• Most Topular Stories

  • 5 Ways You Are Wasting Productive Time Online (And How to Stop It)

    The Web Writer Spotlight - Shining the light for aspiring and inspiring web writers
    Scott Huntington
    10 Aug 2014 | 10:15 am
    Have you ever gone online to look up some piece of information and before you know it, it’s three hours later and you haven’t written a single word? The internet is a great resource for writers because of the nearly limitless access to information, but it can also be a great source of distraction. Click bait headlines wish to attract your visits in order to make money putting ads in front of your eyeballs. Notifications pop up and demand your attention to deliver messages that usually don’t even matter. Even weather.com has distracting stories like “Kayaker’s SHOCKING Catch!”…
  • Become A Better Writer with 51 Mind-blowing Resources

    Positive Writer
    Bryan Hutchinson
    15 Aug 2014 | 11:29 pm
    Let’s face it, we all want to become better writers. Don’t we? I know I do. I strive to become a better writer every day, and in order to improve I’ve discovered the secret is in having awesome resources at your disposal. What follows are a list of links to resources I’ve found pretty darn useful. Most are remarkable blog posts containing brilliant tips, tricks, and top secret, secrets. The following resources are not in any order The numbers are only to give an appearance of organization, so it’s not necessary to get more excited about #2 than #32. Unless, of course,…
  • How To Become A Prolific Writer While Holding Down A Day Job

    Positive Writer
    Bryan Hutchinson
    14 Aug 2014 | 12:35 am
    One of the most frequent questions I receive is: How can I write and hold down a day job at the same time? There’s a common belief (and a few myths that support it) that you can only do one or the other. But that’s not true. I have a day job, and I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing and publishing. Maybe you’re kind of stuck in a place where I once was and you’re only writing when you feel inspired and can fit it in here and there. I figured out that if I wanted to be a writer who actually writes and publishes, I needed to take my writing seriously and give it the…
  • Noise Trade: Letting Others Decide Your Book’s Worth

    Writing By The Seat of My Pants
    Rachel Rueben
    20 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    Noisetrade began as an indie music site where up and coming musicians could give away their work for exposure. However there was a twist, unlike most freebie sites, customers could tip artists. It was sort of a pay what you can thing.  Recently, Noisetrade got into the book business, and indie authors like Hugh Howey, are all onboard.  You see, all the cool authors are doing it but should you? The Good, the Bad, the What? According to the site, authors upload their ebooks and readers get to download it for free and if they (the readers) feel moved, they’ll tip you.  Noisetrade only takes…
  • The Two Most Powerful Behaviors of Successful Writers

    Lauren Sapala
    Lauren Sapala
    6 Aug 2014 | 9:11 am
    The thing about writers is that we are rarely working on just one project at a time. We’re writing our new book—the one we’re madly in love with and staying up late to scribble on—and we’re revising the manuscript we finished before that. We’re also working on a short story or two, maybe some poetry, and trying to journal every day. And blog posts…don’t forget about blog posts, or email, our social media presence and then, of course, there are all those books we need to read. Writers are busy people. This might be why every time I tweet something out about the evil internet…
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    Advice to Writers

  • Make the Words Bounce

    19 Aug 2014 | 9:03 pm
    The writer has to take the most used, most familiar objects—nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs—ball them together and make them bounce, turn them a certain way and make people get into a romantic mood; and another way, into a bellicose mood. I'm most happy to be a writer. MAYA ANGELOU
  • Don't Overcrowd the Narrative

    18 Aug 2014 | 9:01 pm
    Don't overcrowd the narrative. Characters should be individualised, but functional – like figures in a painting. Think of Hieronymus Bosch's Christ Mocked, in which a patiently suffering Jesus is closely surrounded by four threatening men. Each of the characters is unique, and yet each represents a type; and collectively they form a narrative that is all the more powerful for being so tightly and so economically constructed. SARAH WATERS
  • If You Want to Write, You Can

    17 Aug 2014 | 9:01 pm
    If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent, whatever that is. Who am I? What right have I to speak? Who will listen to me if I do? You’re a human being, with a unique story to tell, and you have every right. If you speak with passion, many of us will listen. We need stories to live, all of us. We live by story. Yours enlarges the circle. RICHARD RHODES
  • A Character Is Never A Whole Person

    16 Aug 2014 | 9:01 pm
    A character is never a whole person, but just those parts of him that fit the story or the piece of writing. So the act of selection is the writer's first step in delineating character. From what does he select? From a whole mass of what Bernard DeVoto used to call, somewhat clinically, "placental material." He must know an enormous amount more about each of his characters than he will ever use directly—childhood, family background, religion, schooling, health, wealth, sexuality, reading, tastes, hobbies—an endless questionnaire for the writer to fill out. For example, the writer…
  • Novels Are Like Marriages

    15 Aug 2014 | 9:01 pm
    Novels are like marriages. You have to get into the mood to write them — not because of what writing them is going to be like, but because it's so sad to end them. When I finished my first book, I really felt like I'd fallen in love with my main character and that she'd died. You have to understand, writing a novel gets very weird and invisible-friend-from-childhood-ish, then you kill that thing, which was never really alive except in your imagination, and you're supposed to go buy groceries and talk to people at parties and stuff. Characters in stories are different. They come alive in…
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    Daily Writing Tips

  • Epic, Really Epic

    Maeve Maddox
    19 Aug 2014 | 9:35 pm
    The word epic is used so sloppily these days that a modern day polar explorer referring to the harrowing and courageous exploits of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Trans-Antarctic expedition felt that modification was needed: “It [Shackleton’s crossing] was epic, really epic…” Really in this quotation is not being used as an intensifier; it means “truly.” It’s not a throwaway epic, but a genuine epic meaning “like something only a hero could accomplish.” The word epic derives from a Greek word meaning “word, narrative, or song.” In a literary context, an epic is a grand…
  • Amnesty is Already a Verb

    Maeve Maddox
    18 Aug 2014 | 9:30 pm
    A reader questions a word she heard spoken by a Fox News announcer: [The announcer used] the non-word “amnetize” to mean “granting amnesty to.” Just to make sure that it is not a real word, I looked it up as “amnetize” and “amnitize.” How can we stop this grammatical ugliness before it spreads? There’s no entry for amnetize in either the Oxford English Dictionary or in Merriam-Webster. I checked the Ngram Viewer as well: no sign of it there. According to OED and M-W, the verb that means “grant amnesty to” has the same form as the noun: OED amnesty (verb): To give amnesty…
  • Formatting Book Titles in the Digital Age

    Maeve Maddox
    17 Aug 2014 | 9:25 pm
    A reader wonders why he is seeing book titles presented in all capitals: I’ve even seen publishers and editors do it, so I started thinking maybe I was misinformed. Typing book titles in all caps is a peculiarity of the publishing industry. According to The Chicago Manual of Style, the practice originated in the days of the typewriter when titles that are now easily italicized on a computer had to be underscored; typing the title in all caps for industry correspondence and interdepartmental memos saved time. The all-caps practice has continued into the digital age, perhaps because early…
  • Facing the Worst

    Maeve Maddox
    16 Aug 2014 | 9:08 pm
    The English word face may be used as either a noun or a verb, as illustrated by these citations from the Oxford English Dictionary: The skull…is divided into two parts, the Cranium and the Face. (noun) He faced his critics head-on and…left with his dignity intact. (verb) As a transitive verb, face means, “to show a brave or strong face to; to meet (danger, an enemy, or anything unpleasant) face to face; to oppose with confidence or defiance; to confront and deal with.” As a transitive verb used either as a main verb or in its -ing form, face requires an object: You face a…
  • Head Words

    Maeve Maddox
    15 Aug 2014 | 9:04 pm
    English has several words that derive from caput, the Latin word for head. Here are just a few. The words cap, caparison, cape, and capuchin all trace their origin to a garment that was worn over the head. 1. cap Originally, the word referred to a hood. Unlike a hat, a cap does not have a brim. When a cap does not refer to something worn on a person’s head, it can mean something applied to the top of something. Bottles have caps, as do chimneys. 2. caparison A fancy covering for a horse is called a caparison. Medieval knights rode caparisoned horses in jousting tournaments. What’s the…
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    Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

  • 429 GG How to Use the Conjunction “Nor”

    14 Aug 2014 | 2:00 pm
    How do you use the conjunction "nor" and why is it so special it deserves a podcast of its own? Neil Whitman explains. Visit the website to read the full transcript: http://bit.ly/1oOCyOR
  • 428 GG Crash Blossoms

    7 Aug 2014 | 2:00 pm
    Why the Associated Press accidentally made people think another Malaysian airplane had crashed, and what it tells us about language. Visit the website to read the full transcript: http://bit.ly/1rs4BXJ
  • 427 GG 7 French Food-Related Words That Became English

    31 Jul 2014 | 2:00 pm
    When the Normans took over England in 1066, they brought their food and their language. We talk about seven interesting French words that made it into English, and guest Clever Cookstr shares some of her favorite related recipes. Read the full transcript: http://bit.ly/1octDLT
  • 426 GG A Language Lover's Trip to England

    24 Jul 2014 | 2:15 pm
    During a short but delightful trip to England, I saw the Rosetta Stone, the White Tower at the Tower of London, ancient alphabet tiles and wax seals, a stained glass window honoring William Caxton, and many more wonders. Hear about them all. Read the transcript on the website: http://bit.ly/1o02vuz
  • 425 GG Why Weird Al's Word Crimes Video Made Me Want to Quit

    17 Jul 2014 | 9:45 am
    Why Weird Al's Word Crimes Video Made Me Want to Quit. Visit the website to watch the video and comment: http://bit.ly/1qArtIJ
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  • 連勝勝馬WINGOD

    20 Aug 2014 | 1:42 pm

    20 Aug 2014 | 3:06 am
  • アスコットシステムズ

    20 Aug 2014 | 3:06 am
  • IQ

    20 Aug 2014 | 3:06 am
  • Delight

    19 Aug 2014 | 4:59 pm
    まともな予想じゃないよ。 素人以下のいいかげんな予想。 やるだけ損失膨らむからやめとけ。
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  • 3 Lessons Learned From a Titan of Copywriting

    Brian Kurtz
    19 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    I was on the phone earlier this week with copywriting legend John Carlton and we were ranting about all sorts of topics. (You know, like you do when you’re on the phone with John Carlton.) He made the observation that the next “big thing” in marketing may not be in the areas of whiz-bang technology, but rather in the blocking and tackling techniques of adept career direct marketers.

 That’s not to say that technology won’t continue to move at the speed of light. But certain methods just don’t change. Great writing still rules. As they say here at…
  • New Book Excerpt: Keep It Simple, But Not Simplistic

    Ann Handley
    18 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    The following is an excerpt from Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content, coming this fall from Ann Handley and Wiley Publishing. More about Ann’s new book and some sweet free prizes below. Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple. ~ Woody Guthrie Business, like life, can be complicated. Products can be intricate and concepts may seem impenetrable. But good content deconstructs the complex to make it easily understood. It sheds the corporate Frankenspeak. It conveys ideas in concise, economic, human, and accessible terms.
  • A Complete Guide to Crawling Inside Your Customer’s Head With Empathy Maps

    Demian Farnworth
    13 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Jack Ungulate is a strange bird. When he drinks beer, he licks his index and middle finger, swipes the bottle opening, and then pauses, with the bottle raised to his mouth, before turning it upside down. Each time, every time. He also has a routine with his steel-toe boots. The left one must go on first, then the right. But he takes them off in reverse. And then there’s his ritual when buying large ticket items like a car: he sends his wife to the lot while he sits in the garage, waiting for her to call. When people talk to him about saving for his children’s college fund, he…
  • 3 Invisible Elements Your Sales Page Needs to Convert (One is Truly Unique)

    Sean D'Souza
    12 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Most people think music is about the notes. But think about the silence between the notes for a second. Doesn’t the absence of sound complete the composition? Without the silence, you only hear dozens of notes jostling madly into each other, causing a cacophony. Copywriting is a bit like writing a concerto. You may believe that copywriting is only about words. If so, you are forgetting about critical, invisible elements that affect whether or not you make a sale. Most readers skim madly through a sales page. They read the headline, a bit of the first paragraph, and then continue down…
  • Stefanie Flaxman Joins the Copyblogger Team

    Jerod Morris
    11 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    This has been one hell of a month for the editorial staff here at Copyblogger. First, three weeks ago, we informed you that Pamela Wilson was joining us. Now today, I am pleased to announce that Stefanie Flaxman is joining our team too, in the role of Manager of Editorial Standards. What does that mean? It means that Stefanie will be an internal advocate for you — making sure that every piece of content you lay your eyes on meets stringent standards for style and grammar. It’s a role she is remarkably qualified to fulfill. You might know Stefanie from her writing and editing…
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  • Shake yourself out of a creative brain freeze by taking a walk

    Carly Sandifer
    18 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    I have a love/hate relationship with my computer. I love it for the way it connects me with people and makes it easier to do research and write. I hate it for how fried I am after sitting in front of it for hours at a time. And as much as I can accomplish with a computer, I find that sitting in front of it isn’t the best place to find those epiphanies that can change everything. Some of my best ideas come when I’m taking a shower, going for a swim, driving my car,  and going for a walk. As it turns out, scientists have proven that people generate more creative ideas when they…
  • Step away from your desk and fuel your writing life

    Carly Sandifer
    11 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    It’s easy as writers to hole up in our writing caves. We’re busy operating under the influence of words and we don’t want to be interrupted. But sometimes you have to get out into the world. It’s how you pick up telling details that add more authenticity and authority to your work. And then there are the times when you’re stuck. Stepping out just may spark an idea or epiphany. Deborah Harkness, author of A Discovery of Witches: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy),wrote on her website about the act of trying to make conversation with a “living human” after a day of writing. She…
  • The writer as double—will the real writer please stand up?

    Carol Despeaux
    3 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Reading Margaret Atwood’s book Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on WritingI’m contemplating the writer as double. We all have doubles, in a way, whether we’re writers or artists or scientists. We have our public persona and our private self or what I sometimes call my inside voice and my outside voice. (And, it’s that inside voice, when she gets loose, that often gets me into trouble). Atwood says that this concept of the double started early in her life with superhero worship. Superwoman, Superman, Spiderman, etc. are all strong and kick-ass when in their…
  • Does your protagonist have a life theme or motto?

    Carol Despeaux
    10 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    At the beginning of each year, my writing partner Carly chooses a short phrase or sentence that she uses to remind herself of what she wants to focus on for the coming year. She says she likes to keep the sentence short so it’s easy to remember and can easily be turned into a daily mantra. For the last several years, she’s developed a personal writing theme. To read more about her idea, please read her posts, “My 2014 personal writing theme revealed,” and “Short story writing method reveals New Year’s theme.” I noticed while re-reading Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods,”…
  • How to create a great villain

    Carol Despeaux
    8 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    In Award Winning Screenwriter Jacob Krueger’s short video below, he answers the question “How Do You Create a Perfect Villain?” Krueger says we have to remember that the antagonist thinks he is the hero of his story. Most characters believe they are the good guys even if they are doing horrible things. Example: in “Star Wars” all Darth Vader wants is to rule the galaxy with his son–he just has a twisted way of going about it. Each antagonist has a story they are telling themselves that makes them feel like a good person every day. Their desires are as…
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    Writing Forums

  • I joined in 2011 and this is my first post!

    19 Aug 2014 | 10:27 pm
    I'm not sure why I joined and never posted, though I vaguely remember that maybe there wasn't a fanfiction area at that point, and I was mostly writing fanfic. regardless, I'm posting and planning on getting active now because I'm about to take a three-month (Sept-Oct-Nov) sabbatical from work to... I joined in 2011 and this is my first post!
  • The Not Happy Thread

    19 Aug 2014 | 10:19 pm
    The previous thread was getting so large it was noticeably impacting performance. Maybe it was an overload of negativity. So here is a new place to grumble and gripe,and get it off your chest.
  • Impact?

    19 Aug 2014 | 10:09 pm
    I've got a reveal in my story and i want it to have some impact when the reader gets to it. Here's part of the paragraph including the sentence in question. "Something tickled his cheek and he sat up and wiped his face. The clump disintegrated into a fine dirty powder in his palm as he rubbed his... Impact?
  • Unnatural Campus

    19 Aug 2014 | 9:40 pm
    UNNATURAL CAMPUS GM: TheApprentice Co-GM: KingType The Unnatural World: For longer than records here on Earth will tell, there have always been supernatural creatures hiding among the human race and out of sight. Perhaps there was a time long ago when they showed themselves to the... Unnatural Campus
  • Film school for morons

    19 Aug 2014 | 9:31 pm
    This is a game I like to play with my siblings. Basically, you start out with a potential movie title, then someone comes up with a brief description of the movie (A paragraph or so at the most) and the next title. The person after that makes the description for the new movie, a new title, and the... Film school for morons
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    The Purdue OWL News

  • Purdue Writing Lab Fall 2014 Hours for August 4, 2014

    4 Aug 2014 | 5:08 am
    Purdue Writing Lab Fall 2014 HoursBy Joshua M. PaizThe Purdue Writing Lab is pleased to announce our Fall 2014 hours for the Writing Lab and our satellite locations. To view our hours or appointment information, click here.  Please note, the Purdue Writing Lab and its satellite locations are on..
  • New Resources on Video Résumés for July 4, 2014

    4 Jul 2014 | 8:24 am
    New Resources on Video RésumésBy Joshua M. PaizA few weeks ago, the Purdue OWL launched a new vidcast on YouTube discussing video résumés. We are pleased to announce that today we are launching a series of static resources to extend this discussion of this special class of job ..
  • New Resources for Students and Teachers in Secondary Schools for July 4, 2014

    4 Jul 2014 | 8:14 am
    New Resources for Students and Teachers in Secondary SchoolsBy Joshua M. PaizThe Purdue OWL is pleased to annouce the expansion of the section of the OWL dedicated to writers and teachers in grades 7-12. These new resources focus on pre-writing and were written specifically for this audience. Current resources include an intr..
  • OWL@Purdue YouTube Channel: Video Résumés for June 24, 2014

    24 Jun 2014 | 1:09 pm
    OWL@Purdue YouTube Channel: Video RésumésBy Joshua M. PaizThe Purdue OWL is pleased to annouce the launch of our latest vidcast, the Video Résumés vidcast. In this vidcast, viewers are introduced to video résumés and special considerations regarding their creation, content, and d..
  • New L2 Writing Summary and Paraphrase Exercise - Intermediate Proficiency Level for June 23, 2014

    23 Jun 2014 | 11:14 am
    New L2 Writing Summary and Paraphrase Exercise - Intermediate Proficiency LevelBy Joshua M. PaizThe Purdue OWL is pleased to announce the launch of our latest resource. This resource provides our users with exercises devoted to summary and paraphrase writing geared towards second language writers at the beginner proficiency levels. Exercises fo..
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    Charlotte Rains Dixon

  • The Only Way Out is Through

    Charlotte Dixon
    19 Aug 2014 | 11:11 am
    "If you're going through hell, keep going."  Winston Churchill "The only way around is through."  Robert Frost The only way out is through.   We usually don't want to hear this particular bit of advice, but I have found that it is true.   I thought about it as I was out walking this morning, my legs in some pain.  After struggling with a knee issue for the last couple of years, I've finally found a chiropractor who is helping. Turns out I have one leg shorter than the other, and now a lift in my right shoe to balance things out.  And that, in turn,…
  • Inventive Writing Prompt Round-up #3

    Charlotte Dixon
    16 Aug 2014 | 1:57 am
    Here is my weekly round-up of writing prompts from my daily Tumblr blog. #18 Sometimes she looked for the answer in wine and sometime she looked for it in food.  On bad nights, she searched for it in cigarettes. #19 It’s Monday morning.  What’s the first thing your main character thinks of when she opens her eyes? What is the first thing she does after she gets up? Continue on, following her like this, throughout her entire ordinary day. #20 Don't stop now. #21 It was all over but the shouting.  But what happened next was even more incredible. #22  It was a typical Thursday…
  • How to Keep Writing When the World is Falling Apart

    Charlotte Dixon
    14 Aug 2014 | 2:37 am
    It's been a tough summer, news-wise.  I'm not going to name everything that's happened, because you're as aware of it as I am--likely over-aware.  I've managed to keep my distance from most news stories.  Not that I'm not empathetic, I am.  But if I got worked up about every horrible news story I saw, I'd be a sniveling mess. A couple days ago, though, I realized how much the combined weight of these horror stories had begun to affect me.  I watched this story about members of the Iraqi air force bringing relief supplies to Yazidis, and found myself…
  • Guest Post: Naked Writing

    Charlotte Dixon
    12 Aug 2014 | 2:53 am
    Stop your dirty little minds, this post is not what you think its about.  And put your clothes back on! This is not about sitting at the computer writing while naked.  No, its much more valuable, it is about no-frills writing can deliver action and excitement better than its ruffly, prissy sister.  It's good stuff. And, as excited as I am about sharing this post from my wonderful friend, fellow author J.D. Frost, I'm even more thrilled to announce the august news that accompanies this guest post: J.D.'s mystery novel, Dollface, was just published!  You should take one…
  • Inventive Writing Prompt Round-up #2

    Charlotte Dixon
    9 Aug 2014 | 7:38 am
    Here is my weekly round-up of prompts from my daily Tumblr blog. For inventive ways to use writing prompts, click here. Now go write tons with them. #11  A garden is hard to leave. #12 The worst vacation you've ever had. #13 The offer that was so good it couldn’t be refused, and the terrible things that happened because it was accepted. #14 In a country just short of regret, In the state of bittersweet oranges, In a city of lonely blue skies. #15 Out walking in the crepuscular evening, that time of day when lights start coming on in houses and you can see into them. And then, in…
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    What Kate Did Next

  • 1000 Miles

    8 Aug 2014 | 6:05 am
    How are you all? Just back in the desert after an all too brief month in the UK full of books, old haunts and old and new friends. Boy, it was good to be home. I think it was D H Lawrence who said if you travel long enough everywhere becomes 'home', and I'm beginning to see the truth in that. The children and I covered over a thousand miles travelling coast to coast - no hardship, I've always loved long drives, the possibility of road trips (and yes, there is nothing like coming from a concrete compound in a desert to appreciate that freedom ...). First stop was our last UK home - the…
  • My Writing Process - Blog Tour

    27 Apr 2014 | 4:30 pm
    Don't know about you, but I love learning how other writers write. Charlotte Betts kindly asked me to take part in #mywritingprocess, a great blog tour running at the moment: Always a bookworm, award-winning author of historical novels, Charlotte Betts, discovered her passion for writing after her three children and two step-children had grown up. She lives with her husband in a cottage in the woods on the borders of Hampshire and Berkshire. You can find out more about her work at www.charlottebetts.com1) What am I working on?I've just finished a prequel to 'Das Sonntagsmadchen'…
  • Happy Days?

    20 Apr 2014 | 7:24 am
    The #100happydays project is a good one. It's deceptively simple - find one small everyday thing that has made you happy, and mark it. Gratitude, training your eye and your heart to be thankful for even the smallest thing adds up - it becomes a habit, a good way of living. Why not sign up and give it a go? I've just begun over on Instagram.To say 'Happy Easter' to those of you who celebrate it, here are a few of this week's highlights:Mona Hatoum's show at MathafEaster Sunday at Sheikh Faisal'sI'm also glad to share the announcement that Bloomsburyhave asked me to do a workshop…
  • Truly, Madly, Deeply

    1 Apr 2014 | 1:31 am
    I've been chunked - and no, that's not some kind of April Fool's Day joke. It's publication day for the RNA's shorter Truly, Madly, Deeply ebooks, and I'm honoured to be with fellow hist fic authors Anna Jacobs and Sarah Mallory in TMD Part 7   or you can find us in the complete Harlequin anthology along with many other bestselling RNA authors.You can find out more about Anna's work here, and Sarah's here.I'm going to be writing about the inspiration for my story, 'The Language of Flowers', over on the History Girls next month. At the moment you can read an interview with the…
  • What Do Writers Want?

    24 Mar 2014 | 2:59 am
    Photo: RNAHere's a question for you: what do you want from your writing? Someone asked me that the other day. As a writer juggling work with life, perhaps a day-job and a family, how often do you step back and ask yourself: 'what do I want?'  It was an interesting question. Why not take a minute and think about it? As I've often said to the children, (quoting that great philosopher Jake from the Tweenies), generally 'I want doesn't get'. Manners go a long way - I believe in please and thank you, and sometimes it's an uphill struggle where we are. But once in a while it is good to remind…
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  • 2015 Poet’s Market: What It Is and How to Buy It

    Robert Lee Brewer
    19 Aug 2014 | 7:28 am
    When I started writing poetry more than 20 years ago, I didn’t have ambitions of publication or poetic greatness, but I did have a target audience: originally, a girl to impress. Later on, I became my own target audience. Eventually, I yearned to share my words with others and had no idea how to do it. Plus, I had no comprehension of what contemporary poets and poetry meant. 2015 Poet’s Market Trying to demystify and enlighten the poetic process has been one of my goals with this blog, but it’s also a driving force behind my editorial strategy with the Poet’s Market.
  • Todd Davis: Poet Interview

    Robert Lee Brewer
    18 Aug 2014 | 7:26 am
    Please welcome Todd Davis to the Poetic Asides blog. He’s authored and edited 13 books, including the poetry collection In the Kingdom of the Ditch. Todd Davis Davis teaches creative writing, American literature, and environmental studies at Penn State University’s Altoona College. His other three full-length poetry collections are The Least of These, Some Heaven, and Ripe. His poetry has been featured on the radio by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac and by Ted Kooser in his syndicated newspaper column American Life in Poetry. Learn more at todddavispoet.com. The…
  • New Literary Agent Alert: Soumeya Bendimerad of the Susan Golomb Literary Agency

    Chuck Sambuchino
    17 Aug 2014 | 9:05 pm
    Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Soumeya Bendimerad of the Susan Golomb Literary Agency) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.   Photo credit: Bennie de Grasse.   About Soumeya: Soumeya Bendimerad joined the Susan Golomb Literary Agency in 2012, where she is an agent and the director of foreign rights. Prior to that, she was a literary scout at Sanford Greenburger Associates and an associate editor at MacAdam/Cage Publishing. She is from the San Francisco Bay Area. Find…
  • “Your First Ten Pages” Agent One-on-One Boot Camp Starts August 22. Get an Agent Critique of Your Novel Beginning

    Chuck Sambuchino
    17 Aug 2014 | 5:26 pm
    As many writers know, agents and editors won’t give your work more than ten pages or so to make an impact. If you haven’t got them hooked by then, it’s a safe bet you won’t be asked for more material. Make sure you’ve got the kind of opening they’re looking for! In this invaluable weekend event, you’ll get to work with an agent online to review and refine the first ten pages of your novel. You’ll learn what keeps an agent reading, what are the most common mistakes that make them stop, and the steps you need to take to correct them. The best part…
  • 5 Mistakes Writers Make (and How to Avoid Them)

    Chuck Sambuchino
    17 Aug 2014 | 3:00 pm
    1. Thinking that your book will sell itself I have five books published with Simon & Schuster and let me tell you: They do not walk off the shelves. I made the mistake of becoming complacent and thinking that because I had a huge publisher behind me that I didn’t need to do much PR work to promote myself. In the words of Julia Roberts: “Big mistake. Huge.” I watched my friend and author Becky Wicks work like a demon to promote her indie book Before He Was Famous and within 12 hours of it going live on Amazon it had sold nearly 500 copies. She worked her BUTT off for months…
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    The Heart and Craft of Life Writing

  • Mystery Solved

    18 Aug 2014 | 10:58 am
    I couldn’t put words to the vision, perhaps because the vision itself wasn’t clear. Looking across the Godfrey’s living room while  babysitting, I vaguely sensed a phantom group of sophisticated people gathered in a dimly lit, smoke-filled living room much like this one. People lounged on sofa and chairs, some sitting on the floor. They sipped martinis or gin and tonic, discussed philosophy, and ascended to levels of vision inaccessible to mere mortals. These beings were in touch with another realm, larger than life. In touch with the gods? This vision stirred a nameless yearning…
  • Author Interview: Kathleen Pooler

    7 Aug 2014 | 1:00 am
    Today I’m privileged to have Kathleen Pooler stop by to answer some questions about her newly published memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead. In any memoir, the author today tells the story of the author back then, and sorting through the jumble of memories and pain to find a meaningful story thread can be a daunting task. Kathy has done a terrific job of finding that thread and turning it into a story that should touch nearly everyone’s life. If you haven’t personally experienced the sort of trauma she did, odds are strong that you know others who have. Let’s hear some back story for…
  • Avoiding Editorial Disasters

    1 Aug 2014 | 9:03 am
    What I would have to say in the review is "Stop the press and finish the book!”When I agree to review a book, there’s an unstated contract that my glowing review will help promote the book. If I can’t ethically do that, I won’t write the review. I tell the author “I don’t think you want me to review this book. Here’s why.” I made the notes below a couple of years ago to clarify my thoughts before emailing the author of a book I did not review.… focused too tightly on few weeks when marriage finally died. Lacks background information. No sense of bigger picture. Doesn’t…
  • Busting Buttons

    25 Jul 2014 | 8:58 am
    If there’s anything as satisfying as laying eyes and hands on the first print copy of a book I’ve written, it’s having the same experience with a friend’s book. Especially when I know how hard that friend struggled to make the book happen. Thus I whooped with joy last week when Ellen Dehouske handed me a copy of We Feed Each Other: Nourishment through Friendships, her “memoir of sorts.”Joyful tears filled my heart as I beheld this substantial volume with the strikingly gorgeous cover and lovely layout. I had witnessed many of the labor pains preceding the birth of this book.I…
  • Your Friend, the Comma

    18 Jul 2014 | 1:48 pm
    Comma, common. Yes, commas are common, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve respect. Strangely enough, this common little punctuation mark intimidates legions of writers. Others treat it in a cavalier fashion. I admit to being one of the latter. In 1984, I flippantly told Kay DuPont, a national speaker and author of a book on grammar and punctuation that “I punctuate intuitively and put commas where I think I need them.” Was that pity I saw in her glance? When I saw buckets of red ink the Lighthouse Point Press editors sloshed all over my first book, Do’s, Don’ts and Donuts I…
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    Published and Profitable Writers Tips Blog

  • Writing and Design Tips from Marketing the Moon’s Co-authors

    Roger C. Parker
    17 Aug 2014 | 4:49 am
    Get a fresh perspective on writing and designing a bestselling book when I interview David Meerman Scott and Richard Jurek, co-authors of Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program. As  you can see from the sample pages at left, design played a major role in positioning Marketing the Moon. The story of man’s first steps on the moon is told through a complex mix of text and graphics. There are several hundred graphics, and each two-page spread is different! Marketing the Moon is unlike any other “coffee table” book you may have seen. It’s contents are…
  • Blogging Tips from David Meerman Scott and Richard Jurek’s Marketing the Moon

    Roger C. Parker
    12 Aug 2014 | 11:16 pm
    Click the image to get the most out of next week’s interview with Marketing the Moon’s co-authors David Meerman Scott and Richard Jurek. Their book site and blog, Marketing the Moon.com is an excellent example of author book marketing at its best. -  Before publication, it provided a platform for the authors to introduce their upcoming book and build anticipation for its publication. -  After publication, it provided a platform for promoting the book, consolidating reviews, and leveraging the co-author’s speaking and media interviews. Book marketing and author branding As…
  • How to Turn Your Passion into a Bestselling Marketing Book

    Roger C. Parker
    11 Aug 2014 | 4:10 am
    How did you convert a lifetime of passionate interest in America’s Apollo Lunar Program into a bestselling marketing book? That’s the big question I’ll be asking David Meerman Scott and Richard Jurek next week when I ask them to describe their motives and experiences writing their bestselling Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program. You’ll find the story behind writing Marketing the Moon as  fascinating as the the story behind the Alpollo Lunar Program, itself. This interview is a “must attend” for anyone interested in sharing their…
  • How Limits Can Boost Your Writing and Content Marketing

    Roger C. Parker
    8 Aug 2014 | 6:21 am
    Although more is usually better than less, the paradoxical Power of Limits shows you how to boost your writing and content creation productivity. The Power of Limits is based on reframing or rescheduling your articles, blog posts, or book ideas, and reducing your options and choices. In a  recent Content Marketing Institute blog post, 7 Limitations Can Boost Your Content Creation Productivity, I described 7 ways you can profit from applying the Power of Limits. Simplicity lies at the core of the 7 limits that can boost your writing productivity. Complexity breeds delays Projects become…
  • Mind Map Reveals Structure of Dina Colman’s Four Quadrant Living

    Roger C. Parker
    4 Aug 2014 | 3:30 am
    Before tomorrow’s interview with Dina Colman, click the graphic to learn more about the contents of her indie-published book. Few indie-published books from first-time authors have enjoyed the immediate success that accompanied the publication of Dina Colman’s Four Quadrant Living: Healthy Living Your New Way of Life. As we’ll be discussing tomorrow, Tuesday, August 5th, at 4:00 PM EST, Dina worked as hard marketing her book as she did writing her book and organizing its 48 chapters into 4 major sections. Dina paid more attention to the copy and design of her her…
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    Writing Forward

  • Are You Dedicated to Better Writing?

    Melissa Donovan
    19 Aug 2014 | 1:00 am
    Better writing starts with you. Today’s post is an edited excerpt from the introduction to 10 Core Practices for Better Writing, a book that aims to impart best practices in the craft of writing. “When I’m writing, I know I’m doing the thing I was born to do.” — Anne Sexton Words. They have the power to captivate the imagination, impart knowledge, express feelings, and share ideas. They are magical, and they are powerful. A writer makes things out of words: sentences and paragraphs, essays and articles, books, poems, stories, and scripts. We use writing to create,…
  • 10 Reasons Writers Should Learn Good Grammar

    Melissa Donovan
    14 Aug 2014 | 1:00 am
    Should you learn good grammar? Every writer I know has a different perspective on just how good grammar needs to be. Some are sticklers who insist on adhering to the highest standards of the literary order. Others are comfortable taking creative liberties and believe that breaking the rules is an art unto itself and a practice that should be embraced. Me? I’m somewhere in the middle. I believe that a writer who is dedicated to the craft will take the time and invest the energy required to master the most basic tools, grammar being foremost among them. But I also believe there are…
  • Poetry Writing Exercises: Alliteration and Assonance

    Melissa Donovan
    12 Aug 2014 | 1:00 am
    Poetry writing exercises: alliteration and assonance. Today’s poetry writing exercise is an excerpt from 101 Creative Writing Exercises. The exercises in 101 Creative Writing Exercises encourage you to experiment with different forms and genres while providing inspiration for publishable projects and imparting useful writing techniques that make your writing more robust. This poetry writing exercise is from “Chapter Eight: Free Verse.” It’s titled “Alliteration and Assonance.” This exercise covers two literary devices that make your writing more rhythmic and memorable. Enjoy!
  • Creative Writing Activities

    Melissa Donovan
    7 Aug 2014 | 1:00 am
    Take a break with these creative writing activities Every once in a while, we writers need a break from our regular writing routines. Whether we spend our work week crafting copy for clients or dedicate late-night hours pounding out chapter and verse, we occasionally need respite from the monotony. We get burnt out in the middle of a long project and need to step away so we can gain perspective and recharge our creativity. Sometimes we need to rejuvenate between projects. When a major project is finished, we need to find our next big idea. But we also want to keep writing. A short vacation…
  • How to Become a Better Writer

    Melissa Donovan
    5 Aug 2014 | 1:00 am
    How to become a better writer. There’s more to writing than pushing a pen across a piece of paper, and there’s more to being a writer than having written. These days, everyone’s a writer. We write emails, text messages, and lists. A free blog is just a few clicks away. Self-publishing has drawn tens of thousands of dreamers who have scrawled stories and uploaded them to the web for all to read. Everyone’s a writer, including you. But how do you differentiate yourself? How do you stand out from the crowd? How do you make your words and ideas resonate with a reading…
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    We Are Change

  • A 92-Year Old Is Held At Gunpoint But Her Response Brings Her Mugger To Tears

    Eric Barlow
    17 Aug 2014 | 2:08 pm
    We Are Change When this brave grandmother is held up at gunpoint, she does the unthinkable. Rather than give into her mugger, she shares powerful words with him that brings the man to tears. Her courage and determination are an inspiration to us all.  Click here to view the embedded video. The post A 92-Year Old Is Held At Gunpoint But Her Response Brings Her Mugger To Tears appeared first on We Are Change.
  • Dutchman returns Holocaust medal after family deaths in Gaza

    Eric Barlow
    17 Aug 2014 | 1:28 am
    We Are Change www.bbc.com Henk Zanoli, 91, wrote to the Israeli embassy in The Hague to say he could no longer hold the honour A Dutchman honoured by Israel for hiding a Jewish child during World War Two has handed back his medal after six of his relatives were killed in an Israeli air strike on Gaza. Henk Zanoli, 91, wrote to the Israeli embassy in The Hague to say he could no longer hold the honour. He said an Israeli F-16 had destroyed his great-niece’s home in Gaza, killing all inside, in the recent offensive. The Israeli embassy has declined to comment on Mr Zanoli’s action.
  • Heavily-armed SWAT teams fire tear gas on demonstrators and arrest two journalists in Fourth night of clashes over the shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown Ferguson, Missouri, endured a fourth night of pitched battles between police and protestors

    Eric Barlow
    15 Aug 2014 | 1:08 am
    We Are Change Ferguson, Missouri, endured a fourth night of pitched battles between police and protestors SWAT officers and 500 protestors faced-off in St. Louis suburb Tear gas was then fired as the crowd chanted ‘Hands Up! Don’t Shoot’ Smoke bombs were also lobbed into the crowd after dark Protestors responded by attempting to throw Molotov cocktails Earlier two reporters were arrested and then released without charge Demonstrations in the St Louis suburb were sparked by police shooting of an unarmed teenager Michael Brown on Saturday night Missouri Governor Jay Nixon…
  • Rand Paul: We Must Demilitarize the Police

    Eric Barlow
    14 Aug 2014 | 1:33 pm
    We Are Change www.time.com   Police in riot gear watch protesters in Ferguson, Mo. on Aug. 13, 2014.Jeff Roberson—AP   Anyone who thinks race does not skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention, Sen. Rand Paul writes for TIME, amid violence in Ferguson, Mo. over the police shooting death of Michael Brown The shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown is an awful tragedy that continues to send shockwaves through the community of Ferguson, Missouri and across the nation. If I had been told to get out of the street as a teenager,…
  • The Christian family refusing to give up its Bethlehem hill farm bulldozed by Israel

    Eric Barlow
    10 Aug 2014 | 7:19 pm
    We Are Change www.bbc.com A Palestinian Christian family that preaches non-violence from a farm in the West Bank is battling to hold on to land it has owned for 98 years. Now surrounded by Israeli settlements, the family is a living example of the idea of peaceful resistance.  On his farm outside Bethlehem, Daher Nassar is picking apples from the ruins of the orchard he planted at least eight years ago. The fruit is scattered across ground freshly opened and imprinted with the tracks of a bulldozer. At the field’s edge, branches reach out from inside a mound of earth, the bark stripped…
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  • Writing in Portugal (Already Dreaming for Next Summer!)

    14 Aug 2014 | 8:38 am
    Travel is on my mind…I just returned from Nashville (more about that later!) and I’m on my way to Iowa in 10 days.  Perhaps that’s why I was so taken by this report from a writing conference in Portugal.  Disquiet is the name of the conference, which was co-founded by Scott Laughlin, currently a Converse MFA fiction student.  On the South85 blog, participant Annie Liontas gives her view of the fabulousness that is Portugal, that is stepping outside daily life, that is, as resident writer Denis Johnson said, “Writ[ing] yourself naked, from exile, in blood”:“After…
  • Free Online Class about Laura Ingalls Wilder

    23 Jul 2014 | 9:27 am
    Here’s a great—FREE—opportunity:  an online class on the work of Laura Ingalls Wilder, taught by Pamela Smith Hill, history faculty at Missouri State University. (As you may recall, I have a special interest in Laura, and made a pilgrimage to one of the towns she lived in, De Smet, South Dakota.)"Laura Ingalls Wilder: Her Work and Writing Life" starts on September 22, and you can register now.  (Did I say FREE?)  This is a MOOC, which I’ve just learned stands for “Massive Open Online Course,” something universities are exploring (I don’t know why…to increase…
  • Patience

    12 Jul 2014 | 1:46 pm
    I was just remarking to a writer friend the other day that IMHO the hardest thing to learn about writing and the process is patience and the other hardest thing is faith in oneself.  I have no magic answers, but I’m having a little lesson in patience today, with a small cooking project:  Bourbon Candied Cherries.Steve has become interested in baking, but I was able to lure him into helping me make this, since these cherries should be lovely in drinks.  The problem is that we have to let them marinate for THREE DAYS when they look so delicious RIGHT NOW. …
  • Fried Chicken in Frederick, Maryland!

    8 Jul 2014 | 9:14 am
    You can tell how excited I was about My Salinger Year (yesterday’s post) because I wrote about that before writing about some small food adventures over the Fourth of July weekend.Steve and I have an annual tradition for the Fourth, one I highly recommend:  eat fried chicken.  This is typically the only time of year we indulge ourselves (though I’m more prone to break this rule than he is).  When you eat fried chicken only once a year, even KFC is pretty good, so we’ve sometimes bought chicken from there.  We also make it ourselves [link to recipe below], and have…
  • Ultimate Luxury: Reading "My Salinger Year" by Joanna Rakoff

    7 Jul 2014 | 10:04 am
    I have a new definition of luxury—beyond my fantasies of all-you-can-eat lobster and all-you-can-drink Champagne—and that is to read a book that feels as though it was essentially and EXACTLY written for you.  Your tastes, your life, your interests:  it’s as if the author had a checklist and spent years writing this book just for YOU.Obviously this is not what author Joanna Rakoff did with her new memoir, My Salinger Year.  But that is how I felt as I flew through the book in the twenty-four hours after getting it in my hands.  The subject matter alone proves my…
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    Quips and Tips for Successful Writers

  • How to Ask for Feedback on Your Writing

    19 Aug 2014 | 11:09 am
    Writing feedback can be both invaluable and crushing. It’s crucial to get feedback on your writing, but it’s equally important to make sure you approach the right reviewer, in the right way, at the right time, with the right questions. In The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide: How to Make... (If you're interested in reading the whole shebang, click the title. Go in peace, fellow scribes).
  • How to Write a Magazine Article

    12 Aug 2014 | 2:46 pm
    From pitching a query letter to submitting your invoice to the editor, these tips on how to write a magazine article will give you the inside scoop on freelance writing. I learned how to be a freelance writer by reading books such as The Art and Craft of Feature Writing: Based on The Wall... (If you're interested in reading the whole shebang, click the title. Go in peace, fellow scribes).
  • 5 Things You Need to Know About Writing for Magazines

    6 Aug 2014 | 3:20 pm
    These tips on how to write for magazines are from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Magazine Articles. These tidbits jumped out at me as some of the most important things freelance writers need to know about writing for magazines. Sheree Bykofsky and  Jennifer Basye Sander’s Complete... (If you're interested in reading the whole shebang, click the title. Go in peace, fellow scribes).
  • 5 Ways to Become a Freelance Writer Who Gets Repeat Work

    2 Aug 2014 | 3:26 pm
    Here are five tips on how to become a freelance writer who keeps getting work from editors of print and online magazines. One thing I didn’t realize when I first started freelancing was that good writers don’t have to keep pitching articles. Editors need a stable good writers, and when... (If you're interested in reading the whole shebang, click the title. Go in peace, fellow scribes).
  • 7 Ways to Prevent Carpal Tunnel for Writers

    29 Jul 2014 | 9:54 am
    If you rely on writing – longhand or keyboard – for your livelihood or pleasure, you need to know how to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. Writers, don’t set yourself up for unnecessary health issues in the future! The best way to prevent carpal tunnel is to wear a wrist brace regularly, such as... (If you're interested in reading the whole shebang, click the title. Go in peace, fellow scribes).
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    About Freelance Writing

  • It’s Not Impolite to Talk About Money and Freelance Writing Jobs!

    Anne Wayman
    19 Aug 2014 | 9:55 am
    Where did we get the idea that it’s rude to talk about money and freelance writing jobs? In fact, come to think about it, where did we get the idea it’s impolite to talk about money in... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • How To Raise Your Freelance Writing Fees

    Anne Wayman
    18 Aug 2014 | 11:38 am
    As you continue to get freelance writing jobs there comes a time when you want to know how to raise your freelance writing fees. Sometimes the decision to raise you rates comes when you realize you... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Freelance Writing Job Interview Success

    Anne Wayman
    14 Aug 2014 | 10:08 am
    Writing job interview success is key to a successful freelance career. In fact, you’ll experience being interviewed for jobs more than almost any other career path. Which means you’ll... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • How To Keep Getting Freelance Writing Jobs

    Anne Wayman
    13 Aug 2014 | 5:46 pm
    Once you get your first freelance writing job, the trick becomes getting freelance writing jobs over and over again for the length of your writing career. There are several things that, if you get... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • How To Find Your First Paid Freelance Writing Job

    Anne Wayman
    11 Aug 2014 | 4:28 pm
    Looking for you first paid freelance writing job? There are all sorts of ways to land that initial check. Although many writers start writing for free, you can actually get paid right at the... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    Bad Language

  • How we work: Work traffic planning

    Matthew Stibbe
    19 Aug 2014 | 1:00 am
    Plans are irrelevant but planning is essential. Instead of trying to micro-manage people’s schedules and getting lost in multi-page Gannt charts, at Articulate, we take an agile approach with pair-writing at its heart. We work in weekly sprints and we have stand-up meetings each Monday to allocate work and set priorities. We track progress by measuring, sharing and celebrating deliveries to clients. There. That’s everything you need to know about how we do traffic planning. Naming of parts But let’s unpack that paragraph fully so that you know what it means, how we do it and how to work…
  • The Devil’s Marketing Dictionary (Second Edition)

    Matthew Stibbe
    14 Aug 2014 | 1:45 am
    Here at Articulate, we take our work seriously. Ourselves – not so much. In this spirit, this cynical reappraisal of some of the common words we use about our work should raise a smile or two, at least among marketing types. It’s inspired by by Ambrose Bierce’s wicked Devil’s Dictionary, which is full of cynical gems, such as the definition of duty as ‘that which sternly impels us in the direction of profit, along the line of desire.’ Enjoy! Analytics. Metrics with a PhD. Best practice. What everyone else pretends to do. Blog. A website written by people with…
  • Marketing secrets of coffee baristas: why choice matters

    Charlotte Littley
    12 Aug 2014 | 1:15 am
    Most coffee drinkers will tell you that they like a ‘dark, rich, hearty roast,’ says Malcolm Gladwell. But if that’s what everybody wants, why is Starbucks’ menu so long? It turns out people don’t all like the same thing. Sounds obvious, but plenty of people overlook this vital fact when it comes to building and marketing their business. Embracing choice can be a game-changer, argues Malcolm Gladwell in his 2004 TED talk: ‘In embracing the diversity of human beings, we will find a surer way to true happiness.’ And that goes for businesses as well as customers. You too can (and…
  • How to use stories to communicate with clients: the dotMailer logo

    Matthew Stibbe
    5 Aug 2014 | 1:15 am
    Email marketing firm dotMailer is a British success story: AIM-listed with offices around the world. It occupies a prime spot in the email marketing automation marketplace, competing against companies like Marketo, SilverPop and ExactTarget. However its historical roots are in the fire-and-forget batch mailing market. Over time, the platform has evolved upmarket, adding user-friendly features that make it easier to target and tailor emails to a particular audience and measure the results of each campaign. So the big question is ‘how do we reposition the brand’ to communicate the journey…
  • 8 excellent tips for keeping an editorial calendar current

    Katelyn Piontek
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:00 am
    An editorial calendar is a must for any marketing manager, but keeping the calendar up-to-date can be a struggle. The team’s workload, confusion on responsibilities or inconsistent publishing can cause a perfectly good plan to fall apart. But your content marketing is too important to let the content it needs get left behind. Your strategy for keeping an editorial calendar current needs to be in place every step of the way: from generating ideas to hitting publish. 1. Don’t cripple your calendar when you brainstorm. Generating topics is a constant battle between having enough topics,…
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    Word Grrls

  • Content Shock

    Laura Brown
    18 Aug 2014 | 10:06 am
    Let’s fast forward one more time to 2014 and look at the two factors that impact the economics of content marketing — the amount of content available and the amount of content consumed (supply and demand). Of course the volume of free content is exploding at a ridiculous rate. Depending on what study you read, […]
  • Working in a Library at a University

    Laura Brown
    11 Aug 2014 | 1:23 pm
    I like looking at job requirements in the communications industry. This one was posted for a university in Ontario, a non-student position. Requirements: •Grade 12 diploma •Recent college or university graduate (asset) •One, up to two years, in a related public-service position; •Demonstrated proficiency in typing and in the use of a computer; •Ability to […]
  • The Power of Language

    Laura Brown
    15 Jul 2014 | 2:09 pm
    “One must avoid ambition in order to write. Otherwise something else is the goal: some kind of power beyond the power of language. And the power of language, it seems to me, is the only kind of power a writer is entitled to.” - Cynthia Ozick
  • Ghost Writer Fades to Black

    Laura Brown
    20 Jun 2014 | 3:06 pm
    You just can’t ghost write your way into being a thought leader. via Content Used to Be King. Now It’s the Joker.  | Scoop.it Blog. This is an excellent quote and describes how I have been feeling about the blogging/ web writing and publishing I have been doing for the past year. I’ve listened to […]
  • Life Is…

    Laura Brown
    10 Jun 2014 | 8:18 pm
    This was part of a quiz. Which would you answer, take some time to think about it. Hard to choose between life is an adventure and life is a journey, for me. I think the tie breaker is that the journey sounds more like work than an adventure which is full of opportunity, new things […]
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    Get Paid to Write Online

  • The Step by Step Guide to Freelance Writing Success [Review]

    Sharon Hurley Hall
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:22 am
    I recently had the pleasure of reading The Step by Step Guide to Freelance Writing Success. Authored by Laura Spencer of Writing Thoughts and Carol Tice of the Freelance Writer’s Den, it promised to answer the questions most new freelancers have about getting started. The ebook is based on several presentations the pair did on getting freelance work that pays well. Inside the book are 6 chapters covering: 1. How to land your best first markets 2. How to market when you have no clips 3. Marketing strategies for new writers 4. Negotiating good gigs 5. Pro tips and tricks 6. 12 mistakes…
  • Writer Marketing – How to Focus on Value

    Sharon Hurley Hall
    24 Jun 2014 | 9:01 pm
    When I started out in freelancing on the web, the conversation was all about price – price per word, price per hour, price per article. That kind of conversation really hurts writers because it places the focus on the wrong aspect of writing (the word count or time count) rather than the right aspect: the value of your work for clients and for you. Price vs Value – Hard Lessons Of course, I learned this the hard way. Some of my early freelancing gigs were for a copywriting agency which paid a set fee per word. At the time, I was happy to have the work, because it meant I was…
  • Step Away from Your Writing Desk

    Sharon Hurley Hall
    28 May 2014 | 3:46 am
    As a not-so-secret introvert, I love doing everything online. So living thousands of miles away from most of my clients isn’t a big deal. Google Hangouts, Skype and email give us that almost face to face interaction that we all need occasionally. But here’s something even introverts need to accept: if you remain a hermit, you miss out on growth opportunities for your business. That’s why, even if your natural inclination is to shy away from in-person meetings and events, it’s a good idea to step away from the computer and the office cubicle and smell the not-so-virtual roses. One of…
  • Grammarly Review–2014 Update

    Sharon Hurley Hall
    15 May 2014 | 7:00 am
    It’s been a while since I reviewed Grammarly – about three years, to be exact. In my last review, I concluded that Grammarly was a great tool for new writers and those writing English as a second language. Would anything change this time round? Getting Started with Grammarly Grammarly is a web-based tool, which also integrates with programs like Microsoft Word and Outlook. The main Grammarly interface is a page where you can paste the text you want to check for grammar errors. You can also upload a document into the interface. The two middle buttons on the top menu allow you to…
  • Scrivener: a Great Tool for Professional Bloggers

    Sharon Hurley Hall
    2 May 2014 | 7:00 am
    I think I’m in love! In the past month, I have completely changed my blogging workflow. That’s because I have discovered the joys of using Scrivener. Originally a Mac tool, Scrivener is software for writers. It’s now available for Windows, and that’s the version I’m using. I’d heard about it before but figured it was only for novel writers. Boy, was I wrong! Although I wasn’t sure how it would work for a professional blogger, I found an article by Thaddeus Hunt (one of my new go-to sources for Scrivener information) outlining how he was using…
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    Ben Crowder

  • Kilobot

    14 Aug 2014 | 11:00 pm
    A team at Harvard has created a self-assembling swarm of 1,024 bots, appropriately dubbed the kilobot: It’s slow — it took eleven hours for the kilobot to form the “K,” for example — but still pretty cool. The Wyss Institute at Harvard has several other interesting videos, including this one on a robot that can self-assemble (via origami-style folding) and then walk away:
  • The most wanted man in the world

    13 Aug 2014 | 11:00 pm
    A few days ago Wired posted a fascinating article on Edward Snowden: Despite being the subject of a worldwide manhunt, Snowden seems relaxed and upbeat as we drink Cokes and tear away at a giant room-service pepperoni pizza. His 31st birthday is a few days away. Snowden still holds out hope that he will someday be allowed to return to the US. “I told the government I’d volunteer for prison, as long as it served the right purpose,” he says. “I care more about the country than what happens to me. But we can’t allow the law to become a political weapon or agree to scare people away…
  • Propaganda-driven art

    9 Aug 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Also from chapter 20 of Chesterton’s Heretics: The two typical men of genius whom I have mentioned here, and with whose names I have begun this book, are very symbolic, if only because they have shown that the fiercest dogmatists can make the best artists. In the fin de siècle atmosphere every one was crying out that literature should be free from all causes and all ethical creeds. Art was to produce only exquisite workmanship, and it was especially the note of those days to demand brilliant plays and brilliant short stories. And when they got them, they got them from a couple of…
  • Chesterton on being broad-minded

    9 Aug 2014 | 11:00 pm
    A good bit from chapter 20 of G. K. Chesterton’s Heretics: Whether the human mind can advance or not, is a question too little discussed, for nothing can be more dangerous than to found our social philosophy on any theory which is debatable but has not been debated. But if we assume, for the sake of argument, that there has been in the past, or will be in the future, such a thing as a growth or improvement of the human mind itself, there still remains a very sharp objection to be raised against the modern version of that improvement. The vice of the modern notion of mental progress is…
  • A writing update

    7 Aug 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Lately I’ve started getting up early to write (long experience having shown that that’s the only way that works for me), which hopefully will result in some finished stories and eventually novels in the nearish future. I’m also now listing current projects at the top of my writing page, for what it’s worth. My current project is tentatively called “Queen of the Cruel Sea.” It began life as a brief scene I wrote when I was playing around with Cathode a couple years ago. Since then I’ve tinkered with the story every few months, getting to 11,000 words…
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    Write to Done

  • 5 Systems You Need to Skyrocket Your Freelance Writing Career

    Michael Ofei
    19 Aug 2014 | 2:12 pm
    Don’t you love your freelance writing career? You get to do creative work, meet amazing people, set your own schedule, and of course, work from anywhere in the world! Or maybe not. Usually, the actual practice of freelancing is a different story. To be successful, you have to deal with clients, stay on top of your finances and bookkeeping, build relationships in the industry, market your business continuously, and perform all the administrative tasks needed to keep things afloat. With so much to do, do you occasionally feel like you might as well be working at a job? I don’t mean…
  • 10 Quotes to Kickstart Your Inspiration for Writing

    Mary Jaksch
    15 Aug 2014 | 12:21 pm
    In Leo Babauta’s article, 31 Ways to Find Inspiration For Your Writing, he says: Great quotes help inspire me. I like to go to various quote sites to find ideas to spark my writing, turns of phrase that show what can be done with the language, motivation for self-improvement. I’ve collected ten quotes to give you inspiration for writing. Here’s how to use them: Get a notebook or piece of paper and a pen and put it beside you. Now take time to look at each image and then capture any ideas that are triggered in your mind. Make sure you write them down!   Contributed by…
  • What Are YOU Writing?

    Mary Jaksch
    2 Aug 2014 | 10:47 am
    What are you working on right now? A novel? Your best article ever? A poem? A film script? Maybe you’ve just finished something you’re really proud of? Or you just can’t tell whether it should get a Pulitzer or be thrown into the trash? Here’s your chance to share and discuss with each other what you are writing about. Whet our appetite with the opening paragraph of your future bestseller or give us a link to your best article. Tell us: what are you writing at the moment? Who knows, your piece might even attract the notice of a major publishing house! Here are some…
  • Lost Your Motivation to Write? The One Thing that Helps

    Len Markidan
    31 Jul 2014 | 3:02 am
    Have you ever lost your motivation to write? You have a deadline staring you in the face, and no words to reach it. Feels awful, doesn’t it? People love talking about motivation. The truth is, there’s some great content out there about getting motivated.   But asking “How do I motivate myself?” misses a critical point: What do you do when you’re motivated?   How do you turn motivation into productivity? And more importantly, how do you harness motivation to ensure that you stay productive later? In effect: how to write even when you’re not…
  • How to Maintain Focus when Writing

    Mary Jaksch
    28 Jul 2014 | 4:51 am
    Can you maintain your focus when writing? If so, you’re a wonder! Most people struggle to maintain focus. They feel scattered and find it difficult to stay on track. I recently got an email from one of our readers, Barrett Caton. He said: I tend to over-think things when I write. Sometimes it just feels like a part of my mind is scattered all over the place, and it’s affecting my writing. How can I remove this annoying barrier? Do you suffer from a similar malaise? If so, don’t worry. You’re not alone! The reason we struggle to maintain focus is simple: our brains…
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    Paperback Jack

  • Read All about the Best Party Poker Bonus Code

    28 Jul 2014 | 8:22 am
    If you’ve ever thought about playing at Party Poker before, then it only makes sense that you should know how to get the best signup bonus deal possible. After all, getting more free cash in the beginning will increase your bankroll and give you a better opportunity to win in the future. So how do you go about getting the best deal? Well, you can read all about the Party Poker bonus code below, including the two different available offers and how to earn the bonus. Two Codes, Two Offers What’s nice about playing at Party is that you’re not restricted to one signup deal. You…
  • Visit PokerStop.com, Online Poker Reviews and News Hub

    30 Jun 2014 | 3:16 am
    The online poker world has grown into a pretty big place, with more news and poker site reviews available than ever before. Assuming you’re looking for a quick way to sift through all of this information and find exactly what you want, then we strongly advise checking out PokerStop.com, online poker reviews, news and strategy central. Okay, so anybody can make this statement without offering something to back it up. So let’s have a more in-depth discussion on what you’ll find at Poker Stop. Detailed Online Poker Reviews Would you sign up at an online poker room after reading…
  • Dangers You Need to Avoid When Playing Online Poker

    2 May 2013 | 1:47 am
    There are very few opportunities which give people as much excitement as playing online poker. This is an experience that is replete with countless pleasures regardless of whether you are a first time player or a veteran. When you play poker at online casinos such as Unibet, you not only get to earn money, but you can get sites where you play for free without paying anything. However, it is filled with many dangers and risks which gamers are advised to always be on the lookout against. These dangers cannot be ignored unless you don’t care about losing money, or being unable to withdraw your…
  • How to Play Blackjack The Right Way

    23 Apr 2013 | 6:09 am
    Blackjack is an interesting card game also sometimes referred to as 21. It is a very popular and you too can learn how to play online blackjack like a pro. Online blackjack and live video blackjack are very popular today. If you are new to the game you would have to first take time to learn the rules and understand how the game is played. The game is played among several players or against the dealer. Cards are dealt and the objective is to have a set of cards whose total value equals 21 or is as close to 21 as possible. If your cards value exceeds 21, you bust and can’t win this game. You…
  • What it takes to win in online blackjack

    20 Mar 2013 | 6:07 am
    Over the past five years, technology has continued to take a different turn with multiple people seeking to expand their businesses online. This is how ground casinos have focused on opening websites that will provide similar services to people who also would prefer to access all casino services without necessarily visiting casinos. Some other private investors and individuals have also gathered information on how they can start similar websites to help them reach out to interested gamblers right from their homes. So what does it takes to win in online blackjack? Odds of winning or losing at…
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    Lisa Romeo Writes

  • Friday Fridge Clean-out: Links for Writers, August 1, 2014 Edition

    1 Aug 2014 | 8:19 am
    Image by Eric Crowley vie Flickr/Creative Commons> At Writer Unboxed, Karen Gillespie, on what did and didn't happen when her essay got into the opinion pages at the New York Times> How could I not be impressed with a 14-year-old one-day novelist who writes a clever and helpful blog about writing titled Every Stinkin' Page?> These 11 tips for writing a scene, from John August, originally intended for screenwriters, are helpful for all writers.> LitReactor's primer on punctuation when writing dialogue, is a handy and comprehensive reference.> Chuck Wendig with 25 pointers…
  • Author Interview: Sue William Silverman, on her new memoir, The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew

    30 Jul 2014 | 5:45 am
    First, I read and admired Sue William Silverman'swork. Then I listened to, and learned from her at an AWP panel. Read some more of her nonfiction. Met her briefly at another conference. Read more. Next, I interviewed Sue here on the blog about her craft book, Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir, which I've recommended to many students. That interview remains one of the most heavily trafficked posts here. I'm delighted in so many ways to have Sue back, this time talking about her new book from the University of Nebraska Press.Please welcome Sue William…
  • Friday Fridge Clean-Out: Links for Writers - June 27, 2014 Edition

    27 Jun 2014 | 10:42 am
    Image: Windell Oskay/Flickr, Creative Commons> A reminder that The Review Review publishes...yes, reviews of  literary journals and magazines at their site. Here's the link to dozens of them. > I've often mentioned Marion Roach Smith's site for excellent guidance on memoir writing. She's gathered the Twenty Top Tips she's featured from memoir authors over the last year.> Not in your future (or budget) to travel far for an organized writing retreat? Then plan and take off on a short, not-so-far-away, affordable one of your own, maybe with someone you love (or at…
  • Guest Blogger Alison Strack on Attending The Sirenland Writers Conference, in Positano, Italy

    23 Jun 2014 | 8:28 am
    Though she's taken an (online) class or two of mine, and we live only a few miles apart, I haven't met Alison Strack "in real life". That's okay, even common lately. I still think of her as part of my local writing tribe. One reason we haven't met yet is she's an incredibly busy super-achiever in her field – Alison works as a neuroscientist and researcher in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Extensively published in scientific journals, Alison has now turned her attention to writing fiction, working on a novel and short stories. She also loves to travel, which is…
  • Friday Fridge Clean-Out: Links for Writers -- June 20, 2014 Edition

    20 Jun 2014 | 11:33 am
    Image: Windell Oskay/Flickr, Creative Commons> At Writer Unboxed, Juliet Marillier explains what goes on in her (judge's) mind when she's reading through entries in a short fiction contest.> If you've read my blog for a while, you've come across the name Richard Hoffman -- poet, fiction writer, memoir and essay writer. His second memoir, Love & Fury, is just out, and on the Mass(achusetts) Poetry blog, he talks about how he compartmentalizes his work across three genres.> Is it ever a good idea to respond to an editor who sent you a clear and final rejection? No. No. And, no…
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    Fiction Notes

  • Should You Write Fast or Slow? Here’s the Right Answer – And Instintively You Know This is Right

    Darcy Pattison
    18 Aug 2014 | 7:55 am
    Find Darcy Pattison Books in the iBook Store As a hybrid author, I have one foot each in two very different worlds. I am traditionally published and as an author/publisher, I release my own books. The worlds operate at tangents to each other and one point of contention is this question: how long does it take you to write a novel? Independent author Dean Wesley Smith has recently finished a year of blogging about his daily output, which includes emails, blog posts, novels and short stories. For example in June, Smith wrote 52,800 words of fiction, 14,700 nonfiction, 14,000 for blog posts, and…
  • 1.6 Million Reasons Why Your Books Should Be in the iBook Store

    Darcy Pattison
    13 Aug 2014 | 3:50 am
    Find Darcy Pattison Books in the iBook Store Have your books been updated and made for sale as ebooks? Are you on the Kindle store, the Nook store, or the Kobo store? Great. But if you’re not on the iBook store, you’re missing sales. Here’s why. A recent 2014 survey by Education Market Research asked schools about what tablets they currently own. Apple’s iPad overwhelmingly wins the tablet wars with 79.7% of the market. Distant competitors include Microsoft Surface at 10.2% and Samsung Galaxy Note at 6.2%. Wow! iPads rule! In schools, at least, Kindles only have 1% of…
  • 4 Types of Villain – The Last One is Truly Scary Because He’s So Good

    Darcy Pattison
    11 Aug 2014 | 3:46 am
    Find Darcy Pattison Books in the iBook Store Guest post by K.M. Weiland Ooh, bad guys. Where would our stories be without their spine-tingling, indignation-rousing, hatred-flaring charm? It’s a legit question. Because, without antagonists to get in our heroes’ way and cause conflict, we quite literally have no story. So write yourself a warty-nosed, slimy-handed dude with a creepy laugh. No problemo, right? Bad guys aren’t nearly as complicated as good guys. Or are they? I would argue they’re more complicated, if only because they’re harder for most of us to understand (or maybe…
  • Tea Party or Fist Fights? Why Action Scenes are Hard to Write!

    Darcy Pattison
    7 Aug 2014 | 9:45 am
    Find Darcy Pattison Books in the iBook Store In my current WIP, I want to up the action and make this a physically exciting story. So, I bought a great ebook, Action! Writing Better Action Using Cinematic Techniques by Ian Thomas Healy. It’s great, as I said, and breaks down the actions into easy components that can be easily mastered. Even for me, it’s easy. Healy says that great action scenes put characters into motion and the “effective description of that motion is what makes the difference. . .” I get that part. But here’s what stumps me: “At its most basic level, an action…
  • Writers Write: Banish Discouragement

    Darcy Pattison
    6 Aug 2014 | 7:44 am
    Find Darcy Pattison Books in the iBook Store Today, I am discouraged. My trusty friend, ART AND FEAR, says this: “. . .artmaking can be a rather lonely, thankless affair. Virtually all artists spend some of their time (and some artists spend virtually all of their time) producing work that no one else much cares about. . . The sobering truth is that the disinterest of others hardly ever reflects a gulf in vision. In fact there’s generally no good reason why others should care about most of any one artist’s work.” Yes. that’s how I feel today, that no one is much…
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    WritersDigest.com » There Are No Rules Blog by the Editors of Writer’s Digest

  • Shark Week Is for Readers, Too: 10+ Books to Read this Week

    Adrienne Crezo
    13 Aug 2014 | 12:39 pm
    Each year for one week, The Discovery Channel takes over the airwaves with a seven-day onslaught of movies, documentaries, survivor tales and semi-factual mockumentaries about sharks. As fascinating as it all is, readers are left high and dry—where are all the books about sharks? I’ve rounded up several—some classic, some campy, some for kids, some nonfiction—for those of us who want all the thrill of Shark Week, but with somewhat less screen time. (Or supplement your Discovery marathoning. There are no rules in Shark Week.) 1. Jaws It wouldn’t be a list about shark books…
  • 3 Tips for Writing on a Deadline

    Adrienne Crezo
    12 Aug 2014 | 7:00 am
    BY MARTHA CARR When I was a new writer and no one had commented on any of the words I’d strung together, the idea of a deadline seemed romantic. If I had a deadline that meant someone must have liked something I wrote and someone else must have asked for more. Fortunately, all of that came true and I have had the pleasure of writing for The Washington Post and The New York Times and have had several books published. However, a deadline also means a lot of responsibility and for writers with busy lives a due date can seem daunting, especially when talking about an entire book. One thing…
  • The Rules of Writing According to 20 Famous Writers

    Adrienne Crezo
    11 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Few professions are as solitary yet as full of advice as writing. You do it alone, usually, but everyone you meet is an expert in what writers do, don’t do, should do, always do, never do, can’t do… Even Anne Rice, who shares her thoughts about rules below, once noted that her doctor advised her to change the title of Interview with the Vampire, to which her son, author Christopher Rice, quipped, “And he went on to write 23 bestsellers.” Being that writing is such a strange job, if there are rules, they should come from those who do the job, too. Here,…
  • Dorothy Parker: Missed Deadlines, Unfulfilled Contracts and Wrong Words

    Adrienne Crezo
    5 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    BY ELLEN MEISTER Have you ever had to tell an editor you wouldn’t be meeting your deadline? That’s an uncomfortable conversation for any writer. But for Dorothy Parker—one of America’s greatest literary wits—it was so excruciating she simply couldn’t face it, and the consequences were nearly devastating. In 1929, Harold Guinzburg and George Oppenheimer—the young entrepreneurs who founded Viking Press—convinced Parker to sign a contract for a novel, and deliver it in under a year. That’s high pressure for most writers. But for Parker, who often took six months to complete a…
  • An Idea a Day: August 2014

    Adrienne Crezo
    1 Aug 2014 | 11:34 am
    Generating good, usable ideas can be difficult for any writer, new or established. While John Steinbeck may have been exempt (he famously compared ideas to rabbits, saying “You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”), we are not all on Steinbeck’s level. To those of you who can come up with something new and interesting at will, I commend you. For the rest of us, here are 31 prompts for the month of August. Interpret these in whatever way works best for you. Do each one, or two per week, or five per month, or any number that feels…
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    The Truth About Lies

  • Twilight of the Eastern Gods

    17 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Am I a gangster or murderer?Of what crime do I standCondemned? I made the whole world weepAt the beauty of my land. – Boris Pasternak from ‘Nobel Prize’ This is both an old and an odd book. The copyright says 1978 but its origins date back to 1961 which is when the short story ‘A Summer in Dubulti’ which forms the basis of the first of this novel’s five chapters appeared in print, although the events described date back to the late fifties. Other fragments followed over the next fifteen years which Kadare assembled and buried within a collection along with two other pieces, but…
  • The Awakening

    10 Aug 2014 | 4:30 am
    I would give up the unessential; I would give up my money, I would give up my life for my children; but I wouldn’t give myself. I can't make it more clear; it's only something I am beginning to comprehend, which is revealing itself to me. – Kate Chopin, The Awakening Canongate Books have just republished Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening. In her e-mail to me their publicist wrote: First published in 1899, this radical novel sent shockwaves through American society and continues to speak to readers over one hundred years later. Widely regarded in the States as one of the forerunners of…
  • Seven years on

    3 Aug 2014 | 3:54 am
      I’ve been doing this for seven years now. Blogging. That’s a long time. There aren’t many people who’ve blogged consistently over that long a time. So allow me a moment to pat myself on the back. PAT. PAT. PATITY PAT. I don’t normally celebrate anniversaries. A lot of people do. But my 100th post slipped by without mention and I’m not far off from my 600th which will probably pass without any fuss or comment. That’s just me. But I’ve been thinking for a while about what my expectations were like at the start and what I’ve achieved since I began devoting so much of my…
  • The Appointment

    27 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    [T]here's nothing to think about, because I myself am nothing, apart from being summoned. - Herta Müller, The Appointment After Herta Müller won the Nobel Prize in 2009 I, I imagine like a number of others, went out and tracked down a copy of one of her books to see what the fuss was all about. Like many Nobel laureates I’d never heard of her before and felt bad about that. The book I ended up reading was The Passport which I reviewed here. In my article I included the following quote: A year after my departure from Romania in 1987, Jenny came to visit in Berlin. Since the time of the…
  • Smut: Two Unseemly Stories

    20 Jul 2014 | 3:30 am
    "... How much better ... how much healthier ... had all these persons, these family members, been more candid with one another right from the start. – Alan Bennett, Smut Sex is a part of life, in fact without sex there’d be no life. I’m less curious about it than I used to be but I still find I can be distracted from what I’m doing when some salacious news item passes my way. Little actually shocks me. It just underlines how narrow my own life experiences have been and how poorly I understand people. I’m as puzzled by people who practice auto-erotic asphyxia as I am by people who…
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    Flogging the Quill

  • Words that mean something totally different when you're a writer

    Ray Rhamey
    18 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Found a link to and a sample of "29 Words that Mean Something Totally Different When You're a Writer" on agent Janet Reid's blog. Lots of fun--go here. A sample: 23. “Editing.”   Thinkstock What it means: The process of correcting and modifying a manuscript with the intention of improving it. What it means when you’re a writer: Crying into your keyboard because everything is shit. Ray Tweet © 2014 Ray Rhamey
  • Flogometer for Carol—are you compelled to turn the page?

    Ray Rhamey
    15 Aug 2014 | 8:37 am
    Submissions Needed. If you’d like a fresh look at your opening chapter or prologue, please email your submission to me re the directions at the bottom of this post. The Flogometer challenge: can you craft a first page that compels me to turn to the next page? Caveat: Please keep in mind that this is entirely subjective. Note: all the Flogometer posts are here. What's a first page in publishingland? In a properly formatted novel manuscript (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point type, etc.) there should be about 16 or 17 lines on the first page (first pages of chapters/prologues start…
  • Win a vampire kitty-cat

    Ray Rhamey
    14 Aug 2014 | 7:56 am
    Emily has a blog called Kitty Cat Chronicles, and when she came across The Vampire Kitty-cat Chronicles, she contacted me for an ebook to review. I sent her one, and her review is here. More than that, she’s running a drawing to give away a free ebook copy. So I hope you’ll visit her blog and enter to win. Here’s an excerpt from her review: “The book jumps right into the action from the get-go, which I appreciated. The story starts with Patch, the cat narrator, being turned into a vampire, who then goes on to share all the adventures and troubles he runs into as he tries to adjust to…
  • Flogometer for Mike—are you compelled to turn the page?

    Ray Rhamey
    13 Aug 2014 | 9:10 am
    Submissions Needed. If you’d like a fresh look at your opening chapter or prologue, please email your submission to me re the directions at the bottom of this post. The Flogometer challenge: can you craft a first page that compels me to turn to the next page? Caveat: Please keep in mind that this is entirely subjective. Note: all the Flogometer posts are here. What's a first page in publishingland? In a properly formatted novel manuscript (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point type, etc.) there should be about 16 or 17 lines on the first page (first pages of chapters/prologues start about…
  • Magnificently awful opening lines you’ve gotta see

    Ray Rhamey
    11 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    The results of the 2014 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for creating the worst opening sentences possible for various categories of novels is here. You owe it to yourself to go for a fun read. Here’s an example that I particularly liked, and it’s not even a winner (you see runners-up, too): Hard-boiled private eye Smith Calloway had a sinking feeling as he walked into the chaotic crime scene, for there, as expected, was the body dressed in a monk’s habit; there was the stuffed cream-colored pony next to the crisp apple strudel; there was the doorbell, the set of sleigh bells, and even the…
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  • On the Visual Thesaurus: New Names from (Very) Old Words

    Nancy Friedman
    18 Aug 2014 | 11:05 am
    My latest column for the Visual Thesaurus looks at the centuries-old roots—as in Middle English and even Old English—of thirteen modern brand names. Access to this month’s column is free to all (but you should subscribe anyway!); here’s an excerpt: Hobby LobbyFounded in 1970 in Oklahoma City, where it still has its headquarters, the craft-supply chain made headlines earlier this year when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc, that the company did not have to pay for insurance coverage for female contraception under the Affordable Care Act. Both hobby and…
  • Word of the Week: Data Lake

    Nancy Friedman
    18 Aug 2014 | 6:41 am
    Data lake: “A massive, easily accessible data repository built on (relatively) inexpensive computer hardware for storing big data.” (Source: Wiktionary.) “The opposite of a data warehouse, meaning they're huge pools of data stored in its original format instead of being collated, sorted and filed.” (Source: ReadWrite.) The last several years have seen a growing focus on the uses of “big data” (the term was a strong contender for word of the year in 2012). Perhaps inevitably, there’s been a reaction against what’s perceived as big-data hype. Now, reports Matt Asay in the…
  • Be Plus

    Nancy Friedman
    15 Aug 2014 | 10:39 am
    Back in December 2012 I wrote about Be. wines, a Beringer brand targeted at young women. “Be.” is a cute ’n’ sassy truncation of “Beringer,” and each varietal is tagged with an imperative: Be.Bright (Pinot Grigio), Be.Radiant (Riesling), Be.Flirty (Moscato), and so on. So much cleverness obviously begged to be imitated. And so behold (or Be.hold) Be toothpaste from Crest, which I spotted at Walgreen’s earlier this week. Crest launched the “innovative new line” back in January. According to a press releasefrom Procter & Gamble, Crest’s parent company: “Crest is always…
  • August Linkfest

    Nancy Friedman
    14 Aug 2014 | 6:22 am
    Media holding company Gannett’s new job descriptions for “the newsroom of the future” (“Content Coach,” “Engagement Editor,” et al.) are pretty close to self-parody. But that didn’t stop some anonymous wag—obviously very close to the machine—from creating a parody. Apply now to be a Bullshit Artist 1, Reduction in Force Synergy Coach, and other dream jobs.  (Via Romenesko.) “Avoid using areas or volumes when representing quantities” and other rules for data visualization, published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census … in 1915. (Via Ben Schmidt’s Sapping Attention…
  • Word of the Week: Taphephobia

    Nancy Friedman
    11 Aug 2014 | 6:33 am
    Taphephobia: Fear of being buried alive. From Greek taphē burial, grave (whence also epitaph) and New Latin phobia. Also taphiphobia, taphophobia. The Premature Burial (1962). Image via Gallery Hip. The OED has no entry for any of the spellings of this curious word; other sources, including Collins Dictionary and Webster’s Third International, provide brief definitions but no date of first usage. I first encountered it in At Home: A Short History of Private Life, Bill Bryson’s chatty and informative 2010 chronicle of domesticity through the millennia. Taphephobia comes up in Chapter XV:…
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    Holt Uncensored Blog

  • ‘According to Our Records…’

    Pat Holt
    9 Aug 2014 | 12:41 pm
    Of the many chilling scenarios Dave Eggers lays out in his futuristic novel, The Circle (Vintage; 512 pages; $15.95) the one that scares the dickens (not Charles!) out of me popped up in emails recently from two fundraising political groups, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC). Eggers is not a great writer of fiction (a bit clunky and shallow) but his warning about tyrannical forces growing at Internet companies like Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and others is both visionary and truly terrifying. This illustration is not…
  • Thank You, Roger

    Pat Holt
    16 Jul 2014 | 11:12 pm
    Film critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel wanted to knock each other’s block off frequently on their TV show, as shown in the provocative documentary Life Itself, that’s just been released. Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert bring it on But their unique chemistry will always be missed, I think, because they brought to the screen two very different (and often opposing) approaches to the art of reviewing. Ebert was the objective critic who emphasized reason over personal opinion. He never gave thumbs-up to a movie without offering evidence — images, themes, plot, dialogue, etc.
  • A Glorious Mess, But a Mess

    Pat Holt
    19 Jun 2014 | 7:48 pm
    When my book group read the novel, The Garden of Evening Mistsby Tan Twan Eng, we were surprised at how breathtakingly beautiful it could be, yet how “boring and muddled” at the same time. Eng’s book was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2012 and won the Man Asian Prize and the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. This seemed incredible to us. “What were they thinking?” members of the group asked about judges of these awards — and about critics who praised the novel but never mentioned its serious flaws. Tan Twan Eng This is why I love book…
  • Use Your Words, Not Your Fists

    Pat Holt
    3 Jun 2014 | 11:49 am
    Let’s say you’re the publisher at the New York Times and you know that an executive editor is slamming her fist into the newsroom walls so hard that holes appear in the plaster. These holes are so unsightly that other employees have placed wall maps over them to cover the damage. Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., publisher of the New York Times It’s not a rumor — the editor is known for this behavior, and you know it keeps happening. The company has a Workplace Violence Prevention Program* that  states even the threat of violence can be grounds for dismissal, so of course you,…
  • Reading the News Critically

    Pat Holt
    22 May 2014 | 1:15 pm
    I’m not a fan of former Secretary of Labor (2001-2009) Elaine Chao, but I don’t like snarky put-downs masquerading as news stories, either. Elaine Chao with president George Bush Take the front-page article in the New York Times last week by Jason Horowitz about Chao and her husband, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), who’s currently up for re-election. “At Harvard Business School,” it begins, “Elaine L. Chao kept card files on her classmates, then later kept tabs on their careers.” Fine. Not sure what it means, and “kept…
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  • Reflections on Another Year as a Writer, Part 1

    Kristen King
    8 Aug 2014 | 10:10 pm
    www.inkthinkerblog.com — Let me say up front that I’m not sure how many “parts” there will be to this rumination, but I suspect there will be more than one, so I figure I had better start numbering now. This year, 2009, has been an interesting one for me as a writer. I passed my three-year anniversary as a full-time freelancer, and with that transition came some reflection on where I’ve been and where I’m going.   Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King Other Posts You Might Like:Guest Article: Just Do It! NaNoWriMoExtending Your Brand Experience…
  • Extending Your Brand Experience Through Social Networks

    Kristen King
    4 Aug 2014 | 8:13 am
    www.inkthinkerblog.com – Title: Extending Your Brand Experience Through Social Networks Location: Webinar Description: *** Announcing Part II of the Matrix Group Webinar Series on Social Networking: Extending Your Brand Experience Through Social Networks So you\’ve decided to dive into the social networking world. Now what? Are you wondering how to make sure your social networking initiatives complement your organization\’s image and brand while taking advantage of the unique capabilities of each social network service? Then this webinar is for you. Join Alex Pineda,…
  • Highlights from the 2006 WIW Freelance Success Seminar (Part 3 of 4)

    Kristen King
    29 Jul 2014 | 2:39 pm
    www.inkthinkerblog.com — And the highlights just keep coming from the WIW Freelance Success Seminar! Don’t forget to check out parts one and two. PART THREE Tricks of the Trade, with moderator Lester Reingold and panelists Ann Cochran, Beryl Lieff Benderly, and Chris Gearon __________________________________________ www.kristenkingfreelancing.com Finalist in 2006 Writer’s Digest Best Writer’s Website Contest Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King Other Posts You Might Like:Free event and seminar on writing dialogue this Saturday in…Reflections on Another…
  • Guest Article: Just Do It! NaNoWriMo

    Kristen King
    29 Jul 2014 | 2:08 pm
    Just Do It! NaNoWriMo by Sarah E. White www.inkthinkerblog.com — It’s almost November, and for thousands of writers and would-be writers the world over, that means it’s almost time for the high-octane, caffeine-fueled novel-writing extravaganza that is National Novel Writing Month. If you’ve never heard of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, as it’s called by those who know and love it, it’s a month-long challenge wherein participants attempt to write a novel of at least 50,000 words entirely during the month of November. It’s a crazy feat,…
  • “You’ll Never Have Time to Write After Kids” — Mythbuster Monday at AmateurParenting.com

    Kristen King
    28 Oct 2013 | 9:36 am
    www.inkthinkerblog.com — I’m not around Inkthinker much these days, but still blogging away over at Amateur Parenting. Check out today’s post, all about the power of writing. This post WAS supposed to be sponsored by Grammarly, but they failed to deliver on their promise of compensation, so their sponsorship credit has been removed. Should they decide to keep their promise after all, I will reinstate it. However, based on this unfortunate situation, I can no longer recommend them. I sincerely hope that’s temporary. Here’s an excerpt: Despite the fact that…
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    Self-Publishing Review

  • An Interview with Steven Spatz, President of BookBaby

    Henry Baum
    15 Aug 2014 | 1:49 pm
    SPR’s CEO Henry Baum has a an exclusive conversation with the President of BookBaby, Steve Spatz, about all things self-publishing and the way forward for BookBaby, as they announce a new collaboration with Blue Ash Publishing. Tell us a little about yourself and BookBaby. I’ve been with AVL – the parent company for all our ...
  • KDP Enables Pre-Orders for Self-Published Titles

    Henry Baum
    15 Aug 2014 | 8:18 am
    Finally, one of the biggest advantages for trad books on Amazon is now available to self-publishers: pre-ordering. From Amazon’s release: We’re excited to announce that you can now make your new books available for pre-order in Kindle Stores worldwide. With a few quick and easy steps you can create a pre-order page up to 90 ...
  • Review: IQ plus EQ: The Arrow and the Hoisting Crane by Feliciano Bantilan

    Cate Baum
    15 Aug 2014 | 4:35 am
    Feliciano Bantilan, a veteran stock investor and physicist by training, was struck down by Parkinson’s disease, leaving him unable to work. Lucky for us, however, he has turned his hand to penning exceptional advice for young people interested in approaching the stock market with a new kind of acumen: applying IQ plus EQ.  He says, ...
  • His Father’s Footsteps by Enrico Downer

    Naka Jackson
    14 Aug 2014 | 4:18 pm
    “How far would you walk in your father’s footsteps to find the one who killed him?” “To the ends of the earth,” he answered. And the fire in his eyes said he meant every word. It’s 1958 and Mark Maynard’s Barbados home life is shattered by grief when he receives a letter reporting that his ...
  • Review: The Arrival (Ascension Book 1) by Dakota Kemp

    James Grimsby
    14 Aug 2014 | 3:59 pm
    The Arrival (Ascension Book 1) is a fantasy epic by Dakota Kemp that tells the story of several figures in the world of Vrold, where war has begun to tear its peoples apart when brutal attacks spring out and turn up tensions and open old wounds between city-states. As battle rears its ugly head, heroes ...
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    WritersWeekly.com - Freelance Writing Ezine

  • BookLocker - Your Book Deserves the Best

    13 Aug 2014 | 10:00 am
    According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is one of the top-rated POD publishers in the industry.
  • Paying Markets And Jobs For August 13th

    13 Aug 2014 | 10:00 am
    New markets and freelance writing jobs.
  • Whispers And Warnings For August 13th

    13 Aug 2014 | 10:00 am
    Links to the stories below can be found here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9384 THE WRATH AGAINST AMAZON SPREADS Plot Thickens as 900 Writers Battle Amazon "Amazon's dream of dominating the publishing world has run into some trouble..." AND... Bestselling authors take out full-page New York Times ad against Amazon "Stephen King and Donna Tartt among those petitioning Amazon to 'stop harming the livelihood of the authors.'" ALLEGED PLAGIARISM (AND MORE) MEANS FALL FROM GRACE LifeWay Pulls Mark Driscoll's Books from Shelves "In a move that had been rumored for some time,…
  • Pitching Product Promotions! Writing About Products You Love By Samantha Callender

    13 Aug 2014 | 10:00 am
    I struggled to find my footing in the freelance world of journalism. It seems that every pitch I was offering to major publications was being denied and the opportunity to earn money was slipping away. A lot of the rejections to my queries came with reasons like, "Your topic wouldn't be of interest to our readers." I couldn't particularly understand how my topics wouldn't be interesting to their readers. I tried to craft topics that pertained to the focus of the publication I was pitching. Then I realized...maybe they could see I wasn't particularly passionate about the topic I was trying to…
  • Can I Use A Picture I Found Online?

    13 Aug 2014 | 10:00 am
    I found some old photos on some websites. I want to use them in my book. From their aged appearance, it looks like they're in the public domain. Can I use them without permission?
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    Writing Forward

  • Are You Dedicated to Better Writing?

    Melissa Donovan
    19 Aug 2014 | 1:00 am
    Better writing starts with you. Today’s post is an edited excerpt from the introduction to 10 Core Practices for Better Writing, a book that aims to impart best practices in the craft of writing. “When I’m writing, I know I’m doing the thing I was born to do.” — Anne Sexton Words. They have the power to captivate the imagination, impart knowledge, express feelings, and share ideas. They are magical, and they are powerful. A writer makes things out of words: sentences and paragraphs, essays and articles, books, poems, stories, and scripts. We use writing to create,…
  • 10 Reasons Writers Should Learn Good Grammar

    Melissa Donovan
    14 Aug 2014 | 1:00 am
    Should you learn good grammar? Every writer I know has a different perspective on just how good grammar needs to be. Some are sticklers who insist on adhering to the highest standards of the literary order. Others are comfortable taking creative liberties and believe that breaking the rules is an art unto itself and a practice that should be embraced. Me? I’m somewhere in the middle. I believe that a writer who is dedicated to the craft will take the time and invest the energy required to master the most basic tools, grammar being foremost among them. But I also believe there are…
  • Poetry Writing Exercises: Alliteration and Assonance

    Melissa Donovan
    12 Aug 2014 | 1:00 am
    Poetry writing exercises: alliteration and assonance. Today’s poetry writing exercise is an excerpt from 101 Creative Writing Exercises. The exercises in 101 Creative Writing Exercises encourage you to experiment with different forms and genres while providing inspiration for publishable projects and imparting useful writing techniques that make your writing more robust. This poetry writing exercise is from “Chapter Eight: Free Verse.” It’s titled “Alliteration and Assonance.” This exercise covers two literary devices that make your writing more rhythmic and memorable. Enjoy!
  • Creative Writing Activities

    Melissa Donovan
    7 Aug 2014 | 1:00 am
    Take a break with these creative writing activities Every once in a while, we writers need a break from our regular writing routines. Whether we spend our work week crafting copy for clients or dedicate late-night hours pounding out chapter and verse, we occasionally need respite from the monotony. We get burnt out in the middle of a long project and need to step away so we can gain perspective and recharge our creativity. Sometimes we need to rejuvenate between projects. When a major project is finished, we need to find our next big idea. But we also want to keep writing. A short vacation…
  • How to Become a Better Writer

    Melissa Donovan
    5 Aug 2014 | 1:00 am
    How to become a better writer. There’s more to writing than pushing a pen across a piece of paper, and there’s more to being a writer than having written. These days, everyone’s a writer. We write emails, text messages, and lists. A free blog is just a few clicks away. Self-publishing has drawn tens of thousands of dreamers who have scrawled stories and uploaded them to the web for all to read. Everyone’s a writer, including you. But how do you differentiate yourself? How do you stand out from the crowd? How do you make your words and ideas resonate with a reading…
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    Grace Notes

  • St Clare and The Morning Offering

    Julianne McCullagh
    14 Aug 2014 | 1:14 pm
    photo by Peter Damour, Sacristan, St. Clare Parish *O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month. Amen.*The halls were cool. Large pale ceramic tiles lined the walls, the floors polished by Mr. Jensen, every afternoon, so I thought. We knew to be quiet and respectful in…
  • So Vast and Shattered

    Julianne McCullagh
    1 Aug 2014 | 7:05 pm
    This mosaic is composed of a handful of shapes repeated over and over to form five major faces and several minor ones on the canvas.Artwork by Daniel McCullagh  I've been listening to Leonard Cohen while I drive. He's got several songs that deal with brokenness and being shattered, and the Love that is so vast and shattered that it will reach us anywhere.So, with his lyrics dancing in my head I wanted to write a post on the state off being broken, our lives crashed around our ankles and the redemption and light that can arrive at the end of such a difficult journey, if we pray for…
  • June

    Julianne McCullagh
    10 Jun 2014 | 11:00 am
    This June marked the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Seventy years and the blood of those young men is still fresh in our collective memories.Most of those men were younger than my sons are now--my youngest on the verge of his 24th birthday, later this month.My mother would have turned 91 last week. My father died, after a long, long struggle, the day after my son's birthday. He was 94.When I was young, I assumed the rather practical mindset that when people get old you must expect them to die. Well, of course. We will all die. The more days we have lived past say, eighty or ninety, every day is a…
  • Light Breaks Blue

    Julianne McCullagh
    24 Mar 2014 | 5:05 pm
    Image courtesy of Frank1030's Flickr stream under Creative Commons It’s dark. He turns right, to the aurora of street lamps along Forest Park Drive, to the diluted light pushing its way through the trees that have arbored this area for generations. Wind whips up under his shirt and slaps his back. Jimmy steps out from the awning. A smoldering cigarette in one hand, an empty beer bottle in the other, he raises his arms over his head breathing in the cold, clean, wet dirt smell. His upturned face receives the sharp needles of rain. A baptism. The wind and rain pick up. A…
  • That Pesky Original Sin

    Julianne McCullagh
    6 Mar 2014 | 10:49 am
    Man, having been wounded in his nature by original sin, is subject to error and inclined to evil in exercising his freedom. (Catechism of the Catholic Church section 1714) One of the many things that has gone out of fashion over the years (it was only whispered in some circles that we were taught that our perfect selves are stained by the deliberate disobedience of a couple running around in a garden) that we return to is the teaching on Original Sin, particularly during Lent.  Why?Years ago, while I was teaching Baptism Prep to a group of parents, many who admitted that they hadn't…
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    Snappy Sentences

  • The new Snappy Sentences: From words to strategy

    Sally Bagshaw
    14 Aug 2014 | 5:06 pm
    I received my domain registration renewal notice for Snappy Sentences the other day. And for the first time in seven years, I didn’t immediately pay it. I hesitated. I wasn’t sure. You see, Snappy Sentences has evolved. When I first registered the business name in August 2007, I was in the midst of that awful ‘transition’ phase of becoming a freelance copywriter. It’s a well-worn path where you still work for an employer (in this case the Queensland Government) while frantically building up a client base so you can take the leap to independence—essentially working two jobs.  My…
  • Getting content marketing done

    Sally Bagshaw
    22 Jan 2014 | 3:19 pm
    This post was anonymously written as part of Blog Secret Santa. There’s a list of all Secret Santa posts, including one written by me, on Santa’s list of 2013 gift posts. I have to apologise for the tardiness in getting this post up. I’ve been working on some behind-the-scenes things on this site which caused the delay. Enjoy the post! This post is written by a secret admirer from the USA who has always loved all things Australian. AU, the postal abbreviation for Australia also stands for Gold, and for Access and Understanding. Content Marketing and content is all about…
  • SEO and content: 3 ways to improve your site today

    Sally Bagshaw
    7 Jan 2013 | 10:19 pm
    I run a free content strategy meetup in Brisbane for anyone interested in content-related topics. Our December meetup featured Iain Calvert, Strategy Director for Reload Media discussing SEO and content. As a copywriter and content strategist, I am asked about SEO a lot. In fact it’s one of the questions in my client brief! So it was fantastic Iain shared three simple ways to improve SEO by using content. Here’s a summary of his presentation. 1.     Build useful content online Google changes its algorithm daily, but the one thing that remains constant is the importance it places on…
  • Content strategy for small business: A podcast with the Australian Businesswoman’s Network

    Sally Bagshaw
    22 Mar 2012 | 9:33 pm
    A few weeks ago I was interviewed by Cat Matson and Suzi Dafnis for a podcast in the ABN’s series on Social Media for Small Business. The topic was content strategy and small business – how you can take control of your content and some tips on what to focus on first. I really enjoyed the discussion (although it’s always strange to hear how your own voice sounds when it’s recorded!), and was really happy that content strategy was included in the series. Listen to the podcast here: The Power of a Strong Web Content Strategy. The post Content strategy for small business: A…
  • Business Balloon: the best speakers, the best ideas

    Sally Bagshaw
    28 Jan 2012 | 8:56 pm
    Happy 2012! This year is already shaping up to be another exciting one for me, with lots of great projects planned including another trip to the US in May to go to Confab. To kickstart everything I’m thrilled to announce I’ll be speaking at the next Business Balloon day which will be on 14 February 2012 at Iceworks in Paddington (Brisbane). Business Balloon poster Here’s my presentation outline from the website: “First impressions count—and poorly written, inconsistent, or unclear content will erode your brand and destroy the trust of your customers. Sally will take you through…
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    Mysterious Matters: Mystery Publishing Demystified

  • So Much Revelation! So Little Space!

    6 Aug 2014 | 6:47 pm
    I just finished a classic mystery published by The Crime Club in 1931. The title: The Midnight Mail, by Henry Holt. I like to dip my toes into classic waters a few times a year, and I'm usually happy with the choice I've made. I've always liked Holt and have read quite a number of his books. So I expect them to be good, and this one was. Holt does something in this book that I find remarkable every time I see it done. What's more, I see this particular thing done so rarely, it becomes all the more remarkable for that reason. So what is this thing, you ask? Let me explain.
  • You Got Rejected Because ..

    16 Jul 2014 | 9:21 am
    ... you referred to your manuscript as a "fiction novel." ... your book was previously published by an e-book publisher and now you want a print version of it. ... the first paragraph of your cover letter had misspellings or grammatical errors. ... you sent me a boilerplate email telling me you are "seeking representation." I'm not an agent. ... you want me to publish something that you have already self-published (badly) on Amazon. ... your manuscript was 150,000 words. ... I don't like or trust your agent. ... your book has no marketing handles, no easily-told…
  • Let's Hear It for Pulp

    3 Jul 2014 | 4:13 pm
    I am in the middle of editing a manuscript that I really like. It's fast-paced, with a good lead character, some well-defined supporting people, and plenty of twists and turns. It's a mystery, but it's pushing into the thriller category. I just hit the halfway mark and it hit me: I'm editing pulp, and I'm loving it. I can't say I've ever made a study of pulp. A quick scan of the Internet shows me that there are sites devoted to worshipping it. Just from some fast reading, I think the term originated with magazines and short stories (alas, a dying art due to…
  • Look at Your Protagonist

    22 Jun 2014 | 5:48 pm
    WARNING: Very light spoiler regarding GONE GIRL. But written in a way that doesn't give too much away. One of the things I struggle with (perpetually) is how to edit protagonists. On the one hand, I like a flawed and imperfect protagonist. And books with such protagonists can be quite successful, as GONE GIRL has demonstrated (though I even wonder about this, as the "imperfect protagonist" comes about after a massive switcheroo from being a highly sympathetic protagonist). The side of me that likes new, interesting, and experimental fiction feels energized and challenged by an…
  • Deep Thoughts (or Not) on the State of the Industry

    1 Jun 2014 | 6:20 pm
    Quite a while between posts, I know. I try to blog only when I have something quasi-interesting to say, and this has been a pretty busy spring. The house is having some good successes this season in terms of sales and publicity, and I've just bought two books, so I'm feeling in touch with my mojo.  All of this does get in the way of blogging, but I couldn't do THIS if I didn't do THAT, so here I am. This week I'm thinking about all the problems with Hachette and Amazon, and how all of this interacts with vanity publishing. Because I'm not sure that all of the…
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    Punctuality Rules!

  • What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

    13 Aug 2014 | 6:23 pm
    Here’s a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. If I were doing something else, what would it be? Or, how about: If I could do anything I wanted, what would it be? Sometimes life imposes changes that you have to make, and this can be hard and frustrating. Heart-breaking. Terrifying. Life changes are scary, people. But, here’s the thing. Change can be scary, but it also opens up the door to so many possibilities you might not even be aware of. I’ve been told by many people who lost their jobs or otherwise had unforeseen Life Changes forced upon them that, after…
  • What Have You Written for YOUR Business Lately?

    4 Aug 2014 | 4:05 pm
    Physician Heal Thyself: The Writers’ Edition How can you call yourself a copy-writer if you can’t sell yourself? Here’s a nice little catch-22 for you. How many copy-writer freelancers do you know? People who write sales copy (and other things) for their clients? More importantly—Are they promoting themselves? Everyone is agreed that, if you want to succeed as a freelancer, you need to promote yourself and your business. Ads. Blogs. Personal recommendations. Twitter. LinkedIn. Word of mouth. Links in articles. Websites. Guest posts. You’ve heard them all, right? But, how many…
  • Word Crimes

    16 Jul 2014 | 2:42 pm
    I never thought I would love Weird Al Yankovic, well, at all, but right now? I think he’s wonderful! If you haven’t seen/heard this yet, you absolutely must. No, seriously. You must hear this!
  • Get it Out There

    25 Jun 2014 | 8:03 pm
    So, say you’ve been writing for years. You’ve pretty much mastered the niceties of punctuation, you know your grammar and can parse a sentence with the best of them. Your vocabulary would blow away the SAT people, and you read, read, read just like all the writing books recommend. Yet, you still can’t get people to read your work. Queries get returned with “not interested, go away” stamped on their envelopes. Articles come back with “Are you kidding?” Your book has been out on submission for so long, you think it’s run away and is sitting in…
  • Has Communication Really Changed?

    20 Feb 2012 | 8:26 pm
    I was watching Downton Abbey the other night, and there’s a scene where the Dowager Countess, played by the wonderful Maggie Smith, is trying to work her wiles on a bureaucrat via telephone, and at one point looks at the receiver and says something* like, “Is this a a communication device or a torture device?” This is a perfect line in the show, because the Dowager Countess has already expressed her distrust of new things, shielding her eyes from the imagined rays of electricity emitting from the chandelier in season one. But it also made me think of how communication has…
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    Nicola Furlong » Blog

  • Top 10 Gardening Tips by Nicola Furlong

    Nicola Furlong
    25 Jul 2014 | 9:26 am
    GARDENERS – KINDLE FREEBIE TODAY! >>>Top 10 Gardening Tips
  • Nicola Furlong – What’s on Your Bucket List?

    Nicola Furlong
    22 Jul 2014 | 3:52 pm
    A girl driven by an astonishing dream…a piebald horse gifted with a remarkable destiny…the unlikely pair galloping towards the chance of a lifetime. I’ve just been enraptured by a BBC radio production of National Velvet. The wonderful story steered me to thinking of my bucket list. No, I don’t want to ride in the Grand National, but since I’ve already checked off mushing in the Canadian Arctic, what’s left? Here’s a hint: What’s covered in maple leaves and flies through cold air on a ridiculously thin edge? Find out in my new interview on the…
  • Heartsong by Nicola Furlong Now Available as Nook Book

    Nicola Furlong
    3 Jul 2014 | 5:13 pm
    Really glad to have HEARTSONG, my fun, family tale about the Shepherds and their struggles to succeed in the plant nursery biz, now available for the Nook. So, all you Nook book folks, time to drop by and smell the blossoms at the Sweet Shepherd nursery. Join sisters Faith, Hope and Charly for some laughs, tears and great treats! One recent reader gave it four stars saying, “This is a delightful read about a family sharing their lives, problems, and a greenhouse business, suitable for young adults as well as adults. There is an element of mystery as Charly and her sisters try to trace…
  • Heartsong Featured on BookGoodies

    Nicola Furlong
    28 Jun 2014 | 11:17 am
    Heartsong is featured today on BookGoodies, a great site that highlights the best in books. If you’ve read my fun tale about a family blooming in the plant nursery biz, love to have comments. If not, perhaps the excerpt will germinate a seed of interest? The post Heartsong Featured on BookGoodies appeared first on Nicola Furlong.
  • Nicola Furlong – Guest Blogger Mustard Seed Author’s Corner

    Nicola Furlong
    28 May 2014 | 8:09 am
    Am very fortunate to be a guest blogger in the Author’s Corner, part of the Mustard Seed website. Have a gander and grab the chance to read an excerpt from my new women’s fiction novel, HEARTSONG. The post Nicola Furlong – Guest Blogger Mustard Seed Author’s Corner appeared first on Nicola Furlong.
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    Sean McManus's Writing blog

  • Download ScratchJr for free on the iPad

    Sean McManus
    30 Jul 2014 | 4:46 am
    The team behind the Scratch programming language has released ScratchJr for the iPad, following a successful Kickstarter campaign which I was pleased to support with a small donation. ScratchJr is aimed at younger children, aged 5 to 7 years old, and has a simplified interface and set of blocks for making scripts. It has some great looking graphics, and the blocks can be used to create some
  • Top 10 Tips: How to design applications for Google Glass

    Sean McManus
    28 Jul 2014 | 7:55 am
    At this month's Londroid Meetup at Skills Matter, there was a chance for developers to learn more about how to create successful apps for Google Glass. It presented an opportunity to see the devices, but most importantly, a chance to hear from Google representatives about what Google has learned about making Glass apps through trial and error. Senior developer advocates Hoi Lam and Timothy Jordan
  • Avoiding the race condition bug in Scratch

    Sean McManus
    3 Jul 2014 | 1:08 am
    When I discovered Scratch, I was fascinated to see that the language enables you to put scripts on different sprites, or multiple scripts on the same sprite, that appear to execute at the same time. This is a bit like threading, an advanced programming technique that enables you (in very basic terms) to have different bits of a program executing in parallel (at the same time). There is a special
  • See my photos and read my review from the UK Google Glass showcase

    Sean McManus
    30 Jun 2014 | 3:26 am
    At the weekend, I visited Google's showcase for Google Glass in London, following the recent announcement that Glass was going on sale in the UK for the first time. I was concerned that there would be huge queues and little opportunity to try the devices, but we experienced no significant wait and had plenty of opportunities to try what we wanted to on the devices. The event had a relaxed feel to
  • Designing the Scratch game Shaun the Sheep Football

    Sean McManus
    22 Jun 2014 | 3:56 am
    I blogged last week about the fantastic Shaun the Sheep character and prop sprites that Aardman has made available for Scratch games, and how you can extract them to use them in your own games. I've now published my own Scratch game using them, Shaun the Sheep Football (also embedded at the end of this blog post). Screenshot: The pigs shoot at the goal in Shaun the Sheep Football Once I'd
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    Jess C Scott :: Singapore Politics, Etc.

  • Fifty Shades: William Giraldi / Jennifer Hamady / Lily Zheng

    Jess C Scott
    14 Aug 2014 | 9:37 pm
    A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I was working on an article about quality sexual literature. The article is titled Beyond the Hype of Fifty Shades of Grey, and can be viewed in full at the OpEdNews website: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Beyond-the-Hype-of-Fifty-S-by-Jess-C-Scott-Books_Culture_Sex_Sex-140814-381.html The article features the expert opinions of ten professionals in the fields of academia, psychology, and media communications, who comment on the cultural implications of the series and share their recommendations for quality sexual literature. I received some VERY…
  • Fifty Shades: Lonnie Barbach / Tania De Rozario / Avital Norman Nathman / Russell J Stambaugh

    Jess C Scott
    14 Aug 2014 | 9:37 pm
    My article Beyond the Hype of Fifty Shades of Grey features the expert opinions of ten professionals who comment on the cultural implications of the series, and share their recommendations for quality sexual literature. I received some VERY lengthy and passionate responses, which I have compiled here on my blog, divided into three different posts. I could only feature excerpts in the above article, due to space constraints. Here are the full responses of the guest contributors #4-7! P.S. Check out Part 1 and Part 3 for the full replies of the other guests. 4. Lonnie Barbach, couple’s…
  • Fifty Shades: Russ Linton / Cliff Burns / Nick Shamhart

    Jess C Scott
    14 Aug 2014 | 9:36 pm
    My article Beyond the Hype of Fifty Shades of Grey features the expert opinions of ten professionals who comment on the cultural implications of the series, and share their recommendations for quality sexual literature. I received some VERY lengthy and passionate responses, which I have compiled here on my blog, divided into three different posts. I could only feature excerpts in the above article, due to space constraints. Here are the full responses of the guest contributors #8-10! P.S. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 for the full replies of the other guests. 8. Russ Linton, speculative fiction…
  • The Flag as a National Symbol

    Jess C Scott
    8 Aug 2014 | 2:06 pm
    Singapore National Flag A short reflection on the symbolism of a national flag, on Singapore’s 49th National Day (9 August). A flag is just a piece of cloth flown from a mast or pole. Yet, every country in the world has its own flag. This is because a flag is a powerful symbol of a country, its people and most importantly of national pride and patriotism. On Singapore’s National Day, let us give some thought to our national flag. 1. The moon in the Singapore flag represents the youthful nation on the rise. The five stars stand for the nation’s ideals: equality, justice, peace,…
  • A Note About…Mystery Man

    Jess C Scott
    28 Jul 2014 | 1:51 pm
    Some of you may have noticed that I have been considerably slower this year with writing, blogging, and general social media activities. The reasons are both personal and professional. On the personal level, I got into a challenging (i.e. long distance) yet fulfilling relationship with Mystery Man at the end of 2012. This has had a profound influence on my outlook on life. Professionally, as an independent publisher, a number of my books in the “erotica” or “erotic fiction” genre have been systematically banned or deleted by retailers because they deem the content obscene or…
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    Mike Fook Books - Ebooks | Fiction Thrillers

  • Goal: Climb 10,000 Vertical Meters in August?

    16 Aug 2014 | 10:47 pm
    There’s no question, it’s the goal. I was thinking 7,000 or something and then a friend chimed in – hey, why not 10,000? So, that’s what it became. I’ve not done that many vertical meters in a month before, or even close to it in the past, but it is not beyond reason. So far so good – I’m at 5,280 meters and climbing again today. As long as the crucial bits (knees, ankles, quads, feet) hold together, I’ll be celebrating at the end of the month. It has been a bit of a struggle to get the climbs in because we’re going through sporadic…
  • Writing Code – Day 2

    7 Aug 2014 | 3:17 am
    Just a quick update. Day 2 writing code. I’m learning how to write Objective C and how to use the XCode interface which helps developers build applications for iPhones and iPads. It couldn’t be more ridiculous and abstract. I’d love to meet the clowns that made this language up. I picture a couple of toucans squawking to each other, shaking their heads in unison, and writing this shit down. None of it makes a damn bit of sense to me at this time. This is precisely where I put a stop to the madness a few times in years prior. I’ve come right up to this point and all the…
  • Dreaming About My Old Best Friend

    6 Aug 2014 | 7:03 am
    I’ve been having some great dreams about my old best friend growing up. We knew each other from kindergarten I think it was, possibly before that. Just cannot remember clearly enough to remember which age exactly, but we grew up together on the same street. His family was like my second family. We spent thousands of hours together growing up I guess. It might be that I’m missing good friends in general after 10 years in Thailand. It might be that my friend (or I) will die soon. I don’t know… I did have a weird feeling the last time some people close to us died. At the…
  • Reinventing Myself as a Writer… of Code

    5 Aug 2014 | 8:48 pm
    I was looking at the Forbes list of billionaires the other day. I know I need to stop mucking around and just do this, but it has been such a long time in coming. I’ve constantly reinvented myself over the last 30 years since I became an ‘adult’. 1984-1987 US Air Force – administrative duties, post office mailman, classified information destruction 1988-1991 Freelance photographer, slide duplication and color correction specialist 1992-1996 Psychology student – BA, MA. Working with people in the mental health system in various capacities. Big Brother. 1997-1998…
  • High School Graduation – Freedumb is Yours

    3 Aug 2014 | 8:44 pm
    This is from part of a chapter in my Kicking Life’s Ass! book, which I renamed to “The Ultimate Life!” If you have kids graduating from high school – read it over and throw it their way. Freedumb As you graduate from high school you’re in the best position you were EVER IN during your entire life. You’re in control of your life. Some of you know you are in control, most of you though, won’t see it. Most of you will follow the crowd. Are your friends going to college? You’ll probably do the same.  Are your friends working at the factory?
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    About that Writing thing.

  • Dragons, Wights, Giants, White Walkers yes! Brown people Not so Much.

    Shannon Barber
    11 Aug 2014 | 3:38 pm
    First read this where George R.R Martin sort of addresses his franchises race problem. This jumped out at me: In June, a fan asked Martin: “There are a white race, a black race in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, and many other races. Why there is no Asian race (Chinese-like, Japanese-like) in the Game of Thrones show and ASOIAF books?” Martin replied: Well, Westeros is the fantasy analogue of the British Isles in its world, so it is a long long way from the Asia analogue. There weren’t a lot of Asians in Yorkish England either. That is not to suggest that such places don’t exist,…
  • On freelancing research and whatnot.

    Shannon Barber
    5 Aug 2014 | 3:28 pm
    Okay first thing. To the person coming in to tell me to “stop whining” about white people, fuck off. You come in trying to cheerfully do something, anonymously grow a spine or stay the fuck out. Okay now new business. I have been doing a lot of research on getting myself more freelance paid work. Given the subject matter I like writing about generally speaking mingled with uh, the dearth of writers of color at a lot of the venues I have been introduced to I’m feeling a little uh, unsettled. I’m not awesome at writing on spec all the time and that is a skill I am…
  • On Ambition and publication news

    Shannon Barber
    1 Aug 2014 | 6:56 pm
    First the publication news. I wrote a poem about/inspired by my dear friend Haddayr and it got picked up at Leaves of Ink. I’ve known Haddayr around the intertubes for years now and there is something about her that just touches me in my soul area and I love her so much I want to hug her until she farts and then we can laugh and yell and probably fall down. This poem was inspired by something she said and I am so so honored it got published. ALSO she is a kick ass fucking writer. Seriously. Essays, fiction. Read her. Next I had an essay edited and published by Antonia Mother fucking…
  • Dear Authors an Open Letter to Writers

    Shannon Barber
    25 Jul 2014 | 5:05 pm
    Dear Authors, I recently finished reading Ghost Story by Peter Straub.(This is an affiliate link sorry) Overall it was an entertaining yarn. I’m not super familiar with his ouevre but some of what I’ve read was pretty good. And then this. Okay look, can we stop with the mystical magical negro? Also can we not denote said mystical magical negro with some heavily antiquated shuck n jive, minstrel (yeah the one Black man in this book…minstrel..you know) every old black man is a blues man who speaks in raspy jazzy baritone with a lot of I be’s and shit. Fuck. Really?
  • Writing Process Blog Tour.

    Shannon Barber
    15 Jul 2014 | 2:21 pm
    So a new homie Sarah Crawford invited me to participate in this. You can see her contribution over here. Okay let’s go. 1. What are you currently working on? I am mostly in the process of figuring out how to do my freelance stuff and do my fictions and not completely freak out. One of the things I’m having trouble with is writing some really heavy shit (See here) and remaining engaged but not getting pulled into bullshit or lingering on it.  Because I write about hard shit from a very personal in my feelings perspective, dealing with the hate mail and the rage directed at me…
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  • The Actor

    19 Aug 2014 | 11:45 am
    To find his character, Sauvageau spent the months leading up to his show in gambling dens all over New York City. His performance was perfect. His bankruptcy is pending.
  • The Introvert

    19 Aug 2014 | 11:02 am
    Ford walked into the forest thirteen days ago. He left a note on his kitchen counter, “I can no longer bear the weight of incessant invitation.”
  • How to Cure Writer's Block

    19 Aug 2014 | 9:57 am
    Lacking a story, the writer turned to bourbon, which turned into two nights in jail and seven new stories in the vault.
  • The Four Stages of Fame

    19 Aug 2014 | 9:04 am
    For many years, his phone didn’t ring at all. Then everyone wanted him. Then, when they couldn’t get him, they wanted his “type”. And then, when the public had finally seen enough, his phone fell silent, and was disconnected on a sunny Thursday morning in July.
  • Death and Taxes

    19 Aug 2014 | 8:03 am
    Having achieved immortality, the celebrated writer turned his genius toward the more difficult problem of paying taxes.
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    Writing from the Twelfth House

  • A psychological approach to the Tarot, Part Two: the clients’ perspective

    Anne Whitaker
    18 Aug 2014 | 12:36 pm
    This two-part article is an attempt to explore the Tarot. The first installment, ‘Introducing the Tarot: a psychological perspective’should have given the reader some idea of the depth from which the tarot can be approached, of issues raised by its practice, and of how it can be used as a valuable aid to self-development. Here, the second part presents feedback from two clients, one female – Anya – and one male – Marc. They were chosen for the way in which they brought together, in their respective accounts, elements of most people’s responses to the tarot creatively and…
  • Introducing the Tarot: a psychological perspective

    Anne Whitaker
    15 Aug 2014 | 8:54 am
     Tarot cards, in the richness and variety of their images and symbols, have exerted a fascination over the human mind and imagination for hundreds of years. Just as the origins of the tarot itself are shadowy and mysterious, so participating in a tarot reading can transport both the reader and client to a level of experience which defies the linear world of the rational mind, yet holds it own validity and wisdom. People regard tarot cards with feelings ranging from the wary and fearful, to the gullible and accepting, to the angry and dismissive – they are rarely indifferent. A reading,…
  • The woods are lovely, dark and deep…

    Anne Whitaker
    4 Aug 2014 | 2:14 pm
    We’ve been on a week’s holiday up in the far North-West of Scotland this week. I’ve been getting my old boots on again, feeling the deep joy of walking the land which birthed most of my ancestors. There’s nothing I love better than being in the middle of nowhere, preferably amongst old trees, with a river nearby, and a track leading up the hillside to reveal magnificent sea views at the top. Wind, rain sometimes (this is Scotland, after all!), hawks, fleeting deer. Absence of people. Presence of silence, broken only by sounds of wind and water. How I love tramping…
  • Night Sea Journey – and Return

    Anne Whitaker
    25 Jul 2014 | 10:01 pm
    “One does not discover new land without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time” Andre Gide It is 530 am: birds are singing their hearts out in the park near our home. I can hear the river running. It’s been a wonderfully warm, sunny summer in Glasgow. Usually the rain capital of Scotland, we are being granted heat and warmth for what promises to be a joyous, welcoming Commonwealth Games here in the city.  I feel vital, alive, engaged – full of gratitude for my sense of well-being. So my wish is that those of you out there currently going through dark…
  • Places of Healing – returning to the Orkney Isles

    Anne Whitaker
    18 Jul 2014 | 2:26 am
    The Orkney Isles (http://mappery.com/Orkney-Islands-Map) As some of you will have gathered from Facebook posts and pictures in June this year, Ian and I returned again recently to what has become one of our favourite places. I’ve been asked by a number of people to re-publish this post, to remind them of Orkney’s beguiling qualities. I’d also like new Followers of the blog to know about Orkney. So – here it is. Enjoy, and let me know what you think. Better still, go there! (No, I don’t have a retainer from the tourist board…) History “ Scratch Orkney, and…
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    Working Writers

  • Be an Author Book Bloggers Love

    7 Aug 2014 | 7:03 am
    I’ve been fortunate enough to interview a lot of authors. Hundreds, in fact. Some were fabulous and I wished I could have crawled through my computer monitor and hugged them. And some? Meh. The problem is the ones that were “meh” are also the ones who seemed to be the most difficult to work with. Authors […]
  • How Much Social Influence Do You Have?

    19 Jun 2014 | 5:44 am
    Part of the challenge in determining what your platform really is involves numbers. It’s not just the Twitter or Facebook numbers you have but the way you use social networking. Someone with 3,000 Twitter followers can actually have more influence than someone with ten times that amount simply because they know how to engage properly. […]
  • Where to Move if You’re a Writer on a Whim

    Guest Post
    13 Jun 2014 | 6:45 am
    Writers need inspiration to create, and while that can come from music, energy, or a favorite pen, the locale is important too. Traditionally, New York City and Los Angeles attract writers in droves, but now they’re packed with wordsmiths. There are so many other, arguably better places to seek adventure—and your fortune—if you’re looking to […]
  • What Fonts Say About A Logo

    Guest Post
    29 May 2014 | 5:33 pm
    If your logo includes some text, you will need to dedicate some effort to selecting exactly which font to use. This is not small task. The wrong font can destroy an otherwise decent logo. Let’s take a look at how fonts effect logos. Convey A Specific Message Logos are important because they convey some information […]
  • Fantastic and Timeless Public Domain Books You Should Read

    Guest Post
    20 May 2014 | 9:06 am
    If you have an e-reader and you are downloading torrents of books to read, it is important to make sure that you are downloading books that are in the public domain or where the copyrights holder has authorized or licensed free downloading, and that are not violating copyright. This is a matter of legality and […]
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    Sara Dobie Bauer's Blog

  • ATTENTION: Help raise money for Damian’s 19,000 mile bike ride to support mental health

    13 Aug 2014 | 11:44 am
    I was once thrown into the Salt River by a guy named Damian. I forgave this because he is a cool dude with good taste in movies. Then, I heard he was doing something REALLY COOL that did not involve throwing women into rivers. Damian will be embarking on a one-year, 19,000-mile bike trip from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, all the way to the bottom of the world: Ushuaia, Argentina. He will be doing this solo ride to help raise public awareness of the benefits that regular exercise offers to those battling mental illness. He will raise money for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, specifically…
  • Daniel Radcliffe’s What If: The next When Harry Met Sally

    11 Aug 2014 | 9:35 am
    Wallace is jaded, British, and wandering through life in Toronto when he meets his best friend’s cousin, Chantry. They form an immediate connection through offbeat humor and a general distaste for small talk. They leave the party together, and Chantry gives Wallace her number only to make it quite clear that she has a BOYFRIEND named Ben. Wallace, still recovering from his cheating ex-girlfriend, tosses Chantry’s number. Of course, a little thing like that can’t keep them apart, and they soon become best of friends. But can men and women really be just friends? This is the set up for…
  • I Am a Farmer’s Wife

    29 Jul 2014 | 3:58 pm
    I take all the credit for my husband realizing his dream. No, but really, I met this lovely girl named Kate through prison book club. She was not an inmate but a volunteer. I met her for coffee to prep for her first steps into Perryville Prison, and she mentioned she worked at an organic farm. My husband, Jake, was totally into farming at the time. Well, I mean, he liked growing things in our backyard. I even bought him a couple classes at Desert Botanical Gardens just so he could see, for sure, what he thought of this whole planting things in the ground thing. I asked Kate if I could bring…
  • STEAMPUNK REVIEW: The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato

    17 Jul 2014 | 11:01 am
    Thanks to Urban Dictionary, I can better explain steampunk. (Ah-hem.) Steampunk literature “is a subgenre of speculative fiction, usually set in an anachronistic Victorian or quasi-Victorian alternate history setting. It could be described by the slogan, ‘What the past would look like if the future had happened sooner.’” AH! See, I get it now! I didn’t get it until I got the chance to read my very first steampunk novel, The Clockwork Dagger by Arizona author Beth Cato. There was some further confusion when I realized a “clockwork dagger” is not actually a shiny knife covered…
  • An H and Five Ws with debut steampunk author Beth Cato

    15 Jul 2014 | 10:03 am
    Beth Cato writes about wild adventures on airships. She writes about mechanical gremlins and sexy (sexy) stewards with long hair. She is a Steampunk Goddess. She is also soft-spoken, beautiful, and fond of spending time with neurotic other writers, namely me. Our husbands set Beth and I up on a blind date over a year ago, because we were both “artists.” We fell into friendship easily, because indeed, we were both “artists” with quite a lot in common (including a love for British TV). When the news came that her debut, The Clockwork Dagger, had been picked up by Harper…
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    Elizabeth Spann Craig

  • Mystery Writing–Familial DNA

    Elizabeth Spann Craig
    17 Aug 2014 | 9:03 pm
    by D.J. Swykert, @djswykert The Death of Anyone (Melange Books; February 2013 trade paperback and ebook formats) is a fictional story in which a Familial DNA search is a key investigative component. This is a unique DNA search technique not in common use, only two states even have a written policy. With forensic evidence increasingly important in solving current real-life cases and now being introduced into trials I thought it would make an interesting plot for a story. I first heard about the use of Familial DNA working as a 911 operator in 2006. It came up in a conversation with officers…
  • Twitterific Writing Links

    Elizabeth Spann Craig
    16 Aug 2014 | 9:02 pm
    by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig Twitterific links are fed into the Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine (developed by writer and software engineer Mike Fleming) which has over 23,000 free articles on writing related topics. It’s the search engine for writers. Why joining a writing group may be the best thing you do:  http://ow.ly/AhPc4 @standoutbooks Hugh Howey weighs in on the Hachette and Amazon contretemps:  http://ow.ly/AnFKb @HughHowey The Crash: Braving Your Second Draft:  http://ow.ly/AkI2Q @KMWeiland How to Write Faster and Get Organized with Scrivener: …
  • More Thoughts on Wattpad

    Elizabeth Spann Craig
    14 Aug 2014 | 9:02 pm
    By Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig I blogged in May that I was giving the publishing platform Wattpad a go.  I was somewhat worried about this decision at the time, wondering if my octogenarian protagonist and I would fit in among the youthful readers on the site. From May to August, I went from several reads to steadily increasing reads.  Nothing I’d call spectacular.  But each day or couple of days I’d get a notification that I had someone else following (I think of them more as subscribers of) my story.  The number of reads (not readers, reads of each chapter) grew and with…
  • Write What You DON’T Know (Part One)

    Elizabeth Spann Craig
    10 Aug 2014 | 9:02 pm
    by Virginia King, @selkiemoonbooks All new writers are advised to “write what you know” because sticking to your own experience is a recipe for authenticity, for not getting lost in unchartered territory. It goes hand in hand with character profiles and plot maps – nailing your story down so the writing is an exercise in fleshing out the bones. But are great stories pre-formed in the minds of their authors? And is this process fun? Miles Davis told his musicians, “Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.” He wanted them to lose themselves, to let the music take them…
  • Twitterific Writing Links

    Elizabeth Spann Craig
    9 Aug 2014 | 9:02 pm
    by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig Twitterific links are fed into the Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine (developed by writer and software engineer Mike Fleming) which has over 23,000 free articles on writing related topics. It’s the search engine for writers. Direct Sale Venues For Authors:  http://ow.ly/zZKWz @mollygreene Hidden Emotions: How To Tell Readers What Characters Don’t Want To Show:  http://ow.ly/zZLxB @angelaackerman 8 Story Fixes http://ow.ly/A1A7n @JaredMGordon                Microsoft Word versus Apple Pages: —A comparative review: …
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    Litopia All Shows

  • Colossal Ape Terrorises Wikipedia

    Litopia Writers Colony
    18 Aug 2014 | 7:01 am
    So you’re minding your own business in the jungle one day, when suddenly - this monkey lurches out and grabs your camera. And shoots some selfies. So the question is – who owns the copyright? No, this isn’t the silly season (although it may sound like it). Join us to explore a fascinating legal issue. Links to other stories featured in this show: Wikipedia In Weird Monkey Selfie Battle Northestern Uni files suit against author for copyright infringement Senator Quits Montana Race After Charge Of Plagiarism Tennis Writer Suspended for Plagiarism Allegation Mob Kills Woman And 2 Girls…
  • Robert Coover – The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop.

    15 Aug 2014 | 4:55 am
    Like a precocious fireballer at top of the prospect rankings … a kid who has shown so much promise and from whom so much is expected … who has three plus pitches and is working on a fourth … whose intangibles are as off the charts as his athleticism … who is putting it all together at AAA and knocking at the door … who will make men look like boys … and who ends up THE OPPOSITE OF ALL THOSE THINGS – that’s this book. Download the mp3 file Subscribe in iTunes From recent débuts to classics, fiction to non-fiction, memoirs, philosophy, science, history and journalism, Burning…
  • Neville Staple - Original Rude Boy

    12 Aug 2014 | 12:52 pm
    The Specials were one of the most important, vital and influential bands to come out of the post-punk explosion, the band who created the 2-Tone movement. The Coventry-based Ska combo had eight Top Ten hits including ‘A Message To You Rudy’, and the chart-toppers ‘Ghost Town’ and ‘Too Much Too Young.’ And right at the heart of them was Garry’s guest tonight Neville Staple, the roadie who became a star and then went on to have seven more hits with his next band The Fun Boy Three. Although badly hurt in a car crash a couple of years ago, the irrepressible Nev continues to work…
  • Kramer Versus The World

    Litopia Writers Colony
    11 Aug 2014 | 8:19 am
    Is the world getting weirder, or is it just us?  Listen and decide.  Links to stories mentioned in this show: Harper Lee says Marja Mills-penned bio was unauthorized Judge Says Selling Religious Books Doesn’t Affect The Job Jose Antonio Vargas detained in Texas Do you have a fair use right to publish World Cup goals? Scarlett Johansson Wins Defamation Suit Against French Author Allan Ahlberg turns down Amazon-sponsored award Author Wins Seinfeld Defamation Suit Brought by Real Life Kramer Download the show as mp3 file Subscribe in iTunes
  • The Greatest Escape

    Litopia Writers Colony
    26 Jul 2014 | 12:53 pm
    You may think you know about World War Two… but you don’t. Tonight you’ll find out why. Featuring blistering contributions from our special guests Peter Grose, author of The Greatest Escape, and journalist & WWII maven, Neill Denny. Scintillating conversation and scorching debate… from Boy Scouts to Gaza, from Obamacare to Style Nazis (what?). Provocative, informative, addictive. See you next week, Litopians! Download the show as an audio file Subscribe in iTunes If you enjoy Litopia's FREE shows, please help us to keep going by making a donation!
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    Nitpickers' Nook

  • When to step in

    Columbia Books, LLC
    18 Aug 2014 | 3:34 pm
    Strike a balance between micromanaging and having too much of a laissez-faire attitude toward employees’ performance. Apply the “Rule of 3” to know when to take action. After three instances of performance problems, step in to coach or discipline the employee. Of course, in the case of egregious problems you need to act right away. The Rule of 3 applies to the types of performance issues that many managers allow to fester. On the other hand, when an employee has showed mastery of a task three times, you should delegate more responsibility or set new goals that will build on the skills…
  • 4 ways to focus on the speaker

    Columbia Books, LLC
    15 Aug 2014 | 11:41 am
    To listen well you must resist the urge to pipe in your thoughts and experiences about the topic before the speaker finishes making his or her points. Practice following—rather than leading—the conversation with these four strategies: Encourage. Silent nods and other gestures of support indicate that you want to hear more. Inquire. Phrase questions so the speaker continues talking about the topic. Elaborate. Express your comments based on the speaker’s perspective. Redirect. Whenever possible, turn the conversation back to the speaker and away from you. — Adapted from “Dr. Ray…
  • 4 statements you should never tell staff

    Columbia Books, LLC
    13 Aug 2014 | 6:19 am
    You are the boss, and employees are taking note of everything you say. Avoid causing morale, productivity, attitude and engagement problems by never uttering these four phrases: “I’m the boss.” You are, but that should never be your justification for making a decision—especially an unpopular one. If employees feel they have no say because “You’re the boss,” they’ll disconnect from the work. “That customer is driving me nuts.” If you speak badly of customers, employees will too. Emphasize that every customer is important to your business—even the most challenging ones.
  • What to say when … a discussion has stalled

    Columbia Books, LLC
    8 Aug 2014 | 11:36 am
    Your team members have discussed a subject to death without reaching consensus. Break the deadlock by “polling” team members. Polling allows team members to cast a nonbinding vote based on the information they have so far. Say: “We’ve been going over these same few points for more than 45 minutes. Let’s take a quick vote and see what everyone would do if we had to make the decision right now. If we agree, we’ll move on to the next agenda item. If not, we’ll keep talking.” If members resume their bickering, say: “Yes, you made that point earlier. But if we had to come up with…
  • Standardize verbs when giving technical instructions

    Columbia Books, LLC
    6 Aug 2014 | 12:52 am
    When you write instructions for computer and software use, establish the following guidelines to describe keyboard actions. Write: Press when a keyboard key interaction is required to perform a particular function. Example: Press Y to continue. Note: Do not use depress, strike, hit or type to describe those interactions. Use for navigation purposes with an arrow key or when pressing multiple keys at the same time will initiate a command. Example: Use the arrow keys to move up and down in the document. Type when a user should enter information that appears on the screen. Example: Type your…
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    The Write One Blog

  • Book Marketing On Facebook – 3 Methods To Boost Exposure

    Stefanie Newell
    28 Jul 2014 | 8:24 pm
    View On YouTube | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Book marketing on Facebook creates a unique opportunity for authors looking to gain maximum exposure for their books. Imagine creating a post that’s shared to your target ... The post Book Marketing On Facebook – 3 Methods To Boost Exposure appeared first on The Write One Blog.
  • How Writing A Book Can Advance Your Career

    Stefanie Newell
    23 Jul 2014 | 10:00 am
    View On YouTube | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Are you a professional looking to advance your career by writing a book? Author Stefanie Newell is interviewed by Eric B. Horn and shares exactly how writing ... The post How Writing A Book Can Advance Your Career appeared first on The Write One Blog.
  • 10 Things I’ve Learned As A Self-Published Writer

    Stefanie Newell
    21 Jul 2014 | 7:37 am
    The last six years as a self-published author have been transformative for me – both personally and professionally. I’ve accomplished a lot in the course of six years. I have also had a ton of highs ... The post 10 Things I’ve Learned As A Self-Published Writer appeared first on The Write One Blog.
  • How To Have A Successful Book Signing

    Stefanie Newell
    14 Jul 2014 | 3:27 pm
    View On YouTube | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel If you’re wondering how to have a successful book signing this video will cover all of the basics. If you’ve stumbled upon this post, you likely have a ... The post How To Have A Successful Book Signing appeared first on The Write One Blog.
  • How To Get Started Writing Webinar

    Stefanie Newell
    8 Jul 2014 | 1:51 pm
    View On YouTube | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel WEBINAR: How To Get Started Writing   Who: Aspiring writers (both fiction and non-fiction) looking to bring their book idea to fruition What: You will learn how to make time for writing, how to ... The post How To Get Started Writing Webinar appeared first on The Write One Blog.
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    Blogito Ergo Sum

  • This Is Mork Signing Off

    James Kiester
    12 Aug 2014 | 3:50 pm
    -I won’t rehash his biography, or list his extensive library of cinematic roles.  NBC Nightly News has already done that.  I’m not going to talk about his struggle with addiction, speculate on the causes of his depression, or try to discern the motives for his final solution.  A special episode of 20/20 will undoubtedly do that.  All I can do here, is to record my reaction to the August 11th suicide of, the comedy genius, Robin Williams.Photo courtesy of Amazon's Affiliate Program. In 1980, my father organized the parking garage for the, then brand new, Marriott Hotel,…
  • A Tradition Of Hate

    James Kiester
    30 Jul 2014 | 5:32 pm
    -On June 12th, 2014, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped, and later killed, in Gush Etzion, in the West Bank, as they were hitchhiking to their homes.  Under the assumption Hamas (a Palestinian Sunni Islamic organization, with a military wing known as the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades) committed the crime, the Israeli military began bombing Gaza.Since then, rockets have killed multiple civilians and destroyed infrastructure on both sides.  As the death toll has risen, diplomats have appeared on Meet The Press, and other talk shows, to explain their  solution to the…
  • Review: The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs

    James Kiester
    20 Jul 2014 | 2:40 pm
    -Photo courtesy of Amazon's Affiliate Program. As an experiment, writer: A.J. Jacobs attempted to obey the laws of the Bible as literally as possible for one full year. He followed the Ten Commandments, ate Kosher, wore a full beard, avoided wearing clothes made of mixed fibers, and loved his neighbor.  The result was the book The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs .I've spent the last few weeks reading this book, and generally speaking I liked it.  The chronicle was full of humorous moments and thought…
  • A Quick Question Of Happiness

    James Kiester
    3 Jul 2014 | 4:54 pm
    -If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. (clap clap)If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. (clap clap)If you're happy and you know it, and you really want to show it,If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. (clap clap) Most people grew up singing this diddy in school and summer camp.  Few people think about the words though.The song implies that it’s possible to be happy, but not know it. If you’re happy and you don’t know it, are you happy?  I’m not sure.If happiness is simply the lack of sadness, fear, and anger then it may be possible to be…
  • News Burnout

    James Kiester
    19 Jun 2014 | 4:01 pm
    -Subject: BC Television Promotional Photograph of Ron Cochran presenting the news program "Ron Cochran and the News" | Date: 01/31/1953 | Photographer: ABC TV | This work is in the public domain in that it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1977 and without a copyright notice. "There's a local paper rolled up in a rubber band,One more sad story's one more than I can stand,Just once, how I'd like to see the headline say,Not much to print today can't find nothing bad to say,Because...Nobody robbed a liquor store on the lower part of town,Nobody OD'd, nobody burned a single…
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    Stories To Tell Books

  • My Canvas Retirement: The Best Alternative to Preserve Your Family History

    Biff Barnes
    17 Aug 2014 | 9:05 am
    If you are looking for ways to share your ancestor stories and family history, there are a growing number of online sites offering easy ways to do it. They provide templates with which you can upload everything from a single anecdote to a full book. These service providers also promise to store your stories either on-site with a cloud-based system. Image courtesy of Chris Potter on Flickr under Creative Commons We always encourage people to share their stories, but advise caution when embracing a net-based solution. The latest object lesson is Ancestry.com’s decision to shut down its My…
  • Get a Library of Congress Number for Your Book

    Sarah Hoggatt
    13 Aug 2014 | 11:54 am
    One of the questions we are frequently asked is, “What is a Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN) and how do I get one?” A LCCN is distributed for free by the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. and corresponds to a created record in their system that libraries across the country can look at if they want information on how to catalogue your book. If you open up any mainstream book to the copyright page, you’ll find several lines of information on the bottom starting with the words, “Library of Congress Catalogue-in-Publication Data.” In addition to the…
  • Putting Your Best Foot Forward: Professional Book Design

    Sarah Hoggatt
    5 Aug 2014 | 11:58 am
    You’re in a bookstore or at an event looking at a book and it’s so poorly designed that it’s distracting to you and you choose not to buy it. I’ve had this happen so many times that I want to write the authors and tell them about our book design services before they print their books again. Whether a book is designed by a mainstream publisher or is self-published, the design needs to look clean and professional. Image courtesy of ChangeOrder on Flickr under Creative Common             Look at that book you’re…
  • 5 Tips for Organizing Your Family History Book

    Biff Barnes
    28 Jul 2014 | 2:47 pm
    We’re in Salt Lake City for day two of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) annual conference. The attendees are a wonderfully serious and enthusiastic group who have asked us some great questions. One of my favorites was, “Do you have the app to make days 48 hours long so I have time to get my family history written?” I had to admit that our crack R & D department is still working on that one. By far the most frequently asked question was, “What’s the best way to organize my family history?” There is no single best…
  • Marketing: Go Where Your Readers Are

    Sarah Hoggatt
    24 Jul 2014 | 5:08 pm
    Now you have a book in your hands! It’s been written, edited, designed, and printed. What a glorious feeling! Congratulations! And then the question sets in: what do you do with it now? There are many places you can market your book such as bookstores, events, in magazines, and online. I have found the most success when I have the closest direct contact with readers. Ask yourself, “Where are the Courtesy of Marko Ercegović, EXIT Photo Team on Wikimediapeople who would be interested in reading this book?” Is your book about the Civil War? Try the Civil War reenactment…
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    The GrammarPhile Blog

  • Tribute to the Left(-handed World)

    13 Aug 2014 | 3:30 am
    Today is International Left-Handers Day. Left-handed people are in their right minds. "Left" is the past tense of "leave." "Leaves" are foliage. Clear up your confusion with today's vocabulary test. 1. cade:(a) on or toward the left side of a ship; (b) given or left by a will; (c) left by its mother and reared by hand; (d) a Chinese cabbage forming an open head with left-winding white stalks and green leaves. 2. sitzmark (a) a depression left in the snow by a skier falling backward; (b) a pleat made by forming two folded edges one facing right and the other left; (c) the paint left on a…
  • More Questions for Our Grammar Experts

    24 Jul 2014 | 3:30 am
    Here are some more questions we've received from readers who are unsure about something they're writing. See their questions and test yourself against our experts. After you've completed your answers, please click the link at the bottom of the post to see our Grammar Experts' answers.  
  • Polite Requests

    16 Jul 2014 | 2:30 am
    We're often asked how to punctuate requests properly and politely. Today's post addresses this issue.
  • The Subjunctive Mood Adds Elegance

    10 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    Want to be known as an eloquent speaker and compelling writer? Use the subjunctive mood more. Use it to express a wish, a demand, a requirement, an exhortation, or a statement contrary to fact--as well as in a number of fixed idioms.
  • Don't Break the Law with Legal Numbers

    27 Jun 2014 | 3:30 am
      Here are some writing tips from the leading legal writing style guide, The Redbook / A Manual On Legal Style by Bryan Garner. Our topic today is numbers. The Redbook generally follows AP in the basics: spell out one through nine and use numerals for 10 and above. Here are some other rules from The Redbook:
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    James Shelley

  • Adaptive You

    James Shelley
    9 Aug 2014 | 7:00 am
    As a spin class instructor, I have conversations about fitness many times a week. I’ve noticed that we tend to describe fitness as a state or as an end goal — “I’m getting fit,” “That person is really fit,” or “I’m really out of shape.” I wonder if our language and terminologies about “fitness” are unwittingly bewitching us? Objectively speaking, it is far more accurate to describe “fitness” as a spectrum or a continuum, rather than a state of being. No matter how “fit” you are, you could always…
  • The Inescapable Qualitative

    James Shelley
    3 Aug 2014 | 6:50 am
    To say that the quantitative is superior to the qualitative is to make a qualitative assertion.
  • The Merits of Red Tape

    James Shelley
    30 Jul 2014 | 7:00 am
    My city is gearing up for municipal elections in October. Several campaigns are already well underway. Many lawn signs are already staked in the ground. The slogan for one would-be mayor’s campaign is, “Opportunity for all…Not red tape!” The sentiment aims at one of the biggest frustrations many of us have with bureaucratic institutions: the myriad of procedural bottlenecks that seem to hamper forward thinking and efficiency. But I, for one, am a reluctant supporter of red tape. It is a necessary, self-regulating ingredient in democracy. Imagine the consequences if it…
  • Journaling Feels Juvenile

    James Shelley
    27 Jul 2014 | 8:00 am
    Writing a journal feels juvenile. That is the beauty of it. Even as you write the words, you cringe in anticipation of how an older, wiser version of yourself will probably ridicule you later. You can almost hear the self-criticism, faintly echoing in from the future. That’s why the thoughts seem childish as soon as you transcribe them into alphabetic forms. Maybe this is exactly why journaling is important. It is a glimpse (or whisper) of your future perspective penetrating the present. You see your thoughts not only as you feel right now, but also as you might recall them later. As…
  • Judgement

    James Shelley
    26 Jul 2014 | 5:41 am
    You can only consider yourself free of judgement if you refuse to condemn those who judge you.
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    Florida Writers Conference Blog

  • Do something scary that doesn’t kill you

    Chris Hamilton
    18 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know I take a lot of inspiration from Tony Horton, the P90X guy. I’m reading his book The Big Picture. One of the lines in the book that resonates with me is Do something scary that doesn’t kill you. Tony’s emphasis, being the P90X guy, is physical. But […]
  • Six Reasons to Attend the Royal Palm Literary Awards Banquet

    Florida Writers Association
    17 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Maybe you’re not a finalist. Maybe you didn’t even enter the contest. Still, there are six reasons you’ll want to attend FWA’s Royal Palm Literary Awards Banquet October 25, 2014, at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary. The first is that the Banquet is covered by your registration fee for the Florida Writers Annual Conference, arguably […]
  • Wearing many hats

    15 Aug 2014 | 12:41 pm
    Hello, again. :) I promised you all a post before, but another more timely one came in I wanted to get out. That all said, you may have noticed that these Friday posts I do usually come out a bit later in the day than other posts. Basically? It comes down to one thing: A […]
  • Exercise Wednesday: That was really…different. Yeah…different.

    Chris Hamilton
    13 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    It’s one of the fears everyone faces. You prepare for an important event in life…a big date or a family dinner or a massive demo or presentation at work. You go over every detail, every possible contingency, so you can have everything in place before the big event. And then…reality strikes. Your date takes a […]
  • Amazon and Hachette and letters and good guys and bad guys

    Chris Hamilton
    11 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    NOTE FROM JAMIE: I will have the post I promised in my last blog this Friday. Instead, Chris Hamilton had sent this very timely post in I thought would be better to publish first. Enjoy!  More on this unfolding story, but first, this pithy summary of the situation: Since May, Amazon, controller of 60% of […]
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    Productive Writers

  • The Science and Psychology of Why You Procrastinate

    John Soares
    12 Aug 2014 | 6:29 am
    Do you know the science and psychology of why you procrastinate?  Hey, we all do it. The goal, though, is to do it less and less so we can become more and more successful as freelance writers or whatever it is we do for a living. I’ve laid out 50 ways you can overcome procrastination […]Related Posts:Beat Writer’s Block and Procrastination With My Kindle EbookHey Writer, Do You Make the Best Use of Your Brain?Don’t Let Writer’s Block and Procrastination Stop You!Why Freelance Writers Often Miss DeadlinesMy Main Goal in Six Words
  • Why I Am a Freelance Writer

    John Soares
    29 Jul 2014 | 6:29 am
    Why Am I a Freelance Writer? This is an important question that all freelance writers should ask themselves. We’ll all give different answers, but we need to know what motivates us to pursue a career that can have a high level of uncertainty and significant amounts of frustration. Here are my top five reasons. #1. I […]Related Posts:How to Get More Freelance Writing AssignmentsTop 10 Ways to Generate Great Freelance Writing IdeasFour Reasons Why Freelance Writers Should SpecializeHow I Chose My Freelance Writing NichesHow to Make the Best Use of Your Travel Time
  • How Freelance Writers Calculate Their Hourly Rates

    John Soares
    21 Jul 2014 | 6:29 am
    You’re a freelance writer because you want to make money. However, you need to be clear on how much money you want to make, how you will go about earning it, and all the factors that affect your earning power. Two crucial concepts for understanding the relationship between your time and your compensation are your […]Related Posts:How to Align Your Writing Income with Your Career GoalsThe Best Way to Bid a Freelance ProjectMy Nightmare Freelance Writing ClientComprehensive Guide to Setting Freelance Writing GoalsProfitable Freelance Writing for Nonprofits
  • Join the Freelance Writers Den Now!

    John Soares
    10 Jul 2014 | 4:58 am
    The Freelance Writers Den is now open to new members.  All beginning and intermediate freelance writers will benefit immensely from joining the Freelance Writers Den. Just in case you haven’t heard about the Den, it’s a top-notch membership site with several hundred members. It’s run by seasoned veterans Carol Tice and Linda Formichelli and it includes […]Related Posts:How Content Shock Hurts Freelance WritersTop Interview Tips for Freelance WritersThe Best Way to Bid a Freelance Project19 Successful Freelance Writers Share Their Top Goals for 2014How to Make the…
  • Does Your Freelance Writing Niche Have Busy Seasons?

    John Soares
    7 Jul 2014 | 6:29 am
    Many freelance writing niches have particular times of the year when there’s more work available. You need to determine the seasonal rhythms of your niches so you are front and center of your existing clients and potential clients when it’s time to hand out those choice assignments. Freelance Writing Niche Seasons: Examples Freelance writers who specialize in […]Related Posts:How to Get More Freelance Writing AssignmentsFour Reasons Why Freelance Writers Should SpecializeWhen a Freelance Writer Gets Only Silence from an EditorHow I Chose My Freelance Writing NichesHow I…
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    Mike Fook Books - Ebooks | Fiction Thrillers

  • Goal: Climb 10,000 Vertical Meters in August?

    16 Aug 2014 | 10:47 pm
    There’s no question, it’s the goal. I was thinking 7,000 or something and then a friend chimed in – hey, why not 10,000? So, that’s what it became. I’ve not done that many vertical meters in a month before, or even close to it in the past, but it is not beyond reason. So far so good – I’m at 5,280 meters and climbing again today. As long as the crucial bits (knees, ankles, quads, feet) hold together, I’ll be celebrating at the end of the month. It has been a bit of a struggle to get the climbs in because we’re going through sporadic…
  • Writing Code – Day 2

    7 Aug 2014 | 3:17 am
    Just a quick update. Day 2 writing code. I’m learning how to write Objective C and how to use the XCode interface which helps developers build applications for iPhones and iPads. It couldn’t be more ridiculous and abstract. I’d love to meet the clowns that made this language up. I picture a couple of toucans squawking to each other, shaking their heads in unison, and writing this shit down. None of it makes a damn bit of sense to me at this time. This is precisely where I put a stop to the madness a few times in years prior. I’ve come right up to this point and all the…
  • Dreaming About My Old Best Friend

    6 Aug 2014 | 7:03 am
    I’ve been having some great dreams about my old best friend growing up. We knew each other from kindergarten I think it was, possibly before that. Just cannot remember clearly enough to remember which age exactly, but we grew up together on the same street. His family was like my second family. We spent thousands of hours together growing up I guess. It might be that I’m missing good friends in general after 10 years in Thailand. It might be that my friend (or I) will die soon. I don’t know… I did have a weird feeling the last time some people close to us died. At the…
  • Reinventing Myself as a Writer… of Code

    5 Aug 2014 | 8:48 pm
    I was looking at the Forbes list of billionaires the other day. I know I need to stop mucking around and just do this, but it has been such a long time in coming. I’ve constantly reinvented myself over the last 30 years since I became an ‘adult’. 1984-1987 US Air Force – administrative duties, post office mailman, classified information destruction 1988-1991 Freelance photographer, slide duplication and color correction specialist 1992-1996 Psychology student – BA, MA. Working with people in the mental health system in various capacities. Big Brother. 1997-1998…
  • High School Graduation – Freedumb is Yours

    3 Aug 2014 | 8:44 pm
    This is from part of a chapter in my Kicking Life’s Ass! book, which I renamed to “The Ultimate Life!” If you have kids graduating from high school – read it over and throw it their way. Freedumb As you graduate from high school you’re in the best position you were EVER IN during your entire life. You’re in control of your life. Some of you know you are in control, most of you though, won’t see it. Most of you will follow the crowd. Are your friends going to college? You’ll probably do the same.  Are your friends working at the factory?
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    Whispered Writings

  • (786) 607-0603…or how to ruin every chance you had of ever doing business with me

    6 Aug 2014 | 8:26 am
    Yesterday afternoon I received a call stating that this company was verifying my information that I had recently posted on an online directory. Although the woman on the phone barely spoke English, I tried to go through the routine...then the sales pitch began. I was not interested and ended the call. If it had ended there, everything would have been fine. But it didn't.
  • Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

    17 Jan 2014 | 3:09 pm
        The novel is sold separately. Print  Kindle  Filed under: Writing tips Tagged: education, fiction, K-12, K12, language arts, Sheila Turnage, teacher resources, teaching, Three Times Lucky
  • Welcome to Self Publishing 101

    17 Jan 2014 | 2:18 pm
    Originally posted on Moondust and Madness:      Self-publishing my life story literally changed my life! For the past 15 years, I’ve been a freelance reporter for a monthly newspaper. As a journalist, I cover heartbreaking stories all time and get many exclusives. People often voice surprise at how empathetic and easy I am…
  • New agent seeking clients

    14 Jan 2014 | 11:21 am
    New agent seeking clients Passing this along to all of my peeps. Filed under: Writing tips Tagged: agent, author, fiction, literary agent, publishing, writer, writing
  • To develop a daily writing practice think “slow”

    14 Jan 2014 | 10:57 am
    Originally posted on onewildword:After a year of focusing on my business and taking care of various family members, I’m working on re-developing a daily writing habit. It feels a bit like learning a new job. I notice resistance to the actual act of sitting my bum in my chair and writing. I also notice…
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    Write It Sideways

  • How to Write Better Short Stories and Get Published in Lit Mags

    Suzannah Windsor Freeman
    12 Aug 2014 | 6:59 am
    A couple of days ago, I published a post at Writer Unboxed called How to Get Your Short Stories Published in Lit Mags. Some commenters said they bookmarked the article as a reference for when they have a polished short story to send out to the world of lit mags. Others were grateful for that little push they needed to get started either writing or submitting. If you aren’t interested in short stories because you consider yourself a novelist (or an aspiring novelist), you’ll want to also read my article What Novelists Should Know About Short Fiction. And here’s a couple…
  • Stop Asking Yourself If You Have Writing Talent

    Suzannah Windsor Freeman
    24 May 2014 | 6:20 am
    Today, I’m over at the award-winning blog Writer Unboxed to discuss writing talent and whether or not it’s an innate ability or a skill to be developed. Here’s a short excerpt of the post, “Do I Have Writing Talent?” You’re Asking the Wrong Question Hemingway. Austen. Dickens. Woolf. Carver. We know these names well, these masters of their craft. Were they born with an elusive writing gene the rest of us just don’t have? We not-yet-famous writers sometimes ask ourselves, “Do I have talent?”—the implication being that talent is what…
  • Still here. Still writing. Just taking a breather.

    Suzannah Windsor Freeman
    7 Apr 2014 | 11:25 am
    Today’s post is written by founding editor Suzannah Windsor. First, it’s great to be back. I’ve really missed sitting down to write something personal to you—especially to those of you who have supported my writing in many different ways over the past five years. Maybe you thought Write It Sideways had come to an end because nothing new has been posted for a while, but I was really just taking a breather from blogging to focus on other things and figure out where we go from here. In the past few months, my life has been anything but quiet: I moved overseas. Many years ago,…
  • Writing with Profit in Mind? Your Book has Already Failed

    Guest Contributor
    16 Dec 2013 | 3:00 am
    Today’s post is written by Nicolas Gremion. If your primary motivation for writing is making money, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Outliers like James Patterson, Stephen King, and Nora Roberts often skew our perception of how lucrative publishing really is. In fact, very few authors actually make a living off their writing—the rest see marginal income from writing, at best. There are a number of reasons for this, but perhaps one of the foremost involves what I like to call the “Field of Dreams Syndrome.” Too many authors work under the misconception that if they…
  • Make NaNoWriMo the Gift that Keeps on Giving

    Guest Contributor
    2 Dec 2013 | 3:00 am
    Today’s post is written by Amanda L. Barbara. For writers just cooling down from NaNoWriMo, it’s tempting to lose steam as the holidays approach. Your weekend calendar is filling up with parties and family get-togethers, and you probably feel like you deserve a victory lap after a month of such high productivity. But whether or not you actually hit your goal of 50,000 words, December does not have to be the lost month between NaNoWriMo and your New Year’s writing resolutions. You can maintain that sense of urgency as you finish your manuscript, delve into editing, and set yourself…
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    Words on a page

  • On being scrappy

    Scott Nesbitt
    18 Aug 2014 | 8:05 am
    What sets a successful writer apart from those who struggle or who just can’t seem to get a break? Talent and ability are two factors. As are marketing and connections. But those aren’t the main factors in the success of many writers. More often than not, their success comes down to being scrappy. What do […] Related posts: Opportunities, fear, failure, and taking chances Look within yourself Ambitions, and not realizing them
  • A few links for the end of the week

    Scott Nesbitt
    15 Aug 2014 | 8:16 am
    Is the semi colon necessary? 8 things you should know about writing books Wrestling with an awkward sentence or paragraph? The rebuild it from scratch Pressed for time? Here are four tips that can help you cut down your writing time 5 helpful business blogging tips Related posts: A few links for the end of the week A few links for the end of the week A few links for the end of the week
  • Using pecha kucha to focus your writing

    Scott Nesbitt
    13 Aug 2014 | 7:54 am
    For many writers, it’s often not a matter of being able to write something. It’s having too much to write in a blog post or an article. Why is that a problem? You might be constrained by a word count. Or, if you decide to throw everything into what you’re writing, you can wind up […] Related posts: Going from writing to speaking Using loglines to focus your writing Focus on writing first
  • Announcing the new edition of my ebook Two Views of Japan

    Scott Nesbitt
    12 Aug 2014 | 7:44 am
    I’m pleased to share with you the new edition of my book of travel essays titled Two Views of Japan: The Chronicle of a Personal Journey. The essays in this book chronicle a time of personal change. The lesson of this book is simple: no matter where you are and what you think you know, […] Related posts: Announcing the second edition of Google Drive for Writers Announcing my new ebook: Google Drive for Writers Announcing my new ebook: Two Views of Japan
  • On being honest

    Scott Nesbitt
    11 Aug 2014 | 8:43 am
    While I think that I’m a good writer, I have to admit that I’m not a great one. Sure, I can tell a pretty good story. I can impart information to readers in an interesting and enjoyable way. But there’s no way that I’m going to break into the top 5% or even 10% of […] Related posts: Following guidelines Four questions that can help focus your writing career Checklists and the writer
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    From Meredith Allard

  • Thank you, Robin Williams: A Lesson in Gratitude

    Meredith Allard
    13 Aug 2014 | 7:21 pm
    I’m writing and posting this quickly before I change my mind, so, as Anne Lamott said in her own post on the same subject, this isn’t going to be proofread to perfection. I don’t usually comment on the passing of famous people since I’m not sure what I can add that someone more articulate than I am hasn’t already said, yet I find I can’t let the passing of Robin Williams go without saying at least a few words. I’m going to date myself here—in fact, I’ll give you a precise date: I’ll be 45 in 17 days on August 30. I was a kid in the 1970s when Robin Williams first appeared…
  • Q & A: That You Are Here Tour

    Meredith Allard
    8 Aug 2014 | 5:48 pm
    I’ve been doing quite a few interviews while That You Are Here is on tour. I’ve been having a lot of fun answering the questions, so I thought I’d post some of my responses here. Quick round: Coffee, tea or…what’s your vice? I love both, but I’ll normally go for coffee. Favorite Movie? Dead Poet’s Society Favorite Color? Purple Favorite book/author? David Copperfield by Charles Dickens How do you feel about bacon? I’m a vegetarian, so bacon is a no-go for me.   The REAL questions: Tell us a little about yourself. In addition to writing novels, I’m also the…
  • When a Book Changes Your Life

    Meredith Allard
    28 Jul 2014 | 4:00 pm
    Meredith Allard:I got back yesterday from my second trip to London. I had a great time and had the chance to see a few sights I missed on my first trip. I admit I felt a lot like Cora from Downton Abbey–“I’m an American. I don’t share your English hatred of comfort.” I mean, seriously, air conditioning isn’t a new invention, and ice isn’t even an invention. It exists in nature (though some polar bears might argue that fact). Still, I love London and I’m glad I had the chance to look around again as I begin writing my new novel, which just…
  • In Praise of Day Jobs

    Meredith Allard
    17 Jul 2014 | 5:15 pm
    A cute picture of a cat proofreading a manuscript. I know, I know… this is the opposite of what everyone else talks about. I’ve talked before about how most posts about publishing are directed toward one goal: leaving behind that dreadful day job (Bad day job! Bad job!) and making a living as a writer. It doesn’t surprise me that quitting the day job is the focus for so many authors. We like to judge things by their dollar value (or pound value, or yen value, or whatever you use where you live). The general belief is that when you quit your day job because you make enough…
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    Game On! Crafting Believable Conflict

  • Redundant Words

    Diana Hurwitz
    15 Aug 2014 | 8:02 am
    Redundant words are so common they are hard to recognize. Redundancies use two words when one will do.  They are found in newspapers, broadcasts, and magazine articles.A character would use redundancies in conversation. Few speak that formally.Search for them all. Choose which ones to keep and which to kill.Cutting some of them feels like amputating a limb. Yes, this rule is frequently broken . You will find redundancies everywhere. You decide.Here is a short list to get you started:absolutely essentialabsolutely perfectabsolutely positiveactual factadvance…
  • Profanity

    Diana Hurwitz
    8 Aug 2014 | 5:35 am
    Oh, the hellish question! Dare you use profanity in your writing? 1) It depends on your target audience.Will they be offended? Do you care? The more explicit terms should be left out of cozy mysteries.2) Does it fit the context of the plot?If you are writing about nuns in England in 1300, I doubt they used the F-bomb. You might have a salty old nun who muttered the occasional "bloody hell" but only after the reign of Bloody Mary I (queen regent from 1553 to 1558).I wrote a series set in 3500 BC. Trying to write without some form of expletive, insult, or curse word…
  • Jargon

    Diana Hurwitz
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:52 am
    Jargon consists of words that relate to a specific group, profession, or event.actionable intelligencebait and switchbehind the eight ballbest practicebounced checkbrain trustbull marketcircular filecore competencyface timefall guyfile thirteenfood chainfree lunchgame changerhead counthired gunin the loopin the red/blackin the runningout of pocketpush backput to bedtime framevalue addedMedicine is full of Latin words that sound intimidating but mean relatively little. Thyroiditis (root word thyroiditis meaning inflammation)Myeloma (root word  myelo=marrowoma meaning…
  • Colloquialisms

    Diana Hurwitz
    25 Jul 2014 | 6:55 am
    Colloquialisms are words or phrases that we use in conversation or informal situations. An example would be the different ways people refer to carbonated beverages: cola, soda, soda pop, and pop.Another example is cooked batter: pancake, griddle cake, flap jack, Johnny cake, and short stack. They can be words (gonna), phrases (hang on), or aphorisms (when the going gets tough, the tough get going). A few examples of colloquialisms include: bat out of hell beating a dead horse bigger than a barn bump on a log couldn't care less crazy as a loon deader…
  • Purple Prose

    Diana Hurwitz
    18 Jul 2014 | 9:35 am
    Purple prose consists of passages so cloying, over the top, or dramatic that they create speed bumps for the reader. It employs an abundance of adjectives and dense descriptive detail. Purple prose should be weeded out when found, unless that is your preferred writing style. In which case, you may deter some readers and agents. The worst offenders are romantic scenes, because writers try to avoid clinical terms for the acts of love and body parts. A lot of slang words are too crude and don't fit the mood of the piece. Purple prose can be a product of weak description…
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    Grant Writing Confidential

  • GWC Goes to the Movies Part Deux: Young Frankenstein, In the Heat of the Night and the Ferguson, MO Riots (or is it Rebellion?)

    Isaac Seliger
    17 Aug 2014 | 8:21 pm
    In Mel Brooks’s hilarious 1974 send-up of classic Universal Pictures 1930s horror films, Young Frankenstein, the incredibly goofy Kenneth Mars (as Inspector Kemp) says to the mob with pitchforks and torches: “A riot is an ungly thing . . . und, I tink that it is chust about time ve had vun.” I thought of this scene as I watched the chaos in Ferguson. From a grant writing perspective, I agree with Inspector Kemp. The human tragedies and political/police incompetence are hard to watch. Having an urban riot televised endlessly in the new 24-hour news cycle will, however,…
  • GWC Goes to the Movies: Casablanca and a WSJ Opinion Piece on the Wobegon Illinois Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (NRI)

    Isaac Seliger
    10 Aug 2014 | 6:24 pm
    Faithful readers know I love movies, and this is the first in a new series: “Grant Writing Confidential Goes to the Movies.” Today, let’s talk about perhaps the best film ever made, Casablanca,* and Claire Groden’s recent opinion piece in the WSJ, “An ‘Antiviolence’ Boondoggle in Murder-Plagued Chicago.” Groden recounts the disappointing impact and sad tale of woe surrounding the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (NRI), a $54 million grant program sponsored by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. NRI was supposed to reduce the astounding level of youth…
  • Lots of Crap Required in an Early Head Start (EHS) Proposal, but Here’s What’s Missing: Shit. Literally.

    Jake Seliger
    5 Aug 2014 | 8:00 pm
    The latest Early Head Start FOA is blessedly shorter, in both FOA and the required narrative, than it used to be. But it’s still astonishingly detailed. Applicants must discuss attitudes towards discipline, staffing plan minutia, approved curricula, snacks, parent contact, daily plans, transportation, and on and on. One conspicuous point that should be obvious to anyone who has spent time around very little kids is absent, however. If you have dozens of kids under the age of three, the primary staff activity isn’t going to be reading or counting or structured art or whatever.
  • Grant Writer as Ghost Writer: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Conundrum

    Isaac Seliger
    1 Aug 2014 | 8:48 am
    At our most basic level, we grant writers are nothing more than ghost writers. Ghost writing is sometimes referred to as the world’s second oldest profession, and there’s probably some truth to that. While ghost writers haunt (sorry about that) every strain of writing, ghost writing is largely veiled from the real world. Andrew Crofts’s new book, Confessions of a Ghostwriter, provides a rare glimpse into the profession. Like me, Crofts has spent about 40 years writing under other writers’s bylines and toiling in the shadows while making a tidy living and seemingly…
  • Links: The Fugitive Life, Broadband, Parking Hell, Birth Rates, Transit, Sexting, and More!

    Jake Seliger
    24 Jul 2014 | 1:01 am
    * If you read nothing else today read “Financial Hazards of the Fugitive Life, which concerns Alice Goffman’s brilliant book On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City. It will be cited in our future proposals. * Big Cable says broadband investment is flourishing, but their own data says it’s falling. It will no doubt come as a shock to discover that Comcast and Time Warner are lying. * The remarkable Neal Stephenson interview. * “Check out the parking lot: Hell in LA.” * “Birthrate among teens fell to record low in 2013.” This is likely to mean…
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    Charlotte Morganti

  • Welcome to my waystation on the blog hop

    28 Jul 2014 | 8:28 am
    Two weeks ago Kristina Stanley, a fellow finalist for the Crime Writers of Canada’s Unhanged Arthur award, added me to the writers who are participating in a fun blog hop. In this version of the hop, we answer four questions about our writing. So here goes: What am I working on? Two things: First, I’m(...)
  • Today’s Review: The Last of the Blacksmiths, by Claire Gebben

    6 Feb 2014 | 5:05 pm
    The Last of the Blacksmiths is a historical novel, inspired by a story of one of the author’s ancestors. It transports you to 19th century Germany and America, as you follow Michael Harm, a farmer’s son who is cursed, or blessed, with wanderlust, and longs for more than a life of plowing and planting fields(...)
  • Today’s Review: The Art of Character, by David Corbett

    15 Jan 2014 | 1:39 pm
    Like most writers, I have several books in my bookshelves on craft. In truth, more than several books – at last count the number was north of fifty. David Corbett’s recent book, The Art of Character, is hanging out, not on the shelves with the others, but on my desk, an easy grab-distance away. Why?(...)
  • About the writer’s fear of public speaking…

    29 Nov 2013 | 4:17 pm
    Let me tell you about Newt, a shy young man in Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove. Newt adores Lorena, one of the saloon women. The narrator says Newt “was painfully aware that if the chance for personal speech ever did arise he would have no idea what to say. On the rare occasions when he had(...)
  • Celebrating Literary Citizens

    15 Aug 2013 | 7:58 pm
    I’ve been thinking about literary citizenship the last while. Probably because I recently spent ten days on Whidbey Island, hobnobbing with writer buddies, sitting in on the afternoon Profession of Writing sessions that are so popular during the NILA residency, celebrating with the seven graduates who received their MFA degree on August 10th, and marveling(...)
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    Write Edit Seek Literary Agent

  • How to edit a novel

    12 Aug 2014 | 7:26 am
    I recently completed my fourth Fiona Griffiths novel – as yet untitled. The book is good. It’s got a good crime, contains a nice locked-room mystery, has one good (shocking) sequence midway through the story, and a proper all-action denouement … Continue reading →
  • Story Structure: beginnings, middles and ends in the novel

    28 Jul 2014 | 2:43 am
    This meditation on story structure in the novel comes from William Kowalski, author of Eddie’s Bastard, The Hundred Hearts and other novels. The excerpt is taken from his ebook/PDF, Writing for First Time Novelists. The full text of that ebook … Continue reading →
  • Giants hitting each other with hammers

    17 Jul 2014 | 4:06 am
    Some thoughts from Harry Bingham, an author published by both Hachette and Amazon … Unless you’ve been off on a long space voyage, you will have noticed the furore surrounding the contract dispute between Amazon and Hachette. The precise nature … Continue reading →
  • Why Hachette is scared of Amazon – and why Amazon wants better terms

    17 Jul 2014 | 4:05 am
    In a sister post to this one, I’ve discussed the Amazon-Hachette dispute more generally. This post looks at one specific and underaddressed issue: namely the financial aspects of the current brawl. It’s pretty clear why the Big 5 Publishers are … Continue reading →
  • The 30 screenplays that every screenwriter has to read

    15 Jul 2014 | 4:14 am
    I recently wrote a post listing creative writing books that I thought writers would do well to get their mitts on, and another one on a list of recent novels that sketch out where the leading edge of contemporary fiction … Continue reading →
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    Rosanne Dingli's Blog

  • Reading for pleasure - an encounter with Margaret Sutherland

    9 Aug 2014 | 2:52 am
    It took me a long time to figure how to breathe new life into my blog, but it did not take long at all for Margaret Sutherland to respond positively and accept my invitation to be here. Her patience and lovely disposition match her elegant, insightful writing. Prolific and comprehensive, her fiction takes the reader from country towns in Australia to the vast world inside the heart.Here's how she sees that world:Hello, Margaret! Tell us a bit about your novels - why do dogs figure so significantly in your recent fiction?Dogs have been part of my life for several decades. A new dog usually…
  • The year in review

    22 Dec 2013 | 5:22 pm
    Pic: johnmannophoto.comThe year speeds up towards the end, like many things nearing their finish. The older one gets, the faster time goes... and it doesn't only seem that way. Time really progresses at a faster rate, it's out of our control, and I'll not go into the science to prove it. You know what I'm talking about. A saucepan lid, a spun coin, or spinning top will gather speed as it girates towards the end of its agitation.And agitation seems to be the key word around Christmas and Year's End: we swear we won't do it again next year, and yet we fall into the same pattern. It's fun while…
  • Technology that changes time?

    6 Dec 2013 | 1:15 am
    Like something out of Dr Who, life has changed dramatically in the last decade. Even time has shifted and morphed. You know this - it's suddenly Christmas when you are still fishing Easter egg silver wrapping from between the sofa cushions. It's your birthday again, before you have successfully re-gifted that green sweater and those dangly earrings.Suddenly, it takes longer than five hours to read a book. [And it's not so much fun doing it under the covers with a torch, either.]But the most amazing thing that's happened since you were little is that single days have morphed into seasons. What…
  • 4 aspects that make you a brilliant reader

    26 Nov 2013 | 6:34 pm
    You're a reader, I'm a reader ... everyone's a reader, baby - that's the truth. Well, in our bookish world everyone is. But readers ain't readers - they come in all varieties. And there are aspects that distinguish the ho-hum from the brilliant.So - are you a brilliant reader? And what makes one shine?1. You understand genresReaders who understand genres, categories, and ways in which books are grouped in libraries, in bookshops, and on book retailers' sites find books easily. When they finish one book, they can quickly find another to start on, by similar authors, in a similar category, in a…
  • How to procrastinate [like a successful author]

    25 Oct 2013 | 12:39 am
    Career authors are weird creatures. Female or male, young or old, seasoned or relatively new, they have strange habits that are rarely found in the general population. They are so unusual one can find articles in the The Guardian about their habits.They keep strange hours. They eat peculiar foods. Their personal relationships are often the most curious within any community. Even their taste in music and other arts is a bit off the wall.When new writers start to court the possibility of turning professional, and taking up writing books as a career, these things begin to gnaw. Will they have to…
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  • Colossal Ape Terrorises Wikipedia

    Peter Cox
    18 Aug 2014 | 7:00 am
    So you’re minding your own business in the jungle one day, when suddenly – this monkey lurches out and grabs your camera. And shoots some selfies. So the question is – who owns the copyright? No, this isn’t the silly season (although it may sound like it). Join us to explore a fascinating legal issue. […]The post Colossal Ape Terrorises Wikipedia appeared first on Litopia.
  • Robert Coover – The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop.

    Peter Cox
    15 Aug 2014 | 4:36 am
    Like a precocious fireballer at top of the prospect rankings … a kid who has shown so much promise and from whom so much is expected … who has three plus pitches and is working on a fourth … whose intangibles are as off the charts as his athleticism … who is putting it all […]The post Robert Coover – The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. appeared first on Litopia.
  • Neville Staple – Original Rude Boy

    Peter Cox
    12 Aug 2014 | 6:48 am
    The Specials were one of the most important, vital and influential bands to come out of the post-punk explosion, the band who created the 2-Tone movement. The Coventry-based Ska combo had eight Top Ten hits including ‘A Message To You Rudy’, and the chart-toppers ‘Ghost Town’ and ‘Too Much Too Young.’ And right at the […]The post Neville Staple – Original Rude Boy appeared first on Litopia.
  • Kramer Versus The World

    Peter Cox
    11 Aug 2014 | 8:20 am
    Is the world getting weirder, or is it just us?  Listen and decide.  Links to stories mentioned in this show: Harper Lee says Marja Mills-penned bio was unauthorized Judge Says Selling Religious Books Doesn’t Affect The Job Jose Antonio Vargas detained in Texas Do you have a fair use right to publish World Cup goals? […]The post Kramer Versus The World appeared first on Litopia.
  • Pukes of Hazard – Rebellion Special

    Peter Cox
    26 Jul 2014 | 12:31 pm
    In a Rebellion-themed special edition, Garry is joined by punk ukulele-pluckers the Pukes, who have risen from London pub strummers to festival stalwarts. There are brand new songs from the Old Firm Casuals and The Boys, the new single from Louise Distras and quality tracks from Operation Two Fold, Infa-Riot, Madball, Section 60, Speakeasy and […]The post Pukes of Hazard – Rebellion Special appeared first on Litopia.
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    Author Alden

  • My London WorldCon (LonCon 3) Schedule

    J.W. Alden
    28 Jul 2014 | 12:34 pm
    In a couple of weeks, I'll be attending LonCon 3, the 72nd annual WorldCon (and my first). Last week, they officially announced their programming schedule, and I'm pleased to say I'll be on a couple of panels. In addition to participating in the stuff below, I'll be bouncing around the con in a dizzy haze, pulling my hair out trying to decide which awesome thing to see at pretty much any given time.Feel free to keep an eye out for me if you're going. My wife will be with me in London, but she's a muggle, so I'll be attending the con all by my lonesome. In other words, friendly company…
  • Read "The Unworthy" in Fantasy Scroll Magazine

    J.W. Alden
    30 Jun 2014 | 11:10 am
    The second issue of Fantasy Scroll Magazine hit the interweb today, featuring a flash piece of mine called "The Unworthy." Along with my story, you'll find great stuff by Mike Resnick, Brandon Barrows, and many other fine folks. They also pack each issue with author interviews, book and movie reviews, and more.You can read the issue for free at the link above, but if you'd like to support the efforts of a brand new fantasy and science fiction magazine, you can purchase a copy for your mobile reader device of choice, or even set up a subscription."The Unworthy" is a fantasy story of mine told…
  • Kickstarter Watch: Fantasy Scroll Mag

    J.W. Alden
    16 Apr 2014 | 12:07 pm
    If you read my last post, you may be familiar with Fantasy Scroll Mag, a new science fiction and fantasy magazine that will be publishing a story of mine called The Unworthy in one of its first issues. Fantasy Scroll Mag is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to support the launch of the magazine. This, of course, makes them perfect fodder for the next installment of Kickstarter Watch!In their own words, Fantasy Scroll Magazine publishes science fiction, fantasy, horror, and paranormal short stories, with one mission in mind: to provide high quality, entertaining, and thought-provoking…
  • Sale Braggage: "The Unworthy" Sold to Fantasy Scroll Mag

    J.W. Alden
    18 Feb 2014 | 9:59 am
    I am pleased to share a little good news from this past weekend. A story of mine called The Unworthy has been accepted for publication by Fantasy Scroll Mag, an upcoming speculative fiction magazine run by the creator of the Fantasy Scroll writing blog. From their website:Fantasy Scroll Mag is a quarterly publication featuring science fiction, fantasy, horror, and paranormal short-fiction. We are a brand new publication and our mission is to publish high-quality, entertaining, and thought-provoking speculative fiction. We plan to publish our first issue in the first half of 2014 and we…
  • Kickstarter Watch: Unidentified Funny Objects 3

    J.W. Alden
    10 Feb 2014 | 11:27 am
    In the first of what may become a regular occurrence here on the site, I'd like to point you lovely people in the direction of a speculative fiction market currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. This particular market may be familiar to those of you who pay attention to my little corner of the internet: Unidentified Funny Objects 3.UFO3 will be the third in an annual series of speculative humor anthologies edited by Alex Shvartsman. The first two are hilarious (if I do say so myself), and still available for purchase. I've been a big fan of these books since the first was released,…
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    Jane Friedman

  • What Does It Mean to Protect Authors’ Interests? [Smart Set]

    Jane Friedman
    14 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Welcome to the weekly The Smart Set, where I share three smart pieces worth reading about the publishing and media industry. I also point to issues and questions raised, and welcome you to respond or ask your own questions in the comments. “To seek: to embrace the questions, be wary of answers.” —Terry Tempest Williams More Fights About Terms by Brian O’Leary Publishing consultant and analyst Brian O’Leary discusses the decisions that publishers, physical bookstores, and online retailers make—every single day—about acquiring, shelving, displaying,…
  • What Should a Strong Authors’ Advocacy Group Be Doing? [Smart Set]

    Jane Friedman
    7 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    Welcome to the weekly The Smart Set, where I share three smart pieces worth reading about the publishing and media industry. I also point to issues and questions raised, and welcome you to respond or ask your own questions in the comments. “To seek: to embrace the questions, be wary of answers.” —Terry Tempest Williams For the Authors Guild [a wish list] by JA Konrath The Authors Guild is one of the key organizations that advocates for authors’ interests. It has been under fire recently from the indie author community (and many others besides) for being…
  • 4 Things I Learned From Writing on an Emerging Mobile Story Platform

    Kathryn Stanley
    6 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    Today’s guest post is by Los Angeles–based writer Kathryn Stanley (kathrynstanley_). About six months ago, Pocket Gems, a mobile game developer, launched a new platform called Episode. It allows writers to script a story and then turn it into an animated interactive mobile story. It combines parts of TV shows, comics, and novels, and provides the unique ability for readers to have some control of how the story goes. I started writing on the platform almost as soon as it launched and have written three stories to date. My most successful story, Finding Mr. Wright, has built a…
  • Self-Publish or Perish: Why I Made the Leap from Traditional Publishing to Indie

    Eileen Goudge
    5 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    THE Funky Man / Flickr Today’s guest post is by New York Times bestseller Eileen Goudge (@eileengoudge), whose newest novel, Bones and Roses, releases today.  I read Claire Cook’s recent blog post with great interest and a jolt of recognition. OMG. She was telling my story! I wasn’t alone. There were other authors like me who were traditionally published in what now seems a bygone era, and who’d enjoyed runs on the New York Times bestseller list and all the benefits therein—book tours, media escorts, an honest to God marketing/publicity budget … Can any of us remember that…
  • Why Design Matters for Your Author Website

    Maria Ribas
    4 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    Photo by Andrea Costa / via Flickr Today’s guest post is by literary agent Maria Ribas (@maria_ribas); check out her website, cooks & books. When I was starting out as an editor, I was surprised to see just how very subjective the acquisitions process was. I think I was a little bit (well, a lot) disappointed that there wasn’t a secret equation behind it all. Even more, it surprised me that the value of a book wasn’t communicated just by the words in the manuscript. Often, it was communicated in subtle messaging about the author: who they were, where they came from, how…
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    Writer Beware

  • Blue Ash Publishing: New Self-Publishing Service from Writer's Digest

    19 Aug 2014 | 9:59 am
    Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer BewareAs many of you may know, earlier this year Writer's Digest terminated its involvement with Abbott Press, the white-label self-publishing imprint created and powered for it by Author Solutions, Inc. Although Abbott Press remains online, all reference to Writer's Digest and its parent, F&W Media, has been removed. (Interestingly, there's no reference to Author Solutions, either, unless you dig pretty deep into the Abbott Press website--deeper, probably, than many authors will go--and Abbott Press does not appear anywhere on AS's list of…
  • How Not to Seek a Literary Agent: The Perils of "Middleman" Services

    12 Aug 2014 | 11:18 am
    Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer BewareI know I've written about this before. But I'm seeing an increasing number of these kinds of "services," and they are all worthless. What am I talking about? Agent middleman services--services that, for a fee, purport to contact agents on your behalf with the aim of snagging representation and, hopefully, a publishing contract.A particularly egregious example: Bookmarq.net's Finding a Publisher service. (All errors courtesy of the original.)Agents in New York or London receive thousands of query letters a year in the first stage of the…
  • Writer Beware's Self-Publishing Page Renovated and Updated

    6 Aug 2014 | 10:06 am
    Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware I've completely re-worked the Self-Publishing page of Writer Beware, to better reflect the rapid changes in the self-publishing marketplace. New features include an introduction that provides an overview of how technology has transformed self-publishing, pointers on making the decision to self-publish (or not), an expanded list of cautions for self-publishers (including common scams), and many new links to articles, experts, and statistics.Comments and suggestions are welcome. Please post them here, or email me.
  • A Marketing Pitch from Author Solutions

    28 Jul 2014 | 11:56 am
    Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer BewareI've written before about Author Solutions' relentless efforts to get authors to buy the company's "marketing" services. Here's an example that was recently passed on to me (with the author's name and other identifying information redacted).Note the poor quality of the English (a lot of AS's staff are in the Philippines; English is a second language), the implied specialness of the offer (50% management discount, just for you!), the "hurry up and buy" pressure (supposedly only eight books will be able to get in on the deal; first come, first…
  • Self-Publishing and Author-Agent Agreements: The Need for Change

    25 Jul 2014 | 12:07 pm
    Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer BewareEarlier this week, I ran across a blog post by best-selling author Claire Cook  about the process by which she decided to become a hybrid author, ditching her high-powered agency in the process. It's an interesting story--but what really caught my eye was this:And then one day on the phone my agent informed me that in order to continue to be represented by this mighty agency, I would have to turn over 15% of the proceeds of my about-to-be self-published book to said agency. Not only that, but I would have to publish it exclusively…
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  • TVWriter University has a few openings!

    19 Aug 2014 | 3:25 am
    No, not really TVWriter U. This is Harvard – which some folks think is almost as good. If you’ve come to TVWriter™ in the past, you probably know that we have a kind of sub-site we call TVWriter University. It’s listed to the right, under the bigger heading “OUR WORKSHOPS.” TVWriter University is a thing we do online throughout the year. Recently, we’ve been focusing on two specific workshops: The Advanced Online TV and Film Writing Workshop Larry Brody’s Master Class Both classes are, in fact, taught by the Boss of this site, Larry Brody, whose…
  • Cara Winter: The Anglo Files 2

    19 Aug 2014 | 3:20 am
    MIRANDA by Cara Winter As we established in my last post, I am an unabashed Anglophile. My friends, rather than shunning me, or trying to get me to watch LAW & ORDER: SVU, or finding me an A(ng)A meeting to attend… are full-onenablers.  Case in point:  on a recent trip to LA, my best friend (who long ago introduced me to BLACK ADDER) sat me down, and told me I was about to watch a show from the UK called MIRANDA.  It was February, 70’s and sunny in LA, I’d just left behind sub-zero temperatures behind in Chicago…  so naturally, instead of frolicking on a beach somewhere, I…
  • What Does the Modern Day Showrunner Really Do?

    19 Aug 2014 | 3:15 am
    We here at TVWriter™ are constantly being asked that question. In fact, it’s 3rd on the list of TV writing things newbies who corner us at bars and stoplights (don’t ask) want to know, right after, “How do I get an agent?” and “What do you mean you won’t read my script?” Now, the most insidery of insider showbiz publications supplies us with the 3rd Most Important TV Writer Question in the Universe. Yay! Ooh, it’s Matt Weiner running his show. What’s its name again? by Bryan Lowry The late Aaron Spelling was modest and courtly to a…
  • Have You Read “The EQUALIZER?”

    19 Aug 2014 | 3:10 am
    Yes, we said read. Cuz not talking about a script here. We mean a book. The book. As in the new novel, The Equalizer, written by Michael Sloan, the co-creator-writer-producer of the ’80s TV series of the same name. Yeah, we didn’t think so. But that’s okay cuz today’s the date of its actual release. We haven’t read it either, but one of the TVWriter™ minions is at Amazon right now, closing the deal for the Kindle version, and then we’re jumping on this baby. How can we not? This was one of our favorite bits of ’80s TV, and let’s face it,…
  • What’s That? Geniuses are all Psychos? No Kidding?!

    19 Aug 2014 | 3:05 am
    We have to admit that we’re out of the loop when it comes to the traits of genuine geniuses. The only genius types we here at TVWriter™ deal with are showbiz geniuses, and, erm, they’re a whole different breed. (Quick, what’s the difference between Albert Einstein and Kanye? Huh? Huh? by Ilyana Romanovsky M.A. MFT. Following the recent and popular article on the “Secrets of the Creative Brain” in The Atlantic magazine issue for the month of July, there has been an increased amount of discussion on where genius comes from and why it is often accompanied by…
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    Everyone's Blog Posts - Our Salon

  • High School Debaters to Argue Yoko Ono v. Linda Eastman This Fall

    Con Chapman
    19 Aug 2014 | 6:17 pm
    RIPON, Wisconsin. The National Forensic League, the organization that regulates high school debate in the U.S., has selected a musical topic for this year’s tournaments, catching coaches and participants by surprise. Ready to rumble! “Generally, the subject is either international affairs or U.S. social policy,” said Dan Curtin, speech and debate coach at Smith-Cotton High School in Sedalia, Missouri. “The kids will have to do a lot of original research on this one.” Linda? The NFL’s chosen topic is “Yoko Ono vs. Linda Eastman: Who was more destructive of her former Beatle…

    mary gravitt
    19 Aug 2014 | 4:23 pm
    BBC WORLD SERVICE 19 August 2014 Last updated at 10:53 ET Ferguson unrest: Egypt urges US to show restraint   Heavily armed police wearing riot gear have become a regular sight on the streets of the St Louis suburb Michael Brown shooting Egypt's government has called on US authorities to show restraint against protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. It said it was "closely following the escalation of protests" after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman on 9 August. The statement echoes US President Barack Obama's comments during Egypt's crackdown on protesters in…
  • Vanessa Kachadurian on We Are N #WeAreN providing a safe haven for Iraq's religious minorities

    Vanessa Kachadurian
    19 Aug 2014 | 3:54 pm
    Vanessa Kachadurian on “We Are N” #WeAreN  NORTHERN CALIFORNIA PROTEST Friday, August 22nd Congressional House Resolution #110 to protect and give safe haven to Iraq’s religious minorities http://action.americanmesopotamian.org/15990/hcon-res-110/?src=widget My ethnic background is Armenian American; I am very proud of my ancient heritage and remain active in several Armenian charity groups.  Armenia was the first group of people to declare their Armenian Kingdom or nation Christians in 301AD.  However, there are other Ethnic groups who were Christians longer but are nation less. …
  • An Intestinal Diary. Warning: if feeling particularly sensitive, best not to read on.

    Mark Freeman FNP
    19 Aug 2014 | 2:15 pm
    It has been a shitty three days. With little else going on. It started off as just feeling bad…such an inadequate word to describe what old English referred to as the ague, or even better in French, la malaise.  Limbs leaden.  Lids permanently lowered. Then shaking chills and sweats and heaves, soon progressing to audible moans and eventually to sighs of self-pity. (A far cry from my stoic self-image.) Cramping led to bowels way, way beyond loose—and what are called The Squirts continued exhaustively.  Trips to the toilet as few as two times, but as many as ten an hour. These…
  • The First Apartment: A Rite of Passage

    Con Chapman
    19 Aug 2014 | 10:44 am
    Today, with the signing of a lease and payment of first and last month’s rent, security deposit, key charges, broker’s commission and the short-term national debt of Finland, my younger son became a man. For there is no step that so clearly marks the crossing of the threshold from childhood to adulthood as that which confers upon you an interest–however temporary–in real estate. As Scarlett O’Hara’s father said to her about Tara, the family plantation, in Gone With the Wind: “Land, Scarlett, land. It’s the only thing worth living for, worth fighting for, worth dying for–not…
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    The Web Writer Spotlight - Shining the light for aspiring and inspiring web writers

  • 5 Ways You Are Wasting Productive Time Online (And How to Stop It)

    Scott Huntington
    10 Aug 2014 | 10:15 am
    Have you ever gone online to look up some piece of information and before you know it, it’s three hours later and you haven’t written a single word? The internet is a great resource for writers because of the nearly limitless access to information, but it can also be a great source of distraction. Click bait headlines wish to attract your visits in order to make money putting ads in front of your eyeballs. Notifications pop up and demand your attention to deliver messages that usually don’t even matter. Even weather.com has distracting stories like “Kayaker’s SHOCKING Catch!”…
  • 10 Fun Tips on Writing by Joyce Carol Oates

    Staff Writers
    1 Aug 2014 | 1:40 pm
    "I've never given up. I've always kept going. I don't feel that I could afford to give up." ~ Joyce Carol Oates, born: June 16, 1938, in Lockport, New York Joyce Carol Oates, three time nominee for the Pulitzer Prize and recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, has published more than 100 books of fiction, non-fiction, drama and poetry over the past 50 years. Her literary achievement and distinction has led some critics to label her (perhaps out of envy) as "a word machine."   But, writing hasn’t always been easy even for someone as…
  • 10 Golden Types of Web Content to Specialize In

    David K. William
    26 Jul 2014 | 11:53 am
    What type of web content do you specialize in? Web content is generally the reason why people visit websites. The two main categories of web content are: Text (the written content that's on the web page) and multimedia (the non-textual content on the page, such as images and video). As web writers, we focus primarily on textual content.  If you are looking to make the leap into web writing or you are a seasoned content writer and just want to take your writing career in a different direction, specializing in a few types of web content niches or sub-sections can sharpen your skills and…
  • 7 Signs You’re Not Ready to Quit Your Day Job

    Leah Rutherford
    18 Jul 2014 | 5:09 am
    So things are going pretty swimmingly in your freelancing life - the opportunities keep coming in, the extra income is awesome and you’re starting to wish that you had more time to fit in your independent work. Maybe you’re even thinking about cutting back your hours at your day job, or taking the plunge and striking out on your own. Quitting your job to pursue your talents and passions is not a decision to take lightly. In most cases, the choice is final; there’s no magical undo button. Take a look at the following seven warning signs that could mean you’re not ready yet. If you…
  • 9 Things to Do When You Feel Like Giving Up on Your Talent and Dream

    David K. William
    10 Jul 2014 | 12:02 pm
    Making a living from your creative abilities or talent is hard. If you can do anything else for a living, you probably should. For example, it’s hard to make a living as a freelance writer. One reason it’s hard is because quality publications like Gawker.com or TIME.com stick to their own staff writers and avoid hiring many freelance writers. Other publishers want the services of freelance writers, but don’t want to pay for the services. You may recall the incident where award winning investigative journalist Nate Thayer revealed an e-mail correspondence he had with Olga Khazan,…
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    Angie's Diary

  • Ukraine, Russian Oligarchs, and Jerry Springer

    Paul Collins
    19 Aug 2014 | 7:24 am
    Angie's Diary Angie's Diary - Online Magazine The Russian Oligarchs still face a future of being War Criminals. Ukraine is Putin's last stand and Russia's false return to past glories Ukraine, Russian Oligarchs, and Jerry Springer Paul Collins
  • What is Wrinkle Repair?

    Nancy Duci Denofio
    19 Aug 2014 | 4:34 am
    Angie's Diary Angie's Diary - Online Magazine I want to look good enough so I can smile, feel good about myself, and keep my self-esteem What is Wrinkle Repair? Nancy Duci Denofio
  • Were They Insane?

    Susan Fleet
    18 Aug 2014 | 11:25 am
    Angie's Diary Angie's Diary - Online Magazine What do you think? Should the insanity defense be allowed? Were these men insane? Were They Insane? Susan Fleet
  • Tim Flanagan

    Paul Collins
    16 Aug 2014 | 1:11 am
    Angie's Diary Angie's Diary - Online Magazine Author Tim Flanagan works as a Podiatrist in private practice. A Paul Collins Interview. Tim Flanagan Paul Collins
  • The Window

    Cynthia Emily Griggs - Niswonger
    15 Aug 2014 | 2:23 pm
    Angie's Diary Angie's Diary - Online Magazine I gather those moments by the window and clutch them to myself. I wrap the gratitude in with the sweet pricking pain The Window Cynthia Emily Griggs - Niswonger
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    The GrammarPhile Blog

  • Tribute to the Left(-handed World)

    13 Aug 2014 | 3:30 am
    Today is International Left-Handers Day. Left-handed people are in their right minds. "Left" is the past tense of "leave." "Leaves" are foliage. Clear up your confusion with today's vocabulary test. 1. cade:(a) on or toward the left side of a ship; (b) given or left by a will; (c) left by its mother and reared by hand; (d) a Chinese cabbage forming an open head with left-winding white stalks and green leaves. 2. sitzmark (a) a depression left in the snow by a skier falling backward; (b) a pleat made by forming two folded edges one facing right and the other left; (c) the paint left on a…
  • More Questions for Our Grammar Experts

    24 Jul 2014 | 3:30 am
    Here are some more questions we've received from readers who are unsure about something they're writing. See their questions and test yourself against our experts. After you've completed your answers, please click the link at the bottom of the post to see our Grammar Experts' answers.  
  • Polite Requests

    16 Jul 2014 | 2:30 am
    We're often asked how to punctuate requests properly and politely. Today's post addresses this issue.
  • The Subjunctive Mood Adds Elegance

    10 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    Want to be known as an eloquent speaker and compelling writer? Use the subjunctive mood more. Use it to express a wish, a demand, a requirement, an exhortation, or a statement contrary to fact--as well as in a number of fixed idioms.
  • Don't Break the Law with Legal Numbers

    27 Jun 2014 | 3:30 am
      Here are some writing tips from the leading legal writing style guide, The Redbook / A Manual On Legal Style by Bryan Garner. Our topic today is numbers. The Redbook generally follows AP in the basics: spell out one through nine and use numerals for 10 and above. Here are some other rules from The Redbook:
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    Positive Writer

  • Become A Better Writer with 51 Mind-blowing Resources

    Bryan Hutchinson
    15 Aug 2014 | 11:29 pm
    Let’s face it, we all want to become better writers. Don’t we? I know I do. I strive to become a better writer every day, and in order to improve I’ve discovered the secret is in having awesome resources at your disposal. What follows are a list of links to resources I’ve found pretty darn useful. Most are remarkable blog posts containing brilliant tips, tricks, and top secret, secrets. The following resources are not in any order The numbers are only to give an appearance of organization, so it’s not necessary to get more excited about #2 than #32. Unless, of course,…
  • How To Become A Prolific Writer While Holding Down A Day Job

    Bryan Hutchinson
    14 Aug 2014 | 12:35 am
    One of the most frequent questions I receive is: How can I write and hold down a day job at the same time? There’s a common belief (and a few myths that support it) that you can only do one or the other. But that’s not true. I have a day job, and I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing and publishing. Maybe you’re kind of stuck in a place where I once was and you’re only writing when you feel inspired and can fit it in here and there. I figured out that if I wanted to be a writer who actually writes and publishes, I needed to take my writing seriously and give it the…
  • 3 Myths That Hold Your Best Writing Back

    Bryan Hutchinson
    13 Aug 2014 | 12:07 am
    The odds are if you write in public you want people to read your work. Seems like a reasonable assumption. I mean, if we don’t care if anyone’s reading our work, then we should stick to personal journals that we keep hidden under our pillows. You can hide your work if you want to, and if you hide your work you’ll never let yourself down. But if you’re interested in getting your work noticed don’t fall for the myths presented in this post. Here’s the thing, a lot of us (and I mean A LOT) who start out blogging and publishing go through the phase of, ‘no…
  • 4 Effective Ways to Beat Writer’s Burnout

    Shanan Haislip
    10 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    It goes beyond mere writer’s block. It doesn’t care about deadlines, and can stopper your writing voice for months at a time. It’s deep, it’s baffling and it’s not often talked about in writing circles. It’s writer’s burnout. And whether you’re published or not, prolific or not, writer’s burnout is coming for you. In fact, I’m sure you’ve already experienced it, and perhaps you’re even battling it right now. Are you ready to beat it? What’s Writer’s Burnout? Unlike writer’s block, in which your writing voice gets tangled in a web of competing thoughts…
  • Why Failure IS an Option for Writers (and everyone else!)

    The Magic Violinist
    22 Jul 2014 | 11:29 pm
    “Failure is not an option.” We hear it all the time. People have even made T-shirts with that motto. And by saying it’s not an option, we associate failure as a negative thing. But what if it were an option? What holds us back when we’re writing? What causes us to stop in the middle of a sentence and hit the backspace button? For me—and for many of you, I’m sure—there are three things: 1. I’m stuck. 2. I’m bored. 3. I’m scared. Which one used to stop me the most? If you thought number three, you’re right! Early on in the stages of writing—before I found these fantastic…
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    Christian Writer | Christian Writing | Christian Books

  • Mentoring: Pay It Forward

    14 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    Margaret Daley, award-winning author of 90 books (5 million sold worldwide and counting), shares her passion for mentoring and why she believes all writers, no matter what stage they are in their writing life, should mentor other writers and be mentored in turn. The post Mentoring: Pay It Forward appeared first on Christian Writer | Christian Writing | Christian Books.
  • Interview: Lin Ball, (Ex) Writer, Torch Trust

    7 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    I always consider that newspaper journalism – writing to order and to deadline – was the best training I could have had for a career in writing. The post Interview: Lin Ball, (Ex) Writer, Torch Trust appeared first on Christian Writer | Christian Writing | Christian Books.
  • Book Review: Foundations21 Study Books ‘Jesus’ and ‘Prayer, by Claire Musters

    31 Jul 2014 | 9:00 am
    Does the world need another Bible study book or discipleship course on Jesus? The Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF) clearly thinks so. The post Book Review: Foundations21 Study Books ‘Jesus’ and ‘Prayer, by Claire Musters appeared first on Christian Writer | Christian Writing | Christian Books.
  • My Silhouette Style: Where Faith and Fashion Writing Meet

    24 Jul 2014 | 9:00 am
    As a fashion writer, I want to show people that fashion is fun, exciting and meant to reflect a person’s God-given personality, and not about ‘showing all’. The post My Silhouette Style: Where Faith and Fashion Writing Meet appeared first on Christian Writer | Christian Writing | Christian Books.
  • Interview: Claire Musters, Author of the Foundations21 Books: Prayer, and Jesus

    17 Jul 2014 | 9:00 am
    I do feel called to be open and honest in my writing and hope that the way I share some of my own struggles helps others to be real about theirs. The post Interview: Claire Musters, Author of the Foundations21 Books: Prayer, and Jesus appeared first on Christian Writer | Christian Writing | Christian Books.
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    Now Novel

  • Titles that sing

    13 Aug 2014 | 3:39 am
          Although it is said that you can’t judge a book by its cover, most of us would have to admit we have been attracted to or put off a book by its title. A good title is essential for your novel, but how do you choose the right one? For a lucky few works or writers, titles come easily. They present themselves in a line of prose, or the writer thinks of the title before even beginning the novel. However, choosing the right title can be a struggle for many other writers. Even when a novel does have what seems like an acceptable title, a writer may find that over the…
  • 7 reasons writing a book makes you a champion

    7 Aug 2014 | 12:27 am
    Many people talk about wanting to write a book “someday,” but few progress beyond that point. Anyone who has written a novel knows the enormous effort – both physical and mental – that goes into finishing a book, and here are seven reasons you can feel proud of your own efforts. • You will accomplish something few people ever will. Writing a book is up there with running a marathon, travelling the world and other someday-but-not-today long term projects that people talk about but not many actually attempt or manage to complete. You will show that you know how to…
  • Who is the unreliable narrator?

    30 Jul 2014 | 12:43 am
    The character who is an unreliable narrator can be one of the most powerful tools available to a writer. The unreliability may be obvious to the reader throughout the novel, may be revealed gradually or may come as a single revelation that results in a major plot twist. An unreliable narrator is a character who tells the readers a story that the reader cannot take at face value. This may be because the point of view character is insane, lying, deluded or for any number of other reasons. The phrase “unreliable narrator” was first used by the literary critic Wayne Booth in the early…
  • The Rise of Book Blog Tours

    22 Jul 2014 | 12:23 am
        Nobody can dispute the power of social media. The digital age is well and truly upon us, and anyone who digs their heels in and clings to the old ways will be left “holding the bag”. But where to start? Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr…the list is endless and can be very daunting, particularly for those of us who are not exactly “techno-savvy”.   In the publishing world, physical book tours are expensive, time-consuming and sadly, too often, just not worth it. This is tragic, because as an author, there is nothing better than being able to…
  • How to incorporate flashbacks and flash forwards in your novel

    21 Jul 2014 | 1:05 am
    The flash forward is less familiar to most readers and writers than the flashback, but both serve the purpose of moving the reader and the protagonists forward or backward through time. To use them effectively, it is important to have a clear sense of their purpose, integrate them smoothly into your writing and use them sparingly. Flash forwards and flashbacks are technically called prolepsis and analepsis. The former may be best-known from the story A Christmas Carol in which Ebeneezer Scrooge travels ahead in time with the Ghost of Christmas Future and witnesses his own funeral. Generally,…
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    The Gryphon Clerks

  • Untold History of the Gryphon Clerks

    Mike Reeves-McMillan
    18 Aug 2014 | 1:15 pm
    I’ve hinted at some of this before, but there’s a substantial history to the world of the Gryphon Clerks novels which sets up some of the conflicts and opportunities that are explored in the series. I thought I’d post it as a summary here for fans to enjoy. Many centuries ago, the elves kidnapped a group of humans from our world – somewhere in the Mediterranean region, and before people there were literate, so a very long time ago in our world’s timeline. They made them slaves, in order to have someone to do the work that their own discontented lower classes…
  • How to be a Light Hybrid Author

    Mike Reeves-McMillan
    16 Jun 2014 | 4:53 pm
    I recently participated in a thread on Google+ started by someone who was arguing for leaving self-publishing in favour of trad pub. Now, I’m not sure if he’s genuinely naive or just trolling, but his view of trad pub is, let’s say, rosier than the facts justify. I’ve set out my views on traditional publishing before, but to summarise: the main remaining benefits of traditional publishing that I can see are wider exposure, including print distribution to bookstores, and some residual (and rapidly vanishing) extra credibility. The two are intertwined. There are many…
  • Lost Books

    Mike Reeves-McMillan
    11 Jun 2014 | 2:30 pm
    As I gear up to publish Beastheads, the next Gryphon Clerks novel, and my short story collection Good Neighbours and Other Stories, I’ve been reflecting on the books I haven’t published. It’s sometimes pointed out that one of the problems with self-publishing is that there’s nothing to stop people publishing novels that should never have seen the light of day, “practice” books that are useful for learning, but will only put your potential audience off your writing if anyone reads them. In the biz, these are known as “trunk” novels, because back…
  • Makers of Magic: New Project

    Mike Reeves-McMillan
    29 May 2014 | 2:33 pm
    I’ve been working on this one for a little while now, but I decided it’s time to announce it on my blog. Makers of Magic will be a single-author themed anthology, thirteen stories in twelve settings (two Gryphon Clerks ones), each with a different kind of magic-user as a character. Mostly, the magic-using character will be the protagonist, but sometimes the antagonist, or maybe even a secondary character. A single-author anthology unified by theme rather than setting is unusual. I’m sure someone else has done it, but I’m not aware of any. The reason I’m doing it…
  • Is Speculative Fiction?

    Mike Reeves-McMillan
    22 May 2014 | 4:36 pm
    I’m going to do a foolish thing here. I’m going to set up a distinction. Nothing is more likely to lead to arguments than definitions, but here we go. Speculative fiction. It’s a term that’s used to cover SF, fantasy and (supernatural) horror, and the bits and pieces that fall in between and across those genres. Bizarro, weird, surrealist, magical realist, slipstream – you could toss them all into a broad definition of spec-fic, though it’s more often used for SFF: science fiction and fantasy (“oh, and horror, I suppose” as an afterthought).
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  • It’s Been A Long Time

    Derek Rizzo
    2 Aug 2014 | 3:48 pm
    You make me dance and jump for your love. I’ve always played the fool and it was fun. I am your fool now, and The work is hard. You switch from emotion to emotion in a breath! I cannot sustain in the whirlwind. How can I do what you need, when you don’t Know what you want. In the vast sea of your insecurity , I am drowning! Where went the joy? Did you ever have it? Do I hope for something, that will never flower? Happiness..? It’s been a long time.   Tagged: Arts, Derek Rizzo, fool, Happiness, happy, joy, Life, love, North Carolina, Online Writing, People, poems, poet,…
  • Sunlit Thoughts

    Derek Rizzo
    10 Jul 2014 | 8:15 am
    Sun-baked brown, burnt hill. Dead, Crunchy, Greying, Pine needles. Shield me, From the Chaotic sound Of the world, Packed into Their cars Gliding by. I am Ponderous In the sunlight. Watching the world Pass, In a warm, Beer laden haze. Where Do they go? Why Must they rush? A smile, A sip, And my mind Moves to other Sunlit Thoughts. Tagged: Arts, beer, cars, Derek Rizzo, Earth, Life, literature, North Carolina, Online Writing, Poem, poems, poet, poetry, Reading, sun, Sunlight, sunlit, Thebloggingwriter, thoughtful, world, write, writing
  • The Music Of The Band

    Derek Rizzo
    3 Jul 2014 | 1:37 pm
    Scream and wail! Send that beautiful Music Through the air.   Make me close my eyes, And sway along. Make me abandon All inhibition, and dance.   Let me forget for a while. Light my day With a thoughtful smile.   Sing to me Of shared pain. Remind me through song, Of forgotten happiness.   Transport me To another realm. Where emotion, and the soul are guides.   I want to Float here. In the waves Of your music.   Free my mind, Allow it to wander untethered. And for this, I will always give homage To your creation.     Tagged: band, concert, dance,…
  • excuse me

    Derek Rizzo
    23 Jun 2014 | 12:42 pm
    I’m sorry, can you not see that your shit is encroaching on me? Are you not aware of the rules of civility rules we all try to live by? Those rules, are for us all to live. Not for nice people to give and give. So we choose today to take a stand and defend our little piece of land, our homes our space and remind you kindly, to your face, If you are sweet and nice, you show your grace. Those that don’t should get outta our space. So we’re very sorry that we have to say, you are no longer allowed to mess up our day. Tagged: civility, excuse me, Life, lifestyle, Poem, poems,…
  • 16 Jun 2014 | 1:05 pm

    Derek Rizzo
    16 Jun 2014 | 1:05 pm
    There are two eyes, dark and lustrous. They have burned their image into my soul. They now reside there permanently, so when I close my eyes, they are all I see. They shine with a dark light They resonate with mystery. I want to uncover the clues, follow each tendril of those mysteries, until I find the trail that leads me, home to her soul.
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    A Blog for the Comma Man

  • Repetition: Making Prospects Remember Your Key Messages

    Freestyle Editorial
    29 Jul 2014 | 8:32 am
    Think about your most recent proposal or presentation. Did you use clear, simple messaging? Great. Did you limit your focus to the three (plus or minus one) main benefits your service/product will provide to your prospect? Even better. Did your prospect remember them? Don’t be so sure. According to two studies at Indiana University, information [...]Read More »
  • Three Is a Magic Number (for Proposals and Presentations)

    Freestyle Editorial
    9 Jul 2014 | 12:53 pm
    Chances are your organization has lots of compelling features and benefits. Most do. But when crafting a proposal or presentation, how many should you highlight for your prospect? Five? Ten? According to cognitive psychologists, it’s probably less than you think. That’s why this week, in continuing our discussion of simplicity, we’re examining your prospects’ short-term [...]Read More »
  • Four Reasons to Keep Your Content Simple

    Freestyle Editorial
    5 Jun 2014 | 9:05 am
    Your prospects are bombarded with persuasive messages—400 a day, according to psychologist Kevin Dutton. Moreover, research shows that 81 percent of those messages contain more written or verbal content than is necessary, encouraging audiences to tune out, gloss over, and move on. It’s time to streamline. So before allowing the kitchen sink to be tossed [...]Read More »
  • Five Tools for Averting Proposal Disaster

    Freestyle Editorial
    15 Apr 2014 | 8:54 am
    We all know that proper planning and communication can go a long way to preventing last-minute proposal chaos. But let’s be honest: Every proposal writer, no matter how prepared, has felt the stress of a down-to-the-wire proposal submission. It’s a terrible feeling, and according to a recent study from the University of Washington, that stress [...]Read More »
  • Seven Tips for Working with Subject Matter Experts

    Freestyle Editorial
    19 Mar 2014 | 1:20 pm
    Marketing and proposal writers are used to overcoming obstacles. Shifting deadlines, fluctuating workloads, snarky executives, and poorly written Requests for Proposals: they’re just part of the job. But as we found in our recent business writing survey, one challenge continually stands above the rest—working with subject matter experts. That’s why this week we’re exploring seven [...]Read More »
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    The Red Ink

  • 5 Job Interview Questions Designed to Trip You Up

    Grammar Chic, Inc.
    18 Aug 2014 | 7:51 am
    It’s the human element that makes interviewing for a job so tricky, so daunting. You can hold all the practice interviews and rehearse all the canned answers you want, but at the end of the day you’re going to be sitting across from another human being, who can ask nearly any question that springs to mind. While it is both good and right to prepare for common, stock interview questions, the applicant must also go into each interview with the knowledge that anything could happen. On that note: There are some surprisingly (and increasingly) popular interview questions that you should make a…
  • How to Recycle Your Best Content

    Grammar Chic, Inc.
    15 Aug 2014 | 10:48 am
    Summer after summer, Hollywood parades an unending list of movie spin-offs and sequels, and summer after summer moviegoers complain about it. Here’s the thing, though: Even amidst our complaining we still go to see the movies—so you can hardly blame the studios for sticking to a successful formula. Even now, the #1 film in the world is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a title that’s been around for decades now—proof enough that you don’t always need a brand new idea to attain some level of success. (And sometimes, we might note, the sequels are actually good from a quality perspective;…
  • 4 Kinds of Pointless Online Content

    Grammar Chic, Inc.
    13 Aug 2014 | 10:35 am
    “Content is king,” we’ve heard time and time again, and it seems truer by the day. More and more business owners are coming around to the idea that creating good, value-adding content is one of the very best ways to build their brand’s authority, visibility, and prestige. It cultivates customer loyalty and name recognition, and it gives your brand a voice and an edge over the competition. The benefits of great, original, reader-focused content are truly numerous. Of course, there is such a thing as bad content. Grammar Chic recently blogged about some of the telltale signs of awful…
  • Are You Breaking Your Content Marketing Budget?

    Grammar Chic, Inc.
    11 Aug 2014 | 9:59 am
    As with all the other facets of running your business, content marketing is really all about ROI. Ultimately, it’s successful when it brings in more money than it takes away; in other words, the sales or buzz you generate from content marketing needs to be worth more than whatever you’re paying to have that content marketing done. There are a couple of ways in which content marketing can be ineffective, then, and the most obvious is that you simply don’t bring in the leads and conversions you need to make it worthwhile. More insidious is the possibility that you may be getting good…
  • 4 Common ‘Contact Us’ Page Errors

    Grammar Chic, Inc.
    8 Aug 2014 | 8:18 am
    Most business websites have a “contact us” page—an easy-to-find destination for customers who have either made up their mind and wish to order a product, or who simply desire to know more about what the company can do. The contact page is typically the briefest and simplest on the site, and in many cases writing content for the “contact us” page is something of an afterthought. In fact, more and more business websites forgo “contact us” content altogether, favoring a simple page with a long e-mail address or a contact form. This is a mistake: Content is king, after all, and its…
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    Writing By The Seat of My Pants

  • The Art Of The Pre-Launch: Putting It All Together

    Rachel Rueben
    17 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    By Contemplative Imaging via Flickr Pre-launches are a confusing issue for indies, many mistake pre-selling as pre-launching however a pre-launch is the issuing of a book for industry purposes and not necessarily for public consumption. Actually, a pre-launch is a powerful tool and can get the ball rolling when it comes to sales and reviews.   In fact, a pre-launch is a business plan for your book.  Simply clicking publish is not a pre-launch.  Many authors think that uploading their book to Amazon is the sum total of indie publishing when in fact, it’s only the beginning of the…
  • How To Publish And Get Featured On Barnes & Noble

    Rachel Rueben
    10 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    By Grilled Cheese via Flickr It’s the second largest book retailer after Amazon depending on who you ask. There’s no doubt the past few years has been rough for Barnes and Noble with plummeting Nook sales, store closings, as well as many layoffs.  But in spite of all that, B&N has begun to gain some steady footing by reorganizing their company and hiring a new CEO.  So despite the rumors of Barnes & Noble’s demise, they’re not going anywhere, anytime soon. Why not go Exclusive with Amazon? Not long ago, I had a friend ask about my print book and when I told her it was…
  • The Indie’s Guide to Researching Potential Book Promoters

    Rachel Rueben
    3 Aug 2014 | 2:08 am
    By Paurian via Flickr In the age of the indie author it’s pretty cool to have multiple avenues to promote our work. However not all services are created equal and sometimes it’s hard to tell who’s on the up and up when it comes to value and integrity. Today, I hope to show a few techniques that I’ve used to check out services claiming to promote books to the moon.  Whether it’s advertising, newsletters or blogtours, I’ve got you covered. Newsletters In my opinion newsletters are the hardest to research because many promotional sites won’t reveal their numbers. Those…
  • Should Indie Authors Approach Book Clubs?

    Rachel Rueben
    27 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    An author Skyping into a book discussion. By Cesar Astudillo via Flickr It’s an area most indie authors ignore when promoting their work, and it’s a shame because many readers love to connect with authors. Whether it’s on social media, podcasts or live and in person, readers want to know more about the people behind the books they enjoy.  Made popular by the suburban housewife, book clubs are everywhere and not only that, there book clubs in schools, libraries and even prisons. There are two routes you can go, approach an online book club or make an arrangement to meet with them live…
  • Noise Trade: Letting Others Decide Your Book’s Worth

    Rachel Rueben
    20 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    Noisetrade began as an indie music site where up and coming musicians could give away their work for exposure. However there was a twist, unlike most freebie sites, customers could tip artists. It was sort of a pay what you can thing.  Recently, Noisetrade got into the book business, and indie authors like Hugh Howey, are all onboard.  You see, all the cool authors are doing it but should you? The Good, the Bad, the What? According to the site, authors upload their ebooks and readers get to download it for free and if they (the readers) feel moved, they’ll tip you.  Noisetrade only takes…
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    Derailed Thoughts

  • We’re Doing It Again! The Fantastic Blog Hop Returns But Different.

    Rachel Rueben
    14 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    The Fantastic Blog Hop is here again, but this time bigger and better than ever!
  • Fedelta Parte 12: Hangman

    Rachel Rueben
    6 Aug 2014 | 12:18 pm
    Originally posted on Cereal Authors:By mhlradio via Flickr Amato went to the rendezvous point at the 52nd street junk yard to meet New York’s infamous investigative reporter, Javier Marín. It was an unusual cool June morning but Amato wasn’t the least bit nervous in fact, he was determined to get this done. Feeling the…
  • Fedelta Parte 11: The No Tell Motel

    Rachel Rueben
    11 Jul 2014 | 3:35 pm
    Originally posted on Cereal Authors:By Jason B. via Flickr Nervously Amato looked out of his window, before answering the door. He wasn’t safe as long as his heart was still beating. They wouldn’t quit until he and Cassie were dead which made his situation dire. It was just the manager wanting his money. Quickly…
  • Psst…There’s a Contest Going on

    Rachel Rueben
    29 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    Free book! Shout it from the roof tops, share it on Facebook, and tell your mama!
  • Fedelta: Chapter 10: Identity Crisis

    Rachel Rueben
    5 Apr 2014 | 3:18 pm
    Originally posted on Cereal Authors:Photo by Jared Asato via Flickr As the morning sun struggled to pierce through the grey clouds, Detective Amato tried to make sense of what happened in Xavier Park. 24 hours ago it would have been inconceivable that a woman was able to take down one of the Mob’s up…
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    S.A. Barton: Seriously Eclectic

  • Patreon Exclusive Short Story: Waiting For

    S. A. Barton
    19 Aug 2014 | 1:31 pm
        Thanks to supportive friends and family, I’ve reached (over) $20/month in patronage on Patreon. Every dollar makes it a little easier to remain a full-time writer — many thanks! I promised that when I reached $20/month I would post a short story that would remain exclusive to Patreon for 90 days. I posted […]
  • Because One Wasn’t Enough: A Second, Pathos-Filled, Robin Williams Post

    S. A. Barton
    13 Aug 2014 | 1:54 pm
    Alright, the first post wasn’t enough. The suicide of Robin Williams has deeply affected me. I’m sad. I’m really sad. I feel, genuinely, like a member of my family has died. Perhaps a beloved uncle or aunt, someone I thought of often, talked to often, cared about deeply. Tears come and go at irregular intervals. […]
  • Obligatory Robin Williams Post

    S. A. Barton
    13 Aug 2014 | 8:51 am
    Robin Williams was of my father’s generation, just one year younger. When I was a child, I watched him play ‘Mork’ on televison. I couldn’t tell you the plot of a single episode; I remember I enjoyed watching. Later, I watched Mr. Williams in a number of movies and generally enjoyed his performances. I enjoyed […]
  • Angsty Emo Writer Blah Blah

    S. A. Barton
    12 Aug 2014 | 6:01 pm
      A few days of new words coming slowly and with great reluctance really grates on my nerves. Successful writers will mostly tell you that success — having a goodly number of readers and selling material regularly — comes slowly. That sure seems to be how it’s going so far for me. The success stories […]
  • Title Number Fifty-Five: The Moon Under the Stars

    S. A. Barton
    8 Aug 2014 | 3:39 pm
      So, yeah. As of now I have fifty-five short story and collection ebook titles out there for folks to read. This latest is a short tale of superheroes and fandom, and it’s a mere 99 cents. It’s available on Smashwords right now, and will appear with other ebook retailers shortly, most likely within two […]
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    Creative Genius 101

  • To All Big Mouths: Junk the Jargon and Write in Plain English by Brian Scott

    Brian Scott
    12 Aug 2014 | 9:41 am
    Jargon is a specialized writing style often abused by big business, certain trade industries in the legal and medical fields, federal and state governments, and institutes of education. Jargon contains "workshop words," vague figures of speech, hackneyed expressions, and pompous writing that communicators use obsessively to communicate with their peers and colleagues. Many communicators who are
  • The Query Letter: Advice for the Aspiring Writer by Brian Scott

    Brian Scott
    17 May 2014 | 8:31 am
    Freelance writing can be an exciting career choice or a creative way to make extra money on the side. The daily chore of freelancing involves seeking out new editorial markets, whether print magazines, online ezines, news journals, etc. If you have an idea for an article, the most common method to procure a writing assignment is with a well-written, compelling, and persuasive query letter.
  • 10 Fascinating Facts about William Shakespeare by Brian Scott

    Brian Scott
    1 May 2014 | 2:51 pm
    Few figures in history have had a lasting effect the way William Shakespeare has. Simply stating the man's name is enough to make a connection to literature, drama, and the written word as a creative tool rather than just a means of communication. But even with a legacy as robust and celebrated as time has awarded William Shakespeare, other trivial facts make this historical giant even more
  • 10 Style Guides for Writers, Authors and Editors

    Brian Scott
    11 Apr 2014 | 7:25 am
    Style guides provide writers and non-writers with a manual of rules for writing, formatting and creating documents. They govern consistency and uniformity. Many of us have used a style guide in school, such as APA Style, MLA Style or Chicago Manual of Style, to format and cite sources for a thesis, dissertation or research paper. You may have used a style guide when you composed an article for
  • 15 Tips to Write, Format and Distribute a Press Release

    Brian Scott
    27 Mar 2014 | 8:59 am
    A well-written press release can greatly boost your sales, promote your business globally, and significantly improve the image of your business, products and/or services. I share with you my own 15 PR tips that will guide you in the right direction to: 1) write a newsworthy press release for any occasion; 2) format a press release for print media and digital media; 3) distribute your press
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    Your Story Coach - Advanced IM Coaching

  • 3 Things You Need To Understand Before Trying CPA Marketing

    26 Jul 2014 | 5:43 pm
    There are many things you need to know about marketing before getting started which applies to both beginners and those that are experienced. First, there are several different types of marketing networks that all provide you with something different. Next, it’s important to know the type of traffic different advertising networks are providing because some will be more useful than others. If you’re looking to make money by joining an advertising network as a publisher than you need to know what will earn you money when working with that network. For example, CPA networks will actually pay…
  • 3 Reasons Why Beginners Need Internet Marketing Training

    14 Jul 2014 | 9:51 pm
    Internet marketing is growing each year and there are new and improved ways for people to make money online. As a matter of fact, some people have made some incredible money buying and selling products online. They know the science behind internet marketing which is why they have been able to succeed. However, no matter how good these people are and as internet marketing keeps growing, it’s important to still know the fundamentals involved. Even the most successful people in internet marketing started as beginners and they learned the tricks as time went on. If you are looking to get…
  • 3 Reasons To Invest In Internet Marketing Training

    6 Jun 2014 | 12:04 pm
    The internet has forever changed the face of business, marketing and communication. To that end, internet marketing training has become essential to all interactive marketers across the globe. It helps to prepare those who want to explore the world of marketing products and services to the online world. Before we look at the reasons to invest in internet marketing training, you’ll first need to know what internet marketing is. In precise terms, internet marketing is a name given to online marketing strategies that help businesses to get people searching the online web to look at what they…
  • 3 Effective Ways to Do Facebook Marketing

    3 Jun 2014 | 1:04 pm
    Facebook marketing has gained a lot of popularity in the modern times, since the advent of this online social networking service in early 2004, many successful business owners have used it as a platform to market their business and connect on a one-on-one basis with their customers. Facebook marketing is a simple and much easier way where you are capable of meeting millions of people across the globe and using it as a platform to market yourself. Here, you will be on the positive side of scaling to better economic growth. The most important thing that you should put into consideration is to…
  • FB Echo Review & Bonus By Jason Fladlien

    31 Mar 2014 | 9:31 pm
    Here is a FB Echo review of Jason Fladlien’s new Facebook software! Also get details on a killer FB Echo Bonus worth over $5,000! FB Echo review If you want more information on Facebook check it out here: Facebook
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    Jeremy Porter

  • Earth isn’t dying; people are

    Jeremy Porter
    11 Aug 2014 | 5:06 am
    Milton Glaser has a new logo to raise raise awareness about pollution and extreme weather. The logo is fine, but what about the language? Milton Glaser’s logo Image: Milton Glaser “It’s not warming. It’s dying.” That’s the message from the man behind the ‘I Love NY’ logo, Milton Glaser. The message comes with a logo and buttons to buy. Glaser says that ‘global warming’ is not good language. On that, he’s right, but reframing it as ‘global dying’ is worse. In an interview with WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Glaser said,…
  • Comparing two brands — Lyft and Uber

    Jeremy Porter
    5 Aug 2014 | 4:48 am
    Lyft and Uber are new services seeking to disrupt the taxi industry. Similar services, but what about the brands? Taxi Photo: Pierre Gimond A brand is the expression of values and purpose. When companies offering the same service launch within a short period, the brand matters even more. Lyft and Uber are two such companies. They are well on their way to changing how we get somewhere when we can’t use a car or public transport. Their cars may eventually outnumber traditional taxis. Both services make things easier for the customer. There’s no need to stand on the…
  • Doing an interview? Know your numbers

    Jeremy Porter
    27 Jun 2014 | 5:12 am
    Don’t waste a good media opportunity by not preparing. Know your message, and always make sure you know your numbers. Photo: Matthew Keefe Before speaking to a journalist you must prepare. Even if you’ve done hundreds of media interviews, don’t get complacent. Think about the questions you will be asked. If the most important part of the story is numbers — make sure you know them. This is basic public relations advice, but it’s advice the Wellington Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown, seemed to forget. When a reporter asked her the most basic question about plans to build more…
  • Words that beat ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ — a guide

    Jeremy Porter
    17 Jun 2014 | 8:28 am
    For people to care about global warming it needs to be made relevant. This guide shows the language that’s simple and uncontroversial. Aerial views of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy to the New Jersey coast. Photo: Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen In Nebraska, there’s a father thinking about his children’s health and education. In Oregon there’s a mother thinking about the pressures of her job. In Virginia there’s a couple thinking about the bills they will struggle to pay. And when asked if they think global warming or climate change is happening, none of them…
  • The missing contenders in ‘climate change’ vs ‘global warming’ fight

    Jeremy Porter
    4 Jun 2014 | 2:56 am
    The climate change vs global warming language debate ignores better words like health, pollution, creating jobs, and extreme weather Smoke stacks in Florida. Credit: Kim Seng Climate change/global warming is an issue riddled with poor communication and an emotion deficit. Those talking about global warming continue to ignore the best advice and use language like “emissions”, “impact on the climate”, “carbon emissions”, and “parts per million”. So it was with great interest I read the new report from Yale which suggests “global…
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    Randi Minerva

  • Tarot Tip #43: Do You Really Need Another Tarot Deck?

    R. Minerva
    5 Aug 2014 | 4:30 am
    Follow the Pinterest Board. Questions about the Tarot? Ask away! I’ll answer your question and if I choose it as part of a Tarot Tip post, I’ll credit you and link to your blog/business/Etsy shop! Ask me on Twitter @RandiMinerva Or e-mail me your question: randiminerva@gmail.com Get your tarot reading here.
  • Tarot Tip # 42: Fancy Tarot Spreads

    R. Minerva
    29 Jul 2014 | 4:30 am
    Subscribe to the newsletter here. Get your tarot reading here. Follow the Pinterest Board. Questions about the Tarot? Ask away! I’ll answer your question and if I choose it as part of a Tarot Tip post, I’ll credit you and link to your blog/business/Etsy shop! Ask me on Twitter @RandiMinerva Or e-mail me your question: randiminerva@gmail.com  
  • Tarot Tip #41: The Mundane Stuff

    R. Minerva
    22 Jul 2014 | 5:30 am
    Follow the Pinterest Board. Questions about the Tarot? Ask away! I’ll answer your question and if I choose it as part of a Tarot Tip post, I’ll credit you and link to your blog/business/Etsy shop! Ask me on Twitter @RandiMinerva Or e-mail me your question: randiminerva@gmail.com Get your tarot reading here.
  • Tarot Tip #40: Cards and Characters

    R. Minerva
    15 Jul 2014 | 5:30 am
    Follow the Pinterest Board. Questions about the Tarot? Ask away! I’ll answer your question and if I choose it as part of a Tarot Tip post, I’ll credit you and link to your blog/business/Etsy shop! Ask me on Twitter @RandiMinerva Or e-mail me your question: randiminerva@gmail.com Get your tarot reading here.
  • Tarot Tip #39: Meditation

    R. Minerva
    8 Jul 2014 | 5:30 am
    Follow the Pinterest Board. Questions about the Tarot? Ask away! I’ll answer your question and if I choose it as part of a Tarot Tip post, I’ll credit you and link to your blog/business/Etsy shop! Ask me on Twitter @RandiMinerva Or e-mail me your question: randiminerva@gmail.com Get your tarot reading here.
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  • Is Twitter a waste of time for an email marketer?

    Josh Earl
    19 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Last week while we were recording the Entreprogrammers Podcast, John Sonmez hit me with a painful proposition: Has my entire marketing strategy for my books been wrong? Let me back up. Over the last couple of months, sales of my two Sublime Text books have tapered off. I recognized the downward trend in April, and I decided to step up my marketing efforts, including: Consolidating several old blogs to improve my search engine rankings Experimenting with paid Twitter advertising Promoting my email newsletter more aggressively Increasing my email frequency (sending daily emails) Posting more…
  • Copywriting: 10 Powerful Writing Tips to Help You Sell More

    Jessica Swanson
    18 Aug 2014 | 3:40 am
    If your products or services aren’t selling…sometimes it’s all about the copywriting. So, what in the world is copywriting? And more importantly, why should you care? In a nutshell, copywriting is writing for the sole purpose of persuading people to buy your products or services. The problem is that most small business owners write their website and sales pages using the formula that they learned in school. Big mistake! Copywriting is a different animal entirely. But, the good news is that if you learn a few key points about copywrighting, you can substantially increase your sales and…
  • The ultimate guide to getting Google authorship for your site.

    Temmy Ola
    15 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    If you’ve ever carried out a Google search and seen results come out with the author’s photo and byline attached, you’ve seen the results of Google authorship. This feature of Google which launched at the end of the year 2011, allows writers to affirm their content strongly with Google through the use of their Google+ profiles. The results of these marked-up search results listings are higher clickthrough rates, greater perceived authority and increased website traffic, making it highly beneficial for site authors that are able to set up authorship correctly. Benefits of Google…
  • How an old copywriting trick can get your ideas heard

    Josh Earl
    14 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    During my workout this morning at the local YMCA, I noticed a couple of the other lifters gathered around a small placard on the decline bench press station. I hit pause on The Fizzle Show (awesome podcast, by the way, you should subscribe) and wandered closer to hear what was going on. The little card, as it turns out, was announcing a new rule: There is now a 10-minute time limit on all pieces of equipment in the free weights area. Now, I get where they’re coming from. The weight room gets pretty crowded during the 6-7 a.m. time slot when I work out. But there are roughly 30,000 people…
  • What Is Your Competitive Advantage?

    Jessica Swanson
    13 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Research suggests that you’re exposed to over 5,000 ads every single day. But, don’t worry about how you deal with all that marketing clutter. Think about your prospects, customers, and clients. That’s a lot of ads, announcements, and commercials vying for their attention. And it can be pretty daunting to be just 1 in 5,000. So, what’s your strategy for breaking through the chaos and actually getting noticed? One of the first rules of marketing is that you can’t blend in with the crowd. Ever. Think about it this way. Jane moved to Dayton, Ohio about two years ago and she is…
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    The Write Practice

  • What Stieg Larsson Got Wrong, A Writer Talks

    Liz Bureman
    19 Aug 2014 | 10:33 am
    A couple of years ago, I read Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy. You know, the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. Well, truthfully, I didn’t exactly read the trilogy. I read the first two books and ditched the third after about fifty pages. In this post, let’s talk about what Stieg Larsson to wrong in The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. Steig Larsson, Author of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Normally, I am the type of reader to see a story through to the end once I’ve started it. However, there are certain things that I expect of the authors that I…
  • 3 Essential Questions for Better Backstory

    Emily Wenstrom
    18 Aug 2014 | 9:13 am
    Every character and every world in every story has history. It’s part of the richness that makes your characters come alive. But how do you write backstory without overloading your reader? Photo by Eduardo Write Better Backstory Without Overloading Your Reader In my experience, early drafts tend to overshare on backstories, giving the reader every detail of each character’s history, the first time the character is introduced. But this can seriously disrupt your story’s flow, bore readers and even cause confusion if you’re giving information that isn’t relevant. As I work my way…
  • Writers, Here’s How to Give Fear the Finger

    Guest Blogger
    16 Aug 2014 | 7:00 am
    This guest post is by Marcy McKay. Marcy is the “Energizer Bunny of Writers.” She believes writing is delicious and messy and hard and important. If you’ve ever struggled with your writing, you can download her new and totally FREE book, Writing Naked: One Writer Dares to Bare All. Find her on Facebook! Have you ever been so afraid to do something writing-wise that you felt physically ill? Nausea strangles your throat and swirls through your gut. You feel shaky and unsure of yourself. Maybe you’re afraid to start writing that novel, to send out query letters once your…
  • Being Original

    Carlos Cooper
    14 Aug 2014 | 11:34 am
    Have you ever been afraid to start writing because you couldn’t come up with an original thought? What if I told you that being original isn’t the problem? photo credit: jairoagua via photopin cc Is Anything Really New? In our quest to be creative we sometimes miss the fact that everything we think is based on some old memory or lesson learned. How many books have been written that were inspired by past novels? Too many to count. When we get past the fact that words and ideas are essentially recycled goods it opens us up to new possibilities. Let Yourself Be Inspired It’s…
  • 5 Elements of a “Perfect” Blog Post

    Joe Bunting
    13 Aug 2014 | 12:39 pm
    We recently talked about how long your blog posts should be. Today, let’s talk about writing a blog post that helps you accomplish your goals as a writer. Photo by Annie Annie Pancake A Writer’s Guide to Blogging Sure, there are marketing tips and tricks you can use to grow your blog and get more readers, but the reality is that unless you’re writing good blog posts, no one is going to want to read your blog, no matter how many creative ways you market it. Here’s the hard truth: the single best way to accomplish your writing goals with a blog is to write better blog…
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    Lauren Sapala

  • Self Publishing or Traditional? Why It Doesn’t Matter.

    Lauren Sapala
    13 Aug 2014 | 8:40 am
    Traditional versus self-publishing has been a hot topic for quite some time now, with authors divided vehemently between the two. I have clients who are self-published and wouldn’t have it any other way. I also have clients who went the traditional route via agent to publisher and would never dream of doing it different. When we think about our writing career and the publishing industry today we tend to focus on all the differences, and which way is better. We can become obsessed with which way is the “right way” for us. The truth is that it’s hard for all of us. Sometimes that gets…
  • The Two Most Powerful Behaviors of Successful Writers

    Lauren Sapala
    6 Aug 2014 | 9:11 am
    The thing about writers is that we are rarely working on just one project at a time. We’re writing our new book—the one we’re madly in love with and staying up late to scribble on—and we’re revising the manuscript we finished before that. We’re also working on a short story or two, maybe some poetry, and trying to journal every day. And blog posts…don’t forget about blog posts, or email, our social media presence and then, of course, there are all those books we need to read. Writers are busy people. This might be why every time I tweet something out about the evil internet…
  • Why Writing the Next Bestseller Should Be Your Lowest Priority

    Lauren Sapala
    30 Jul 2014 | 9:08 am
    I’ve run into a particular type of writer’s block with many of my clients that I call “reader anticipation.” It means that the writer is so focused on anticipating what the reader wants, or how they will react, that they freeze up during the creative process and can’t move forward. One of the strongest triggers for writers seems to be reading a book that we fall in love with. After reading something phenomenal by William Faulkner, Stephen King, or Elizabeth Gilbert we’re consumed with admiration and wish we could write something just that perfect, and just that successful.
  • 5 Best Blogs for Creative Introverts

    Lauren Sapala
    23 Jul 2014 | 9:19 am
    Inspire Portal by Jo Malby http://inspireportal.com/ Described as “wisdom and wellness for conscious creatives,” Inspire Portal is built for readers looking for inspiration, healing, creative juice, and self-empowerment. Articles range from Roddy Doyle’s Ten Rules for Fiction to How Tai Chi Can Improve Your Writing to 10 Creative Benefits of Spending Time in Nature and much more. As Jo says, “Inspire Portal is a place to inspire your work and world, awakening you to who you really are, behind the protective layers and masks that hide your glorious, innate being.” If you’re a…
  • How to Unravel the Impossible Knots of Your Plot

    Lauren Sapala
    16 Jul 2014 | 8:07 am
    Writing the beginning of your book is the fun part. The characters are bright and vivid. The storyline is relatively simple and you don’t have to explain much—yet. But for many writers, as the plot progresses, things get increasingly difficult. That’s where they get stuck. Much of the time, it’s not the actual story that is bogging us down. It’s our attachment to writing it in a certain way. We might feel that we have to write it in chronological order, or that we have to write this character’s back story before we can tackle that one’s. Yes, it’s true that the way we pictured…
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    Alma Alexander: Duchess of Fantasy » BLOG

  • Magical paths

    Alma Alexander
    18 Aug 2014 | 1:01 pm
    Oh, the stories waiting to be told… 28 magical paths begging to be walked, keeping in mind a quote from J. R. R. Tolkien: “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.“ Spring In Hallerbos Forest, Belgium – Image credits: Kilian Schönberger Mount Rainier, Washington, USA – Image credits: Danielle Hughson See all the paths at Bored Panda ~~~~~ The largest public sci-fi library in the world is under threat If you’re a SF/Fantasy fan, there’s no…
  • Between the sheets

    Alma Alexander
    14 Aug 2014 | 12:28 pm
    The cover for “Fantasy Superpack #1″ is out and I’m beyond giddy at my story being sandwiched between Frederik Pohl and Philip K Dick. Another writer friend, Brenda Clough, noted gleefully that she was “…between Robert E Howard and James Blish. OMG!!!” “Hhmmm,” someone added, “women all excited to be between the sheets with a couple of guys...” “DEAD ones!“, Brenda retorted. Most of the stories are from the Golden Age of SFF, by names that are instantly recognizable, held in respect and in awe, revered, beloved of…
  • Before you die…

    Alma Alexander
    11 Aug 2014 | 8:39 am
    25 must-read books One of Powell’s Books customers asked for a list of 10 books that “everyone absolutely must read in his or her lifetime.” The question intrigued us and we immediately launched into a heated debate. Should the Bible be on the list? No text has influenced Western culture more, but might it be equally important to read the Koran or the Torah for a more enlightened worldview? Shakespeare seemed like a given, but how to choose between Hamlet and the sonnets, between A Midsummer Night’s Dream and King Lear? And what of lesser-known works — things like…
  • Men’s Lib in Austen

    Alma Alexander
    7 Aug 2014 | 8:41 am
    The comic Manfeels Park takes comments from men on the internet and puts them into scenes from Jane Austen’s stories, Jenna Guillaume of BuzzFeed reports. The comic is the brainchild of Mo and Erin, who were inspired after discussing the “man-feels” on an internet comment thread and realising it was the perfect pun for Mansfield Park. Read the Article ~~~~~ Hilarious archive of librarians’ harsh children’s book reviews One hundred years before post-millennial parents were deeming Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs inappropriate for young vegans, Jenni Avins writes at Quartz,…
  • Best SF comedies?

    Alma Alexander
    4 Aug 2014 | 4:08 pm
    The best SF comedies At io9, Alasdair Wilkins and Charlie Jane Anders picked “The 13 Greatest Science Fiction Comedies Of All Time.” They left out one of my faves, Paul, which is unforgivable. And they named a few … er, peculiar ones, but any list that includes Galaxy Quest meets with my approval. Galaxy Quest is a rare trifecta: it’s a great science fiction comedy, it’s a brilliant comedy about science fiction, and it actually works as a pretty decent science fiction film in its own right. The film never loses sight of its parody of Star Trek’s most…
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    WordPress.com News

  • Early Theme Adopters: Isola

    Ben Huberman
    19 Aug 2014 | 8:30 am
    Whether you’re a personal blogger, a designer, or an artist, Isola gives you a bright, clean space to showcase your work. Its minimalist design stays crisp across devices and screens of all sizes, with generous white space to keep the focus on your content. Isola, a free theme, comes with numerous customization options, from featured images and custom header images to sleek post formats. Let’s take a look at three sites that are already using it to great effect. Design_That’s_It Leon Scott, who writes thoughtful posts on design and technology on his aptly-named…
  • Ten Illustrators To Follow Now

    Cheri Lucas Rowlands
    15 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
    From sketches to digital art narratives, here’s a visual journey into the worlds of ten illustrators on WordPress.com. Brad Young The drawings at Brad Young Art capture life’s little moments. From pen and ink to watercolor, and gardening to food to neighborhood spots, it’s easy to get lost sifting through Brad’s mix of doodles and sketches. “Macchiato,” Brad Young Art Sarah Goodreau Sarah Goodreau, an illustrator living in Amsterdam, has a distinct style marked with the warmth you’ll find in children’s picture books, as well as the mystery of…
  • New Theme: Sketch

    Caroline Moore
    14 Aug 2014 | 10:00 am
    Today we’re happy to debut a new, free portfolio theme, Sketch! Sketch Designed by yours truly, Sketch is a clean, modern theme for showcasing your best visual works. Whether you’re a professional illustrator, an aspiring photographer, or a painter, Sketch will ensure your portfolio looks stunning no matter the device or screen size. Further customize your site with a logo, showcase your favorites with a Featured Content slider, or spruce it up with a Custom Background or Header. Take Sketch for a spin — visit the Theme Showcase to learn more, or activate it on your site by…
  • Longreads’ Best of WordPress, Vol. 3

    Mark Armstrong
    12 Aug 2014 | 8:05 am
    We’re back with another edition of Longreads’ Best of WordPress: below are 10 outstanding stories from across WordPress, published over the past month. You can find Vol. 1 and 2 here — and you can follow Longreads on WordPress.com for all of our daily reading recommendations. Publishers, writers, keep your stories coming: share links to essays and interviews (over 1,500 words) on Twitter (#longreads) and WordPress.com by tagging your posts longreads. 1. The Great Forgetting (Kristin Ohlson, Aeon) Why do we suffer from “childhood amnesia”? We lack the ability to recall memories…
  • Field Notes: BlogHer ’14

    Michelle W.
    8 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    Automatticians, the people who build WordPress.com, participate in events and projects around the world every day. Periodically, they report back on the exciting things they do when not in front of a computer. Today, Michelle Weber — one of a group of Automatticians offering real-life happiness engineering at BlogHer ’14 — reports back from the popular women bloggers conference. BlogHer is an amazing organization created to support and lift up women bloggers. They’re home to blogging communities close to our hearts, like NaBloPoMo, and their conferences are among my…
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    In Medias Res

  • By Invitation Only

    17 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    My creepy tale "The Invitation" appeared at The WiFiles last week, the first time this story has been published even though it's been accepted for publication three times over the past three years. Unfortunately, those prior two publications folded before "The Invitation" could greet the masses, but now it's finally available, and you can read it for free right here. In other news, my story "
  • Captain Quasar vs. the Moon Bandits

    10 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Guess who's back at Every Day Fiction? That's right, Captain Bartholomew Quasar and his very hairy (and often cantankerous) sidekick, Hank. Here's how their latest misadventure opens: Bartholomew Quasar cringed as an incinerator beam took the top off the boulder he crouched behind. Cody 52 pulse pistol at the ready, he blinked back perspiration and scowled beneath the desert moon's scorching
  • Full Requests are the Best

    3 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    After sending out queries to over 100 agents and small presses, after 7 of them responded favorably and asked for partial manuscripts, after those 7 eventually declined stating there really isn't much of a market for YA western comedies these days, I finally received my first full request for Westward, Tally Ho! But not from an agent. From a small press. The editor liked my query and first three
  • My Last Summer Job is DONE

    27 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    This summer, I set three goals for myself: lose some weight and get back in shape, polish up After the Sky and get it out to agents, polish up BackTracker and get it out to agents. As I mentioned last week, After the Sky is now making the rounds amongst various literary agents specializing in science fiction & fantasy, and I'm close to being 15 pounds lighter + tighter. This past week, I
  • Summer of Edits 2014

    20 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    I'm a goal-setter. Big goals, little goals, I like having a finish line in sight, something I can strive toward and better myself along the way. One of my goals this summer has been to lose a little weight and get in better shape. I'm happy to say I've made progress, shedding most of the flub around my middle through diet (cutting down on calories and eliminating cookies and ice cream for the
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    Write Line Blog - Free Expressions Seminars and Literary Services

  • Friday Roundup 8.15.14

    15 Aug 2014 | 4:24 pm
    Have a wonderful weekend, all!Crap someone should have told you writers by nowWe’re Holding Out for a (New) Hero: How Heroes and Villains are EvolvingWriting VillainsLibrary Cake!10 Creepiest Books
  • Friday Roundup 8.8.14

    8 Aug 2014 | 3:51 pm
    Happy Friday!The Unbearable Lightness of WaitingAvoid Backstory Plot HolesThe Truth About PatienceBalancing Your Writing Career4 Things I Learned From Writing on an Emerging Mobile Story Platform
  • Friday Roundup 8.1.14

    1 Aug 2014 | 10:30 am
    Enjoy the weekend!Pulse on Pacing: How Smooth Transitions Keep Your Story MovingThe 4 Different Types of Conflict in DialogueWrite Emails that Don’t Drive People CrazyBlog No-NosThe Tyranny of Motive
  • Friday Roundup 7.25.14

    25 Jul 2014 | 8:10 pm
    Links, links, links! Have a great weekend!In case you somehow missed "Weird Al" Yankovic's Word Crimes!It's really hard to be original. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - The Original Handwritten ManuscriptTwitter Etiquette 1017 Industry Experts Discuss Book Marketing and Promotion
  • On writing, editing, and making a living at it all...

    23 Jul 2014 | 9:18 am
    I had the good fortune to be featured on the BIZ WOMEN ROCK podcast, an amazing series of interviews with entrepreneurial women all over the world, conducted by my equally amazing friend Katie Krimitsos.Our topic? Well, pretty much everything related to my work as editor, story development coach, workshop producer and, yes, AUTHOR. What was illuminating for me--and, I hope for you--was Katie's take on it as an entrepreneur. Her questions made me stop to think about my journey as part of this mercurial business (publishing), and I think brought some compelling information to light. Some…
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    Words & Music

  • Humans Need Not Apply

    15 Aug 2014 | 10:32 am
  • Gone Fishin'

    15 Aug 2014 | 6:21 am
  • West Point Sketchbook

    13 Aug 2014 | 3:32 am
    This is a really short sketchbook because it only has one sketch. I wasn't in West Point, Orange County, NY, USA, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way for very long but I defy anyone to set foot on the campus of the United States Military Academy there and not come away impressed. This guy, and some of his fellow eagles, stand guard on the parapets overlooking the Zulu Time rooftop bar at the Thayer Hotel on campus.Both Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant studied there (the academy, not the bar) and their armies killed a combined total of 750,000 Americans. An impressive feat, no matter how you…
  • Long As I Can See The Light - Mike's Musical Monday

    11 Aug 2014 | 5:10 am
    I caught up with some old friends last week. My favorites were a pair of women, now in their eighties, who've been friends since they were little girls and still take joy in making each other smile with their old stories. Another old friend stayed with me for a few days trying to find some light in a life that's being destroyed by dishonesty, booze, and the breakup of a relationship that goes back 35 years.I ran across another old friend on Jones' Beach and he shared a story with me that I'd now like to share with you. It's a story about love (like most great stories) and it uses the familiar…
  • Josh and Emily and Derek and Sophia - Flash Fiction Friday

    8 Aug 2014 | 5:06 am
    Josh was ready to throw in his lot with Emily. He didn't know her very well but lack of knowledge had never been a serious impediment to the pursuit of his desires. He'd kissed her, twice, and seen her in a bathing suit that hadn't offered many places for her to hide. He'd absorbed her views on men and God and movies and social justice, and they were all within spitting distance of his minimum requirements for companionship. She also had an unerring eye for fashion and a killer smile. The only fly in Josh's ointment was the fact that Emily had absolutely no use for himEmily worked hard and…
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    Out of the Lockbox

  • MCS #24: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

    Mary DeSantis
    2 Aug 2014 | 9:18 am
    The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)IMDB blurbA deformed bell-ringer must assert his independence from a vicious government minister in order to help his friend, a gypsy dancer.I haven’t watched this in years. It kind of terrified me as a kid. I think I want to watch it again now. I think there’s a lot to get out of this as an adult. This isn’t a story of pure good. The good guys aren’t picture perfect heroes. And the villain, well, have a look. The music is actually beautiful. The first part is heartbreaking/heartwarming. Then Frollo starts singing, and things get a little odd.I saw…
  • MCS #23: Hercules

    Mary DeSantis
    26 Jul 2014 | 10:19 am
    Hercules (1997)IMDB blurbThe son of the Greek Gods Zeus and Hera is stripped of his immortality as an infant and must become a true hero in order to reclaim it. Now that that’s out of the way. K, I’m done. Really.If you can’t tell, I love this movie. Meg is kickass. Pain and Panic are hilarious, and Hades is possibly one of my favorite Disney villains ever. I mean really. See what I mean? Also, mushroom cloud. Enough said.“Somebody call IXII!”That’s 911 in Roman Numerals. I was so pumped the day I figured that out, and my friend was pumped the day I told her.“The Big Olive…
  • MCS #22: Frozen guest post

    Mary DeSantis
    19 Jul 2014 | 7:00 am
    Frozen (2013)Welcome to this week’s Morning Cartoons Saturday. For the first time (in forever), I’m hosting a guest. She’s here today to talk about Disney’s newest hit animated feature, Frozen. Please welcome Amarilys Acosta.Five Frozen Quotes That Got Me Thinking I’ve been a fan of Disney Princess movies since forever. Even now that I’m older, the last three that have come out—Tangled,Brave, and Frozen—have managed to strike a chord with me. I can still identify with many of the things these princesses go through and empathize with the story presented in the movies. So, below…
  • MCS #21: Fantasia 2000

    Mary DeSantis
    12 Jul 2014 | 7:00 am
    Fantasia 2000 (…1999…)Video time. Enjoy Last week: FantasiaAnd join me next week for a guest post about Disney’s newest animated feature, Frozen.Thanks for reading.Mary@desantismt on TwitterFollow My Blog With Bloglovin-Kit ‘N KabookleMy book blog
  • I'm back, and I look like Snape.

    Mary DeSantis
    9 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    I officially graduated! I now have a masters degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.SHU, I will miss you, but I will be back for the alumni retreat, so I’ts okay.Now for my thesis reading.
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    Write Kids' Books!

  • Writer Dad: mini-interview with Sean Platt

    Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod
    17 Aug 2014 | 12:58 am
    Sometimes, it’s good to be backed into a corner. Like us, staked out here at the corner of “writing kids’ books” and “self-publishing.”  I live here, too.  And I love it.  I love sharing tools to create excellent children’s books, whether that’s tips on publishing, marketing, or actually sitting down and writing or editing the thing (and getting it illustrated). Did I mention I have a guide coming out to self-editing your own children’s book?  I love every aspect of this process, even editing (and with this book, maybe you will, too). But it does get…
  • Choosing vocabulary that dazzles your reader.

    Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod
    13 Aug 2014 | 2:32 pm
    Big words, little words.  What begins with words?All of our stories do:  words, words, words. (with apologies to Dr. Seuss) Words are the building blocks of our stories. So it stands to reason that we should try to choose the right words, words that will move and dazzle our readers – at whatever age and reading level they currently find themselves. How do we do that?  Read on… The rest of this post is an excerpt from my upcoming book, The Seven Day Manuscript Machine: Edit your children’s book to genius in only a week.  (It’ll be available in paperback and Kindle…
  • 9 ways reviews are sweeter than chocolate – and how you can get more of both.

    Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod
    11 Aug 2014 | 12:58 pm
    Everybody knows reviews are a good thing. But why? Someone recently asked me that, and it left me thinking.  Why are we so obsessed with reviews?  Good reviews, great reviews, 5-star reviews, hundreds of reviews.  Why do reviews mean so much? Here are 9 reasons why they’re a totally sweet addition to any indie publishing career. They feel great.  If you’re at all passionate about what you’ve written, it’s great to know that people are reading your books and talking about them. Social proof.  Buyers who see your books listed on Amazon or wherever can’t tell…
  • Free-BEE! Free Kindle book on Amazon.com

    Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod
    10 Aug 2014 | 7:58 am
    My favourite price in the world:  free.  And my favourite thing in the world:  a kids’ book.  (Yes, one of mine.) I don’t usually cross-post, but in this case, I’m making an exception so I can get the word out across all my sites: Please Like, Share and pass along this deal.  FREE UNTIL AUGUST 14 ONLY! Learn a little about Israel's modern history and its most beloved songwriter in this short kids' chapter book! This week (Aug 10-14), my book "Naomi Shemer: Teaching Israel to Sing" is FREE for Kindle. CLICK HERE TO BUY THE KINDLE VERSION FREE UNTIL AUGUST 14. I…
  • Book Trailers for Dummies: does your children’s book need one?

    Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod
    7 Aug 2014 | 12:42 am
    No, I’m not a dummy.  And neither are you. And we’re not suckers, either. So why does everybody make book trailers seem so complicated?  Why is everybody trying to sell us fancy-pants services that will help us sell our kids’ books with the help of video trailers? The first and most important thing to know about book trailers is this:  nobody really knows whether a book trailer ever, in the history of the universe, made anybody buy a book. Still, I’m a sucker for new ideas, and thought it would be cute to try doing a few for my new books.  And it turns out…
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    Writeaholic Inspiration

  • Why It's Important To Have Weekly Planning Meetings With Yourself

    Ruth Barringham
    19 Aug 2014 | 9:12 pm
    "Every minute spent planning saves ten minutes in execution." ~ Brian TracyWorking from home is far different to going out to work every day.The biggest challenge I find is self disciplin. It's so hard to keep working on my own without a boss standing over me telling me what to do and giving me deadlines.But without deadlines I find I waste too much time. And in order to have deadlines I have to have a weekly  meeting with myself to figure out what I want to achieve during the week, what I need to do to achieve it and how long it's all going to take.And this is why weekly…
  • My New Romantic Novel Is Out

    Ruth Barringham
    18 Aug 2014 | 3:23 pm
    This is just a quick update on my latest (in fact, first and only) romantic fiction novel called Stand By Me.I formated and uploaded it yesterday to the Amazon Kindle Store and now it's published and available for download all over the world.I'm not sure yet if I'll be publishing more romantic fiction novels, but I probably will. I've enjoyed writing this one so it's an experience I want to repeat.Read more »
  • Turning Off The Blog Comments

    Ruth Barringham
    6 Aug 2014 | 1:50 am
    I've just made changes to the way comments are allowed on this blog.The change is that only those with a Google account can comment.Why?Because I'm sick of spam. I'm sick of 'anonymous' commenters leaving spam comments with links to their spammy websites.I'm sorry if this change inconveniences anyone but I just had to do something.Ahhhh!!!I don't know why they waste their time. I mean, does it really work? I doubt it.Instead they should spend their time writing something useful that people want to read and that earns them money legitimately. I'm sure it would work better.Writing isn't hard if…
  • How to Keep Moving Your Writing Business Forward

    Ruth Barringham
    4 Aug 2014 | 9:46 pm
    To me, writing isn't just something I do, it's my business.It's my business because it's how I earn all of my income. I don't have any other job. I only have my writing.That's why I set up  my own publishing company, because writing is my business.But before you can set up a successful business there's one thing that's important to know. And if you don't know it, your business will fail.Read more »
  • Still Haven't Got My Blog Emails Right

    Ruth Barringham
    3 Aug 2014 | 7:51 pm
    If you're a subscriber to this blog then you'll have noticed that I'm having a bit of trouble getting my blog posts emailed correctly.First of all, a few weeks ago, the same blog post was sent multiple times. Then none were sent at all and then they all got sent at once.So if you're reading this and you are someone who received my crazy emails, I do apologise.Yet at the same time it made me laugh at myself. What the hell was I doing? Why couldn't I get it right?But now I think I've got it all under control. I just hope I didn't need to put the emphasis on the word "think."As I've said before,…
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    Assignment Help

  • How to Balance School Homework and Fun

    19 Aug 2014 | 4:56 am
    If you are overburdened with your homework and is thinking how to manage time to play with friends then, this article is helpful for you. This article tells about how one should keep a balance between the studies and fun. How to Balance School Homework and Fun Some tips to follow- Think and do- You have to analyze the amount of homework along with their respective deadlines. Make a timetable- Once you have a clear idea of your tasks, prepare a timetable on  paper with all other activities specially highlighting the weekend’s schedule. Timetable? place it well- After preparing a scheduled…
  • Do My Essay Services – A Support to Many People in Writing Good Essay Pieces

    16 Aug 2014 | 4:01 am
    Essays are a piece of writing that needs to be written with immense creativity and justification. You need to spend good time behind writing a good essay. For writing an essay you need to think about the topic, gather points, arrange them accordingly and present them properly. At times you may not have that time to write your essay that has been assigned to you. So, there are many sites that provide Do My Essay Online services for you. These Do My Essay service sites provide you essays written on the topic provided by you. They have a minimal charge for the essay work they do and after that…
  • How to Plan Homework Assignment Task

    14 Aug 2014 | 4:21 am
    Doing a perfect and submit it on time is a big challenge for all the students. Assignment cannot be done in a hurry, time management and proper planning is essential to finish any assignment in on time. This article tells about how to manage an assignment with a proper planning. How to Plan a Homework Assignment Things to do- Have a clear idea of the work-First you need to make a general idea about what has to be done within how much time. Get a calendar- As soon as you develop a clear idea, divide and mark your work in the calendar for each day and positively finish your work for that day.
  • How to Keep up to Date With Coursework

    14 Aug 2014 | 3:59 am
    Coursework is the integral part of the education. If one constantly pays attention and works on it there is a chance of getting good scores in the examination. Sometimes students struggle with their coursework to finish it. This article will guide to all the students on how they can stay up to date with their coursework. How to Keep up to Date With Coursework Steps- Proper Planning- Plan your coursework as soon as you get it. Plan it carefully with full accuracy and perfectly because it is your coursework. Ask for help-Don’t hesitate to ask your teacher to help you in your coursework. A…
  • How To Write an Eye – Catchy Title

    11 Aug 2014 | 3:55 am
    Finding a suitable title for your essays and thesis is very important which sometimes becomes headache for us. Your title is the face of your entire work so you should make it more interesting to grab reader’s attention. I am sure this article on writing an eye catchy title will help you in making better titles for your writing tasks.   Techniques to write a catchy title:- First complete your essay – To write a catchy title you should finish your essay and then think of your title at the end so that your title goes with the essay more accurately. Decide your audience- To write an…
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    The Writer's Life eMagazine

  • Interview with Cheryl Kaye Tardiff: 'I believe research is a key element with writing any book'

    17 Aug 2014 | 9:00 pm
    Cheryl Kaye Tardif is an award-winning, international bestselling Canadian suspense author. Her novels include Divine Sanctuary, Submerged, Divine Justice, Children of the Fog, The River, Divine Intervention, and Whale Song, which New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice calls "a compelling story of love and family and the mysteries of the human heart...a beautiful, haunting novel."She is now working on her next thriller.Cheryl also enjoys writing short stories inspired mainly by her author idol Stephen King, and this has resulted in Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories…
  • More Precious Than Rubies by Randy Coates Book Feature

    13 Aug 2014 | 6:20 am
    Title: More Precious Than RubiesAuthor: Randy CoatesPublisher: iUniversePages: 174Genre: FantasyFormat: Ebook Purchase at AMAZON Paul Brager is twelve when his father tells the story of Iduna and her apples. Mr. Brager always tells stories before bed to entertain Paul’s little brother, Adrian—a ritual that has become even more important since their mother died. Iduna was a goddess who grew apples that made the gods younger and stronger, but one day she disappeared, along with her apples. Paul doesn’t think much of the myth; he has other things on his mind. Paul and his best…
  • First Chapter Reveal: Two Empty Thrones by C.H. MacLean

    10 Aug 2014 | 9:00 pm
    Title: Two Empty ThronesAuthor: C.H. MacLeanPublisher: CNH PublishingPages: 242Genre: YA FantasyFormat: Paperback; KindlePurchase at AMAZONWith her powers growing every day, fourteen-year-old Haylwen Rightad thinks she’s safe in the magical forest. And now that she finally has the friends she always wanted, what is there to be afraid of?But she’s not out of the woods yet. Old enemies rip through her beloved forest, threatening to haul Haylwen and her newfound friends away. Their safety shattered, Haylwen and her friends are suddenly at each other’s throats. Is the friendship she worked…
  • My Publishing Journey by Tara Edin

    7 Aug 2014 | 9:00 pm
    My Publishing Journey by Tara EdinI was 17 years old when my first notions of writing a book surfaced. It was a feeling in my bones—no deeper than my bones—that it was simply part of my life journey. I didn’t know why, how or when, but I knew it would manifest someday. Throughout my twenties and early thirties, I continued plugging away on my manuscript but was still unsure of my story’s significance out in the world, so I just wrote and saved, wrote and saved. At age 35, after my daughter was born, my determination to publish my book blossomed as well. The urgency to get my story out…
  • The Story Behind In the Mirror by Kaira Rouda

    6 Aug 2014 | 9:00 pm
    In the Mirror is the story of young mom Jennifer Benson – a woman who has it all: a successful career, a perfect husband, two kids, and abundant friendships. The only problem is she may be dying.In the Mirror was inspired by a beautiful, intelligent, giving, perfect young mother I had the pleasure People magazine as her professional football husband retired to be by her side. Theirs was a love story for the ages.to know. Our kids are the same age. We lived near each other, and did all the same things moms with young kids do. We were on the same circuit. And then, one day, she was diagnosed…
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    Wylie's Writing Tips

  • Crumple PR convention

    Ann Wylie
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:12 pm
    Toyota takes on feature releases When PR pros at Toyota American Motor Sales needed to announce record-level production recently, they started with a traditional announcement release: Toyota’s North American vehicle production at record levels in 2013 Toyota announced record level North American vehicle production for 2013 surpassing last year’s output. TEMA built 1,857,696 vehicles, a 5 percent increase and 1,715,709 engines, a 3 percent increase from 2012. Did you know your news could do this? Why make every release a news release? Feature releases may get more attention. Image…
  • How to spread the word on Twitter

    Ann Wylie
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:11 pm
    Increase retweets with the help of a new algorithm Quick! Which of these two @RadiNabulsi tweets do you think would move further and faster on Twitter? Share and share alike Why do some tweets travel the world on Twitter, while others just stay home on the couch? “Four Alabama players arrested: Calloway, E. Williams, Pettway and Hayes. Pictures and charges here: bit.ly/12ILdN2“ Or: “Stormie Henderson is about to get so many Twitter followers. Cute, great name & a bad girl? #triplethreat bit.ly/12ILdN2“ If you guessed the first tweet, you’re right. It got 32…
  • Think like the audience

    Ann Wylie
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:10 pm
    How do top organizations communicate? Seventy-one percent of high-performing organizations focus their messaging on audience’s point of view. Just 45% of average organizations do. Why did the communicator cross the road? To get to the reader’s side.Or so says Stephen Welch, president of IABC UK and an independent consultant. Welch worked with Michael Ambjorn, director-at-large at NearDesk, to develop a benchmarking database that correlates communication practices with organizational performance. They looked at 81 organizations with some 390,000 employees across 10 countries.
  • Put the reader first

    Ann Wylie
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:09 pm
    Fill in the blanks to a great benefits lead Want to write a release that grabs reader attention? Lead with the reader The best way to reach readers? Write about readers. Photo by Photonquantique Lead with the reader. Here’s how to do it, modeling the lead from a Silver Anvil Award-winning release by the California Milk Advisory Board: “Dairy farmers throughout California — the nation’s No. 1 milk-producing state — will have an opportunity to learn the basics of cheese making in a comprehensive, one-day seminar being offered during February and March throughout the state.
  • Get a quick fix

    Ann Wylie
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:08 pm
    Run your piece past another pair of eyes “Since Ann Wylie became editorial consultant of Northern Update, our client magazine has skyrocketed from a mediocre publication to one that is emulated throughout the industry.” — Roberta J. Laughlin, vice president, Mutual Funds Marketing, Northern Trust Find out what others say about Ann Wylie’s consulting services Too often, the job of producing communications leaves little time for considering what you’re doing well and what opportunities you have for improvement. Our communication reviews can help. You’ll get quick tips for:…
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  • In Which I Attempt Poetry

    Woelf Dietrich
    23 Jul 2014 | 6:00 pm
    I have something different for you today. I don’t normally write poetry, mainly because I think I suck at it. My strong suit is popular fiction about gods and demons and angry werewolves, but now and then, for some unexplainable reason, I’ll venture into poetry and I’ll play with it, and sometimes I’ll pour my […]
  • Devil-beasts and Cosmic Dissonance: A Review of The Widow’s Son

    Woelf Dietrich
    7 Jul 2014 | 4:17 pm
    I grew up reading westerns and it formed a big part of my education. Hell, I even have a Pinterest board on guns used in the Old West. My staple of reading material included, of course, fantasy and sci-fi, but this review is not about that. As I grew older and began asking questions about […]
  • Michael Crichton’s Method for Plotting Out a Story

    Woelf Dietrich
    11 Jun 2014 | 4:15 am
    I’m generally a pantser. My words tend to zigzag behind my thoughts as they try to keep up. When I reach a plot point or scene where I’m unsure of the direction I stop and take a short walk, or I go through my research again. Sometimes a walk is enough to dislodge what is stuck, […]
  • Update on #MakeKensDay Book Bomb

    Woelf Dietrich
    8 Jun 2014 | 2:59 pm
    A quick update on #MakeKensDay. Calling it a success is too mild a statement to explain the results. People tweeted, blogged, facebooked, google +ed,  and shared like crazy. We even had a boost from bestselling author, Larry Correia, when he blogged about the book bomb. Thank you Larry! At one stage Godhead’s Amazon ranking was at […]
  • #MakeKensDay: The Ken Mooney Book Bomb | Prose Before Ho Hos

    Woelf Dietrich
    4 Jun 2014 | 5:10 am
    I always whine about time. Even I get sick of hearing myself complain. Yet, it feels like time is moving faster these days. So, I try to write faster, but first I have to do this thing, and then that thing. Okay, done. Let’s get writing. Hold on, phone is ringing. Quickly! Answer it before […]
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    The Proof Angel

  • How to price your books

    The Proof Angel
    19 Aug 2014 | 2:45 am
    Anyone who has thought about this for more than a couple of moments will realise that this is a complicated issue. There are so many factors to take into account. With issues like that, it never does any harm to have a slightly different perspective. So get your calculator & jotter, put on your concentrating hat, & give this a go. Visit my websites via the links at the top of this page.Filed under: Resources for authors Tagged: book pricing, book production, indie publishing
  • 5 things to consider before you get your manuscript appraised

    The Proof Angel
    18 Aug 2014 | 1:20 am
    If you are getting stuck and are thinking about having your manuscript appraised, this post might help you to make your mind up. Visit my websites via the links at the top of this page.Filed under: Resources for authors Tagged: book appraisal, resources for writers
  • How to write without the worry

    The Proof Angel
    17 Aug 2014 | 2:55 am
    I think worry & panic are two very annoying things. Both waste time that could be spent cracking on with something more useful. But it is easier said than done, isn’t it? This post has a lot of common sense about avoiding writer’s anxiety. Visit my websites via the links at the top of this page.Filed under: Writing resources Tagged: anxiety
  • Character types

    The Proof Angel
    16 Aug 2014 | 1:55 am
    Want to liven up your plot with a different sort of character? Finding it difficult to get a contrast with the ones you already have? Then try this method of analysing character types. Visit my websites via the links at the top of this page.Filed under: Resources for authors Tagged: characters, writing fiction
  • Choosing key words for your book

    The Proof Angel
    15 Aug 2014 | 2:30 am
    Choosing key words is an important stage in your book marketing plan. They are a fundamental part of any search the reader runs when they are on the lookout for something new. Get the keywords wrong, and your target audience won’t find you. Here is some guidance for when you choose key words for you book. Visit my websites via the links at the top of this page.Filed under: Resources for authors Tagged: book marketing, indie publishing, self-publishing
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    eBooks India

  • 5 Lessons in eBook Marketing

    Moumita Goswami
    19 Aug 2014 | 10:59 am
    Creating your e-book is child’s play, so advanced technology has become. But marketing your e-book is a completely different animal – getting that required attention is not easy. But nothing related to self publication is easy, so you might as well continue to show your patience, think of some creative ideas and come up with a solid plan for marketing your e-book. The following 5 lessons in ebook marketing will help you. 1. Get that ISBN When you publish your e-book on Amazon Kindle and Nook PubIt, your book is automatically assigned a unique ID number. However, when you purchase an ISBN,…
  • 5 Writing Lessons from E.L. James

    Moumita Goswami
    18 Aug 2014 | 10:48 am
    So what, she sold more than 70 million copies of her sex laden trilogy? E. L. James still has a long way to go as an author… These are some of the comments you will find being used by many critics of the hugely commercially successful Grey Trilogy by the author who the world didn’t know about before she published her books. But does she care? I don’t think so. E. L. James knows that she has made it big enough in the world of books and she can live with this knowledge. In fact, there are quite a few lessons that you can learn from her writing. 1. Rules of writing don’t always matter…
  • Deadly eBook Cover Design Sins

    Hiten Vyas
    17 Aug 2014 | 4:19 am
    Proper focus on eBook cover design is essential for your book; even more so when you are self-publishing. Get your eBook cover right, and you increase its marketability, which when done properly, should result in sales for you. Get it wrong, and you risk people not even clicking your title in a digital bookstore. Read on to learn about deadly eBook cover design sins to avoid at all costs. Doing it yourself The great thing about the self-publishing process is that empowers you as a writer, or an author to write and publish your own books. In essence, there is so much you can do yourself.
  • How to Be a Resume Writer

    Moumita Goswami
    15 Aug 2014 | 10:19 am
    Make someone sit in front of the computer and ask them to pen a few lines and they can. But make someone sit in front of the computer and ask them to write a resume and most of them are bound to flounder. But there is no reason why someone cannot write a resume. Resume writing doesn’t require any special skills. One has to know how to write a winning resume and hone their skills. And they could soon be making truckloads of money by writing others’ resumes. If you want to become a successful resume writer, you must know that a resume need not be a critical or a commercial success. You are…
  • 5 Signs You’re a Writer

    CS Rajan
    14 Aug 2014 | 10:58 am
    Have you always dreamed of being a writer? Do you often get the urge to quit your job, tuck yourself away in a remote cottage and write your heart away? Do you constantly have a compulsion to put your thoughts down on paper? While some writers realize their passion for writing very early in their lives, for many others it is a slow process of discovery that there is a writer inside of them. Here are some surefire signs that you are really a writer at heart and that you owe it to yourself to give writing a shot. 1. You love to tell and hear stories Many writers are born storytellers with a…
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  • Can’t Pick One Career? You Don’t Have To. A Chat with Emilie Wapnick

    Kerri Lowe
    13 Aug 2014 | 7:36 pm
    Has anyone ever told you to "Go ahead and pick one thing already?!" Or been surprised when you want to study or pursue something totally "out of character?" This week I talk to multipotentialite Emilie Wapnick about how people with many interests can thrive in a specialist world. The post Can’t Pick One Career? You Don’t Have To. A Chat with Emilie Wapnick appeared first on StoryShelter.
  • How Much Power Should Doctors Have? An interview with Dr. Barron Lerner

    Kerri Lowe
    6 Aug 2014 | 5:33 pm
    Dr. Barron Lerner was practicing medicine and teaching medical ethics when his father, also a doctor, began telling him stories about his paternalistic practice of medicine. A mostly outdated idea of "Doctor Knows Best" where he would make life and death decisions about a patient's well-being without their prior approval. The post How Much Power Should Doctors Have? An interview with Dr. Barron Lerner appeared first on StoryShelter.
  • How to Answer Questions on StoryShelter

    5 Aug 2014 | 10:23 am
    There are three easy ways to answer questions on StoryShelter and stories about your life! Check out our quick guide here. The post How to Answer Questions on StoryShelter appeared first on StoryShelter.
  • Take the Happiness Challenge for a Chance to Win $1,000.00

    4 Aug 2014 | 1:58 pm
    We are looking for volunteers who will will use StoryShelter.com for 10 minutes a day on a daily basis, for 30 days - for a chance to win $1,000.00! The post Take the Happiness Challenge for a Chance to Win $1,000.00 appeared first on StoryShelter.
  • The Science Behind the Happiness Challenge

    4 Aug 2014 | 1:35 pm
    Want to be happier and healthier? Good News! Here at StoryShelter, we have created a great platform to increase overall wellbeing and personal happiness! The post The Science Behind the Happiness Challenge appeared first on StoryShelter.
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  • 14 Top Sites to Help You Learn More About Grammar and Writing Style

    Laura Spencer
    15 Aug 2014 | 8:15 am
    Grammar mistakes can make you look bad. A misspelled word here, a dangling participle there. That’s all it takes for your would-be client to decide that you’re sloppy and move on. That’s why it’s so important to proofread anything you publish. Of course, it’s hard to catch your own mistakes. There’s nothing more annoying than rereading an old post or article and discovering a mistake you didn’t see the first time around. But sometimes, you don’t realize you’ve made a mistake because your grammar skills are rusty or weak. In those…
  • Why I Love Editing

    Laura Spencer
    7 Aug 2014 | 1:11 pm
    We writers love to hate our editor. Saying “the editor goofed it up” is one way to escape the blame for a poorly written piece. In some ways, editing is the least favorite of the writing-related professions for many writers. Some writers hate editing even if they are asked to do it themselves. I’ve met writers who won’t accept editing projects. Not me. I happen to love editing projects and I’m always glad when I’m offered one. Likewise, I appreciate the efforts of a good editor. Whether you like editing or not, there’s a lot of demand for good…
  • Do You Promote the Content You Write for Your Clients?

    Laura Spencer
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:35 am
    With many writing assignments ending up online, traffic is significant factor. But is it the writer’s responsibility to drive visitors to the client’s site? As a writer, you may have faced this question yourself. If you’ve dealt with this issue, I’d love to hear how you handled it in the comments. Personally, I often share something I’ve written for a client using my own social media accounts. However, sharing through my social accounts isn’t always the best way for a client to get the most traffic. In this post, I’ll explore the issue of building web…
  • The One Question to Ask Yourself BEFORE You Become a Freelance Writer

    Laura Spencer
    23 Jul 2014 | 8:47 am
    So, you want to be a freelance writer. That’s great. Freelance writing can be a rewarding career choice. I should know. I moved from a technical communication department twelve years ago to freelance writing and I’ve never looked back. Freelance writing has been good to me. Unfortunately, some people become freelance writers for all the wrong reasons. In this post, I discuss the one question every would-be freelance writer should ask. I also examine the possible answers. Before you commit to freelance writing, you should ask yourself one very important question: Why Do I Want…
  • What Freelance Writers Need to Know about Guest Posting

    Laura Spencer
    11 Jul 2014 | 9:18 am
    Guest posting has been a somewhat controversial topic lately. I listed guest posting in my list of bad writing gigs a few weeks ago and sparked a discussion. One reason guest posting is currently looked down on is the huge quantity of spammy guest posts that have flooded the content arena. In this post, I’ll take a closer look at guest posting. First of all, I’ll discuss the definition of guest posting. I’ll explain why I think guest posting is often (but not always) a bad gig for writers as well as website owners. Finally, I’ll discuss the right way to go about…
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    Angelique Voisen

  • Release Blitz: Decieved 5 by Eve Carter

    Frances C
    18 Aug 2014 | 2:24 am
            Synopsis I was married to the man of my dreams and expecting our first child together. We had a thriving business and amazing friends. What more could I want?  When Chloe Swanson finally married Patrick Collins, she thought her life was perfect. Then her best friend, Elyse, starts dating race-car driver, Ricky, and everything changes. Fortunately, Chloe has a new friend: Ricky's cousin Nina, a rich, sophisticated woman who seems almost too good to be true. The question is, is anyone who they really seem to be? About Author   I am a true…
  • Author Spotlight: Peyton Brittany Clarke

    Angel Voisen
    16 Aug 2014 | 6:47 pm
    Today, I’m happy to welcome fellow Siren Author Peyton Brittany Clarke. Welcome, Peyton! Thank you for joining us today and sharing with us the details of your recent release, Blood Bond. ***A little about the main characters...Since Blood Bond- The Ferae is an MMF-menage.  There are two heroes in this story.  First there is Colton McClain.  He is a CIA agent who is better out in the field than he is at home.  He is half human and half ferae (a new subspecies of Homo Sapiens that has been living among mankind for millenia).  His desire to be normal is at odds with…
  • Guest Post: Writing Advice from Clarissa O. Clemens

    Angel Voisen
    12 Aug 2014 | 8:54 pm
    Today, I’m pleased to have Author and Poet Clarissa O. Clemens on my blog. Welcome, Clarissa! Clarissa is here today to share her advice to up and coming writers, and about her book, The Poetic Art of Seduction – The Erotic Poetry Collection.***What Advice Could You Give Up and Coming Writers?To proclaim yourself a writer and then decide that you want to publish your written works is a huge leap of faith and, lets face it, is kind of scary.We go from our regular predicable lives and jump into an area where many of us have no experience. I was that person 3 years ago. I will share…
  • Book Tour: One Chance, One Moment by Judith Kohnen

    Angel Voisen
    10 Aug 2014 | 6:39 pm
    Today, I’m happy to host Author Judith Kohnen on her book tour. Welcome, Judith! Read on for more information about Judith’s latest release, One Chance, One Moment. Judith is also hosting a Rafflecopter Giveaway. TeaserA nurse trying to escape her past and secure her future as the adopted mother of a young boy she loves takes a well-paying job caring for a famous singer/musician after a car wreck nearly killed him. He refuses help, and she refuses to give up – until her perseverance rehabilitates his body, his career, and their abilities to love again.Blurb“I can’t teach my old…
  • New Release: The Lady and Her Assassin

    Angel Voisen
    9 Aug 2014 | 6:35 pm
    Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing Cover: Dawne Dominique Buy Links: Secret Cravings Publishing | BookStrand | Amazon | ARe | Smashwords |BlurbRay comes from an elite order of blind assassins. Emotions don’t touch her and only profit moves her. Her current assignment seems simple enough. For a generous bounty, all she has to do is kill an influential noblewoman, except Lady Valerie Sinclair is more than she seems. Killing always came easy to Ray, so why does she keep delaying her task?Val is a young widow from a noble family who needs to re-marry. She’s always…
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  • THE SOURCE OF STORIES: Writing from your experience and imagination

    18 Aug 2014 | 8:57 am
    So far, we've looked at where to find the stories, how to begin them, and how to tell them.  Today we'll look at a few other important elements in crafting our stories.1. Write in layersAn interesting story or essay needs more than one story line or thread.  It needs depth, resonance, transcendence.  Layers will give you that.2. If you want to write genre fiction, study the genre.  Then, use it as a vehicle to explore what you want to communicate to your readers.3. Integrate both lobes of your brain: the right and the left, the creative, artistic side with the…

    8 Aug 2014 | 10:01 am
    THE LEAD the most important sentence in any essay or story is the first one.  First sentence induces the reader to go to the second and so on – until the reader is hooked.  This is the lead.How long should it be?  No pat answer.  But beware that readers want to know very soon what’s in it for them.  The lead must do real work:  details that tell the reader why the piece was written and why he or she ought to read it.  But don’t dwell on the reason.  Give the reader a little more.Continue to build.  Every paragraph should amplify the one…

    5 Aug 2014 | 1:40 pm
      Before you start writing your story or essay or poem, take a few minutes to answer the following three questions to keep you focused:  who am I? why am I writing this?who will read this?Then, you can begin.   The subject of a story or essay is always a question:  for example, What is it like to be homeless in the 21st century in the richest country in the world?  What will we find in the Gulf of California  How will I survive my family’s illness?  Find the right question and you find a worthy subject.  Then the answer will…
  • THE SOURCE OF STORIES: Writing from experience and imagination

    28 Jul 2014 | 11:34 am
    So far we've looked at the source of stories and how to begin them.  Today we'll look at how to tell a story.You can write a story in any order you want.   You don't have to start at the beginning. Furthermore, you probably don't know what the beginning will be when you start writing.  Organizing, structuring, editing, revising come later, after you've got the whole story out on paper.  Story is the causal connection between scenes.  Which brings me to the most important ingredient in any story: the scene.  If you don't have scenes, you don't have action; nothing…
  • THE SOURCE OF STORIES: Writing from our experience and imagination

    23 Jul 2014 | 9:14 am
    Last week we looked at where stories come from.  This week we'll focus on how to begin.  What do we do when confronted with the blank page or screen?  Even if we have an idea of what we want to write, we need a place to start, we need a push.  Here are some possibilities:* Prepare a list of one or two random words and use each one for a 5-minute free writing practice.* Open a book at any page and take the first sentence as a prompt to begin the writing practice.* Make lists of body parts, communal dinners, collective nouns, vestigial organs, things seen out the window, and…
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    Kindle Me This

  • Targeting an Audience for Your Book

    Elizabeth Yetter
    19 Aug 2014 | 11:49 am
    One of the first things I do when I come up with a new book idea is think about who my audience will be. Will the people interested in my subject be single moms looking for ways to make it on their own, people looking to break out of the daily grind of a 9to […]Continue reading...
  • There’s Not Much Dutch on Kindle

    Elizabeth Yetter
    11 Aug 2014 | 9:01 am
    While I was doing the research for one of my books, I came across the fact that there is very little available about the Pennsylvania Germans on the Kindle platform. Sure, there are plenty of paper edition books on everything from hex signs to recipe books, but when it comes to the kindle books, the […]Continue reading...
  • 20 Free Kindle Children’s Books Downloads for August 5, 2014

    Elizabeth Yetter
    5 Aug 2014 | 11:53 am
    I had just posted an article on preparing to write children’s books. Writing a book for children is a lot more difficult than it appears, but one of the tricks to getting into the children’s book writing zone is to read a bunch of children’s books. The more you read for your age group, the […]Continue reading...
  • Preparing to Write a Children’s Chapter Book for Grades 1-3

    Elizabeth Yetter
    4 Aug 2014 | 12:42 pm
    How many times have you read through a simple chapter book and thought to yourself, “I could easily write a story like this”? I know I have each and every time I sat down with my kids and read a chapter book to them. Goodness, this does look easy. But, looks can be deceiving. Series […]Continue reading...
  • Free Kindle Book Downloads on Writing – 7/30/2014

    Elizabeth Yetter
    30 Jul 2014 | 12:06 pm
    It has been a week since I have checked out the latest free Kindle books on writing. Normally, I check every day, but I have been working on a new book and it is taking up all my time. The good thing is that during this little break, there are a bunch of different free […]Continue reading...
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    The Art of Storytelling in Novels, Journalism and Pop Culture - Bernice Landry

  • The Artist in Disguise in Isaac Bashevis Singer

    Bernice Landry
    29 Jul 2014 | 4:46 am
    Novelists write about every kind of character imaginable. Or do they?Sometimes, I wonder.No matter how a writer may strive to shape his or her characters into mundane or average peopleit seems to me that some spark of the creative imagination that bore them, some impression of the sculptor’s hand, often remains.To take one of a multitude of examples, one of my favorite writers, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, is not known to write about artists. But I would say that Florentino Ariza in “Love in the Time of Cholera”, with his feverish vow to stay true to his love Fermina Daza, even as the…
  • President Obama, Lost Protagonist in a Disjointed Story

    Bernice Landry
    17 Jul 2014 | 9:44 am
    Once upon a time there was an African-American candidate running for President of the United States. His election campaign rang out with promises of hope and change. People came by the tens of thousands to watch his powerful, moving speeches.Here was a candidate who understood the power of narrative. Though still young, he had written an autobiography detailing the experiences of growing up bi-racial in America. Known for the power of his critical thinking and his hard-won self-awareness, this candidate seemed particularly promising after eight years of the George W. Bush administration —…
  • In the Garden of Good and Evil with “Rectify”

    Bernice Landry
    30 Jun 2014 | 6:44 am
    I recently saw a movie that followed the typical superhero formula, twisting and turning in all the right places, with very attractive movie stars and an outrageous special effects budget. Along with its box office entertainment value I think it was also supposed to deliver a strong moral premise, judging by some of its preachier dialogue.As I left the cinema I pictured the film’s writers in some windowless office, leafing through notes from the director, with pink arrow-shaped stickers indicating “place moralizing HERE.”Too often movies and other narrative works seem to employ moral…
  • Shakespeare and the Summertime of Imagination

    Bernice Landry
    17 Jun 2014 | 7:05 am
    Flowering trees drop blossoms on the pavement. Rows of tulips cup the midday sun. Even the moon, more starkly visible in winter, seems more richly rounded and hauntingly mysterious.Though the calendar may say it’s springtime — summer in all her extravagance had arrived.When summer rolls around, I often think of live performances of Shakespeare. For as soon as the flowers spring to life, so do the many festivals and outdoor summer stocks and community playhouses — ranging from intimate seaside stages to the star-studded New York Shakespeare in the Park.Nothing beats a performance of…
  • Down and Out, Then Paranoid With George Orwell

    Bernice Landry
    10 Jun 2014 | 7:51 am
    While many of his contemporaries are no longer read except by specialists, it seems that references to the paranoid fantasies of George Orwell are more common than ever.When I encounter one of these references (to Big Brother, Thought Crimes, The Ministry of Truth, etc.) I often think it would be good to re-read “Animal Farm and “1984” and be reminded of exactly what Orwell said. Did his books anticipate NSA vs. Edward Snowden and GPS tracking devices in our iPhones — or were his messages more subtle than a passing glance might suggest?But as I…
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    All Indie Writers

  • Quick Tip: Conduct an Author Website Audit

    Jennifer Mattern
    19 Aug 2014 | 9:41 am
    It's not enough to simply have an author website. You need to make sure the website you have actually works for you. It has to reach whatever goals you set for it. And if it's not currently doing that, you should consider making some changes. Not sure if your author website needs work? Conduct a simple website audit to find out. What is a Website Audit? A website audit is an evaluation of your current site. Here are some of the most basic things your audit should focus on: Usability / navigation Design Search engine optimization (SEO) Speed / load times Content quality In other words, you…
  • Interview with Michael Kwan, Freelance Writer and Author

    Jennifer Mattern
    18 Aug 2014 | 2:00 pm
    Let's welcome Michael Kwan, freelance writer and author of Beyond the Margins: An Indispensable Guide for First-Time Freelance Writers, Designers, and Other Work-From-Home Professionals. Michael sent me a copy of the e-book for review, and he graciously took the time to answer some of my questions. Beyond the Margins focuses on beginning freelancers and offers a well-rounded look at the choices to be made and the work involved in building a successful freelance business.  If you're new to this game and looking for an overview of what the freelance life is like, I wholeheartedly…
  • Have Writing Questions? Get Featured on the All Indie Writers Podcast

    Jennifer Mattern
    16 Aug 2014 | 10:06 am
    If you follow the news and updates in the writing forums, you might already know that I'm getting ready to finally launch my podcast series. The podcast, like the rest of the site, will explore issues related to freelance writing, blogging, and indie publishing (especially book marketing). Things are coming along beautifully. The intro and outro were recently completed, several shows are scripted and ready to be recorded. And the only thing I still need is a favor from you. You see, I'd like each episode to feature anywhere from 1 - 3 questions from All Indie Writers readers and community…
  • Same-Day Delivery, Book Buying Habits, and Indie Authors

    Jennifer Mattern
    14 Aug 2014 | 8:46 am
    The other day I was reading an article about Google working with Barnes and Noble to offer same-day delivery of books in a few locations. It's no secret that Amazon is also keen on making same-day delivery a reality for more shoppers. And it got me wondering. How might the rise of same-day deliveries affect book buying habits, and how might it affect the business decisions of indie authors? While I'm sure it will be quite some time before the majority of shoppers can order books online and receive them the same day, there's no doubt we're moving in that direction. It's only a matter of time.
  • Free Word Count Calendar for a New Writing Challenge

    Jennifer Mattern
    13 Aug 2014 | 6:15 am
    As mentioned before, new writing challenges are being added to the All Indie Writing community. While originally planned as monthly challenges, they're now being set up early and opened to anyone who wants to take them, whenever they want. You can find these in the writing challenges section of the forum where you can follow others' challenge progress, track and share your own, and chat with other writers pushing themselves toward similar goals. The newest challenge is an adaptable one. It's a monthly word count goal challenge, where you can set your own goal. That could mean anything from…
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  • Highway 2 by Kit Hamlen

    Chicago Literati
    19 Aug 2014 | 12:10 pm
    Highway 2   My sister’s postcards are as good a place to start as any. When the first few came, my mother stood in the kitchen and read them aloud. She hung them on the fridge with heavy magnets from... Read More ›
  • Good Little Imperialists by Victoria Harley

    Chicago Literati
    19 Aug 2014 | 11:20 am
    Good Little Imperialists   As I walked barefoot through the cool water of Lake Michigan, amid washed up algae, saturated paper refuse and hovering dragonflies, I gathered my skirt hem in one hand and recollections in the other. On a... Read More ›
  • A Journey to the Dalai Lama by Dipika Mukherjee

    Chicago Literati
    19 Aug 2014 | 10:20 am
    A Journey to the Dalai Lama     Tiny grass, your steps are small, but you possess the earth under your tread. Stray Birds, Rabindranath Tagore     It was January 2013 and I was going to meet the Dalai... Read More ›
  • Teaching Comics- Lunch Break

    19 Aug 2014 | 7:15 am
    After a brief summer vacation, ‘Teaching Comics’ is back! ‘Teaching Comics’ details cartoonist Alex Nall’s experiences as a first-year teaching artist in two Chicago Public Schools. You can see more of Nall’s work at alexnall.tumblr.com
  • Naperville, NJ by Cortney Lamar Charleston

    Chicago Literati
    18 Aug 2014 | 10:08 am
    “Naperville, NJ”   Where you from, homie?   It seems quite a few bullets can be loaded into  a single question. Let’s see: I spent a few years  in the Brookfield Zoo, mainly in the monkey house.  Spent about nine... Read More ›
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    Denise Drespling

  • When Books Become Movies: The Giver

    Denise Drespling
    19 Aug 2014 | 6:55 am
      I gave the book 5 stars, and while the movie had considerable differences, I really enjoyed it as well. I think the changes added, rather than took away from, the story, especially when it come to making it seem like a future society. The book was published 21 years ago, so you certainly can’t blame Lowry for not foreseeing some of the coolness we have today, like holograms. Book Accuracy There were quite a few differences. The movie was definitely modernized and futurized from the book, which was written in the 90s. Most of it was fun improvements that made it seem more like a…
  • Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

    Denise Drespling
    12 Aug 2014 | 4:05 pm
    I finally read the modern classic, The Giver, and I’m so glad I did! I bought a pretty edition with all four books in the quartet and can’t wait to read the rest! Kinda surprised to read that Lowry didn’t think there needed to be other books after this one. The ending is the perfect setup for a sequel. Plot Every page was like a sucker punch. Just when you think, “Okay, maybe this society isn’t so bad. Look at how nice they all are to each other, look at how they care for each other, aw, isn’t that nice”—wait, they do WHAT?! Yeah, pretty much…
  • Where Do I Start? 3 Do’s and 5 Don’ts for the Beginning of Your Novel

    Denise Drespling
    8 Aug 2014 | 3:41 pm
    photo from Flickr via Creative Commons from Omar Bárcena Let’s start at the beginning. Well, duh. Where else are you going to start? Beginnings are one of those things in the writing world that seem to be their own entity. If you don’t nail the first sentence, the first page, the first chapter, you risk the chance of not having your book read at all, by either readers or agents/editors. There is so much pressure to make a good start to your book. How many times have you met someone and decided instantly whether or not you liked them? We do this all the time. Someone appears…
  • When Books Become Movies: Ender’s Game

    Denise Drespling
    6 Aug 2014 | 5:20 pm
      When I read this book, I gave it 4 stars. Then, they made it into a movie. So, how does it add up? Book Accuracy Pretty close. There a few things missing, mainly the entire plotline between Ender’s brother and sister back on earth where they become mega political voices in secret (or something like that). Some of the battle school was lessened, and I don’t know that we really got the depth of Ender’s (abusive?) relationship with his brother, Peter. The focus of the movie was more about saving the planet than Ender specifically, like the book was. We didn’t see…
  • Learn How to Write Short With These 8 Tips

    Denise Drespling
    1 Aug 2014 | 5:24 am
    photo from Flickr via Creative Commons from Robert Zverina Once upon a time I uttered the words, “I can’t write short stories!” I’ve since heard many others state this same sentiment. I implore you—don’t fall for this trap. You can write short! (By short, I’m talking flash at 750 to 1,500 words to longer short stories at 3,000 to 7,000 words.) Here’s how to do it. 1. Focus This is the key. It’s easy to wander off on an epic adventure with tons of characters and weaving plot lines. For a short story, this is too much. Focus on one…
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    A Writer's Journey | A Writer's Journey

  • Honesty In Writing

    Nat Russo
    14 Aug 2014 | 5:33 pm
    The post Honesty In Writing appeared first on A Writer's Journey. There are many bits of common writerly wisdom that I tweet on a regular basis using the #writetip hashtag. Some of these nuggets are mine and others are parroting the masters. Most are widely held to be axiomatic, but some are confusing or enigmatic. Such is the limitation of 160 characters. One of the more confusing writetips deals with honesty in writing. Above all else, be honest in your writing. Readers sense fakes a mile away. #writetip Whenever this one comes up in the rotation, I get a flood of questions. I get…
  • The Road To Dar Rodon Hits Two Bestseller Lists

    Nat Russo
    10 Aug 2014 | 7:47 am
    The post The Road To Dar Rodon Hits Two Bestseller Lists appeared first on A Writer's Journey. I’m proud to say that The Road To Dar Rodon landed on two Amazon Bestseller lists less than twelve hours after publication! It’s hard to wrap my head around this. Thank you all so much for your continued support, and thank you for the kind words you’ve all shared with me about this new story. Many of you reading this are writers yourselves, so you know how surreal it can be to release a piece of art into the world and have it accepted by people you don’t even know.
  • This Week Only!

    Nat Russo
    1 Aug 2014 | 6:12 am
    The post This Week Only! appeared first on A Writer's Journey. This week only, for less than the price of a cup of coffee, you can read the #1 International Bestselling Fantasy, Necromancer Awakening. This special price will end on Thursday, so download your copy today! See what the critics have been raving about!     From The Back Cover “Knowledge in the absence of wisdom is a dangerous thing.”  Texas archaeology student Nicolas Murray has an ironic fear of the dead. A latent power connecting him to an ancient order of Necromancers floods his mind with impossible images…
  • 4 Things Every Writer Should Know About Beta Readers

    Nat Russo
    20 Jul 2014 | 4:46 pm
    The post 4 Things Every Writer Should Know About Beta Readers appeared first on A Writer's Journey. Writing is not a solitary endeavor. Not by a long shot. When a writer finishes a draft of a story, it is usually impossible for them to be objective about what they’ve written. Beta readers take a recently completed story and view it with a level of objectivity that the writer does not possess. But if you’ve never worked with a beta reader before, you shouldn’t jump in blindly. Beta readers can help you bring focus to your story in ways you never imagined. But they can…
  • Eddie Izzard on Talent

    Nat Russo
    3 Jul 2014 | 7:07 pm
    The post Eddie Izzard on Talent appeared first on A Writer's Journey. Many of you are aware that I had the opportunity to see Eddie Izzard in concert last week as part of his “Force Majeure” tour. What I didn’t mention on social media that night, however, is that I had the great privilege of attending a Q&A session with him after the show.   Most of the questions that evening were the usual, non-professional interview type questions: What’s the one thing you’d tell your younger self if you could go back to the past? What inspired you to become a…
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    Sheep Noir

  • How to be a writer in the year 2014

    Mabel Thandi
    30 Jul 2014 | 9:26 am
    Originally posted on : 1. Write a lot of lists. Lists are cool. Lists are in. Lists are super easy to digest, and take very little of a potential reader’s effort, thought, or time. Throw a few funny gifs in there, and ignore the sinking feeling in your stomach when you realize gifs will eventually replace even the measly word count you’ve been assigned.  2. Be famous for something else. So, you wanted to write a novel or, god forbid, a short story collection? Who do you think you are—James Franco? Because unless you are literally James Franco, no one cares about your short stories.
  • When my love for reading was almost derailed

    Mabel Thandi
    28 Jul 2014 | 5:01 am
    At the age of 11 I was a shy little girl, naive but armed with a form of curiosity that refused to be appeased. I was excited, having just transferred to a brand new school where I was to start Grade 6, it was Standard 4 back then. I am not sure but maybe because of my shyness and quiet nature (let us go with that naive narrative) it seemed that my it was assumed that my intelligence was dubious at best by my English teacher on the first day. In the first week we were told to choose any book from the classroom’s bookshelf to read during class and take home. I chose the book that had topped…
  • Cape Town’s top six spots if you are a book lover

    Mabel Thandi
    17 Jun 2014 | 3:11 am
    Here is another one of Sheep Noir’s totally subjective lists. I believe that if you love books the Cape Town CBD is very kind to you and has several diverse spaces where you can find your regular dose of happiness. The Book Lounge The basement of the Book Lounge The independent book store, Book Lounge is a magical space on the fringes of Cape Town CBD and District Six. What sets it apart from the large franchises (which I will not name) is that they do not get a million copies of a book and shove it into your face but they are rather selective, choosing their books based on merit. What is…
  • The 7 awful characters that haunt book launches and talks

    Mabel Thandi
    9 Jun 2014 | 12:35 am
    If you attend lots of book launches you will no doubt bump into some characters that will relentlessly irritate you. At least one of the seven characters listed below are likely to pop up at a literature event. There are of course many more I could include, but here I have chosen to focus on the ones that irritate me the most. Like the people who attend book launches to openly critique books and authors they have never read. The restless ones who keep walking up and down. It seems like microphones, confined spaces and (sometimes) free wine attracts them, so beware. We can only hope that you…
  • Bookclubs That Work

    Mabel Thandi
    3 Jun 2014 | 6:44 am
    I am part of a book club and I love it. This is probably weird as they are quite a contentious issue among book lovers online, many feel it is a waste of time as it mostly turns into nights or days out sipping on some lovely wine. I think my book club works because of several factors that the original members in the group thought out well. It is noteworthy to state that I am the youngest and newest member in the group and the oldest member recently celebrated her 75th birthday. Here is a breakdown of why we got it right: A quality versus quantity balance: There are 8 of us: A group that is…
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    When I should be writing, I'm here

  • So, you want to be a Broadway producer?

    m.e. welman
    17 Aug 2014 | 9:05 am
    If you’re a bit of a theater (or theatre) buff, there’s an excellent article in the New York Times by Patrick Healy titled, I Want to Be a Producer (Me, Too!). Flashes of Mel Brooks’ The Producers naturally come to mind, but producers today are more and more like investors in a Kickstarter rather than the traditional investor of yesteryear. Considering the cost of a Broadway production, it’s no wonder. From Mr. Healy’s article: Packs of investors, a conga line of above-the-title names: These sights were rare for decades, when shows were cheaper and a few…
  • Today in Oh, Jobs!

    m.e. welman
    14 Aug 2014 | 4:57 pm
    This definitely deserved its own posting. Happy job hunting. Am I a terrible person for laughing with evil glee over job postings for writers and editors with misspellings in them? I don’t care, it gives me a sick joy. Here you go, today’s posting from Indeed.com–for an editor-in-chief. Just because they’re promoting a Bohemian lifestyle doesn’t mean one should be Bohemian about spelling POSSESS–yes people, possess has four and not three of those letters called S. Also, I’d like to point out that Bohemian, by definition, has nothing to do with luxury–or a vibe thereof unless…
  • Ouch, Amazon; a letter from the Orwell estate to the New York Times.

    m.e. welman
    14 Aug 2014 | 4:26 pm
    As a Kindle Direct Publishing customer I did receive the letter (two actually) from Amazon asking for my help with their issue with Hachette. I don’t have much, if anything, to add to the whole Hachette v. Amazon debate/battle that is going on. As an indie author and a big Amazon customer I am not sure why Amazon cares how high Hachette prices their ebooks–let them, the market will sort itself out–isn’t that how it’s supposed to work? But I did find Amazon’s use of the Orwell quote in the letter quite silly, since they didn’t use the quote in its…
  • I love Wallace Shawn.

    m.e. welman
    13 Aug 2014 | 10:02 am
    From Gossip Girl, to The Princess Bride to his work writing My Dinner With Andre, what’s not to love? Click the title above for the interview with Wallace Shawn from NY1.
  • Do you know your dramatic purpose?

    m.e. welman
    7 Aug 2014 | 11:07 am
    Photo courtesy m.e.welman. Admittedly there are times, like now for me, when writing is like this photo: It’s fun to look at—I’m enjoying reading what I’ve written so far; I’m curious as to what it is—the plot is moving my characters forward and as I re-read the ‘wanting to know more’ is definitely there and; My story has some teeth—interesting plot twists; great, relate-able characters and humor. But like this little green whatever it is (from a hamburger meal my sons insisted they needed to have) I’m not sure that what I have…
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    Lekhsolutions Blog

  • How your Blog Plays an Essential Role in your Business

    Prachi Kulkarni
    24 Jul 2014 | 12:30 pm
    In the age of social media blogging has taken a place of importance. Those who want to express their personal thoughts and feelings or are in search of a platform for communication, they are resorting more and more to blogging. Blogs help to interact with many others, other bloggers and those with similar thoughts and mentalities. Blogs have various other functions too. They are not just matters of entertainment but also a medium for venting out thoughts. Nowadays along with social media blogs are used for business and business communications. Various companies are taking on to blogging to…
  • 6 Killer Tips to Write an Attractive Press Release

    Prachi Kulkarni
    22 Jul 2014 | 12:47 pm
    In this age of social media press release seems to be out of date as people are leaning more towards news that come fast and with drama. However, a powerful and attractive press release can still hold a reader glued to it even in this age of social media. An experienced and smart writer would know how to make a press release writing attractive enough to get plenty of readers hooked on to it and get the message spread throughout various channels. Press release writing requires time, skill, research, some creative talent and a will to make it attractive. Here are some tips on how to write an…
  • How to Write a Compelling ebook That Goes Viral

    Prachi Kulkarni
    19 Jul 2014 | 12:02 pm
    Books have always been a source of joy and pleasure for book worms from the time printing presses came into being. From ages and even till some years back, libraries had been the haunt and source of every kind of books for the bookworms. With advancement of technologies in the modern era, where everything is going digital, books have gone digital too. People now slide through the pages of e-books and internet is the source for these. Notes, reviews and recommendations are available on the digital pages itself instead of the printed papers. The days of print are fast depleting. Thus ebook…
  • Google Panda 4.0: Gives preference to high quality content websites

    Prachi Kulkarni
    24 Jun 2014 | 10:23 am
    Here comes Google Panda 4.0: The latest updations by Google namely Google Panda 4.0 has brought a great sense of revolution for professionals in writing business. With consistent launch of different versions; Google is succeeding in its objective of presenting only quality content writing websites throughout its search engine.  Post launch of Google Panda 4.0 on 21st May, 2014, Google would deem every other website that would showcase low and poor quality content. Several websites have found themselves in low ranking category due to the presence of poor quality content on their website.
  • Top 15 SEO Content Writing Tips for New Writers

    Prachi Kulkarni
    27 May 2014 | 12:28 pm
    It is an art to write appealing and highly informative contents. Though, it is not a skill that can be learned by attending few classes, one can work upon his or her existing style of writing in order to learn how to write information packed, highly robust content. Using such content is a sure way to bring about a marked improvement in a website’s or blog’s ranking with various search engines. Content writing tips Following top 15 tips for SEO Content writing can help you in writing contents that will help in improving search engine rankings- 1)  Write Effective Headlines or titles: The…
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    terribleminds: chuck wendig

  • Polling Your Intestinal Flora: How A Writer Cultivates Instinct

    18 Aug 2014 | 5:59 pm
    About two years ago, I wrote a post about the uncertainty of being a writer, and how you solve that — to some degree, at least — by cultivating instinct. I’ve no doubt that some people are just born with keen authorial instinct, the same way that some people are born with vestigial tails or magic third nipples that, when squeezed, lactate a variety of flavored sodas. But most of us have to cultivate it. We have to till the soil and grow the plant ourselves. Nobody can do it for us. Those writers you think are masters of the craft aren’t created that way. They…
  • Progress Report, Penmonkeys

    17 Aug 2014 | 6:17 pm
    I like that terribleminds has kind of become an inadvertent writerly community. People gathering around the campfire, burning their old trunk novels, weeping into cans of beans about this rejection or that bad review. As such, this seems like an opportune time to once more check in with you ink-fingered key-slingers and see: How are you doing? How’s the writing going? Tell us some good news. Trouble us with your problems. Let’s talk about it. Let’s talk to each other about it. Got a grievance? Air it. Got good news? Celebrate it. Progress reports: starting now.
  • Flash Fiction Challenge: Color Title Challenge

    15 Aug 2014 | 10:45 am
    Last week’s challenge: Charlie And The Whoa What Now? Colors. COLORS ARE PRETTY. *paws the sky* *touches a tree* *drops acid, dances around in a whirlwind of colors that do not exist* Ahem. Anyway. This one is pretty easy. I want you to write a story using a title that incorporates a color into it. I don’t care which color, but if you require a RANDOM COLOR TABLE: Pink Feldspar Olive Azure Auburn Fuchsia Coral Ochre Vermilion Cobalt So, your title could be THE COBALT KNIGHT or AUBURN JONES AND THE REAPER’S URN or whatever. Only requirement is the incorporation of a color…
  • Bryon Quertermous: 5 Things You Can Learn From A Freelance Editor

    14 Aug 2014 | 9:47 am
    I love editors. Editors are the unsung heroes of the Book World. They’re the ones with their arms plunged into the meaty stink of various drafts, reaching into the pink slurry in order to stitch up ruptures and rearrange vital organs and make the whole monster work. Without editors, all writers would probably descend into a pit of writing pamphlets consisting only of profane emojis. Freelance editors are an awesome variant of the editor — though, tricky, because a lot of folks out there call themselves editors and will gladly take your money and then just-as-gladly either do…
  • What Is An E-Book Worth?

    12 Aug 2014 | 11:07 am
    An e-book is nothing. It’s 1s and 0s. It’s wizard farts and cyber-dreams. An e-book is everything. It’s a container for pure story. Like the traps they use in Ghostbusters, except instead of catching specters it catches characters, narratives, ideas, lies that tell truths. An e-book is a book, which is to say, it’s not a book at all. A book is a physical thing. An e-book is ether. An e-book is frequency. You might own an e-book. You might not. Maybe you’re just leasing it, like a jet-ski during the summer. Maybe you’ll read it. Maybe you’re just…
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    Creative Writing Prompts for Writers

  • Sci-Fi #3

    23 Jul 2014 | 3:56 pm
    Three men wear suits of specially-treated fibers suitable for the intense climate of the outer planets. They are searching for evidence of water or plant-life since their planet is about to become a vast wasteland. **What’s happened to Earth? What planet are these men investigating?** The post Sci-Fi #3 appeared first on Creative Writing Prompts for Writers.
  • Dystopian #1

    23 Jul 2014 | 3:49 pm
    The end of the world happened with the mass destruction of the power plants and a virus that runs rampant throughout the entire population. **Talk what is happening three years after the end.** The post Dystopian #1 appeared first on Creative Writing Prompts for Writers.
  • Fantasy #3

    23 Jul 2014 | 3:41 pm
    Over the landscape, a winged creature floated. It swooped down and grabbed a large cow with its sharp claws. No people could be seen because they knew it was feeding time. **Talk about the winged creature. What world does it inhabit?** The post Fantasy #3 appeared first on Creative Writing Prompts for Writers.
  • Emotional #3

    11 Jul 2014 | 9:15 am
    A young girl climbs on her bike. Tears are streaming down her cheeks. She’s not going to live with her mother anymore. She hates her. **Where’s the girl going? What happened with her mother?** The post Emotional #3 appeared first on Creative Writing Prompts for Writers.
  • Criminal #3

    8 Jul 2014 | 9:11 am
    The detective is closing in on a suspect. He knows the man killed his wife. He just can’t prove it. There’s a piece of evidence that could clear the suspect, but the detective knows the husband committed the crime. **Does the detective withhold the evidence to build a case?** The post Criminal #3 appeared first on Creative Writing Prompts for Writers.
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    blog - The Bibi Blog

  • Bird Clan Shaman's Blessing

    Bibi Tinsley
    18 Aug 2014 | 5:13 pm
    Co-Creating With The Elementals
  • The Real Hummingbirds

    Bibi Tinsley
    7 Aug 2014 | 11:13 pm
    I think I'm nearing the end, or rather, I should say the temporary end, of my obsession with photographing hummingbirds. Yesterday evening, just at twilight, I took out my camera, and something amazing happened. the hummingbirds came as they always do. When I first started shooting them in May, it was catch as catch can - they were so very shy. Now all I need do is stand in place, and my little friends come to say hello.Well, they looked just like they always do, until I looked at the photos on my laptop. These are shape shifters! There is something about the light at sunset that brings out…
  • Latest Photos

    Bibi Tinsley
    3 Aug 2014 | 12:53 pm
    One very determined little guy! Angel got dusty!
  • Holy Passageway

    Bibi Tinsley
    30 Jul 2014 | 8:24 pm
    Holy Passageway, July 30, 2014By Bibi TinsleyThis review is from: Angels and the Keys to Paradise: Ancient Egyptian Codes to Open Your Door to Heaven (Paperback) This is a remarkable book. Stewart Pearce presents a means of accessing Source, or God, or whatever one wishes to name The All That Is. He begins with a marvelous and true story describing how he was initiated into the ancient Egyptian Codes just a short time ago. He has a rare and sublime gift of crafting words, so that the reader is able, if willing, to share the experience as it is being read. All wonderful books…
  • Soul Writing: Is It Real?

    Bibi Tinsley
    28 Jul 2014 | 7:25 pm
    Answer: The experience must resonate with an inner knowing. This knowing is not something that can be 'proven', or understood intellectually. To prepare for a Soul Writing session, I will get a favorite crystal, light some incense, or put on some sacred essential oil, and last, light a candle. These are all tools to invite myself into a faster, finer, higher vibration.Early evening, Sunday, July 27, 2014We say to our dear one that nothing occurs between embodied souls on your earth plane without prior agreement.So, my question is, am I the same soul that didn't come through in the only…
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    SenaTechno ~ Give you knowledge more

  • Easy to Use Without The Google+ Real Name

    Nurdin Budi M.
    16 Aug 2014 | 4:35 am
    At the beginning of the Google+ social network's users are required to use real names on its accounts. But the good news for you today is the elimination of the policy given by Google. Even the Google give an apology to the user with the policies that have been made.Read more »
  • What is Affiliate Marketing Secrets?

    Nurdin Budi M.
    15 Aug 2014 | 6:43 pm
    It is common knowledge that affiliate marketing has made a lot of effort by many people. Marketing has to do with the state of the global economy and the strength of Internet marketing today. There are probably hundreds or thousands of affiliate programs available out there. So how can you stand out among them all? Are there effective affiliate marketing secrets?Read more »
  • Cheap Notebook Q21

    Nurdin Budi M.
    14 Aug 2014 | 9:44 am
    Lately notebook is increasingly being used by the people of Indonesia. Everyone is looking for a good notebook and also cheap. Moreover, today there are several brands of notebooks that are considered low quality and the idol of the notebook users. Read more »
  • What is Bluetooth?

    Nurdin Budi M.
    9 Aug 2014 | 10:46 am
    Bluetooth is a type of wireless technology that meets the requirements for the transfer of data without any cable connection. This technology is very convenient and can be used to connect computers, mobile phones, cameras, and other. Bluetooth allows users to connect to a variety of telecommunication and computing devices easily, without cables, that excess.Read more »
  • All About Apple iPhone 5S

    Nurdin Budi M.
    7 Aug 2014 | 10:43 am
    iPhone 5S is a product of Apple vendors, these products are very famous all over the world including Indonesia. This smart phone has a high specification.Read more »
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    Writing...Just because!

  • Guest Blog - Mari Barnes, Author of My Peace Place

    Anne OConnell
    10 Aug 2014 | 7:00 pm
    I'm very pleased to host Mari Barnes today as part of her virtual book tour for her book, My Peace Place. Mari is participating in D'Vorah Lansky's Book Marketing Boot Camp, which is where we 'met'. Take it away Mari!Eye on the WhyI read this recent post from a discouraged new author: My friends don't seem very excited about my new book. Does no one read anymore? I've sold 4 whole copies so far.That did more than ring a bell—it set a gong clanging in my mind. I remember those days too well. Some friends and family weren’t even reading gift copies of my book, much less actually…
  • Using Facebook to Target Readers

    Anne OConnell
    10 Jul 2014 | 7:40 am
    If you're building your author platform and haven't started a Facebook page yet, what are you waiting for? It's the most effective way to pinpoint target exactly who your readers are. Check out this infographic from Qwaya!
  • Writing Process? What Writing Process?

    Anne OConnell
    28 Jun 2014 | 11:26 pm
    Ah, the ever elusive 'writing process'. I've been a writer for years but as an author I’m a fairly new having published my first book in 2011 and two more since. Over the past three years I’ve been happily writing away, working towards my dreams of being a famous novelist, and feel pretty good about a strong ‘author voice’ that seems to be developing. The more you write the closer you get to finding the voice that’s uniquely yours, pulling bits and pieces from those you admire and drawing from your own experiences and mental meanderings. I think the same goes for landing on a…
  • Juggling Genres… Brilliance or Pure Folly?

    Anne OConnell
    26 May 2014 | 7:57 pm
    Variety versus boredomI love to write but don’t want to get boxed into one genre. Does that create problems? Absolutely! Does it keep things interesting? You bet!I consider my specialized skill to be simply…. writing. Do some writers have a particular niche they focus on? Most do and many ‘experts’ warn not to switch about as it makes it difficult to market your services (or for book marketing). That’s probably the biggest downside to switching genres. For authors, once you have a following, switching genres can alienate your readers. But sometimes you just need a change, right? If…
  • The Author-Preneur – Are you Ready for it? Book review: APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch

    Anne OConnell
    21 Apr 2014 | 6:26 pm
    “Starting your book is only the first five miles of a twenty-six mile marathon that’s one-third of a triathlon.” APE: Author, Publisher, EntrepreneurIf you’re a self-published author or are contemplating taking the plunge (for whatever reason), be prepared for the demand of being an ‘Author-Preneur.’ Actually, it’s not a bad idea to do it even if you’re traditionally published. Start switching your mind-set from, ‘I’ve got to sit down and get a chapter done today’ to ‘I’ve got to sit down and write a chapter today AND post a tweet about my progress, share a sneak…
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    Be A Better Blogger

  • Be Memorable: Why I wrote an 8,000-word blog post (and why you should do something just as crazy)

    Kevin Duncan
    14 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    In the time it takes you to read this sentence, Gwyneth Paltrow will have done something pretentious, Taylor Swift will have broken up with another boyfriend, and 21 new blogs will have been created. You see, supposedly, a new blog is being created somewhere in the world every half second. Every half second. How can you succeed as a blogger when approximately 172,800 new blogs are created each and every day? How can you compete? How can you get noticed? BONUS CONTENT: Want a convenient PDF checklist of this post? Click the image below. “Write great content,” they say……
  • How to write a blog post: The definitive 8,317-word guide your mom will understand

    Kevin Duncan
    7 Aug 2014 | 9:33 am
    We all do it. Whenever people are talking about a topic, and we have no clue what they’re talking about, we play the game. We smile. We nod our head. We hope no one notices we are slowly backpedaling out of the room so we can Google the foreign topic on our smartphone. And when we return to the conversation ten minutes later, we proudly share the information we learned. Usually, the conversation has switched to a different esoteric topic, so after everyone gives you a puzzled look you smile, nod your head, and begin the dance anew. When you’re new to blogging, a lot of the…
  • What Weird Al Yankovic can teach us about blogging

    Kevin Duncan
    29 Jul 2014 | 6:53 am
    Weird Al Yankovic is a blogging muse. Yes, I realize “Weird Al” and “blogging” are words you usually don’t see together very often. In fact, add the words “peanut butter,” “Canada” and “porcupine,” and you would have quite the game of Mad Libs. This shouldn’t be so. In fact, it’s my belief Weird Al Yankovic and blogging go hand in hand! Why? Because there is much we bloggers can learn from the life, habits and career of Weird Al. Things like… 1. Weird Al turned a hobby into his profession and livelihood…
  • How to kill engagement and stop those pesky blog comments

    Kevin Duncan
    22 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    The following takes place in an alternate universe. It’s one where bloggers hate reader engagement and hate receiving comments, but in a cruel twist they cannot simply “turn off” their comments. Instead, they’re forced to use other means to discourage engagement… Comments. Ugh, am I right? Just the other day, I received a comment from a female reader who told me she loved my blog and thought I was cute. She also said she was going to share my post with her 41 million Twitter followers. Thanks, @taylorswift13, but no thanks. Who needs that kind of drivel? Sure,…
  • There is no magic formula for achieving blogging success

    Kevin Duncan
    15 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    In a scenario I made up just now for the purpose of this blog post, people often ask me about the magic formula for blogging success. “What’s your secret,” they will ask me. “What is the one trick I need to know,” they will continue. “Is it your hair? Follow-up question: Can I have a lock of your hair,” they will plead. “Drink this…it’s not spiked with knock-out pills,” they will promise. “People,” I will tell them, after waking up, groggy, while tied to a chair. “There is no magic formula. Now, please, let…
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  • Coal miners I guess?

    18 Aug 2014 | 1:56 pm
    I got a new book and it is quite a bit more lovely than the last one. It uses very short sentences. Sometimes it has as little as three sentences per page. It is a very nice book.I wrote a little short story today but you can't see it because maybe I want to publish it and everyone is very exclusive about those kinds of things. Maybe I think it is a pretty decent piece of writing. I will most likely no longer feel this way in a couple of years. If you are working but no one is watching you work, are you really working? If you are working but you like working, are you…
  • A blueberry in a sea of pies, wondering why anyone would want to cook it.

    17 Aug 2014 | 9:11 am
    I don't like pancakes but if someone makes them for me what am I going to do, turn them away like some kind of bitch?It just feels like every time I bite into a pancake I'm biting into a fat white balding man. And that I will consequently turn into one. I started reading a book but I couldn't get through a damn chapter because there are so many adjectives it's like hacking through the jungle and you're just trying to make it back to camp. I have an obvious dislike for adjectives and punctuation. I like being as vague as possible. I hate explanations because to explain…
  • Being and trying to be.

    15 Aug 2014 | 11:28 am
    Well it took two days but here I am.Back in my old bed with my old clothes and my old pink carpet. It's dreary but I'm unbearably happy nonetheless. Don't ask me to explain emotions because honest-to-god I don't think I could.Nothing particularly extraordinary is happening in my life right now. I told someone I loved them. Wow. Progress? Not really. I feel like I'm missing a lot of people but I don't even know how true that is. Writing really changes with your location. I feel like I don't want to address problematic things because why can't they just go away and allow me to be…
  • Going home is a sigh.

    11 Aug 2014 | 11:42 am
    Leaving for good this time. 
  • Don't Kiss Me

    8 Aug 2014 | 9:41 am
    Today is hot  but hot and soft instead of the harsh red heat typical of the south. It's quiet and no one has the usual gregarious attitude on the streets.Soft light soft heat soft footsteps. I want to say the word "painterly" to anyone who passes by but I know that would be unbearably pretentious. I am thinking about why I would ever come back to this place, yet here I am. I adore it in a lot of ways but I shouldn't really be here. Follow people for lust and you'll end up stranded in a place you realize you never wanted in the first place. -------Read this book and let…
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    Cristy Burne

  • 3-step CPR for your feature film script (or my over-edited novel)

    16 Aug 2014 | 6:29 am
    Is your script missing something? Does your story meander? Or maybe you can’t seem to find your rhythm? Join the club! CPR for your script: form and structure I’ve been working on the same *insert-swearword-here* manuscript for nearly three years. My draft has been through a zillion carnations and reincarnations. It’s been called The Cockroach Book, The Half-witch Wars, Exploits, Ranger […]
  • How to drink tea: more than just a cuppa

    11 Aug 2014 | 10:41 pm
    When I write, I drink tea. When I need comfort, I drink tea. When I’m catching up with friends, I drink tea. And I’m not alone. If you’re a fellow lover-of-tea, or you want to know… what teas to serve with fried eggs, or how to store your tea, or what to serve when Prince Charles […]
  • 10 questions your TV pitch should answer…with producer Amanda Higgs

    27 Jul 2014 | 2:06 am
    After graduating film school, Amanda Higgs followed her own advice: she worked hard, and she stuck to her passion. “It took ten years to get my first production credit,” she says. “If I’d known it would take that long, I probably would’ve quit.” But Amanda doesn’t strike me as a quitter. Her number-one message is work […]
  • 12 ways to read a picture book…with Ernie Bond

    25 Jul 2014 | 7:41 am
    Meeting Dr Ernie Bond feels like meeting an old friend. He’s super-friendly, down-to-earth, and shares a passionate love of children’s literature. “Ooo! Ooo!” he says. “This is not referred to in the text at all! This is not in the text!” Ernie is an expert in visual literacy: the art of reading images, and he’s in Fremantle to speak […]
  • Why I ran away with the circus (and how you can too)

    22 Jul 2014 | 3:18 am
    I adore science and innovation: thanks to science, I have light bulbs, a fridge, and a sense that the world is a wondrous place and incredible things can happen. And yet, I don’t work in science.  Why not? Because I found something that I love even better! Science communication :-) Do you have a science degree, and an itch in […]
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    Inert Silence

  • Don’t Be a Doormat

    19 Aug 2014 | 5:20 pm
    Ah, assertiveness. Standing up for yourself. Being honest with people about what you want or don’t want to do. I wish I were better about that. I’m a doormat, always have been. I can say it in my head a million times when I know someone is going to ask me to do something I don’t want to do. Let me tell you something. Always being nice. Gets you nowhere. Positive karma is fine, but in the real world people don’t operate on karma. They operate on how they can get what they want. Guess what, they’ll always get what they want from you because you can’t say no.
  • Work Hard, Play… Never?

    17 Aug 2014 | 7:06 pm
    Well, I finished college and got hired at my first “real” job a year and a half ago. For the first time I have paid vacation. What a beautiful concept. They pay me not to be at work. Funny thing is, I don’t know what to do with myself since I’ve never had or taken a vacation before… in my life. Not counting of course forced family vacations when I was younger and what not. This’ll be my first paid time off. Americans are fairly notorious for not taking time off. Higher paid workers generally have more vacation time available, but because of that higher pay…
  • The Vexatious Nature of Sleep

    15 Aug 2014 | 4:53 pm
    I am starting to dislike sleep. I used to love sleeping. Now it has become an annoyance. Kind of like eating. I garner little joy from eating and sleeping. It’s just something I have to do to sustain some sort of competent qualities in life. I don’t think the problem is insomnia, I am perfectly able to fall asleep, usually, but I think I am more concerned about tomorrow coming. Sleep is that nice bridge between one point in time and another. I don’t usually dream much, or at least I usually don’t remember them, but when I do they are usually nonsensical. Life has done…
  • Stepping Out of the Tar Pit of Dead Media

    13 Aug 2014 | 5:30 pm
    I haven’t watched “TV”, that is, network type TV, for several months. I have a television, and it sits in the other room, unplugged. Why? It never drives the content I want to watch. Meanwhile, I sit at my computer desk, with my nice monitor, and watch content I  have chosen, when I want, what I want, and all for cheaper (and usually higher quality) than Cable TV. It’s not just advertisements. I don’t mind advertisements, when they are balanced with the content. It’s always a funny experience watching a television show on Netflix which is normally 30…
  • Ear Ringing Silence

    11 Aug 2014 | 7:49 pm
    I’ve grown to notice that being in a state of complete silence is very difficult to achieve. There are noises all over, and living in a city doesn’t help with that. I love that entirely consuming silence. The silence that’s so overwhelming that you can hear the blood flowing in your head and can hear your own heartbeat. The closest I can get to this is by using some sort of ear protection which is usually not adequate enough to completely silence the world. I remember seeing this YouTube video on Veritasium’s channel. There’s this chamber that was designed which…
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