Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 14-20, 2021

You’ve made it through Monday. Time to reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings.

Janice Hardy explains why rescuing your protagonist might be a terrible idea. Yeah, I have this problem. Then, she lists four mistakes that doom your first page. Confession: first pages KILL me. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Later in the week, Bonnie Randall provides a cheat sheet that will help you write rich characterization. Fiction University

K.M. Weiland covers the maiden’s arc in her archetypal character arcs series, part 2. Helping Writers Become Authors

Princess Weekes: Bridgerton and the problem of pastel progressivism. Melina Pendulum

Vaughn Roycroft explains why we need tragic stories, now more than ever. Dave King is keeping it real. Later in the week, Kelsey Allagood offers the confessions of a conflict-avoidant writer. Then, Porter Anderson makes the case for kindness. Writer Unboxed

Why a bad series finale can ruin the whole show. SciShow Psych

Lori Freeland delves into backstory and how you can dodge the infodump. I’m trying to find the right balance here. Then, Barbara Linn Probst shares four of the best writing exercises EVER. Later in the week, Margie Lawson returns: hugs you’ve got to love! Writers in the Storm

The romance addict trope, explained. Love isn’t all you need. The Take

Kristina Adams explains how building your self-awareness makes you a better writer. Another issue I’m struggling with. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Christina Delay helps you identify your reader. Then, Gilbert Bassey shows you how to master the happy-sad ending. Writers Helping Writers

Princess Diana, according to The Crown. The Take

E.J. Wenstrom shares the secret formula to author newsletter joy. Later in the week, Gabriela Pereira interviews Ellie Cypher about language as world building in YA fantasy. Then, Sara Farmer interviews Kellye Garrett. DIY MFA

Fay Onyx helps you to rid your monsters of ableism. Then, Oren Ashkenazi looks at five antagonists who never stood a chance. Mythcreants

Bulletproof Monk: the worst flirty fight scene ever? Jill Bearup

Lisa Hall-Wilson asks, what’s your character’s emotional Kryptonite?

Chuck Wendig offers some gentle writing advice. Terribleminds

Alison Flood reports that after a year inside, novelists are struggling to write. Some have been struggling all along. Others haven’t. Still others have noticed a distinct lack in the quality of the work they manage to produce. The Guardian

As ever, thank you for taking the time to visit. I hope you took away 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, Feb 7-13, 2021

As you prepare for the coming weekend, don’t forget to get your mental corn popping.

Laila El Mugammar announces that an emotional documentary about Canada’s legendary Black cowboy is streaming free now. Chatelaine

Samantha Kubota reports that the brand formerly known as Aunt Jemima reveals new name. NBC News

Azi Paybarah: KKK member who drove into BLM protesters gets more than three years in prison. The New York Times

Emotional intelligence, racial stereotypes, and the politics of emotional expression | Khadija Mbowe

Michele Debczak: new spacecraft named after Katherine Johnson honors the pioneering NASA mathematician. Mental Floss

How did the Milky Way get its spiral? SciShow Space

WHO says coronavirus unlikely to have leaked from Wuhan lab. CBC

Micheleen Doucleff: extraordinary patient offers surprising clues to coronavirus variants. NPR

Jaclyn Diaz reports that a second person dies of Ebola in the Congo, marking the virus’s return. NPR

Jason Slotkin: tens of thousands rally in Myanmar, protesting military coup. NPR

Eric Levenson, Stephanie Becker, and Dan Simon report that the rise in attacks on elderly Asian Americans in Bay area prompts new special response unit. CNN

Leah Brennan and Josh LaBella report that a Yale graduate student identified as the victim of Saturday’s fatal shooting in New Haven. New Haven Register

Michelle Ghoussoub announces that women’s rights activist Loujain Alhathloul released after 1,001 days in Saudi prison. CBC

Oliver Milman shares that air pollution in US subway systems stuns researchers. The Guardian

Sharon J. Riley explains how a public uprising caused a province built on fossil fuels to reverse course on coal mining. The Narwhal

Sandy Schaeffer compiles all the Joss Whedon abuse and misconduct allegations. #metoo ScreenRant

Deiter Buse: now is the time to ask what you can do for Laurentian. The Sudbury Star

Health Sciences North faces lawsuit over misread breast imaging results. CBC

Why you read slower as you age. SciShow Psych

Brenda Knowles examines imposter syndrome and how it can be a blessing in disguise. Space2Live

Stonehenge may have been first erected in Wales. Aljazeera

Listen to the sweet, soft warble common ravens sing to their partners. Audubon

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you took away something to inspire your next creative project.

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

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Jan 31-Feb 6, 2021

Happy Friday eve. It’s time to get your mental corn popping.

Former Columbus police officer Adam Coy indicted for murder in shooting of Andre’ Hill. Will justice prevail? Time will tell. WTOL 11 News

William Wan reports that coronavirus kills far more Hispanic and Black children than white youths, according to the CDC. Yes, this is from last September, but it speaks to the next article I’ll share. The Washington Post

Yueqi Yang: New York City initial vaccine data show deep race disparity. Bloomberg

Grace Hauck announces that Black Lives Matter nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for carrying forward “a movement of racial justice.” USA Today

Then, Terje Solsvik and Gwladys Fouche announce that US voting rights activist Stacy Abrams also nominated for Nobel Peace Prize. Reuters

David Crary reports that the ACLU elects its first Black president. Associated Press

Canada labels the Proud Boys and other neo-Nazi groups as terrorists. CBC News

Hanna Beech reports that Daw Aung Sun Suu Kyi is detained amid coup. Several countries have already spoken out against the move despite Myanmar’s problematic human rights record (read Rohinga genocide). The New York Times

Mohammed Elnaiem: what was the Zanj Rebellion? JSTOR Daily

Jenny Gross and Melena Ryzik reveal that Evan Rachel Wood accuses Marilyn Manson of abuse. #metoo The New York Times

Amy Judd reports that Amanda Todd’s accused cyberbully extradited to Canada to face charges. Global News

Why some people can’t listen to music while they work. SciShow Psych

Heidi Ulrichsen: financially struggling Laurentian says filing for court protection was ‘best path forward’ as it restructures. Sudbury.com

Mary Winston Nicklin: Parisians want to recover legendary river now covered in concrete. National Geographic

Foxes might use magnetic fields to hunt. SciShow

Jan Wesner Childs shares the massive coral colony found in American Samoa. The Weather Channel

True facts about tardigrades. Because TARDIGRADES! Ze Frank

Karen McVeigh reports that sea level rise could be worse than feared. The Guardian

Damian Carrington says that plant-based diets are crucial to saving wildlife globally. Time to consider going vegetarian? The Guardian

Thanks for spending some time with me, and I hope you took away something to inspire your next work in progress.

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

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Dec 1-5, 2020

It’s time to get your mental corn popping!

Khari Johnson report how Stanford rushed to comply with Trump executive order limiting diversity training. Venture Beat

Three questions to ask yourself about everything you do. Stacey Abrams TED

Richard Frishman: the ghosts of segregation. The New York Times

Karens and cancel culture. Chelsea Handler on Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. Emmanuel Acho

Racism is a public health crisis. SciShow Psych

Vanessa Romo: judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA as it existed under Obama. NPR

Pesha Magid: the Middle East as old Hollywood saw it. Atlas Obscura

Mikelle Street shares the news: Elliot Page announces he’s trans. Out

Robert Z. Pearlman: Mark Kelley becomes the fourth astronaut elected to Congress. Space

Dayla Alberge reports that “the Sistine Chapel of the Ancients” is found in the Amazon. The Guardian

Sarah Gibbens explains how pristine Arctic preserves will benefit wildlife and Inuit communities. National Geographic

True facts about snake and lizard tongues. Ze Frank

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you took away something to inspire your next creative project.

Until next tipsday, be well and stay safe, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 27-Oct 3, 2020

Welcome to thoughty Thursday, your chance to get your mental corn popping.

It’s been a week.

Doha Madani reports that the Breonna Taylor Grand Jury recording will be made public. The truth will out? Today

In 2019, Beverly Moran revealed how slavery’s lingering stain on the US Constitution spoiled Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax proposal. In light of a certain president’s tax evasion … The Conversation

Colette Pinchon Battle warns that climate change will displace millions. Here’s how we prepare. On climate migration and environmental racism. TEDWomen2019

Abraham Lustgarten: where will everyone go? How climate refugees cross continents. ProPublica

Danielle Kurtzleben explains America’s yawning wealth gap in nine charts. From 2015. I wonder if anything’s improved since? Vox

Keesha M. Middlemass says, time’s up: childcare providers are not America’s mammy. The Grio

Orange Shirt Day 2020.

Kristy Kirkup and Tu Thanh Ha cover Joyce Echaquan’s tragic death following her abuse by hospital staff. Systemic racism and white supremacy in Canada. The Globe and Mail


Steven Kissler: will the common cold protect you from coronavirus? The Conversation

Mara Gordon offers this advice: don’t wait for a covid-19 vaccine to get your shots—you need your flu vaccine now. NPR

Olivia Stefanovich reports that covid-19 may delay Liberal pledge to end long term boil water advisories on First Nations. How complicated is it to ensure that everyone has clean water? CBC


Ryan W. Miller: three more bodies of water may have been discovered on Mars. USA Today

SciShow Space reports on the finding as well as what we’re learning about the Sun’s corona.

Damian Carrington reports that a new super-enzyme eats plastic bottles six times faster. Is true recycling possible? The Guardian

Marthe de Ferrer: what is the blue heart of Europe and why does it need saving? EuroNews

Samy Magdy: archaeologists find 27 ancient coffins near the Step Pyramid of Djoser. Afar

Emily Zarka explains how gargoyles became monsters. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Kirsten Corely says, this is how you love someone with anxiety. Thought Catalog

SciShow Psych explains what aphantasia is.

Erica Gies explains why the National Park Service wants to cull tule elk. National Geographic

Matt Simon: fish form social networks—and they’re actually good. Wired

The BBC tells the tail (pun intended) of the cat who hitched a ride on a world-wide tour.

Lincolnshire Wildlife Park removes swearing parrots from public view. BBC

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you found something to support your next creative project.

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

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 20-26, 2020

It’s time to get your mental corn popping.

BLM and covid-19 sections precede more general links.

Tessa Duvall offers a fact-check on the Breonna Taylor case. USA Today

Dylan Lovan, Piper Hudspeth Blackburn, and John Minchillo report on the two Louisville officers shot during the Breonna Taylor protests. Why? “The violence comes after prosecutors said two officers who fired their weapons at Taylor, a Black woman, were justified in using force to protect themselves after they faced gunfire from her boyfriend. The only charges were three counts of wanton endangerment against fired Officer Brett Hankison for shooting into a home next to Taylor’s with people inside.” AP News

Russell Contreras reveals how the story of the underground railroad to Mexico is gaining attention. Associated Press

Jacinda Townsend explains how the Green Book helped Black travellers navigate a segregated nation. Yes, this is from 2016. These conversations aren’t new. The Smithsonian Magazine

Sam Levine explains how Republicans gutted the biggest voting rights victory in recent history. Voter suppression/poll taxing in action. The Guardian

Mohammed Elnaiem revisits the death of South African activist Steve Biko. JSTOR Daily


Nicole Karlis reports that a covid vaccine may only last for a year based on the most recent findings. Salon

Olga Khazan: a failure of empathy led to 200,000 deaths. It has deep roots. The Atlantic

How losing your job changes you. SciShow Psych

Richard Herzog explains how Aztecs reacted to colonial pandemics. JSTOR Daily


Richard Wolf calls Justice Ginsberg a superhero who never quit as she returns to Supreme Court one final time. Ginsberg is the first woman to lie in state. USA Today

Jackson Katz: violence against women—it’s a men’s issue. This TED talk is from 2012. Have we made significant progress since? TEDxFiDiWomen 

Ruth Tam advises you to lift your head and lower your arms—you just might feel better. NPR

Meghan Keane explains how to say no, for the people pleaser who always says yes. NPR

Stephen E. Nash: what fire archaeology tells us about the bringing of the American West. Atlas Obscura

The truth about dog years. SciShow

Thieving pikas in the Rockies. Because pikas are CUTE! The Nature of Things | CBC

Sarah Miller Llana considers the Sudbury model: how one of the world’s major polluters went green. Christian Science Monitor

It’s probably not life on Venus … but it could be. SciShow Space

Thor Benson reveals project A119 and the time we almost nuked the moon. Wild. Digital Trends

Alex Sanz: NASA astronaut Kate Rubins intends to vote from the ISS. AP News

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something to inspire your next creative project.

This weekend I should be posting my next chapter update for September (!) Seriously, where has the time gone?

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

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 6-12, 2020

Welcome to thoughty Thursday, a convenient way to research, inspire creative Ideas (what I call popping your mental corn), learn something cool, or otherwise support your creativity.

For the past several months, I’ve isolated posts related to anti-racism and the pandemic for your convenience.

Dani McClain shares some advice on how to talk to kids about racism and police violence. The Atlantic

Gabriela Fowler explains what it feels like to “pass as white” when you’re mixed race. Buzzfeed

How the death of George Floyd sparked a street art movement. The Smithsonian Magazine

Daniel King shares Ashima Yadava’s portraits of survival. Mother Jones


Rebecca Renner explains why every year—especially 2020—feels like the worst year ever. Doomscrolling, anyone? Anyone? Beuller? National Geographic

Why is it so hard to remember things right now? SciShow Psych

Eleanor Cummins says, the office will never be the same. Popular Science

Alexandra Jones: Jessica Meir returned from the ISS to a pandemic-ridden Earth. The Face

Tammy Chen is a dentist who’s seeing more cracked teeth. How is that connected to the pandemic? The New York Times


The biggest lie about renewable energy. ASAP Science

Paul Vallely explains how philanthropy benefits the super-rich. The Guardian

Alan Yuhas reveals that Roanoake’s “lost colony” was never lost (according to a new book). The New York times

Kat Lonsdorf revisits Fukushima: the ghost towns behind the gates. NPR

Amber Dance considers experiments on mice in space and how they’ll keep human bone and muscle strong on the ISS. Knowable

Gerardo Carrillo: “mammoth central” found at Mexican airport construction site. The Washington Post

Sarah Bahr announces that the Met will hire its first full-time Native American curator. The New York Times

Thanks for visiting and I hope you took away something to support your next creative project.

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

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 30-Sept 5, 2020

Welcome to thoughty Thursday. Tomorrow is Friday! Revive yourselves for the weekend by getting your mental corn popping 🙂

Theresa Waldrop shares the latest news about the Portland protest shooting death. CNN

Safia Samee Ali: where protesters go, armed militia and vigilantes likely follow with little to stop them. NBC News

Ashitha Nagesh explains how “hyper-liberal” Portland’s racist past is resurfacing. BBC

The peace reporters. Videos of police violence at #BLM protests with the testimony of the people who took them. Content warning on this one. The videos of police violence are difficult to watch. They’re optional, though. You can just read the words of the people who took the videos and get a sense of what it means to be a witness in these difficult situations. The Verge


Jesmyn Ward waxes on witness and respair: a personal tragedy followed by pandemic. Vanity Fair

Why Tuesday feels like July and sometimes never during covid (how we perceive time). It’s Okay to be Smart

Jessica Stillman: the Greeks had a word for the specific kind of bad you’re feeling right now. Acedia. Inc.

Patrick Adams wants us to meet Gertrude Elion, the woman who gave the world anti-viral drugs. National Geographic


Heidi Wachter explains why we need to fill the greenspace gap. Shondaland

Studying the brain with quantum mechanics. SciShow Psych

Rachel Kraus wonders, what is an algorithm, anyway? Mashable

Jess Romeo sheds light on the long history of comet phobia. JSTOR Daily

Emily Zarka introduces us to Spring-Heeled Jack. PBS Storied | Monstrum

Daniel Oberhaus: gravity, gizmos, and Jim Woodward’s grant theory of interstellar travel. Wired

The Martian crustal dichotomy. SciShow Space

Carrie Whitney introduces us to the man behind the legend of Sitting Bull. How Stuff Works

Chadwick Boseman, rest in power. New Rockstars

Leah Greenblatt pays tribute to Chadwick Boseman: his life, his legacy, and his iconic roles. Entertainment Weekly

Stan Horaczek explains how cats and dogs see the world. Popular Science

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you took away something to inspire your next creative project.

Until next tipsday, be well and stay safe, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 31-June 6, 2020

It’s time to get your mental corn popping.

Because I’m listening and learning and want to do better:

What a future without police could look like. Desmond Cole. Walrus talks.

Lawrence Hill on racism in Canada and the US after George Floyd’s death. CBC

 

Nadia Drake covers the Dragon capsule docking with the International Space Station. National Geographic

Dave Mosher: SpaceX’s Endeavour spaceship has made history by docking with the International Space Station with two NASA astronauts. Business Insider

SciShow Psych delves into the reason we’re having weird covid dreams.

Jessica Stewart shares this ancient Roman mosaic discovered in pristine condition beneath a vineyard in Italy. My Modern Met

Jennifer Pattison Tuohy: the beginner’s guide to propagating houseplants. Dwell

Emily Chung: these Canadian species are found nowhere else on Earth. CBC

Jake Rossen figures out what pets see when they watch television. Mental Floss

Thanks for visiting 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.

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 24-30, 2020

Happy Friday eve! It’s time to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Ben Lindbergh: NASA and Space-X unleash the dragon as they count down to the next stage of space travel. The Ringer

Jacob Bogage and Christian Davenport report on the successful launch of the Falcon 9 with NASA astronauts and separation of the Dragon capsule. The Washington Post

Five ways solar energy could develop. SciShow

Maya Wei-Haas says, there are “mountains” bigger than Everest deep inside Earth. National Geographic

Jason Daley: a sorceress’ kit was discovered in the ashes of Pompeii. The Smithsonian Magazine

Terry Gross interviews James Nestor on how the “lost art” of breathing affects sleep and resilience. NPR

Michael Gresko explains how we make, recall, and forget memories. National Geographic

SciShow Psych separates fact from fiction about borderline personality disorder.

Gestalten explores the mystique of scent. The internet has a smell. Who knew?

Rebecca Friedel introduces us to the runner bean, JSTOR Daily’s plant of the month.

Open Culture shares John Coltrane’s illustration of the mathematics of music.

Leah Pellegrini shares breathtaking photographs that capture ballet’s finest dancing on the streets of New York. My Modern Met

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you’ve found something to inspire your next creative project.

This weekend, I should have my next chapter update for May coming out.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019