Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Oct 20-26, 2019

Counting down to Hallowe’en, NaNoWriMo, and Wordstock Sudbury! Be prepared with this excellent selection of informal writerly learnings 🙂

Jan O’Hara helps you avoid a writing cat-astrophe. Sarah McCoy: confession of a lapsed reader. Heather Webb is writing boldly, without fear. Writer Unboxed

Meg LaTorre catalogues filter words you should remove from your manuscript. iWriterly

Becca Puglisi shows you how to use secondary characters to sway the reader. Eldred Bird explains how to create a multi-use logline. Then, Margie Lawson shows you how to make hugs carry power. Writers in the Storm

K.M. Weiland offers a writer’s guide to understanding people. Helping Writers Become Authors

Bonnie Randall: scaredy-pants! Four breeches—er, breaches—that elicit fear in your characters. Then, Janice Hardy shares two tips that make plotting your novel way easier. Fiction University

Jeanette the Writer shares six things editors want writers to know. Gabriela Pereira interviews Nicole Valentine about pacing, world building, and time travel. Savannah Cordova shares five tips for writing nail-biting suspense. Then, Rayne Lacko offers five ways to write what you want to understand. DIY MFA

Chuck Wendig wants you to find the balance of self-care and tough love. Terribleminds

Chris Winkle: Carnival Row shows us the damage a reveal can do. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five slow story openings and explains how to avoid them. Mythcreants

Jenna Moreci shares ten tips for creating magic systems.

Christina Bacchilega: how mermaid stories illustrate complex truths about being human. Literary Hub

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you found something useful for the busy writing months ahead.

Until next time, be well!

Tipsday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 30-July 6, 2019

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings 🙂

Jeanette the Writer: forewords, introductions, and prologues … oh, my! Then, Tammy Lough wants to help you create your series bible. DIY MFA

K.M. Weiland wants you to take your writing to the next level: whole-life art. Helping Writers Become Authors

Yi Shun Lai: better your writing by being a beginner—every day. Later in the week, Justin Attis warns against some common pitfalls of trying to make your story “unique.” Jane Friedman

Sophie Masson relates the pleasures and pitfalls of writing a multi-POV narrative. Donald Maass is back to the one-word titles: legendary. Bryn Greenwood explains what a ghost heart has to do with writing fiction. “The difference between the memoir I’ll never write and the novels I can’t stop writing is all about processing personal experience into fiction.” Jo Eberhardt: one story, many paths. Writer Unboxed

Tamar Sloan is digging deep into the psychology of a layered story. Writers Helping Writers

Fae Rowan writes about lost love and using your young adult voice. Later in the week, Janice Hardy stops by to explain how to write an opening scene that hooks readers. Writers in the Storm

David Safford explains how to apply helpful writing feedback (and how to know what you can ignore). The Write Practice

Chris Winkle shows you how to avoid melodrama in your writing. Then, Oren Ashkenazi writes about water travel before engines. Mythcreants

Cory Doctorow: I shouldn’t have to publish this in the New York Times. The New York Times

Open Culture reveals how Jane Austen edited her manuscripts with straight pins.

And that was tipsday. I hope you found something you need to help with your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well!

Tipsday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 16-22, 2019

A nice, plump bunch of juicy informal writerly learnings. Yes. I have fresh strawberries on the brain. I drool watching them ripen in the garden!

Anthea Lawson Sharp (who writes romance as Anthea Lawson and Fantasy as Anthea Sharp) talks about the craft of short fiction. Later in the week, Margie Lawson writes about the power of silence on the page. Writers in the Storm

Vaughn Roycroft shares a father’s legacy. Sonja Yoerg: writing characters with personality using Myers-Briggs. Erika Liodice asks, are you a student? Resounding YES here 🙂 Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland makes the final instalment in her Dos and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel series: five ways to earn your audience’s loyalty. Helping Writers Become Authors

Julia Roberts says, writer’s block is a gift (and explains why). Then, H.R. D’Costa shares five ways to ensure readers don’t abandon your book. Jane Friedman

Lisa Lowe Stauffer stops by Fiction University. Jamie Fraser eats an apple: using objects to inject character and world building into dialogue. Later in the week, Janice Hardy explains what setup in a novel actually means and then follows that up with four steps to establish the beginning of your novel.

Chris Winkle makes the next instalment in her goal-oriented storytelling series: tension. Writers Helping Writers

Jenna Moreci offers her definitions of active and passive characters and her tips for writing active characters.

Interestingly, Alexa Donne also expounds on character agency and growth. A theme?

Nathan Bransford explains how to work with a literary agent on edits.

Emily Wenstrom advises what to do when your social media growth stagnates. Here’s my latest speculations column: what psychology and neuroscience contribute to your stories. DIY MFA

Chris Winkle extracts some lessons from the writing of The Name of the Wind. Then, Oren Ashkenazi considers building democracy in your fantasy world. Mythcreants

Tale Foundry introduces us to eight of Sir Terry Pratchett’s clever(est) characters.

Roz Morris shares the “under-arrest” test for ensuring a satisfying ending. Nail Your Novel

CD Covington thinks the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is good fiction but bad science. Because language. Tor.com

Lynn Neary and Patrick Jarenwattananon celebrate Joy Harjo’s appointment as the first Native American US poet laureate. NPR

That should be enough to see you through until Thursday when I have a tidy batch of thoughty for you 🙂

Until then, be well, my writerly friends!

Tipsday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Apr 28-May 4, 2019

It is once more time to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Kaitlin Sullivan reports that neuroscientists have just brought pig brain cells back to life and how that changes our view of death. Popular Science

Karen Weintraub explains how scientists take a step toward decoding speech from the brain. Scientific American

SciShow Psych: can you become a morning person?

 

Jayshree Pandya wonders, are machines conscious? Forbes

Elizabeth Flock announces that the flip phone is back. Have people had enough of constant connection? PBS

Hannah Gadsby’s TED Talk: three ideas. Three contradictions. Or not.

SciShow Space News tackles the question of how fast the universe is expanding.

 

Liz Langley explains how bioluminescence works in nature. National Geographic

Catherine Zuckerman invites us to see the worlds oldest trees by starlight. National Geographic

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you found some inspiration in these links.

Until next tipsday, 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, Dec 2-15, 2018

Last week, I had two skimpy links to offer. As I said, my brain refused to brain in the week following NaNoWriMo. This week, the neurons mustered, and so I have a reasonable selection of stuff to pop your mental corn 🙂

The Guardian editorial staff shares its view on editing human DNA: a bad idea, and badly executed.

This “city” for people with dementia is the future of memory care. Katherine Schwab for Fast Company.

More neuroscience with Shannon Odell. Your brain on hangovers. Inverse

 

David Paul Kirkpatrick is breathing in the light. An instruction in the “Golden Flower” meditation. Better Humans/Medium

Matt Novak: how did Mary Queen of Scots send her secret messages? Paleofuture

Lizzie Philip takes a close-up look at the most influential medical book of the 16th century. Atlas Obscura

Robert Iriondo: differences between AI and machine learning and why it matters. Data Driven Investor

Brandon Specktor reports that Earth’s mysterious “deep biosphere” harbours millions of undiscovered species. NBC

Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its baby powder. Lisa Girion for Reuters.

Christine Ro: the psychology behind stalking. Vice

And on that disturbing note, that was thoughty Thursday.

Until next Tipsday, 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, Sept 23-29, 2018

Welcome to thoughty Thursday where the goal is to get your mental corn popping!

That Phoenix debacle that keeps popping up from time to time in my social media feeds or these curations? Yeah, that one. Here’s a video that may help explain things:

 

Sarah DiGiulio explains why your weird dreams actually make a lot of sense (according to neuroscience and psychology). NBC News

Megan Feldman Bettencourt: how forgiveness has been weaponized against women. In other words, to truly forgive someone, they have to be held accountable. Harper’s Bazaar

Linda Rodriguez McRobbie reports on the dead beneath London’s streets. Smithsonian Magazine

SciShow introduces us to the incredible biodiversity of Lake Baikal—plus, extremophiles!

 

Matt Reynolds examines the almighty tussle over whether we should talk to aliens or not. SETI, METI, and the arguments for and against. Wired

Stephanie Pappas: humans contribute to the Earth’s wobble. Scientific American

SciShow Space looks at the Dark Matter vs. MOND debate.

 

Eric Mack: NASA turns 60 and it’s reinventing itself for the SpaceX era. Cnet

Adrien Mauduit shares his time-lapse video of the skies over Tenerife:

 

Florence + the Machine cover Tori Amos’s “Cornflake Girl.”

 

Beck: Colours

 

I hope you found something interesting in this edutainment mix.

This weekend, I’ll be posting my next chapter update for September.

Until then, be well, my writerly friends 🙂

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Jan 14-10, 2018

A few articles to get your mental corn popping.

Not that bad. Katy Kati Kate: momming your ass off

Jennifer Wright: women are afraid men will murder them. Harper’s Bazaar

Suzannah Weiss offers a psychological explanation for why compliments are so embarrassing. The Cut

Kaya Oaks shares what medieval women taught her about being 40. On Being

Judith Graham reveals the secret to keeping your brain sharp as you grow older. It may be simpler than you think. Business Insider

Anika Burgess: the secret paths that led Ireland’s Catholics to forbidden mass. Atlas Obscura

Nikhil Sonnad explains that it’s tea if by sea and cha if by land and why the world has two words for tea. Quartz

Paul Cooper expounds on the timeless allure of ruins. BBC

Jenn M. Jackson: Martin Luther King Jr. was more radical than we remember. Teen Vogue

The extraordinary life of Nikola Tesla. Richard Gunderman for The Smithsonian Magazine.

Is the interbrain a kind of human wifi? IFLS

Bored Panda features photographs from the world’s coldest village.

Monitoring the wildlife overpass on highway 69, March 20, 2017.

 

A close encounter between a fox and a snowy owl. CTV News

Be well until the weekend!

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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, Dec 11-17, 2016

If your brain’s already gone on holiday, have some thoughty fun with these offerings 🙂

Saw last week that Alan Thicke has passed away, too. It’s been such a sad year for performers and artists 😦 And political unrest. And Syria . . . Take heart. Here are 99 reasons 2016 was a great year. Medium

Christopher Dickey shares the tale of angels of the resistance (and one serial killer) in Nazi-occupied Paris. The Daily Beast

UN Women takes a stand against gender-based violence.

 

Eugene Soltes explores the psychology of white-collar criminals. The Atlantic

Matt Blitz tells the real story behind the myth of Area 51. Popular Mechanics

Annalee Newitz investigates the lost city of Cahokia under the St. Louis suburbs. Ars Technica

Amanda Gefter interviews Donald D. Hoffman: the case against reality. One of my favourite bits: “… we have evolution itself to thank for this magnificent illusion …” The Atlantic

Peter Dockrill: cellular reprogramming has been used to reverse the aging process in animals. Science Alert

Simon Oxenham explains why bees could be the secret to superhuman intelligence. BBC

Peter Brannen examines a possible break in one of evolution’s biggest mysteries. The Atlantic

Chris Jones reports on Sara Seager, the woman who might find us another Earth. The New York Times Magazine

Watch this cool BBC video about how one woman with Parkinson’s regained the ability to write and draw.

 

Robby Berman reports on filmmaker Adam Rosenberg’s hilarious video in which he shares some of his nocturnal musings. It’s called Somniloquist and you have to watch it. Nearly peed myself laughing. Slate

Olga Khazan explains how magic mushrooms help patients with severe anxiety and depression. The Atlantic

Lauren Vinopal lists the 18 best houseplants for cleaning the air, according to NASA. Fatherly

Julia Shaw: I’m a scientist, and I don’t believe in facts. Scientific American

George Dvorsky reports on what the brightest supernova ever seen really was. Gizmodo

Natalie Wolchover: quantum gravity research could reveal the true nature of time. Wired

‘Tis the season, so here’s sommat from Grimfrost on Vikings, Santa, and Christmas 🙂

 

Honest to Paws introduces us to the Akhal-Teke, the most beautiful horse in the world.

Hope your mental corn’s a-poppin’ fit to see you through the holiday frenzy 🙂

Have a good one, everyone!

thoughtythursday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Nov 30-Dec 6, 2014

Diana Pitaru of Psych Central wonders, are we afraid of losing our darkness?

TED talks to pick you up when you’re feeling down.

The trouble with bright girls. Psychology Today.

Anita Sarkeesian is just getting started. Bloomberg Businessweek. One of my favourite bits: “Harassment is the background radiation of my life.” And still she fights on. The definition of courage.

Alanah Pearce has started reporting young harassers to their moms. The Huffington Post.

Trauma dog helps victims on the stand during sexual abuse trial. The Huffington Post.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years since the Montreal Massacre was perpetrated. Poet Penn Kemp posted about some of the commemorative and healing events taking place.

The world’s oldest engravings found on 500,000 year old shells. IFLS.

Abandoned and tragic places are fascinating to me. Drone footage of the Chernobyl exclusion zone from IFLS.

Thanks to Phil Plait for posting this wonderful video on his Slate Bad Astronomy column.

Cymatics, the science of sound from Nigel Stanford.

 

Cody C. Delistraty of The Atlantic wonders, can creativity be learned? What a new study reports.

The difference between opinion and reaction. Prolost.

Walking helps us think. The New Yorker.

Veritasium. Why innovation in education is not the end of the teacher.

 

Reasons you should move to Finland. Buzzfeed. We have most of this stuff right here in Canada, though, especially in Sudbury, Thunder Bay, and many other northern communities where the Finnish have settled. My last name? Finnish 🙂 Yes, my mom has a sauna and makes Finn bun. Om-a-nom-a-nom-a-nom.

I only hope this is true. The Huffington Post.

Kawaii time with Buzzfeed: 21 reasons to be thankful for your dog.

Stanley the Airedale talks to his mom on the phone.

 

Thoughty Thursday