Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 6-12, 2018

A few links to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Brian Resnick: Stephen Hawking’s final paper makes a hopeful case for the limits of existence. Vox

A super-massive black hole is hurtling toward Earth, but don’t worry, it’ll take about four billion years to get here. Sci-Tech Universe

Wil Wheaton shares his keynote speech for the NAMI Ohio’s statewide conference, Fulfilling the Promise: I live with chronic depression and I’m not ashamed.

SciShow: the strange (but true) history of hysteria.

 

Inverse: your brain on sugar with Shannon Odell.

 

Inverse: your brain on music with Shannon Odell.

 

Alfredo Carpineti: fasting for just one day can regenerate your stem cells. I wonder if the stomach flu counts? IFLS

Maggie posts about the history of our most common vegetables. The Plant Guide

Rosie McCall reports on a crow that steals a credit card, attempts to use it to buy a train ticket, and, after it fails, returns the card to its owner. Corvids rock my world. IFLS

I hope you found something in the mix to inspire.

Be well until next Tipsday!

thoughtythursday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 1-7, 2016

And we’re still on a roll 😉

K.M. Weiland offers six tips to help you finish your book. Helping writers become authors.

Janice Hardy helps you get your novel to the finish line: staying focused enough to write (part two). Fiction University. And part three: resisting the shiny, new idea.

K.M. Weiland shares how to harness the dark side of your impact character. Helping writers become authors.

Jami Gold answers the question, what’s the difference between plot and story?

Talking yourself down and talking yourself up: the two-headed dragon of insecurity. Ella Joy Olsen on Women Writers, Women’s Books.

Donald Maass: pixie dust, the secret ingredient to adding sparkle to your writing. Writer Unboxed.

Fantasy Faction explores languages in fantasy.

Chris Winkle offers four tips for depicting characters with disabilities. Mythcreants.

Chuck Wendig: Hello, I have anxiety. How are you?

Sarah Selecky is back with part three of her writing retreats for your wish list series: make your own retreat 🙂

Sarah Letourneau offers five reasons to do market research on your work in progress. DIYMFA.

New research explains how the pen is mightier than the keyboard. The Literacy Site.

Mallory Ortberg looks at publishing, weight, and writers who are ‘hard to look at.’ The Toast. This really pissed me off.

Jael Richardson launches the Festival of Literary Diversity. Donovan Vincent for The Toronto Star.

CBC Books lists twelve Canadian novels that describe living with mental illness.

Buzzfeed shares 21 examples of exquisite handwriting.

Gregory Woods offers his top ten landmarks in gay and lesbian literature. The Guardian.

Nicholas Lezard reviews Seven Miles of Steel Thistles.

Book Riot shares this massive list of 100 science fiction and fantasy novels by women.

Wil Wheaton mansplains the Star Wars: Rogue One hate. The Nerdist.

Alisdair Stuart reviews Captain America: Civil War (without spoilers!). Tor.com

Fire and Launch wonder if Brandon Stark is the hero of Game of Thrones (contains spoilers). Tor.com

Norman Descendants explores the historical truth of Ragnar Lothbrock.

This Harry Potter themed wedding was tasteful as fuck. Buzzfeed.

See you with your weekly dose of thoughty on Thursday!

Tipsday

Eight metaphors for persistence, and why you’ll want to read this anyway

God help you if you are a phoenix / and you dare to rise up from the ash …

~~Ani Difranco, 32 Flavors

Rise Of The Phoenix

Rise Of The Phoenix (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Sunday, February 26, 2012, my dear blog labbydog.ca was hacked, necessitating, in the opinion of the hosting service on which she lived, a complete deletion of all materials.  Even if I’d have been savvy enough to back up, those files would also have been suspect and deleted.  It was a dark day.

The light at the end of the tunnel

It was a dark week, truthfully.  Labbydog.ca was also the mail server for me, my husband Phil, and my mom.  It took a couple of days just to get everything re-established after the wipe.  Phil is a computer genius though, or as a friend of ours once said, an ass in jeans (a fine one, admittedly), and email was restored in short order.

I had some of my materials saved as Word .docx files, but by no means all of them.  How to rebuild?  More importantly, where to rebuild?  I wasn’t about to trust my next effort to the same hosting service, who essentially blamed me and my importation of add-ons and plug-ins (A.K.A. “scripts”), intended to protect my blog, for its very destruction.  I investigated each one and only downloaded them after the recommendation of an online guru. So what was I going to do?

I considered my options.  Both blogger and WordPress allow the importation of domains, and thanks to Robert Lee Brewer’s excellent advice, I had purchased melaniemarttila.ca in January.  It was my intent to move my blog to the new domain in February or March in any event, which is why I (oh-so-foolishly) hadn’t backed labbydog.ca up.

Robert, you saved my virtual ass, and my online sanity.  Thank you.  There are no words.

Getting back on the horse

I mucked around with blogger for a day or two, but I really didn’t want to start entirely from scratch.  I liked WordPress, was comfortable with the admin portal and the intuitive interface.  So I started a new blog on WordPress, transferred my domain, mapped it, and prepared to wade back into the blogging fray.

No use crying over spilled milk

I was seriously depressed, but the disease is an old frenemy, and I know how to deal with him.  The bottom line is that I can’t worry about things I have no control over.  I have to focus on the things I can affect in a positive way.

Depression and writing:

People have asked me since the dreadful day, “Why?”  Why indeed would anyone want to hack my innocuous wee blog?  I wasn’t particularly controversial.  I didn’t have a lot of followers.  It’s not like they were taking down some corporate mogul, or politician, or even a celebrity.  So yeah, I’d like an answer to that one too.  Why?

Wishing won’t make it so

You’ll have to track down the hacker and ask his or her maliciousness yourselves.  Quite likely, the culprit is not even a person, but some hack-bot, a lackey bit of code sent out to do its vile master’s bidding.  So why?

The short answer is: because she or he could.

Hacking, trolling, griefing, phishing, propagating malware, and other acts of online evil are all about bullying and the abuse of power.  You deal with it the same way you deal with any other kind of abuse, you speak up, share your story, and hope to hell you save someone else by your sad example.

I will share Wil Wheaton’s online motto here: Don’t be a dick!

[Wom]an with a plan

Labbydog.ca 2.0 = Writerly Goodness on melaniemarttila.ca.

From here on out, I’m saving everything I post in Word.  Once I have Writerly Goodness up and running, I will institute a back up routine.

When was the last time you backed up your blog, novel, training course design, or insert anything you’ve spent a lot of hours doing here?  Don’t procrastinate any further: save your work.  Now.  Go ahead, I’ll wait …

[W]e can rebuild [her]. We have the technology …  Better than [s]he was before.  Better, stronger, faster.

~~The Six Million Dollar Man, 1974

So yeah, I’m going to go back to the drawing board.  I’m going to repost as much as I can remember of what I used to have on labbydog.ca, but I’m going to do it better (I hope).  For example, ‘My history as a so-called writer’ isn’t just going to be self-serving or shamefully confessional.  I’m going to try to put in some meat for the writerly.  I’m going to try to answer the questions: why should I care, and what’s in it for me?  I’m hoping for some serious takeaway action.

A weekly schedule should give the project some structure: different categories on different days.

I’m trying to learn/do/create/be better.  And I’d appreciate it if you’d let me know how I’m doing.

Never say ‘die’

The takeaway here: in writing, as in everything, if you love what you’re doing, you can’t give up. You won’t be able to.  Sometimes, though, you might need a little help.

Some curation, and maybe inspiration:

What have you had to overcome to do what you’re passionate about?  Ever felt like a phoenix rising from the ash?

Comment, like, share, subscribe!  You know you want to 😉