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

Your informal writerly learnings for the week, gentle reader 🙂

Marisa de los Santos is writing through the rough parts. Writer Unboxed

Donald Maass expounds on high drama and heroism. Writer Unboxed

Kathryn Craft: proving your protagonist has what it takes. Writer Unboxed

Jeanne Kisacky discusses the ups and downs of the supporters in a writer’s life: a well-deserved expression of gratitude. Writer Unboxed

The island of misfit characters. Where intriguing characters go when they’re … not quite right. Kathryn Magendie on Writer Unboxed.

James Scott Bell: garlic breath for writers (AKA bad first pages). Writers Helping Writers

Angela Ackerman explains how to raise the stakes by making is personal. Writers Helping Writers

A.K. Perry begins a new series on signpost scenes with the disturbance. DIY MFA

Elisabeth Kauffman answers a question about character motive in her new series, ask the editor. DIY MFA

Sierra Delarosa lists five grammar mistakes writers should avoid. DIY MFA

Peter Selgin guest posts on Jane Friedman’s blog: how your story’s opening foreshadows (intentionally or not) what’s to come.

L.L. Barkat, who bid farewell to blogging years ago on Jane Friedman’s blog, returns to explain why blogging may no longer be such a bad thing anymore.

Chuck Wendig responds to Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s tweet defining art and entertainment. Terribleminds

Kristen Lamb: how story forges, defines, and refines character.

Julie Glover asks, are you sick and tired of editing your novel? Writers in the Storm

Oren Ashkenazi explains why the term “Mary Sue” should be retired. Mythcreants

Nina Munteanu says, write about what you know.

Sudbury Writers’ Guild member and vice-president Vera Constantineau is interviewed on Morning North about her new fiction collection, Daisy Chained. CBC

Nnedi Okorafor: science fiction that imagines a future Africa. TED Talks

Leah Schnelbach wonders, how could I forget the liberating weirdness of Madeleine L’Engle?

Katy Waldman rereads A Wrinkle in Time after a childhood spent enthralled by Madeleine L’Engle. The New Yorker

Alison Flood reports that Shakespeare may have annotated his own source for Hamlet. The Guardian

Be well until Thursday, my friends!



Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Jan 21-27, 2018

It’s time to get your mental corn popping!

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg reflects on the #metoo movement. Nina Tottenberg for NPR.

Jia Tolentino: the rising pressure of the #metoo backlash. The New Yorker

Lili Loufbourow exposes the female price of male pleasure. The Week

The secret to living longer may be your social life. Susan Pinker’s TED Talk.

Why we act introverted: it’s not just nature. Brenda Knowles, Space2Live.

Rachael Stephen: depression and anxiety 101.


“Good” and “bad” are incomplete stories we tell ourselves. Heather Lanier’s TED talk.


Julie Beck: the new age of astrology. The Atlantic

Thomas Merritt looks for clues to the mystery of handedness in kangaroos and shopping malls. The Conversation

Garret Beard explains how artificial intelligence is going to supercharge surveillance. The Verge

Lessons from a solar storm chaser. Miho Janvier’s TED Talk.


Woman librarians delivered books by horseback in the 1930s. A pictorial retrospective. Deb Street for History Daily.

The history of Appalachian English, or, why we talk differently. Appalachian Magazine

Be well until the weekend 🙂

The first next chapter update of 2018 is on deck!


Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Jan 7-13, 2018

This week was thoughtier than usual 🙂

Dana Goodyear: can Hollywood change its ways? The New Yorker

Joseph Shapiro exposes the sexual assault epidemic that no one talks about. NPR

Zdravko Cvijetic lists 13 things you must give up to live the life you want. Uplift

Judith Graham says that good friends might be your best brain booster as you age. Scientific American

Ed Yong pays tribute to the transgender scientist who changed how we understand the brain. The Atlantic

The benefits of deep sleep and how we can get more of it. Dan Gartenberg’s TED Talk.


Holly Butcher was diagnosed with Ewings sarcoma and posted an inspirational message on the eve of her death. BoredPanda

Mya Fourstar aims for college basketball and life beyond the reserve. Jesse Dougherty for The Washington Post.

Arthur C. Clarke predicts the internet in 1962.


Dave Mosher reports on the Jupiter probe’s latest mind-bending images of the gas giant. The Business Insider

Andrew Fazekas shares his top eight must-see sky events of 2018. National Geographic

NPR’s Skunk Bear explores the sci-fi sound of singing ice.


SciShow: Egyptian Blue. Modern applications for an ancient pigment.


Shake your silk-maker: the dance of the peacock spider.


The firefly experience.


I hope something in this curation got your mental corn popping.

Be well until the weekend.


Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Dec 17-23, 2017

It’s the last instalment of informal writerly learnings of 2017! Not to worry, I’m not stopping the writerly goodness any time soon 😉

Jane Friedman hosts Peter Selgin on her blog: the deadliest first page sin, plus a critique of two novel openings.

Vaughn Roycroft presents the pantsing leftoverture. Writer Unboxed

Dave King: surprise! Writer Unboxed

Kathleen McCleary: what to give yourself this year. Writer Unboxed

Joanna Penn interviews Douglas Smith about writing short fiction for The Creative Penn podcast.

Emily Wenstrom recommends three types of social media posts you should be using. DIY MFA

Stacy B. Woodson shares seven lessons she learned from Lisa Gardner at Crime Bake. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Ada Palmer about writing speculative fiction for DIY MFA radio.

Gabriela Pereira: creativity is craft and it belongs to everyone. TEDxWilmingtonWomen


My latest contribution to DIY MFA: five reasons to book a writing cruise.

Jennie Nash stops by the Writers Helping Writers coaching corner: creating the perfect elevator pitch.

Jamie Raintree offers five ways to use the holiday season to benefit your writing career. Writers in the Storm

Jami Gold explains how to create scene endings that hook readers.

Jenna Moreci: common world building mistakes.


Chris Winkle lists five reasons your story is transphobic (and what to do about it). Mythcreants

As she turns 90, suspense still thrills Mary Higgins Clark. Lynn Neary for NPR.

Alison Flood: “Cat Person” author’s debut novel sparks flurry of international publishing deals. The Guardian

A.N. Devers: this is how a woman is erased from her job. Longreads

Michelle Dean: what makes someone a predator? The New York Times

Victoria Schwab: in praise of strange books. NPR

Ava DuVernay decided to direct A Wrinkle in Time so she could create new worlds. Evan Narcisse for i09.

Minute Physics: time travel in fiction rundown.


I hope your holiday celebrations were filled with joy, family, and friends.

Be well until Thursday!



Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, August 13-19, 2017

Thoughty Thursday starts off a bit dark this week.

As we become more effective at keeping guns and bomb-making materials out of the hands of extremists and terrorists, they turn to more accessible weapons like knives and vehicles. Fewer people may die, but even one death is too many.

Jack Holmes shares the Vice documentary on Charlottesville. Esquire

Karen Attiah covers Charlottesville the way Western media covers other nations. The Washington Post

How to make fun of Nazis: an alternative to meeting violence with violence. Moises Velasquez-Manoff for The New York Times.

Raphael Minder and Patrick Kingsley report on the latest from Barcelona. The New York Times

Philip Oltermann covers the fatal stabbing in Turku, Finland. The Guardian


Gina Kolata: researchers track an unlikely culprit in weight gain. The New York Times

Samantha Leal looks at warrior women throughout history. Marie Claire

Mandy Oaklander introduces us to the new hope for depression. Time Magazine

Lily Carollo interviews Julie Rehmeyer about the loneliness of having an illness science doesn’t understand. The Science of Us

Why loneliness can be as unhealthy as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. CBC

And for balance, and because alone doesn’t have to mean lonely, check out these illustrations by Yaoyao Ma Van As that capture the happiness of living alone. Bored Panda

Trees with “crown shyness” mysteriously avoid touching each other. Kelly Richman-Abdou for My Modern Met.

David Baron: you owe it to yourself to see a full solar eclipse before you die. Ted Talks


Hilary Mitchell shares 19 facts about Elizabethan England that will blow your mind. Buzzfeed

Alexa Tanney lists 21 memes you need to send to your coworkers ASAP. Buzzfeed

I hope something got the mental corn popping.

Be well until the weekend.



Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 2-8, 2017

It’s time for your dose on informal writerly learnings 🙂

K.M. Weiland continues her most common writing mistakes series with part 60: flat plots. Helping Writers Become Authors

Later in the week, Kate continues her series on the do’s and don’ts of storytelling according to Marvel with a look at Guardian of the Galaxy, volume 2: how to ace the first act in your sequel.

As a follow up to her last post on critiquing, Jane Friedman helps you recognize patterns in the way you respond to criticism.

Then, Gary Zenker guest posts on DIY MFA: a new approach to critique.

Larry Brooks stops by Writer Unboxed to discuss the big lie about writing compelling fiction.

As a follow up to Larry’s post, Anna Elliott asks, what’s your truth? Writer Unboxed

Donald Maass explores characters light and dark. Writer Unboxed

Parul Macdonald uncovers the world of a literary scout and international rights. Writer Unboxed

Abigail K. Perry joins the DIY MFA team: how to make you character descriptions do double duty.

Stacey B. Woodson shares five writing lessons from thriller master David Morrell. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Sarah Dessen for DIY MFA radio.

Marielle Orff shares five ways to get to know your characters better. DIY MFA

Emily Wenstrom offers some email marketing tips. The Write Life

Jami Gold gives us one simple trick to avoid the opening page infodump.

Janice Hardy continues her birth of a book series with testing the idea. Fiction University

Then, Janice visits Writers in the Storm: what do you want your readers to wonder about?

Chris Winkle covers five more dualities that can replace good and evil. Mythcreants

Bryan Hutchinson explains how to become a prolific writer while holding down a day job. Positive Writer

Sophie Playle: where is your budget for book editing best spent? Liminal Pages

Sarah Fox shares seven things editors wish authors knew. Well Storied

Jeremy Szal shares his tips for writing a successful query letter. Fantasy Faction

Caroline Leavitt: when the writing mentor becomes the mentee. The Millions

Anne Lamott: 12 truths I learned about life and writing. TED Talks

Jarred MGuiness says writing is the only magic he still believes in. TEDxEaling


Folklore Thursday takes a look at how iron became the enemy of the fairy folk.

Shane Koyczan: the weather.


And that is how we Tipsday.

See you on Thursday for some mental corn popping thoughty.

Be well until then!



Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 30-May 6, 2017

A little silly, a little serious, and a whole lot of inspiration. Curated just for you!

Finland’s May Day frolic. This is Finland

Kristina Marusic: how it feels when you’re queer [as fuck] but your relationship looks “straight.” New Now Next

Sabrina Marandola reports on how parents and teachers launch a petition to change Quebec’s history curriculum. CBC

Pegi Eyers answers the question, what is cultural appropriation? (With tonnes of resources!) Ancient Spirit Rising

It’s okay to be smart: why are we the only humans left?


Jasmin Fox-Skelly warns that as global warming melts the ice, dormant and antibiotic-resistant bacteria are waking up. BBC

Erica Cirino: scientists discover that beeswax-eating worms are the secret to breaking down plastic. National Geographic

Hearst Digital Studios produces a powerful #survivorloveletter, from survivors, to survivors.

How general anxiety disorder is linked to emotional abuse. Daily Health Post

Kristin Wong examines how happy people complain. Science of Us

The surprising solution to the impostor syndrome. Lou Solomon—TEDxCharlotte


Jill Suttie says that taking a relaxing lunch break is good for you. Mindful

A BC professor’s sleep trick garners attention from Oprah, Forbes, and The Guardian. CBC

Alice Dreger: what if we admitted to children that sex is primarily about pleasure? Pacific Standard

The Oatmeal: you’re not going to believe what I’m about to tell you. About awesome brain science-y stuff and your power to put your amygdala in it’s place.

Rae Paoletta reports on the first sound from the creepy void inside Saturn’s rings. Gizmodo

Christianna Reedy: new evidence about a cold spot in space could support the case for a multiverse. Futurism

Just because it was May the 4th (be with you): was Star Wars really in a galaxy, far, far away? Phil Plait, Bad Astronomer, for Blastr.

Amanda Ruggeri introduces us to angel roofs: the medieval marvel few people know. BBC

Cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Rhiannon by Alice Kristiansen and Jessie Marie Villa


Stanley the singing Airedale talks to his mom on the phone.


And that’s how we pop your mental corn.

Just a wee reminder, I’ll be away this weekend, and so I’ll see you next Tipsday with a new batch of informal writerly learnings.

Be well until then, my writerly friends!



Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 11-17, 2016

Time to get your mental corn a-poppin’!

Anna Lovind wants you to find the vision that wants to be born through you.

Kristen Lamb takes aim at the fashion industry.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: we should all be feminists. TEDX Euston.


Illustrator Rasneth (Razzy) shows bros why everyone needs feminism. Bust

Daphne Patai: how diversity came to mean “downgrading the west.” Minding the Campus

Throat singer Tanya Tagaq combats indigenous stereotypes. Liz Przybylski for KCET.

Exorbitant food prices on the James Bay coast mean that children are going hungry. Olivia Stefanovich for CBC.

The Irena Sendler story.


Sweden is officially moving to a six-hour work day.


The wreckage of Sir John Franklin’s HMS Terror may have been found. Garrett Hinchey for CBC.

Phil Plait features Xkcd’s latest comic on global warming. Slate

Anna Nowogrodzki shares a first glimpse of a black hole being born from a star’s remains. New Scientist

Ria Misra reports on new evidence that points to a different theory for the moon’s formation. Gizmodo

The Martian landscape looks like Utah. Phil Plait for Slate.

Wasn’t sure where to put this . . . creepy. David Brown reports on the discovery of a skeleton that points to cannibalism in the Jamestown colony. The Washington Post

Photographer, Lorenzo Montezemolo, takes enchanting long exposure shots of fog over California. My Modern Met

Elyse Wanshel lists ten ways dogs show they love you. The Little Things

Hugs and stuff, ‘cause you’re all grand, you are!

See you Saturday for some movie madness and some series discoveries (midseason follies).

Thoughty Thursday


Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 19-25, 2016

Yes, I caught up on my YouTube viewing 😉 So, it’s another visual learning week.

Andrew J. Hawkins looks at the hyperloop pods competing in Elon Musk’s big race, later this year. The Verge.

Marissa Gertz presents astronaut, Tim Peake’s amazing photos from his time in space. TIME.

Does Pluto harbour an ocean under all that ice? Phil Plait for Slate. And later in the week, Hubble shows us the colours of the night.

Add This shares Dieter Ram’s ten principles of good design.

You see crisis after crisis. This is what we see. Attawapiskat youth create video. CBC.

Wab Kinew got on his soap box: five aboriginal stereotypes.


Before European Christians forced gender roles, Native Americans acknowledged five genders. Pearson McKinney for the Bipartisan Report.

I respond to Orlando from a Canadian perspective on my friend, Mel Walsh Jones’s blog, Mel’s Madness.

Vi Hart: Feeling sad about tragedy.


Russell Foster: Why do we sleep? Ted Talk.


Lena Dunham shares her conversation with Sheryl Sandberg. On navigating workplace culture, tackling personal issues, and (of course) leaning in. Esquire.

Women having a terrible time at parties in western art history. The Toast. On a sad note, I just heard that The Toast is . . . toast 😦

Adrienne Pieroth: she was done. Elephant Journal.

Eight amazing aquatic animals. ASAP Thought.


Science vs. art. ASAP Thought.


Tom Vanderbilt shares the secret of taste: why we like what we like. The Guardian.

How did the entire town of Ashley, Kansas, simply disappear? Gregory Burkhart for

The fun side of Sudbury, my city 🙂


Musical Tesla coils featuring Physics Girl. It’s Okay to be smart.


Northern Lights Festival Boreal announces that Steven Page will be the final headliner of this year’s event.

Also appearing at NLFB: Natalie McMaster and Donnell Leahy – here they are with The One.


And that was Thoughty Thursday.

Happy Canada Day and Happy Independence Day to all my friends, north and south of the border.

Happy weekend to all my other lovely friends out there 🙂

Thoughty Thursday


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!