going to continue drafting Marushka. Though my goal is for a 75k draft, I’m thinking that I’ll land somewhere between 50 and 60k. There’s a lot of fleshing out that has to happen. I may overshoot my 75k goal when I do flesh things out, and then I’ll have to edit back down. This seems to be the way things go for me (so far).

Blogging will be blogging and I don’t anticipate a huge change in that department at this time.

I have registered for Ad Astra (April 10-12) and a Master Class with Julie Czerneda, booked my hotel, and put in for my leave from work around the weekend. This is a goody-goody-gumdrops event for me and I’ll be doing the reportage thing again 🙂 It’s only a month away! Eeeee!

That’s it on writerly progress until next month.

Next up, I’m going to be posting about anime and manga, and a writer friend has inspired me to write a post on my literary mothers. Should prove to be interesting. I hope you’ll all think so 😀

The Next Chapter