Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Feb 27-March 5, 2022

Happy Friday eve! Fuel the thoughty moving into the weekend by getting your mental corn popping!

Daniella silva reveals that three former officers on federal charges in George Floyd’s killing. NBC News

People should cheat on their taxes. Every “How did we get here,” part 4. The Amber Ruffin Show

Marycarmen Lara Villanueva: in Mexico, erasing Black history fuels anti-Black racism. The Conversation

Liz Tracey annotates Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I have a Dream” speech. JSTOR Daily

Rina Torchinsky reports that in Texas, an unrelenting assault on trans rights takes mental toll. NPR

Yuras Karmanau, Jim Heintz, Vladimir Isachenkov and Dasha Litvinova report that Putin puts nuclear forces on high alert, escalating tensions. Associated Press

The editors provide a background reading list on Ukraine, Russia, and the West. If you want to distract yourselves from the news to get some perspective. JSTOR Daily

Ukrainians won’t be separated from beloved pets as residents shelter from Russian attack with cats and dogs. The Independent

Morgan Godvin: crime wave or moral panic? JSTOR Daily

Crappy hiring practices that have to die, and some new ones we need to adopt. Non-profit AF

Robert R. Raymond says that it’s time to shorten the American workweek. Truthout

Andrew Pulrang highlights ableist narratives that poison disability policy and disabled peoples’ lives. Forbes

Guy Kawasaki interviews Deepa Purushothaman, author of The First, the Few, the Only: How Women of Color Can Redefine Power in Corporate America. The Remarkable People podcast

Clark Quinn touts the value of examples before practice. Learnlets

Joe finds out what’s actually on the other side of the mirror. Be Smart

James Somers takes a journey to the center of our cells. The New Yorker

Corryn Wetzel: brain scans reveal that our life does flash before our eyes when we die. The Smithsonian Magazine

John Geddie and Joe Brock announce the “biggest green deal since Paris:” UN agrees on plastic treaty roadmap. Reuters

Bobby McFerrin demonstrates the power of the pentatonic scale.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you took away 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.

Thoughty Thursday: popping your mental corn. www.melaniemarttila.ca

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Jan 2-8, 2022

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings. Enjoy!

LA Bourgeois explains why you should stop using the word “should.” Then, Jeanette the Writer wonders how much you should pay an editor? DIY MFA

Ellen Brock provides her writing guide for intuitive plotters. This one feels spot on for me 🙂

Greer Macallister expounds on your novel’s two beginnings. Only begin. Therese Walsh: recovery from (something that tastes an awful lot like) shame. Donald Maass: gods, monsters, and murderbots. Julie Duffy lists the five Fs you should give while writing. Beth Havey: the power of place. Writer Unboxed

Bad writing habits to drop in 2022. Reedsy

Karen DeBonis says that in medias res is a very good place to start your novel. Then, Joseph Lallo offers some advice about worldbuilding for sci-fi authors: terraforming. Lori Brown is embracing the mystery of deep POV. Writers in the Storm

Elizabeth Spann Craig talks about making mini-plans and mini-goals for the year.

Princess Weekes discusses the women of Jane Austen. It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Jane Friedman says that BookTok is a safe haven for young, female readers. Jane Friedman

Colleen M. Story shares four strategies to help writers focus in a world of distractions. Writers Helping Writers

Sympathy for the #pickmegirl The Take

Chris Winkle explains how writing instructors forgo the most vital fiction lesson. Oren Ashkenazi: Way of Kings shows us the damage meta-mysteries can do. Mythcreants

Guy Kawasaki interviews Julia Cameron, queen of change, creative inspiration, and prolific writer. The Remarkable People Podcast

Is Trinity the “real” one? The Take

Jami Attenberg: rejection gave me a fresh start, a new year. “Writing is holy, as my friend Patricia Lockwood says. It is true that it is hard to make it as a writer, or any kind of artist, for that matter. But if you love to write, you should write forever.” The Guardian

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

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Dec 19-25, 2021

It’s New Year’s Eve eve! Get your mental corn popping for the last time in 2021.

Joshua Adams: Martin Luther King Jr. did not dream about banning critical race theory. Color Lines

Alexander Quon: Ottawa announces $700K in funding to support Cowessess First Nation’s efforts at former residential school site. CBC

Aliyah Chavez: solstice is a time to reflect and replenish. While solstice was last Tuesday, I think the whole holiday season shares this theme. Indian Country Today

Britt Julious wonders, who are Christmas movies for? On diversity and gender equity in romantic holiday movies. Harper’s Bazaar

Do CIS boys just wanna have fun, too? Gender policing. Khadija Mbowe

Kim Fahner shares her experience with breakthrough covid on Morning North. And here’s the print version. She’s not brave and strong because she shared her story. She shared her story because she’s brave and strong. CBC

Monica Kidd reveals that the fear of losing freedom common thread behind vaccine hesitancy, according to cross-cultural survey. Healthy Debate

Krissy Holmes and Ramraajh Sharvendiran cover barriers to physician recruitment and employment in Newfoundland. CBC

Why do we dream? It’s okay to be smart

Guy Kawasaki interviews Catherine Price: author, speaker, and creator. The Remarkable People podcast

Christin Bohnke: the disappearance of Japan’s third gender. JSTOR Daily

Diana talks to Katie Mack about our expanding universe. Physics Girl

Neil deGrasse Tyson explains the James Webb Space Telescope. Star Talk

Watch the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (Christmas Day!). NASA Space Flight

Thanks for visiting. I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project.

I should be posting my December update and 2021 year in review post on the weekend.

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Oct 24-30, 2021

This will be the last tipsday until December 7th! Yup, it’s NaNo again. So, stock up for the month and feel free to peruse past weeks’ posts as well. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but this tipsday is jam packed full of writerly goodness. Enjoy!

Kim Bullock faces a fork in the writerly road. KL Burd: “The loss we carry, a sea we must wade.” Elizabeth Huergo discusses genre and its discontents. Then, Milo Todd is losing the magic of writing: The Sweatbox. Heather Webb: Halloween is all about fear; turns out, so is publishing. Writer Unboxed

Racism and horror | Khadija Mbowe

K.M. Weiland poses six questions to help you avoid repetitive scenes. Helping Writers Become Authors

Lisa Cooper Ellison says that structure isn’t the Holy Grail you’re looking for. Jane Friedman

Vivek Hariharan shares six tips for expanding a novel into a series. Live, Write, Thrive

Princess Weekes reveals what the f—k happened behind the scenes of Justice League. Melina Pendulum

Kris Maze offers a worry-free approach to double down on your writing goals. Then, Laurie Schnebly Campbell asks, how deep should you go into your POV? Kathleen Baldwin makes the case for “was” and the much maligned passive voice. Writers in the Storm

Shaelin explains how to write a horror novel. Reedsy

Then she follows up with the best and worst horror tropes. Reedsy

Sue Coletta: what are pinch points and where do they go? Then, Colleen M. Story explains how to tell if you’ve found the best book marketing niche. Lisa Hall-Wilson lists five ways trauma makes your character an unreliable narrator. Writers Helping Writers

Kris Hill is creating characters using collaborative storytelling. Then, Manuela Williams explains how to organize a collection of poetry. Gabriela Pereira interviews Debbie Macomber about writing and publishing a Christmas novel. Then, Alison Stine explains how to write a cli-fi novel. Sarah Van Arsdale shares five ways to resist the inexorable forces pulling you from your writing. DIY MFA

On her own channel, Shaelin shares 20 NaNoWriMo tips. Shaelin Writes

Chuck Wendig reviews the worldbuilding in Villeneuve’s Dune. Emmie Mears shares five things she learned building a writing career the wrong way. Terribleminds

Chris Winkle lists five important ways episodic stories are different. Then, Oren Ahskenazi analyzes To Sleep in a Sea of Stars: how Paolini undercooked his setting. Mythcreants

Princess Weekes shares everything you didn’t know about the father of science fiction. It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Patricia A. Jackson shares a pantser’s tale: follow the white rabbit. Fiction University

Emily Zarka presents the werewolf’s modern metamorphosis. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Kristen Lamb explains how horror can improve your writing in any genre.

Guy Kawasaki interviews Seth Godin: marketing god, blogger, and author. The Remarkable People Podcast

“Queerbaiting” is a tricky term. Don’t abuse it. The Take

Alan Garner: “You don’t want to have a brilliant idea for a novel at the age of 87.” The Guardian

Ena Alvarado reveals the science and slavery in Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko. JSTOR Daily

Hanna Flint says that Dune is an accomplished escape into the realm of cinematic Arab appropriation. The New Arab

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Oct 3-9, 2021

The weekend is in sight! It’s time to pull your head out of work and get your mental corn popping 🙂

Kimberly Brown Pellum reveals how Maryrose Reeves Allen taught Black women’s self-care during Jim Crow. JSTOR Daily

Renée Lilley reports that residential school day scholars may be able to start claims process in December. Students who went home at night suffered the same abuses but weren’t included in the 2006 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. CBC

Literacy program launched for Indigenous elders, residential school, and day school survivors. CBC

Amar Chebib (film) and Dan Greene (text) present the story of how Cree skateboarding legend Joe Buffalo grapples with the trauma of Canada’s residential schools. The New Yorker

University of Sudbury transfers online Indigenous studies courses to Kenjgewin Teg. CBC

Joe can’t believe he’s making another Covid video. It’s okay to be smart

Lizzy Davies reports that the WHO endorses use of first malaria vaccine in Africa. The Guardian

True facts: the mosquito. Ze Frank

Key findings from the Pandora Papers. The Washington Post

Our first glimpse of the dark side of the moon. SciShow Space

Stuart Campbell, Elizabeth Healey, Yaroslav Kuzmin, and Michael D. Glascock reflect on John Dee’s obsidian mirror: the mirror, the magus, and more. Yes. An actual scholarly paper 🙂 Cambridge University Press

Guy Kawasaki interviews Olympia Yarger: entrepreneur and maggot evangelist. The Remarkable People podcast

Olivia Box: what does a tree see? On the importance of “witness” trees. JSTOR Daily

Robby Berman says, crows are self-aware, just like us. Big Think

Thank you for taking the time to visit, 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!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 25-31, 2021

You made it through Monday (and a Tuesday-that-feels-like-a-Monday for my Canadian readers)! Time to reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings.

Janice Hardy helps you write better descriptions: describe what your readers won’t assume. Then, she warns of the dangers of infodumps (and how to avoid them). Rochelle Melander: what my literary heroes taught me about writing. Then Spencer Ellsworth explains that word count isn’t the only metric of productivity. Fiction University

It’s a Shaelin bonanza, this week 🙂 How to write the midpoint. Reedsy

Tiffany Yates Martin explains why writing is like pie. Then, Elizabeth Huergo offers some readings for writers: Judith Ortiz Cofer and the will to write. Milo Todd wants you to know your invisible narrator. KL Burd tackles the topic of writing as restoration. Then, Desmond Hall drops some writing wisdom. Later in the week, Tonia Harris helps you keep a light burning. Writer Unboxed

How to write the rising action. Reedsy

K.M. Weiland: should you edit as you go? Helping Writers Become Authors

Bella Mahaya Carter lists five common mistakes writers make that sabotage their success. Live, Write, Thrive

Kris Maze shares three steps to make time to write. Then, Lisa Hall-Wilson peels back the four important layers of deep point of view. Margie Lawson lists ten “not absurd” rules for writing fiction. Writers in the Storm

10 writing tips I don’t agree with. Shaelin Writes

Joanna Penn interviews Roz Morris about writing and publishing literary fiction. The Creative Penn

Nathan Bransford lists three ways “show, don’t tell” can lead you astray.

Stephanie BwaBwa offers some tips about using Instagram to grow your author business. Then, Gabriela Pereira interviews Veronica G. Henry about intention, agency, choice, and how to write three-dimensional characters. Olivia Fisher helps you revitalize your writing resolve. Later in the week, Brandie June wants you the use the magical reverse outline.  Then, Urszula Bunting shares five yoga poses to boost creativity. DIY MFA

Words invented by authors. Otherwords | PBS Storied

Susan DeFreitas lists three strengths and three challenges of starting your novel with plot. Jane Friedman

The redhead on screen. The Take

Chris Winkle and Fay Onyx draw some lessons from the edgy writing of Blindsight. Mythcreants

Lisa Hall-Wilson unpacks writing trauma in fiction: anniversaries.

Guy Kawasaki interviews Hugh Howey: author, storyteller, dreamer. The Remarkable People podcast

Joanna Lilley’s lyrical and devastating poetry collection, Endlings wins the Canadian Authors Association Fred Kerner Book Award. CBC Books

Tasia Bass introduces us to 11 lesser-known fairy tales. Mental Floss

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

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe, my writerly friends!

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 18-24, 2021

Thoughty Thursday is here to prepare you for the weekend by getting your mental corn popping. You know you need a bit of a boost this time of the week.

Jessica Chia reports that the lack of representation in dermatology can be deadly for people of color. Elle

Alaina Leary: disabled people have worked from home for years. Why did it take a pandemic for everyone else to start? Refinery 29

Nick Pearce: ground-penetrating radar search of Delmas residential school property to begin. Saskatoon Star Phoenix

The tragedy of the influencer. The Take

David Leadbeater: Laurentian University insolvency reflects a structural crisis in Ontario’s neoliberal university system. Academic Matters

Nadia Drake: Jeff Bezos reaches [for] space—a small step for big spaceflight dreams. National Geographic

Relive the Blue Origin “New Shepard” launch with space.com. Last week it was Branson, this week it’s Bezos (and Wally Funk—she’s the best part!). Who’s next?

Jess Romeo: space medicine for the inexperienced astronaut. JSTOR Daily

Katie Hunt reports that the Hubble Space Telescope is operational again after almost a month offline. CNN

Guy Kawasaki interviews Jodi Kantor, the prize-winning investigative reporter for The New York Times and a best-selling author who broke the Harvey Weinstein story with Megan Twohey and Ronan Farrow. Remarkable People podcast

Madeline K. Sofia, Berly McCoy, and Brit Hanson: building a shark science community for women of color. NPR

Are humans the only animals with culture? It’s okay to be smart

Shi En Kim reveals Carla Rhodes’ beautiful moth photographs. [Still think they’re creepy Muppets, but to each their own.] The Smithsonian Magazine

Thank you for visiting. I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project.

This weekend, I should be posting my next chapter update.

Until then, be well and stay safe!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 4-10, 2021

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings. Enjoy!

Lauren J. Sharkey shares some advice about investments and returns. Then, Adam Burgess wonders if there’s a genre best suited to LGBTQ+ stories (and why it’s historical fiction). Gabriela Pereira interviews Emily R. King about fantasy inspired by Greek mythology. Later in the week, Aaron Poochigian shares a day in the life of a full-time poet. Then, Indiana Lee suggests five alternative tips to boost creativity for writers. DIY MFA

Jill Bearup tested corsets vs. knives (for science!)

Sophie Masson considers physical journeys in fiction. Then, Sarah Penner shares a pre-launch playbook for debut authors. Donald Maass wants you to think about pacing: faster than the speed of thought. Kathryn Craft presents the three Ws of scene orientation. Later in the week, David Corbett provides some advice on writing our country. Writer Unboxed

Kadija Mbowe analyzes Cuties.

K.M. Weiland explains how to use archetypal character arcs in your stories in part 22 of her archetypal character arcs series. Helping Writers Become Authors

Shaelin explains how to write historical fiction. Reedsy

And she follows it up with historical fiction tropes. Reedsy

Karen DeBonis wants you to find your writing rhythm. Then, Janice Hardy lists five steps to creating a unique character voice. Later in the week, Jenny Hansen (inspired by DeBonis) offers confessions of a devoted scene writer. Writers in the Storm

Why film and TV erased asexuality. The Take

Laurence MacNaughton explains how to stay motivated and keep writing. Fiction University

Becca Puglisi helps you change your reader’s perspective. Writers Helping Writers

Rachel Michelberg says, post-book launch depression is a thing. Jane Friedman

How film and Tv misrepresent neurodiversity. The Take

Kristen Lamb: the difference between magnificent and maddening is the burning desire.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch offers part eight of her fear-based decision-making series: fear and the future.

Nathan Bransford: don’t step on your surprises.

Chris Winkle shares five simple ways to make your prose easier to read. Then, Oren Ashkenazi lists six signs of a weak throughline. Mythcreants

Monique Gray Smith curated this list of 45 books that share stories and truths by Indigenous authors who identify as women and/or two spirit. CBC Books

Jane an Koeverden: Cherie Dimaline publishing sequel to The Marrow Thieves in fall 2021. CBC Books

Estefania Velez compiles this list of 15 books to celebrate disability pride. The New York Public Library

Guy Kawasaki interviews Haben Girma, lawyer, activist, and advocate for equal opportunities for people with disabilities. The Remarkable People podcast

Ellen Gutoskey lists the fascinating etymologies of 70 common words. Mental Floss

Thank you for taking the time to stop by. I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 25-May 1, 2021

Let’s get your mental corn popping, shall we?

Alanna Durkin Richer and Lindsay Whitehurst: 1 verdict, and then 6 police killings across America in 24 hours. Associated Press

Ibram X. Kendi: compliance will not save me. The Atlantic

Judas and the Black Messiah, Explained – Self-Preservation Won’t Save You. The Take

Chi Luu: how being polite with the police can backfire. JSTOR Daily

Mimi Fox Melton and Karla Monterosso: if you want a truly equitable workplace, get over your fear of conflict. Fast Company

Michael Luo relates the forgotten history of the purging of Chinese from America. The New Yorker

Ryan Lenora Brown: Séverine Autesserre has seen peacekeeping fail. Here’s her advice on getting it right. Christian Science Monitor

I Kissed a Girl: the messy legacy of a queerbait hit. Melina Pendulum

Matthew Wills: eighteenth-century spies in the European silk industry. JSTOR Daily

Rachael Stephen shares some tools for soothing and survival.

Oliver Burkeman explores the idea of the clockwork universe: is free will an illusion? The Guardian

Gordon Johnston highlights the pink supermoon April 26 and celestial events over the next month. NASA Solar System Exploration

April’s “pink” supermoon around the world—in pictures. The Guardian

Calla Cofield: astronomers release new all-sky map of the Milky Way. NASA

Nina Munteanu wants you to watch Borealis.

Kate Kellaway interviews tree whisperer, Suzanne Simard: “They get along, they listen—they’re attuned.” The Guardian

Guy Kawasaki has a conversation about conservation with Dr. Jane Goodall. Remarkable People Podcast

Sophia Quaglia reports that scientists find a way to remove polluting micro-plastics with bacteria. The Guardian

Royce Kurmelov explains how solar power continues to shock the world. The Guardian

Communication while dreaming. SciShow Psych

Tessa Vikander: beavers chew through a 4.5-inch-thick tube, disrupting power to 900 BC customers. CTV

Thank you for taking the time to visit, and I hope you took away 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!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 28-March 6, 2021

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Time to indulge in some informal writerly learnings.

K.M. Weiland continues her archetypal character arcs series with part four: the queen arc. Helping Writers Become Authors

Sharon Oard Warner advises you to find the ending before you return to the beginning. Jane Friedman

Yuvi Zalkow encourages you to expose your mess. Sarah Penner considers women’s empowerment in fiction from a bookseller’s perspective. Later in the week, Liza Nash Taylor declares, there will be worms. Writer Unboxed

Jill Bearup considers boob armor: four things you need to know.

James Scott Bell wants you to turn envy into energy. Later in the week, Becca Puglisi shares eleven techniques for transforming clichéd phrasings. Writers Helping Writers

Jeanette the Writer lists eight essential edits for your novel. Later in the week, Emily R. King wants you to find your voice. Then, Ann McCallum Staats shares five hands-on research techniques for spot-on writing. DIY MFA

Shaelin looks at Deus Ex Machina: what it is, why it happens, and how to fix it. Reedsy

Janice Hardy points out six places infodumps like to hide in your novel. Fiction University

Then, Shaelin explains how to write a cliff-hanger that keeps readers turning pages. Reedsy

Janice Hardy asks, does you novel have a problem? (It should.) Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle: Space Sweepers shows us what excellent messaging is. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five common story fragmentations and how to consolidate them. Mythcreants

Emily Zarka examines the Taotie: the mystery of Chinese mythology’s famous glutton. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Nina Munteanu: the semicolon is dead; long live the semicolon.

Harry Potter isn’t a good guy. The Take

Cassandra Drudi encourages you to listen to Waubgeshig Rice and Jennifer David’s new podcast, Storykeepers, an audio book club on Indigenous literature. Quill & Quire

Kyle Muzyka interviews Richard Van Camp on storytelling and its power to combat loneliness. CBC’s Unreserved

John Dickerson interviews Colson Whitehead, the only fiction writer to win Pulitzer Prizes for consecutive works. 60 Minutes

Guy Kawasaki interviews Luvvie Ajayi Jones for the Remarkable People Podcast.

Gabriel Weisz Carrington explains how his mother, Leonora Carrington, used tarot to reach self-enlightenment. Literary Hub

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe, my writerly friends.