Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Dec 11-17, 2022

Happy Hanukkah (ongoing), and happy solstice (tomorrow) for those who celebrate! Here’s my gift to you: informal writerly learnings. Yeah, I share them every week, and you know what, every week they’re gifts 🙂 Enjoy!

Ann Marie Nieves answers your book PR and marketing questions about what to do on a budget. Then, Kathleen McCleary is facing down fear. Jim Dempsey explains how to make the most of your writing goals. Then, Barbara Linn Probst takes a closer look at how writers use beta readers: who, when, why—and does it help? Writer Unboxed

Can all monsters be traced back to Tiamat? Monstrum | PBS Storied

Lori Freeland offers five tips to boost your professional writing cred. Then, Colleen M. Story explains how to decide what you really want from your writing career. Stefan Emunds helps you tap readers’ subconscious to engage them in your story. Writers in the Storm

Why death magic is evil. Tale Foundry

Beth Kephart presents a quiet manifesto: blurb matters. Then, Allison K. Williams shows you how writing your synopsis can fix your book. Eva Langston shares what she learned from 90 queries. Then, Sangeeta Mehta interviews Susan Chang and Julie Scheina about what you need to know before hiring a developmental editor. Jane Friedman

When the world becomes small. A philosophical turn. Ze Frank

Lucy V. Hay reveals how to use real life to inspire your fiction. Then, Jami Gold explains how and when to use foreshadowing. Writers Helping Writers

On her own site, Jami follows up by explaining the difference between foreshadowing and spoilers

Nathan Bransford shows you how to write a character who’s adrift.

E.J. Wenstrom shares four lessons learned over a decade of author platforming. Then, Sara Farmer shares her favorite mystery shows. Kaira Rouda shows you how to use a setting you know to set your characters free. Later in the week, Monica Cox shares five tips to get unstuck from the murky middle of your manuscript. DIY MFA

The hidden meaning in the humanity of others. Like Stories of Old

Adeena Mignogna exposes common misconceptions about satellite orbits. Science in Science Fiction | Dan Koboldt

Tiffany Yates Martin is showing up for the good stuff. Fox Print Editorial

Angie Hodapp shares seven tips for writing powerful endings. Pub Rants

What to do (and not do) with your NaNoWriMo novel. Reedsy

Chris Winkle unpacks five tropes that require low realism. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains why the Save the Cat! novel beat sheet won’t help you. Mythcreants

Angela Misri: Vivek Shraya proves kids’ books can help us explore messy truths. The Walrus

Thank you so much for visiting. It’s like your gift to me! And I appreciate it. I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well, my writerly friends.

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Dec 4-10, 2022

I know I said I was going to trim down thoughty Thursday, but there were so many interesting non-newsy things to share this week! In any case, it’s tome to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Matthew Wills: kidnappers of color versus the cause of antislavery. JSTOR Daily

Danielle Han discusses grave matters: conflict in reburial and repatriation. JSTOR Daily

From Anne Bonney to Zheng Yi Sao: the notorious women of piracy. PBS Origins

Heidi Ledford reports that severe covid may cause markers of old age in the brain. Nature

The Next Big Idea Club explains how to make the most of the brain you have, according to neuroscience. Fast Company

K.J. Aiello wonders who gets to be mentally ill? The Walrus

Zach Sweger: many genes linked to alcohol and tobacco use are share among diverse ancestries. Penn State University

In conversation with Dr. Jake Taylor. Dr. Becky

Dr. Alfredo Carpineti: JWST spots clouds and even a sea on Saturn’s moon, Titan. IFLS

Beth Miller reports that Marianna Safronova and collaborators say quantum clocks could be used to detect dark matter. University of Delaware Daily

Unusual gamma-ray burst reveals previously undetected hybrid neutron-star merger event. Los Alamos National Laboratory

Researchers use ultrasound waves to move objects. University of Minnesota

A resource for your next apocalyptic science fiction novel: asteroid launcher. Or just have fun lobbing space rocks at Earth. Your choice. neal.fun

And here’s another, scarier app: NukeMap. For fictional purposes, of course … Alex Wellerstein

Hallie Golden reports that an Indigenous reservation has a novel way to grow food—below the earth’s surface. The Guardian

In search of the blackest thing on Earth. Be Smart

Feline genetics help pinpoint first-ever domestication of cats, MU study finds. University of Missouri

The end of year animal awards. Ze Frank

Thanks for stopping by for this week’s mixed bag of edutainment. 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, Oct 9-15, 2022

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

Austen McCoy: After Floyd. What has changed and what has not since George Floyd was killed. The Baffler

Baltimore prosecutors drop charges against Adnan Syed after receiving DNA test results. WBAL

Eteng Ettah explains how Abbott Elementary shows us schools without police. Scalawag

Aoife Walsh: Crimea Bridge: Putin accuses Ukraine of “terrorism.” BBC News

Jon Gambrell: protests over Mahsa Amini’s death reach key oil industry. Associated Press

Joseph Pierce says your land acknowledgement isn’t enough. Hyperallergic

John Loepky and Alex Green point out that politicians with disabilities are rare because of barriers, discrimination. Teen Vogue

Varena Coscia explains how SARS-CoV-2 communicates with human cells. And how this “contactome” might result in new therapies. Phys.org

Gabrielle Blair: Why the Least a Man Can Do Is Ejaculate Responsibly. The Remarkable People Podcast

History in Three Dimensions | Daniele Cybulskie | TEDxMilton

Will Sullivan reports that scientists find fungi in cancerous tumors. But what does it mean? The Smithsonian Magazine

Aria Bendix: in a novel experiment, brain-like human tissue implanted in rat brains influenced the rodents’ behavior. NBC News

Hunter’s moon shines in October skies. USA Today

Mark Belan presents this animated map: where to find water on Mars. Visual Capitalist

Jonathan Amos: NASA’s Dart changed the path of asteroid. BBC

The heaviest element yet detected in an exoplanet’s atmosphere. It might rain iron?! Phys.org

The unbelievable story of the earth’s most epic flood. Be Smart

Franco Mariotti says, protecting Laurentian’s greenspace would be visionary. Sudbury.com

Adele Peters: these mini wind turbines are designed for rooftops. Fast Company

True facts: sea cucumbers. Ze Frank

Thank you for visiting. 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, Sept 4-10, 2022

Tomorrow is Friday, and we’re halfway through September (!). Get your mental corn popping in time for the weekend 🙂

Jordan Laird provides a timeline of the Columbus police fatal shooting of Donovan Lewis. The Columbus Dispatch

Jamie Ducharme reports that US medical schools are struggling to overcome centuries of racism in healthcare. Time

Matthew Wills reveals the truth about Isabella Van Wagenen. JSTOR Daily

Lorenzo Tondo and Julian Borger: UN calls for demilitarised zone around Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. The Guardian

Hanna Arhirova and Yuras Karmanau report that Ukraine claws back territory. Associated Press

China earthquake death count rises to 74 as lockdown anger grows. Associated Press

Two suspects sought for Saskatchewan stabbings now face charges, 10 dead and injured count rises to 18. CBC

Julie Steenhuysen and Jennifer Rigby reveal long covid’s link to suicide: scientists warn of hidden crisis. Reuters

James Gallagher: new malaria vaccine is world-changing, say scientists. BBC

Buckingham Castle announces that Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8, 2022. BBC

Clark Quinn recommends you test and tune your learning solutions. Learnlets

Derek Thompson: your career is just one eighth of your life. The Atlantic

Why you should daydream. Elizabeth Cox | TED-Ed

Simon Lewson explains what Canada’s largest art heist reveals about the art world’s shady side. The Walrus

Manuel Ausloos and Sybille de La Hamaide report that restoration of Notre Dame’s smoke-damaged stained glass begins. Reuters

Maggie Zhou: you’re not scared of failing, you’re scared of succeeding. Refinery 29

Guy Kawasaki interviews Cassie Holmes about applying the science of happiness to life. The Remakable People Podcast

Hasima Khatib tells you how to survive 2022’s third Mercury retrograde starting September 9th. Vogue

Will Sullivan reveals that a lunchbox-sized device is making oxygen on Mars. The Smithsonian Magazine

Donna Lu reports that a new solar-powered invention creates hydrogen fuel from the atmosphere. The Guardian

Scott FaLee explains how changes in length of day affect the brain and subsequent behaviour. UC San Diego

Yvaine Ye reports that embryos with DNA from three people develop normally in first safety study. Nature

Brian Handwerk: the earliest known amputation was performed 31,000 years ago in Borneo. The Smithsonian Magazine

Yvonne Gordon wonders what ancient secrets lie beneath this little-known Irish bog? National Geographic

Bob Yirka reports that over 90% of identifiable trash in the North Pacific Garbage Patch comes from just six countries. And Canada and the US are two of them 😦 Phys.org

Clodagh Kilcoyne and Conor Humphries: Irish nuns bid to turn their convent green. Reuters

True facts: parasitic birds. Ze Frank

How tardigrades bear dehydration. University of Tokyo

Giulia de Amicis presents a fascinating infographic depicting 40 different animal sleep patterns. Visual Capitalist

Thank you 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!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, July 31-Aug 6, 2022

It is time, my writerly friends, to get your mental corn popping!

Dylan Lovan reports that feds charge four police officers in fatal Breonna Taylor raid. Associated Press

“A specific form of anti-Black racism”: scholars want Canadian apology for slavery on Emancipation Day. CTV News

Saba Aziz: hate crime reports in Canada surged during covid-19 pandemic: StatCan. Global News

Wency Leung wonders, is there a covid-19 endgame still in sight with BA.5 spreading fast? Not with vaccines alone. The Globe and Mail

Natalia Zinets says there’s a glimmer of hope as Ukraine grain ship leaves Odessa port. Reuters

Matthew Lee, Nomaan Merchant, and Aamer Madhani: Biden declares killing of al-Qaida leader is long-sought “justice.” Associated Press

The four things you need to be an expert. Vertasium

Arthur C. Brooks explains how to embrace doing nothing. Like literally. The Atlantic

Tracy Brower: this is how job stress can worsen your health, according to science. Fast Company

Lindsay Kohler explains why boredom at work is more dangerous than burnout. Forbes

Clark Quinn wonders if learning and development (L&D) language is limiting? Learnlets

Harold Jarche is navigating complexity (in personal knowledge management).

How Fahrenheit fails you. Answer in Progress

Ashley Strickland: rare type of galaxy dazzles in new Webb telescope image. CNN

Why is puberty so weird? Be Smart

Ian Sample reports that scientists create world’s first synthetic embryos. It’s more about understanding how organs develop in a fetus and the potential for growing transplants from stem cells like bone marrow for leukemia patients. The Guardian

Jill K. Robinson: in Polynesia, tattoos are more than skin deep. National Geographic

Allyson Chiu says when celebrities use private jets excessively, it’s a climate nightmare. The Washington Post

True facts: the self-sacrificing amoeba. Ze Frank

Thank you for visiting. I hope you took away something to support 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, June 26-July 2, 2022

I’m hoping the early days of summer have been kind to you. Now refresh your brain and get that mental corn popping 🙂

Ashawnta Jackson: race, rock, and breaking barriers. JSTOR Daily

Beth Silvers and Sarah Stewart Holland (of the Pantsuit Politics Podcast) declare that even though Roe is gone. We have to keep fighting. Marie Claire

Roe vs. Wade: law professors break down what happened. The Problem with Jon Stewart

Andréa Becker: as anti-abortion laws pop up across the US, Mexican activists are helping Americans access free abortions. Insider

What does Dirty Dancing have to do with abortion? (A lot, it turns out.) PBS Origins

Yuliya Talmazan, Phil McCausland, and Artem Grudinin report that Russian missile strike hits shopping mall with more than 1,000 people inside, Ukraine says. NBC News

Ukraine secures release of 144 soldiers in biggest prisoner swap of war. Reuters

Amanda Macias: NATO reaches a deal with Turkey to admit Sweden and Finland, secretary-general says. CNBC

Guy Kawasaki interviews Margaret O’Mara about what we can learn from history. The Remarkable People Podcast

Sabrina read 700 years of history to fix her glasses. Answer in Progress

Allie Volpe says emotional exhaustion is real, but your friendships don’t need to suffer. Vox

Clark Quinn: LXD by design. Learnlets

Heidi Ulrichsen: Sudbury arts community gathers for frank talk on STC-YES Theatre merger. Sudbury.com

Related: Mia Jensen reports that theatre board faces criticism over merger. The Sudbury Star

Diana stays overnight in the most remote camp in the world. Physics Girl

Jacqueline Kilikita: here’s the problem with “reef safe” sunscreen. Refinery 29

Annie Proulx thinks swamps can protect us from climate change, if only we let them. The New Yorker

Kieran Mulvaney explains what a carbon footprint is, and how you can measure yours. National Geographic

George Monbiot says there’s a simple way to unite everyone behind climate justice—and it’s within our power. The Guardian

True facts—the beaver. Ze Frank

An eagle snatched a baby hawk … and ended up adopting it. CBC’s “As it happens”

Thanks for stopping by, 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!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, April 3-9, 2022

Another week, another batch of cool stuff to get your mental corn popping.

Kevin Breuninger announces that the US Senate confirms Ketanji Brown Jackson to Supreme Court, making her the first Black woman to serve as justice. CNBC

Marlene Lenthang reveals that police won’t be charged in the death of Amir Locke. NBC News

Why did it take so long to pass an anti-lynching law? The Amber Ruffin Show

Anthony Conwright: white anxiety, redefined. African American Policy Forum

Killings in Ukrainian city of Bucha are “clearly war crimes,” says Joly. CBC

And after Russia denies responsibility (the Ukraine’s murdering their own citizens? Yeah, right), Gerry Doyle reports that satellite images show dead civilians in Bucha while it was still in Russian hands. Reuters

Joshua Yaffa: prisoners in a Novyi Bykiv cellar. The New Yorker

Anna Piela: Muslim women and the politics of the head scarf. JSTOR Daily

Reshma Saujani says no one wants to go back to the office as much as white men. Time

Katie Tobin: antiwork feminism asks women to imagine a life without work. Vice

Sarah Laing wonders, have you ever been the victim of “weaponized incompetence”? The Kit

Michelle Fox reports that a four-day workweek pilot is underway in the US and Canada. CNBC

Derek Thompson explains what happens when there are too many meetings. The Atlantic

Rebecca Deczynski says employees spend more time coordinating their work than actually working. The remedy? Fewer meetings! Inc.

Clark Quinn: confidence and correctness. Learnlets

Rebecca Klar wants you to check out this report: Instagram failed to act on abusive DMs sent to three female public figures. The Hill

Guy Kawasaki interviews Susan Cain, NYT bestselling author and introvert. The Remarkable People Podcast

What is life (featuring Brian Cox)? Be Smart

Emily Atkin and Caitlin Looby explain the meaning of half a degree: a new way to think about climate change. GQ

Patrick Smith reports that Darwin’s “tree of life” notebooks mysteriously returned after 20 years. NBC News

Michael Marshall: “impossible” chemistry may reveal the origins of life on Earth. National Geographic

Fiona Harvey reveals that better use of groundwater could transform Africa, research says. The Guardian

Olivia Box wonders how cities can keep water clean now and into the future. JSTOR Daily

True facts: Sea stars. Ze Frank

Linda Geddes explains how mushrooms communicate with each other using up to 50 “words,” according to scientist. The Guardian

Thanks for stopping by. 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, Jan 30-Feb 5, 2022

Another week, another opportunity to get your mental corn popping.

Alisha Ebrahimji, Holly Yan, and Paul P. Murphy: “I’m just tired of being terrorized like my grandparents were.” More than a dozen HBCUs got bomb threats on the first day of Black History Month. CNN

Omar Jimenez: former officer who shot Laquan McDonald leaves prison. CNN

Julie Hollar: NYT twists stats to insist we need more policing. Fair

Lexi McMenamin: fast-food workers are getting shot on the job. Teen Vogue

Paul Solotaroff introduces us to the man who spent 25 years infiltrating Nazis, the Klan, and biker gangs. Here’s what he learned about far-right extremists in America. Rolling Stone

Terry Trembath reports that puppeteer born in Tsuut’ina Nation says work on Fraggle Rock reboot a dream come true. CBC

The brain trick that makes video possible. Be Smart

Raimund Muscheler explains how ancient ice reveals mysterious solar storm. Lund University

A supermassive black hole forming new stars. Dr. Becky

Katie Hunt introduces us to the man who can explain the first 3 billion years of life on our planet. CNN

Katie Hunt reports that 99-million-year-old flowers found perfectly preserved in amber once bloomed at the feet of dinosaurs. CNN

How you could survive (and prosper) in the Middle Ages. melievalists.net

Ann Powers presents this tiny desk (home) concert by Tori Amos. NPR

True facts about the proboscis monkey. Ze Frank

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project, or that you were educated or entertained by this round up. Maybe both?

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

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!

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 11-17, 2021

It’s time to get your mental corn popping! Let’s get right to it …

Ohimai Amaize unpacks the “social distance” between Africa and African Americans. JSTOR Daily

Charlottesville removes Robert E. Lee statue that sparked deadly rally. NPR

Thema Bryant-Davis and Egypt Leithman (of Pepperdine University) want to heal the wounds of racial trauma. Division 45

Allison Hopper: denial of evolution is a form of white supremacy. Scientific American

Louisiana teen, Zaila Avant-garde correctly spells “muraya” to win Scripp’s National Spelling Bee. ESPN

Zoé Samudzi is looking after (museums and human remains). Art Forum

Huu-ay-aht First Nation begin process of reclaiming cultural artefacts from Royal BC Museum. CBC

Coaches argue Laurentian’s pool must remain open: community impact will be “immense.” Sudbury.com

Could solar panels in space solve our energy needs? SciShow Space

Susan Montoya Bryan and Marcia Dunn report that billionaire Richard Branson reaches space in his own ship. Maybe reaches for space? Associated Press

Do we have more than five senses? Spoiler: hella yeah. SciShow Psych

Lauran Neergaard: device taps brainwaves to help paralyzed man communicate. Associated Press

Barrie, Ontario, devastated by tornado that left 5-kilometre path of destruction. CBC

Rescuers rush to save hundreds trapped by flooding in Europe as death toll tops 125. CBC

True facts: wild pigs (and their crazy cousins). ‘Cause fun and educational 🙂 Ze Frank

John Flesher reports that pup births a hopeful sign for Ilse Royale wolves. Associated Press

Thanks 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!