Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 12-18, 2020

Black Lives matter. Indigenous lives matter. All lives cannot matter until Black and Indigenous lives matter. I believe this more than ever. I’m not going to stop putting this important message out there until it’s true.

Regardless of whether your area of the world has never closed, is reopening, or is still under some degree of lockdown, please, for the love of all you hold dear, wear a mask.

As for schools, I sincerely believe the safest way forward is to keep all classes virtual. I know this isn’t a popular stance, but we know how quickly a common cold, or the flu proliferates in a classroom. And this is covid. We still don’t know the long-term effects of this virus.

I also know that virtual learning presents its own challenges. This will require a sea change for parents, teachers, schoolboards, employers, and governments and I think leaving these important discussions to this late date was naïve on the part of many. Ignoring the issue is not going to make it go away.

Having said that, Sudbury hasn’t had any new cases reported since about June 22 or so. We’ve only had 67 conformed cases and two deaths. It might be more reasonable to consider modified, in-person classes here, but I’d like to wait on the possible impact of phase three of reopening before we go there. Those numbers have yet to be publicized.

Now, onto the informal writerly learnings!

Kris Maze shares seven unstoppable YA plot ideas to make your novel fabulous. Barbara Linn Probst is editing for theme: search and employ. Writers in the Storm

Elizabeth A. Harvey explores a writer’s sense of place: where I ought to be. Jim Dempsey is writing and napping. Sophie Masson shares what she’s learned about presenting online workshops. Then, Juliet Marillier tells a tale about finding resilience: a dog story. Writer Unboxed

Gender and Jurassic Park. Cold Crash Pictures

Janice Hardy explains some story rulez: the two things every novel needs to do. Later in the week, Angela Ackerman stopps by: how emotional wounds can steer a character’s job choice. Fiction University

The female friendship revolution. The Take

Peter von Stackelberg shares an intuitive four-step process for creating vibrant scene structure. Helping Writers Become Authors

Andrew Noakes offers six principles for writing historical fiction. Jane Friedman

Lindsay Ellis looks at Tolkien’s constructed languages. It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Leanne Sowul wants you to commit to self-education about racism and anti-racism. And here’s my latest Speculations: ten Black science fiction and fantasy authors to read now. Then, Gabriela interviews Django Wexler: using fantasy to “literalize” the metaphor. DIY MFA

Chris Winkle explains why storytellers fail at grimdark and how to fix it. Then Bunny and Oren Ashkenazi team up: five reasons your story shouldn’t deny that it’s a story. Mythcreants

Deborah Ahenkora is slaying the dragons of hate with words. CBC Books

Aya de Léon: crime fiction is complicit in police violence, but it’s not too late to change. Electric Literature

Jeana Jorgensen describes what happens when fairyland is not for you: on escapism, fantasy, and survival. The Wrangler

Paula Findlen explores Petrarch’s plague: love, death, and friendship in a time of pandemic. The Public Domain Review

Thanks for visiting, and I hope that you found something to support your current work in progress (whatever stage it’s in).

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

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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.

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 19-25, 2020

I hope you’re bearing up in these surreal times. Try not to feel pressured to learn a new language or finish that novel or whatever weighs on your creative conscience. Interest will return when it will, the words will sing their siren song again. It just may take some time. Be kind to yourself. We’re all struggling.

While you adjust to our changing circumstances, don’t forget to feed your brain with some interesting stuff. Get your mental corn popping with thought Thursday 🙂

50 things we’ve learned in the 50 years since the first Earth Day. The Smithsonian Magazine

And, while Earth Day was last week, there’s no reason for you not to extend the celebration. Kaitlin Thomas lists 20 ground-breaking nature documentaries you should watch. TV Guide

It’s also the 30th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope. It’s okay to be smart celebrates with a fly-through of some of the best images. And a lovely poem by Dr. Katie Mack!

Kristine Wen shows you how to cook and bake with lavender without making your food taste like grandma’s soap. Chow Hound

Kier Holmes explains how to use coffee grounds in your garden. Gardenista

Olivia Kelly is watching Dublin bloom: city thrives under new “wilding” policy. The Irish Times

Jelisa Castrodale reports on the 1,000-year-old mill that’s resumed production due to lack of flour. Food & Wine

Sarah Wells: tech eroded sleep quality in the 1800s. Can tech restore it now? About biphasic sleep, the advent of electricity, and sleep trackers. Inverse

Katie Falkingham reveals the strict and secret world of bicycle racing in Japan. BBC

Amanda Capritto says, this is the best time of day to exercise (backed by science). Spoiler: it’s any time you can bloody well fit it in 🙂 Cnet

Will Bardenwerper: army ranger school is a laboratory of human endurance. Outside Online

Riley Black explains why bats are one of evolution’s greatest puzzles. The Smithsonian Magazine

Zoe Denenberg wonders why dogs walk in circles before they lie down. Southern Living

Thanks for visiting. I hope you took away something to inspire your next creative project (even if it stays in percolation mode for a while).

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, March 15-21, 2020

I’ve tried to stay clear of covid-related news. We’re all consuming enough of that and I want to create a space for inspiration and learning and just plain entertainment. Still, there’s covid-adjacent material. I couldn’t avoid it completely.

Still, I hope you can get your mental corn popping in a positive and relatively stress-free manner this week.

Sophia Quaglia says, this ancient fish with arms might be the reason we have hands. Inverse

The wild reasons older people need less sleep. SciShow

Dr. Tracey Marks explains what night terrors are. I used to have these … and sleepwalk. It’s why I have an interest 🙂

Amy McKeever explains why we evolved to feel panic. National Geographic

Diana does 20 easy experiments in about five minutes. You can try these at home! Physics Girl

Liz Hund shares ten iconic museums you can tour online. The Points Guy

Is everyone going crazy? Nothing but Thieves

Be well, be kind, and stay safe and strong. The world needs you … and your stories.

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Jan 12-18, 2020

This week, I found lots of resources to get your mental corn popping.

Zwikar Oli reports for the Plaid Zebra: moss-growing concrete absorbs CO2, insulates, and serves as vertical garden.

Alex Landon considers similar installations in London: artificial trees absorb as much pollution as 275 regular trees. Secret London

Nathan Bahadursingh says that urban farming is the future of architecture. Architizer

Greta and George

Gosia Wozniacka warns about the dark side of compostable take-out containers. Eater

Alex Ross considers the past and future of the world’s oldest trees. The New Yorker

Five things ravens do. The Raven Diaries

Christian Cotroneo tells the tale of the astonished divers who encounter a massive jellyfish off the coast of England. Mother Nature Network

Chelsea Whyte explains how we can tell where a whale has travelled by the themes in its song. New Scientist

True facts about the ostrich. Ze Frank

Eben Disken: wombats are the improbable heroes of the Australian bushfires, hiding other animals in their burrows. Matador Network

Greg Hogben explains how we broke our promise to Harry. My Daughter’s Army

Melissa Pandika: why does my body jerk when I’m falling asleep? Mic

Joseph Stern shares his perspective on dying in the neurosurgical ICU. The New York Times

Kathrin Glösel: Finland ends homelessness and provides shelter for all in need. Scoop.Me

Anne Quito reviews a survey of 20,000 creatives that suggests group brainstorming is a giant waste of time. Quartz

John Pavlus: computers are learning to see in higher dimensions. Wired

Kelly Richman-Abdou shares five powerful paintings by underappreciated female artist Artemesia Gentileschi. My Modern Met

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

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, Jan 5-11, 2020

It’s that time of the week again—time to pop your mental corn! Give yourself the gift of thoughty, and welcome a happy Friday with a satiated brain 🙂

How to capture a ghost particle. PBS Space Time

Alex Fox relates how nuns are converting their convent into a wetland to fight flooding in New Orleans. The Hill

Geology In shows us the incredible crystal caves of Naica, Mexico.

That time the Mediterranean Sea disappeared. PBS Eons

Zaria Gorvett: medications that change who we are. BBC

Markham Heid explains why you wake up at the same time every night. Medium

Why a strong immune system may mean more severe cold symptoms. SciShow

Elle prints an excerpt from Anna Wiener’s Uncanny Valley: dispatches from the front line of Silicon Valley sexism.

Jason Beaubien: with their land in flames, aboriginals warn fires show deeper problems in Australia. Indigenous land management practices could have mitigated the disaster. NPR

Graham Redfearn reports that the Australian bushfires have reached Kangaroo Island where several species of unique wildlife are threatened. The Guardian

Tim Sohn: how Tom Mustill became “The Whale Detective.” Outside online

Moon Child shares 33 photos of weird and rare flowers that look like something out of a fairy tale.

Ze Frank brings the awkward and hilarious with the mating dance of the ostrich.

Thank you for visiting and I hope you can take away something to inspire your next creative project. Or … maybe something amusing 🙂

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 29, 2019-Jan 4, 2020

It’s time to get your mental corn popping.

Jamie Carter offers a skywatcher’s guide to 2020. Forbes

Caleb Scharf wonders if we’re alone in a crowded Milky Way. Scientific American

Joe explains the benefits of launching rockets from the moon. It’s okay to be smart

Physics Girl shares part three of her visit to CERN.

Shayla Love: how long is right now? Fave bit: physics says “right now” may be an illusion … that’s not to say we should all become chrono-nihilists … Vice

The MIT Technology Review considers how a virtual version of da Vinci’s glass orb helps explain its weirdness.

Mike Cannon-Brookes: how to harness imposter syndrome for the greater good. TED Talks

James Hamblin says, your bedroom is too hot. Get your mind out of the gutter! The Atlantic

Darryl Fears: on land, Australia’s rising heat is “apocalyptic.” In the ocean, it’s worse. The Washington Post

Thanks for stopping by. I hope something here inspires your next creative project.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 15-21, 2019

It’s the usual mixed bag, this Thursday. I hope you find something here to inspire your next creative project.

Nina Munteanu shares five perspectives on humanity’s relationship to our forests.

Maya Wei-Haas: mysterious waves have been pulsing across Oklahoma. National Geographic

Matthew Green introduces us to three young women racing to defuse a carbon bomb in the arctic: the climate hunters. Reuters

Stephen Kinzer recounts the secret history of Fort Dietrick, the CIA’s base for mind control experiments. Politico

Sarah Harvey suggests trying Japan’s Kaizen method to cure insomnia and sleep anxiety. Stylist

Dr. Becky considers the engraved hourglass nebula.

Veritasium looks at the Planet 9 hypothesis.

And PBS Space Time weighs the possibilities for terraforming Mars.

Dave Linkletter reveals the ten toughest math problems ever solved. Popular Mechanics

Finally, SciShow introduces us to a snail that makes its own armour (!)

Sara Barnes shows how a natural phenomenon transforms Christian Spenser’s hummingbird photographs into rainbows. My Modern Met

Thanks for stopping by and popping your mental corn with me.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Apr 21-27, 2019

Here are some media links that I hope will get your mental corn popping.

Our provincial government is cutting everything. Nurses, arts funding, education, they even cancelled OHIP coverage for out of Canada health issues (not that we had extensive coverage, but we had some) … here are just three of the distressing articles that have come out in the past week:

Those of you who don’t live in Ontario, let alone Canada, may wonder why you should care. It’s just one more conservative government making the average citizen’s life worse in the name of fiscal responsibility (read catering to big business). See any familiar themes?

The World Wildlife Fund assesses Canada’s protected habitats and finds them wanting. What we could be doing better to protect endangered habitat and species and prevent climate change at the same time.

In the good news column: Autumn Peltier named chief water commissioner by Anishnabek Nation. CBC

SciShow Space looks at how life might evolve without liquid water

 

David Robson: the dreams you can’t remember may never have occurred. The Atlantic

Emily Dreyfuss: you’re not getting enough sleep, and it’s killing you. Wired

Simon Makin explains how ketamine changes a depressed person’s brain. Scientific American

SciShow Psych: depression isn’t just a chemical imbalance

 

And that was your thoughty Thursday for the week.

This weekend, I’ll be posting my next chapter update for April. I’ve had to admit defeat and reorganize my plans for the year. Come on by and see what’s been going on in this writer’s life.

Until then, be well!

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Apr 14-20, 2019

Here’s your weekly batch of inspiration and research-y links to get your mental corn popping.

Vivid Maps presents Canada, mapped only in terms of bodies of water. Makes me unaccountably proud of our beautiful country.

Geoff Manaugh says, move over San Andreas, there’s a new, ominous fault line in town, and it’s called the Walker Lane. Wired

SciShow Space looks at how astronomers got that image of a black hole.

 

Angus Chen: parents learn to let their anxious kids face their fears. NPR

Think you can catch up on lost sleep over the weekend? Inverse says, nope.

 

Bret Stetka reveals new strategies to take on the worst cancer—glioblastoma. Scientific American

Douglas Main: why oysters close on the full moon—and more odd lunar effects on animals. National Geographic

I hope you found something to feed your creative factory 🙂

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

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