Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Oct 14-20, 2018

Another lovely week filled with informal writerly learnings.

K.M. Weiland explores why writers cherish language. Helping Writers Become Authors

Janice Hardy stops by Writers in the Storm: plot backward to move forward with your novel.

Lisa Hall-Wilson offers five tips on writing a trauma backstory. Writers in the Storm

Roz Morris explains how to outline your novel without killing the fun of writing it. Nail Your Novel

Lisa Cron tells you how to nail your first three pages. Writers Helping Writers

Barbara Poelle answers another funny you should ask question: how fast-paced should a thriller be? Writer’s Digest

Janice Hardy tells you what you need to know about internalization. Fiction University

Rachael Stephen: how to write when you don’t want to. #preptober

 

Sara Letourneau helps you let go of perfectionism the DIY MFA way. DIY MFA

Dan Koboldt stops by Jane Friedman’s blog to explain how to research your writing to ensure technical accuracy. Also, check out Dan’s new book: Putting the Science in Fiction. I’m a fan 🙂

Kathleen McCleary: it takes a village. Writer Unboxed

Porter Anderson wonders, but how much are you reading? Writer Unboxed

Chris Winkle presents six wordcraft questions writers fight over. Then, Oren Ashkenazi points out seven common problems with speculative fiction technology. Mythcreants

Cold Crash Pictures debunks the four most annoying scientific inaccuracies in film.

 

Jenna Moreci lists her worst sci-fi tropes ever.

 

And Cold Crash Pictures tackles four more sexist tropes.

 

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something helpful in this curation.

Be well until thoughty Thursday!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 11-17, 2018

Here are your informal writerly learnings for the week:

K.M. Weiland: cohesion and resonance! Helping Writers Become Authors

Joanna Penn interviews Becca Puglisi on writing with emotion and depth of character. The Creative Penn

Daeus Lamb: theme made simple. Writers Helping Writers

September C. Fawkes says the key to writing introspection well is to show “just enough.” Writers Helping Writers

Kristen Lamb: conflict is the elixir of the muse, creating timeless stories readers can’t put down.

Sara Letourneau: a case study on love as a literary theme. DIY MFA

Join me over at DIY MFA for my latest Speculations column. The science in your science fiction: conventional space travel.

Rebecca Monterusso lists the five essentials of every scene. DIY MFA

Chris Winkle: using poetic devices. Mythcreants

Oren Ashkenazi shares six tips to make your fantasy setting more immersive. Mythcreants

Jami Gold compiles her master list of line editing skills and her master list of copy editing skills.

Porter Anderson: diversity in international publishing is not so diverse. Writer Unboxed

Michael Harris: I have forgotten how to read. The Globe and Mail

I saw the headline and thought, sweet Jesus, kid lit too? The only way we’ll overcome systemic sexual harassment is to expose it and talk about it. Like human beings. Sexual harassment in the children’s book industry. Anne Ursu for Medium.

Jim C. Hines, ally and sensible human being, writes about #metoo, denial, and backlash.

Related: James Dashner dropped by his literary agent. The New York Times

And then, Penguin Random House drops him, too. Publishers Weekly

Maria Popova remembers Ursula K. Le Guin, not as a product of, but a creator of, her time. Brain Pickings

I hope you found something to help you get to the next level.

Be well until Thursday!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 4-10, 2018

Here, once again, are your informal writerly learnings!

Jessi Rita Hoffman stops by Jane Friedman’s blog to help you prune hedge words and inflation words from your writing.

K.M. Weiland offers four tips for writing to your right audience. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jael McHenry: on commitments, participation, and the writing community. Writer Unboxed

Donald Maass shows you what happens when worlds collide. Writer Unboxed

Nancy Johnson joins the Writer Unboxed team: the question your novel answers.

Gabriela Pereira takes her turn in the Writers Helping Writers coaching corner. Writing by design, part two: pattern and repetition.

Back on DIY MFA radio, Gabriela interviews Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi: understanding the emotional wound.

Kristen Lamb: great stories are addictive by design.

Janice Hardy offers seven tips for creating believable fantasy and science fiction worlds. Fiction University

Fae Rowan shares a simple tip to help get rid of saggy middles. [But … will it work on ma belleh—lol?] Writers in the Storm

Jami Gold looks at the editing process and what every writer needs to know to improve.

Backtracking a bit to give you episode 1 of Ask a Puppet (Mary Robinette Kowal). Seriously hilarious.

 

Mary Robinette Kowal shares her writing process in honor of her birthday.

Roz Morris shares three paradoxes of a slow writing process. Nail Your Novel

Chuck Wendig: yes, you can hiss without sibilance. Terribleminds

Breaking their usual pattern of constructive critique, Oren Ashkenazi reviews five novels with strong throughlines for Mythcreants.

Shane Koyczan – Resolution

 

Jessica Stillman: why you should surround yourself with more books than you’ll ever have time to read. Inc.

E CE Miller shares 21 love letters by authors to inspire you on Valentine’s Day. Bustle

Ryu Spaeth: an education through Earthsea. New Republic

Michael Blanding reports on how plagiarism software unveiled a new source for eleven of Shakespeare’s plays. And no, before the histrionics start, Shakespeare did not plagiarize. The New York Times

Jill Lepore explores the strange and twisted life of Frankenstein. Amazing. Truly. The New Yorker

Krista D. Ball revisits Joanna Russ’s “How to Suppress Women’s Writing” after 35 years. Thought-provoking and anger-inducing. Reddit r/fantasy

Jamil Smith writes about the revolutionary power of Black Panther. Time

I hope your week got off to a great start. Be well until Thursday 🙂

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Oct 2-8, 2016

This week was just yummy 🙂

The Wordstock Sudbury 2016 schedule is up 🙂

Prism International interviews George Elliott Clarke, one of our Wordstock guests of honour.

Your #NaNoWriMo prep posts for the week:

Nina Amir guest posts on K.M. Weiland’s Helping writers become authors: how to get up close with your characters.

Chris Saylor guest posts on Marcy Kennedy’s blog: how to punctuate dialogue.

Roz Morris shares her insights on how to write emotions. Nail your novel

Donald Maass looks at four kinds of pace. Writer Unboxed

Joanna Penn: how to find and capture ideas for your novel. The Creative Penn

Janice Hardy guest posts on Writer Unboxed: a ten step guide to plotting a practice novel.

Therese Walsh explores dehumanization in fiction using one of my favourite movies, The Shawshank Redemption. Writer Unboxed

Cathy Yardley: just say yes. Writer Unboxed

Chris Winkle thinks the surprise kiss must go. Why? It’s a matter of consent. Mythcreants

Chuck Wendig offers some good writing (and life) advice: control what you can control. Terribleminds

Later in the week, he shares ten quick story tips to use or discard at your leisure.

Kameron Hurley shares her experience: five years a novelist.

Sarah Waters shares her ten rules of writing fiction. Aerogramme Writing Studio

Last Sunday I spent the day online in a short fiction intensive with Mary Robinette Kowal (!) Here’s one of the resources she shared on critiquing:

 

Carly Watters offers ten ways to personalize your query letter.

Kristen Lamb: what the dreaded synopsis reveals about our writing.

Anna Davis: how to prepare your submission package. Curtis Brown Creative

Awards news!

Ursula K. Le Guin has stopped writing fiction, but we need her more than ever. Zoë Carpenter for The Nation.

When Steven Musil reported that Amazon was cracking down on incentivized reviews, everyone panicked, until it was clarified that this policy change would not apply to ARCs provided for book review purposes. cnet

Sarah Gailey: why we write about witches. Tor.com

Lisa Rosman: what The Girl on the Train is really about. Signature Reads

Angelica Jade Bastièn says the price of fandom can be too high for women of colour. New Republic

Julia Alexander examines sexism in television in the microcosm of Adult Swim. Polygon

Shane Parrish: what you read changes your brain. Medium

If you can correctly pronounce every word in this poem, you speak English better than 90% of English speakers in the world. I must admit, I flubbed two or three <blushes>. The Poke

Ephrat Livni for Quartz: a linguist’s love letter to profanity and why it’s okay to swear in front of kids.

Dark Horse Comics will be producing the next two seasons of The Legend of Korra in print. Rob Bricken for i09. Moar Korra! Eeeeee!

Evan Narcisse talks to Greg Rucka about the reaction to Wonder Woman’s canon bisexuality. i09

Did you see the premiere of Westworld last Sunday? Here are a few pieces about it.

Michael Bennett Cohn looks at Westworld through the lens of the golem story. The Forward

Can Westworld do for science fiction what Game of Thrones did for fantasy? Charlie Jane Anders for Wired.

I’m watching and enjoying it. Phil, not so much, but then, he did see the original movie (which I haven’t) and he just doesn’t see how the writers can turn it into a series and so he’s closed to the possibilities.

Evan Narcisse explores how Luke Cage uses blackness for i09.

Netflix provides a release date (and teaser) for Iron Fist: March 17, 2017.

Outlander casts Marsali and adult Fergus. Entertainment Weekly

The Doctor Who Christmas special features superheroes (!) plus a wee teaser. Katharine Trendacosta for i09.

See you Thursday!

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Aug 7-13, 2016

Bumper week here at Writerly Goodness 🙂

The week previous, K.M. Weiland shared the reasons she believes writing is important, last week, she collected her readers’ thoughts on the issue. Helping writers become authors

On a related note: what do we write when the world feels insane? Sarah Selecky’s Story is a state of mind.

K.M. Weiland returns with more writing lessons from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with the single best way to write powerful themes.

Roz Morris offers ten eye-opening tips to add impact to your storytelling. Nail your novel

Chuck Wendig lists 25 reasons he stops reading books. Terribleminds

Then Chuck shares ten things he learned about storytelling from Stranger Things.

Related: Janice Hardy shares lessons learned about handling flashbacks from Stranger Things. Fiction University. Nick Wisseman then guests posts on Janice’s blog, explaining how to plot your pants (wait . . . that sounds bad).

Janice then hopes over to Writers in the Storm to post: using internal conflict to create plot.

Finally, Janice guest posts on Jami Gold’s blog: if you’re stuck on plot, start at the end.

Lisa Cron writes about getting out of your process comfort zone: there is no safe place. Not plotter or pantser, but seeker. Writer Unboxed

Allie Larkin shows us how to organize a second draft with note cards and Tom Petty. Writer Unboxed

Christine Frazier shows us how to write a fight scene in which the hero fends off an attack to save a friend. The better novel project

Chris Winkle shares what she knows about creating realistic cultures. Mythcreants

Sarah Callender writes about enduring the long road to publication for Writer Unboxed.

The author as busy, busy bee and other bee-filled nightmares. Kameron Hurley.

Phil Stamper-Halpin shares what the editors of Penguin Random House look for in the first page of a novel.

Jennifer Johnson Blalock offers six ways to make comp titles work for you on Carly Watters’ blog.

Susan Spann helps you understand ebook rights. Writers in the Storm.

Robin Lovett shares what she learned from a negative experience: when your book doesn’t sell. DIYMFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Andrew Piper (not the Canadian author) on her DIYMFA Radio podcast. Will an MFA influence your chances of success as an author?

Timothy Beck Werth looks at Djuna Barnes’ 1936 novel Nightwood and what may be the first trans woman in western literature. The Awl

Lorraine Berry: the horror of female adolescence and how to write about it. The Guardian

Michael Newton leads a celebration of Alan Garner. The Guardian

Ursula K. Le Guin writes about the golden age for The New Yorker. “I . . . think it ungrateful in a writer to write science fiction and deny that it’s science fiction.”

BrainPickings looks at Le Guin’s thoughts on aging and the meaning of beauty.

“What the market wants” is code for white stories in science fiction where black writers face universal racism. Amy McNeill for The National Post.

Michael Swanick lists five fantasy novels you won’t find in the fantasy section. Tor.com

Sarah Gailey writes in defence of villainesses for Tor.com.

Writing begins with forgiveness: why one of the most common pieces of writing advice is wrong. Daniel José Older on Seven Scribes.

Every writer’s worst nightmare: Helen Gladwell died before learning that her first book had been accepted for publication. Worse, her body remained undiscovered for months. The Telegraph

I saw this article in many forms over the last week. This one, by Jenn Savedge for Mother Nature Network, was the first. Reading a minimum of 30 minutes a day can extend your lifespan.

Jacob Mikanowski examines the Oneirocritica, an ancient encyclopaedia of dreams and dream interpretation. The Awl

Anthony Jones lists 25 words for other words. Mental Floss

Abraham Riesman interviews Margaret Atwood at San Diego ComiCon. The Vulture

Katharine Trendacosta reports that The Silver Chair, the next film adaptation of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series, is in production. Whee! i09

Germaine Lussier presents a first look at the Arrival trailer. i09

Phil and I are looking forward to September 30 for this reason: Luke Cage. i09

Laura Prudom breaks George R.R. Martin news for Variety: Wild Cards series in development.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer.

 

Thems was some juicy informal writerly learnings, eh?

I’m off to WorldCon tomorrow. Poor Phil’s holding down the fort. Not to worry, my mom’s going to feed him 😀 Thursday’s curation has already been scheduled, but the blog will be silent from the 19th to the 26th. For the sake of sanity, I’m not going to catch up on the curation.

Be well. Be kind.

Tipsday

Exposing my essentials with the DIYMFA Launch Team

How’s that for a provocative title? As Geroge Takei would say, oh, myyyyyy!

So here was week 12’s prompt:

QOTW 12: What Are Your Essentials?

You don’t need to own every book in the world, but there are some essentials that every writer should have on his or her shelf. Today, I want to know: What are your essentials? What are your go-to “read like a writer” resources?

content_QOTW-12

Okay, and here I defect to another of my writerly mentors, K.M. Weiland. Kate wrote this post back in 2014: the ten commandments of reading like a writer. I’d start there. But then, I’d grab a paperback of Jane Eyre: Writer’s Digest Annotated Classics. You won’t really be able to get the most out of it with the ebook version.

Kate, in analysing and annotating Jane Eyre for WD, shows you how to read like a writer. And, she gives you worksheets and questions, and—well, let’s just say I learned a lot from this book 🙂 I reviewed it, too.

Another a-MA-zing (and yes, you heard the angels singing on that capitalized MA) resource is her Story Structure Database. In each entry, a different novel or movie is analyzed in terms of story structure. Most entries Kate writes herself, but some are submitted by readers. Treasure trove.

And that, my friends, is all you’ll ever need to help you dissect a story with your big, squishy, writer brain.

Essential writing craft books:

Anything by Donald Maass

Anything by Natalie Goldberg

Anything by Ursula K. Le Guin (she’s written a lot about writing—LURVE!)

All the Nail Your Novel books by Roz Morris

Outlining your Novel and Structuring your Novel, plus both workbooks by K.M. Weiland

Page After Page and Chapter After Chapter by Heather Sellers

Take Joy by Jane Yolen

On Writing by Stephen King

The Right to Write by Julia Cameron

Self-editing for Writers by Browne and King

The Artful Edit by Susan Bell

Sometimes the Magic Works by Terry Brooks

Adventures in the Screen Trade and What Lie did I Tell? More Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman

Story by Robert McKee

I think I’d better stop there. I have to confess to being a writing craft book junkie. It’s half of my informal learning on the subject 🙂

As far as novels and stories that I read . . . egads, I have five shelves full in my office alone. You don’t want to know how many Rubbermaid tubs I have in my basement (cause I don’t have room for them anywhere else). And don’t get me started with ebooks.

In short, I read everything. Most of my reading will be in my chosen genre, but even so, I try to alternate YA and adult fantasy, and different sub-genres of fantasy. I read classics, historical fiction, the occasional mystery and even romance novels. I read literary novels, science fiction, and the occasional horror, though I can’t confess to loving that last. I read thrillers, though I don’t enjoy them as much as some of the other genres I read. I’ll read short stories, but again, they don’t tend to be my favourites, at least so far.

I try to learn something from everything I read.

I also do the nutty and read multiple books at once. I’ll even listen to them on Audible while I walk, or work at something non-noisy, like stripping and refinishing stuff. I usually have to pause for the sanding bits, though 😀

I can’t even list my favourite authors anymore without filling a page.

And since I read so much, I have to be selective about the books I review, because I’d really rather be working on my WIPs. You know, day job and all.

So that’s Mellie’s wild world of reading.

See y’all tomorrow! Have a lovely, warm summer night!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 12-18, 2016

Your writerly goodness for the week.

Most common writing mistakes, part 51: one-dimensional characters. K.M. Weiland. Helping writers become authors. Kate returns with these eight tips for editing other writers’ work while remaining friends. And . . . for the hat trick: grab readers with a multi-faceted characteristic moment.

Writing “linked novels,” a series of standalones sans spoilers. Katy Rose Guest Pryal on Writer Unboxed.

Cassandra Khaw is vexed about voice. Terribleminds.

Kristen Lamb explores using time as a literary device.

Angela Ackerman guest posts on Writers in the Storm: how to deliver critical backstory using setting.

This is where I was last weekend: Mark Medley reports on the Canadian Writers’ Summit. The Globe and Mail.

I’m also a professional member of the CAA, so here are a couple of CWS bits of news relating to the CAA literary awards (which were presented there):

Alexis Daria covers the do’s and don’ts of querying your novel. DIYMFA.

Janet Reid warns against shopping an offer. And over on Query Shark, she posted no, no, and no.

Kameron Hurley engages in some real publishing talk: author expectation and entitlement.

Choosing the best categories for your book sales on Amazon. BookBaby.

Ceridwen Dovey wonders if reading can make you happier. The New Yorker.

Misc Magazine: The future according to women.

The Heroine Bookstore interviews A.M. Dellamonica.

John Glover writes about the life and afterlife of horror fiction on Postscripts to Darkness.

J.K. Rowling’s Harvard commencement speech.

 

Now it’s time to get writing 🙂

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 22-28, 2016

Another wonderful week of writerly goodness!

Roz Morris helps writers avoid this plotting pitfall when writing drafts at speed. Nail Your Novel.

Everyone’s getting into video. Should you? Jane Friedman on Writer Unboxed.

Barbara O’Neal makes the case for journaling. Writer Unboxed.

Dan Blank advises you to invest in yourself. Writer Unboxed.

John Vorhaus tells us how to write like the Buddha. You guessed it. Another great post from Writer Unboxed.

Lawrence MacNaughton guest posts on Janice Hardy’s Fiction University. Five questions you need to ask if your story is stuck. Later in the week, Janice is back with how to keep your characters compelling beyond the first draft.

Angela Ackerman explains how to deepen your protagonist by challenging her moral beliefs. Writers helping writers.

Sara Letourneau offers part six of the developing themes in your stories series: the inciting incident. DIYMFA. Later in the week Amy Bearce shares five marketing tips for introverts.

K.M. Weiland also wrote about theme this week: how to create a complex moral argument for your story’s theme. Helping writers become authors.

Chris Winkle shares seven great sources of conflict for romances. Mythcreants.

Steven Pressfield offers his advice on drafting: cover the canvas.

Nina Munteanu shares part two of her writer-editor relationship series: five things writers wished editors knew—and followed.

Marcy Kennedy guest posts on Christine Frazier’s Better Novel Project: five times Katniss nailed deep point of view.

Kameron Hurley confesses that she’s thought about quitting . . . but, don’t quit.

Over on Tor.com, she shares an excerpt from the recently released Geek Feminist Revolution. It’s awesome. You should read the post. And then you should buy the book 🙂

All of us toilers need reminders like this: Rick Riordan on his ‘overnight’ success. It’s from 2007, to give context.

Emma Straub was born to be an author. Alexandra Alter for The New York Times.

Kim Vandels shares the secret to writing great science fiction. The spinning pen.

Airship Ambassador interviews Kate Heartfield about her story “The Seven O’Clock Man” in the Clockwork Canada anthology.

BookBaby offers some tips on how to promote your science fiction on social media.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is an Indigogo success story. The Guardian.

Mental Floss explains why reading makes you a better person with an infographic 🙂

Leila Fadel reports on the delicate task of restoring one of the world’s oldest libraries. NPR.

Louisa Young grew up in J.M. Barrie’s house: we longed for Peter Pan to come for us. The Guardian.

Judith Shulevitz reveals the Bröntes’ secret for The Atlantic.

The teaser trailer for Disney’s live action version of Beauty and the Beast. I’m looking forward to seeing what Emma Watson does with Belle 🙂

 

Here’s the Ghostbusters UK trailer.

 

The Little Prince is coming to Netflix August 8 🙂

 

Laura Prudom explains how Outlander created its most powerful and devastating episode yet. Variety.

And that was Tipsday.

See you Thursday. *waves*

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, March 13-19, 2016

A little craft, a little business, and a lot of writerly randomness 🙂

K.M. Weiland shares five ways to trim your novel’s word count (part 1). Helping writers become authors. Later in the week, she helps us learn how to write deep and rich story conflict.

C.S. Lakin explains how novelists can benefit from using cinematic scene structure. Live, write, thrive.

Carly Watters interviews Susan Spann for her things I wish I knew series: navigating publishing contracts.

Mike Shatzkin posits that as the industry changes, publishing houses must make changes, too.

Selena Kitt exposes Kindle Unlimited scammers.

How to write an award winning, bestselling novel. Nathan Filer’s TED Talk:

 

Neil Gaiman discusses how stories last. BrainPickings.

Yann Martel invites us into his writer’s room. The New York Times Style Magazine.

Books about white, middle-class men send our students the wrong message. Olivia Eaton for The Guardian.

Bustle presents six reasons reading is amazing for your health.

This is just darling: The Chronicle Books Blog shares images of dogs mesmerized by the magic of reading.

Mental Floss lists 40 highfalutin H-words to heighten your vocabulary.

On the other end of the scale . . . cunty, cuntish, cunted, and cunting are added to the Oxford English Dictionary. Jezebel.

Things men say when a woman author confesses her profession. Lenny.

Oooh! Ima see this! Ms. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

 

And that’s Tipsday for this week! Come back on Thursday for your weekly dose of thoughty!

Tipsday

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

Oh noes! I’ve rediscovered YouTube and the videos have invaded . . .

Canada is named the second best country in the world. How Canadian 🙂 We’re excited about coming in second. Global News.

Some of our new Syrian friends enjoying tobogganing for the first time:

 

Peter Denton wonders, where have all the readers gone? The Globe and Mail.

Dear parents: Everything you want to know about your son or daughter’s university, but don’t. Michael Enright interviews Ron Srigley for The Sunday Edition on CBC.

Education is performance art. Penn & Teller share their thoughts in The Atlantic.

When Trent Hamm thinks of the times he’s been the happiest, he notices two common threads. The Business Insider.

The powerful benefit of exercise that’s rarely discussed. Guess I’d better get my ass in gear. Quartz.

Dinah Laprarie of NISA champions mental health in Sudbury. CBC.

Cyndi Roberts of The Elephant Journal shares seven steps to easing anxiety without a pill.

Anna Lovind finds her own way to divine guidance 😉

So now a new study says smoking pot doesn’t lower adolescent IQs. IFLS.

Watching a water bubble freeze (in Finland):

 

Space-X attempted another booster landing last Sunday. And then this happened. Phil Plait, Bad Astronomer, for Slate.

That weird star with the Jupiter-sized planet and the suspected . . . something else orbiting it? Well the more they learn about it the stranger things get. Slate.

A constellation has been named for David Bowie (though it’s not officially recognized yet). IFLS.

Check out this planetary alignment through February 20. IFLS.

Phil Plait features this alignment on his Bad Astronomy column too. Slate.

xkcd charts possible undiscovered planets.

Rick Mercer’s rant on anonymous comments:

 

Gypsy Vanner horses:

 

Ms Mr performs “Reckless.”

 

And that was your week’s edutainment.

Hope you enjoyed it.

See you on Saturday for more CanCon 2015 reportage.

Thoughty Thursday