Writing

  • Most Topular Stories

  • Allow Yourself to Write Poorly

    Advice to Writers
    JW
    31 Jan 2015 | 9:04 pm
    First, you get the idea. It may germinate for a long time or it just pops into your head. And then you work out a structure. And when you feel confident enough, you start to write. And you have to allow yourself the liberty of writing poorly. You have to get the bulk of it done, and then you start to refine it. You have to put down less than marvelous material just to keep going to whatever you think the end is going to be—which may be something else altogether by the time you get there. LARRY GELBART
  • The King is Dead. Long Live the King!

    Daily Writing Tips
    Maeve Maddox
    31 Jan 2015 | 8:19 pm
    A reader is puzzled by an expression: This is regarding the proverb “The *Something* is Dead. Long Live *Something*.” I’ve seen it being used in various contexts where *Something* is replaced by words…such as Internet, Article etc. Could you please elaborate on it, as I have been unable to find any reference to it. The reader is not a native English speaker, but there may be native speakers who use the expression without being aware of its origin. The expression derives from the announcement that follows the death of a monarch. My first encounter with it came when I…
  • 453 GG Less Versus Fewer

    Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
    QuickAndDirtyTips.com
    29 Jan 2015 | 11:45 am
    Follow along on the website: Capitalizing Time Periods http://j.mp/1z4W6bX Less Versus Fewer http://j.mp/1yP50d4 Bee's Knees http://j.mp/1DiC0dw ---- Try my iOS game, Grammar Pop http://j.mp/1H5YiSj
  • Do Lower Prices Lead to More Sales?

    Copyblogger
    Sean D'Souza
    29 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    Let’s say you’re choosing between three photography courses covering similar topics. The prices are stacked like this: $200 $250 $2,000 What’s going through your mind right now? Curiosity floods your brain. Even if you’re not sure you can afford the $2,000 course, you want to know why it’s so expensive, compared to the other photography courses. If we were truly happy with lower prices, we would simply snap up the $200 workshop, right? We wouldn’t so much as take a glance at the rest. But that’s not how we’re built as human beings. Many years…
  • How one piece of writing can morph into something else

    onewildword
    Carly Sandifer
    29 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    A few of my writing friends and I meet up occasionally to read our work and give each other feedback. One day, I read a poem I’d written about an encounter with a woman who had Alzheimer’s. When I finished reading it, one of my friends said, “I really like that character. I want to know more about her. I think you should write a story about her.” I’m not sure why, but when I get a writing idea, I usually know exactly what format it should take: poem, short story, novel, flash fiction. But I realized that one format CAN evolve into something else. It really made…
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    Advice to Writers

  • Allow Yourself to Write Poorly

    JW
    31 Jan 2015 | 9:04 pm
    First, you get the idea. It may germinate for a long time or it just pops into your head. And then you work out a structure. And when you feel confident enough, you start to write. And you have to allow yourself the liberty of writing poorly. You have to get the bulk of it done, and then you start to refine it. You have to put down less than marvelous material just to keep going to whatever you think the end is going to be—which may be something else altogether by the time you get there. LARRY GELBART
  • In Defense of the Adjective

    JW
    30 Jan 2015 | 9:03 pm
    I beg the privilege of demurring for a few moments against a high-flown disdain for the adjective. We’ve been cautioned by such proven masters as Ernest Hemingway, Clifton Fadiman and Mark Twain, to avoid the adjective as though it were a contagious disease. Here’s Fadiman: “The adjective is the banana peel of the parts of speech.” Mark Twain: “As to the adjective, when in doubt, strike it out.” Hemingway: “If an adjective happens, kill it.” All of which seems to me a bum rap against the language enjoyed worldwide by people who use a homely but…
  • Don't Be Thin-Skinned

    JW
    29 Jan 2015 | 9:01 pm
    Try to develop steady work habits, maybe a more modest quota, but keep to it. Don’t be thin-skinned or easily discouraged because it’s an odds-long proposition; all of the arts are. Many are called, few are chosen, but it might be you. JOHN UPDIKE
  • Writing Is Lucky Work

    JW
    28 Jan 2015 | 9:01 pm
    I have never liked to suggest that writing is grinding, let alone brave work. H. L. Mencken used to say that any scribbler who found writing too arduous ought to take a week off to work on an assembly line, where he will discover what work is really like. The old boy, as they say, got that right. To be able to sit home and put words together in what one hopes are charming or otherwise striking sentences is, no matter how much tussle may be involved, lucky work, a privileged job. The only true grit connected with it ought to arrive when, thinking to complain about how hard it is to write, one…
  • Think Like A Writer

    JW
    27 Jan 2015 | 9:00 pm
    You can teach almost anyone determined to learn them the basics required to write sentences and paragraphs that say what you want them to say clearly and concisely. It's far more difficult to get people to think like a writer, to give up conventional habits of mind and emotion. You must be able to step inside your character's skin and at the same time to remain outside the dicey circumstances you have maneuvered her into. I can't remember how many times I advised students to stop writing the sunny hours and write from where it hurts: "No one wants to read polite. It puts them to sleep." ANNE…
 
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    Daily Writing Tips

  • The King is Dead. Long Live the King!

    Maeve Maddox
    31 Jan 2015 | 8:19 pm
    A reader is puzzled by an expression: This is regarding the proverb “The *Something* is Dead. Long Live *Something*.” I’ve seen it being used in various contexts where *Something* is replaced by words…such as Internet, Article etc. Could you please elaborate on it, as I have been unable to find any reference to it. The reader is not a native English speaker, but there may be native speakers who use the expression without being aware of its origin. The expression derives from the announcement that follows the death of a monarch. My first encounter with it came when I…
  • Healthy vs Healthful

    Maeve Maddox
    30 Jan 2015 | 8:16 pm
    A reader wonders about the use of the adjectives healthy and healthful: Would you please do a segment explaining how, when, and why “healthy” and “healthful” should be used correctly. My tentative belief is that people are “healthy” or not so; and that foods are “healthful” or not so. Am I correct? Many speakers like to draw a strict difference between these two adjectives, but it’s not necessary. The argument Some speakers insist that healthy must be applied only to someone or something that enjoys good health: The healthy children ran and…
  • Prime Marks

    Maeve Maddox
    29 Jan 2015 | 8:08 pm
    A reader commenting on a recent post about the En Dash introduced me to a punctuation term that was unfamiliar to me: “the prime mark”: Here’s one for you: teaching about the apostrophe versus the prime or foot mark. Same with the quote marks versus the inch marks. I can only guess that this reader must teach students in specialized fields like mathematics, science, or linguistics, in which prime marks serve important purposes. Like the apostrophe, the prime mark (or two or three) is placed at the upper right of a number or other symbol. Unlike the apostrophe—which is…
  • Do-gooder Is Not a Positive Term

    Maeve Maddox
    28 Jan 2015 | 8:17 pm
    A reader questions the positive use of the epithet do-gooder: One use of the language that disturbs me is the use by my local paper of the term “Do-gooder” [to refer] to people who are indeed doing good deeds by helping or contributing. However the only definitions I have seen for the term appear to refer to those who are trying to do good, but do so in unrealistic or wrong means. I feel the current use is not considering the older, perhaps archaic, usage. The OED does list one example of the noun Do-Good to mean “a person who does good,” but the only citation given is dated 1654 and…
  • Empathize vs. Sympathize

    Maeve Maddox
    27 Jan 2015 | 8:38 pm
    A reader says, I’ve always been confused on how to use [the words empathize and sympathize] in proper context. For about 300 years, English speakers didn’t have to choose between sympathize and empathize to express the idea of sharing another’s feelings. Empathize hadn’t been invented yet. The first OED example of sympathize in the sense of “to share the feelings of another” is dated 1607; the first use of empathize with this meaning dates from 1916.   However, the noun empathy was introduced in 1895 by a psychologist to describe “a physical property of the nervous system…
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    Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

  • 453 GG Less Versus Fewer

    QuickAndDirtyTips.com
    29 Jan 2015 | 11:45 am
    Follow along on the website: Capitalizing Time Periods http://j.mp/1z4W6bX Less Versus Fewer http://j.mp/1yP50d4 Bee's Knees http://j.mp/1DiC0dw ---- Try my iOS game, Grammar Pop http://j.mp/1H5YiSj
  • 452 GG Why People Misuse Prepositions

    QuickAndDirtyTips.com
    22 Jan 2015 | 2:00 pm
    Follow along on the website: Compliment Versus Complement http://j.mp/184vjlA Saving Our Prepositions http://j.mp/1yOHBdJ How 8 Fonts Got Their Names http://j.mp/1xZXLdg Try my iOS game, Grammar Pop http://j.mp/1H5YiSj
  • 451 GG Impossible Participals

    QuickAndDirtyTips.com
    15 Jan 2015 | 2:00 pm
    Follow along on the website. Commas Before "Jr." http://j.mp/1BYaNOx Impossible Participles http://j.mp/1u2BXCZ Onomatopoeia http://j.mp/1AXQQZa Try my iOS game, Grammar Pop http://j.mp/1H5YiSj
  • 450 GG Is Sign Language Universal?

    QuickAndDirtyTips.com
    8 Jan 2015 | 2:00 pm
    Tons of fascinating tidbits about sign language from interpreter David Peach Follow along online: http://j.mp/1EQ3dsJ Find David online: http://twitter.com/dpeach http://learnsigns.com Sponsor: http://AudiblePodcast.com/GG Try my iOS game, Grammar Pop: http://j.mp/1H5YiSj
  • 449 GG Double Possessives

    QuickAndDirtyTips.com
    1 Jan 2015 | 2:00 pm
    Follow along on the website: Transitive Versus Intransitive Verbs http://j.mp/1AUkNaZ Double Possessives http://j.mp/1x8OVy2 Try my iOS game, Grammar Pop http://j.mp/1H5YiSj
 
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    Copyblogger

  • Do Lower Prices Lead to More Sales?

    Sean D'Souza
    29 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    Let’s say you’re choosing between three photography courses covering similar topics. The prices are stacked like this: $200 $250 $2,000 What’s going through your mind right now? Curiosity floods your brain. Even if you’re not sure you can afford the $2,000 course, you want to know why it’s so expensive, compared to the other photography courses. If we were truly happy with lower prices, we would simply snap up the $200 workshop, right? We wouldn’t so much as take a glance at the rest. But that’s not how we’re built as human beings. Many years…
  • 5 Traffic Strategies That Build Your Curation Audience

    Brian Clark
    28 Jan 2015 | 9:00 am
    Note: This is the third of three core lessons related to content curation based on a case study of my new email newsletter Further. You can listen to the initial two episodes here: Position Your Content Curation for Success 3 Ways to Grow Your Curated Email Newsletter Faster Now we tackle the eternal question: how do you get traffic to your curation site so you can build an email list? Should we start building a war chest for advertising? Not yet. First we’re going to apply some creativity and sweat into driving traffic. Some of these methods are tried and true, but need to be executed…
  • Data Is Clear: To Be Effective at Content Marketing, Have a Documented Strategy

    Jerod Morris
    28 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    Talk is cheap. So it should come as no surprise that when it comes to content marketing strategy, simply talking about it is not enough. That is the big takeaway from the 2015 benchmarks, budgets, and trends study by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, sponsored by our own Rainmaker Platform. According to the study, only 39 percent of B2B small business marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. The rest either have a strategy that they have only talked about (47 percent), have no strategy at all (12 percent), or are unsure (1 percent). Here’s why this matters…
  • How to Learn From Your Mistakes

    Jerod Morris
    27 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    Everybody makes mistakes. And everybody should make mistakes. They are unavoidable when we step outside of our comfort zones. Avoiding mistakes means avoiding growth. But we can’t repeat our mistakes. We need to learn from them. When we do, we turn negatives into positives and move forward. When we don’t, we simply run in place. In this episode of The Lede, Demian and I share personal stories of mistakes we’ve made — some big and some small — and how we learned from them, and we describe the thought process necessary to do so consistently. We discuss: Recovering…
  • Trolls, Unkind Words, and How to Know You’re on the Right Track

    Sonia Simone
    26 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    At the end of the day, I just find your persona incredibly grating. Funny that I can still remember that comment word-for-word. It’s from an unsubscribe note to my email list dating back at least seven years now. I heard lots of good things back then, too. I was helping people, sharing what I knew in a way that was useful to my (then tiny) audience. But I don’t remember any of the good comments verbatim. Even back then, though, the note made me laugh. (Ruefully.) Because I knew that it was a signpost. A signal that I was headed in the right direction. The Internet is full of…
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    onewildword

  • How one piece of writing can morph into something else

    Carly Sandifer
    29 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    A few of my writing friends and I meet up occasionally to read our work and give each other feedback. One day, I read a poem I’d written about an encounter with a woman who had Alzheimer’s. When I finished reading it, one of my friends said, “I really like that character. I want to know more about her. I think you should write a story about her.” I’m not sure why, but when I get a writing idea, I usually know exactly what format it should take: poem, short story, novel, flash fiction. But I realized that one format CAN evolve into something else. It really made…
  • Writing advice from a Tasmanian cave spider, or how to get your creative juices flowing

    Carol Despeaux
    26 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    Ok, I lied. This post isn’t really about writing advice from a Tasmanian cave spider—more like life advice. Hang with me for a moment. You’ll see what I mean. After taking nearly a year off from writing poetry, I had an idea to kick start 2015 with the goal of writing two to three new poems a week for the month of January. But I wasn’t feeling very inspired. Some pretty heavy stuff was going on in my life, and I felt drained. Then, a gift arrived in the mail. My blogging partner Carly sent me The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop, by Diane Lockward (I hadn’t even mentioned my goal…
  • Are you stymied by a scene? Duck and cover

    Carly Sandifer
    22 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    It happens to all of us. You’re working on your manuscript and you get stuck. The writing feels clunky. Something isn’t working. This is when you must duck and cover. “Duck and cover” is the term author Pam Lewis coined to describe her process of jumpstarting her writing when she’s become stuck. “I open a blank page on my computer and ask myself, ‘What’s going on in the scene?’ I close my eyes and watch the characters and hear them.” In her current manuscript, Lewis said she used the technique to figure out what a character was doing in a particular scene. But she…
  • Four tips for setting 2015 writing goals

    Carol Despeaux
    7 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    In the process of setting my goals for 2015, I realized how much magic there is in writing them down—and I don’t mean just randomly choosing goals and then giving ourselves a due date. That doesn’t work. The magic comes when we dig deep. Here’s my process in case it helps you: Tip # 1: Brainstorm and write it down First, I grab a legal pad and have one page for each of the following areas of my life: business, writing, health, and hobbies. For each category, I write down the goals I want to have accomplished by the end of 2015. And, if necessary, I break the goals down into different…
  • For lasting change, vow to adopt tiny habits

    Carly Sandifer
    1 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    The new year is here, and it’s natural to think of how we can make a fresh start. Enter New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, researchers* have found resolutions often don’t stick. The problem with most resolutions are that they’re too general. The top five for 2014 were: Lose weight Get organized Spend less, save more Enjoy life to the fullest Stay fit and healthy. You can probably see that without specific tactics, it’s hard to achieve these resolutions. The numbers people at Statistic Brain reported that 2014 research from University of Scranton, Journal of Clinical…
 
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    Word Grrls

  • But With Imagination

    Laura Brown
    23 Jan 2015 | 6:59 am
    The post But With Imagination appeared first on Word Grrls. The post But With Imagination appeared first on Word Grrls - Writing daily whether I want to or not.
  • Your Last 5 Words?

    Laura Brown
    15 Jan 2015 | 8:07 pm
    The post Your Last 5 Words? appeared first on Word Grrls. What would your last 5 words be for the world and all? See the Twitter hashtag #MyLastWordsIn5Words Related Posts: Lily’s Friday Prediction From Twitter #10ThingsAboutMyself Move Words Around Like Pieces of a Puzzle MicroBlogging: Short Notes to the World Can you Master the Art of the Humblebrag? The post Your Last 5 Words? appeared first on Word Grrls - Writing daily whether I want to or not.
  • Could you Get Paid to Write?

    Laura Brown
    17 Dec 2014 | 2:39 pm
    The post Could you Get Paid to Write? appeared first on Word Grrls. It’s a bit dramatic to pick up your first ever copy of The Writer’s Market, which ever year you buy your first one. Suddenly you have taken a step into the world where people write and make money from it. This brings the responsibility of expectations. Paid writers should know how to write: spelling, grammar ... Read more... Related Posts: How to Become a Contributing Writer to a Publication Why Aren’t You Writing for HubPages? Being a Web Writer Writing for Content Marketing Sites is Too Expensive Stop…
  • A Writer is a World Trapped in a Person

    Laura Brown
    29 Nov 2014 | 3:40 pm
    The post A Writer is a World Trapped in a Person appeared first on Word Grrls. A writer is a world trapped in a person. – Victor Hugo Found on Paperback Writer Related Posts: The Words of the World Want to Make Sentences The post A Writer is a World Trapped in a Person appeared first on Word Grrls - Writing daily whether I want to or not.
  • Make a DIY Rotating Goal List

    Laura Brown
    17 Nov 2014 | 11:54 pm
    The post Make a DIY Rotating Goal List appeared first on Word Grrls. Most of us seem to work smarter and stay organized by keeping a to-do list. The problem is that the projects are in constant flux, and you set out to achieve one thing only to be derailed by another. Sound familiar? Curated from Curbly This seems a sensible way to keep your goals and manage a ... Read more... Related Posts: New Ideas for New Projects to Start this Year Writing a Top 10 Sort of List Post How to Write a Babysitting Resume Easy ways to Stay Motivated… Try a New Writing Format The post Make a DIY…
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    Writing Forums

  • Keep losing focus/motivation

    1 Feb 2015 | 12:53 am
    Hi guys... well -as the title says, I think i just keep hitting the same old problem with my book no matter what i try. Currently college is eating up a lot of my life, but I know i could take at least an hour a night to work on my novel. The problem is, even though i have the whole story and plot... Keep losing focus/motivation
  • Real Names

    1 Feb 2015 | 12:51 am
    How do you feel about using real brands in your stories/poems/books? For example, instead of saying "I'm going to eat some instant noodles" you say, "I'm going to eat some ramen." Some people just alter the real brands name in some way but it's still recognizable. Is there a legal difficulty... Real Names
  • How do you get over the fear?

    1 Feb 2015 | 12:12 am
    I'm heavily invested in writing a book at the moment and I think its good. I can't escape the fear that when push comes to shove and I finish and edit this thing, I'll have some people read it and they will tell me its terrible. So for you guys who've finished something, how did you get over that... How do you get over the fear?
  • Contest #168 Theme: "Resurrection"

    31 Jan 2015 | 11:55 pm
    Short Story Contest #168 Theme: "Resurrection" courtesy of @Lancie. Contest story entries can be found HERE We have eight entries... Contest #168 Theme: "Resurrection"
  • Fantasy Elements

    31 Jan 2015 | 11:48 pm
    Could you imagine yourself accepting a story that was largely realistic, was set in the modern day USA, had fairly grounded stakes (as in, no save-the-world plot), and made some attempt at social commentary, but also had a very small number of characters with fantasy-style powers? I ask that... Fantasy Elements
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    The Purdue OWL News

  • Purdue OWL: Activity and Postmortem Reports for January 15, 2015

    15 Jan 2015 | 1:15 pm
    Purdue OWL: Activity and Postmortem ReportsBy Joshua M. PaizThe Purdue OWL is pleased to announce the launch of our latest professional and technical writing resources, Activity Reports and Postmortem Reports. These resources provides our users with a guide to understanding and drafting these two common workp..
  • Purdue OWL: Understanding Assignment Prompts for December 12, 2014

    12 Dec 2014 | 8:21 am
    Purdue OWL: Understanding Assignment PromptsBy Joshua M. PaizThe Purdue OWL is pleased to announce the launch of our latest resource second language writing resource, Understanding Assignment Prompts. This resource provides our users with a guide to understanding and deconstructing university-level writing pro..
  • Tips for Writing in North American Colleges Expansion for December 11, 2014

    11 Dec 2014 | 8:28 am
    Tips for Writing in North American Colleges ExpansionBy Joshua M. PaizThe Purdue OWL is pleased to announce the expansion of our "Tips for Writing in North American Colleges" resource. This resource, designed as an introduction to studying at North American universities for international students, now includes a glossa..
  • Purdue Writing Lab Fall 2014 Finals Week Schedule for December 9, 2014

    9 Dec 2014 | 5:11 am
    Purdue Writing Lab Fall 2014 Finals Week ScheduleBy Joshua M. PaizThe Purdue Writing Lab has announced its schedule for fall 2014 finals week:  Fall 2014 Finals Week December 15 - 19 Heavilon Hall: Monday – Wednesday 9am – 6pm No evening satellite hours Closed beginning Thursday, D..
  • New Resources Type: The Classroom Mini-poster for December 5, 2014

    5 Dec 2014 | 7:51 am
    New Resources Type: The Classroom Mini-posterBy Joshua M. PaizDuring the Spring 2014 semester, the Purdue Online Writing Lab partnered with Professor Margie Berns' ENGL 516: Curriculum Development in TESOL class. Throughout this partnership, we were pleased to work with so many bright young scholars-practi..
 
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    Charlotte Rains Dixon

  • Books I Read in January

    Charlotte Dixon
    1 Feb 2015 | 12:10 am
    (Yes, I know--I promised Part Two of the Care and Tending of Writers.  It is all written in my journal, I just need to get it up on the computer.  That will happen next week. Promise, and my fingers aren't crossed behind my back, either.) Today I'm starting a new series on the books I've read each month.  Why? Well, first of all because if you are a writer or you want to be a writer, you should be inhaling books.  I find that the more words I put on the page, the more words I need in ingest.  Really.  And second of all, because I love reading lists of what other people…
  • Inventive Writing Prompt Round-up #27

    Charlotte Dixon
    31 Jan 2015 | 12:24 am
    Here is the weekly collection of prompts from my Tumblr blog.  Have at it! #183  "To whom much is given, much is expected."  How does this manifest in your character’s life, or is she one to whom not much has been given?  If so, how does this affect her? How would her life be different if she had been given a lot? #184  She chased the rabbit through the forest and it lead her to something she never expected. #185 This poor prompt was lost in the ether somewhere.  Not sure what happened to it.  So write about something that was lost. #186  Marker, stone, grub, reporter.
  • A Guide to the Care and Tending of Writers, Part One

    Charlotte Dixon
    28 Jan 2015 | 5:17 pm
    Let's talk about self care.  Yeah, I know, you'd rather be writing than fussing about some dumb old self care crap.  But here's the point: taking care of yourself will enable you to write more and better. Truly. An example, taken from my own life: Yesterday, I completed two big projects.  Both are under wraps for the moment, and only one is related to writing, really, but it was an application that necessitated a bunch of thought and filling out. Today, I'm in full-on fart around mode.  I have a list a mile long to complete--and I'm not doing any of it.  Instead,…
  • Inventive Writing Prompt Round-up #26

    Charlotte Dixon
    24 Jan 2015 | 5:26 am
    Here we are once again, at Saturday.  How does that keep happening?  Its a miracle.  And here are your prompts for the week.  Remember, for a dose of daily inspiration, check out my Tumblr blog, where I post a new prompt every day (except for the rare occasion when I forget).  Happy writing! #177 The wind howled and the rain poured down.  She stared out at the falling water, mesmerized.  It reminded her of the time that….. #178 It’s Martin Luther King day.  Write about freedom.  What does it mean to you? Your character? For some it is a very high value( i.e., having freedom to…
  • 7 Practices to Create Your Best Writing Year Yet

    Charlotte Dixon
    22 Jan 2015 | 12:38 am
    I write a lot about motivation here.  Yeah, ostensibly I write about writing, and I do, but when I look back over all the articles I've posted, many of them are about techniques for getting words on the page. That's because I have a cement-firm belief, based on my own habits and years of teaching and coaching writers, that the hardest part of writing is getting your butt in the chair and keeping it there long enough to rack up a word count.  You can be the best, most elegant and clever stylist in the world, and if you can't get yourself into a regular writing practice, nobody…
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    WritersDigest.com

  • Should You Include Word Counts in a Magazine Query?

    Brian A. Klems
    29 Jan 2015 | 8:00 am
    Q: Why is it important to include a suggested length for a magazine article in a query? I would think that my job, as the writer, is to sell an editor on the idea, but it’s the editor’s decision to determine length. I feel like, no matter what word count I suggest, the editor could think either why so long? or why so short? —Greg W. You’re 100 percent correct that it’s up to the editor to decide how long she wants the article to be. But when you are querying an editor, that editor needs to know what you believe you can deliver on the topic you’re pitching.
  • The Most Overlooked Market For Content Writers

    Guest Column
    28 Jan 2015 | 7:45 pm
    Editor’s Note: The following content is provided to Writer’s Digest by a writing community partner. This content is sponsored by American Writers & Artists Inc. www.awaionline.com. Writing content can be an extremely profitable option for working writers … Sure, there are fiercely competitive content markets where writers fight over penny-a-word contracts. But, those more obvious opportunities in highly-competitive markets aren’t what I’m talking about. There are far better opportunities for writers looking to make a living … and that’s my goal with this blog each week: To…
  • Ghostbuster For Hire

    Brian A. Klems
    28 Jan 2015 | 6:40 pm
    You’ve been out of work for a few months and respond an unusual ad online that reads: “Team seeking full-time associate who isn’t afraid of ghosts.” They call and tell you to come in. Intrigued (and desperate for work), you go to their office and get hired on the spot. Moments later, there’s a call—and you have your first assignment. Write about what happens. Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below. Want more creative writing prompts? Pick up a copy of A Year of Writing Prompts: 365 Story Ideas for Honing Your Craft and Eliminating…
  • Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 295

    Robert Lee Brewer
    28 Jan 2015 | 8:06 am
    For this week’s prompt, write a free poem. Think free parking or a free space (in a board game). Think fat free, care free, or stone free (for all the Jimi Hendrix fans out there). Or think words with free in them, a la Freedom of Information Act. You’re free to take it in any free-wheeling direction you wish. Get Started in Writing! Take your writing to new levels with the one-of-a-kind bundle of writing products called Getting Started in Writing premium collection! The bundle includes an independent study workshop, four e-books, seven paperbacks, and a handful of webinars–all…
  • 7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Robin Antalek

    Chuck Sambuchino
    27 Jan 2015 | 8:05 pm
    This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers (this installment written by Robin Antalek, author of THE GROWN UPS) at any stage of their career can talk about writing advice and instruction as well as how they possibly got their book agent — by sharing seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. GIVEAWAY: Robin is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog…
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    The Heart and Craft of Life Writing

  • Boring or Brilliant?

    29 Jan 2015 | 1:57 pm
    The cliché of watching someone else’s home movies has always been “It’s always just a saddening bore.” What’s surprising is that the farther we find ourselves removed in time and place, the more these old films have the capacity to move us, to entertain us, or simply to remind us of life as it once was. From My Private Italy, Steve McCurdyAsk around and you’re bound to hear this sentiment about boredom expressed with regard to reading life stories written by “ordinary” people, especially strangers. You even hear it expressed by people about their own stories: “My life is so…
  • Writing About Friends

    22 Jan 2015 | 12:48 pm
    Sooner or later most of us want to write stories about people who are or were special to us. These stories may be free-standing tributes, or you may include friends as characters in memoir stories. Some such stories work better than others. In fact, as much as I hate to say this, some can be downright boring, the exact opposite of what we intend. The boring stories are generally limited to an account of things you did together, which makes the story more about your experience than the friend. While it’s perfectly fine to write about shared experiences, it takes more to define a…
  • Jumpstart a Personal Timeline

    10 Jan 2015 | 3:35 am
    January is a great time to begin or update a personal timeline. If you are serious about lifestories or memoir, a timeline is invaluable for recalling story-worthy events and keeping your thread untangled. I have good news: a free download to simplify the process of starting or enhancing yours. Read on.On February 24, 2006, I published “The Value of a Personal Timeline” as my  ninth post on this blog I began that month. The material in that post has stood the test of time. It explains the basics of why you need one and how to get started. Rather than repeat what I said in that post,…
  • New Years Resolutions

    1 Jan 2015 | 12:45 pm
    Happy New Year!I spent considerable time crafting general writing resolutions (in no particular order) that I feel able to keep, but will also push me a bit. I invite you to shamelessly steal any or all that appeal to you. Some of my underlying thoughts:PRIMARY INTENTION: I want the concept of lighting a candle in the darkness to underlie everything I write. This is the first year I’ve stated a primary intention. It feels right write. Write what I want when I am ready. The emphasis here is on when. 2015 promises to be a challenging year of transition, and more than ever, I shall follow…
  • Pros and Cons of Disclosure

    18 Dec 2014 | 9:39 am
         “Gideon, how are you? I’ve been worrying about you.”     “Worrying? Why?”     “Because you–I don’t know, you always get into… adventures that never happen to anyone else. There isn’t anything wrong, is there?”     “Wrong?” He laughed. “No, of course not.” What was a bomb in the morning mail to the truly adventurous? Besides, why bring it up now when it couldn’t serve any purpose other than to worry her? Later was good enough. If there was going to be any comforting and soothing…
 
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    Published and Profitable Writers Tips Blog

  • Learn Amy Morin’s Path to First-book Bestselling Success

    Roger C. Parker
    31 Jan 2015 | 3:24 am
    Listen as first-time author Amy Morin shares the story behind her best-selling book, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do. Many multi-title nonfiction authors never enjoy the success that Amy Morin has enjoyed from her first book. Her first book is an Amazon Top 100 book with consistently strong sales since its appearance. It’s in Top 30 books in several Amazon categories, such as: Health, Fitness & Dieting > Mental HealthHappiness Business & Money, Business Culture, Motivation & Self-Improvement Business & Money, Management & Leadership, Motivational…
  • Join the Content Marketing Institute’s Weekly Twitter Chats

    Roger C. Parker
    29 Jan 2015 | 3:24 pm
    Boost your content marketing productivity by following the Content Marketing Institute’s weekly #CMWorld #Twitter Chats. The Content Marketing Institute’s #Twitter chats take place each Tuesday at noon, Eastern. Each week, there’s a different content marketing expert and a different topic. You’ll gain valuable insights into the mindsets and resources content marketers around the world use to create content marketing for businesses, clients, and nonprofits large and small. Concise, useful information The #Twitter Chat format encourages short, concise, and meaningful…
  • Meet 2015′s Top 100 Content Marketers to Follow on Twitter

    Roger C. Parker
    19 Jan 2015 | 10:00 am
    Meet 2015′s Top 100 Content Marketers to follow on Twitter by clicking the image to the left. The Witty Parrot’s compilation of the Top 100 Content Marketer’s makes it easy to make keep up with the latest content ideas and avoid overlooking any of today’s top content marketing resources. The concise format of each of the SlideShare presentation’s slides provides a 2-line overview of each content marketer’s background and qualifications, plus a link to their Twitter profile. Influencer marketing One of the most important benefits of the Witty Parrot’s…
  • Ilise Benun’s Pricing & Promo Tips | Free Call

    Roger C. Parker
    11 Jan 2015 | 6:41 am
    Writers,designers, and consultants–get a fresh perspective on pricing your writing and design services when I interview  Ilise Benun this week. Join this Published & Profitable free call on Tuesday, January 13, at 4:00 PM EST. Discover fresh, proven tools to save time attracting and generating new business. Planning, pricing and proposal resources for writers and designers Ilise Benum has built her Marketing Mentor reputation focusing on addressing the unique challenges authors, writers, copywriters, digital designers, and graphic designers face marketing and pricing their…
  • 14 Content Marketing Checklists & Worksheets

    Roger C. Parker
    8 Jan 2015 | 3:09 am
    Boost your content marketing productivity with these 14 free content marketing checklists, scorecards, and worksheets available in a recent Content Marketing Institute round-up. Click the image to access a recent Content Marketing Institute Blog posts that offers convenient access to 14 valuable productivity-boosting articles, checklists, scorecards, and worksheets that have appeared during the past few years. Fresh perspective and best practices Print and save the 14 idea-filled articles articles and you’ll gain a fresh perspective on the fundamentals and best practices of content…
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    Writing Forward

  • Meet Your Muse: Every Writer’s Best Friend

    Guest
    29 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Meet your muse. Please welcome guest author Lisa Tener with a post on connecting with your muse as a way to overcome writer’s block and achieve better creativity. Maybe you’re familiar with the term muse, which comes from the ancient Greeks and refers to the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. In my work with writers, I often refer to “the muse” or “your muse” as a point of access for inspiration and as a resource to get out of a rut, unblock, find clarity on a particular question, and consistently write in a state of flow. You…
  • Five Things I Learned in Creative Writing Class

    Melissa Donovan
    27 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    What can you learn in a creative writing class? People ask me all the time whether I think a formal education is necessary to a successful writing career. A degree certainly helps, but no, it’s not necessary. There are master writers who did not finish high school and plenty never went to college. I want to be clear: I fully support higher education. If you pull me aside and ask whether I think you should go to college, I’m going to say yes, of course you should! At the same time, I encounter plenty of writers (and other professionals) who are insecure because they feel they…
  • Grammar Rules: Capitalization

    Melissa Donovan
    22 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Grammar rules for capitalization and lower case lettering Proper capitalization is one of the cornerstones of good grammar, yet many people fling capital letters around carelessly. Not every word deserves to be capitalized. It’s an honor that must be warranted, and in writing, capitalization is reserved only for special words. Most of the grammar rules are explicit about which words should be capitalized. However, there are some cases (like title case) in which the rules are vague. Capitalization of Titles There are several contexts in which we can examine capitalization. When writing a…
  • Five Poetry Prompts

    Melissa Donovan
    20 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Poetry prompts. You know what’s great about writing prompts? On those days when you’re feeling uninspired but you want to write, they’re there for you. On days when you want to get your writing practice in but don’t particularly feel like writing, they’re there for you. Writing prompts give you a little push to kick-start a writing session, making it easier to face the ever-dreaded blank page. I adore poetry. When I first started writing on my own, I wrote poems. The creative freedom and elusive nature of poetry captivated me, and as a music lover, I felt that…
  • Writing Tips: Write What You Know

    Melissa Donovan
    15 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Writing tips: write what you know. If there’s one piece of writing advice that took me years to truly understand, it’s write what you know. When I first heard this instruction, I thought it was odd. I don’t remember where I first heard it, but I do remember thinking that as far as writing tips went, it was absurd. What about writing from your imagination or your feelings? How do genres like science fiction and fantasy fit into the idea that you should only write what you know? It all seemed rather limiting. Was I supposed to write about American suburbia? That’s what I…
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    We Are Change

  • Realtor: “Paranoia” Driving Wealthy to Buy Homes in New Zealand

    alecope88
    31 Jan 2015 | 10:22 am
    We Are Change SOURCE: Infowars “Paranoia” is one of the primary factors motivating the wealthy to purchase secret getaways in New Zealand, according to one realtor, with concerns about personal safety and global crises driving the search to acquire a safe haven in a remote location. During the Davos Economic Forum, economist Robert Johnson made headlines when he revealed that “hedge fund managers all over the world….are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway.” Johnson highlighted growing income inequality as a driving factor…
  • Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News Portrays Ukraine’s ‘Far Right’ as ‘Heroes’

    alecope88
    31 Jan 2015 | 10:16 am
    We Are Change SOURCE: RINF On January 22nd, Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News (Murdoch founded it, his son James headed it for a while, and their 21st Century Fox owns “a controlling stake” in it) telecast a puff-piece for Ukraine’s right-wing extremists, several times calling them “heroes” to “patriotic” Ukrainians. This segment of their documentary series “Ross Kemp: Extreme World,” was titled “Ukraine: The Rise of The Right.” In it, Ukraine’s “far right” are described as being patriots who are protecting all of Ukraine from a Russian invasion, and who are therefore…
  • Feds to Unleash Hyper-Orwellian Police State at Super Bowl XLIX

    alecope88
    31 Jan 2015 | 10:06 am
    We Are Change Prison Planet Keeping with tradition, the Ministry of Homeland Security has decreed it will once again be implementing stringent, hyper-vigilant anti-terrorist security measures during this year’s Super Bowl. Since 9/11, the yearly event has devolved into a free-for-all for the DHS and its sub-branch agencies, many of which will be on hand coordinating largely theatrical operations which serve more to acclimate the public to an Orwellian police state than provide any actual security. The Transportation Security Agency will be on high alert closely scrutinizing travelers…
  • U.S. to Develop DNA Study of One Million People

    alecope88
    31 Jan 2015 | 9:02 am
    We Are Change SOURCE: MIT Technology Review President Barack Obama is proposing to spend $215 million on a “precision medicine” initiative the centerpiece of which will be a national study involving the health records and DNA of one million volunteers, administration officials said yesterday. Precision medicine refers to treatments tailored to a person’s genetic profile, an idea already transforming how doctors fight cancer and some rare diseases. The Obama plan, including support for studies of cancer and rare disease, is part of a shift away from “one-size-fits-all” medicine, Jo…
  • Police Seek DHS Grant to Deal With “Extremist” Hippy Group Which Stresses ‘Non-violence, Peace and Love’

    alecope88
    31 Jan 2015 | 4:33 am
    We Are Change DC Clothes Line Missoula police are seeking a quarter of a million dollar Homeland Security grant to help them spy on “extremist” organization The Rainbow Family, a loosely affiliated hippy group which stresses non-violence, peace and love. The mayor signed off this week on a proposal that if approved would net the Missoula Police Department $254,930 from the DHS to purchase a mobile command unit that would be used to spy on The Rainbow Family, which is listed as an “extremist” organization in the proposal. The unit will also be used by other first responders during…
 
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    Scribble Pad

  • Some days I'm just inguistically impaired

    Laura Tamayo
    29 Jan 2015 | 12:04 pm
    A multilingual mind is a source of great entertainment. The other day, a run to the grocery store had me laughing out loud in the middle of the fruits and vegetables section. Fortunately I usually shop with earphones plugged in and my phone in my pocket, so my fellow 21st century shoppers didn't bat an eyelash.Some useful background: Usually when I decide to swing by the grocery store for a short list of things (say less than 5),  I don't write out a list. Instead, I just memorize the first letter of each item. It's usually easy enough because when I'm going for such a small amount, I'm…
  • My Inner Geek

    Laura Tamayo
    3 Mar 2014 | 11:15 am
    Today I'm rather proud of myself. I managed to tweak a few things here and there in Blogger's XHTML code with no help (zero, none, nada) from any of my geek friends. Well, sort of. I didn't call anyone, but I did scour the Internet.My point: as far as non-geeks go, I have a touch o'geekiness. I cannot boast the title Geek of the code-writing, major-hacking, bad-ass-fixing variety by any stretch of the imagination, but I have gotten in touch with my inner geek. It was beautiful.Getting to the code and managing to do what I wanted to do with it has me doing the happy dance--the geeky…
  • Wait… Are You Shrinking?

    Laura Tamayo
    3 Mar 2014 | 10:50 am
    Why yes.This blog started in 2007 and is now officially enormous and probably needs to be pruned. So for now, I'm hiding some of the old so that I can edit and reorganize… or not. To be honest, I'm not quite sure what I'll do with it.Then funny part is that I was going to pull the whole thing, and then I saw people are still reading it. Yay! So as long as there's potential to connect with others, I  suppose I won't axe the whole thing. But yes, it needs to shrink.Over the years, the bloggers that I interact with have changed, probably in part because I post less here than I used to. In…
  • 15 Reasons to Travel

    Laura Tamayo
    31 Aug 2013 | 12:06 pm
    Don't ask me why 15. I have no idea. It's the first number that popped into my head, so let's see if I can manage to limit myself to it. OK, so why travel?1. To get away from this heat. Seriously, no one ever really gets used to being over 100F.2. To be near a body of water. And yes, this directly relates to number 1. Jumping in the pool helps, but even at 10 pm, it's so warm it's like swimming in pee.3. To be able to walk around. Again heat-related, but also to do with living in the suburbs of a highway town where nothing can really be called walking distance.4. To hang out at the airport. I…
  • 11 Jul 2013 | 10:57 am

    Laura Tamayo
    11 Jul 2013 | 10:57 am
    So I've got a little side project going and could use some help!If you are a pet owner and you have 3 minutes you can give me, please answer this 10-question survey.The sooner I reach my goal, the sooner I can go to the lake and read a book. So please pass it on to other people with critters. Thanks!Click here to take survey(Zero personal info required an nothing sold to you at all. Promise.)
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    Work-in-Progress

  • Local Love!

    29 Jan 2015 | 1:05 pm
    I made the front page of our local newspaper, The Alexandria Times, along with some members of my lovely prompt group.  You can see the article online (and read about the issues of my town; what WILL happen to that cool old movie theatre downtown? Doesn’t look good, alas [p5]. Also, there’s an important story I’m following about a new doughnut shop on p3!). But I digress.  Here’s the link:http://alextimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/01_29_2015-Alex_Times_Final-Draft-Web.pdf
  • Saving Poetry One Drink at a Time

    28 Jan 2015 | 7:36 am
    by Sandra Marchetti It’s 10 pm on a weeknight and my husband and I are arguing on Aisle 5 of the local Jewel-Osco. Will it be the San Pellegrino Limonata or the Italian grapefruit soda? We lost our chance to buy the right mixer hours ago. He just wants a drink, and I’m fueling my perfectionism in trying to prove him wrong. I gaze into the fluorescent lights and wonder, what the hell are we still doing here?I mentioned to my husband Scott the day before that my press, Sundress Publications, asked me to create a signature cocktail to pair with my forthcoming book of poems, Confluence.
  • "Let the Characters Lead": An Interview with Novelist S.M. Hulse on Black River

    27 Jan 2015 | 7:37 am
    By Matthew McEverInspired by a Montana prison riot in the 1950s, S.M. Hulse’s debut novel, Black River, belongs alongside the work of Annie Proulx and Ron Hansen, situated among the new literature of the American West. Hulse breaks down nostalgia, offsetting pastoral landscapes against rugged but broken people. Her protagonist, Wes Carver, is a former corrections officer who was held hostage, tortured and maimed in a prison riot twenty years ago. Now, after living in Spokane all this time, Wes returns to Montana, days following his wife’s death, in order to attend the parole hearing for…
  • Cheryl Somers Aubin: 12 Tips for Submitting Your Work to Lit Journals

    26 Jan 2015 | 6:58 am
    12 Tips for Submitting Your Work to Literary JournalsA Co-editor’s Perspective  By Cheryl Somers AubinAs a writer, I have submitted my fair share of essays and fiction pieces to literary journals.  Now that I am the nonfiction co-editor of a literary journal, I wanted to share a few tips with my fellow writers from the perspective of an editor:1.  Submit early:  These are the essays that stay at the top of my mind and I end up comparing all future submissions to them.  Some essays are immediately accepted (before they get scooped up by another journal) leaving fewer…
  • Writing & Social Media

    16 Jan 2015 | 12:39 pm
    Writers, “social media” is not a dirty word!  (I know, it’s actually two words.)  Like it or not, learning to navigate the shoals of shameless self-promotion is part of our JOB these days, whether it’s helping to bring attention to a worthy literary journal that has published our work or trying to move the merch (yes, your beloved book is a PRODUCT).Anyway, lecture over.  If you’re interested in learning more, you might like to watch this thoughtful, 30-minute panel on writing and social media that I moderated while at the recent Converse MFA residency.  It…
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    Quips and Tips for Successful Writers

  • How to Deal With Writing Distractions

    Laurie
    21 Jan 2015 | 10:24 am
    These tips for dealing with distractions as a writer are inspired by a parable about James Joyce, and will help you develop the productivity of a writer like Stephen King. Learning how to deal with writing distractions isn’t just about turning off the internet or writing in pomodoros. In Writing Habit Mastery: How to Write The post How to Deal With Writing Distractions appeared first on Quips...
  • How to Become a Photojournalist

    Laurie
    14 Jan 2015 | 10:36 am
    These five tips for becoming a photojournalist (or a travel writer, truth be told) are inspired by the parable of the Tiger and Strawberries, and based on an article called “10 Tips for Selling Your Travel Writing.” There is no way any article can teach you everything you need to know about how to become The post How to Become a Photojournalist appeared first on Quips and Tips for Successful...
  • Why You Can’t Write – 5 Causes of Writer’s Block

    Laurie
    8 Jan 2015 | 11:21 am
    Why can’t you write? Before you can overcome writer’s block, you need to find the source. Here are five causes of writer’s block and a Sioux Indian parable about awareness, to help you stay motivated to keep writing. One cause of writer’s block is perfectionism. “[A writer who is a perfectionist] expects her first drafts The post Why You Can’t Write – 5 Causes of Writer’s Block...
  • How to Know What to Write About

    Laurie
    3 Jan 2015 | 11:15 am
    It’s the bane of every writer or blogger’s existence: what do I write about? These four tips for finding inspiration as a writer are inspired by a parable about salt and light. It’s a Jesus parable, but you don’t have to be a believer to be encouraged. If you want to make writing part of The post How to Know What to Write About appeared first on Quips and Tips for Successful Writers.
  • 10 Careers for Writers Who Want to Make Money

    Laurie
    10 Nov 2014 | 3:53 pm
    Not all writers are starving! This list of writing careers will help you find the right niche and show you how you can make money as a writer. Finding the right career can be challenging for a beginning writer, but there are a surprising number of options to explore. One of the “secrets” you need The post 10 Careers for Writers Who Want to Make Money appeared first on Quips and Tips for...
 
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    About Freelance Writing

  • How to Create A Marketing Plan For Your Freelance Writing Business

    Anne Wayman
    29 Jan 2015 | 12:57 pm
    Most writers recognize the need to market themselves and their writing and most will admit to having trouble developing a marketing plan and sticking with it. Some are stuck in the idea that they... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • The Secret to Writing The Table of Contents For Your Book

    Anne Wayman
    27 Jan 2015 | 2:33 pm
    Once you have your Vision and a 10 word Purpose Statement you really know what you’re book is all about. Consciously and unconsciously ideas are accumulating. Now it’s time to begin to... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Why No Freelance Writer Should Hate Marketing and What to Do if You Do

    Anne Wayman
    22 Jan 2015 | 11:39 am
    I don’t know how many times I’ve heard writers say, “… but I hate marketing!” In fact, I’ve been known to say it myself, at least I used to. Maybe it’s no... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Your Book Needs a 10 Word Purpose Statement

    Anne Wayman
    20 Jan 2015 | 11:00 am
    When you do a Visioning for your book, you’re opening up to wider possibilities. The Purpose Statement helps you hone that vision to the laser-like focus you need to get your book written. When... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Martin Luther King and the Power of Words

    Anne Wayman
    19 Jan 2015 | 10:39 am
    Every now and again I remember what a real privilege it is to be a writer. Not only do we get set our own hours, go barefoot to our office, and have a commute measured in inches rather than miles, we... [[ 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: HubSpot checklists and naming conventions

    Matthew Stibbe
    29 Jan 2015 | 12:30 am
    We’re big fans of HubSpot. We use it to attract, convert, close and delight our own customers and we manage HubSpot campaigns for clients. It’s the world’s number one marketing platform. More than 10,000 companies run their marketing on HubSpot, generating more website traffic, leads and sales. Articulate is a certified HubSpot partner with a team of HubSpot certified marketing and content experts. We help you harness the power of HubSpot to grow your business. However, using the software and passing the exams is only part of the story. There are lots of moving parts in HubSpot and it…
  • Essential business grammar lesson two: subject-verb agreement

    Clare Dodd
    27 Jan 2015 | 12:30 am
    LOLCats are funny in part because they deliberately have terrible grammar; in particular because they routinely mix up the subject-verb agreement. Now, we all feel safer thinking cats don’t really know how to ask for a cheeseburger, but in business we should make sure we get it right. So, what is the correct way to ask for a cheeseburger? Can I have a cheeseburger, please? I would like a cheese burger please. Both of these work because both have subject-verb agreement. How do I make subjects and verbs agree? In foreign languages, subject-verb agreement is handled by conjugation;…
  • How I learned to love Mondays again

    Matthew Stibbe
    22 Jan 2015 | 12:00 am
    I’m writing this at 8:43 on a Monday morning. Mondays can be grim. Like most people I find the transition from weekending to working a struggle. Worse: I’ve trained myself to get up early, meaning the day starts with the electric shock of a 6am alarm. But Mondays can also be wonderful. It’s about attitude not chronology. They’re like the New Year. Anything is possible. That feeling means that, for me, Mondays are a good day for thinking, planning and looking ahead. Tell me why I love Mondays Over the last year, I’ve changed a lot about my weekly routine to refactor…
  • Essential business grammar from Bad Language: lesson one – the building blocks of a sentence

    Clare Dodd
    20 Jan 2015 | 4:16 am
    Needless to say, typos and poor grammar will quickly turn a diamond to a rhinestone We’ve talked about grammar on Bad Language more than a few times. And with good reason. Get your grammar wrong and not only do you lose your credibility, but you also lose your readers’ attention. Poor grammar is a stumbling block and after a few hurdles most readers will give up trying to reach the finish line. With that in mind, and the faint notion of resolutions still floating in the air, we thought we’d start our series of lessons on essential business grammar. There will be 20 lessons…
  • What makes a great leader: lessons from Dame Stella Rimington

    Charlotte Littley
    13 Jan 2015 | 12:00 am
    Thanks to franchises like James Bond, an air of glamour and mystery surrounds the British intelligence services. (Cue music.) This secretive and exciting institution seems so far removed from our everyday working lives that it’s hard to imagine it has anything in common with mundane management or business basics. The reality, however, is very different from Flemming’s fiction. Take it from one who knows There are a lot of lessons businesses can learn from the secret services, according to former MI5 Director General, Dame Stella Rimington, who spoke on leadership at Microsoft’s recent…
 
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    Ben Crowder

  • Ray Bradbury on writing

    Ben
    27 Jan 2015 | 4:21 pm
    A good Ray Bradbury quote I ran across today: If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish…
  • Reading goals for 2015

    Ben
    10 Jan 2015 | 6:31 pm
    I recently came across a post about reading goals that got me itching to go and do likewise. I’ve had numeric goals in the past — read X books this year — but I’ve realized I’m less interested in the total number of books read and more interested in the types of books I read. (It’s also a grudging acknowledgement that this mortal life is finite and there’s no way I’ll be able to read all the books I want to. Such a sad thought. But there are massive libraries in heaven, right? I’m banking on that.) Here, then, are my reading goals for…
  • Moralistic Therapeutic Deism

    Ben
    4 Jan 2015 | 7:46 pm
    A good series of blog posts by John Gee, my Coptic/Egyptian professor at BYU, on youth leaving the Church: How Many Youth Are We Losing? Where Are They Going? Why Do They Leave? Why Do They Leave? II In the last post he talks about the NSYR’s concept of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, which he explains in more detail, but this gets the basic idea across (and the quote here is from Smith and Denton’s Soul Searching, cited in Gee’s original post): [Moralistic Therapeutic Deism] is “about providing therapeutic benefits to its adherents. This is not a religion of repentance…
  • Hebrew alphabet worksheet

    Ben
    1 Jan 2015 | 7:20 am
    I’ve made a graded worksheet to go along with the Hebrew alphabet card I made nine years ago (and I really need to do a new version of that):
  • Ogham alphabet worksheets

    Ben
    1 Jan 2015 | 7:19 am
    I’ve put together two graded worksheets to go along with the Ogham alphabet chart I made a few years ago:
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    Write to Done

  • The Winner of the WritetoDone Flash Fiction Contest 2015

    Mary Jaksch
    31 Jan 2015 | 2:06 am
    A complete story in 500 words?Is it possible?The winning story of the WriteToDone Contest (read it below) shows what a talented writer can do with 500 words.The contest was judged by the WTD team, Mary Jaksch, Editor-in-Chief and Vinita Zutshi, Associate Editor,  together with Head Judge,  Dr. John Yeoman of the Writer’s Village.The judges considered the following questions and awarded points from 0 – 5 for each.Were the guidelines followed (a maximum of 500 words of fiction)?Was the title enticing and appropriate for the story?Were spelling, punctuation and grammar correct…
  • How to Write Faster: The Brainwave Blueprint

    Mary Jaksch
    28 Jan 2015 | 11:09 pm
    Just imagine being able to write faster.Wouldn’t that make a huge difference?I’m not talking about becoming a writing automaton who spits out 5000 words a day.Because speed isn’t everything; it has to be balanced with quality. If you write 5000 words a day but most of what you write is rubbish, then it’s not worth cranking up your speed.Right?Improving your writing speed by 40% or more would substantially increase your productivity—if your quality were to stay the same or even improve.I’ve always regarded myself as a slow writer. But just recently, I had an…
  • How to Create a Sustainable Writing Income [Interview with Danny Iny]

    Mary Jaksch
    26 Jan 2015 | 12:40 am
    Creating a sustainable writing income is a struggle.I’m sure you know that!But maybe it’s important to look at some less-obvious applications of your writing skills.Check out what Danny Iny has to say about this in the following interview.As you may know, Danny is a blogger who started four years ago with no connections and no subscribers.He’s now become one of the most successful entrepreneurs on the Net.What gives me the most pleasure about his rapid rise to the top is that he’s done it with integrity.You can download the interview here (right-click the link; for…
  • 5 Easy Tips to Fix a Boring Online Bio

    Judy Lee Dunn
    23 Jan 2015 | 1:44 am
    I’d started working with two new clients in the same week.This was a few years ago, when I was a blogging and social media consultant.They both asked me smart, insightful questions on the very first day—stuff that made me feel how lucky I was to be playing in their sandbox.“I want you to help me figure out who I am,” said one, an accomplished executive coach with a highly specialized, very cool niche, “and how to build an online identity that shows how unique I am.”I wanted to get up right then and there and do a backflip. (I didn’t, though. There wasn’t enough room in…
  • How to Be Creative and Find Your Brilliance: 10 Superb Articles

    Mary Jaksch
    16 Jan 2015 | 12:47 am
    Have you ever wished you were more creative?Of course you have!I mean, who hasn’t?The problem with creativity is that it can get crushed so easily.A negative remark from a teacher long ago, or an insensitive quip from a friend can be all it takes to stymie your ability to create.Luckily, there are ways to restore your innate creativity.In this post you’ll find ten of the most potent articles on creativity.You’ll learn how to work with your creativity, instead of against it so that you become more creative and uncover your essential brilliance.Click on the titles to read…
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    Lisa Romeo Writes

  • Guest Blogger Laraine Herring on The Baby Story Monkey

    26 Jan 2015 | 5:30 am
     I'm pleased to present another guest post (her third!) from someone I respect a great deal. Not only do I enjoy reading and learning from her work, but since we first corresponded about four years ago, Laraine Herring has provided me with inspiration and motivation, excellent advice, insightful critical feedback on my memoir manuscript, many laughs; plus the gift of reading and offering feedback on one of her novel manuscripts. (I'm certain I got the better end of the deal on that one!) I've watched with admiration as she's further shaped and defined an already full writing life that…
  • Friday Fridge Clean-Out: Links for Writers -- January 23, 2015 Edition

    23 Jan 2015 | 5:59 am
    > "Like Pushing an Elephant Into a Volkswagon" seems such an apt title for this round-table discussion at The Morning News, with writers talking about how they fit in the writing around day jobs, family obligations, more.  > Ever wonder if you can get new life from an already-published article, essay, blog post? Here are "16 Sites That Accept Previously Published Writing".> What writers don't like lists of new ideas or smarter ways to further their art, craft, and business? Brooke Warner gives us 52 ideas of things to try in 2015. I've decided on at least a half-dozen…
  • Listen In: Storytellers Summit Presents 20+ Creative Conversations (including little ole me)

    22 Jan 2015 | 8:30 am
    As writers, we love getting information via the printed word. But there's something wonderful about not reading and instead listening, just listening, to other writers and creative professionals talk about their work. That's why I tune in to radio discussions about books and writing, bookmark podcasts, and click those "hear from the author" buttons. That's also why I am so pleased to be participating in the first StorytellersSummit, taking place right now, online, at no cost. At the site, you can choose to listen to any of the 22 creative folks in conversation with Decoding Creativity…
  • Of Writing Goals, Hope, the Old Year, a New Year, and One Word

    20 Jan 2015 | 10:05 am
    My end-of-the-year, start-of-a-new-year newsletter went out about 10 days ago. If you're not on the distribution list, here's the main story, one I hope will speak to writers setting out with new goals for 2015. The full newsletter is here (along with a link to sign up for future ones).Last year, my word was HOPE. Each year I choose a word, or short phrase, as a beacon of sorts. It helps me remember my way when the writing life (and life, period) acts up.   I wanted to remain full (or at least mindful) of hope, as I sought to publish a memoir-in-essays. As I let go of freelance…
  • Writing Inspiration Redux: 15 Posts Writers Keep Reading

    5 Jan 2015 | 9:07 am
    In case you missed a few, and before we move on to all new material, here are the 15 most trafficked posts from 2014 (exclusive of the Friday Fridge Clean-Outs). I'm pleased so many are guest posts from my valued contributors. (And yes, I know "Top X" lists should be published before the new year begins; this is what happens when you schedule a post in advance for December 30, 2016). 1. Saloma Furlong on Old Fashioned Virtues in a Digital Age: Perseverance and Networking2.  Donna Baier Stein on Rejection, Writers of a Certain Age, and the Persistence of Hope3. …
 
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    Will Write For Food

  • Local Food Writers Dis Dallas Restaurant Critic

    diannejacob
    27 Jan 2015 | 11:23 am
    Have you heard about the hard time restaurant critic Leslie Brenner has been getting in Dallas? I didn’t know about it until I read this article in the Washington Post, which said at least 10 Dallas restaurants planned to ban the Dallas Morning News critic, refusing to take her money. They also planned to refuse interviews, stop allowing photographers, and even [...] [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • 9 Food Writing Trends that Require Your Attention

    diannejacob
    20 Jan 2015 | 3:11 pm
    Sometimes there’s so much change it can be hard to find the relevant bits of information that concern you as a food writer. That’s where I come in! I sift through tons of sites, posts and articles so you don’t have to. Here are nine trends that food writers should keep an eye on: 1. Food bloggers continue to gain credibility as [...] [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • A Food Blog About “Everything” Can be a Trap

    diannejacob
    13 Jan 2015 | 2:27 pm
    A guest post by Melissa Hartfiel For the last three years it has been my job to review every blog that applies to join Food Bloggers of Canada. I make sure they meet our membership criteria, such as being Canadian and being 50% food related. I also find bloggers who can write for us, become a [...] [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Frustrated by Smaller Can Sizes for Recipes? I Am.

    diannejacob
    6 Jan 2015 | 11:43 am
    …and I was just baking, not developing recipes. Over the holidays I made a pumpkin bread from a favorite recipe in an older cookbook. The recipe called for one 16-ounce can. Yet cans of pumpkin are no longer 16 ounces, but 15. The manufacturer removed 2 tablespoons instead of raising the price! I repeat: 2 tablespoons. That’s all it takes [...] [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Thank You

    diannejacob
    30 Dec 2014 | 11:24 am
    Today I’m saying thanks for being a reader. It’s my fifth year of blogging, and I still love writing my weekly post on food writing. Most of all, I love hearing from you and having a conversation. If you lurk, I’m thrilled to have you as a reader, regardless of whether you’ll ever leave a comment. If you’re a regular [...] [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    Fiction Notes

  • Outrage: A Negative Emotion that Works In Your Novel

    Darcy Pattison
    26 Jan 2015 | 2:40 am
    PB&J: Picture Books and All That Jazz: A Highlights Foundation Workshop Join Leslie Helakoski and Darcy Pattison in Honesdale PA for a spring workshop, April 23-26, 2015. Full info here. COMMENTS FROM THE 2014 WORKSHOP: "This conference was great! A perfect mix of learning and practicing our craft."—Peggy Campbell-Rush, 2014 attendee, Washington, NJ "Darcy and Leslie were extremely accessible for advice, critique and casual conversation."—Perri Hogan, 2014 attendee, Syracuse,NY As 2014 events unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri and in New York City over race relations, I watched with a…
  • Scenes: The Skeleton of a Novel

    Darcy Pattison
    19 Jan 2015 | 2:56 am
    PB&J: Picture Books and All That Jazz: A Highlights Foundation Workshop Join Leslie Helakoski and Darcy Pattison in Honesdale PA for a spring workshop, April 23-26, 2015. Full info here. COMMENTS FROM THE 2014 WORKSHOP: "This conference was great! A perfect mix of learning and practicing our craft."—Peggy Campbell-Rush, 2014 attendee, Washington, NJ "Darcy and Leslie were extremely accessible for advice, critique and casual conversation."—Perri Hogan, 2014 attendee, Syracuse,NY You’re a human being: you can stand up, sit down, or do a somersault. That’s because you have a…
  • Openings: 5 Ways They Go Wrong

    Darcy Pattison
    12 Jan 2015 | 2:39 am
    PB&J: Picture Books and All That Jazz: A Highlights Foundation Workshop Join Leslie Helakoski and Darcy Pattison in Honesdale PA for a spring workshop, April 23-26, 2015. Full info here. COMMENTS FROM THE 2014 WORKSHOP: "This conference was great! A perfect mix of learning and practicing our craft."—Peggy Campbell-Rush, 2014 attendee, Washington, NJ "Darcy and Leslie were extremely accessible for advice, critique and casual conversation."—Perri Hogan, 2014 attendee, Syracuse,NY Openings are incredibly important. This was brought back to me recently as I was judging a contest. Those…
  • How Many Pages in a Children’s Picture Book? Printing Methods Determine the Answer

    Darcy Pattison
    7 Jan 2015 | 2:46 am
    PB&J: Picture Books and All That Jazz: A Highlights Foundation Workshop Join Leslie Helakoski and Darcy Pattison in Honesdale PA for a spring workshop, April 23-26, 2015. Full info here. COMMENTS FROM THE 2014 WORKSHOP: "This conference was great! A perfect mix of learning and practicing our craft."—Peggy Campbell-Rush, 2014 attendee, Washington, NJ "Darcy and Leslie were extremely accessible for advice, critique and casual conversation."—Perri Hogan, 2014 attendee, Syracuse,NY I recently watch Miss Potter, the movie based on the life of children’s book author and illustrator…
  • Top 10 Blogs for Writers 2015

    Darcy Pattison
    5 Jan 2015 | 9:42 am
    PB&J: Picture Books and All That Jazz: A Highlights Foundation Workshop Join Leslie Helakoski and Darcy Pattison in Honesdale PA for a spring workshop, April 23-26, 2015. Full info here. COMMENTS FROM THE 2014 WORKSHOP: "This conference was great! A perfect mix of learning and practicing our craft."—Peggy Campbell-Rush, 2014 attendee, Washington, NJ "Darcy and Leslie were extremely accessible for advice, critique and casual conversation."—Perri Hogan, 2014 attendee, Syracuse,NY Thank you! Your support for the last year has meant so much. And because of your nominations, Fiction Notes has…
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    WritersDigest.com » There Are No Rules Blog by the Editors of Writer’s Digest

  • Character: The Heart of Your Novel

    Cris Freese
    26 Jan 2015 | 12:46 pm
    The following is an excerpt from WD Books’ Creating Characters: The Complete Guide to Populating Your Fiction, a comprehensive reference to every stage of character development. In the book, you’ll find timely advice and helpful instruction from bestselling authors such as Nancy Kress, Elizabeth Sims, Orson Scott Card, Chuck Wendig, Hallie Ephron, Donald Maass, and James Scott Bell. Together they walk you through the important steps in bringing your fictional cast to life. In this excerpt from Joseph Bates (originally from his WD Book, The Nighttime Novelist), you’ll learn…
  • 7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Eric Smith

    Adrienne Crezo
    20 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    This is a recurring column called “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their careers can talk about writing advice and instruction — by sharing seven things they’ve learned along their writing journeys that they wish they knew at the beginning. This is installment is from Eric Smith, author of The Geek’s Guide to Dating and the young adult novel, Inked. 1. Editing? Cut the Parts You Find Yourself Skipping. When I’m finished writing something, and it doesn’t matter what it is, a chapter in a book, a new essay, a blog post, whatever… I like…
  • Writing and Selling Middle Grade Fiction — Jan. 22 Webinar (With Critique) by Agent Jennifer Laughran

    Chuck Sambuchino
    19 Jan 2015 | 9:17 pm
    Middle Grade books are generally defined as being books for children aged 8-12…. and at the moment, these books are hot-hot-hot. From the commercial successes of titles like DIARY OF A WIMPY KID and Rick Riordan’s LIGHTNING THIEF saga, to more “literary” award-winning fare, it seems most publishers are seeking the next great Middle Grade success story. But middle grade is also a tough category to write for. Much of what appears in the slush pile is cheesy or derivative, or just lacks “spark.” So what makes a great Middle Grade novel? What is selling? What…
  • 11 Secrets to Writing Effective Character Description

    Rachel Scheller
    14 Jan 2015 | 3:10 pm
    The following is an excerpt from Word Painting Revised Edition by Rebecca McClanahan, available now!   The characters in our stories, songs, poems, and essays embody our writing. They are our words made flesh. Sometimes they even speak for us, carrying much of the burden of plot, theme, mood, idea, and emotion. But they do not exist until we describe them on the page. Until we anchor them with words, they drift, bodiless and ethereal. They weigh nothing; they have no voice. Once we’ve written the first words—“Belinda Beatrice,” perhaps, or “the dark-eyed salesman in the back of…
  • Get a Literary Agent in 2015: My New Book Features Advice From More than 100 Agents (and a GIVEAWAY CONTEST!)

    Chuck Sambuchino
    13 Jan 2015 | 8:05 pm
    My newest writing reference book, GET A LITERARY AGENT (Writer’s Digest Books), is finally out and on sale everywhere books are sold! As the book subtitle says. it’s a complete guide to securing representation for your books. This book has been a long time coming, and it’s a small labor of love, so I’m excited to share it with you now. Every year, I edit the Guide to Literary Agents, which is essentially a huge database of agents — who they are, what they seek, how to submit, etc. It’s got good instructional articles upfront, but it could have so many more…
 
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    The Truth About Lies

  • #465

    28 Jan 2015 | 3:30 am
    England Expects…dead flowerssoldiersopium wordsincensed like lambsthey to war goacting outpubic farmgirlsinnate tensionsclinging corpseshold guns like dollsdirty bandagesbloody bits of menbone white crosswreathforever2 May 1977    I only subscribed to one poetry magazine in the seventies. It was called Poetry Information and it never published poetry. By that I mean you couldn’t send your poems to it. It only published articles on poetry. And I loved it. It was exactly what I needed in my late teens and early twenties. They talked about poetry. Long essays on the likes of Pound…
  • #495

    25 Jan 2015 | 5:30 am
    The PathologistIt was a strange meeting –between Jonesand his successor... one that neither could haveprepared for: the old Doctor categorizedby his injuries and numbered. No longer the processorbut the processed, mortified, he lay thereand sighed –in the manner of the dead. 31 August 1978   Sepia was an interesting magazine that ran from 1977 until 2002 as best I can see. It was one of the many small press magazines that were kicking around in the late seventies and the quality of the early issues left a lot to be desired but it was clearly a labour of love. Each one, at least for…
  • #485

    21 Jan 2015 | 4:30 am
    The VenereologistHow sad to see the Venereologist, with his mistress tucked carefullyunder his arm, emerging fromthe doorway of her flat –a rectangular orificeexhaling ash and smoke. The car door opens at theturning of the handle –a mechanical thing, but less habitualthan what has foregone these lines. His car moves away, down the streetlike a germ in the bloodstream. 9 March 1978    ‘The Venereologist’ was first published in The Urbane Gorilla 8 in the autumn of 1978. It was subsequently published in three other magazines because, circa 1978, I didn’t realise that once…
  • In Real Life

    18 Jan 2015 | 5:00 am
    Real life is sometimes boring, rarely conclusive and boy, does the dialogue need work. ― Sarah Rees Brennan “Hope and Michael are a married couple in their thirties, living in Philadelphia, and struggling with everyday adult angst. Michael runs an ad agency with his friend Elliot, whose marriage to Nancy is beginning to show the cracks of age, as is the friendship between Hope and her best friend Ellyn. Michael's best friend, Gary, on the other hand, is trying to get on with his womanising life, and get over the mutually-destructive affair he had with Michael's cousin, Melissa.” This is…
  • #464

    14 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    ChainsReclining in the squalor of his own body, The Fatman; Morose and self-indulgent. flaccid flesh-fantasies. erotic hamburgers; a numb pubic lust ... A Wimpy whorehouselies in a corner andstrips tears from his eyes: He wants to be repulsed by himself: He's a junkie, returning to vomit    like a dog, or a moth to light. He's a pig, resplendent in mud;      (some latent cannibal part of us):– nude, base and free. 24 April 1977    When I posted ‘Stray’ last week my friend Marion said that is sounded “exactly like you now!” So this one’s…
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    Flogging the Quill

  • Flogometer for Stacie—are you compelled to turn the page?

    Ray Rhamey
    30 Jan 2015 | 12:03 pm
    Submissions Wanted. . 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…
  • Flogometer for Roo—are you compelled to turn the page?

    Ray Rhamey
    28 Jan 2015 | 8:03 am
    Submissions Wanted. . 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…
  • “Ray Rhamey's book stands head and shoulders above”

    Ray Rhamey
    27 Jan 2015 | 8:24 am
    A new review from Amazon for my new Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling: A Must Read As a fiction writer, I'm always searching for craft-related books, always trying to glean something useful for my next story. I would say Ray Rhamey's book stands head and shoulders above many such books I've read. Among many topics presented here, the author discusses POV shifts, elements of story, description techniques, and, of course, language. The beauty of it is that the reader is not expected to grasp such concepts based on definitions alone, as we have a multitude of examples…
  • Flogometer for Marty—are you compelled to turn the page?

    Ray Rhamey
    23 Jan 2015 | 11:09 am
    Submissions Wanted. . 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…
  • maybe

    Ray Rhamey
    21 Jan 2015 | 9:41 am
    I'm out of town with very limited access to the Internet, so don't know when or if I will get a flogging done today, so talk among yourselves. While we're at it, though, how about using comments to let me know of any writing craft topics that you'd like to see addressed on FtQ. Thanks, Ray
 
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    Fritinancy

  • Scratch That

    Nancy Friedman
    29 Jan 2015 | 11:27 am
    This month Scratch Magazine, an online publication “about the intersection of writing and money,” celebrates its first anniversary. In “Scratch,” founder and publisher Jane Friedman (to whom I’m not related) nailed the perfect dual-meaning title: scratch has been an informal synonym for write since at least the early 19th century, and it’s been a slang term for “money” (especially paper currency) in the U.S. since the early 20th century. Scratch: Writing + Money + Life. And speaking of “nailed it”: This Scratch is a British “forum for nail professionals.” The title…
  • On the Visual Thesaurus: Get "Smart"

    Nancy Friedman
    27 Jan 2015 | 6:15 am
    My January column for the Visual Thesaurus looks at how smart came to be attached to so many inanimate objects, from phones to skin lotion, from bombs to highways, from quotation marks to fabric. Along the way, I consider the multiple senses of this very old word, which can mean “stylish,” “cheeky,” or “to cause pain,” as well as “witty” or “intelligent.” No subscription needed to view the column this month (not always the case!). Here’s a taste: The sense of smart = shrewd extends to the slangy smart-ass, which first appeared in print in 1951 in an American detective…
  • Word of the Week: Ork

    Nancy Friedman
    26 Jan 2015 | 7:09 am
    Ork: Slang (via truncation) for “orchestra,” popularized by entertainment-industry publications in the 1930s. I discovered ork in The B-Side: The Death of Tin Pan Alley and the Rebirth of the Great American Song, Ben Yagoda’s lively and informative new history of the American popular-music industry. The word appears in a chapter titled “What Happened to the Music?”, in a quote from the February 14, 1948, issue of Billboard, the American music magazine: Cornell University, in addition to asking for the slow dance music proviso, forced an agency to include a clause which would…
  • Cover Girls

    Nancy Friedman
    24 Jan 2015 | 5:12 pm
    Spotted sharing a bookshelf in the fiction section at Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon: four titles that, when read in sequence, form a set of instructions. How to Build a Girl, by Caitlin Moran. Not That Kind of Girl, by Lena Dunham (whose series for HBO is, of course, Girls) Clown Girl, by Monica Drake Ugly Girls, by Lindsay Hunter Elsewhere in the store: A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing, by Eimear McBride; Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell, and Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. In another bookstore closer to home (Walden Pond Books, Oakland) I found #Girlboss, by Sophia Amoruso; The Shining…
  • New on the Strong Language Blog: Its Sofa King Famous!

    Nancy Friedman
    20 Jan 2015 | 12:37 pm
    My latest post for Strong Language (“a sweary blog about swearing”) is about Sofa King: “a real brand, a parody brand, a tribute brand, a song title, the subject of a Saturday Night Live skit, and the punchline to a joke.” SNL may have popularized Sofa King, but there had already been a furniture store by that name in the UK for six years before the skit aired. (Tagline: “Our prices are Sofa King low!”) And the joke had been circulating online for at least a year before that. Read “It’s Sofa King Famous!” And while you’re there, read my previous posts about naughty…
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    Inkygirl: An Illustrated Guide For Writers

  • Comic: First Step Is Admitting You Have A Problem

    Debbie Ridpath Ohi
    31 Jan 2015 | 6:35 am
  • What do Minion Peeps, THE YETI FILES: MEET THE BIGFEET, Aya Kakeda and Joyce Wan have in common?

    Debbie Ridpath Ohi
    28 Jan 2015 | 2:04 pm
    LOOK WHAT JUST ARRIVED. Huge thanks to Teresa Kietlinski!! So here's the story.... Three weeks ago, I saw this photo in Teresa's Instagram feed. I was all excited because I'm a big Minions fan and also am curious about Peeps (have never had one). I asked Teresa where she got them and during the ensuing conversation, it became clear that I probably would not be able to find any in Canada at that point. I was sad. Teresa took pity on me and offered to mail me some. The package above arrived today and not only did it have Minion Peeps but also (!) a copy of Kevin Sherry's THE YET FILES: MEET THE…
  • Three Questions For Rob Sanders, Children's Book Author: Advice For Young Writers, Desk Shrines & OUTER SPACE, BEDTIME RACE

    Debbie Ridpath Ohi
    27 Jan 2015 | 6:27 am
    Continued from Part 1 of my celebration of today's OUTER SPACE, BEDTIME RACE launch... Happy book birthday to OUTER SPACE, BEDTIME RACE, a new picture book written by my friends Rob Sanders and Brian Won, launched today from Random House Children's! Thanks to both Brian and Rob for answering three questions for me today. In my previous post, OUTER SPACE illustrator Brian Won answered Three Questions. Now it's Rob's turn. :-) I first encountered Rob online through his great Picture This! blog for children's book writers. I've since met Rob in person at a SCBWI-LA conference…
  • Three Questions For Brian Won, illustrator of OUTER SPACE, BEDTIME RACE

    Debbie Ridpath Ohi
    27 Jan 2015 | 5:35 am
    Happy book birthday to OUTER SPACE, BEDTIME RACE, a new picture book written by Rob Sanders and Brian Won, launched today from Random House Children's. Thanks to both Brian and Rob for answering three questions for me today. You can also read Rob Sanders's answers to my Three Questions. Brian is not only the illustrator of OUTER SPACE, BEDTIME RACE but also the author/illustrator of HOORAY FOR HAT!, which came out last year from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. I met Brian through the SCBWI Illustrator Mentorship program. You can find Brian at BrianWon.combwon1 on…
  • One of my favorite Neil Gaiman quotes about writing

    Debbie Ridpath Ohi
    26 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
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    Self-Publishing Review

  • 7 Tips to Boost your eBook Sales

    Tanisha Williams
    31 Jan 2015 | 2:33 am
    More and more publishing success stories these days are coming from eBook publishers as compared to those who deal in print books. As a result, the number of eBook writers has gone up drastically. Though it may seem lucrative to write your own eBook and sell it, making enough sales to earn good money is ...
  • An Interview with Daley James Francis

    Daley James
    29 Jan 2015 | 9:00 am
    Tell us something about your book. The basics: what’s it about? THIS BOOK BELONGS TO is an action-adventure story for kids aged 7-12, and tells the story of a nine-year-old girl named Amy, who finds a magical sketchbook within the ruins of her old house and finds that whatever she draws inside it will come ...
  • An Interview With Author Anthony Eglin

    Cate Baum
    29 Jan 2015 | 6:53 am
    Anthony Eglin was a much-loved traditionally published author in the ‘cozy mystery’ genre, before venturing into self-publishing with The Alcatraz Rose. Here, he talks about his self-publishing experience. Tell us something about your book. The Alcatraz Rose is composed of three disparate mysteries that, in the beginning, appear to Lawrence Kingston, retired professor of botany ...
  • BookBaby Launches Print on Demand Option

    Henry Baum
    29 Jan 2015 | 4:28 am
    Today, BookBaby sent out a press release about its new POD option to go toe to toe with Createspace and Ingram Spark. Previously, BookBaby only offered print run publishing, which in this day and age doesn’t make sense for most self-publishers who are unaware of a book’s demand before it’s published, especially since the cost ...
  • Amazon Adds Advertising for KDP Select Authors

    Henry Baum
    29 Jan 2015 | 3:53 am
    Amazon has sweetened the KDP Select pot by allowing for pay-per-click advertising on titles. From KDP: Advertising for KDP Select With advertising for KDP Select, you can use Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) to purchase advertising to promote your KDP-Select-enrolled books on Amazon.com. To get started, you can create an Amazon Marketing Services account directly on ...
 
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    WritersWeekly.com - Freelance Writing Ezine

  • BookLocker - Your Book Deserves the Best

    29 Jan 2015 | 9:00 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 January 28th

    28 Jan 2015 | 9:00 am
    New markets and freelance writing jobs.
  • Whispers And Warnings For January 28th

    28 Jan 2015 | 9:00 am
    $40 MILLION FOR 5 MILLION PHOTOS? Johnson Publishing to sell historic photo archive "Looking to raise cash, the Chicago-based publisher of Ebony magazine has put its entire photo archive up for sale. The historic collection spans 70 years of African-American history, chronicling everyone from Martin Luther King Jr. to Sammy Davis Jr." I DON'T KNOW HOW THIS "RELIGION" (AHEM...CULT?) CAN EVER HOPE TO HAVE A GOOD REPUTATION Church of Scientology sets up online response to 'Going Clear' documentary "The Church of Scientology has a history of not turning the other cheek. Back in 1991, after Time…
  • How I Leapt from Academics to Freelance Journalism in a Single Bound! By P. Comeau

    28 Jan 2015 | 9:00 am
    When you've spent years writing and researching essays while reading some of the world's best literature, for an English major, the post-graduation moment is a double-whammy of relief and weightlessness. No longer pressed for grades and working to other people's deadlines, the freedom to write about your passions is a special kind of liberation; though many folks will blog, journal, or consider self-publishing, for those of us who aren't independently wealthy, garnering a livable income has to be priority...
  • Can I Estimate Book Sales Based On A Website's "Wish List?"

    28 Jan 2015 | 9:00 am
    Lots of people have clicked to add my book to a wish list on a website. I haven't received any sales reports for my book yet. How can I estimate sales using the wish list information from that site?
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    Writing Forward

  • Meet Your Muse: Every Writer’s Best Friend

    Guest
    29 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Meet your muse. Please welcome guest author Lisa Tener with a post on connecting with your muse as a way to overcome writer’s block and achieve better creativity. Maybe you’re familiar with the term muse, which comes from the ancient Greeks and refers to the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. In my work with writers, I often refer to “the muse” or “your muse” as a point of access for inspiration and as a resource to get out of a rut, unblock, find clarity on a particular question, and consistently write in a state of flow. You…
  • Five Things I Learned in Creative Writing Class

    Melissa Donovan
    27 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    What can you learn in a creative writing class? People ask me all the time whether I think a formal education is necessary to a successful writing career. A degree certainly helps, but no, it’s not necessary. There are master writers who did not finish high school and plenty never went to college. I want to be clear: I fully support higher education. If you pull me aside and ask whether I think you should go to college, I’m going to say yes, of course you should! At the same time, I encounter plenty of writers (and other professionals) who are insecure because they feel they…
  • Grammar Rules: Capitalization

    Melissa Donovan
    22 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Grammar rules for capitalization and lower case lettering Proper capitalization is one of the cornerstones of good grammar, yet many people fling capital letters around carelessly. Not every word deserves to be capitalized. It’s an honor that must be warranted, and in writing, capitalization is reserved only for special words. Most of the grammar rules are explicit about which words should be capitalized. However, there are some cases (like title case) in which the rules are vague. Capitalization of Titles There are several contexts in which we can examine capitalization. When writing a…
  • Five Poetry Prompts

    Melissa Donovan
    20 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Poetry prompts. You know what’s great about writing prompts? On those days when you’re feeling uninspired but you want to write, they’re there for you. On days when you want to get your writing practice in but don’t particularly feel like writing, they’re there for you. Writing prompts give you a little push to kick-start a writing session, making it easier to face the ever-dreaded blank page. I adore poetry. When I first started writing on my own, I wrote poems. The creative freedom and elusive nature of poetry captivated me, and as a music lover, I felt that…
  • Writing Tips: Write What You Know

    Melissa Donovan
    15 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Writing tips: write what you know. If there’s one piece of writing advice that took me years to truly understand, it’s write what you know. When I first heard this instruction, I thought it was odd. I don’t remember where I first heard it, but I do remember thinking that as far as writing tips went, it was absurd. What about writing from your imagination or your feelings? How do genres like science fiction and fantasy fit into the idea that you should only write what you know? It all seemed rather limiting. Was I supposed to write about American suburbia? That’s what I…
 
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    Blair Hurley

  • On the Suspicious Friendliness of People in the Midwest

    blairhurley
    23 Jan 2015 | 6:32 am
    On the Suspicious Friendliness of People in the Midwest
  • New Interview with Me at Nicolaus Writing

    blairhurley
    16 Jan 2015 | 6:10 am
    Paul Nicolaus just interviewed me about my writing process, my favorite stories, and my thoughts about the moral imperative of storytelling. Check it out here: Brainstorming with Blair Hurley
  • New Fiction at Bluestem Magazine

    blairhurley
    9 Jan 2015 | 1:36 pm
    I’m happy to report a new story of mine, about the difficulty of writing stories, is up at Bluestem Magazine. What’s more, you can enjoy the story in typical text form, or you can listen to me reading it aloud. Check out the site and spread the word!
  • Hello from Chicago!

    blairhurley
    8 Jan 2015 | 7:51 am
    Greetings from the Midwest, readers! As a born-and-bred East Coaster, and a loyal Bostonian since the age of three, I never thought I’d feel at home anywhere else in the country. But I also was always open to the idea of trying out different cities and exploring other worlds. So a job change has me living in the heart of downtown Chicago, eager to explore another city for at least the next year. Two Cities Review will remain Two Cities, but the gap we’ll leap will be much larger, and we’ll be exploring New York and Chicago instead of New York and beloved old Boston.
  • How Do You Carry the Fire?

    blairhurley
    13 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    Today’s post title comes from Cormac McCarthy. In his incendiary novel The Road, his main character, an unnamed boy, keeps reminding his father that they’re “carrying the fire.” It’s an unexplained refrain with unmistakable spiritual overtones; the idea that they are keeping something of humanity alight within them. This is an old connection that many religions make between human beings and fire. We are the only species to keep and use fire, after all, and so we see it as our sacred duty to maintain it, to keep it alive. The Bible tells us not to keep our light…
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    Mysterious Matters: Mystery Publishing Demystified

  • Exploring B The Supernatural Enhancements

    Agatho
    26 Jan 2015 | 8:39 pm
    I was feeling despair during a recent trip to Barnes & Noble.  First, I was upset that I was being made to pay full price for a hardcover. Barnes & Noble: I want to support you. I really do. And I ended up buying the book I wanted. But when I got home, I checked Amazon -- and the price was $10 lower. Yes, a full $10.  I work in publishing, for God's sake -- I'm not a rich man. That 10 bucks means something to me. I have a vested interest in this business, and I want bookstores to stay in business and thrive. Couldn't you have given me a token 10% off or something? You…
  • Rebecca: Could It Get Published Today?

    Agatho
    29 Nov 2014 | 6:30 pm
    Note: There are spoilers in this post. Aaargh. My wife did it to me again. She has a penchant for deciding to read a classic (or older) work and leaving it on her nightstand. I see it there and tell myself, "I'll read just the first few pages," and before I know it, I've read the whole thing while my own book languishes (and Mrs. Agatho smugly comments on her excellent taste in fiction). Last week Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca showed up on that nightstand. A rather large book, I thought, turning it over in my hands. Nice cover art. Let's just see what comes after…
  • What Happens When Dumb People Read Your Book?

    Agatho
    11 Nov 2014 | 3:58 pm
    The question I am asking myself this week is: How much do I really take readers' IQ's into account when signing and then publishing a book? The truth is, I do, quite a bit. The average IQ is 100, and that's the level I aim for. Of course, I want the book to be well-written, with a good plot and great characters. But even though my own tastes run to the avant-garde, I rarely sign up such titles. Many, many times I've thought, "Wow, I like this. But people won't get it. It's too challenging, too demanding. That's what literary fiction is for."…
  • Technology, Blah Blah Blah

    Agatho
    16 Oct 2014 | 1:11 pm
    I just finished editing a manuscript, and I realized that my eyes tend to glaze over when a writer gets into discussions of technology. It's not that I don't like technology; in fact, I love it. What I DON'T love is lazy writers' tendency to use technology as a substitute for good detection. And I'm seeing a lot of this lately. There's a fictional (or perhaps it's nonfictional) assumption that you can simply click on Google and find accurate answers to any question you may have, including personal information about just anyone (for a price, with a…
  • The Perpetual Discussion: Reviews

    Agatho
    30 Sep 2014 | 10:28 am
    Many years ago, a mentor said to me, "You'll know you've been in the business a while when you care a lot more about sales than you do about reviews." I've partially achieved that state, but reviews do matter to me. After working on my books for so long, I want the world to like them as much as I do. Then again, I prefer to have the last laugh when I see a 2-star average on Amazon but very nice sales figures. (Not that I publish James Patterson, but take a look at the Amazon reviews of You've Been Warned. They are execrable, but I'm sure the book sold…
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    Nicola Furlong » Blog

  • I love Poppies, textured acrylic painting

    nfurlong
    30 Jan 2015 | 7:17 pm
    Poppies are my ab fab flower. Love the colours, crinkled textures and nodding seed heads. Sculpted some pink ones against a summer sky, using joint compound, bold acrylic colours and reclaimed cedar plank canvas. Can’t wait for the real things in early May!     The post I love Poppies, textured acrylic painting appeared first on Nicola Furlong.
  • Chartreuse Splash- Modern Textured Abstract Art

    nfurlong
    11 Jan 2015 | 1:50 pm
    Chartreuse WaveHad some fun working on this painting, using thick drywall compound and sculpting a chartreuse splash with a palette knife. Wanted to express the cool, calm wash of a yellowish/green acrylic palette. Dive on into this piece of art and let the Chartreuse Splash invigorate you! The post Chartreuse Splash- Modern Textured Abstract Art appeared first on Nicola Furlong.
  • In a Time of Magic by Arnold Porter

    nfurlong
    6 Jan 2015 | 8:57 am
    One of the best benefits of teaching is when students absorb your information and apply it to enrich their lives. Another of my students has moved from writer to published author. Arnold W. Porter recently embraced the electronic publishing world and self-pubbed In a Time of Magic, a tale of wildness, transformation and sexuality. On the tranquil Gulf Island of Vasquez, off BC, Ryan and Selene struggle to meet the challenges of returning to the land, opening to love, experimenting with sexuality, and learning from ancient spiritual traditions. In a Time of Magic by Arnold PorterDrawing from a…
  • Sundowner – High Relief Abstract Expressionistic Painting

    nfurlong
    23 Dec 2014 | 11:11 am
    Love the wild setting sun colors in my latest high-relief, abstract expressionistic painting called Sundowner. Imagine you’re on a beach, watching the sun set. Bold yellow, scarlet and indigo colors break across the textured canvas in waves.   The post Sundowner – High Relief Abstract Expressionistic Painting appeared first on Nicola Furlong.
  • Red Inukshuk – Textured Art Using Joint Compound

    nfurlong
    1 Dec 2014 | 1:44 pm
    Been fooling around with northern lights and inukshuks, that lovely, stark iconic Inuit signpost. Came up with this red inukshuk, a textured painting sculpted from joint compound and bathed in colourful Northern Lights. Used reclaimed cedar planks as canvas. The post Red Inukshuk – Textured Art Using Joint Compound appeared first on Nicola Furlong.
 
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    Sean McManus's Writing blog

  • Raspberry Pi at BETT 2015

    Sean McManus
    23 Jan 2015 | 10:01 am
    I've just got back from Bett 2015, and thought I'd write a short blog post to share some of the things I saw there today. My first observation is that it was great to see the Raspberry Pi having such a strong presence there this year, thanks to the support of CPC. Last time I was at BETT was in 2013, when there was only space to have one demo station. This year, there were a couple of tables set
  • Discover Mathematica on the Raspberry Pi

    Sean McManus
    22 Jan 2015 | 3:47 am
    As part of the updated second edition of Raspberry Pi For Dummies, my co-author Mike Cook has written a great introduction to Mathematica, a maths-based application that's capable of creating some great mathematical art, among other things. Usually, Mathematica costs about $2,500, but there's a free version on your Raspberry Pi, so this highly exclusive software is now available for everyone to
  • Just published! Raspberry Pi For Dummies 2nd edition

    Sean McManus
    19 Dec 2014 | 2:48 am
    The first of my author copies have made their way through the Christmas post, so this is what elevenses looks like for me this morning: a camomile tea, a mince pie, and a flick through the new book. Cheers! This second edition of Raspberry Pi For Dummies has been updated to take account of the changes in the Raspberry Pi hardware and software since the first edition was published in March 2013
  • Christmas fun and games

    Sean McManus
    9 Dec 2014 | 11:33 am
    Here's an animated Christmas card I made using Scratch. Feel free to modify it and send it to your friends! You can learn more about Scratch here. While we're on the subject of Christmas, you can play my Christmas version of Hangman, Snowman, here and play my Christmas Pairs game here. You can send a Christmas greeting on a free ecard from any of my photos here, too. And Virtual Sean has his
  • Making music on the Raspberry Pi

    Sean McManus
    21 Nov 2014 | 6:07 am
    In the run-up to the publication of the second edition of Raspberry Pi For Dummies, I've created an infographic to help you with making music on your Raspberry Pi. It shows the note numbers you need to use in Scratch and Sonic Pi. Both are covered in Raspberry Pi For Dummies, with Sonic Pi being a new addition to the second edition, with a chapter of its own. You can find out more about Sonic Pi
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    Emerging Writers Studio

  • Writing Success Redefined

    Nanci Panuccio
    19 Jan 2015 | 3:11 am
    How do you measure your success as a writer? Is it by how much money you earn from your writing? Is it the publishing contract? Nailing an agent? Sure, those are external markers of success. But what does success as a writer mean to you? Years ago, when I began writing in earnest, a dancer friend and I had an interesting debate. She asked me how a writer could consider oneself successful if he or she didn’t write a bestseller that sold millions of dollars. My friend was a wealthy widow in her early fifties who spent her days pursuing passions full tilt. In addition to ballet, she…
  • Writing to Draw Readers in Emotionally

    Nanci Panuccio
    17 Dec 2014 | 10:06 am
    Pedro Ribeiro Simõe Flannery O’Connor once said that, as writers, we can’t create emotion with emotion. We need to provide it with a body, to “create a world with weight and extension.” Love on its own, for example, is too broad and abstract for the reader to feel. If we write about something as ethereal as love without anchoring it in the physical world, we won’t connect emotionally to our reader. That’s because emotion exists beneath abstraction and explanation. It lives in the breathing world of the real, a tactile world we create when we selectively give…
  • 7 Ways to Write Better (That Have Nothing to Do With Writing)

    Nanci Panuccio
    30 Nov 2014 | 5:11 am
    When it comes to unleashing our best, most potent writing, it’s not only about the hours we have, it’s the quality of mind and body we bring to those hours. There’s the skill of writing and then there’s our physiological, mental and emotional state. Ultimately, you can’t separate them. Here are some ways to improve your writing that have nothing to do with writing. 1. Commit to Joy At some point on our road to adulthood, we buy into this idea that fun and pleasure is frivolous, non-productive, even fiscally irresponsible. Too often we don’t give ourselves…
  • Going From Stupid to Cool

    Nanci Panuccio
    15 Nov 2014 | 5:06 am
    Maurice via Compfight In February of last year, I attended a weekend west coast swing dance intensive with dancer, choreographer, teacher extraordinaire, Robert Royston. The weekend was ultra light on footwork and dance patterns and high on technique; the physics of movement, partner dynamics and connection, how to spin from a low to high center of gravity, musicality, and a multitude of other technical issues. The techniques were subtle, but new and awkward for most of us, including the most advanced dancers. On the last day of the intensive, as we were wrapping up, Robert said something to…
  • What is Writer’s Voice?

    Nanci Panuccio
    30 Oct 2014 | 5:09 am
    We hear it prescribed in workshops and countless writing books. “Find your voice!” We’re encouraged to develop a “unique voice.” Literary magazines say they’re looking for “fresh new voices.” But what is writer’s voice, exactly? Years ago, during my first semester as an MFA student, my mentor told me the first draft of a story I sent her lacked voice. So much so, that she didn’t want to offer any further feedback until I understood how to incorporate my voice into my fiction. I already knew the story was awful. I’d felt…
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    Jess C Scott :: Singapore Politics, Etc.

  • (Censored–Sort Of) Singapore Crime Fiction

    Jess C Scott
    25 Jan 2015 | 9:45 pm
    Today’s blog post is on Jake Needham, whom I interviewed in December! WHO IS JAKE NEEDHAM? Jake Needham writes crime/noir fiction set in Asia, including squeaky-clean Singapore. He is a lawyer by education and held a number of significant positions in both the public and private sectors. He has lived and worked in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand for over twenty-five years. And he posts great, snappy updates on Facebook. BRAGGING RIGHTS Described by The Straits Times as “Asia’s most stylish and atmospheric writer of crime fiction.” Described by The Bangkok Post as…
  • The Oath of Office (Next GE and Beyond)

    Jess C Scott
    8 Dec 2014 | 7:57 pm
    Amongst other (shrewd) observations, former ISD director Yoong Siew Wah writes that “GE 2016 is very much an epoch-making election to watch.” So far I have read some very interesting blog posts and/or status updates on the matter, as curated by The Singapore Daily and whatever I happen to see on online media. It led me to think about certain things on a basic, fundamental level, with regard to how actions speak louder than words. According to The Law Dictionary, an Oath of Office is defined as follows: What is OATH OF OFFICE? A person assuming a position in a public office either…
  • Caning in Singapore

    Jess C Scott
    6 Dec 2014 | 8:54 pm
    I. DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948. It established, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected — a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. Article 5 of the UDHR states: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Amnesty International’s 2013 Annual Report stated the following: Singapore took steps to roll…
  • Book Review: Democratically Speaking

    Jess C Scott
    5 Dec 2014 | 1:38 pm
    * Featured on TRS, SG Daily. When I was growing up in Singapore, I remember coming across a couple of Straits Times articles which pretty much branded Dr. Chee Soon Juan as a troublemaker. It was only after my mid-twenties that I first surfed into the SDP website, of which Dr. Chee is the Secretary General of. The first thing I noticed on the website were the three words under the political party’s header: “COMPETENT, CONSTRUCTIVE and COMPASSIONATE” These are very strong words, which I — in all my youthful naivety — used to take for granted that these were…
  • In Conversation–Catherine Lim and Marina Mahathir (2012)

    Jess C Scott
    3 Dec 2014 | 6:45 pm
    This post is about two years overdue, although the experience of the event is still fresh in my mind :) I was involved with a couple of events during the 2012 Singapore Writers Festival. At the time, I circled a number of programmes in my SWF booklet, since I wanted to attend as many of the events as I could. One that I thoroughly enjoyed was a panel with Catherine Lim and Marina Mahathir. This despite the fact that I had largely been a politically indifferent and apathetic youth when I was growing up in Singapore. This was the text which described the programme: “Marina Mahathir in…
 
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    NeoBluePanther

  • Time Waits for No One!

    NeoBluePanther
    23 Jan 2015 | 10:22 pm
    Tweet The trouble is, you think you have time. -Buddha’s Little Instruction Book In his book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, Stephen Covey talks about urgent and important activities. As defined in the book, urgent activities are those that demand your immediate attention, while important activities are those that contribute to results and desired goals in the long run. The book emphasises that one of the characteristics of effective people is that they spend a big chunk of time focusing on activities that are important but not urgent. These include things…
  • How Large is Your Circle?

    NeoBluePanther
    13 Jan 2015 | 4:46 am
    Tweet I love watching movies. Movies not only entertain us, but sometimes they contain a message that can leave a deep impression on us and, as a result, can help us in becoming a better person. When I watched 10, 000 B.C. some years ago, I liked the movie. Some people might find it a bit violent for their taste, and to be honest, the movie didn’t do very well with the critics either. But it doesn’t matter. The point of this post is not to make you watch the movie, but to share with you a quote from the movie: A good man draws a circle around himself and cares for those within.
  • Good Luck for 2015!

    NeoBluePanther
    1 Jan 2015 | 4:27 am
    Tweet Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week. – Charles Richards 2014 did not end on a great note as I suffered a personal loss in the form of the death of a loved one. Death is inevitable, and a painful reality of life, but every time it hits us with a force that we didn’t even know existed. If there is any universal truth, it is the fact that all who are born, must die, and yet, death is the farthest thing from our…
  • Are the days of the 10,000 hour rule over?

    NeoBluePanther
    22 Jul 2014 | 1:20 am
    Tweet Recently, I came across a few articles that suggested that the 10,000 hour rule, made famous by Malcolm Gladwell in his 2008 book, Outliers, was no rule at all. You can read some of these articles here, here, and here. The 10,000 hour rule gained immense popularity because the idea seemed to make sense, and it gave hope to many who wanted to become an expert in any field. I was no exception, and this idea that practicing something for more than 10,000 hours can make me an expert in a field appealed to me. So, when I read these articles destroying the 10,000 hour rule, I decided to dig…
  • 35 Great Novels That are Free on Kindle

    NeoBluePanther
    9 May 2014 | 12:59 am
    Tweet Till date, I have never read a complete book on an electronic device of any kind. But, that is about to change as I recently acquired a Kindle device. One of the advantages of Kindle is that the eBooks are cheaper than their printed versions. In fact, there are many great books that are available for free on Kindle. Here, I have compiled a list of 35 great novels that are available for free on kindle. Now, you have no excuse not to read them. 1. Don Quixote  by Miguel De Cervantes 2. Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan 3. Robinson Crusoe by  Daniel Defoe 4. Gulliver’s…
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    Mike Fook Books - Ebooks | Fiction Thrillers

  • My Sister’s New Piece – Published

    MikeFook
    26 Jan 2015 | 3:35 pm
    My sister, Laura Lovic-Lindsay just had a short (flash fiction) published at FiresideFiction.com and I love it. Maybe you will too. It is every bit as odd as I expected from her. She is really the queen of weird stories! Shoelace
  • 2015 – What Is Ahead?

    MikeFook
    28 Dec 2014 | 8:03 pm
    What will YOU be doing in 2015? Same ol? Maybe you’ll be holed up in a tent in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness writing code. Who knows? Maybe you will. © 2014 Matt Hosford at Flickr. Fook is defunct. Vern Lovic, step up to the stage. This is your life… I’ve been working my ass numb for the past few days on my new ALL IN project for 2015. What am I up to? Creating Training Tutorials for SWIFT – Apple’s next generation of code to write applications for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod). Released in June 2014, this is a major step toward bringing high level coding…
  • Coding iPhone Apps vs. Writing Books

    MikeFook
    23 Dec 2014 | 6:37 pm
    I’ve considered writing code since 1997. Will 2015 be the year I run with it? Copyright © 2014 Aaron Tait at Flickr. Just a quick comparison here. I’ve been considering three things for 2015. I need to go ALL IN on something. I’m too scatter-minded to focus on one project. I need to change that for 2015. My goal is to focus primarily, entirely, on one activity for the year. Choices: coding iPhone apps writing books Youtube videos If I could figure out how to crank up my Youtube channel from twenty-two million views to six-hundred million, I’d get started TODAY. Making…
  • Precursor to Recipe For Chaos

    MikeFook
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:00 pm
    Here’s a post I just wrote about a rant I did back in around 1996. This was what led to my new book, “Recipe For Chaos,” due to be released 2/28/15. Assuming there IS a 2/28/15. Is that a leap year? Original Rant (click)
  • Intro for Next Book

    MikeFook
    13 Dec 2014 | 8:55 pm
    Here’s one of about nine different introductions I’ve written for my next book, Recipe for Chaos. The problem is, there are dozens of ways to write the intro, that I can see. Maybe there are hundreds more. It’s hard to choose The One that will be the most effective in pulling readers into the book. Here’s one possibility.   I’m playing a game. You too, you’re playing a game. We’re on the same general playing field, this whacky blue spinning ball, but we play the game on micro-fields with different environments. No two people share the same…
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    About that Writing thing.

  • Dolla Dolla Bills Y’all. The Unsponsored Writer.

    Shannon Barber
    30 Jan 2015 | 8:45 pm
    Apparently a lot of writers are talking where they get money etc right now. I’ve read several of these articles and I must confess to a lot of eye rolling. So how about the view from the bottom? 99% of financial support for my life comes from the job I have been working for more than a decade. I don’t make a lot of money. I support my disabled partner. I live in Seattle. I’m pretty poor. Not dire straits. Back in the day the only times I made money writing was about 25-100$ writing smut. The most I got paid was by a couple of very specific fetishists who liked how I wrote…
  • Suttree by Cormac McCarthy A review.

    Shannon Barber
    29 Jan 2015 | 3:12 pm
      A new favorite book. I just finished this book and wow. Okay first thing is I’m already pretty into McCarthy’s work. Blood Meridian is one of my favorite book. We know I like it dark and grim and  he does it. I think Suttree might now be my favorite McCarthy book. Read the synopsis here.  The thing about this book that I love is how well McCarthy captures the casual racism of 1950’s Knoxville and also captures that singular usage of racial slurs that are not backed by implicit hate. They are there, a lot but not overdone and not as some authors make the mistake of…
  • Yeah Write # 197 entry- Bottom Bitch

    Shannon Barber
    20 Jan 2015 | 2:40 pm
      Bottom Bitch By Shannon Barber Someplace in the dark that girl is crying. I understand, of course. The dark is thick, hot and holds evil in it. “Please don’t cry.” My voice is softer than it usually is. In the dark I can be gentle and sweet. “I’m sorry Mama. I’m sorry.” In the day I might snap and make her cry harder. In the dark I can reach across the space between us and pull her close. Her skin smells like the kind of terror only a junkie going cold turkey knows. She curls into me, her soft body quivering from down deep, close to the bone.
  • Well 2015 has begun

    Shannon Barber
    12 Jan 2015 | 3:22 pm
    So officially I’m hard at work on Self Care Like A Boss. I forgot to pay my Duotrope dues. I low key am not pressed about it honestly. If I am to get my money’s worth I need to finish a pile of work so I am not going to pay/submit until then. That said I already have one rejection. Nobody but me likes my tiny tiny flash stories. That one is a wee thing that has gotten itself five rejections so far? I’m not super worried about that either. At least every 8-10 months nobody publishes a word I write. Then there’s a flurry (often the same stories that I’ve been…
  • Holy damn a new year.

    Shannon Barber
    5 Jan 2015 | 8:25 pm
    I’m running on fumes right now. If you could see my gauge for things like REM sleep and whatnot it’s real low. My insomnia not withstanding it is 20 mother fucking 15. Weird. SO come and join Milcah and I at the Self Care Like a Boss Blog.  Go open that in a new tab and I’ll be here. I had to write an intro post and it was way harder to do than I had anticipated. While I have blogged for years and occasionally written the essay about myself they have all been around issues. I tried to come at it from a memorist type perspective. Why the fuck didn’t anybody tell me how…
 
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    Writing from the Twelfth House

  • 28 Jan 2015 | 8:41 am

    Anne Whitaker
    28 Jan 2015 | 8:41 am
    This blog now has its own Facebook Page, where I publish all kinds of additional stuff – blogs, videos and articles from leading bloggers and writers for instance  – in fact anything which takes my fancy and I think might interest YOU, dear reader. Do go over, visit for a while, leave a Like or even better, a comment. See you there!Filed under: "Facebook Page: Writing from the Twelfth House"
  • Writers! Stop cleaning that oven at once!

    Anne Whitaker
    25 Jan 2015 | 5:04 am
    I can see you. The spray can of heavy duty industrial oven cleaner parked on the kitchen floor is a dead give away. Peel off those rubber gloves, stop pretending that your family will drop dead of food poisoning tonight if you don’t clean those charred meal residues insulating the inside of the oven right away. Follow me. Yes, just as I thought. The study door is ajar. I can see the laptop screen from here. Closer….yes, that’s it. Don’t die of embarrassment, it won’t help. A new document  is open on screen. A title? “ (NB – provisional ) Of authorship and…
  • A little flare of magic in the night…

    Anne Whitaker
    22 Jan 2015 | 12:58 pm
    There is, sometimes, magic in the night…this was the scene which lit up my vision and my spirit on the way home last evening. Our local Botanic Gardens in Glasgow is putting on a sound and light show called The Electric Gardens from 23rd January until the 15th February 2015, and those of us returning home were treated to the rainbow delights of a lights rehearsal for free! Enjoy the pictures. I’ll be back soon! Magic in the Botanics 1 Magic in the Botanics 2   100 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2015 Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page…
  • Someone was having a bad day….

    Anne Whitaker
    13 Jan 2015 | 1:37 pm
    Do you make a point of binning Forwards on principle? I usually do, but my husband sent me this one the other day and insisted that I read it,  on the grounds that I was such a stroppy anti-authority person that it would be balm to my soul, grist to my mill, etc. And believe it or not, dear Reader, it truly is! Dedicated to all stroppy folk everywhere, check out this letter supposedly sent recently to the UK Passport Office…. Not Happy… Dear Sirs, I’m in the process of renewing my passport, and still cannot believe this.. How is it that Sky Television has my address and…
  • Guest Post “Better than benefits”…from Miss Lou

    Anne Whitaker
    10 Jan 2015 | 1:49 am
    Anne Whitaker:I’ve just read this brilliantly written, painfully honest account of what life is like on benefits within the UK benefits system. I know the redoubtable Miss Lou. She used to run one of the best cafes in Glasgow, UK’s West End. She is bright, talented, hard working , and possessed of a truly wicked sense of humour. Do Share this post on Facebook etc. Leave her a comment. She deserves it! Writer and Friend at work… Cartoon: Paul F Newman   Originally posted on The redoubtable: The Job Centre, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t so bad. The housing…
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    Working Writers

  • Allow Working Writers to Help Promote Your Book

    Cherie
    30 Jan 2015 | 7:26 am
    Some of you have noticed that we’ve added several spots to advertise your book. I’m a writer myself and understand the importance (and challenge) of getting the word out about your book. This site has loads of search engine juice, attracts over 250,000 visits a month, and helps connect readers and writers. Check out some of […]
  • Pearl Buck and The Eternal Wonder

    Cherie
    30 Jan 2015 | 4:38 am
    When I first picked up a Pearl Buck book, it was The Good Earth. I was a teen and on a personal “read the classics” mission one summer. I read the description and didn’t think I’d like it. Oh, but then I found out that when a good writer puts words on paper, it doesn’t matter […]
  • Covers I Love: January 2015

    Cherie
    29 Jan 2015 | 4:22 am
    I think a cover really helps sell a book and there are some that just stand out to me. These are some I’ve found this month that really caught my eye. It doesn’t mean that these were released this month, just that I happened to see them now. Do you have a book cover that […]
  • Bestselling Free Kindle Books: January 28, 2015

    Cherie
    28 Jan 2015 | 4:03 am
    These books aren’t just hot, they’re also free! Try them out and if you loved one, be sure to recommend it here to other readers. (I read this one years ago and loved it. Remember my interview with the author, Sandra Byrd?)
  • New Kindle Books This Week: January 27, 2015

    Cherie
    27 Jan 2015 | 4:56 am
    Here’s a list of brand new Kindle books released this week. Do you have one? Consider promoting it here.
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    Sara Dobie Bauer's Blog

  • On subjectivity in art (or why being an artist can suck)

    saradobiebauer
    26 Jan 2015 | 11:46 am
    Last Monday, I received five rejection letters for five different short stories. Did that hurt? Worse than a bikini wax. Last Monday was the kind of day where all I felt capable of doing was banging my head against my desk until, thankfully, I lost consciousness and woke up Tuesday. Thursday, I got two different emails. The first came at 10:02 AM from the Maricopa Community Colleges District Writing Competition to inform me: “We received the judges’ results, and we are proud to share that you were selected as the 2nd Place Winner in the Essay category! Congratulations!” At 10:25 AM, I…
  • Little girl, you are my light

    saradobiebauer
    22 Jan 2015 | 7:48 am
    Yesterday, I participated in the Gina’s Team monthly road trip to Mingus Mountain Academy in Prescott, a safe haven for troubled girls. The girls know me by now. I’m the depressed poet who sings. I didn’t do much speaking yesterday, but apparently, it was enough, as I admitted to over a hundred girls that I almost didn’t make the trip because my depression had me slugging through the mud of early morning life. Before I left, a small, spindly girl with pink hair came up and handed me a note. She said, “I want you to have this.” In her note, she told me of…
  • Short story FOREVER DEAD now available!

    saradobiebauer
    15 Jan 2015 | 8:40 am
    Zach Mede, the brilliant detective and famous vampire hunter, had to know I could smell his blood from ten miles away, even if we hadn’t seen each other in two years. He was holed up in a shitty motel, the kind traveling detectives stay in when on a case in a city like New York. I broke in no problem and found him standing, broad shoulders curled over a cheap desk covered in papers and photos of blood-speckled corpses. He didn’t hear me come in, so I knew the case was big shit, his mind on autopilot. He didn’t even know I was there until I had my hand around his throat and my nose in…
  • The Imitation Game and how far we’ve come

    saradobiebauer
    7 Jan 2015 | 9:16 am
    SPOILERS: If you don’t know the story of Alan Turing and want to remain completely in the dark in regards to the plot of The Imitation Game, probably don’t read this. As a dedicated Cumberbitch, of course I had to see The Imitation Game, in which my boyfriend Benedict Cumberbatch portrays genius and father of the modern computer Alan Turing. Turing was a British mathematician, cryptographer, and marathon runner who helped break the Nazi Enigma code to bring an early cessation to World War II. The machine he used to break the code, “Christopher,” is the precursor to technology we use…
  • Wow, some stuff happened this year!

    saradobiebauer
    30 Dec 2014 | 8:29 am
    I don’t believe in the whole new year, fresh slate shenanigans. I don’t do resolutions. January is another month. It marks nothing but another month. Despite this, I guess a new year number is a nice way to mark accomplishments. In homage, I spent this morning thinking back over 2014, professionally, and well, shit, a lot of stuff happened. 1. Short stories “Don’t Ball the Boss” in Stoneslide Corrective Most read story of 2014 on the Stoneslide site Nominated for a Pushcart Prize “Just one more look, I tell myself. One more glance, and I’m back to my room…
 
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    Elizabeth Spann Craig

  • Twitterific Writing Links

    Elizabeth Spann Craig
    31 Jan 2015 | 9:02 pm
    by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig Twitterific writing links are fed into the Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine (developed by writer and software engineer Mike Fleming) which has over 30,000 free articles on writing related topics. It’s the search engine for writers. Body Language:  http://ow.ly/HSRr3  @WritingForward Diversity in Arts & Culture: Webcast: http://ow.ly/Idk2M from 3/p-9/p EST (now) @SphinxCon @RichHomberg What Makes an Author Bundle Successful? http://ow.ly/Ifjj8 @ReedsyHQ @Roz_Morris   12 Tips to Help Prevent Reader Boredom: http://ow.ly/HSRr6…
  • Regaining Confidence in a Project

    Elizabeth Spann Craig
    29 Jan 2015 | 9:01 pm
    By Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig I hope that I’m not just accentuating the positive on my blog. Writing rarely comes super-easy to me.  It’s always a fight to stay focused and meet my daily goals.  I worry over every single project.  I absolutely love the writing and feel incredibly fortunate about being able to do this for a living…unless it’s a day when I’m not loving it. My current self-published project has been interrupted a lot more than any other project I’ve ever worked on. Some of the interruptions were personal…like Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Some were…
  • Working With a Cover Designer: Time-Saving Techniques

    Elizabeth Spann Craig
    25 Jan 2015 | 9:02 pm
    By Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig I have a cover conference (via email) this week with my current cover designer, Karri Klawiter.  I’ve been told by cover designers in the past that they like working with me because I both know exactly what I’m looking for (or can quickly identify what I’m looking for when I get samples) and that I supply most/all of the information they need on their end immediately. I’ve got sort of a template email that I use with designers to help speed along and clarify the process on both ends.  Below is the initial email I sent for the last, published,…
  • Twitterific Writing Links

    Elizabeth Spann Craig
    24 Jan 2015 | 9:02 pm
    by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig Twitterific writing links are fed into the Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine (developed by writer and software engineer Mike Fleming) which has over 30,000 free articles on writing related topics. It’s the search engine for writers. Thoughts on Using Dialect :  http://ow.ly/Hw6KS by Jim Harrington 10 Tasks of the First Chapter http://ow.ly/Hw6KT @Diana_Hurwitz 3 Steps to Better Book Marketing:  http://ow.ly/Hw6KU @DigiBookWorld and Rich Bellis                Wrapping Up Last Year: What Didn’t Work?  http://ow.ly/Hw6KY…
  • Working from Home as a Writer—Some Truths

    Elizabeth Spann Craig
    23 Jan 2015 | 5:50 am
    By Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig Working from home is something that sounds amazing for many people.  Who wouldn’t want to work from home, right?  No commute.  No dry cleaning bills.  No annoying coworkers.  No gasoline budget, parking decks, or lunches packed. The truth is that working from home is great.  Sometimes.  And sometimes it’s not as great.  Take this blog post, for example.  It should have been written yesterday (at the latest) and scheduled to post right after midnight this morning.  But it’s been a crazy last couple of weeks because my children have been…
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    Litopia All Shows

  • Measuring the World - Daniel Kehlmann

    Litopia
    30 Jan 2015 | 6:29 am
    Gauss and Humboldt set off to the same destination in opposite directions and unfortunately this novel was written about it. Tedious. >>> Download the mp3 file Subscribe in iTunes >>> From recent débuts to classics, fiction to non-fiction, memoirs, philosophy, science, history and journalism, Burning Books separates the smoking from the singeworthy, looking at the pleasures (and pains) of reading, the craft of writing, the ideas that are at the heart of great novels as well as novels that try to be great, but don’t quite make it. http://litopia.com/shows/burn/  
  • Jimmy Jones – The Original Alternative Comedian

    29 Jan 2015 | 1:01 pm
    Without doubt, Jimmy Jones is the biggest British comedy star never to have had his own television series. For five decades, Jimmy has been Britain’s most successful live comedian – performing around 275 sell-out live shows every year. Jimmy’s life in comedy is the subject of Garry’s show tonight – and what a life it has been.  Summoned by Michael Jackson to his suite at the Dorchester... swapping gags with Prince Philip... pouring brandy for Princess Margaret out of a teapot... performing for some of Britain's most notorious gangsters...  Jimmy  is very much in the…
  • Rhoda Dakar: Cleaning In Another Woman's Kitchen

    29 Jan 2015 | 12:58 pm
    Rhoda Dakar is one of the UK Ska scene’s feistiest characters, making her mark originally with the Bodysnatchers and then with Jerry Dammers in the Special AKA. Rhoda’s talent, intelligence, and heartfelt socialist ideals made her stand out from the pack. Like Dammers, she wanted 2-Tone to mean more than a good time…cue songs like The Boiler and Free Nelson Mandela that added real politics to the movement's in-built message of racial tolerance. Rhoda was a teenage glam rocker caught up in the rush of punk. She was working in a South London unemployment exchange when bassist Nicky…
  • The Song Of The Year Show

    Litopia
    24 Jan 2015 | 11:17 am
    So here it is... our special, annual Song Of The Year Show... in which Garry and guests review the very best tracks submitted to us in the past year and - without fear or favour - pick the most excellent example of indie music in the history of the universe. Or something like that. Garry special guest panel comprises rock writer and musician Johnny Wah-Wah and London Mod icon Shona “Wattsie” Watts. And Mik Whitnall drops by to deliver a live set while the judges are out in the jury room. Altogether, a show of superlatives! All we can hope is that 2015 produces songs of equal excellence.
  • Terrorists 1, Enlightenment 0

    Litopia Writers Colony
    19 Jan 2015 | 1:26 am
    World leaders march arm-in-arm in Paris in support of free speech. Meanwhile, back at home, our freedoms are eroded almost daily. “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” predicted Ben Franklin, who knew a thing or two about the political mind’s unquenchable thirst for power and control. In Britain, the government is introducing a law compelling nursery staff and childminders to report toddlers they suspect of being terrorists. No, your eyes didn’t decide you – and no, we didn’t just make that up.
 
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    The Write One Blog -

  • Amazon Book Descriptions That Will Convert Into Sales!

    Stefanie Newell
    22 Jan 2015 | 8:34 am
    View On YouTube | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Amazon Book Descriptions – Best Practices And Tips Besides your book cover and title, your Amazon book description is one of the most important factors that determines whether ... The post Amazon Book Descriptions That Will Convert Into Sales! appeared first on The Write One Blog - .
  • eBooks vs Print Books – Which makes more sense?

    Stefanie Newell
    5 Jan 2015 | 8:24 am
    View On YouTube | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel If you are new to publishing you’re probably weighing the option between  eBooks vs print books. There is no right or wrong answer where this is concerned. ... The post eBooks vs Print Books – Which makes more sense? appeared first on The Write One Blog - .
  • Amazon Author Central – Visibility On Amazon Author Page

    Stefanie Newell
    29 Dec 2014 | 7:36 am
    View On YouTube | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel   The Basics of Amazon Author Central Amazon Author Central is probably one of the most overlooked assets available for writers. If you have at least one book available on Amazon, ... The post Amazon Author Central – Visibility On Amazon Author Page appeared first on The Write One Blog - .
  • Amazon SEO – Understand Amazon Keywords & Categories

    Stefanie Newell
    22 Dec 2014 | 7:56 am
    View On YouTube | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel If you are an author who has a book on Amazon, understanding keywords and categories will be essential to your success. Amazon SEO (search engine optimization) is ... The post Amazon SEO – Understand Amazon Keywords & Categories appeared first on The Write One Blog - .
  • How To Have Your Book Signing At Book Festivals, Bookstores & More!

    Stefanie Newell
    15 Dec 2014 | 8:38 am
    View On YouTube | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel If you are looking for places to have your book signing, you are not alone! As writers, we sometimes need to step outside of the Internet and ... The post How To Have Your Book Signing At Book Festivals, Bookstores & More! appeared first on The Write One Blog - .
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    Blogito Ergo Sum

  • Beaverton oh Beaverton

    James Kiester
    30 Jan 2015 | 6:29 pm
    - When people think of poetry they typically think of soul stirring dramatic pieces by Frost, Poe, or Shakespeare.  However, poetry can also be tongue in cheek and silly.  In that vein, I rewrote Glen Campbell’s “Galveston” to fit my hometown, Beaverton.  Enjoy.-Subject: Interior of the Cedar Hills Crossing mall (formerly Beaverton Mall) | Date: 07/277/2011 | Photographer: Steve Morgan | This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.Beaverton oh Beaverton,I still hear your cool winds blowing,I still see her dark eyes…
  • 50 Years Gone - Tomorrow Looms

    James Kiester
    15 Jan 2015 | 2:22 pm
    -Isaiah 56: 12 ~ “Come,” they say, “let me get wine; let us fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow will be like this day, great beyond measure.”I came across this verse during my daily reading today, and it struck me.  At first glance,  it looks like the author is advocating drunken partying.  However, it’s actually about hope for the future.  The verse is basically saying, relax and enjoy the day, tomorrow will be just as great as today.This is an attitude I’ve been lacking lately.  Fifty years ago, our country was in the middle of racial…
  • I May Be A Lazy Liberal

    James Kiester
    4 Jan 2015 | 3:08 pm
    -The other night, I ordered pizza for my nephews; 7 years old, 5 years old, and a year old; who were spending the night.  On Papa John's site, customers can order pizza and post said order on Facebook.  The post serves no logical purpose whatsoever, other than to broadcast one's tastes to one's friends.On a lark, I posted, "I just ordered a cheese pizza for the boys, bacon pizza for the uncle, and pepperoni for grandma," along with Papa John's logo.Within minutes, my friend, and liberal activist, Farrah responded with the comment, "Too bad their CEO is such a douche nozzle, I loved…
  • 2014 And 2015

    James Kiester
    28 Dec 2014 | 9:00 pm
    -Last year, at this time, I made a series of New Year’s Resolutions.Keep up my personal log/diary as well as writing my blogs - I had ignored my personal log/diary since 06/25/11|Be less anal to the extent I can wear sweats in public, store DVDs out of chronological order, etc…|Call friends more|Treat people better|The first one is a habit I’ve been pretty diligent about.  I sometimes amuse myself by picturing people pouring over my journal, after my death, and thinking, “That’s what he thought?  Man…”Number two is one I apparently nailed better than I’d thought I…
  • Metamorphosis Of The Season

    James Kiester
    18 Dec 2014 | 5:35 pm
    -As I've said before, I'm a touch on the frugal side. Don't misunderstand, I don't hoard cash and deprive myself by limiting my diet to nightly broth and bread the way a certain Dickens character did. I like to eat well and enjoy life, but I hate to waste money in silly ways. Mass produced Christmas cards are things I hate spending money on, especially with the knowledge they'll be stuffed in boxes or thrown in trash cans just after the beginning of the new year. Yet, I feel its important to remember the people in my life during the holidays.Fortunately, I'm creatively inclined. Thus, for the…
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    Stories To Tell Books

  • My Way of Getting Out of the Dreaded "Writer's Block"

    Ben Kostyack
    28 Jan 2015 | 6:30 pm
    Courtesy of FlickrEvery writer, young or old, has experienced it at least once in their writing career. You put your pen on the paper to write words, but words don’t flow onto the paper like they usually do. You are stuck in the writer’s block.             Writer’s block can happen even if you know the basic idea of what you want to write. Getting those thoughts into words can be challenging when it’s finally time to write your piece.             I have dealt…
  • Using Photographs to Create a More Engaging Family History Book

    Biff Barnes
    27 Jan 2015 | 9:04 am
    Have you ever watched the way a child explores a new book? She might pick it up an examine the cover image, then flip through the pages, stopping occasionally, usually on a picture or photograph. She often has a fully formed opinion of the book before she begins to read it. Courtesy of Nickelbabe on Pixabay I have watched adults examine books and seen the same thing. They peruse the books images before going back to examine the text. As you create a family history book, consider making yours an illustrated book. At Stories To Tell we always encourage people to tell the stories behind their…
  • Finding the Title For My Book

    Sarah Hoggatt
    21 Jan 2015 | 2:55 pm
    (This is the seventh article in a series by Stories To Tell editor/designer Sarah Hoggatt recounting her experiences in publishing her poetry and nonfiction.)  Just about all my book titles have two things in common: there was another “working title” before it and I came up with the final title while in my bed. So often they come to me in the night and even now, I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s the lack of outer stimulation when my mind is finally quiet enough that the right words have the space to come into my conscious awareness. Whatever it is, it’s…
  • The Dying Art of Journalism

    Ben Kostyack
    7 Jan 2015 | 5:37 pm
    As I was applying to colleges this fall, I was one of the few kids that knew his or her major before starting their first year. Or at least I thought I did. I was going to get my degree in journalism. I would then write for a newspaper or magazine and my journey would be complete. But there was a problem. Written journalism is dying. The introduction of alternatives to newspapers and magazines is knocking companies out of business. Courtesy of Christine Prefontaine on Flickr under Creative Commons New online-only newspapers like The Huffington Post and The Guardian are part of the reason why…
  • Every Book Needs One: Where’s the Focus?

    Sarah Hoggatt
    5 Jan 2015 | 9:46 am
    (This is the sixth article in a series by Stories To Tell editor/designer Sarah Hoggatt recounting her experiences in publishing her poetry and nonfiction.) For this book thus far, I’ve been writing whatever comes to mind, whatever message has to get out at the time. I know the book is about love and there are a lot of water references in it (a theme my editors pointed out to me) but it was all mixed together with no conclusion. The words weren’t going anywhere. Something was still missing. Image courtesy of Mark Hunter on Toolstop under Creative Commons It was at this point I met…
 
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    ProofreadNOW.com Blog

  • Rescue Your Writing from Redundancy

    28 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
    The new year is an absolutely perfect time to make new beginnings in many areas, including your writing. In the same way you might clear out and unclutter your house or apartment, you can rid your writing of redundancies, tautologies and pleonasms — those repetitive words and phrases that include but are not limited to extra words that say the same thing (e.g., begin anew, free gift), words used with acronyms that are part of the acronym (e.g., PIN number, UPC code) and superlatives used for emphasis (e.g., absolutely perfect). The end result will be a positive improvement in your writing,…
  • Don’t Be Fooled by False Subjects

    21 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    Because January is a big month for exercise resolutions, our posts this month focus on whipping your writing into better shape.
  • Eliminating Cliches: Say Hello to Original (Part 2)

    15 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
    Our last post talked about how to identify the clichés in your writing and why you want to get rid of them. This post tells you how to do that. The first step to eliminating clichés is understanding what they mean. Given that we use clichés because they’re seemingly widely understood, discerning their meaning should be relatively easy, right? Well, yes … if you understand the meaning. That’s not difficult with some of the examples given in the previous post (e.g., few and far between, think outside the box, path of least resistance). But with idioms that have become clichés, it can…
  • Identifying Clichés: Bid Adieu to the Tried and True (Part 1)

    13 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
      Out with the old, in with the new. Familiar? Yes. Inspiring? Not so much. That’s how it is with clichés — we love them and use them because they’re easy to remember, don’t require much effort or creativity, and are a widely understood shorthand that captures the essence of a person, situation, event, etc. But they also make for writing that feels tired and unoriginal. And if familiarity breeds contempt, it’s easy to see why editors attack such hackneyed expressions with the fury of a woman scorned.
  • Common, Ordinary, Everyday Adjectives

    18 Dec 2014 | 3:00 am
     Are you guilty of using "everyday" as a noun? Don't do it. The one-word form is only an adjective, as in "an everyday occurrence." Never write, "I exercise my brain everyday." Now, see how you do with the rest of these adjectives.
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    An Inquiry Into Ideas

  • Everyday Temples

    James Shelley
    27 Jan 2015 | 5:30 am
    The word ‘contemplation’ has inherited a rich sense of religious and spiritual meaning. M. Basil Pennington describes the etymology of contemplation by pointing out that “templa” referred to the skies where the pagan priests of Rome would observe the flight of birds to determine the bidding of the gods. As time marched on, the temple became a specific building where one could commune with the deities. (Pennington, 1998, p. 65) Read this way, contemplation denotes a place to be with the gods. Although the word has lost much of its imagery in modern use (“I’m still contemplating…
  • Edison’s Cupcake

    James Shelley
    24 Jan 2015 | 5:00 am
    I have not read Lionel Shriver’s most recent novel, Big Brother. And given the state of my present reading list, I quite frankly don’t imagine that I am going to read it anytime soon. However, I’ve listened to several interviews with Shriver discussing her book, and her stance on obesity (and our cultural/cultish obsession with skinny) is blunt and provocative. In one interview, Shriver considers how social feedback systems themselves reinforce patterns of over-consumption: I have total understanding of how [obesity] snowballs. There’s actually a passage in the book…
  • Dot

    James Shelley
    22 Jan 2015 | 5:30 am
    A podcast about how a famous image of Earth puts things in perspective… and what happens when it gets toothpaste on it.
  • Try Measuring Your Life in Heartbeats

    James Shelley
    20 Jan 2015 | 5:30 am
    Question: What do you, me, a rodent, and a whale all have in common with each other? Answer. This equation: q0 ~ M¾ q0 equals metabolic rate, M equals mass. The basal metabolism of warm-blooded animals is proportional to the three-quarter power of the body weight (Kleiber, 1932, p. 348). This little formula is known as Kleiber’s Law. “From mice to cattle,” wrote Max Kleiber, “metabolic rate and body size are correlated.” (Kleiber, 1947, p. 537) Think of it this way: mammals have about a billion heartbeats to use in a lifetime. The mouse burns through their allotment in about three…
  • Using Facebook is a ‘Poverty Habit’?

    James Shelley
    16 Jan 2015 | 10:41 am
    According to a Business Insider article posted yesterday by Thomas C. Corley, poor people tend to spend more time on social media than rich people: 74% of those defined as poor spent more than an hour every day on the internet engaged in some sort of recreational activity, with 95% admitting to using sites like Facebook for recreational use… Only 37% of the wealthy in my study spent more than an hour a day on the internet engaged in recreational activities, and only 17% used sites like Facebook for recreation purposes. Corley goes on to conclude that Facebook and “recreational…
 
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    Florida Writers Conference Blog

  • I’ve Never Been in a Fight, So What Do I Write?

    jamiewauthor
    30 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
    By Shannon Bell Let’s be realistic. How many of us have really ever gotten into a fight before? I mean a head, honest-to-goodness, to-the-death fight? Probably not many. This means that, as writers, we don’t have a lot of firsthand information to go on. Sure, we can watch movies to see hand-to-hand combat and how a […]
  • The Lonely Road: Why Writers Need Encouragement

    jamiewauthor
    29 Jan 2015 | 12:20 pm
    Originally posted on Lextasy:Writers are brilliant liars. It’s the nature of the craft; we live by making up stories.  Yes, even “true” stories, even the ones we say are raw and vulnerable, even the ones where we tell you we’ve exposed some secret, sacred part of the soul.  In the hands of a writer…
  • Exercise Wednesday: Blind

    Chris Hamilton
    28 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
    I was sick this week, so I did what all first-world sick people do in the 21st century: jumped on Netflix. This time, I watched The Rockford Files. In one of the episodes, Jim has to protect a blind psychiatrist named Megan Dougherty from someone who’s terrorizing her. In the early parts of the episode, someone […]
  • Sliding Into the Low Point

    jamiewauthor
    26 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
    By Anne Hawkinson It’s just a story, right?  None of my characters are actually real.  They’re just ideas, description, and imagination put to paper (or screen).  Right? Then why is it so hard for me to watch my main character head to the low point of the story?  There’s no stopping her, no way to […]
  • Time for a change…

    jamiewauthor
    23 Jan 2015 | 10:08 am
    So, did you all happen to notice the awesome new FWA site? I’ve loving the new design and especially love the new header image (I am a design geek. What can I say?)  If you have had the opportunity to explore the new site at all, you may have noticed that the blog isn’t quite […]
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    Productive Writers

  • Why I Am Taking a Short Blogging Break

    John Soares
    5 Jan 2015 | 6:29 am
    I’m going to Costa Rica for 5 weeks. That’s why! And it’s going to be a true vacation: no work and very little time on the Internet. My only connection to the wider world will be through my Kindle Fire HD 7, and that’s only when I’m around a wireless connection AND I feel there […]Related Posts:Comprehensive Guide to Setting Freelance Writing GoalsHow Freelance Writers Calculate Their Hourly RatesWhy Freelance Writers Often Miss Deadlines8 Time Management Techniques for Successful WritersTop 10 Ways to Be a More Productive Freelance Writer
  • Download My Podcasts About Writing Textbook Supplements

    John Soares
    22 Dec 2014 | 7:10 am
    Writing supplemental materials for college textbooks has been my main freelance writing niche for over twenty years. I love the intellectual stimulation, plus I’ve made a decent income that has allowed me to live wherever I want, including three years on Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands. This post shares two podcasts… My Interview with the Text and Academic […]Related Posts:Why I Am a Freelance WriterFour Reasons Why Freelance Writers Should SpecializeDoes Your Freelance Writing Niche Have Busy Seasons?Successful Freelance Writers Do These Small Things EarlyHow I Chose My…
  • How the Internet Can Hurt Your Freelance Writing Career

    John Soares
    10 Dec 2014 | 6:29 am
    As a freelance writer and a human being, productivity and happiness are top priorities for me, and I was already aware of the negative effects of the Internet on my own cognitive processes and ability to feel fully alive when I read The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains in the summer of 2010. […]Related Posts:Why I Don’t Have a SmartphoneWhy You Need Much More Time OfflineThe Top 27 Ways to Boost Your Writing WillpowerWhy Multitasking Makes You a Less Productive WriterHow Content Shock Hurts Freelance Writers
  • How to Coauthor a Book

    John Soares
    18 Nov 2014 | 6:29 am
    Collaborating with a coauthor on a book or other writing project is often an excellent idea; however, it can also lead to major problems. I’ll examine the benefits of coauthoring first before moving on to point out the potential perils. 3 Reasons Why You Should Coauthor The Coauthor Has Expertise or Knowledge You Don’t This is […]Related Posts:Profitable Freelance Writing for NonprofitsHow I Chose My Freelance Writing NichesMy Nightmare Freelance Writing ClientThe Best Way to Bid a Freelance ProjectMy 11 Questions About Publishing Ebooks on Amazon’s Kindle
  • Time Management and Productivity Twitter Hashtags

    John Soares
    12 Nov 2014 | 6:29 am
    Effective time management and high productivity are very important to me and most readers here at Productive Writers. That’s why I put together this list of the most important relevant hashtags for Twitter and Google+. You can use these hashtags for your own tweets and Google+ shares, or you can use them to search those […]Related Posts:Twitter Hashtags for Freelance WritersThe Top 10 Twitter Rules for Writers You Better Not BreakThe Best Google+ Communities for Freelance WritersTop 10 Ways to Be a More Productive Freelance WriterWhy I Am Taking a Short Blogging Break
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    Mike Fook Books - Ebooks | Fiction Thrillers

  • My Sister’s New Piece – Published

    MikeFook
    26 Jan 2015 | 3:35 pm
    My sister, Laura Lovic-Lindsay just had a short (flash fiction) published at FiresideFiction.com and I love it. Maybe you will too. It is every bit as odd as I expected from her. She is really the queen of weird stories! Shoelace
  • 2015 – What Is Ahead?

    MikeFook
    28 Dec 2014 | 8:03 pm
    What will YOU be doing in 2015? Same ol? Maybe you’ll be holed up in a tent in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness writing code. Who knows? Maybe you will. © 2014 Matt Hosford at Flickr. Fook is defunct. Vern Lovic, step up to the stage. This is your life… I’ve been working my ass numb for the past few days on my new ALL IN project for 2015. What am I up to? Creating Training Tutorials for SWIFT – Apple’s next generation of code to write applications for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod). Released in June 2014, this is a major step toward bringing high level coding…
  • Coding iPhone Apps vs. Writing Books

    MikeFook
    23 Dec 2014 | 6:37 pm
    I’ve considered writing code since 1997. Will 2015 be the year I run with it? Copyright © 2014 Aaron Tait at Flickr. Just a quick comparison here. I’ve been considering three things for 2015. I need to go ALL IN on something. I’m too scatter-minded to focus on one project. I need to change that for 2015. My goal is to focus primarily, entirely, on one activity for the year. Choices: coding iPhone apps writing books Youtube videos If I could figure out how to crank up my Youtube channel from twenty-two million views to six-hundred million, I’d get started TODAY. Making…
  • Precursor to Recipe For Chaos

    MikeFook
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:00 pm
    Here’s a post I just wrote about a rant I did back in around 1996. This was what led to my new book, “Recipe For Chaos,” due to be released 2/28/15. Assuming there IS a 2/28/15. Is that a leap year? Original Rant (click)
  • Intro for Next Book

    MikeFook
    13 Dec 2014 | 8:55 pm
    Here’s one of about nine different introductions I’ve written for my next book, Recipe for Chaos. The problem is, there are dozens of ways to write the intro, that I can see. Maybe there are hundreds more. It’s hard to choose The One that will be the most effective in pulling readers into the book. Here’s one possibility.   I’m playing a game. You too, you’re playing a game. We’re on the same general playing field, this whacky blue spinning ball, but we play the game on micro-fields with different environments. No two people share the same…
 
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    Zach Everson

  • It’s Tiny Week at MapQuest

    Zach Everson
    28 Jan 2015 | 11:02 am
    In lieu of traditional travel-related Super Bowl coverage (New England vs. Seattle as destinations, copies and pastes of press releases about Big Game-related deals, breakdowns of just how much crap... [Select the headline to view the full story.]
  • Fodor’s is looking for updaters to its Cuba guide

    Zach Everson
    27 Jan 2015 | 6:18 pm
    Passing along a travel-writing gig—Fodor’s is looking for someone to update its Cuba guide. Here’s the posting: Do you know Cuba? Not just Havana, but the whole island? Fodor’s is... [Select the headline to view the full story.]
  • #tbt to 10 years ago today, Dublin, Ireland

    Zach Everson
    22 Jan 2015 | 5:05 pm
    Taken on Jan. 22, 2005 in Dublin at Ashfield House hostel, I was three nights into a three-month backpacking trip through Europe. While I’d traveled extensively in the United States previously,... [Select the headline to view the full story.]
  • But when will Netflix offer ‘Lilyhammer’-themed Norwegian cruises?

    Zach Everson
    22 Jan 2015 | 10:45 am
    My latest article for MapQuest: “Disney Cruise Line Will Debut New ‘Frozen’ Experiences this Summer” I wasn’t joking about the Lilyhammer-themed cruises either. Those... [Select the headline to view the full story.]
  • #CarryonShame is awful

    Zach Everson
    21 Jan 2015 | 10:56 am
    #CarryonShame, a hashtag in search of morning TV appearances, purports to embarrass airlines that don’t enforce their own rules regarding the size and number of carry-on bags a passenger is... [Select the headline to view the full story.]
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    Byzantine Roads

  • Pulled the Trigger

    Lou
    23 Jan 2015 | 12:00 pm
    I’ve been working hard on my daily writing practice, drafting “The Bismark”  on Wattpad and Writeon, and working on various little projects. Trying to just build the habit and momentum. Somehow, this one got done. Well, done enough that it was staring me in the face all last weekend. So, just for kicks, I posted it. And for most of the week, I just watched it sit there. I wasn’t going to do any marketing, wasn’t going to post or blog or tweet it. But something funny happened. As it sat there, I wanted people to discover it. I wanted people to read this. I…
  • #Amwriting

    Lou
    17 Jan 2015 | 5:14 am
    For the first time in a long time, when I sat down for my Morning ritual, I ignored newsfeed/Email and started writing instead #amwriting — Lcthulou (@ByzantineRoads) January 17, 2015 The post #Amwriting appeared first on Byzantine Roads.
  • My Amazon Echo: I Have Seen the Future

    Lou
    31 Dec 2014 | 1:03 pm
    The Echo in Its Natural Habitat: The Future I got my Echo Invite the day after Christmas, which means with the 2-day prime shipping, I’ve had a few days to play around with it. And boy, is it a pretty impressive device with a lot of potential. Forget the Kindle or Fire TV, amazon has released a real disruptive force on the market that’s going to change media. At its most basic, the Echo is little more than a nice Bluetooth speaker that wirelessly ties into your Amazon account ( And IHeartRadio and Tunein). It’s voice activated and uses Amazon cloud services to pull your…
  • Steelers Black and Gold Hot Buttered Rum!

    Lou
    30 Nov 2014 | 7:43 am
    My Wife is the biggest Steelers Fan. For the last couple years it’s been a tradition at Christmas to make Hot buttered Rum. So Let’s put them together for Steelers Black and Gold Hot Buttered Rum!   A Few Years ago, we discovered the inky goodness that is Kraken Black Spiced Rum. We’ve refined the recipe and just realized that now’s the perfect time to release the Steelers Black and Gold Hot Buttered Rum recipe to warm you for the Playoffs! Batter: 2 Sticks Butter 2 cups Brown Sugar 1 pt. Golden Vanilla Ice Cream Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon Teaspoon Nutmeg Melt butter in a…
  • Homemade Winter Herbal Tea

    Lou
    22 Nov 2014 | 7:38 am
    Since the country seems to have started winter early and with a vengeance, here’s a little something recipe for Homemade Winter Herbal Tea to tide you over as I work on my daily writing practice. Keep Warm Guys! It’s a soothing and aromatic winter tea we’ve made for years. It’s great by itself, or sweeten with a little honey. Spike it with rum or whiskey if really, really needed. The original recipe was taken from a magazine, but I can’t give credit: it’s been lost to the ages. But the recipe is simple enough, I think I’m in the clear. We use our own…
 
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    Write It Sideways

  • Literary Journal Seeks “Features Editor” & “Fiction Director”

    Suzannah Windsor Freeman
    16 Jan 2015 | 4:23 am
    Many of you know I’m the managing editor of an online literary magazine that has taken off quite nicely over the past couple of years. Well, our team at Compose Journal has a couple of exciting opportunities available at the moment: we’re looking for a features editor and a fiction director. Before we tell you more about the positions, we want you to know that people have been saying some pretty nice things about us and our work. Things like . . . “There’s a new literary journal online, and I think you’ll like it.” —DA Powell, Poet “Compose is…
  • I Dumped My S.M.A.R.T. Writing Goals, and This Is What Happened

    Suzannah Windsor Freeman
    12 Jan 2015 | 8:22 pm
    It’s a new year: a good time for change, for adopting new writing habits, for setting goals. Haven’t we heard, probably for decades now, that the best way to get things done is to set S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goals, and write them down? My husband is one of those business-y types who loves to rib me about this. Me: “There’s this writing course I wouldn’t mind taking at some point.” My husband: “Have you written that down?” Me: “You keep saying that. Please stop saying that.” I know on…
  • Video Book-Coaching Session with Jennie Nash

    Suzannah Windsor Freeman
    11 Nov 2014 | 9:33 am
    I’m so excited today to be able to share with you this 30-minute video session with book coach Jennie Nash, and to be part of a special offer she’s extending to readers of Write It Sideways: a free week’s trial of her new book-coaching program, Author Accelerator. Jennie and I first connected years ago when I reviewed one of her novels, and for the last couple of years we’ve worked together on the masthead at Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing. I even had the pleasure of having Jennie as my editor for a couple of interviews I conducted for the journal, and her…
  • 7 Tension-Building Tips for Writing Action Scenes

    Guest Contributor
    3 Nov 2014 | 7:43 am
    Today’s post is written by Joan C. Curtis. She’s the author of four business books and a new mystery, The Clock Strikes Midnight The best writers know how to create action scenes that cause readers to fly through the pages, dying to know what happens next. As a reader, I lose myself in the action and forget to notice how the author had me spellbound. I savor the moment until I’ve turned the very last page. As a writer, I wonder how that author did it. How did he or she create such effective action? For some writers creating action scenes comes easy. For others the task is…
  • I Got Published in “The Writer” Magazine

    Suzannah Windsor Freeman
    14 Oct 2014 | 10:39 am
    I’m happy to share some exciting news with you today: an essay of mine was purchased by The Writer a few months ago, and it appears in the November issue. The piece is called “Stand out”; the cover line is “Make your mark in literary journals.” Although “Stand out” is not available online, the November issue is on newsstands now. For the past four years I’ve focused most of my writing efforts on the short story form. It’s not that I’ve given up on writing a novel, but this detour into writing, editing and publishing literary…
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    Words on a page

  • A few links for the end of the week

    Scott Nesbitt
    30 Jan 2015 | 7:22 am
    What makes your writing successful? Using words to create images 21 ways to improve your writing 6 tips for better proofreading 3 fundamental mistakes that set bloggers up for failure How to use social media for branding 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
  • Why aren’t you doing this full time?

    Scott Nesbitt
    28 Jan 2015 | 7:07 am
    People have said that to me at various points in my writing career. I’m sure that they’ve said it to some of the fives of you who are reading this post, too. It’s a tricky and sometimes scary question for many people who want to write for a living. Trickier and scarier still are the […] Related posts: What tool should I use to write? Four questions that can help focus your writing career Begin at the beginning
  • Writing for free

    Scott Nesbitt
    26 Jan 2015 | 6:47 am
    That’s a contentious topic among professional writers. Many will tell you never to do it. Others will advise you to write for free only under certain circumstances. My take? It’s up to you. You’ll have to decide whether or not writing something for free justifies not getting paid for it. Just remember that in many […] Related posts: Why are writers so strident about getting paid? Four distraction-free writing apps for Chrome You’re not going to get every gig
  • A few links for the end of the week

    Scott Nesbitt
    23 Jan 2015 | 7:21 am
    Should you give clients access to works-in-progress?  Freshen up your manuscript with this exercise How to create simple drawings to clarify your ideas Good advice that can help you land retainer writing gigs What the writing life is really like 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
  • Writing in 10 minute spurts

    Scott Nesbitt
    21 Jan 2015 | 7:33 am
    We all lead busy lives, lives with many facets and obstacles in them. Because of that, it can be difficult to find time to write. No matter how motivated you might be. You can definitely get more writing done when working in sustained, regular long stints. But if can’t find or budget the time need […] Related posts: Getting into the habit of writing Exercise and the busy writer Using the Pomodoro Technique with your writing
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    Mike Salsbury's Blog

  • Writing in Public - Year 1, Month 2, Days 21-25

    Michael Salsbury
    25 Jan 2015 | 7:21 pm
    I am continuing my adoption of Dean Wesley Smith's Writing in Public challenge of the past couple of years.This past four days have seen me doing a bit of writing, and a bit of background work for some stories that I intend to write.I wrote 1,345 words for a new blog I'm doing about The Alliance.  As I write short stories set in that universe, I'll post them on the blog.  When novels are written, they'll be discussed and linked to there. A new home brewing blog was also set up and 2,624 words were written for that one.  It will go online in February.I did quite a bit…
  • Writing in Public - Year 1, Month 2, Days 5-20

    Michael Salsbury
    20 Jan 2015 | 8:22 pm
    I am continuing my adoption of Dean Wesley Smith's Writing in Public challenge of the past couple of years.The last 15 days have not seen the kind of writing productivity that I'm pleased with.  That isn't to say there's been no writing, just not the quantity I hoped and expected to produce.I wrote a 591 word post for my How to Write Fiction blog, on the subject of character creation, which talks about some things I've learned recently from some far more successful authors.Three beer reviews were written for my beer blog, totaling 1,091 words.  Two of those reviews are…
  • Mom's Pineapple Cookies

    Michael Salsbury
    10 Jan 2015 | 3:00 pm
    Dough:1 cup sugar1/2 cup butter1/2 cup milk3 tsp baking powder1 egg3 cups flourpinch of saltCream the butter and sugar.Add egg and milk, alternating with flour, baking powder, and salt.Filling:1/2 cup sugar3 Tbsp cornstarch1/2 tsp salt1 can pineapple chunks1 Tbsp butter1 tsp lemon juiceBring these to a boil, stirring constantly.  Chill in fridge.Bake at 350F for 15 minutes
  • Mom's Thimble Cookies

    Michael Salsbury
    9 Jan 2015 | 3:00 pm
    1 cup butter1/2 cup confectioner's sugar4 egg yolks1 tsp vanilla2 cups flourjam or jellyCream butter and sugarAdd yolks and vanilla until light and fluffyStir in flour.Chill if necessary.With floured hands, roll 1" balls.Use a floured thimble to make a dent in the cookie.Fill the dents with jam or jelly.Bake at 325 for 25 minutes.
  • Mom's Peanut Butter Cup Filling

    Michael Salsbury
    8 Jan 2015 | 3:00 pm
    Mix all the following together in a bowl until well blended:1/2 pound margarine1 tsp vanilla1 cup peanut butter1 to 1 1/2 pounds confectioner's sugarPour a little melted chocolate in a candy cup, drop a ball of the mixture on it, then fill the cup with chocolate.
 
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    From Meredith Allard

  • Baking Time: Giving Your Story Time to Breathe

    Meredith Allard
    29 Jan 2015 | 6:07 pm
    When the indie author revolution started several years ago, there was a lot of advice about how authors must do things in order to be successful. One piece of sage advice still making the rounds is how authors must write and publish books as fast as they can—story-time assembly line writing, if you will. The rationale behind this is simple: the more books you have to sell, the more money you’ll make. Makes sense, right? As a result, I felt bad about myself for not writing faster. I kept hearing about these authors who write, edit, and publish a book every few months, sometimes every few…
  • Wherever You Go, Go With All Your Heart

    Meredith Allard
    6 Jan 2015 | 6:26 pm
    I’ve been following Catherine Ryan Howard’s blog Catherine, Caffeinated for a few years now, and I love her insights into indie publishing, her sarcastic sense of humor, and I freely admit that I share her love for all things caffeine. Recently, Catherine posted an article about how the hardest thing about a decision is making it. In her post, Catherine talks about her long-time desire to attend Trinity College in Dublin, and how, finally, at the last minute she applied, and how, finally, she’s attending the university she dreamed about. I nodded as I read Catherine’s post because I…
  • God Bless Us, Every One

    Meredith Allard
    24 Dec 2014 | 3:03 pm
    The Christmas display at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. Just a quick note to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and a very, very happy 2015. I’ve noticed a lot of new followers to this blog recently, and for some reason the Loving Husband Trilogy has been selling well even though I am currently doing exactly zero things to promote it. Thank you to the Loving Husband Trilogy fans who make my day every day with your e-mails, messages, tweets, and comments on this site. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to check out this blog, comment, and even follow along on this crazy…
  • Do You Have Any Tips for Writing the Second Novel in a Series?

    Meredith Allard
    11 Dec 2014 | 5:58 pm
    As of yesterday, I officially survived my first term as a doctoral student. One term down, only seven to go! I have a few weeks to replenish my brain cells with some much needed rest, and then in the middle of January it’s back to it. For now, here are some thoughts I had while writing the second book in the Loving Husband Trilogy, Her Loving Husband’s Curse. Whenever I have a new writing task ahead of me, something I haven’t done before, the first thing I do is seek information from writers who have traveled that road before. There’s a benefit to searching out tips and hints…
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    Game On! Crafting Believable Conflict

  • No Stakes, No Tension

    Diana Hurwitz
    30 Jan 2015 | 7:23 am
    A few recent much-hyped books reminded me of the importance of story stakes. Every story has an overall story problem with stakes:Good versus Evil.Win versus lose.Love versus loss.The protagonist will gain or lose something by solving or failing to solve this overall story imbalance.In a Mystery, if the sleuth fails to solve the crime, the criminal will be free to strike again.In a Thriller, if the protagonist fails to stop the threat, people die or a mega-corporation takes over the world.In a Romance, if the man loses the girl of his dreams, he will go back to feeling lonely and…
  • Are You Plotting or Plodding?

    Diana Hurwitz
    23 Jan 2015 | 5:36 am
    This week I'm over at the Blood Red Pencil to discuss the difference between story and situation.Blood-Red Pencil: First Steps: Situation or Story?: I've heard a lot of great ideas for stories from people over the years. The problem? They describe a situation, not a story.
  • Story and Scene Goals

    Diana Hurwitz
    15 Jan 2015 | 6:59 am
    Last week, we looked at different options for scene and overall story goals. This week, we'll look at examples that illustrate the theory. Scenes are stonger if the characters involved have opposing goals that create tension. Conflict does not have to be a knock-down, drag-out fight scene.1. At the overall story level, if Dick wants to marry Jane, the antagonistic forces try to keep them apart. Each scene involves a combination of characters fighting to make it happen or keep it from happening. Friends and foes may have their own goals that help or hinder their relationship. Sally is in love…
  • Understanding Scene Goals

    Diana Hurwitz
    9 Jan 2015 | 6:49 am
    Coming up with a scene or story goal sounds momentous and difficult.It isn’t.Your character doesn’t need to have a million dollar sales goal or desire to scale Mount Everest.Writers pick goals for their characters instinctively, if not consciously. When you sit down to write a scene, your characters do and say things. What they do and say should have purpose. Their actions and words should move the story forward or cause complications or reversals.Every story should have a central conflict at the heart of it that is easily summarized in a one-sentence logline.A strong scene has a central…
  • Happy New Year

    Diana Hurwitz
    31 Dec 2014 | 9:14 am
    Happy Writing in 2015 and remember ...
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    Grant Writing Confidential

  • Links: Demography, Arrests Records, Books as Art, the Fate of Marriage, and More!

    Jake Seliger
    25 Jan 2015 | 3:45 pm
    * “Demography Is Rewriting Our Economic Destiny,” an under-appreciated and significant issue; this can be read profitably in tandem with Bryan Caplan’s Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think. * “Decades-long Arrest Wave Vexes Employers: Companies Struggle to Navigate Patchwork of Rules That Either Encourage or Deter Hiring Americans With Criminal Records;” if a third of Americans have arrest records something is seriously wrong with our society. Articles like this also explain the many prisoner…
  • The Curse of Knowledge in the Proposal World

    Jake Seliger
    19 Jan 2015 | 5:36 pm
    Being too knowledgeable can actually hurt your proposal. At first glance that seems wrong: Isn’t knowing more better than knowing less? Does anyone want to hire a web developer who says he doesn’t know how databases work? In most situations these questions have obvious answers, but in writing knowing too much can be a hindrance rather than a help because you’ll assume that the reader has information the reader doesn’t actually have. You’ll know so much that you’ll assume others know what you do. You’re a wizard. But non-wizards haven’t spent…
  • Trying to Give Away Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) or Early Head Start (EHS)

    Jake Seliger
    11 Jan 2015 | 11:25 am
    We worked on a bunch of New York City Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) and federal Early Head Start (EHS) proposals last year, so we read with interest Katie Taylor’s NYT story “In First Year of Pre-K Expansion, a Rush to Beat the School Bell.” New York is apparently having a tough time giving away valuable free stuff. The City and/or its UPK grantees have had to hire “enrollment specialists”—who we like to call “Outreach Workers” in proposals—to convince people to take the slots.* This is strange: imagine Apple trying to give away MacBooks and…
  • Don’t Piss Off Local Gatekeepers Who Stand Between You and Federal Grants

    Isaac Seliger
    5 Jan 2015 | 7:29 pm
    While most federal grant proposals are submitted directly to the federal agency funding source, some require the blessing of a local gatekeeper. It pays to play nice with such gatekeepers. We’ve seen a number of local gatekeepers evolve over the years: Continuum of Care (CoC): As we’ve written before, CoCs are the gatekeepers to most HUD grants for homeless services. Unless the CoC includes you in their master HUD application, you have no chance of getting McKinney Act funding. Ryan White Act: Ryan White Act grants provide funding for HIV/AIDs services. Such funds flow through…
  • A shortage of jobs for qualified grant writers? Not that we’ve seen!

    Jake Seliger
    29 Dec 2014 | 9:14 am
    Mark Peters and David Wessel’s “More Men in Prime Working Ages Don’t Have Jobs: Technology and Globalization Transform Employment Amid Slow Economic Recovery” is an article you’ve already read 10,000 times, and the intro, as usual, is a dubious vignette: Mark Riley was 53 years old when he lost a job as a grant writer for an Arkansas community college. “I was stunned,” he said. “It happened on my daughter’s 11th birthday.” His boss blamed state budget cuts. (Emphasis added.) If there’s a growing industry in America, it’s…
 
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    Emerging Writers Studio

  • Writing Success Redefined

    Nanci Panuccio
    19 Jan 2015 | 3:11 am
    How do you measure your success as a writer? Is it by how much money you earn from your writing? Is it the publishing contract? Nailing an agent? Sure, those are external markers of success. But what does success as a writer mean to you? Years ago, when I began writing in earnest, a dancer friend and I had an interesting debate. She asked me how a writer could consider oneself successful if he or she didn’t write a bestseller that sold millions of dollars. My friend was a wealthy widow in her early fifties who spent her days pursuing passions full tilt. In addition to ballet, she…
  • Writing to Draw Readers in Emotionally

    Nanci Panuccio
    17 Dec 2014 | 10:06 am
    Pedro Ribeiro Simõe Flannery O’Connor once said that, as writers, we can’t create emotion with emotion. We need to provide it with a body, to “create a world with weight and extension.” Love on its own, for example, is too broad and abstract for the reader to feel. If we write about something as ethereal as love without anchoring it in the physical world, we won’t connect emotionally to our reader. That’s because emotion exists beneath abstraction and explanation. It lives in the breathing world of the real, a tactile world we create when we selectively give…
  • 7 Ways to Write Better (That Have Nothing to Do With Writing)

    Nanci Panuccio
    30 Nov 2014 | 5:11 am
    When it comes to unleashing our best, most potent writing, it’s not only about the hours we have, it’s the quality of mind and body we bring to those hours. There’s the skill of writing and then there’s our physiological, mental and emotional state. Ultimately, you can’t separate them. Here are some ways to improve your writing that have nothing to do with writing. 1. Commit to Joy At some point on our road to adulthood, we buy into this idea that fun and pleasure is frivolous, non-productive, even fiscally irresponsible. Too often we don’t give ourselves…
  • Going From Stupid to Cool

    Nanci Panuccio
    15 Nov 2014 | 5:06 am
    Maurice via Compfight In February of last year, I attended a weekend west coast swing dance intensive with dancer, choreographer, teacher extraordinaire, Robert Royston. The weekend was ultra light on footwork and dance patterns and high on technique; the physics of movement, partner dynamics and connection, how to spin from a low to high center of gravity, musicality, and a multitude of other technical issues. The techniques were subtle, but new and awkward for most of us, including the most advanced dancers. On the last day of the intensive, as we were wrapping up, Robert said something to…
  • What is Writer’s Voice?

    Nanci Panuccio
    30 Oct 2014 | 5:09 am
    We hear it prescribed in workshops and countless writing books. “Find your voice!” We’re encouraged to develop a “unique voice.” Literary magazines say they’re looking for “fresh new voices.” But what is writer’s voice, exactly? Years ago, during my first semester as an MFA student, my mentor told me the first draft of a story I sent her lacked voice. So much so, that she didn’t want to offer any further feedback until I understood how to incorporate my voice into my fiction. I already knew the story was awful. I’d felt…
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    Technology Updates

  • Tips and Trick to Keep Mac Performance

    admin
    9 Jan 2015 | 8:57 am
    We are sure that you hate the low speed performance in your Mac OS. Actually, low performance is caused by many factors. The common factor comes from its RAM space. As we know, less space can affect to the devices performance. There are still several problems that can reduce the Mac speed. To solve this problem, you may need some tips to speed up your Mac performance. You can follow those steps because it is very simple in its process. By applying those steps, you will be able to prevent the low performance problem in your Mac. And now, what are the tips to speed up the Mac speed performance?
  • Make Your Life Simpler by Using Mac Application

    admin
    9 Jan 2015 | 8:45 am
    As a modern people, we are sure that you have a computer or netbook to help your activities. You can search for some important information, send an email or even make some documents. Of course, you want to be easier in doing those activities. In this case, there are many helper applications especially in Mac OS that you can use to make your activities become easier. Those applications will be available in many benefits and advantages. On the other hand, you don’t need to run the complex step because the Mac helper application will give you a guarantee about a simple process. So, just find…
  • How to do Data Backup Easily

    admin
    8 Jan 2015 | 4:51 pm
    The presence of data in our computer is really important. It can be a video, picture, music, file, and any important data that is really important for our life. However, those things can be gone forever just because of several unwanted things that can be happened on your computer. Yes, your data can be gone if your computer is in problem caused by several causes such as, your computer is damaged, virus, and other unwanted thing that can be happened in future. The best thing to keep your data safe is by doing a data backup. Here are several ways in doing data backup. Several simple ways in…
  • Make a Better Video with Video Editing Tricks

    admin
    5 Jan 2015 | 10:46 pm
    If you think that it is hard to edit and convert a video, you are wrong. There are several tricks that you can use to make it simpler and easier. You may use those trick to help you edit a video in a short time. It does not need a long time, those tricks are very simple to be followed. In this case, we want to explain what kind of tricks that can help you in your editing process. Actually, there are four basic ways in its step. So, don’t wait too long to read those tricks which are explained through this article. Four Video Editing Tricks and Tips As the first trick, you have to make your…
  • AVS4You Video Editor Review

    admin
    5 Jan 2015 | 5:16 pm
    Are you looking for AVS4You video editor as your software? It will be better for you to read some information about this software. Actually, this software is used to convert the video files. You will be able to make a video with some special effects by using this editing software. There will be many updated features that you can find if you are using AVS manager. Those features can help your editing process become simpler an easier. On the other hand, the process is also simple. You not need a hard or complex step to make a best video. In this case, this video editing software is one of the…
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    Literary Agents Advice

  • Big Publishing and Me (8): A bathroom book – and a cup of tea

    Harry
    31 Jan 2015 | 12:25 am
    I’m Harry Bingham. I’ve never previously written in detail about my adventures in the land of publishing, but here it is: the full story. These blog posts are timed to coincide with the release of The Strange Death of Fiona … Continue reading →
  • A guest post by C M Taylor: A Novel Form of Story

    WW Office
    29 Jan 2015 | 8:11 am
    This is a guest blog post by C M Taylor who is the author of five novels. Premiership Psycho (Corsair 2011) and the Amazon best-selling Group of Death (Corsair 2012) form two thirds of a satirical trilogy about contemporary celebrity … Continue reading →
  • Big Publishing and Me (7): Testing negative for flu

    Harry
    28 Jan 2015 | 12:10 am
    I’m Harry Bingham. I’ve never previously written in detail about my adventures in the land of publishing, but here it is: the full story. I hope it’s of interest. These blog posts are timed to coincide with the release of … Continue reading →
  • Big Publishing and Me (6): Business, not razzmatazz

    Harry
    25 Jan 2015 | 12:56 am
    I’m Harry Bingham. I’ve never previously written in detail about my adventures in the land of publishing, but here it is: the full story. I hope it’s of interest. These blog posts are timed to coincide with the release of … Continue reading →
  • New Year, New Course! READING FOR WRITERS

    WW Office
    23 Jan 2015 | 8:43 am
    If you are what you eat then minds are certainly what they read. No matter in what direction your tastes lean, all the novels you’ve consumed impact, not only on what, but how, you experience our world. Obviously, most writers … Continue reading →
 
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    The Vandal

  • Can’t Anyone Produce a Printer – That Works?

    Derek Haines
    30 Jan 2015 | 12:52 pm
    While technology has made amazing advances over the last twenty years or more, there is on area of technology that is going backwards at a rapid rate of knots. One would think that after all the years we have had computers, tablets and smartphones, the combined knowledge of Canon, HP, Epson, Brother and all the other printer manufacturers could make a printer that works.I should refine my last utterance to say, that works for more that a year.Almost without fail, every printer I have bought in the last six or seven years has failed to proceed after a little over a year. Today was one of…
  • Traffic Is King For Self Publishers

    Derek Haines
    26 Jan 2015 | 8:01 am
    There is no doubt that earning money from self publishing will become increasingly difficult. The enormous number of books, and especially ebooks, which are now published each and every day are flooding the market and making it extremely difficult for a self published author to get noticed and by extension, to sell books and make money.However, as self publishing is by definition simply a new way of trying to sell a digital Internet product, perhaps it is time to go back to the basic idea of Internet marketing and forget about actually selling books. The difference in logic is that instead…
  • The WordPress Panic Button

    Derek Haines
    24 Jan 2015 | 5:42 am
    If you are one of the millions of bloggers who use self-hosted WordPress as your blogging platform, you will know the sense of dread and fear that runs down your spine when the little update icon turns red and warns you with a number of how many possible disasters await you.Unfortunately, by the very nature of the Internet, updates are a necessity for a number of reasons, which include security most importantly, but also for aesthetics as well as site speed and efficiency.After my recent vacation, when I decided to forget about my blogs for a whole four weeks, it was no surprise to me to find…
  • Amazon Exploits Authors – Again

    Derek Haines
    29 Dec 2014 | 4:34 am
    For self published authors, Amazon has the annoying habit of giving a little with one hand, and then very soon after, taking away an awful lot more with the other. In the very early days of Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon gave self published authors a wonderful new platform to expose and sell their work. Yet soon after this initial period of ‘absolute bliss‘, when authors made some money, and Amazon filled up their coffers with mountains of ebook content to drive Kindle device sales, Amazon decided to demand exclusivity in return for access to their new ebook marketing…
  • Sneaky Bastards!

    Derek Haines
    18 Dec 2014 | 11:09 am
    As many do I suppose, I check Google News once a day or so. It’s not my favourite news source, as I have a long list of news and newspaper sites I check most days, but it covers a lot of territory.However, in the last few days I have noticed something that is really starting to irk me about Google News. Well, not just irk really. More like annoy me greatly. It is something that proves that Google is purely an advertising company and nothing else, and that they are becoming increasingly aggressive.Let me start at the beginning of this nasty little story of Internet manipulation and the…
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    Indie Author News

  • New Indie Book Release: The Line Between (Tamsyn Bester)

    Alan Kealey
    31 Jan 2015 | 10:00 pm
    New Indie Book Release: The Line Between - Tamsyn Bester New Adult/Contemporary Romance - 312 pages - January 2015 The Line Between is about a hate-to-love relationship between two people who...
  • Featured Indie Book: Untamed (Ciana Stone)

    Alan Kealey
    30 Jan 2015 | 10:00 pm
    Featured Indie Book on Indie Author News: Romance (western/paranormal) Novel Untamed by Ciana Stone. Untamed is a Three Book Collection full of passion and love and some not-so-ordinary obstacles to...
  • Featured Indie Book: Awakenings (Mary D. Brooks)

    Alan Kealey
    29 Jan 2015 | 10:00 pm
    Featured Indie Book on Indie Author News: Historical Lesbian Romance Awakenings by Mary D. Brooks. Awakenings (Intertwined Souls) is a unique take on paranormal gifts mixed in with some history,...
  • Featured Indie Book: Biker's Librarian (Shyla Colt)

    Alan Kealey
    25 Jan 2015 | 10:00 pm
    Featured Indie Book on Indie Author News: Contemporary Romance Novel Biker's Librarian by Shyla Colt. Biker's Librarian delves under the skin and shows that despite the exterior, not...
  • New Indie Book Release: Untamed (Ciana Stone)

    Alan Kealey
    24 Jan 2015 | 10:00 pm
    New Indie Book Release: Untamed - Ciana Stone Romance (western/paranormal) - 326 pages - January 2015 Untamed is a Three Book Collection full of passion and love and some not-so-ordinary obstacles...
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    Jane Friedman

  • The Strategic Use of Book Giveaways and How They Can Increase Earnings Potential

    Jane Friedman
    30 Jan 2015 | 2:00 am
    by Patrick Goethe Over the last few months, I’ve observed a lot of chatter regarding the use of giveaways, especially for indie author book marketing and promotion. A summary of the most recent conversation can be found over at Porter Anderson’s post, ‘Who Decided Our Worth?’ Do Free Books Give Away Authors’ Value? So, do free books hurt authors (or publishers, for that matter)? The short answer is no. For the long answer, keep reading. What’s Your Funnel? This is the key question that every strategic author needs to ask. The funnel is the path that…
  • 5 On: Victoria Zackheim

    Chris Jane
    28 Jan 2015 | 2:00 am
    In this installment of 5 On, author and editor Victoria Zackheim discusses (among other things): the art of marketing when published by a press with a limited budget keys to successful essay writing the struggle she experienced with her novel, The Bone Weaver. Victoria Zackheim is the author of the novel The Bone Weaver and editor of six anthologies: He Said What?: Women Write About Moments When Everything Changed; The Other Woman: Twenty-one Wives, Lovers, and Others Talk Openly About Sex, Deception, Love, and Betrayal; For Keeps: Women Tell the Truth About Their Bodies, Growing Older, and…
  • 10 Resolutions for a Saner Internet—and Life

    Jane Friedman
    19 Jan 2015 | 2:00 am
    For me, the hardest thing about being online is remaining focused on creative endeavors important to me. The multiplicity of voices—and the community that you care about—can make you forget your center. You get sucked into other agendas that could be worthy, but are never what you intended to get mixed up in. Sometimes, it’s hard not to play. You love the networks you’re a part of. You want to connect and contribute. You want to pay it forward. But then it becomes hard to extricate yourself. You react and sometimes let it dictate your schedule. More and more often, you…
  • How E-Books Have Changed the Print Marketplace: Digital Book World, Day 3

    Jane Friedman
    16 Jan 2015 | 2:00 am
    On the final day of Digital Book World, one of the most tweetable sessions (aside from the Godin talk) was the Nielsen presentation on long-term changes in the print and ebook market by Jonathan Nowell. Key stats include: Overall U.S. print book sales in 2014: 37% juvenile, 23% adult fiction, and 40% adult nonfiction. If you read the day 1 recap, then you know that 80% of YA purchases are by adult readers, for adult readers. I had a conversation with a librarian, who said part of the appeal for adults is that YA is fast-paced and quick to read—you can finish a book in a day. (Your…
  • Amazon Discusses Kindle Unlimited & Kindle Select Participation: Digital Book World, Day 2

    Jane Friedman
    15 Jan 2015 | 2:00 am
    If you’ve been watching publishing news over the last 24 hours, then you may have seen a flurry of articles summarizing the Digital Book World session featuring a conversation with Russ Grandinetti of Amazon. These were some of the most memorable takeaways for me: In describing (with complete sincerity and seriousness) the indie author community: “They’re awesome. It’s an incredibly vibrant community. They like caps locks sometimes—we view that as a feature not a bug. … [Authors are] among the biggest sources of input in how we build and evolve.” Regarding…
 
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    Writer Beware

  • Lost in Translation: In Which I Investigate a Translation Service, and They Are Not Amused

    27 Jan 2015 | 9:07 am
    Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware Last week, I got a question about the reputation of a service called Author Translation. I'd never heard of it before, so I paid a visit to its website.Logically enough, given its name, AT offers "literary translations for authors, online and worldwide." The website doesn't say which languages are AT's specialty, but per its Twitter feed, that would appear to be Spanish only. Also not revealed: exactly who is doing the translations, and what qualifications they have. It's said only that they are "literary translators, proofreaders, bloggers and…
  • Two Red-Flag Sentences in Publishing Contracts

    23 Jan 2015 | 10:13 am
    Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer BewareA publishing contract just came across my desk for evaluation. From a publisher that sometimes charges fees (but didn't in this case), it's a pretty poor contract--just two pages long, because it's missing a lot of important language: nothing to indicate when the contract term starts to run (on publication? on signing?), no editing clause, a claim on subsidiary rights with no breakout of the rights claimed, no copyright notice requirement, the same royalty rate for all formats including ebooks...the list goes on.As if that weren't bad enough, it…
  • New Look for Writer Beware

    21 Jan 2015 | 10:25 am
    Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer BewareIf you're a regular here, you'll have noticed our new look!It's courtesy of the talented Tiana Smith of The Blog Decorator, who offered to donate a custom blog template just because she thinks Writer Beware is awesome. We're grateful for her generosity, and thrilled to finally have a design that lives up to our new logo. We hope you like it, too.Thanks, Tiana!
  • 2014 in Review: The Best of Writer Beware

    6 Jan 2015 | 11:11 am
    Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer BewareWelcome to 2015! It's time again for our annual look back at the year just past, to remind you of our most important, helpful, or amusing posts.Here goes.JANUARYScribd's Ebook Subscription Service: A look at Scribd's ebook subscription service--which in January 2014 was brand-new--and the related concerns raised by the rampant piracy on the site. Says Writer Beware's Michael Capobianco: "[B]eneath all the new things, the old Scribd--offering not-necessarily-legal user uploads of copyrighted works--is still there."(Scribd later responded, stating…
  • Happy Holidays

    23 Dec 2014 | 10:02 am
    Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware The Writer Beware blog will be on holiday hiatus for the next two weeks. I will still be answering email, though, so if you have a question, feel free to contact me at the email address in the sidebar.Many, many thanks to our readers, followers, and fans--and especially to all the writers who contact us to let us know about their writing and publishing experiences, good and bad. You are why we do this.See you in 2015.
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    TVWriter.Com

  • Robin Reed Sees American Horror Story: Freak Show

    Rreed423
    31 Jan 2015 | 3:30 am
    Not Horror, Not That Freaky by Robin Reed Don’t read this if you don’t want to know details of “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” which recently ended its run. I am usually right there and ready to be scared when any horror film, book, or TV show comes out. When the word horror is in the title, you know I have to check it out. So when “American Horror Story” started a few years ago, I watched it. For a while. I liked it at first, but then it just got dumb. It was set in the current day (as of several years ago) so the internet existed. How hard is it to enter the address of…
  • A Writing Staff Newbie Let’s Us In On Her New Success

    TVWriter™
    31 Jan 2015 | 3:22 am
    Further proof that no matter where you come from and who you are, you can make it as a TV writer. All you need is…is…oh, hell, just read and see if you can figure it out: Susan Morris with the star & director – in the middle even by Trelle Kolojay A woman from Saskatoon has a hand in shaping the new thriller TV series, State of Affairs, as one of the main writers. Susan Morris is from the Bridge City and now lives in Los Angeles, where she is working on the show following the life of a CIA analyst, played by Katherine Heigl, responsible for briefing the president of the…
  • TVWriter™ Top Posts for the Week Ending 1/30/15

    TVWriter™
    31 Jan 2015 | 3:05 am
    Here they are, the most viewed TVWriter™ posts during the past week: 2014 SPEC SCRIPTACULAR Finalists! 2014 SPEC SCRIPTACULAR Winners Peggy Bechko: Tighten It Up Peggy Bechko: The Unnatural Museum 2014 SPEC SCRIPTACULAR Semi-Finalists! And our most viewed resource pages were: Writing the Dreaded Outline THE SPEC SCRIPTACULAR THE PEOPLE’S PILOT THE SPEC SCRIPTACULAR: Prizes The Teleplay Big thanks to everyone for making this such a great week, and don’t forget to read what you missed, re-read what you loved, and, most importantly, come back for more soon!
  • 2014 SPEC SCRIPTACULAR Winners

    TVWriter™
    30 Jan 2015 | 3:25 am
    20th Spec Scriptacular Winners For contest ending December 1, 2014 SITCOM 1st Place: RICK AND MORTY: CRIME AND PUNISHRICK by Michael Kellner 2nd Place:THE JETSONS: POOR WIDDLE WABBIT by James H. Kelly 3rd Place: NURSE JACKIE: EVERYTHING I TOUCH IS FUCKED by Cara Rothenberg ACTION/DRAMA/DRAMEDY 1st Place: HANNIBAL: BREAD & WATER by Angela Berliner 2nd Place: SUPERNATURAL: WISH UPON A STAR by Zoé Denis 3rd Place: SCANDAL: THE GOOD SHEPHERD by Jeane Wong TV MOVIE/SCREENPLAY/SPECIAL 1st Place: CONSEQUENCES by Robert Frostholm 2nd Place: ERASED by Scott M. Richter 3rd Place: DRIVEN…
  • 5 Questions with a Writers’ PA on a network drama

    TVWriter™
    30 Jan 2015 | 3:15 am
    Amanda, the Aspiring TV Writer, gives us some insight into the most desired entry level job for writers on the planet. Well, her anonymous source does. But without Amanda and her blog, none of this would be here. Muchas gracias, Amanda! by Amanda I interviewed a Writers’ PA on a network drama (who wishes to stay anonymous). I can relate to her story of a winding path: a career is more than just one job or one opportunity! 1. What’s your background? I went to film school at USC, majored in Critical Studies (Film Studies). I did a wide variety of internships from production…
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    Everyone's Blog Posts - Our Salon

  • Acceptance

    Michael Todd Cheeseman
    31 Jan 2015 | 2:30 pm
    I think anyone who knew me as a loved one, dear fiend or family member seriously wondered how it was that was aloud to be let free to run among the so called normal folk. I know for me there were times when the idea of safely being locked away was quite a nice thought. Of course the thought of ultimate freedom was the only way to fly. If I didn't pay attention this time I would be able to convince myself that his was incarceration and not rehabilitation. To many falls and too many breaks happening way too many times. Nobody is that clumsy. The night terrors and the insomnia was back in full…
  • With X Games Over, Y Games Up Next

    Con Chapman
    31 Jan 2015 | 10:51 am
    SOMERVILLE, Mass.  This densely-populated suburb of Boston, once known as the Rebuilt Engine Capital of America, has slowly transformed itself into a hipster mecca as people like Evan Grinstead have moved in.  “It’s a pretty cool place except for my landlady,” he says as he turns the key in the lock of a “triple-decker,” the local term for a common style of three-story apartment building.  “She has this thing about getting her rent on time, which is a major hassle.” With their slumping posture and nascent beer guts, Evan and his twenty-something roommates Todd Dromke and Ed…
  • When Glutens Run Free

    Con Chapman
    31 Jan 2015 | 7:16 am
    Where do glutens go when they set them free? This, of late, has been a mystery to me. Is there a gluten preserve out in the Great Plains? I’m being serious—can someone explain? I imagine the looks on the glutens’ faces When they let them out in the wide open spaces. After living a life of oppressed confinement, I bet there’s joy at their brand new assignment. Although at first things must seem strange After being cooped up, then suddenly free range. If glutens run free, from the hills to the sea, Will there be room for you and me? I suppose it could get like the buffalo, Who used to…
  • 1971 - 72: The FBI, Carol Burnett, Burt Reynolds & my NRA Jewish Girlfriend???

    JMac1949 Memories
    31 Jan 2015 | 7:00 am
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_F.B.I._%28TV_series%29 The FBI… - From 1965 to 1974, before he read scripture on The Christian Broadcast Network, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. starred in a Quinn Martin series called The F.B.I.  Before that he starred in 77 Sunset Strip along with Roger Smith and Edd “Kookie”Byrnes.  It was to The F.B.I that my new agent sent me to an audition for the role of a corpse, a non-speaking part that because of flashback/dream scenes and the shooting schedule would be a five day shoot.  It came at a time when Richard Grey pissed me off for some reason and I punched…
  • Beast Mode In Twelve Town

    Robin Sneed
    30 Jan 2015 | 6:00 pm
    Last year, I wasn't a 12. I was a fan, we went out to watch Super Bowl, and as you can imagine downtown Seattle last year at this time was party on steroids on love on a city that confuses me, holds me, denies me and inspires me. But, last year I wasn't a 12. I had questions about football, I have my own story with it. Peyton Manning was so injured. What can I say? I think about this stuff and I work it through. We had front row seats as The Seahawks rode triumphantly through the streets, a happy Marshawn Lynch throwing Skittles to the fans. Always lucky in love somehow, we got to watch the…
 
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    The Web Writer Spotlight - Shining the light for aspiring and inspiring web writers.

  • How to Free Your Mind from Money Worries

    David K. William
    25 Jan 2015 | 12:40 pm
    “Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.” - Billionaire Donald Trump Everybody worries about money sometimes. As writers, freelancers and online entrepreneurs, money is one of our biggest worry. Many of us are just breaking free from the 9-5 job and barely surviving financially. Others are seasoned freelancers facing a dry spell with no or very low pay. While worrying about our situation is a normal reaction, worrying usually solves nothing. Worry stems from fear. It is the act of thinking about the unknown in a way…
  • What Attributes Help Entrepreneurs Succeed? [Infographic]

    Staff Writers
    16 Jan 2015 | 2:05 am
    Do you have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur? Entrepreneurs—people who start their own businesses—are a vital part of any economy. They step up with new ideas and help create employment. But, becoming an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. It requires long hours, hard work, adaptability and a thick skin. Launching and sustaining a successful online business is equally demanding and requires skills that don't always come naturally. And while no two entrepreneurs are alike—each has his or her own unique story of how they started—there are characteristics and…
  • 21 Quick Thoughts to Make the Writing Process Less Grueling

    Staff Writers
    7 Jan 2015 | 9:27 am
    Let’s face it—writing can be a grueling task. Red Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning sports writer for the New York Times, was once asked if writing was easy for him. His answer, contained in the excellent book Making Words Dance: Reflections on Red Smith, Journalism and Writing, was poignant. He said, "Sure. All I do is cut open a vein and bleed."  Along the lines of Smith’s confessions that writing is not an easy task, Olin Miller explained it even more vividly when he said, “Writing is the hardest way of earning a living, with the possible exception of wrestling alligators.” Why…
  • 15 Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Entrepreneurs (And Artists)

    David K. William
    22 Dec 2014 | 11:18 am
    Want to succeed in your craft or entrepreneurial venture? There is no secret formula for success. Ordinary people achieve success through hard work, the right choices, persistence and a bit of luck. It is critical that you identify whether your habits are moving you forward towards your goals or setting you up for failure. Keep in mind it’s the little things you do each day that determine whether you will be among the successful people or the unsuccessful people of the world. Here are habits of spectacularly unsuccessful entrepreneurs and artists - including writers - that set them up to…
  • 12 Reasons Reading Widely Is So Important For Writers

    David K. William
    2 Dec 2014 | 10:09 am
    “The person who won't read has no advantage over the one who can't read.” — Mark Twain. It’s always surprising to hear some people say they don’t like to read. For those of us who enjoy reading, though, books are a welcome escape—a chance to transport into another world, go on adventures and experience other people’s reality without actually moving from your seat. A good book makes you laugh, cry, chuckle and or think. You feel as though you are one with the characters; like the world within the pages is one with the real world around you. That is only part of the many delights…
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    Angie’s Diary

  • Jo Linsdell

    Paul Collins
    30 Jan 2015 | 1:28 am
    Angie’s Diary Angie’s Diary - eMagazine Jo Linsdell is an award winning, international best-selling author and illustrator, as well as a recognized marketing expert. Jo Linsdell Paul Collins
  • Crazy People

    Nancy Duci Denofio
    29 Jan 2015 | 3:36 am
    Angie’s Diary Angie’s Diary - eMagazine As children we were told to respect our elders and not to answer back. As a child we were not to talk about others Crazy People Nancy Duci Denofio
  • Seven Years Ago? Oh My . . .

    Nancy Duci Denofio
    27 Jan 2015 | 11:15 am
    Angie’s Diary Angie’s Diary - eMagazine AMERICA – What happened in seven years since my original writing? Seven Years Ago? Oh My . . . Nancy Duci Denofio
  • Between Breaths…

    Laurie Hopkins
    27 Jan 2015 | 1:10 am
    Angie’s Diary Angie’s Diary - eMagazine Between breaths I try to hear myself The echo's of my soul bound not by anything of this earthly realm Between Breaths… Laurie Hopkins
  • The Many Shades of Faith, and How It Can Undermine Society

    Gerry Huntman
    26 Jan 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Angie’s Diary Angie’s Diary - eMagazine The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and The Many Shades of Faith, and How It Can Undermine Society Gerry Huntman
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    ProofreadNOW.com Blog

  • Rescue Your Writing from Redundancy

    28 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
    The new year is an absolutely perfect time to make new beginnings in many areas, including your writing. In the same way you might clear out and unclutter your house or apartment, you can rid your writing of redundancies, tautologies and pleonasms — those repetitive words and phrases that include but are not limited to extra words that say the same thing (e.g., begin anew, free gift), words used with acronyms that are part of the acronym (e.g., PIN number, UPC code) and superlatives used for emphasis (e.g., absolutely perfect). The end result will be a positive improvement in your writing,…
  • Don’t Be Fooled by False Subjects

    21 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    Because January is a big month for exercise resolutions, our posts this month focus on whipping your writing into better shape.
  • Eliminating Cliches: Say Hello to Original (Part 2)

    15 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
    Our last post talked about how to identify the clichés in your writing and why you want to get rid of them. This post tells you how to do that. The first step to eliminating clichés is understanding what they mean. Given that we use clichés because they’re seemingly widely understood, discerning their meaning should be relatively easy, right? Well, yes … if you understand the meaning. That’s not difficult with some of the examples given in the previous post (e.g., few and far between, think outside the box, path of least resistance). But with idioms that have become clichés, it can…
  • Identifying Clichés: Bid Adieu to the Tried and True (Part 1)

    13 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
      Out with the old, in with the new. Familiar? Yes. Inspiring? Not so much. That’s how it is with clichés — we love them and use them because they’re easy to remember, don’t require much effort or creativity, and are a widely understood shorthand that captures the essence of a person, situation, event, etc. But they also make for writing that feels tired and unoriginal. And if familiarity breeds contempt, it’s easy to see why editors attack such hackneyed expressions with the fury of a woman scorned.
  • Common, Ordinary, Everyday Adjectives

    18 Dec 2014 | 3:00 am
     Are you guilty of using "everyday" as a noun? Don't do it. The one-word form is only an adjective, as in "an everyday occurrence." Never write, "I exercise my brain everyday." Now, see how you do with the rest of these adjectives.
 
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    Positive Writer

  • Top 50 Writing Blogs for 2015

    Bryan Hutchinson
    25 Jan 2015 | 12:08 am
    Today I have the honor of announcing the Top 50 Writing Blogs for 2015! It’s hard to believe an entire year has passed and yet, here we are with a new list of awesome blogs, and we’ve expanded it from the Top 25 to the Top 50. How cool is that? The best-of-the-best are chosen for: 1} quality of content, 2} how routinely they are updated, 3} the amount of reader engagement (comments and social media shares, etc.), and 4} how long the blogs kept me glued to them. Compiling the Top 50 Writing Blogs has allowed me to discover so many quality blogs I might have never found…
  • How To Give Constructive Writing Criticism (That Actually Helps)

    Marcy McKay
    20 Jan 2015 | 1:57 am
    Since we’ve already discussed Surviving Criticism without Losing Confidence in Your Writing, I thought it would be fun and helpful to also talk about the best way to give others feedback on their writing. I recently read, Creativity, Inc. – Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Aspiration by Ed Catmull, President of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation. They produced such modern-animated classics as Toy Story, Monsters, Inc. and Frozen. I learned there are distinct differences between criticism and constructive criticism. Catmull conveys that with constructive…
  • The Agony of Early Drafts – Should YOU Keep Writing? (Good Question)

    Guest Post
    14 Jan 2015 | 1:51 am
    Note: This is a guest post by Natasa Lekic, she is the founder of NY Book Editors, which connects independent authors to highly experienced editors. She’s a big fan of what authors manage to do when they believe in themselves. The question every writer with an early draft wants to ask editors and literary agents is, “Should I keep writing?” They want to know if it’s any good, otherwise they’ll quit wasting their time. It sounds like a reasonable inquiry… Shouldn’t editors and agents, who have seen countless manuscripts at all stages of their evolution, be able to…
  • Face Fear the Wright Way and Write Your Best Work

    Bryan Hutchinson
    6 Jan 2015 | 12:25 am
    It’s dreadful. It’s suffocating. It’s absolutely, completely and utterly, debilitating. Yes. Yes it can be. It can be all of those things. So how do you beat the fear that’s holding you back? I’ve been asked so many times how I overcame my fears. The truth is, though, I haven’t. I live with fear every day. The difference between now and before is that I no longer let my fears eat me alive and control me, and I certainly don’t allow them to stop me from creating work I care about. How? It’s probably not the answer you’re looking for. But then, that’s why we…
  • The Very Best Articles on Writing for 2014 (on Positive Writer)

    Bryan Hutchinson
    28 Dec 2014 | 2:31 am
     Practice means what it says: writing is something to be done over and over, something that improves through the repetitive doing but that needs not be done perfectly.  ~Julia Cameron It’s that time again, it’s the end of the year roundup! (Oh, my bad, this is the very first ever end of the year roundup from Positive Writer. Enjoy!) I wanted to do something a little different with this roundup: Instead of me choosing my favorite articles of 2014, I thought it would be cooler, funner, and, well, overall just plain better to have you, the readers, choose the best articles of…
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    Christian Writer | Christian Writing | Christian Books

  • What I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Writing

    admin
    24 Jan 2015 | 7:51 am
    I consider this one the most important of all: surround yourself with honest, encouraging and insightful people who really do understand your chosen genre The post What I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Writing appeared first on Christian Writer | Christian Writing | Christian Books.
  • Devotionals for Christian Writers

    admin
    26 Dec 2014 | 12:29 am
    Take your writing to the next level with these inspiring devotionals for writers - emailed directly into your inbox. The post Devotionals for Christian Writers appeared first on Christian Writer | Christian Writing | Christian Books.
  • The Christian Writer’s Guide

    admin
    23 Nov 2014 | 11:54 am
    It's time to write the book you've always wanted to write - with help from the Christian Writer's Guide! The post The Christian Writer’s Guide appeared first on Christian Writer | Christian Writing | Christian Books.
  • How to Promote Your eBook: Lessons from the Trenches

    admin
    17 Nov 2014 | 9:49 am
    In which I share my experience of how NOT to do a free ebook promotion. The post How to Promote Your eBook: Lessons from the Trenches appeared first on Christian Writer | Christian Writing | Christian Books.
  • Trust Me: You’re Doing Great

    admin
    9 Nov 2014 | 2:06 pm
    I’ve been feeling really sorry for myself lately, and last weekend’s event brought me out of my funk, so to speak. The post Trust Me: You’re Doing Great appeared first on Christian Writer | Christian Writing | Christian Books.
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    Bad Fiction by Shane Zentz

  • Absolutely Indicted Articles, Thanks for Entropy

    admin
    21 Jan 2015 | 7:50 pm
    Absolutely Indicted Articles, Thanks for Entropy….. One of my favorite wordpress spam lines of all time. Indicted articles? Entropy? I haven’t written on this blog for a while, a long while. But now I plan on updating regularly. I will add some short stories, shortly. Also just an update, I am currently working on my second book. It is about half done, although I know the whole story and how it will come out, now just to finish it. I am also planning on adding a regular series on this blog, something like a funny top ten list. I’ll probably add it weekly in addition to other…
  • Updates on Stuff

    admin
    16 Apr 2014 | 8:18 am
    Hi, It’s been a while since I have posted anything to this blog, so I thought that I would post an update about what has been going on, writing wise, with me. So here it is. I have been pretty busy with other stuff lately, and so I haven’t had much of a chance to write any more ‘bad fiction’ or really any other kind of fiction. But I am still waiting to see if I can get my first book published, and that is one of my goals for this year. Also I have started to write my second book. It will be completely different from my first book, and from my point of view, hopefully…
  • “Those Magic Muffins” – Final Part

    admin
    4 Apr 2013 | 1:39 pm
    * sorry about the delay in releasing / finishing the rest of the story, but I have been pretty busy lately. So at long last here is the last part of the ‘short’ story….. Jimmy suddenly woke up with a start on his living room couch. He had no idea how long he had been sleeping. And he had no idea why he had slept on the couch so early in the morning. It was afternoon now and Jimmy was a little off still. He soon regained some of his senses and started to slowly remember what had happened earlier. He remembered the rats had eaten his magic muffin, or at least the most of it.
  • ‘Those Magic Muffins’ Part 3 – by Shane Zentz

    admin
    30 Jan 2013 | 12:39 pm
    Jimmy Footballs slept very well and had some really unusual dreams too. In his dream, he ate the magic muffin and immediately grew to over ten feet tall, way taller than he wanted to be. And also in his dream he just kept growing and growing and growing, until he was over fifteen feet tall. Too tall to even get out of his apartment, let alone to drive his car or play his guitar, which looked like a child’s little toy in his hands. He realized that this was becoming a nightmare because he could not get out of his apartment, he couldn’t even stick his head out the window because it…
  • Chapter 1 Preview by Shane Zentz

    admin
    23 Jan 2013 | 7:45 am
    So here it is, Free Preview of Chapter 1 of ‘Looking for Area 420′ by Shane Zentz Enjoy the free read … And if interested in publishing this or reading the whole book, then contact me @ shane AT shanezentz.com The book is around 450 pages or so and took me about a month to write. I think that the book is pretty good but I don’t know if it is good enough to be published or not. So I’ll throw the first chapter out there and see if I get any good feedback. So, here is most of the first chapter…….. enjoy…   ‘Looking for Area 420′…
 
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    Now Novel

  • How to use tone and mood (to make your novel richer)

    brendanmc
    26 Jan 2015 | 6:02 am
    Controlling tone and mood is a powerful way to evoke a particular feeling in your reader. Using such elements as language, setting and theme, you can harness these aspects of your storytelling to provide a richer experience for your readers. Getting the right tone and mood is essential to your reader’s experience. But what are we talking about when we say tone and mood? Are they the same thing, or is one different from the other? The difference in tone and mood The most commonly-accepted definitions for tone and mood are that the tone is the attitude of the author, narrator or the point…
  • Warning: make sure your theme isn’t a cliché

    brendanmc
    18 Jan 2015 | 11:35 pm
    Writers should avoid clichéd themes just as they avoid clichés in other elements of their fiction. Many of the same themes are explored repeatedly in fiction without being reduced to clichés, and writers can do so by understanding what makes themes strong, the clichés of their genre, and how to explore complexity within a theme. In order to avoid clichéd themes, you need to first understand what a theme is. It is not the same thing as a plot or a story. A theme is also more than just a subject; it is a complete idea. A theme takes a stand and puts forth an argument. Your theme might be…
  • How I started writing my book

    brendanmc
    13 Jan 2015 | 1:23 am
    Bridget asked me to share my “expertise” on writing my first novel, and at first, I felt bemused because I sure as heck don’t feel like an expert. Sure I wrote a novel and am now editing and preparing queries and synopsis and 10-50 page excerpts to send to agents, but an expert? I don’t think so. I’ve wanted to write a book for years. Most of my life. I started this novel when I was 44 and finished a few months before I turned 46. Before that I was raising kids, working, living the life of a wife and mother. I started writing a book a few times. I’d get a few pages in, decide the…
  • What kind of conflicts are possible in your story?

    brendanmc
    5 Jan 2015 | 2:06 am
    Conflict is at the heart of all stories. We can identify six major types of conflict that might form the central core of a novel. A lack of conflict in stories is a common error among beginning writers. A writer will often painstakingly develop a setting and characters and then produce a story that is almost entirely lacking in conflict. However, conflict is arguably the most important element in fiction because without conflict there is no movement and no narrative drive. Outside of the most experimental approach to literature, all novels need a major conflict as well as smaller conflicts…
  • A letter to beginning writers

    brendanmc
    29 Dec 2014 | 2:02 am
    Beginning writers are at the start of an exciting journey, and it may be one that lasts a lifetime. With that in mind, here is some advice for writers at the start of it all that they can return to throughout their writing lives.   Perseverance and making time Writing requires a number of skills. Many beginning writers may imagine that one or two of those skills will be the keys to success. A natural way with words or storytelling or perhaps a knack for meeting people and making the right connections while networking will make all the difference. What may surprise you is that the two…
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    The Gryphon Clerks

  • Worldbuilding for Urban Fantasy

    Mike Reeves-McMillan
    15 Jan 2015 | 3:44 pm
    I’ve been writing the Gryphon Clerks series, which is secondary-world fantasy, for a while now. I did a lot of worldbuilding for it upfront (originally, I planned it as a game setting, but it kept generating stories, and games are hard). It’s very much a distinct world, with a lot of specific differences from our world that I have to keep in mind when I write. For example, there are no pigs, and no New World plants or animals. The calendar is completely different. The counting system is different. The way society is structured, the names for common things (even marriage)… I…
  • Sir Julius Vogel Awards 2015

    Mike Reeves-McMillan
    13 Nov 2014 | 11:41 am
    It’s SJV Awards nomination time again, and I have several eligible works. However, I’d like to focus on one work in particular, my short story “Gnome Day“. That link takes you to the full text of the story here on my website. The story is included in my collection Good Neighbours and Other Stories from HDWP Books, but the publisher has given permission for me to make it publicly available. If you enjoy it and think it’s good enough for an award, please nominate it by sending an email, with the information laid out as below, to sjv_awards@sffanz.org.nz. Make sure…
  • Books Like Mine

    Mike Reeves-McMillan
    29 Aug 2014 | 1:27 pm
    In many ways, there are no books like mine. I deliberately don’t imitate other people too closely. I’m not writing generic commercial fantasy; that’s been done by plenty of other people, and I have no interest in it. At the same time, nothing that’s readable at all is completely unlike everything else. If you’re a fan of my books, here are some others that resemble them a bit. I’ve noted the ways in which they resemble them, so that you can avoid the ones that are like my books in ways that you put up with, rather than in ways that you actively enjoy. These…
  • 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…
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    thebloggingwriter

  • A Sonnet?

    Derek Rizzo
    30 Jan 2015 | 2:27 pm
    I am trying on a new style of poetry. I should say that it is new to me but quite old in its original form and, that form is the Sonnet. I guess there’s nothing else to say so with hope, away we go!   I love you more than I see you capable of. I empty my soul; sharing all I am, freely. You share, what you share, unequally. She adores me, but it is not love.   I know I am heart and soul: caught! I feel like you are only lightly tied A balloon held by a child wide-eyed. Perhaps there is a lesson to be taught?   I know my love, you will come to see That a happy, loving…
  • Do You Hear The Whales?

    Derek Rizzo
    15 Jan 2015 | 11:29 am
    Listen carefully, Do you hear them sing, Beneath the sea? Do you hear The voices raised in song, Echoing on the shore? Do you hear nature, Joining in chorus? Their pleas for help, As the song ascends to the heavens, Ask yourself.., Do you hear the whales? Tagged: author, Earth, environment, Inspiration, Life, lifestyle, nature, ocean, Online Writing, Poem, poems, poet, poetry, Reading, sea, shore, Thebloggingwriter, whales, writing, writing. author
  • Flowing

    Derek Rizzo
    16 Dec 2014 | 9:55 am
    Flowing lazily, through a hazy day, Flowing languidly, in a detached way Flowing beautifully Through the waves of life. Flowing smoothly on the edge of a knife. Flow with me Flow slowly, confidently, Through life, Ever-green.   Tagged: day, evergreen, flow, flowing, hazy, lazy, Life, literature, living, love, Online Writing, Poem, poems, poet, poetry, Reading, Soul, writing, writing. author
  • The Traveler

    Derek Rizzo
    3 Dec 2014 | 6:18 pm
    Out here, on the road traveling, alone. Wondering silently, who’s waiting?   Those who love me, wait silently, for my return.   I’m tired of the dusty road. Want warmth and home, out here traveling, silently I roam.   Sing the song, play the game, do my work with aplomb; Oh I can’t wait to be home.   There my shelter lies. There my heart lives and dies. There you lie, waiting, Loving.   Soon I will be there. Lying beside you; Loving. Tagged: Happiness, Home, Life, lonely, love, Online Writing, Poem, poems, poet, poetry, Soul, The Traveler,…
  • The Holiday Season is Here

    Derek Rizzo
    20 Nov 2014 | 12:16 pm
    I know the holiday season is here, not because of christmas sale commercials, or the ridiculously early arrival of decorations, I know the holidays are coming because Sierra Nevada’s Celebration ale is on store shelves. This wonderful beer by the “Sierra Nevada” brewing company, is perhaps my favorite beer. It is unfortunately only available during the holiday season, so it’s a long wait, but when I see it in the store my holidays begin. It is a hoppy beer, that to me, tastes like the smells of the holidays. I swear it tastes like the combination of holiday smells like…
 
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    A Blog for the Comma Man

  • Six Tips for Faster Text Formatting in Microsoft Word

    Freestyle Editorial
    27 Jan 2015 | 10:52 am
    For nearly 25 years, Microsoft Word® has been the dominant word processing application in marketing and sales. But according to data from Microsoft’s Customer Experience Improvement Program, today’s professionals rarely use Word to its full capacity. In fact, they found that of its over 1,200 functions, just five (paste, save, copy, undo, and bold) account [...]Read More »
  • Seven Proposal Lessons from A Christmas Story

    Freestyle Editorial
    22 Dec 2014 | 9:13 am
    It’s that time of year again: time to shut down the smartphone, kick up your feet, grab some eggnog, and watch your favorite holiday film. There are plenty of classics to choose from, and this year our choice was A Christmas Story, the tale of a boy’s quest to show that the perfect gift is [...]Read More »
  • Six New Time-Saving Features of Microsoft Word

    Freestyle Editorial
    11 Dec 2014 | 8:18 am
    If you work on proposals, chances are you use Microsoft Word®. In fact, a Forrester report found that over 90 percent of companies run some version of Word, while less than 8 percent run any of its competitors. That’s right, despite some occasional quirkiness and ill-conceived components (remember Clippy?), Word continues to be the dominant [...]Read More »
  • Halos and Pitchforks: The Power of a Positive First Impression

    Freestyle Editorial
    17 Oct 2014 | 8:54 am
    You never get a second chance to make a first impression. The adage is old, but when it comes to proposals and presentations, it’s as important as ever. In fact, even the briefest of first impressions can become the lens through which a prospect views all of your remaining messages. That’s right, the first messages [...]Read More »
  • How Sequencing Can Improve Persuasion—and Win Rates

    Freestyle Editorial
    27 Aug 2014 | 12:40 pm
    When it comes to proposals and presentations, order matters. In fact, studies have found that even with outstanding, prospect-focused content, changing just its sequence can have profound effects on a prospect’s understanding, recall, and impression of your key messages. So this week we’re discussing the connection between memory and order—and what it means for the [...]Read More »
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    The Red Ink

  • When You Don’t Have Time for Content Marketing

    Grammar Chic, Inc.
    30 Jan 2015 | 12:26 pm
    Content marketing is more widespread and more accepted with each passing day. Even so, many small business owners remain resistant. Some hold out because they feel like they can’t afford it, and some because they’re not yet convinced of its merit. In our experience, though, the single most common objection to content marketing is this: I don’t have time. For those small business owners who believe they lack the time for content marketing, we have a few points of rebuttal: To begin with, nobody ever said your content had to be epically long. There is a movement among content marketers…
  • How to Work Well with Your Content Marketing Team

    Grammar Chic, Inc.
    28 Jan 2015 | 9:31 am
    More and more small business owners are outsourcing their content marketing needs; rather than do it all in-house, they’re enlisting the time and talents of professional content gurus. We believe this is highly advantageous—but then, you probably knew that already. What you might not know is how best to work with your content marketing firm. How do you make sure you’re getting the kind of messaging you want without hindering the process? How do you relinquish control of your business baby and let the marketers work their magic? How can you make sure you’re involved and invested in the…
  • Should You Lie to Your Boss About Your Job Search?

    Grammar Chic, Inc.
    26 Jan 2015 | 1:38 pm
    When you’re searching for new employment, it’s perfectly understandable that you might want to keep your search private—at least from your current employer. If your boss finds out that you’re in the market for something new, it could very easily become a problem for you—leading to fewer opportunities at your current position, a soured relationship with your employer, or even your termination. Trying to keep your job search private is important, but not guaranteed to be successful. Your boss may become suspicious, despite your best efforts to ensure otherwise. And when your boss gets…
  • Job Search Success is a Matter of Attitude

    Grammar Chic, Inc.
    23 Jan 2015 | 12:04 pm
    Does looking for work fill you with dread, despair, and anxiety? Or do you view it as something exciting, something hopeful, something inherently optimistic? If we’re really being honest with ourselves, most of us would probably fall into the former category. The job search isn’t something that energizes us. It’s something that leaves us drained. But maybe that’s the problem. Maybe our attitude about the job search is precisely what keeps us from being more successful at it. The Power of Positive Thinking A recent article from Psych Central makes the case. According to the article,…
  • 5 SEO Myths That are Killing Your Content

    Grammar Chic, Inc.
    22 Jan 2015 | 7:38 am
    Think search engine optimization is a thing of the past? Think again. We recently wrote about SEO and its relation to content marketing—about how the two things, when done right, compliment each other. Here’s what we said: “Ultimately, content marketing and SEO can be used together, working toward the same end. So long as your focus is on content quality—on delivering value to the user—there is no reason why you cannot also incorporate some thoughtful, well-balanced elements of SEO strategy, including some judicious SEO keywords.” True enough: Just because you’ve invested in…
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    Writing By The Seat of My Pants

  • Should Indie Authors Use Social Media Services To Promote Books? Part 3

    Rachel Rueben
    25 Jan 2015 | 2:00 am
    By Olarte.Ollie via Flickr I was going to post this separately but since it’s relevant to the other two articles on social media services, I’m extending this series. Today, I want to discuss how to research and analyze social media marketing services. Don’t worry, I won’t get too technical. This is important if you want to discern which marketing strategies have a real chance of working for you. As I learned while writing this series, information isn’t always readily available. Sometimes, you will have to dig for what you need to know. But you’re a writer, and already used to that…
  • Should Indie Authors Use Social Media Services To Promote Books? Part 2

    Rachel Rueben
    18 Jan 2015 | 2:30 am
    By Martin Gysler via Flickr Last week, I discussed social media services and today, I’ll talk about services geared specifically  towards authors.  Since social media is becoming more and more of a pay to play kind of environment, many authors are either abandoning their accounts, or moving on to other sites.  This is a mistake.  Social media is still useful, I talked about it before in, “How to Approach & Pitch Social Media Influencers.” However, for those who simply lack social grace, there are services which will retweet/like your posts, hold Twitter discussions, and…
  • Should Indie Authors Use Social Media Services to Promote Books? Part 1

    Rachel Rueben
    11 Jan 2015 | 2:00 am
    Social Media Garden by J&TPlaman via Flickr Several years back a few websites popped up promising to help people grow their social media accounts and even make them look popular by liking or retweeting them. Immediately, celebrities everywhere became their biggest clients by paying for fake fans, retweets and even comments, I talked about it a while back on Writer’s Weekly. Most people, myself included, considered it to be nothing more than useless vanity metrics. Anyone who knows a little about online marketing understands how easy it is to manipulate metrics. Sadly, not everyone…
  • Lessons Learned in 2014

    Rachel Rueben
    28 Dec 2014 | 2:30 am
    By Rob Shenk via Filckr It’s almost 2015, and like most people, I’m wondering where the heck did all the time go? Luckily, I had a pretty productive year, I finished one book and published another. I also made more friends and learned more about the publishing industry.  Yes, after years in the business, I’m still learning new things. Here are just a few of the bigger lessons I discovered this year in 2014… Book Marketing has to be taken to Another Level Last month, an author sent a lamb chop into space to promote his book: Meatspace. He recorded the whole thing on Youtube and so…
  • Gifts for Indie Authors

    Rachel Rueben
    14 Dec 2014 | 2:00 am
    By Fabrizio Lonzini via Flickr It’s the holiday season and everyone has their list of wants. Knowing that many indie authors are living on a shoestring budget, I knew those: “What to get a Writer for the Holidays” articles just won’t do.  Let’s be honest, many of them are silly and rather unrealistic. I mean, who wants a $25 t-shirt with literary quotes that will just wear out in 6 months? I don’t. Besides, you could get some pretty sweet stuff that can help with your writing career for that same amount. I’ve considered the problems the typical indie author has like; social…
 
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    S.A. Barton: Seriously Eclectic

  • Commas, Man.

    Tao23
    31 Jan 2015 | 1:40 pm
    We’re all writers or readers here, so we all know where I’m going with this.  You’ve no doubt run across passages while reading where a comma has been tragically omitted or inserted where it had no place being or not being. Here’s a shining example of a piece of text that really could have used […]
  • Who Do You Write?

    Tao23
    27 Jan 2015 | 5:11 pm
    The old saw goes, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”  If you write, the odds are you’ve flattered one, or more likely several, other writers.  As writers, we all begin as readers.  We dig around in the gigantic atmosphere of literature that surrounds us, plucking this and that out of the air, finding what […]
  • The End Of Climate Change — 100 Word Story

    Tao23
    25 Jan 2015 | 12:58 pm
    The atmosphere’s warming trend slowed suddenly, tapering to a halt in only twenty years. Ocean temperatures shifted their immense inertia to follow suit. The icecaps began to regain weight. The composition of the upper atmosphere changed subtly, and excess carbon precipitated in tiny flecks, staining rains faint gray. Climate change deniers crowed victoriously. Look how our […]
  • Flayed — A New Short Story Available For Preorder Now!

    Tao23
    22 Jan 2015 | 6:51 pm
    Cover art by Erik Elliott Flayed is available for preorder right now, and will be released to your ereader on March 1st. You can find it from the following: Amazon: Available now! Barnes & Noble: Available now! iTunes iBookstore: Available now! Kobo: Coming soon! Smashwords: Available now! And of course, you can click on my […]
  • I Got Hoaxed While Writing About How Hard It Is For The Future To See The Past Accurately: Theory In Practice

    Tao23
    19 Jan 2015 | 3:17 pm
    So, just a few days ago I was writing about a prime consideration for the science fiction writer: imagining how the future may see their past (our present) inaccurately. I mentioned the fact that time is a bit like distance in terms of what can be seen; whether we measure in years or meters, the […]
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    Creative Genius 101

  • Freelance Blogging as a Part-Time or Full-Time Job by Brian Scott

    Brian Scott
    9 Jan 2015 | 10:33 am
    Blogging is a continually expanding profession that offers lots of freelance possibilities. However, be careful about what clients want you to blog and how much they are willing to pay you. Many aspiring freelance bloggers end up working full-time for part-time pay or working part-time for little pay. If you're planning to offer blogging services, don't agree to write a 500-word post for
  • Freelance Copywriting as a Part-Time or Full-Time Job by Brian Scott

    Brian Scott
    9 Dec 2014 | 11:12 am
    The term "copy" simply denotes "information that a client wants written and published." A client may contract you to create copy for print or digital media, such as for a magazine, a website, a brochure, a DVD, or a sales letter. Because copy comes in all forms and for all industries, the variety is seemingly limitless. All writing needs "somebody" to write it. In industries where
  • Top 10 Most Embarrassing Spelling Mistakes Made by Popular Politicians by Brian Scott

    Brian Scott
    24 Sep 2014 | 7:22 am
    For politicians churning out multitudes of sound bites, press releases and Tweets in our 24-hour news cycle, the probability of making a spelling or grammar mistake is high. Some are inconsequential, others are laughable, and a few are downright embarrassing. Take a look at these famous flubs from the last few campaign cycles. 1. The Obama Campaign's "Congrssional Budget Office"—In a video
  • How to Pitch Story Ideas to Online Magazine Editors Without Annoying Them by Brian Scott

    Brian Scott
    25 Aug 2014 | 3:27 pm
    With more people working part-time and looking to supplement their income with freelance work, it's important for creative-types to learn how to pitch, communicate, and correspond with editors the right way, especially if they dream of becoming full-time freelance writers. A difficult but essential writing rule I had to learn as a budding freelance writer was to communicate and interact
  • 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
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    Jeremy Porter

  • What’s the difference between branding and marketing?

    Jeremy Porter
    20 Jan 2015 | 4:37 pm
    What can we learn from Apple Nike, and Virgin? We can see the difference between branding and marketing, and why we need both. It’s only a few weeks into the New Year and I’ve found myself answering this question a few times: what’s the difference between branding and marketing? There’s a simple distinction I make. Branding is strategic and constant. Marketing is tactical and temporary. A brand strategy should determine the marketing strategy. Branding: Apple, Nike, Virgin Three of the world’s most loved brands are clear about what they will always do. Apple will always…
  • Write visually and inspire action using Monroe’s Motivated Sequence

    Jeremy Porter
    15 Jan 2015 | 11:35 am
    Monroe’s Motivated Sequence is a persuasive speaking format. It’s a variation on the problem-solution format that is visual and inspires action. Monroe’s Motivated Sequence Sometimes we write intuitively. We all use persuasive tricks whether we know we’re doing it or not. Monroe’s Motivated Sequence is something you may be using in your speeches, presentations, and stories and you may not even know it. Monroe’s Motivated Sequence Alan Monroe, a professor at Purdue University, created MMS in the 1930s. He said, Although individuals may vary to some extent,…
  • My five favorite articles of 2014

    Jeremy Porter
    16 Dec 2014 | 8:23 am
    These five articles are my favorites published this year. A mix of persuasion, narrative, messaging, purpose and language. Rather than publish the typical end of year “most popular” article list, I thought I’d share my five favorite articles of 2014. Here they are in no order. Know the three modes of persuasion I never thought I’d read Aristotle, but after reading The Political Speechwriter’s Companion I picked up Aristotle’s Rhetoric. In this article I describe Aristotle’s three modes of persuasion: ethos, pathos, logos. I think every…
  • Message grid: Political Message Quadrant

    Jeremy Porter
    15 Dec 2014 | 11:38 am
    The Political Message Quadrant helps campaigns define the candidate, define the opponent, and create and messages that tell a story. View image | gettyimages.com This article is part of a series on creating key messages. I recommend reading the article on how to create key messages first. The Political message quadrant is as it sounds — used by political strategists and communicators. It asks four questions that the campaign must answer: What will I tell voters about me? What will I tell them about my opponent? What will my opponent tell voters about his or herself? What will my opponent…
  • Message grid: Point, Message, Support, Action

    Jeremy Porter
    11 Dec 2014 | 10:10 am
    The Point, Message, Support, Action message grid helps align calls to action to messages and helps spokespeople connect ‘facts’ to messages View image | gettyimages.com This article is part of a series on creating key messages. I recommend reading the article on how to create key messages first. Cumbersome name aside, the Point, Message, Support, Action grid is a nice way to organize your messages, associate them to a specific call to action and include supporting evidence. The structure Point — what are you trying to say? Message — how will you say it? Support —…
 
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    Solitary Spark - A Creative Writing Blog

  • 40 Ways to Strengthen Your Writing and Avoid a "Very" Weak Word

    31 Jan 2015 | 4:33 pm
    Writer's often hear a simple, yet vitally important, piece of advice:Never use the word, ‘very.’ It is the weakest word in the English language; doesn’t mean anything. If you feel the urge of ‘very’ coming on, just write the word, ‘damn,’ in the place of ‘very.’ The editor will strike out the word, ‘damn,’ and you will have a good sentence. - William Allen White"Very" often serves as a go-to word for many, but it simply leaves writing flat. Good writing draws the reader in and creates the writer's world in the reader's imagination. People imagine things with various…
  • 10 Common Literary Devices (With Examples)

    18 Nov 2014 | 6:30 pm
    There are certain literary devices that I use often in my writing because they are simple and seem to make it flow. I never bothered to intentionally use them when I wrote in the past, but now I find that they just add that extra something. A literary device has to do with the sound, repetition, meaning, and description of words or phrases. Used wisely, these devices can really enhance your work and create a deeper level of meaning that readers will enjoy decoding. Try some of these in your next poem or story. (Mini Magnum by hobvias sudoneighm via CC) Alliteration. This is one of the easiest…
  • Photo Prompt: Gateway to the Past

    16 Nov 2014 | 9:02 pm
    A photograph from Fort Morgan in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
  • The Stairwell

    15 Nov 2014 | 10:35 am
    Week after week I saw him. He slowly descended, step after step, holding onto the railing for dear life as people absently rushed past. The elevator in our crumbling complex had failed some time ago and now this stairwell buzzed with activity. People raced and skipped over steps and puddled landings to reach their destination before the dank smell settled firmly in their noses. But not him. I watched him from the top one morning. Briefcase in one hand, the other attached firmly to the rusty rail, he creeped down the concrete steps with wide eyes and slow breaths. His once pressed suit…
  • Ten Excuses I Use to Avoid Writing

    14 Nov 2014 | 7:39 pm
    The past few months have been very busy and writing has completely taken a back seat in my life. I always find an excuse to avoid writing. When I took a weekend trip to the lake, I read a book instead of working on my novel. Right now? I'm writing a blog post instead of becoming reacquainted with my characters. I am writing a blog post about avoiding writing instead of working on my novel. It makes little sense, but here's the thing: writing is hard. Writing takes time and effort and concentration. It's frustrating, infuriating, painstaking. It means taking a part of yourself and opening it…
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    copywritercollective.com

  • It has to be meaningful

    Luca Caruana
    30 Jan 2015 | 12:14 am
    What’s the use of writing a brilliant copy without keeping the audience in mind? It’s useless writing poetically to finance professionals, and it’s equally futile to write in technical terms to a generic audience. Your target reader must be as clear as crystal in your mind. This brings me again to the A I D A Principle which I introduced in one of my blog posts. How can you raise Attention, Interest, Desire and finally lead your audience to Action? The answer is simpler than you may be expecting: research. Yes… good writing helps, but first there must be an in depth research to touch…
  • This experience taught me some important lessons about myself as a freelancer copywriter

    Vikki Maver
    29 Jan 2015 | 12:37 am
    A couple of years ago I was contacted by the communications manager of a high profile organisation. It was 3.05pm on a busy Wednesday afternoon. It was the kind of phone call freelance copywriters only dream about. Getting straight down to business, my hot new prospect asked if I could rewrite an important letter by COB that day. Yes, you read correctly. THAT DAY! The letter was to be sent out to their 2,500+ contact database the following morning. After a quick mental calculation, I realised this would give me under two hours to complete the job. Now, two hours may sound like plenty of time…
  • Struggling to write? Help is at hand!

    Cara Tipping Smith
    28 Jan 2015 | 12:36 am
    One of the hardest things as a small business owner is trying to write your own marketing material.  I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I know it can be really frustrating spending hours with the backspace.  So I’ve decided to make it easier, right here and now.   No good copywriter works without a brief and you shouldn’t expect that you can either. So before you hire a copywriter and before you let yourself get frustrated (again) – write your own brief. Then if you don’t like the result of your own efforts, at the worst you have a worthy brief for a professional (but you…
  • Before and After Copywriting in Action

    Nicolas Di Tempora
    27 Jan 2015 | 12:41 am
    Study leads to more knowledge, but observation leads to wisdom. This was the opening hook line by my current RMIT Copywriting students for their Group Project calling for less feasibility studies and more action on Solar Thermal Energy. I quote this line because it elegantly sums up the premise of this post: that one of the most valuable methods for learning and advancing your skills (in any endeavour) is throughactive observation. You look and you see and then you put your raised awareness into practice. In this post, you will get to see the transformation of a writer-centred, toneless…
  • The Importance of Testing Your Landing Page (Infographic)

    Stacey Mathis
    25 Jan 2015 | 11:44 pm
    Testing Your Landing Page It’s not enough to simply draw visitors to your landing page. You want it to be usable, as inviting as possible and you want to make sure it’s accomplishing the goals you’ve set out for it. The only way to do that is by testing your landing page.  Here’s why  . . . and a little about – how: About the author: Stacey Mathis Copywriting/Consulting (SMCC) is a boutique copywriting, content marketing and brand journalism agency. The SMCC team of eleven writers crafts and edits marketing, advertising and journalistic content for small and mid-size businesses…
 
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    Cliff Ball » Blog of Cliff Ball

  • Next Work in Progress

    Cliff Ball
    12 Jan 2015 | 8:57 pm
    By Cliff Ball I wanted to let everyone know what I’m working on next. At first, I was going to write another end times novel, maybe a series, but after a month, I only managed to get four thousand words written (about 10-12 pages on 6×9 page setting on Word). I was struggling to come up with a new way of telling the story that didn’t keep seeming to bump up against actual current events. So I prayed about it. I came up with the idea of putting my Christian western short story, Dust Storm, exclusively on Amazon, and then having it go free for just two days this last Friday and…
  • Enter to win a Kindle or $100.00 Amazon Gift Card

    Cliff Ball
    1 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    By Cliff Ball Enter to win a Kindle or $100.00 Amazon Gift Card   Sponsored by these great books and authors: Support one the authors and the giveaway by checking out their books!   Enter to Win: a Rafflecopter giveaway This is a post from Cliff Ball. Read the original post: Enter to win a Kindle or $100.00 Amazon Gift Card Related posts: Book Blast: Wacky Wishes by Susette Williams, Illustrated by Jack Foster – Enter to Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card! Book Blast: Winter’s End by Rebekah Lyn – Enter to Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card! Book Blast: Winter’s Past by Mary E Hanks…
  • New Release – Times of Tribulation – Book 7

    Cliff Ball
    30 Sep 2014 | 6:24 am
    By Cliff Ball Times of Tribulation, the seventh and final novel of The End Times Saga is now available to on Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords. The paperback will be available in a week or so. I want to thank readers for sticking with me through the last two and a half years as I wrote this series. The next thing I have planned is a box set for all seven novels, which will include a timeline and the list of characters, and that will probably come out before the end of November. Times of Tribulation follows the entire seven year period as various characters survive the seven trumpet…
  • Crossreads Book Blast – Hope Deferred by Elizabeth Maddrey

    Cliff Ball
    1 Jul 2014 | 7:15 am
    By Cliff Ball Hope Deferred By Elizabeth Maddrey About the Book: Christian fiction for women. It’s been a tough year. Twin sisters June and July and their husbands spent the last year trying to start a family. Now, as the sisters work with fertility specialists to see how medicine can help them conceive, each must determine what treatment is right for them in the midst of overwhelming options, none of which promise immediate results. Will their deferred hope leave them heart sick, or start them on the path to the fulfillment of their dreams? LINK to PAPERBACK Elizabeth Maddrey began…
  • Now Available: Times of Judgment

    Cliff Ball
    5 Jun 2014 | 3:07 pm
    By Cliff Ball Times of Judgment – Christian End Times Thriller book 6, is now available in paperback and ebook. I published it to Kobo a couple of days ago, but it still hasn’t showed up yet. This is the end of the main part of the storyline, but I will have one last novel that encompasses the whole seven years with other characters who have to survive the Tribulation Period. Times of Judgment, book 6, goes through the last three and a half years of the seven year Tribulation Period. The world leader gets “assassinated” and Lucifer teams up with him shortly before…
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    The Write Practice

  • 7 Tools To Help You Write a Novel (+ a free ebook)

    Matt Herron
    30 Jan 2015 | 8:00 am
    by Matt HerronDo you want to write a novel? Are you one of those people who has always dreamed of writing one, but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’ve started, but got lost somewhere in the middle? If you said yes to any of those questions, you’re in luck. You’re in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. Today we’re publishing a free ebook that will help you take the first step to becoming a writer and writing your novel. Whatever phase you’re at in your novel writing process, these seven tools will help you write—but more importantly, help you…
  • 4 Reasons Why it is Dangerous To Compare Your Writing To Others

    Pooh Hodges
    28 Jan 2015 | 9:11 am
    by Pooh HodgesFor a cat there are many dangerous things to be careful of. We are small and a car might not see us when we try to cross the road; we could be run over and killed. In our homes the humans who live with us might drop a piece of peanut butter toast on our head, and we could smell like peanuts. However, there is something more sinister than fast cars and peanut butter toast. There is a danger that applies to writers, cats, and humans. The Danger Of Comparing Yourself. Why It Is Dangerous to Compare Your Writing to Others I will do a count down like David Letterman does on The…
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Definition and Examples for Writers

    Liz Bureman
    27 Jan 2015 | 5:14 am
    by Liz BuremanI’m a little bummed that I’ve missed my chance to see the first part of Mockingjay in theaters, since movies apparently only live in theaters for six weeks these days. (Anyone else remember when The Lion King was in theaters for like 9 months?) I enjoyed the Hunger Games trilogy a lot, but Mockingjay was probably the weakest of the three in my opinion, so I’m curious to see how the movie compares, and if any tweaks were made to the story. (SPOILER ALERT!!!) It won’t be until the next movie that Prim is killed and President Coin is revealed to be a…
  • 8 Tips From Literary Agents About How to Get Published

    Monica M. Clark
    26 Jan 2015 | 8:18 am
    by Monica M. ClarkLast week I participated in Writer’s Digest’s One-on-One Agent Bootcamp. The course included a presentation on the materials you need to submit to a publisher (i.e. query letters, book proposals and synopses), six hours of agent access via a discussion board, and a critique of a query letter and ten pages of a manuscript. I have heard a lot of tips about the finding-an-agent process over the years. However, as I sifted through the questions and answers in the Writer’s Digest discussion board, I was happy to stumble upon some new advice. Below are eight tips…
  • Which Writers Would You Like to Learn From—Living or Dead?

    Joe Bunting
    23 Jan 2015 | 11:29 am
    by Joe BuntingOne thing I’ve learned from writing this blog over the last three-and-a-half years is that we never “arrive.” The more you learn about the craft of writing, the more you realize how little you know. I’m not satisfied with how much I’ve learned about the writing craft. Are you? That’s why over the next few months, I’m going to be interviewing writers for their best tips, reading books about writing from great writers (e.g. Kurt Vonnegut’s Like Shaking Hands with God), and learning through other sources about the habits of great…
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    Lauren Sapala

  • The Reason I Never Found a Writing Group that Fit, until I Started My Own

    Lauren Sapala
    22 Jan 2015 | 10:02 am
    I joined my first writing program in San Francisco in 2006 and it was great. But—it was just that, a writing program geared toward including a lot of members. The structure was based on a community numbering around 50 different writers. I got a lot of work done in the program (started and finished my first novel), but I didn’t make the close friends I was hoping to find there. This was to be expected. It was a big program with new writers coming and going all the time. At any given meeting there might be 20 writers sitting around a huge conference table all diligently concentrating on…
  • The Real Secrets I Learned from My First Writing Program

    Lauren Sapala
    15 Jan 2015 | 10:19 am
    In 2006 I was living in San Francisco, working at a private detective agency, and thinking about picking up writing again. I had moved to San Francisco in 2004 and I had quit drinking in 2005. For the past couple of years I had felt lost and confused. I didn’t really know what to do with myself if alcohol wasn’t going to be a major part of my life. I’d used it for a long time to numb myself and block my emotions—especially those emotions I felt around writing. But working for a private detective exposed me to a goldmine of stories. Our surveillance guys sent me reports every day and…
  • Why I Stopped Writing for Seven Years

    Lauren Sapala
    8 Jan 2015 | 9:55 am
    During my senior year of college I took my last creative writing class. At the end of the semester I met with my professor for a final conference on my progress. At that time she told me that she recommended I pursue something else. I wasn’t cut out for writing, she said. Really? I asked. I was half shocked that it could be that easy to kill all of my hopes and dreams in ten seconds, and half already resigned to the fact that she was probably right. Couldn’t I get any better? I asked. You know…with practice? No, she said. I don’t think so. That was in the spring of 2000 and I didn’t…
  • Why I Never Got an MFA

    Lauren Sapala
    29 Dec 2014 | 9:35 am
    Growing up, I loved writing and books. Storytelling in any form was one of my great passions. So when I got to college I was super excited to take creative writing classes. But my first creative writing class was far more disappointing than I expected. Our professor gave us different essays to read by prize-winning authors and then spelled out a bunch of rules that we should all follow if we wanted to be good writers. Realism was important, he said. For example, if we included a can of soda in our story we should make sure the can was 12 oz. just like a real can of soda would be. My heart…
  • How Far Is Too Far? The (Alleged) Crime of Self-Indulgent Writers

    Lauren Sapala
    18 Dec 2014 | 2:38 pm
    Whether we’re writing memoir, fantasy, young adult or literary fiction, there’s one judgment we writers recoil from more than any other. One thing we can’t stand to be called. One thing that makes us cringe to even think we might be approaching it. It’s the crime of self-indulgence. What constitutes a self-indulgent writer? Is it someone who includes too much world-building and back story simply because they’re interested in following every thread? Or is it someone who becomes too emotional when writing pieces of their autobiography and comes off as melodramatic? Writerly…
 
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    Stories and Stuff

  • Writing Reality – Or Escaping It

    harmamae
    16 Jan 2015 | 3:30 pm
    A quick thought for today: Writers write what’s real. They try to connect with some reality in the readers’ experience, and inspire emotions that complement the work they write. They try to represent the world as it truly is. That is one theory of writing’s purpose, anyway. The problem is, reality really bites. I wanted to improve as a writer this year. I gritted my teeth and tried to dredge up something of reality – bad experiences as well as good (though I’d be the first to admit my own real problems may barely phase anyone else.) I wrote down some stuff that for me was…
  • Join Mark Zuckerberg’s Book Club, Rediscover Why Books Matter

    harmamae
    8 Jan 2015 | 11:25 am
    Mark Zuckerberg is starting a book club. A Facebook book club, which seems appropriate, considering he is Mark Zuckerberg. BUT he said one very insightful thing that should give everyone hope for millenials – we aren’t necessarily shallow, visual-obsessed youngsters with short attention spans. At least, maybe not if we join Mark’s book club. Here’s what he said: “Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today. I’m looking forward to shifting more of my media diet towards reading books.” The thing…
  • Must-Reads at Stories and Stuff in 2014

    harmamae
    29 Dec 2014 | 12:53 pm
    By Ken Whytock, licensed under CC-BY-NC 2.0 I started this blog in 2009 – wow, that’s a lot of blogging! This year was definitely less active for me in the posting department, as I’ve had a lot going on (see Paris, and my Job and Apartment update). However, I refuse to neglect this blog! I love to debate the joy of stories with you all – as both a writer and a reader. Stories need to be not just heard, but chewed over and hashed out between us all before they solidly enter the age-long human conversation. Let’s soldier on with this! So this blog will not die any time soon, though I…
  • How to Catch a Man 101: Show More Affection Than You Feel

    harmamae
    22 Dec 2014 | 12:42 pm
    AKA Dating Advice from Dear Jane Austen Bingley and Jane, by C.E. Brooks. {PD-US} “There are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement,” [said Charlotte]. “In nine cases out of ten, a woman had better show more affection than she feels. Bingley likes your sister undoubtedly; but he may never do more than like her, if she does not help him on.” - Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 6 Here’s the trouble with romance! Let me start off by saying this is not true in most books and movies out there. If you took the romance advice of most plots,…
  • Update! And Quotes!

    harmamae
    5 Dec 2014 | 3:59 pm
    Whoa, haven’t blogged for a while! What’s been going on? Well, for one thing – I moved. A huge undertaking, as it turns also. Secondly – I got a new job. I now work in, wait for it… a library! How appropriate! (Where did I work before? Well, actually I sold computers for Microsoft. Turns out having a history degree is surprisingly flexible, and not just for honing your writing skills ) Anyway, while I was moving I came across this, which I decided to share with you all. It’s my old high school binder! I (or some of my friends) lovingly inscribed quotes from books and other things…
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    Milo James Fowler

  • Break My Rusty Chain and Run

    25 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    I have nothing against Amazon. Seriously. Thanks to their KDP program, I've managed to make a few bucks selling reprints. That's right: stories I've sold elsewhere that were published elsewhere. Once the rights revert to me, I either sell them on Amazon as singles or in collections. But KDP Select can be a little tricky. If you're in, you're bound to Amazon for 90 days. Can't sell your title
  • Perihelion Science Fiction, Meet Captain Quasar

    18 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    Lately, I've been on a quest. This quest has involved taking the 6 new Captain Quasar tales I wrote last summer and submitting them to as many professional science fiction publications as I possibly can. I figure if nothing else, I'll be introducing slush readers to Quasar before the novel comes out. And who knows? One or two tales might even be accepted. Stranger things have happened. I
  • Two Reviews Are In

    11 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    It's always cool to see what readers think of your work. But when those readers are fellow writers, and when you respect the work of those writers, and when those writers have something good to say about your latest release, then their reviews tend to be twice as sweet.  Here are a couple of excerpts from Goodreads readers / writers Martin Willoughby and Erin Cole regarding my novella Yakuza
  • Big Goal for This Year

    4 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    I don't know about you, but my goals as a writer have tended to evolve over the years. And this being a brand-spankin' new one (2015!), I figure it's as good a time as any to review those writerly goals and have you weigh in with a few of your own in the comments below. As a kid, I wrote just for fun, entertaining myself, my family, and some of our friends who moved out of state. In the
  • For the Love of the Game

    28 Dec 2014 | 6:00 am
    Would you keep writing if nobody ever bought your work? Would you keep at it if only you and those closest to you ever read a single word? I've mentioned before that I'm going for posthumous fame with my writing career. I don't care if I never hit it big while I'm alive. After I'm dead and buried, I plan to develop a cult following. If not, so be it. I'm enjoying the journey right now, and I
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    Write Line Blog - Free Expressions Seminars and Literary Services

  • Friday Roundup 1.30.15

    Lorin
    30 Jan 2015 | 1:48 pm
    Have a wonderful weekend!Why Readers, Scientifically, Are The Best People To Fall In Love With9 Action-Packed Books More Entertaining Than Any Movie11 Cats in Books Who Are Cooler, Smarter, and Way More Magical Than We'll Ever BeThe 3 Basic Building Blocks of Writing a Memoir10 Football Books to Get You Into The Super Bowl Spirit (Even If You Couldn't Care Less About The Big Game)
  • Don’t Wait Until Somebody Does It First

    Kelsey
    27 Jan 2015 | 1:10 pm
    Image from Karin Dalziel via Creative Commons. You know what feels terrible? Believing you have a great idea, but not trusting yourself to do it justice.This recently happened to me. I came up with this idea for a novel, and I received wonderful feedback on it, and I wrote about 20,000 words toward it, but then—nothing. I got too in my head. I psyched myself out. I started thinking I didn’t know how to write this idea, and if I didn’t know how to write it, why waste it? Its’ really such a great idea. So I put it on the shelf and picked up something else for awhile.And then I came…
  • Prompt-A-Palooza #52

    Lorin
    26 Jan 2015 | 11:39 am
    Have a great week!1. She was on the hunt for something wicked...2. Laughter carried across the lake...3. Once was too often...4. He wanted to not only seize the day but strangle it...5. They carved through the forest...6. Chains rattling on an empty swingset...7. Loss and victory as one...
  • Friday Roundup 1.23.15

    Lorin
    23 Jan 2015 | 11:33 am
    Have an awesome weekend!Writing Your Way to HappinessMichael Bond On Maintaining His Momentum as a Writer11 Secrets to Writing Effective Character DescriptionNational Readathon Day on SaturdayThe 10 Best Horror Books You've Never Read
  • Prompt-A-Palooza #51

    Lorin
    19 Jan 2015 | 2:46 pm
    "When wind and winter harden all the loveless land..." -- Oscar WildeShe wept, and in her weeping came to love again...The spider's progress...He had her heart..."The surf-tormented shore..." -- Edgar Allan PoeThe end of a clumsy snowfall...They paid all their gold for one kiss...
 
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    Words & Music

  • Three Bags Full - Fictional Humans of New York (FHONY)

    30 Jan 2015 | 4:57 am
     Three plastic bags. It’s all he’s got; it’s all he needs. He has a system to avoid the worst of the winter on his skin. He’s got a sweater in one of the bags.  The little guy, in severe need of a shave, glides across the floor in his green uniform, determined to be the center of attention. A red-faced lady, not used to being drunk, crosses paths with a tangly-grey-haired woman who is as starved for affection as a person can possibly be. The man at the bottom of the stairs watches them both without sacrificing his consciousness of the three plastic bags for a fraction…
  • All Of Me

    26 Jan 2015 | 4:58 am
    Gerald MarksYou know that awkward feeling you get when someone means the world to you and you mean significantly less to them? If not, good for you. If so, you're in fine company, including that of Gerald Marks, who in 1931 wrote the lyrics to All Of Me.In the year 2000 the song won the Towering Song Award from the Songwriters' Hall of Fame with these words:"In 1931, while most of America was reeling from the already desperate years of the great depression, songwriters Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons had reason to celebrate. Their one important songwriting collaboration, "All Of Me," first…
  • Review: Maira Kalman Selects

    22 Jan 2015 | 5:54 am
    I'm not really into design, per se, but I went to the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum because this sounded look an interesting exhibit. In Maira Kalman's own words:"What is this room about? Very loosely, it is about life and death.But isn’t everything? It is about falling in love with a group of objects."For me, the stars of the show are the porcelain women. There's three of them: Just inside the entrance is The Firebird from 1920 Russia. The Figure of a Dancer from 1900 France is frozen in the opposite corner, shielding her delicate features with her solid arm. Across the room from…
  • Win It All

    16 Jan 2015 | 7:39 pm
    Photo by Jim Summaria I first heard Ian Hunter as the voice of Mott the Hoople, singing All The Young Dudes."Speed jiveDon't want to stay aliveWhen you're twenty-five."In December of 1974, Ian Hunter left Mott the Hoople for a solo career. One of his first hits was a song called Irene Wilde, one of rock's most beautiful compositions."For those looks they seemed to sayYou ain't nuthin', go awayYou're just a face in the crowdSo I went home and I vowedI'm gonna be somebody, someday"In the late 70s and early 80s he had a rash of great albums including You're Never Alone with a Schizophrenic…
  • The Meaning of Life

    14 Jan 2015 | 4:25 am
       I recently re-read Kurt Vonnegut's second novel, The Sirens of Titan, from 1959. A reviewer of the book in Esquire wrote about the author: "He dares not only to ask the ultimate question about the meaning of life, but to answer it."The book is dedicated:For Alex Vonnegut, special agent, with love.Kurt had this to say about his Uncle Alex:“He said that when things were really going well we should be sure to NOTICE it. He was talking about simple occasions, not great victories: maybe drinking lemonade on a hot afternoon in the shade, or smelling the aroma of a nearby bakery; or…
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    Write Kids' Books!

  • Do you know about the FREE Children’s Story Magic writing course?

    Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod
    21 Jan 2015 | 2:02 pm
    New session begins February 1st! Here's what you'll get, in 30 days: Character - creating heroes and villains that we'll love Wonderful words - choosing and using the best nouns, verbs, adjective and more Dialogue - tools to put words in your characters' mouths Plot - crafting a story that keeps us on our toes Each day's email is a tasty, bite-sized 100 words long.  That’s super-short, because I know you’re super-busy.  Every day, you’ll be challenged, through examples and exercises, to think about successful kids’ books… and about your own.  Let’s get YOUR book off…
  • Fed up with Kindle Kids’ Book Creator? Try this free, easy 5-step alternative.

    Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod
    21 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Scared to try doing Kindle books because you’re no techie?  Or have you decided that the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator isn’t the software for you (Here are 5 reasons why it isn’t.) but don’t know what to use instead?  Relax. Seriously, there is an alternative.  And it’s easy, free, and doesn’t need much more than a working knowledge of Microsoft Word.  It may even be easier than the KDP Kids’ Book Creator software itself.  (Besides being waaaay more flexible.) These days, for many of my ebooks, I’m using two simple tools:  Microsoft Word and a free…
  • Building an author mailing list: PART 2, Calls to action.

    Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod
    19 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
      You know you want one.  You know you NEED one.  But how do you GET one in the first place? (If you’re not convinced yet, go back and read Part 1 of this 3-part series to find out why you need an author mailing list.  And then stay tuned next week for Part 3, which will prove that it’s super-easy to get started.) The best way to build your mailing list is… to let readers know it exists. Sounds simple, right? But are you doing it?  The way to do it right is with a call to action at the back of your book.  Calls to action are known as CTA in the marketing…
  • The disappointment: 5 reasons I’m not using Kindle Kids’ Book Creator software anymore

    Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod
    16 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Remember how excited I was when Amazon/Kindle released their Kids’ Book Creator software?  And hey, no wonder!  The thing is relatively fast and easy to use, and can turn any book in PDF form into a Kindle ebook with a snap of your fingers.  So many of us lack the technical skills to transform our books that this software totally seemed like magic at first. Unfortunately, the magic died pretty quickly.  You can get a sense of that even from the comments on my original post.  I did use the Kids Book Creator to convert a few of my print books to ebook form.  But…
  • Pricing your self-published kids’ books: are you doing it wrong? (5 essential guidelines)

    Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod
    14 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Did you ever have a garage sale or yard sale? I have, and one of the toughest parts was figuring out how to price the stuff I was selling.  You want it to go, but you want to make something.  Your stuff is valuable – at least to you – plus, you want to get paid for your time and trouble in setting everything up. It’s sort of like that when you’re selling your own books. How much will YOUR book cost?  Have you decided yet? It’s a ton of pressure.  How do you know you’re not doing it wrong?  If you price your book too high, it won’t sell.  Cheap…
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    Technical Writing ToolBox

  • Webinar – Higher Education in Technical Communication

    Gurpreet Singh
    20 Jan 2015 | 11:14 am
    I am conducting a webinar titled “Higher Education in Technical Communication”  for STC India Management SIG. Please register if you are interested in learning more about higher education opportunities in technical writing. Registration link: http://www.stc-india.org/events/webinar-jan-31-2015-higher-education-in-technical-communication/ Filed under: Presentation, STC, Toronto Tagged: Education, Technical communication, Technical writing
  • Youtube Webinar Recording- API Documentation

    Gurpreet Singh
    13 Oct 2014 | 4:44 pm
    I recently conducted a webinar on API documentation for STC India Management SIG. You can view the Youtube video recording of the session on this blog post. I would love to hear your feedback regarding this session. Is it exciting? Is it boring? Would you like to attend my next webinar? Please leave a comment […]
  • Webinar on API Documentation for STC India Management SIG

    Gurpreet Singh
    25 Sep 2014 | 11:32 am
    I am conducting a webinar on API documentation for STC India Management SIG. Please register if you are interested in learning more API documentation. Registration link: http://www.stc-india.org/events/webinar-api-documentation/ Filed under: Elements of Technical Writing Tagged: Application Programming Interface, careercast, Communication, Management SIG, stc
  • Top 10 Best Jobs in 2013

    Gurpreet Singh
    14 Mar 2014 | 1:09 pm
    In my last blog post, I talked about the 60th best job in 2013- Technical Writing. But what about the top 10 best jobs in 2013? Comcast released a list of top 200 different jobs in the U.S based on five criteria: physical demands, work environment, income, stress and hiring outlook. The data for this report […]
  • Technical Writing: The 60th Best Job in 2013

    Gurpreet Singh
    12 Mar 2014 | 11:22 am
    Following the yearly tradition, Careercast released  a list of top 200 different jobs in the U.S based on five criteria: physical demands, work environment, income, stress and hiring outlook. The data for this report came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other government agencies in U.S. Technical Writer was the 60th best job in 2013 though it […]
 
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    Writeaholic Inspiration

  • How I Eliminated Distractions So I Could Focus More On Writing

    Ruth Barringham
    29 Jan 2015 | 8:33 pm
    Distractions are on of the hardest thing to overcome when I want to write.I'm not the sort of person who can sit and write if the dishes aren't done or the house isn't clean and tidy.I always have to do those things first before I sit down to write every day.But that's not the biggest distraction.It's all the other distractions I find once I do sit down.And those distractions are all on my computer.Read more »
  • Be More Outcome Driven

    Ruth Barringham
    26 Jan 2015 | 2:16 pm
    If you're a creature of habit and keep doing the same things all the time, then if you keep doing what you're doing, you're going to keep getting more what you're getting.If that's enough for you, then you're doing the right thing.But if you're not happy with your results, then something has to change.You need to change your focus to the outcome you want.What is it that you want to achieve from your work?Read more »
  • How I Work as an Online Writer And How I Get Such Great Ebook Covers

    Ruth Barringham
    22 Jan 2015 | 8:23 pm
    This week I began teaching a class at the local community college. I will also be teaching the class, twice a week for 6 weeks which will be starting soon.They call the class Laptop Lifestyle.I thought I wouldn't be any good at speaking in front of a class, but I didn't do so bad.And I discovered that the old saying is true, that when one teaches, two learn, which means both the teacher and student gain insight.Which is what happened to me because the question the people in the class kept asking me was how do I actually do these things myself. They wanted to know the exact ins and…
  • Get Ready, Get Set, Write!

    Ruth Barringham
    19 Jan 2015 | 1:44 pm
    If you're a subscriber of mine, then you'll know that a few weeks ago I began a new part time job doing commercial cleaning.The reason I took on the job wasn't because I was short of money, but short on exercise.I mean, yes I clean my house every week, and yes I walk my dogs every day as well as mow the lawn every week, do the shopping, cooking, washing, ironing, etc, but it's not enough exercise.Then I came across a local part time job cleaning two commercial premises.And surprisingly, this little part time job taught me more about making money from writing.How so?Read more…
  • Using Stories in Your Articles

    Ruth Barringham
    18 Jan 2015 | 5:45 pm
    Articles that tell stories have always been popular.You only have to look back at history and you'll see that people used to use parables to teach other.Parables are simple stories used to teach a moral.Aesop was also good at using fables to get his point across. FYI fables are the same as parables except they use animals to teach a moral.Soap operas originally began as stories used to sell a product. And as the name suggests, that product was soap.Soap operas began as radio plays aimed at housewives where the product was mentioned all the time. Later soap operas moved to television where the…
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    Assignment Help

  • 10 Tips for Motivation, Stress and Time Management

    admin
    28 Jan 2015 | 1:15 am
    Let’s once again remind you a much repeated phrase: ‘Time is money’. Yes, time is limited and we all have to make the most of it. But people usually get stressed when the situation to effectively manage time comes.The first thing that people crave for most under these circumstances ismotivation. Interrelation between motivation, time management and stress   Motivation, stress and time management are three significant components of human existence. This is not only about academic life; every sector of life is influenced by these three factors. When you engage yourself in…
  • 21 Ways to Improve your Memory

    admin
    19 Jan 2015 | 10:11 pm
    If you have trouble in remembering in date of ‘Boston Tea Party’ or the atomic number of the noble gases or the decimal value of Pi, you are not the only one. Hundreds of students suffer from poor memory and less than desirable cognitive functions. However, a research study at UCLA in 2006 has shown that there are scientific ways to improve brain functions through simple lifestyle changes. Improving cognitive functions   There is popular myth that we humans only use 10 percent of our brain while the remainder is underutilized or unutilized. The myth has been attributed to…
  • 21 Top Tips for Assignment Writing

    admin
    19 Jan 2015 | 1:17 am
    We all know that there is no prescribed approach to producing assignment content. Professors say it should be developed through various exercises. But the content must address the target audience on the subject matter. So what makes an assignment good? Our experts know the answer. They have come up with 21 practical tips for students who struggle with their assignment writing. You can implement these tips in your writing in order to gain best results. 21 tricks to write the best assignment   Read assignment instructions: Study the task carefully as soon as you receive it. Don’t put…
  • 10 Proven Ways for Students to Save Time with MyAssignmenthelp.com

    admin
    19 Jan 2015 | 12:57 am
    Students struggling with their college and school assignments can now breathe easy. MyAssignmenthelp.com, the world’s leading assignment help service provider,brings a complete set of online assignment help solutions, ranging from custom essay help to dissertation writing service in order to make lives of students easier. However, our services go beyond just customized assignment help. We are also concerned about the overall academic performance of students. Our team of experts has come up with a list of 10 proven ways for students to save time on their assignments. Here is the list.
  • 10 Tips to Manage Exam Stress

    admin
    17 Jan 2015 | 2:33 am
    Pressure of scoring high and doing well in examination can get the better of many students. They complain of a host of physical and mental problems while preparing for their examinations. Such problems range from the benign to the serious and can have disastrous consequences for the students if not dealt properly. Nonetheless, we can deal with it with a firm hand and loving support from our near and dear ones. How to overcome exam stress? Here are a few tips that can help you to cope with exam blues: 1. Make a timetable: Disorganized lifestyle is one of the primary reasons why students feel…
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    The Writer's Life eMagazine

  • Huckleberry Spring by Jennifer Beckstrand Book Feature

    28 Jan 2015 | 7:11 am
    Title: Huckleberry SpringAuthor: Jennifer BeckstrandPublisher: Zebra BooksPages: 352Genre: Amish RomanceFormat: Paperback/Kindle "Readers will treasure this series." --RT Book Reviews Nothing gives Anna and Felty Helmuth greater satisfaction than seeing their grandchildren happily married--except for planning their next matchmaking venture. And as springtime comes to Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin, the air is filled with promise. . . Ever since the Helmuths' grandson, Ben, abruptly broke his engagement and moved to Florida, Emma Nelson has kept busy tending her vegetable garden and raising…
  • The City Beneath by Melody Johnson Cover Reveal

    27 Jan 2015 | 11:13 am
    Title: The City Beneath (The Night Blood Series)Author: Melody JohnsonPublisher: Kensington Books As a journalist, Cassidy DiRocco thought she had seen every depraved thing New York City’s underbelly had to offer. But while covering what appears to be a vicious animal attack, she finds herself drawn into a world she never knew existed. Her exposé makes her the target of the handsome yet brutal Dominic Lysander, the Master Vampire of New York City, who has no problem silencing her to keep his coven's secrets safe… But Dominic offers Cassidy another option: ally. He reveals she is a…
  • Interview with Andra Watkins, author of Not Without My Father

    26 Jan 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Andra Watkins lives in CharlestonSouth Carolina. A non-practicing CPA, she has a degree in accounting from FrancisMarionUniversity. She’s still mad at her mother for refusing to let her major in musical theater, because her mom was convinced she’d end up starring in porn films. In addition to her writing talent, Andra is an accomplished public speaker. Her acclaimed debut novel To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis was published by Word Hermit Press in 2014.Her latest book is the memoir, NotWithout My Father: One Woman’s 444 Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace.For More…
  • Mother of a Millionaire by Raoji Patel Book Feature - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

    26 Jan 2015 | 10:16 am
    Title: Mother of a MillionaireAuthor: Raoji PatelPublisher: iUniversePages: 238Genre: Biography/AutobiographyFormat: Ebook/PaperbackPurchase at AMAZON Children of Indian descent often move to the United States in search of a better life. Other Indian children, born in America, are often materially successful, but they lose touch with the values of traditional Indian culture, including a deep love and respect for parents and gratitude for the parents loving sacrifices to aid them on their life’s path. In Mother of a Millionaire, author Raoji (Ray) M. Patel provides insight into the…
  • Interview with Jeremy Bates, author of Suicide Forest

    23 Jan 2015 | 10:52 am
    Title: Suicide Forest Author: Jeremy Bates Publisher: Ghillinnein Books Pages: 350 Genre: Thriller/Suspense Format: Paperback/Kindle  Just outside of Tokyo lies Aokigahara, a vast forest and one of the most beautiful wilderness areas in Japan...and also the most infamous spot to commit suicide in the world. Legend has it that the spirits of those many suicides are still roaming, haunting deep in the ancient woods. When bad weather prevents a group of friends from climbing neighboring Mt. Fuji, they decide to spend the night camping in Aokigahara.
 
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    Wylie's Writing Tips

  • The best of Times

    Ann Wylie
    31 Jan 2015 | 10:12 pm
    The U.S. newspaper of record runs 33% feature leadsNew York’s Grey Lady isn’t so gray any more. Topping one-third of its stories with feature leads, The New York Times covers the world in living color.Lead by example The New York Times grabs reader attention with concrete, creative, provocative leads — aka feature leads — such as description, juicy details and examples.We analyzed 87 stories in the Dec. 15, 2014, edition of the Times. (We skipped the sports pages and one-paragraph stories.) Reporters started 29 of those pieces with feature leads.Feature leads grab…
  • Catch Your Readers in Chicago

    Ann Wylie
    31 Jan 2015 | 10:11 pm
    Learn to use the bait your fish like on April 21-22If you want to Catch Your Readers, you need to think like a reader. Then you need to use the bait your reader likes, not the bait you like.Problem is, many of the techniques we’ve institutionalized in business communication writing are not the bait the reader likes.In my two-day, hands-on writing workshop, Catch Your Readers, on April 21-22 in Chicago, we’ll debunk destructive writing myths, how-we’ve-always-done-its and relics from Writing 101. (You’re not still stuffing all those W’s into the lead, are you?!)…
  • Lists with benefits

    Ann Wylie
    31 Jan 2015 | 10:10 pm
    Make them parallel, verb-basedWhen Mr. Wylie’s Writing Tips had a hip replacement recently, he had to take a break from grocery shopping. I went searching for my new BFF, an online grocery delivery service.I found Envoy, which turned out to offer grocery delivery and a writing workshop in one.Lost weekends You had me at “Save 80 hours a year.”Envoy does a great job of expressing its benefits. My favorite: “You’ll save 80 hours a year.” You mean I can avoid two work weeks of selecting the perfect rutabaga and standing in line with the almond milk each year?
  • Captivate your audience

    Ann Wylie
    31 Jan 2015 | 10:09 pm
    Three ways to make your copy more creativeOgilvy was right.If you want someone to buy what you’re selling — whether you’re pitching products and services or positions and ideas — you must first engage them.Draw them in Want to grab reader attention? Make Your Copy More Creative.And nothing engages audience members quite so well as creative material. Creative elements get attention, communicate more clearly and enhance credibility. They paint pictures in your audience members’ minds so that they understand your points faster, enjoy your information more and…
  • Balance and Power

    Ann Wylie
    31 Jan 2015 | 10:08 pm
    Win our February writing contestThe sound your’re hearing in that Oscar Wilde quote is called balance. Also known as parallelism, balance works because of the rub between similarity and difference.On balance Parallelism gets its power from the friction between similarity and difference. Image by ViewminderBalance draws reader attention to the most important parts of your message, with passages like:“… my head in the rainclouds, my heart in the sky.” — Donna Tartt, novelist, in The Goldfinch“Nefertiti is a face without a queen; Cleopatra is a queen without a…
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    Woelf Dietrich

  • Forget genres. The story is king. – Venture Galleries

    Woelf Dietrich
    30 Jan 2015 | 1:05 am
    It’s been a harrowing week. That is partly why I only blogged once. I’m busy with a story for an anthology and the deadline is looming and life, as always, is doing its level best to interfere with that. In any case, I’ve been quoted in an article on Venture Galleries where I give my opinion […]
  • Writing Moments

    Woelf Dietrich
    27 Jan 2015 | 1:16 am
    That part when you write your first draft and it feels rough and bumpy and not quite right, and then somewhere something clicks and you smile because you feel it and your fingers feel it and they don’t want to stop because you’ve found your rhythm and the words are there, available to you, flowing […]
  • 7 Revolutionary Authors Who Decided to Self-Publish | Wise Ink’s Blog for Indie Authors about Self-Publishing

    Woelf Dietrich
    26 Jan 2015 | 12:51 pm
    I’m reblogging this from Wise Ink’s Blog. They usually publish awesome and practical advice on writing, plus they tend to inspire the living adverbs out of a writer. Today is no exception. The article deals with influential authors who initially self-published. I’m reblogging it because I never knew Hemingway published his first book himself and […]
  • #Art of Fantasy 3

    Woelf Dietrich
    25 Jan 2015 | 11:08 pm
    I told Jessica West I’d go dark with the next installment of #Art of Fantasy, but then I discovered Irish artist, Jim Fitzpatrick. As Irish lore is a fundamental part of the fabric of The Morrigan I thought it a good idea to showcase some of this artist’s work. You’ll find his style as unique […]
  • #Writing Adventures: Nathan Long Talks About His Writing Process

    Woelf Dietrich
    22 Jan 2015 | 1:40 am
    Staying with the Nathan Long theme this week, here he is talking about the evolution of a novel, from concept through to completion. Watching the video I remembered a post I did a while ago about how Michael Crichton used index-cards to built a story. Nathan’s method is somewhat similar. Enjoy!Filed under: Write Tip, Writing, Writing […]
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    The Proof Angel

  • The history of the word “cartoon”

    The Proof Angel
    31 Jan 2015 | 2:48 am
    Cartoon is a word with an interesting background. Find out more here. Visit my websites via the links at the top of this page.Filed under: Grammar & usage Tagged: cartoon
  • Being careful with the word terrorist

    The Proof Angel
    30 Jan 2015 | 2:50 am
    In difficult situations, we need to be careful with our word choices. This post warns about the use of the word “terrorist”. Visit my websites via the links at the top of this page.Filed under: Grammar & usage
  • Glastonbury wants poets and spoken word performers…

    The Proof Angel
    29 Jan 2015 | 1:54 am
    Now this would be something to put on your CV. How long do you think it would take to tire of telling people that you had performed at Glastonbury? Apart from anything else, now the tickets have sold out, this could be your best chance of being there this summer. Find out more here, but don’t wait too long. The deadline is 6th March. Visit my websites via the links at the top of this page.Filed under: Resources for authors Tagged: resources for writers
  • Do you prefer hard copy or the screen?

    The Proof Angel
    28 Jan 2015 | 2:55 am
    Here is another contribution to the debate on whether printed books are better than e-readers. I still think there is a place for both. For me, it depends on what sort of book it is, & how I’m going to use it. As Stephen Fry says, there is room in the world for both stairs and escalators. Visit my websites via the links at the top of this page.Filed under: Bits & bobs Tagged: Books, e-readers
  • Book marketing links

    The Proof Angel
    27 Jan 2015 | 2:32 am
    Here is a crop of useful links: This is a long list, but it has a lot of common sense. This one focuses on getting media attention. And finally, if you feel you are banging your head against a brick wall, try this one. Visit my websites via the links at the top of this page.Filed under: Resources for authors Tagged: book marketing
 
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    eBooks India

  • How to Gain More Email Subscribers Through Your Author Blog

    Hiten Vyas
    30 Jan 2015 | 2:31 pm
    If you’re an author who maintains his or her own blog site, you should know that a newsletter is a must because it lets you keep your readers updated, without requiring them to go out of their way to visit your blog every time there’s new content published on it. However, the blog and the newsletter should also form a sustainable structure wherein one leads readers to the other. In this case, how do you gain more email subscribers through your author blog? Here are some ways: Create exclusive “Newsletter-Only” content Think of it this way: there’s really not much of a reason for…
  • 5 Tips for Writing Mysteries

    Georgina Roy
    30 Jan 2015 | 2:09 pm
    Good mystery novels have the same general characteristics of every type of a good novel: fleshed out characters that captivate your mind long after reading about them and an unpredictable and exciting plot, executed through an exceeding amount of showing instead of telling. However, they are special in several ways. The plot is based around a crime, most often murder. The central conflict is between someone trying to solve the crime, usually the protagonist, and the criminal who is trying to evade capture and cover his, or her tracks. In order to create a good mystery, there are several key…
  • 5 Fatal Mistakes That Will Kill Your Start-Up Book Business

    Smitha Abraham
    30 Jan 2015 | 12:57 pm
    When you start your own book business, you are optimistic and put your heart, soul and hard-earned cash into it. But the wise ones know that it is not just optimism or passion that makes your business tick. There are other crucial factors that you should take into account, so that your business does not derail. Listed below are a few common mistakes that you should avoid. 1. Lack of direction or focus The initial euphoria and optimism that you may have as a start-up book business entrepreneur should last longer. When you first launch your company, you may be easily tempted to pursue…
  • Why Coffee and Writing Make a Perfect Combination

    Abhinanda Banerjee
    29 Jan 2015 | 11:40 am
    “Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?” Albert Camus Writers live a lonely life. Well, almost. There are very few who understand their passion for ‘meaningless scribbling’. It is probable that as a writer you have to face questions and criticisms from your near and dear ones too. They often do not see the point of your struggle to make a living through your books. Many consider writing to be a luxury, something that affluent people do in their pastime. Point being, no one takes writing a book seriously. No one understands the agony of writers. No one. That is why, probably,…
  • A Look at Five Major Publishing Houses in India

    Smitha Abraham
    29 Jan 2015 | 11:05 am
    The Indian publishing landscape is undergoing a major transformation. While print books continue to exist, e-books are posing a threat. India has a huge number of print book readers but the e-book culture is gradually gathering momentum as there is greater access to online content. E-books are expected to be a predominant form of reading in the years to come, and major publishers like Oxford University Press, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Picador, etc, are all gungho about adopting newer methods of offering content to their readers. Urvashi Butalia, co-founder of Kali For Women and…
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    StoryShelter

  • Severe Weather Alert!

    Kerri Lowe
    31 Jan 2015 | 7:16 am
    This week we asked “Have you and your family ever experienced a severe weather event? If so, what happened?” We heard about hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards, but couldn’t quite believe the amount of snow (upwards of 6 feet!) that Jim Barker wrote about! Read Jim’s full story here! Jim won a $25 Amazon gift card […] The post Severe Weather Alert! appeared first on StoryShelter.
  • Do You Believe In Love At First Sight?

    Kerri Lowe
    23 Jan 2015 | 3:16 am
    This week we asked Do you believe in love at first sight or the idea of soul mates? We loved Chelle Stuart’s response that mixed some practical attraction knowledge with the mystical part of soul mates being in the plan of the universe…  Check out all the other responses on StoryShelter and add your own! Don’t […] The post Do You Believe In Love At First Sight? appeared first on StoryShelter.
  • How I Got My Childhood Nickname

    Kerri Lowe
    16 Jan 2015 | 3:17 am
    This week on StoryShelter we asked Did you have a childhood nickname? If so, how did you get it? Almost everyone has a semi-embarrassing childhood nickname in their past and our favorite story this week was from Patrick Gregerson, king of the playground curse words. Read his PG-13 (inside joke, you’ll see!) story below! Click to […] The post How I Got My Childhood Nickname appeared first on StoryShelter.
  • Never Will I Ever…

    Kerri Lowe
    9 Jan 2015 | 5:34 am
    …Work for someone again! That’s what this week’s Question of the Week winner Angela Caito says about starting her own freelance writing business after breaking away from a destructive marriage and starting over in a new state with her kids. She’s even written a couple books (which we know a lot of you StoryShelterers aspire […] The post Never Will I Ever… appeared first on StoryShelter.
  • Frequently Asked Interview Questions

    Kerri Lowe
    6 Jan 2015 | 8:29 am
    If you’re gearing up for an interview of any kind, but especially gearing up for a job interview that will lead to some serious career advancement, you’re probably obsessively Googling “frequently asked interview questions.” In fact, that’s probably how you got here And good for you! Interviewing is nerve-wracking. Especially after the fact when you […] The post Frequently Asked Interview Questions appeared first on StoryShelter.
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    WritingThoughts

  • What Freelance Writers Must Know About Ghostwriting

    Laura Spencer
    30 Jan 2015 | 9:05 am
    ©iStock.com/Bob_Eastman There’s a growing demand for writers who can produce high quality ghost-written pieces. Ghostwriters create anything from corporate blog posts to personal memoirs, and more. As you consider various writing projects, you will probably eventually be offered a ghostwriting project. You may wonder. “Is ghostwriting for me?” In this post I’ll explore that question. In particular, I’ll take a look at ghostwriting as it pertains to blogging and business writing (since that’s where I have the most experience). What we discuss should be…
  • 6 Steps for Managing Your Time as a Writer

    Laura Spencer
    23 Jan 2015 | 8:59 am
    ©iStock.com/sezer66 Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. So why do some writers accomplish so much more than others? The answer is better time management. If you’re a new freelance writer, the demands on your time may surprise you. You expect to have more time as freelancer. What you don’t expect is that you have to manage your time well to achieve that goal. Of course, if you’ve been a freelance writer for a while you already understand the demands freelancing can place on your time. Freelance writing is about more than just writing all day. It’s also about…
  • Has Your Content Strategy Lost Its Focus? Here’s How to Tell

    Laura Spencer
    16 Jan 2015 | 9:00 am
    ©Laura Spencer You used to have a great blog. You received several thousand views every day and dozens of comments on every post. But something happened. Your audience has left. And so has your enthusiasm for your blog. I’ve seen this happen time and time again. Great blogs become good blogs, then okay blogs, and then fade away. That’s one of the reasons I publish blogging tips here on WritingThoughts. I’m sure you can think of a few blogs that you once loved, but now no longer exist. It’s sad, because it doesn’t have to happen. The reason blogs decline is often…
  • 4 Types of Creative Block and How to Overcome Each

    Laura Spencer
    9 Jan 2015 | 9:29 am
    ©iStock.com/ismagilov It’s the day before the deadline, and you’re stuck. You need help fast. Whether you’re a writer or some other type of creative professional, you’ve probably experienced creative block. (It’s also called writer’s block). It strikes both seasoned professionals and those who are new to their field. There are many posts on how to deal with creative block (I know I’ve written several). Most of the tips you’ll read are helpful, but they don’t deal with the root causes behind creative block. In this post, I list four causes…
  • 6 Winning Blog Post Ideas for Your Small Business

    Laura Spencer
    2 Jan 2015 | 9:45 am
    ©iStock.com/XimaginationYour small business needs a blog. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Blogging lets you build a relationship with your customers. You can answer questions and otherwise interact with them. Your business blog demonstrates that you really know what you’re talking about. Best of all, you control what is published. It’s a unique opportunity and not one to be wasted. Besides, if you don’t have a business blog, your competitor probably does. But many small businesses get hung up with producing content. They don’t have time to do it or they…
 
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    Angelique Voisen

  • Sexy Thoughts, Sexy Saturday #MSS 77

    Angel Voisen
    31 Jan 2015 | 12:00 am
    Welcome to the 77th Week of My Sexy Saturday For this week’s theme, I’m sharing a 7-sentence snippet of Sunshine and Leather, my latest MM short story from Evernight Publishing. In this scene, Sol realizes for the first time how his submission to Aries can be a positive experience.TeaserHis ears caught the delicious sound of slithering leather. Aries was pulling off his belt, using it to keep Sol’s hands bound behind his back. The leather against his wrist felt…what did it feel?It felt unbelievably good and right. It gave him the illusion of being restrained, but he knew he could…
  • New Release: The Lady and Her Assassin 2

    Angel Voisen
    31 Jan 2015 | 12:00 am
    Publisher: Secret Cravings PublishingCover Artist: Dawne DominiqueBuy Links: Secret Cravings PublishingBlurb:Lady Valerie Sinclair is just Val, the peasant girl now. Running out on her influential family and her fiancée, Val thought she finally got her happy ending. Unfortunately, her fiancée wants her back and he’s willing to pay ruthless criminals to find her. It’s a good thing Val has her blind assassin to protect her. Ray’s the sole reason Val left her home in the first place, but lately, Val’s beginning to suspect Ray’s losing interest. Can Val convince Ray she’s still…
  • Book Spotlight: His Boss Her Dom by Raven McAllen

    Angel Voisen
    29 Jan 2015 | 12:00 am
    I'm happy to welcome fellow Evernight Author Raven McAllen to my blog. Welcome, Raven! Today, Raven is here to share a teaser from her latest release, His Dom Her Boss.Teaser Every fiber of her subbie being wanted to kneel and ask to submit to him. But as the letter told her she was to take another week's leave, and have a 'dalliance' with the new postie, she'd need to be careful. A dalliance in the name of work was one thing. A dalliance because she wanted to submit to him was another. She was still his superior officer, and in charge of this case, or whatever they chose to call it. Case was…
  • New Release: Sunshine and Leather

    Angel Voisen
    27 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Update (Jan 28th 2015): Sunshine and Leather is now available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sunshine-Leather-Romance-Angelique-Voisen-ebook/dp/B00STUBGTMSunshine and Leather (Romance on the Go)Publisher: Evernight PublishingCover Artist: Jay Aheer Buy Links: Evernight Publishing | ARe | BookStrandBlurb: A miserable phone tech by day and a dedicated gamer by night, Sol Daniels doesn’t have much of a life. Now because of a werewolf bite, he’s out in the streets in the middle of the night, looking for some action with another shifter to ease his ache. He’s not hoping for…
  • Blog Tour: Warrant Author by S.L. Schiefer

    Angel Voisen
    27 Jan 2015 | 12:00 am
    Title: WarrantAuthor: S.L. SchieferRelease Date: January 17, 2014Genre: New AdultSynopsisI'm Devon Harper and there are only two certainties in my life:  1. I live to dance.  2. I'm a prostitute.  Do you know when your life is suddenly turned upside down? Setting in action a sequence of events, you never saw coming.  That's what happened to me. My story is not a pretty one, nor is it your typical love story. My world was rocked at 18 and again three years later. My life is a series of let downs. The only constant in my life is dance. When unlikely…
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    GARTLER WRITING STUDIO

  • THE ELUSIVE MUSE: Journaling for writers

    Beatriz
    13 Jan 2015 | 9:10 am
         There are days when writing ideas, stories, essays, poems, are nowhere to be found. That does not mean we have to go a day without writing.  The more we write, the better our writing becomes. That’s a fact.  Practice breeds proficiency.       Commitment sets successful writers apart from unsuccessful writers.  When we are committed to the work, our chances for success increase exponentially. And one of the easiest and most creative ways to commit to our own writing and produce better writing over time is to keep a writing journal. …
  • THE ELUSIVE MUSE: Journaling for writers

    Beatriz
    15 Dec 2014 | 11:39 am
    Here are 5 journal ideas for creative writers:1) People-watch. The people around you can become fictional characters or the subjects of poems. You can go beyond mere reporting and write what you imagine as well. What do you think that woman's name might be? Where do you think she lives? Is she having an affair with that man, or are they just business partners? What is she thinking right now? What is she hiding in that big purse? Any of this can be the beginning of a story or poem. 2) Listen. Eavesdrop in restaurants, in stores. Listen to your own family and friends -- really…
  • THE ELUSIVE MUSE: Journaling your way to writing

    Beatriz
    3 Nov 2014 | 9:56 am
         Journal prompts are a great way to kick off a writing session when you’re feeling uninspired.  We all have days when writing ideas are nowhere to be found, but that doesn’t mean you have to go a day without writing.  In fact, on those days when my muse is being elusive, I like to either work through some writing exercises to stretch and strengthen my writing muscles–or I evaluate my writing goals.  Often, this means I spend time making notes about my writing goals to see how far I've come as well as where I’m going and how much work…
  • ANOTHER READING; this time with video

    Beatriz
    27 Oct 2014 | 10:26 am
    Chicago Calling
  • READ A REVIEW

    Beatriz
    27 Oct 2014 | 9:19 am
    Review of "Unveiling the Mind"
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    Kindle Me This

  • The W Diagram of the Modern Dramatic Plot

    Elizabeth Yetter
    30 Jan 2015 | 1:14 pm
    The most basic plot has a beginning (introduction), middle (conflict), and end (resolution). The modern dramatic plot is more complex than the basic plot. It pulls readers into a story that has its ups and downs. The “W” Diagram AG: The straight line from A to G is the intent of the story. It is […]Continue reading...
  • 5 Ways Writers Can Set Up Their Work Area to Increase Productivity

    Elizabeth Yetter
    29 Jan 2015 | 10:00 am
    Writers spend a bulk of their time writing in their personal workspaces, so why not use the area to not only be functional, but to also increase productivity? 1. Window Seat You want to work in as much natural sunlight as possible. It is healthier for you and it helps set the mood for writing. […]Continue reading...
  • 6 Great Tips That Will Help You Write a Book in 30 Days

    Elizabeth Yetter
    28 Jan 2015 | 11:33 am
    There are books available on how to write your book in thirty days and, of course, there is the very popular NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where people prove that it is possible to write a full-length book in a month. There are certain things you need to do before you begin your 30 day […]Continue reading...
  • 4 Reasons Why Writers Should Try Out Different Day Jobs

    Elizabeth Yetter
    27 Jan 2015 | 9:48 am
    In 41 years, I have worked a lot of odd and average type jobs, from a concession stand starting at age 8 to an inner city hospital as a nursing assistant. Each job provided me with a wealth of knowledge and insight that has gone into my writing. 1. Provides You With New Perspectives How […]Continue reading...
  • 7 Ways to Become a Workaholic Writer

    Elizabeth Yetter
    26 Jan 2015 | 1:48 pm
    Making the change from slacker writer to workaholic writer takes time, willpower, and determination. These are the methods I used to change my life around and begin earning real money for my work. 1. Set Daily Work Goals Daily goal setting changed my life from the first day I started doing it. What you do […]Continue reading...
 
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    The Art of Storytelling in Novels, Journalism and Pop Culture - Bernice Landry

  • Why Criticism in the Arts Can Be Overrated

    Bernice Landry
    22 Jan 2015 | 9:49 am
    So you and I happen to meet on a street corner. You spot me first, and you give me a warm hello. And you ask me how I’m doing.Then, before I can say anything, you say: Well, I can see that you’re looking older, aren’t you? You have more gray hair around the temples. Not too many wrinkles yet. But, hey, I think you’ve also gained a few pounds, if I’m not mistaken! “It may be better to try meet the artist where he or she is, just as you would a human being who was standing right in front of you” Well, I would probably not be so thrilled by this encounter, and I doubt I would…
  • Beware the Forces of Dehumanization in Storytelling, Part 2

    Bernice Landry
    14 Dec 2014 | 7:47 am
    If an author writes to connect to an audience, then how much should she or he try to anticipate what an audiences wants, or what will sell, as the book is being written?Well, this is a complicated question, I believe.Writers need audiences, of course. And, since no one lives on air alone, artists need to be paid for their work. So this commercial reality should be kept in mind when writing, one would think.Or should it?Well maybe it is not quite as simple as that. Most writers want to engage as many people as they can—that is a given. There is an entirely human desire to be understood and…
  • Beware the Forces of Dehumanization in Storytelling, Part 1

    Bernice Landry
    30 Nov 2014 | 2:10 pm
    Once upon a time, as I was innocently sitting at my desk, I noticed that I had absolutely nothing to write about.What to do?Well, I did what I always do: I fished around in what I call my “character drawer”, where I have some faceless, sexless, colorless, ageless dolls. And, at random, I picked one out.Then I ascribed my doll traits. I made him a “him”, 6'1", and dark. I put a stubbly beard on him, and a Calvin Klein suit. I called him conservative, but edgy.Then, since my poor character had nothing at all to do, of course I had to give him a plot. For that I looked inside my…
  • Beethoven, Sara Davis Buechner, and the Archetype of the Hero

    Bernice Landry
    14 Nov 2014 | 11:49 am
    Before he picked up his baton to signal the beginning of Bizet’s Symphony in C, the conductor of Symphony Nova Scotia, Bernhard Gueller, looked around the podium for a microphone.The symphony we were about to hear, Gueller said as he turned to face the audience, was written by a teenager, perhaps as a test or an assignment for school. We will probably never know, since it was lost for decades until a musicologist happened upon it, immediately admiring its youthfulness and optimism.But Bizet, he continued, is known for really only one composition: Carmen. When he finished Carmen, said…
  • The Hand That Holds The Mirror With James Risen

    Bernice Landry
    2 Nov 2014 | 2:14 pm
    New York Times investigative journalist James Risen, who won a Pulitzer Prize for documenting the CIA’s secret history with President George W. Bush in his book “State of War”, and who faces criminal prosecution for refusing to reveal sources on a story involving Iran’s nuclear program, is apparently not in danger of running out of shocking, disillusioning and depressing material any time soon.His latest parry, “Pay Any Price”, is a series of essays that looks at the aftermath of 9/11, including President Obama’s tenure. Here Risen doesn’t chronicle the convoluted hunt for al…
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    All Indie Writers

  • Subscribe to All Indie Writers for a Free Collection of Fiction Author Blog Post Ideas

    Jennifer Mattern
    29 Jan 2015 | 7:54 pm
    On Friday I'll release the first subscribers-only freebie to everyone who's subscribed to the All Indie Writers newsletter. This freebie will be a collection of 21 author blog post ideas to promote your fiction. The resource also serves as an introduction to an upcoming e-book release, The Busy Author's Guide to Blogging. If you subscribe now, you'll receive a download link for this free report in your inbox tomorrow. Later subscribers will receive the free collection of fiction author blog post ideas when they subscribe. Subscribe now. In the meantime, I wanted to share a short excerpt from…
  • Bad Pitching and Bitching: Should Journalists Expose Bad PR Pitches?

    Jennifer Mattern
    28 Jan 2015 | 1:08 pm
    This post was originally published on NakedPR.com (my now-retired blog featuring commentary on PR and social media issues). While I'm considering reviving my Naked PR brand this year, I'm considering taking it in a slightly different direction -- back to its roots. In the meantime, I'm moving most of the original content to other sites I own, saving only a few key posts from the old archives. This one was published on July 21, 2008, and I made some minor updates before moving it to All Indie Writers. In this post I commented on two issues, both of which are relevant to writers. On one hand,…
  • Quick Tip: Treat Your Freelance Writing Client’s Business Like it’s Your Own

    Jennifer Mattern
    27 Jan 2015 | 12:21 pm
    In a comment on a recent post about successful e-book sales also leading to thousands of dollars in freelance writing gigs, I responded to a comment from Amandah Blackwell. And in my response, I basically said that freelancers should treat their own projects as they would treat a client's project, and that they should treat clients' projects as if they were their own. Today I'd like to expand upon the latter part of that. One of the biggest compliments I've received from a client was that he felt like I treated his business as if it was my own. That's not to say I tried to control his…
  • 5 Signs Your Freelance Writing Coach is Holding You Back

    Jennifer Mattern
    26 Jan 2015 | 11:55 am
    If you've ever felt stuck in your freelance writing career, you might have considered working with a coach or mentor. Maybe you've already signed on with one. A good coach can be instrumental in helping you build or grow your freelance writing business. But the wrong coach has the potential to hold you back. I've seen this far too many times over the years. For example, just last year I met a freelance writer who had been taking advice from a writing mentor for about a year. And they didn't have anything to show for it. Basically, they spent a year not growing their freelance writing business…
  • Weekend Reading: Content Marketing Tips and Tools

    Jennifer Mattern
    23 Jan 2015 | 2:58 am
    This weekend, let's focus on content marketing tips and and tools for writers. Whether you're using content marketing to promote your blog, book, or freelance writing business, you're bound to learn something new from at least one of these three resources. Enjoy! Content Marketing Tips: Sage Advice from World Class Writers By Jimmy Rodela at SocialMediaToday.com This post compiles content marketing tips from some of the top writers and marketers on the Web including Neil Patel, Pat Flynn, Jeff Goins, and Mark Schaefer. Tips range from adding your own personality and stories to your content…
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    Chicago Literati

  • Teaching Comics- The Similarities

    alexnall
    31 Jan 2015 | 12:57 pm
    ‘Teaching Comics’ explores cartoonist Alex Nall’s experiences as a teaching artist in two Chicago Public Schools. You can […]
  • Scandal: An Obscene Innocence by Joshua Lukasik

    Joshua Lukasik
    30 Jan 2015 | 12:11 pm
    “In less than twenty-six seconds we were taken from the Peanuts pumpkin patch to a steamy Scandal sex […]
  • Death & Game of Thrones by John Keefe

    Chicago Literati
    29 Jan 2015 | 2:18 pm
    "Ned could and should have done hang over season two like a ghost. The absence of our hero makes us feel confused and strangely empty. You might recognize these as emotions you would actually feel after losing a loving one."
  • The Cats Came Back by Sarah James

    Chicago Literati
    29 Jan 2015 | 12:21 pm
    “Why do you say things like that?” Lucy could feel her cheeks growing warm again. She tried to remember to breathe deeply, like she had been told to do when she felt her cheeks grow warm. “Why? Is it not enough to be with me?”
  • Tweet us a #sixwordstory written by your favorite TV character!

    Chicago Literati
    27 Jan 2015 | 2:42 pm
    Our famous #sixwordstory contest is back! Tweet us a story in six words as written from the perspective of your favorite TV character!
 
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    Denise Drespling

  • Booktube Video: MFA Book Haul

    Denise Drespling
    31 Jan 2015 | 10:47 am
    My book haul video from my MFA residency this year! Books and authors mentioned in the video: Books in my MFA Book Haul: The Ambivalent Memoirist: Obsessions Digressions Epiphanies by Sandra Hurtes Sandra’s web site The Patron Saint of Dreams: Essays by Philip Gerard In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods by Matt Bell Matt’s web site Hysteria by Stephanie M. Wytovich Stephanie’s web site Kin by Kealan Patrick Burke Kealan’s web site Don’t forget to subscribe! Original article: Booktube Video: MFA Book Haul©2015 Denise Drespling. All Rights…
  • 9 Benefits of Audiobooks

    Denise Drespling
    30 Jan 2015 | 5:00 am
    photo from Flickr via Creative Commons from Alper Tecer If you talk to me about books for any length of time, it’s not long before my blatant love of audiobooks shines through. While my most preferred book format will likely always be print books, there is a very special place in my heart for audiobooks. If you’ve never experienced their wonder, it may seem like a strange concept, this listening to someone read a book. But for me, my first introduction to audiobooks was the Stephen Fry recordings of Harry Potter. And let me tell you, I was captivated. It felt to me like my English…
  • BookTube Video: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

    Denise Drespling
    29 Jan 2015 | 10:12 am
    The next book in my 2015 Reading Challenge is a book based on its cover. I chose Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld. View the other books I read for this challenge. Have you ever read book based on its cover? Original article: BookTube Video: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld©2015 Denise Drespling. All Rights Reserved.
  • Tuesday Talks: Is it Rude to Interrupt Someone When They’re Reading?

    Denise Drespling
    27 Jan 2015 | 11:23 am
    Every Tuesday, I’ll post a video about a certain book- or reading-related topic. This week I discuss whether or not it’s rude to interrupt someone when they’re reading. What do you think? Is it rude? Original article: Tuesday Talks: Is it Rude to Interrupt Someone When They’re Reading?©2015 Denise Drespling. All Rights Reserved.
  • When Books Become Movies: Silver Linings Playbook

    Denise Drespling
    26 Jan 2015 | 8:36 am
      I gave the book 4 stars and really liked the way the author, Matthew Quick, portrayed mental illness and the difficulties of day-to-day life. The movie felt too much watered-down for me, like they took a heavy and gritty story and made it more “palatable” for Hollywood. Book Accuracy The differences between the book and movie in this case took a lot away from the characters’ transformation. The book was a tale of a lost man struggling to get a grip on reality, only to find out slowly that what he thought was real, was not. The movie was much simpler—man acts in…
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    A Writer's Journey | A Writer's Journey

  • As You Know, Bob…

    Nat Russo
    25 Jan 2015 | 12:19 pm
    The post As You Know, Bob… appeared first on A Writer's Journey. Psst. Yeah you. I’ve talked to Bob, and you’re pissing him off. He thinks you’re a pretentious know-it-all, and people are leaving the cocktail party in droves. They didn’t come here to listen to the same old stories. Oh bloody hell. That literary agent just walked out. You have any idea how hard it was to get her here in the first place?! Wait. You look confused. Ok, I’ll back up. If you’re a new writer, it’s possible you have absolutely no idea what I’m going on…
  • So You Want To Start A Blog

    Nat Russo
    7 Dec 2014 | 10:45 am
    The post So You Want To Start A Blog appeared first on A Writer's Journey. You know you want to. You’ve considered doing it for a while now, but something always stops you. Maybe you’ve already done it once or twice, but it didn’t feel right, so you swore you’d never do it again. It made you feel uncomfortable. Or worse, it turned you into a slave and you couldn’t handle it. All your friends do it, and they look at you funny when you say “I’m not judging, but I just don’t get it.” You’re tempted, but a trusted friend,…
  • Review: Quirky Claus by Sebastian White

    Nat Russo
    2 Nov 2014 | 8:56 am
    The post Review: Quirky Claus by Sebastian White appeared first on A Writer's Journey. I’m not going to lie. My first reaction whenever a writer asks me to read and review his/her book is usually “I don’t wanna do this…I don’t wanna do this…I don’t wanna do this!” And I really need to get my attitude in check, because I’ve been blessed, lately, with a slew of awesome independently-published books. Quirky Claus is one such book. It’s not often that I’m delighted while reading a book I’m reviewing, but delighted…
  • Serve the Story

    Nat Russo
    15 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    The post Serve the Story appeared first on A Writer's Journey. Many of you who follow me on Twitter have seen this tweet that I send out periodically: It’s all about the story. When deciding what to cut, ask yourself: does it serve the story? #writetip Those of us who have been writing for a while have this ingrained in our DNA. Make no mistake about it, though. We didn’t start our writing career that way. Like any other element of the craft, this is something we had to learn over time. Writing is like a muscle. The more you write, the stronger you get. “Also, the…
  • Erindor Press October Giveaway

    Nat Russo
    12 Oct 2014 | 9:16 am
    The post Erindor Press October Giveaway appeared first on A Writer's Journey. October is here! I don’t know about you, but Fall is my second favorite season (Winter is my first…I’m odd like that). In honor of these gloriously lower temperatures, changing colors, and anticipation of the upcoming holidays, I’m offering a chance to win a signed copy of Necromancer Awakening, or a digital edition for your Kindle reader/app. Also, for the next 7 days, BOTH of my books are on Kindle Countdown Sale on Amazon! I know e-books can be a little pricey at times, so for the…
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    When I should be writing, I'm here

  • Oh, Facebook, you are very silly indeed.

    m.e. welman
    14 Jan 2015 | 8:29 am
    “We have found that using Facebook as a work tool makes our work day more efficient,” Lars Rasmussen, Facebook’s director of engineering, tells WIRED. “You can get more stuff done with Facebook than any other tool that we know of, and we’d like to make that available to the whole world.” Sure, if you work at Facebook, like Lars does from the quote above, then yes, Facebook as a work tool makes sense for getting “more stuff done.” Lars Posted in YouAreAboutToBeFired Group. Unless I am being incredibly naive, I doubt Fortune 500 companies will use Facebook as a work tool…
  • Happy Holidays!

    m.e. welman
    20 Dec 2014 | 9:03 pm
    The post Happy Holidays! appeared first on When I should be writing, I'm here.
  • Today in Oh, Jobs!

    m.e. welman
    30 Nov 2014 | 9:55 am
    Ah, youth. Freshness, vitality, vibrancy of spirit and mind; a body that rebounds and heals quickly, flawless, dewy skin and a mind that should* snap like a trap. (*Youth does not always mean smart.) On the flip side of that youthful energy and spirit is a lack of experience that, alas, only comes with age and time. But hell, most all employers don’t give a banana about that experience thing as much as they want some youngin’ they can not pay too much and boss around a lot since youth usually equals less responsibility outside the workplace. How do employers who want to hire the…
  • My dog wouldn’t look at me when I snapped the photo.

    m.e. welman
    19 Nov 2014 | 2:31 pm
    I asked my dog, “Did you dig that hole you are sitting in?” His response, a lowering of the eyes and silent turn of the head. I believe they call this an admission of guilt. The post My dog wouldn’t look at me when I snapped the photo. appeared first on When I should be writing, I'm here.
  • Today in Oh, Jobs!

    m.e. welman
    18 Nov 2014 | 7:31 pm
    Craigslist, you never let me down, do you? Just when I was giving up hope for a devilishly entertaining job posting a la the Bohemian Chic people (who were on Indeed.com), this gem amongst gems pops up. And it is, indeed, a gift. Posted under Writing/Editing jobs in Los Angeles, I present to you the ‘Win $20,000 If you Can Write A Winner Sales Letter.’ Yes, prospective writing and editing job hunters, you read that right ‘Winner Sales Letter’ and not the correct, ‘Winning Sales Letter’. But there’s so much more contained in this $25 posting, so…
 
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    terribleminds: chuck wendig

  • Flash Fiction Challenge: The SubGenre Blender

    terribleminds
    30 Jan 2015 | 9:17 am
    Last week’s challenge: Must Contain Three Things. This week is one of my favorite brands of challenge — the subgenre smash-up. Your goal is simple: pick one subgenre from each of the two tables below (preferably randomly, using either a die or a random number generator) and then mash those two genres up into a single story. This time around, let’s say you have 2000 words. Write it at your online space, link back here in the comments so we can all see it. You’ve got one week — due next Friday by noon EST. Subgenre Table 1 Haunted House Space Opera…
  • S.L. Huang: On The Subject Of Unlikable Women Protagonists

    terribleminds
    29 Jan 2015 | 4:07 am
    S.L. Huang said she wanted to talk about asshole protagonists, and why they always had to be men. I told her that I am the audience for that post and, I think, so are you guys. As such, here she is to talk about the subject — with a bonus table included! Also, check out her newest — Half-Life, which features high-octane math as a powerful superpower. I love asshole protagonists. Or rather, I love a particular breed of them: protagonists who are brusque and violent, egotistical and snarky, but when the chips are down and the friends they’d never admit they care about are in…
  • Doubt’s Foot In Logic’s Door: Thoughts On Anti-Vaxxer Attitude

    terribleminds
    27 Jan 2015 | 12:21 pm
    So, measles, huh? Let’s just get this out of the way right now: vaccinate your kids. I know, we’re taught to ask questions, we’re taught to be skeptical, we’re American iconoclasts goddamnit and we didn’t get anywhere by getting in line and marching to someone else’s beat and something something patriotism. Except, you’re marching to someone’s beat if you don’t get your kids vaccinated (and more on that in a moment). For now, it’s time to unclench your jaw. It’s time to vaccinate your children. Otherwise, what’s next?
  • New Release: Atlanta Burns

    terribleminds
    26 Jan 2015 | 9:01 pm
    You don’t mess with Atlanta Burns. Everyone knows that. And that’s kinda how she likes it—until the day Atlanta is drawn into a battle against two groups of bullies and saves a pair of new, unexpected friends. But actions have consequences, and when another teen turns up dead—by an apparent suicide—Atlanta knows foul play is involved. And worse: she knows it’s her fault. You go poking rattlesnakes, maybe you get bit. Afraid of stirring up the snakes further by investigating, Atlanta turns her focus to the killing of a neighborhood dog. All paths lead to a rural dogfighting ring,…
  • On The Subject Of Awards

    terribleminds
    26 Jan 2015 | 11:24 am
    I’ve wanted to be a writer since – *checks watch* – since I karate kicked my way out of the dragon cloaca that birthed me. I’m pretty sure I come from a dragon? That’s what my mother told me. MY MOTHER, WHO IS A DRAGON. (Actually, for real, if you see my mother’s feet? You might be inclined to agree. I’m pretty sure that she could scalp a man by gripping it with her foot and just twisting.) I had a momentary desire to be a cartoonist, but for the most part, it was writer, writer, writer. Which means I started writing very early. I’m still one…
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    Be A Better Blogger

  • 6 Blog Design Tips To Ensure Readers Don’t Pull Their Hair Out

    Kevin Duncan
    29 Jan 2015 | 8:59 am
    People often say they don’t know art, but they know what they like. Blogs are similar when it comes to design. People may not be able to quantify what makes a good design, but they sure as heck can tell you what they do and don’t like when they see it. There are minimalist blogs on the web with barely any color. Some see them and think they’re beautiful. Some look at them and are bored to tears. Some people like bright colors, while others like neutral. Some people like giant logos, while others don’t like anything that pushes content down the page. Some people…
  • How To Blog Through Personal Tragedy

    Kevin Duncan
    22 Jan 2015 | 6:15 am
    We all know it’s inevitable. And yet, it catches each and every one of us by surprise. Tears. Heartache. Sorrow. Sometimes, it’s the loss of a loved one. Sometimes it’s losing a job. Sometimes it’s a random tragedy that hits you on a nondescript Thursday afternoon. It doesn’t matter if we are prepared for it or if it blindsides us, because you can’t prepare your heart. It’s going to feel what it’s going to feel. And, eventually, it happens to all of us. Tears. Heartache. Sorrow. To Blog Or Not To Blog If you’re a blogger dealing with…
  • What John Grisham Can Teach Us About Blogging

    Kevin Duncan
    15 Jan 2015 | 9:00 am
    “What does John Grisham have to do with blogging,” you’re probably thinking. The answer: nothing. Also, plenty. You see, Grisham wasn’t always the master of legal thrillers. Before “The Firm,” before “The Pelican Brief,” before any of his 23 bestsellers; John Grisham was a lawyer. And his story — one of perseverance, hard work, and dreams — is one to which all bloggers can relate. After graduating law school, he practiced law for nearly a decade. He was elected to Mississippi’s House of Representatives in 1983. By any tangible…
  • On Podcasts, Southern Accents, and Overcoming Your Blogging Fears

    Kevin Duncan
    8 Jan 2015 | 11:20 am
    It was inevitable. Eventually, someone was going to bring it up. It was only a matter of time. No matter how much I tried to hide, I knew one day I would wake up, check my email, and see it. A podcast interview invitation. Look, I’m a blogger. I write. I might have a background as a teacher and my job might entail leading meetings, but I’m not a speaker. I say “um” too often. I use “don’t” when I should use “doesn’t.” I tend to ramble. And I have a southern accent. Oh my goodness, do I have a southern accent. And yet, here I am being…
  • Your Best Blogging Year Ever Starts Now

    Kevin Duncan
    1 Jan 2015 | 1:50 pm
    A new year is upon us, and with it is our annual tradition of making resolutions we abandon before Punxsutawney Phil has emerged from Gobbler’s Knob. “Get out of debt” gives way to a 20% sale on shoes. “Get organized” is defeated as soon as you walk into your child’s bedroom. “Lose weight” is undone by an evil co-worker who brings doughnuts to the office. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. So why do we make resolutions year after year? We make them because we need purpose and…
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    Cristy Burne

  • 2015: Finish your book or eat grilled crickets

    cristyburne
    13 Jan 2015 | 10:29 pm
    You read it here first: This year I am finally going to finish that book. You know. The one I’ve been writing for THREE YEARS!! It should never have taken this long. I have all the excuses, and it has been a fabulous learning journey, but at the end of the year day, it’s time to […]
  • Diverse books to read in 2015

    cristyburne
    7 Jan 2015 | 12:21 am
    What’s on your reading list for 2015? Any books featuring diverse characters? Julie M. Fiedler recently contacted me about the Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award and prepared a fabulous presentation on the award, which is for diversity in children’s fiction, and was won by Takeshita Demons in 2009. Diverse books to read in 2015 In […]
  • New Year’s declutter uncovers Santa’s work

    cristyburne
    1 Jan 2015 | 6:34 am
    There’s nothing I like more than making lists to mark the start of a New Year, and 2015 is no different. One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to clear out the Piles of Important Things, to leave more space for thinking and writing and creating New Important Things. And while clearing, I found this: It’s […]
  • Super models: science and robotics meet the arts

    cristyburne
    16 Dec 2014 | 5:14 am
    As well as being an amazing scuba instructor, experienced Japanophile, and all-round-fabulous-woman, my lovely friend Sophie Sakka is a humanoid robotics researcher. When we first met, Sophie was teaching a robot to jump. Now, she’s launched a non-for-profit organisation aimed at bringing robotics and the arts closer together, and within the reach of ordinary people. I think Sophie’s terrific, and wanted […]
  • Writing for museums: Meet the crown dragon

    cristyburne
    6 Nov 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Want to be paid to learn new things? Be a science writer! I recently worked as a writer on the Australian Museum’s TYRANNOSAURS – MEET THE FAMILY exhibition, now touring New Zealand. Prior to this job, if you’d said “tyrannosaur”, I’d have screamed “Rex!” and started running. I knew they had teeth, I knew they […]
 
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    Leave the Frigging Marshmallows

  • What is a Writer's Voice?

    28 Jan 2015 | 1:14 pm
              It takes a great deal of experience to become natural.                                                                        —Willa CatherAs a writer, I want to be able to write anything, from any point of view, with varying voices. So why do I worry about myvoice if I must immerse myself in my characters'voices?Speaking loudly doesn't ensure your voice will be…
  • Are you a messy writer?

    15 Jan 2015 | 3:37 pm
    How I start a novel: ...or this one, at least.Some people are planners. They plan out every plot point. They plan all the arcs. They study formulas and beat sheets and structures and I don't know what. Then they get all over me for not knowing every single mark that my characters are supposed to hit.Other people totally poo-poo the planning process. I've had people on various forums snidely tell me to Have fun planning because the rest of us are writing. (Or making troll-like comments on forums?)Nature's model of the process of writing a novel. Image courtesy of Heber Farnsworth on…
  • What question is your novel asking?

    2 Jan 2015 | 11:42 am
    Story Questions vs. Plot QuestionsI ran across Karyne Norton's blog the other day. Karyne is a young adult fantasy writer. She hasn't tried pitching any of her books to agents and has not self-published. She wants the book she does that with to be good and understands that writing a book is a learning process. I respect this. (It might feel familiar to me.) In one of her posts on outlining, she asked, "What is the question of your novel?"It's easier to answer when you know what the question is.This was exciting because it was something that I had my novel group focus on when we…
  • 2 things I learned about the novel process while I wasn't writing my blog.

    19 Dec 2014 | 9:38 am
    Yeah. I haven't been posting. I've been involved in novel writing. Too involved to actually complete a post. I've started several, but never got around to completing them, or proofreading, or any time consuming sort of thing like that which requires effort.I was busy having writing epiphanies. Too busy for blog posts.(Image: http://www.anna-om-line.com/)That's a good thing. That I'm in a period of resuscitation of this thing. But I like actually forming a complete idea on all these little pieces I talk about. It's helpful for me, as a writer, to think about writing in a coherent…
  • Describing Setting: An Exercise

    28 Nov 2014 | 5:58 pm
    Someone in my writing group today was having difficulty moving her character from one location to the next. Yes, we had a writing group on Black Friday. We're writers and we like to spend Thanksgiving weekend writing.She said she always gets stuck when transporting a character from one place to another. After several suggestions, including “Don't just write your characters walking around” and “Why not just put her in the next place?” and “Don't worry about it now. Get through your draft and come back to it later,” she informed us that she felt she needed to write that walk from…
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    The International Freelancer

  • Why It’s So Important to Have Time to Think (and How to Find It)

    Mridu Khullar Relph
    30 Jan 2015 | 12:28 am
    Here’s the thing. You can’t think of big pictures without actually having the time and the space to step back. You need to do this without clients calling you every three seconds, without the to-do lists that weigh heavy on your shoulders, and if you can afford it, a retreat might actually be the best way to do it. We couldn’t afford a retreat this year in time or money, but I found a few other ways to disconnect from everything and take the time to think about the overall scope of my business and my career. Here are a few. The post Why It’s So Important to Have Time to Think (and How…
  • How to Stay at the Top of Your Game

    Mridu Khullar Relph
    27 Jan 2015 | 12:28 am
    My biggest strength—and therefore, my biggest flaw—is that I’m a perfectionist. If I’m doing something, even if it’s a blog post or a small freebie for promotional purposes, I’m going to make sure that it’s something I’m proud of putting my name on. I don’t take shortcuts and I don’t like people who do. This means that I’m overworked and overwhelmed a lot, but it also means that I, at least in my own head, feel that I’m kickass. (It’s also why I’ve learned to say No to a lot of things.) But there’s a limit to how kickass you can be if you’re constantly…
  • Do You Have an Unreasonable To-Do List? Here’s How to Fix It

    Mridu Khullar Relph
    23 Jan 2015 | 12:28 am
    My to-do list is unreasonable. I know and you know that there is no way I can do 103 things (no matter how thinly I slice them) in the 25 hours a week I have available to work. So what am I going to do? Well, first I’m going to blog about it. (Check!) But then I’m going to take the following steps and if you, like me, are suffering from a to-do list that refuses to cooperate and threatens to strip away your sanity, I suggest you give them a try, too. The post Do You Have an Unreasonable To-Do List? Here’s How to Fix It appeared first on The International Freelancer.
  • How I Found Five Additional Hours in My Work Week

    Mridu Khullar Relph
    20 Jan 2015 | 12:28 am
    If my fleeting presence on this blog hasn’t been indication enough, let me tell you, it’s been a busy few weeks in the Khullar Relph household, mostly because of health and family issues. As my hours got reduced and my to-do list threatened to bulge off the page and scatter all over my pristine floor, I decided it was time to optimize the way in which I used my time. Instead of losing hours, I actually gained additional hours in the week after everything settled down. How? Read on to find out. The post How I Found Five Additional Hours in My Work Week appeared first on The International…
  • How to Recession-Proof Your Writing Business

    Mridu Khullar Relph
    16 Jan 2015 | 12:28 am
    I noticed trends, patterns in careers that last long-term and those that fizzle out and die quickly. There are certain types of projects and styles of writing that are affected the most when things go south with the economy and likewise, there are certain things that you can work on, projects you can undertake that might actually pay better in a bad economy. I started keeping a list of these ideas on how to recession-proof your writing career and here are some of them. If you’re looking for a truly recession-proof career, you should be doing a mix of all these things. The post How to…
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    Email Marketing Tips

  • Email Marketing & Public Relations: A Match Made In The Inbox

    Andrea Carter
    30 Jan 2015 | 9:00 am
      In his book How to Get PR for Your Startup: Traction, author and expert Murray Newlands offers these words of advice for today’s business owner: “The business that can influence the media will win the trust of the people – simply because consumers typically decide to purchase from brands they trust and are familiar with.” As someone who works in public relations, I confess, this statement gave me goosebumps. If ever there was a case for the value of public relations (PR), Murray nailed it. My own interests aside, Murray’s point is especially relevant to small business…
  • How To Run Quick & Easy Tests To Optimize Your Marketing

    Jessica Celenza
    29 Jan 2015 | 11:07 am
      You’ve probably heard time and time again about the concept of testing and optimization (a.k.a conversion rate optimization or CRO). But if you’re not quite sure what it means, that’s okay. Optimization refers to the process of improving your marketing efforts in order to maximize your desired business outcome. In other words, it’s all about testing and refining your marketing tactics to ensure they’re delivering the best results possible. How effective is it, you wonder? Accordingly to Optimizely, SaaS companies saw a 17 percent increase in customer engagement after…
  • The Marketers Toolkit: 9 Digital Services You Need To Succeed

    Hunter Boyle
    27 Jan 2015 | 9:12 am
    Email is a critical part of your marketing and sales lifecycle, but it’s only one piece of the bigger digital marketing puzzle. You still need a website, landing pages, compelling content, traffic-driving campaigns, testing tools and analytics to be successful. While there’s no magic service that rolls all of those elements together, here’s the next best thing: AWeber is part of a new digital marketing toolkit featuring nine of the best services in those areas. Plus, the toolkit includes exclusive discounts to get you started. The Best Tools To Optimize Your Digital Marketing Along…
  • 9 Ways You Can Become An Affiliate All-Star

    Olivia Dello Buono
    22 Jan 2015 | 7:00 am
    Affiliate marketing has become a trending topic in the digital marketing community, and for good reason! This low-risk, high-reward opportunity is great for those who want to monetize their love of a product. Despite some claims, affiliate marketing won’t make you an overnight millionaire. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a serious profit. Successful affiliates are advocates for the products they’re referring – and they’re reaping the rewards! Keep reading to find out if affiliate marketing is right for you – and tips on how you can become an affiliate all-star. What…
  • 3 Ways Your Small Business Can Leverage User Generated Content Now

    Olivia Dello Buono
    21 Jan 2015 | 7:00 am
    User-generated content (or UGC, for short) has become a buzzword in the digital marketing world. And for good reason – avid social media users are consuming over five hours of user-generated content per day. So it’s no surprise that fan-powered campaigns have proven to be 20 percent more effective on purchasing decisions than their traditional ad counterparts. UGC can be a great addition to your marketing strategy, all while boosting engagement and awareness for your brand. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that small businesses (and even AWeber) are crowdsourcing content so…
 
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    Robin Writes

  • Fan Friday—Reading Books

    Robin Tidwell
    30 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    Everyone reads books, right? Well, no, in fact, adults read less now than they used to. And as far as books go, no, Facebook doesn’t count! Me, I prefer real books. The smell, the feel, the printed page . . . But I’ll read just about anything in a pinch: cereal boxes were a favorite […]
  • Writer Wednesday—More Marketing

    Robin Tidwell
    28 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    Since there was so much interest last week, I’m expanding the topic of marketing and adding some information that a fellow author sent me. He has had an incredible uptick in sales since using some of these sites, and, as a service to all of you, I decided to test a couple of them myself, […]
  • Prep Monday—Last Weekend

    Robin Tidwell
    26 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    Well, you might say I’m getting a bit discouraged . . . just a bit. Here’s a rundown on the properties we looked at last Monday: The first one had a house. It was cute on the outside, good layout on the inside—the bright blue walls in what would be my office would be the […]
  • Fan Friday—What Do I Do All Day?

    Robin Tidwell
    23 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    Well, first I get up. I mean, doesn’t everyone? Then I get coffee. Again, doesn’t everyone? And then I work—my job, business, whatever you want to call it. All the promo, answering emails, checking my calendar. Oh, and social media and reading the news. Usually I eat breakfast: two slices of bacon. And take my […]
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    Karavansara

  • GreyWorld.co

    Davide Mana
    31 Jan 2015 | 3:24 pm
    I mentioned my work on the new Savage Worlds setting in various previous post. GreyWorld is a new universe that is being developed for Savage Worlds Italia, and I’m the main developer/content writer/jack-of-all-trades. We are starting small, but have great plans (don’t we always?) Today, the official blog for the project is going live… GreyWorld.co will be a gaming blog, and it will collect all my game-oriented writing, ramblings and unrequired opinion. Not just GreyWorld news and designer notes, therefore. My hopes is that the blog will take a life of its own as a gaming…
  • Historical details

    Davide Mana
    30 Jan 2015 | 3:05 pm
    I’ve written about historical accuracy and fantasy in the past. I like doing research for my stories – I happen to read good books and watch interesting video, and have a good excuse to procrastinate, all in the name of quality. Because if I find absolutely ridiculous the armchair experts on Ancient Warfare or other assorted geeks that evaluate the worth of a story by the serial numbers on the chainmail hauberks, I find equally insufferable the worthless hacks that place Jesuits in the Crusades, or wonder what would have happened had the Egyptians not been defeated by the Roman…
  • Writing prompt – Eavesdropping

    Davide Mana
    29 Jan 2015 | 3:36 pm
    Robert DOISNEAU :: At the Café, Chez Fraysse. Rue de Seine, Paris, 1958 So you are sitting in a Parisian café, and you are close enough to listen in. What are they talking about? Write it in the comments, if you like…
  • Remember to sign up for the party!

    Davide Mana
    29 Jan 2015 | 9:19 am
    Just a quick reminder about the Chinese New Year party for The Ministry of Thunder. If you have not signed up yet, there’s still plenty of space…
  • Unknown binding – now known

    Davide Mana
    28 Jan 2015 | 3:13 pm
    As I mentioned in a comment to a previous post, my copy of The Far Pavillions arrived this morning, and this solved the mystery of the unknown binding. The book is a sturdy hardback, originally published in 1981 by an Italian mail order book club. Not very exciting, for an unknown whatever, but it’s ok. Including the postage expenses it cost me less than half the English paperback (that was, in turn, two bucks cheaper than the ebook), and if the cover is pretty blah, well, it’s the story that counts, right? Apart from the unknown binding thing, I was rather curious about the page…
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    No Categories

  • For fighting fire with fire.

    Dylan Kinnett
    23 Jan 2015 | 1:12 pm
    For fighting fire with fire.
  • Submission Strategy Review

    Dylan Kinnett
    8 Jan 2015 | 8:12 pm
    A recent post by Becky Tuch on the Review Review has some good advice for writers. Wouldn’t it be nice if, in addition to all the amazing work editors do with reading submissions, contacting writers, designing issues, balancing budgets and so on, they also had x-ray vision and could see through the walls of your home and inside your desk and know at once all the great work that’s hidden there? And would then call you up and ask you to submit it? And would even put that submission into the mail for you? But they don’t. They won’t. It’s up to you to get your work…
  • Litblog Roundup at the End of 2014

    Dylan Kinnett
    20 Dec 2014 | 11:13 am
    For the final Litblog Roundup of 2014, I have an exciting announcement to make. The Litblog Roundup is moving to a new home. Starting in 2015, it will appear as a regular feature, or “beat” on a new website devoted to literary conversation called Real Pants. I’m excited to be a contributor to this new project, along with writers Leesa Cross-Smith, Elisa Gabbert, Justin Taylor, Amber Sparks and view more, as well as a handful of HTMLGiant alums: Kristen Iskandrian, Mike Young, and Mark Cugini among them. The site will launch in Janurary at realpants.com and you can follow on…
  • Litblog Roundup 12: the New, New Republic, #NaNoWriMo Wrap-up, and More

    Dylan Kinnett
    8 Dec 2014 | 4:00 pm
    The weekly liblog roundup features the latest highlights from the world of literary blogs. The New, The New Republic Today in Tabs, and yesterday, has coverage of recent developments at the venerable publication, The New Republic. I can’t do a better roundup, so I’ll quote two entire paragraphs. Established white dudes in journalism felt a disturbance in the Forceyesterday afternoon, that soon erupted into a full-fledged Clone War. History’s luckiest roommate, Chris Hughes, whobought The New Republic in 2012 had apparently,in his trademark passive-aggressive style, allowed…
  • Litblog Roundup 11: Literary Obituaries, Broadsides, and Communities

    Dylan Kinnett
    30 Nov 2014 | 7:12 pm
    It seems there’s nothing quite like an obituary to get people talking. For example, an obituary can encouage some blog entries about that obituary, and then some social media posts will link to the blog entries about the obituary. It’s enough to say that two obituaries were noteworthy this week: about crime novelist P.D. James and Pulitzer-Winning Poet Laureate Mark Strand. David is to Goliath as Everything is to Amazon There’s an ongoing story of David and Golaith, where the role of Golaith is played by Amazon and the role of David can be played by pretty much anything…
 
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    Agent Hunter

  • Meet the Agents: An interview with Sally Holloway

    Harry Bingham
    28 Jan 2015 | 3:15 am
    This is an interview with literary agent Sally Holloway. Before becoming an agent, Sally commissioned and edited a wide range of authors, from film stars and politicians to academics and journalists, for Penguin, Headline, Virgin and Fourth Estate. She is interested in a broad range of non-fiction, especially on subjects with international appeal. The link [...]
  • Meet the Agents: An interview with Lindsey Fraser

    Harry Bingham
    21 Jan 2015 | 6:17 am
    This is an interview with literary agent Lindsey Fraser. Lindsey ran Scottish Book Trust with Kathryn Ross from 1991 until 2002 before starting Fraser Ross Associates Literary Agency and Consultancy. Her Twitter page is here, the Fraser Ross Associates page here and last but certainly not least, her Agent Hunter Profile! [...]
  • Meet the Agents: An interview with Kate Shaw

    Harry Bingham
    14 Jan 2015 | 4:54 am
    This is an interview with literary agent Kate Shaw. Kate has been a literary agent since 2001, working first at Aitken Alexander before joining the Viney Agency in 2009. She works very closely editorially with my clients, helping them to shape proposals and manuscripts before submitting them [...]
  • Meet the Agents: An Interview with Laura Williams

    Harry Bingham
    31 Dec 2014 | 3:48 am
    This is an interview with literary agent Laura Williams. Laura has been working at Peters Fraser and Dunlop since 2011. She is building a list of fiction and non-fiction, and is currently looking for edgy literary and commercial fiction, crime and thrillers and high-concept young adult. Her twitter page is here, her agency page [...]
  • Meet the Agents: An interview with Madeleine Milburn

    Harry Bingham
    24 Dec 2014 | 5:26 am
    This is an interview with literary agent Madeleine Milburn. Prior to having her own Agency, Madeleine was the Head of Rights and a Literary Agent at the Darley Anderson Literary, TV & Film Agency where she built a strong list of authors over five years. She was also Deputy MD of the Children’s Literary Agency. [...]
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    Long Tail Writing

  • Full Time Misc Man: aka Writer

    James Livingood
    29 Jan 2015 | 12:22 pm
    There is a famous quote that a writer lives many lives. In today’s digital economy, this verbiage has never been more true. Beyond the typical writer, I also have to edit, market, build, and keep an eye on publishing details. Those […] The post Full Time Misc Man: aka Writer appeared first on Long Tail Writing.
  • First book, First day, new author! Think Like a Skinny Person (Lite)

    James Livingood
    16 Dec 2014 | 12:50 pm
    This 99c Kindle is my first book, so I am hoping it does well. In this book I discuss some of the tips that helped me lose 75lbs. Those tips came from skinny people around me. This all started with […] The post First book, First day, new author! Think Like a Skinny Person (Lite) appeared first on Long Tail Writing.
  • Social Media Pain

    James Livingood
    2 Dec 2014 | 4:14 pm
        Social media is a major pain. Everyone appears to tout how important social media is, and all the major accounts prove it. 3,000 followers, hundred likes, fan of this and of that. However, when looking into conversion ratio, […] The post Social Media Pain appeared first on Long Tail Writing.
  • Overcoming Creative Writing Fear

    James Livingood
    10 Nov 2014 | 4:36 pm
    Writing fear comes in so many different flavors. Each fear can paralyze a writer and freeze their word counts. Many of these fears are why writers tend to think about writing a lot, instead of writing. With each fear, there […] The post Overcoming Creative Writing Fear appeared first on Long Tail Writing.
  • Ups and Downs of Writing

    James Livingood
    15 Oct 2014 | 9:29 pm
    Writing is not as technical as one may expect. Instead, the act of writing is considered artistic. Many find this classification very true for two reasons: they are a starving artist, and there are many highs/lows. This article will focus […] The post Ups and Downs of Writing appeared first on Long Tail Writing.
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    rrhicks

  • Stalag 17, Rikers Island, and Bill de Blasio

    rolandrhicks
    19 Jan 2015 | 6:34 am
    Originally posted on Forlorn Hope Publishing:This photo was published last week in the midst of the NY Times expose of all things Rikers Island, right around the time it was announced that Rikers would make extensive changes to its solitary confinement practices – in 2016. The disaster that is Rikers fits my month long…
  • A Tale of Two Paintings and The Falcon Cover

    rolandrhicks
    17 Jan 2015 | 4:57 pm
    The Falcon, as a few readers guessed before seeing the cover, is George B. McClellan. The falcon cannot hear the falconer, so the poem goes, and it certainly describes McClellan and various and sundry parts of the federal government through 1862. I had two choices for a cover portrait of McClellan and his horse – a […]
  • A Pack of Gum, the Chain of Command, Hideous Bus Accidents, and Please Bring on the Zombie Apocalypse

    rolandrhicks
    16 Jan 2015 | 9:00 am
    Wondering today if this is what we have become – a place where an elected official with at least 19 years of formal education writes out a warrant for a nine year old over a $1.38 packet of stolen gum; the police chief who receives said warrant thinks its pretty uncool but does the time […]
  • A Quick Ad Before I Go Back to Ranting about Bullies …

    rolandrhicks
    15 Jan 2015 | 3:48 pm
    A Signed Pre-release Edition of THE FALCON  The Falcon, Book Two of William Hanlin’s Civil War will be out shortly. From now until February 2nd, a special pre-release edition is available. Each copy will be personalized & signed. Everyone who purchases an autographed copy will be able to download the Kindle version for free for a […]
  • Slush Piles and Jailhouse Lawyers

    rolandrhicks
    12 Jan 2015 | 6:02 pm
    Originally posted on Forlorn Hope Publishing:There are a lot of myths – in and out of prison – about the ubiquitous ‘jailhouse’ or ‘prison’ lawyer. Those inmates that really do have all the time in the world to dedicate to a case and think outside the box. The ‘box’ here being reality. Lawyers in…
 
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    Josh Spilker

  • Woodbine Report: What Went Wrong, What Went Right & What’s Next

    Josh Spilker
    7 Jan 2015 | 10:36 am
    Hey, I realized recently that no one knows how much another author sells. We kinda just guess and imagine that everyone is killing it. But in reality, it’s a lot harder than it looks. For instance, last year when the Boost House compilation The Yolo Pages broke, I wanted to know how many copies they […]
  • 2015: My Writing Focus & My One Word

    Josh Spilker
    4 Jan 2015 | 7:02 pm
    People set writing goals every year. And I also do something called My One Word. (I’ll tell you more about that at the end.) Everyone says you need a measurable goal, and most of the time that means “finish my novel” or “write 1500 words a day.” Usually, they crash and burn (good for you if that’s […]
  • Get ‘Hyped’ :: Taco Jehovah Vid, What

    Josh Spilker
    1 Jan 2015 | 6:41 am
    More on Taco Jehovah here.
  • Who Else Wants a Woodbine Postcard?

    Josh Spilker
    30 Dec 2014 | 5:28 pm
    President Obama visited Woodbine recently so I sent him a postcard. HIt me up for your own postcard.
  • Most Popular Posts of 2014

    Josh Spilker
    18 Dec 2014 | 8:18 pm
    Here are the most popular posts from 2014. There’s a lot of interesting stuff. And to keep up with everything, join up for Weekly Writing Goodness. It’s easy. It’s fun. You get discounts and cool stuff to read. Totally worth it. Let’s see the top posts and see you next year… Which Alt Lit Writer […]
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    The Art of Writing - Austin Ray Miller

  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

    Austin Miller
    26 Jan 2015 | 10:34 pm
    Image sourced from Flickr It's been a long time since I've read something so provocative that it pervades my thoughts weeks after consuming it. Like one of Thompson's infamous chemical binges--I've been treated to a dose of Gonzo Journalism that seems to flare up and grab me by the throat without warning. What is this groovy substance and where can I find more of it? As I searched for the answers to this question my Amazon wish list began to overflow with tomes of New Journalism by writers such as Thompson and Wolfe. But time? Where to find the time!? Perhaps what is most…
  • Black Science: Nitty, gritty, and far from...

    Austin Miller
    26 Nov 2014 | 1:26 pm
    Image sourced from comiclist.com Black ScienceAuthored by Rick Remender (creator/writer of Fear Agent and Deadly Class), Black Science is a refreshingly twisted take on the ever common literary theme of time travel. It's been a long time since I've read any science fiction that has cojones and puts just as much emphasis on its characters as it does the science and action of the narrative.The protagonist Grant Mcckay is a bit of an antihero, on one hand he is the genius charismatic leader of a band of anarchist scientists, on the other hand he's a self centered *insert expletive* who has no…
  • Smart Contracts: A Step Towards Dystopia or Utopia?

    Austin Miller
    21 Nov 2014 | 11:45 am
    image from occupycorporatism.com It's not often I take the time to blog about non "literary" types of writing. However, after listening to Karl Schroeder's claim (author of Lockstep) on Wired's A Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast, that the future of contract law (and other legal fields) would be in the hands of the internet and even potentially in the hands of A.I..--my interest was undoubtedly peaked. First off, what are Smart Contracts?For those of you who are not accustomed with current legal and technological trends, which is probably many of us (sorry to…
  • Lucky Peach Magazine: What you Don't Know Might Kill you

    Austin Miller
    11 Nov 2014 | 7:16 pm
    Image from I just Read About That Why David Chang's (owner of Momofuku) quarterly journal is a much appreciated dose of amphetamine for food journalism.By Austin MillerBob Dylan famously stated "He not busy being born is busy dying" in his 1964 song "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)." The same could be said for the state of journalism on many fronts—including food journalism. So whether the food "journalist" you have been following are lacking critical insight or you find yourself in a literary slump—let me help you connect with something that will help you get busy "being born" once…
  • How to Defeat Writer's Block

    Austin Miller
    5 Nov 2014 | 12:28 pm
    Image taken from deviantART Why all Authors Should Also be HistoriansIt’s a fact—all writers get stuck. But what should we when the painstaking proverbial writer’s block hits us over the head? Should we slip into a Requiem for a Dream type of depression? Or do we saddle up like John Wayne and brave the elements? One idea is to brainstorm—they say that the creative side of our brain works non-linearly. The most conducive environment to brainstorming is indeed one of chaos—the less linear, the more creative. I’ll leave you to your own devices as you try and figure out your own…
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    M.C. Simon Writes

  • Life Hacks Day 2

    M.C. Simon
    31 Jan 2015 | 1:33 pm
    Life Hacks Day 2 By Luiza Ioana   Put dry tea bags in your smelly shoes or gym bags; they will absorb the unpleasant odor. Clothes shrank too small? Soak them in hot water and hair conditioner for five minutes… Read the rest
  • Law of Attraction

    M.C. Simon
    30 Jan 2015 | 3:52 pm
    Law of Attraction By Jean Claude   Let’s take a look at the law of attraction from the point of view of the Kabbalists. I tend to be very skeptical of any new fad or mode of thinking that is… Read the rest
  • Will You Drink Coffee With Me? 5 Discoveries About Coffee Lovers

    M.C. Simon
    29 Jan 2015 | 5:45 am
    Seeing so many readers interested in my last articles on coffee, I thought it would be nice to know what preferences each one of them has. The internet is filled with coffee recipes, most of which look so delicious… you… Read the rest
  • Blog Tour – Hook

    M.C. Simon
    28 Jan 2015 | 9:10 am
    Title: Hook Author: K.R. Thompson Genre: Fantasy/Fairytale/Adventure Hosted By: DRC Promotions   Synopsis Archie Jameson sat in the dark corners of the print shop, dreaming of adventure. Today, it found him. Caught in a chilly October storm, he ducked into… Read the rest
  • WHY Do We Label People?

    M.C. Simon
    25 Jan 2015 | 11:20 am
    A new baby is born on this planet. Each second, four new babies are coming on this planet. New souls are destined each moment to start their journey in human bodies! What are we doing when we hear a new… Read the rest
 
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    Powerful Views

  • Let Life Take Over…

    Karan Gandhi
    15 Jan 2015 | 11:30 pm
    The pressures this trauma The anxiety and the drama, The fast local trains Humongous traffic in by-lanes. Where should I run To get a glimpse of the sun, Where must I flee For fresh air to breathe! At the sea shore My heart I pour, My legs you caress You speak to my stress. A tinge of white and blue Kissing the golden hue, Be it morning or night What a pretty sight! Come touch the sea It’s glory you must see, Come and surrender Feel the breeze tender. Within the wet sands In natures hands, Come, look at the grace Let nature embrace. Far from the towers The political powers, Distant from the…
  • Beautiful Blue Eyes

    Karan Gandhi
    5 Jan 2015 | 10:59 pm
    Beautiful blue eyes Looking to the skies Seeking relief I am done with grief! Masked in blue jeans Driving to lush greens Time to ponder I will not wander. Be still my soul While I am sole Blessings of the world Come to me twirled. Time to introspect Back in retrospect Thank the creation For this incarnation. In moments spare I’ll continue to stare The universe profound With miracles abound. Nothing to complain Or swear in vain Give thanks and be wise Through my blue eyes!Filed under: Photoliscious, Poet In Me Tagged: blue, eyes, Photography, poetry
  • Neon Dreams

    Karan Gandhi
    2 Jan 2015 | 11:17 pm
    New strengths and fresh thoughts emanate in a New Year. I am pleased to introduce a novel and innovative section to this blog – called “Guest Articles” at the advent of 2015. These articles would be contributed/ written by fellow bloggers from the Blogosphere. I am glad to present the first post in this category ‘Neon Dreams’ written by a dear friend, Biswadarshan Mohanty. Biswadarshan is a freelance writer based in Dubai. He writes fiction, poetry and travel narratives. He derives his inspiration from his travel experiences.   Neon Dreams Dreams shattered, it mattered…
  • Heartfelt wishes to my most cherished…

    Karan Gandhi
    22 Dec 2014 | 7:56 am
      Dearest Ronak and Madhu,   To begin with, a quote from the Bible:   Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not envy. Love does not boast. Love is not proud. Love is not rude. Love is not self-seeking. Love is not easily angered. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil. Love rejoices with the truth. Love always protects. Love always trusts. Love always hopes. Love always perseveres. Love never fails.   -1 Corinthians 13: 4-8       Am sure both of you know that you’ll mean the world to me. This blog post is just to reiterate that my…
  • O Mount, Your Splendor!

    Karan Gandhi
    21 Dec 2014 | 7:26 am
    Mountains blue With drops of dew Laden with ice Nature’s disguise. Your beauty amazes I have no phrases To define your glow The splendor of snow. Upon your turf Where mountaineers surf You welcome them all To the highland call. At your peak With a golden streak In conditions dire You stand and inspire. Thanks a million Rather, thanks a zillion You protect and keep Without any sleep. You keep us shelter Whether cold or swelter You guard and defend To the very end. The help the protection The unconditional affection Thanks dear mount Your blessings we can’t count!Filed under: Photoliscious,…
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    Freelance Writers' Lounge

  • How to Start a Profitable Blog in 6 Easy Steps

    Sania Lali
    22 Jan 2015 | 1:46 am
    You know, most people take blogging as a joke, right? They think it’s just a hobby or a fad. If you try to tell them you can make money blogging, they just nod skeptically and say, “Sure, give it a try.” It’s not that these people don’t want you to chase your dreams. They do. [...] The post How to Start a Profitable Blog in 6 Easy Steps appeared first on Freelance Writers' Lounge.
  • Are You Making these 7 Job Application Mistakes?

    Sania Lali
    12 Jan 2015 | 1:38 am
    Let’s face it. Nobody wants to go through hundreds of resumes when hiring. It’s a tedious and time consuming job and most hiring managers want to get it over with as soon as possible. That’s why most resumes end up in the garbage after just a glance. In this post, I’ going to discuss some [...] The post Are You Making these 7 Job Application Mistakes? appeared first on Freelance Writers' Lounge.
  • 3 Ways Your Writing Skills Can Make You Rich in 2015

    Sania Lali
    5 Jan 2015 | 2:29 am
    How many of you have resolved to dedicate more time to writing in 2015? I definitely have. And when writing is your profession like it is mine, more writing means more money. So if you’re planning to use your writing talents to earn money in 2015, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, I’m going [...] The post 3 Ways Your Writing Skills Can Make You Rich in 2015 appeared first on Freelance Writers' Lounge.
  • 6 Easy Steps to Break Into Freelance Writing With No Experience

    Sania Lali
    18 Dec 2014 | 3:34 am
    Do you want to make money online with your writing skills but don’t know where to start? If yes, this post is just for you. Over the past couple of weeks, a lot of people have asked me how to find freelance writing jobs online without any experience. In response to your questions, I decided to write a post to [...] The post 6 Easy Steps to Break Into Freelance Writing With No Experience appeared first on Freelance Writers' Lounge.
  • 7 Effective Ways to Become a Better Writer

    Sania Lali
    11 Dec 2014 | 5:23 am
    Want to become a better writer? I’ll show you how you can transform your writing with just a few easy steps. Contrary to popular belief, writing isn’t a talent you’re born with. It’s a skill you develop over the years. You know those favorite authors of yours? Their writing is actually as bad as yours. [...] The post 7 Effective Ways to Become a Better Writer appeared first on Freelance Writers' Lounge.
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    Write to Done

  • The Winner of the WritetoDone Flash Fiction Contest 2015

    Mary Jaksch
    31 Jan 2015 | 2:06 am
    A complete story in 500 words?Is it possible?The winning story of the WriteToDone Contest (read it below) shows what a talented writer can do with 500 words.The contest was judged by the WTD team, Mary Jaksch, Editor-in-Chief and Vinita Zutshi, Associate Editor,  together with Head Judge,  Dr. John Yeoman of the Writer’s Village.The judges considered the following questions and awarded points from 0 – 5 for each.Were the guidelines followed (a maximum of 500 words of fiction)?Was the title enticing and appropriate for the story?Were spelling, punctuation and grammar correct…
  • How to Write Faster: The Brainwave Blueprint

    Mary Jaksch
    28 Jan 2015 | 11:09 pm
    Just imagine being able to write faster.Wouldn’t that make a huge difference?I’m not talking about becoming a writing automaton who spits out 5000 words a day.Because speed isn’t everything; it has to be balanced with quality. If you write 5000 words a day but most of what you write is rubbish, then it’s not worth cranking up your speed.Right?Improving your writing speed by 40% or more would substantially increase your productivity—if your quality were to stay the same or even improve.I’ve always regarded myself as a slow writer. But just recently, I had an…
  • How to Create a Sustainable Writing Income [Interview with Danny Iny]

    Mary Jaksch
    26 Jan 2015 | 12:40 am
    Creating a sustainable writing income is a struggle.I’m sure you know that!But maybe it’s important to look at some less-obvious applications of your writing skills.Check out what Danny Iny has to say about this in the following interview.As you may know, Danny is a blogger who started four years ago with no connections and no subscribers.He’s now become one of the most successful entrepreneurs on the Net.What gives me the most pleasure about his rapid rise to the top is that he’s done it with integrity.You can download the interview here (right-click the link; for…
  • 5 Easy Tips to Fix a Boring Online Bio

    Judy Lee Dunn
    23 Jan 2015 | 1:44 am
    I’d started working with two new clients in the same week.This was a few years ago, when I was a blogging and social media consultant.They both asked me smart, insightful questions on the very first day—stuff that made me feel how lucky I was to be playing in their sandbox.“I want you to help me figure out who I am,” said one, an accomplished executive coach with a highly specialized, very cool niche, “and how to build an online identity that shows how unique I am.”I wanted to get up right then and there and do a backflip. (I didn’t, though. There wasn’t enough room in…
  • How to Be Creative and Find Your Brilliance: 10 Superb Articles

    Mary Jaksch
    16 Jan 2015 | 12:47 am
    Have you ever wished you were more creative?Of course you have!I mean, who hasn’t?The problem with creativity is that it can get crushed so easily.A negative remark from a teacher long ago, or an insensitive quip from a friend can be all it takes to stymie your ability to create.Luckily, there are ways to restore your innate creativity.In this post you’ll find ten of the most potent articles on creativity.You’ll learn how to work with your creativity, instead of against it so that you become more creative and uncover your essential brilliance.Click on the titles to read…
 
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    joelmarkharris

  • 3 Reasons Why You Need to be a Good Storyteller even if You're Not a Writer

    29 Jan 2015 | 5:51 pm
    People like to be entertained. Stories have been around for as long as humans could talk. In fact the first cave painting is thought to be 27,000 years old. Today, most people either watch television, read books or go to movies because they want a good story. People make sense of the world around them through stories. All the major religions are communicated through stories. We can relate to each other through storytelling. But what most people don’t realize that you need to be a good
  • Have We Lost Traditional Heroic Values?

    22 Jan 2015 | 9:15 am
    We think of a hero as somebody who has positive traits, as someone who is virtuous and overcomes enormous obstacles. The first idea of the hero came from Greek plays like Hercules, Achilles and Odysseus. (The word hero actually comes from the Greek protector or defender.) These Greek heroes were morally perfect, even if they had physical weak spots, as is the case with Achilles and his heel. They struggle for the greater good using their strength and courage. They are examples of what we should
  • 6 Productivity Tips from a Journalist, Film Producer, Novelist, Screenwriter, and Overall Management Junkie!

    15 Jan 2015 | 7:40 am
    You might say I’m a busy guy. Among other things, I’m I novelist, film producer, editor, journalist and screenwriter. (I’m exhausted just writing it!) Right now I have three books on the go, editing a new anthology, and writing and producing two films. Oh and I almost forgot I’m also writing a comic book. Writers and many other artistic professionals need to think more like a small business owner. Art always comes first but if you hope to make money then business needs to come a close second.
  • The Number 1 Most Important Life Lesson You'll Ever Learn

    8 Jan 2015 | 9:45 am
    As humans we are fairly fallible and as Spock says, illogical. We tend to be so short-sighted, only thinking as far ahead as a day, a week—a month at most. How many times have you said I’m going to be doing this exactly a year from now? Unless it’s something fun like a big vacation I would guess probably never. One exact year from now I will be at my favourite coffee shop at 3:00 clock with my best friend as we laugh about something funny that happened at work. Or I will be working at my dream
  • Should Nero be Playing the Fiddle for Hollywood?

    1 Jan 2015 | 10:19 am
    If I was one prone to believe in conspiracies, I would almost believe Seth Rogen and Sony planned this all from the start. I mean they couldn’t buy the sort of publicity that they got for The Interview. The scandal was all over Facebook, and Twitter lit up like a Christmas tree. It provided us, on the sidelines, with juicy entertainment and a bit of a mystery story that is probably more entertaining than the film itself. I haven’t seen it so I couldn’t say for sure but I sure enjoyed the Cold
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    Text and Academic Authors Association Blog

  • 6 Tips for selecting the right textbook publisher

    Dionne Soares Palmer
    28 Jan 2015 | 6:33 am
    Selecting the right publisher for your textbook is key to the success of your project, so it’s important to find a good match. Allen R. Angel, author of A Survey of Mathematics with Applications (9th Edition), and an algebra series, now in its 8th edition, and Patricia Heyman, author of International Cooking: A Culinary Journey (2nd Edition) share the following 6 tips to consider when comparing publishers: Consider the editorial approach of each publishing company. Look for a publisher that will allow your voice to come through in the finished textbook and will make layout and art…
  • Amazon offers new tool for creating etextbooks, Kindle Textbook Creator

    TAA
    27 Jan 2015 | 6:24 am
    Amazon has a new tool, Kindle Textbook Creator, to help educators and authors prepare, publish, and promote etextbooks and other educational content that can be accessed on Fire tablets, iPad, iPhone, Android smartphones and tablets, Mac, and PC. Kindle Textbook Creator, offered through the new KDP EDU segment of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, can be used to turn PDFs of textbooks and course materials into Kindle books and upload them to KDP in just a few simple steps. With KDP, authors can earn royalties of up to 70%, while keeping their rights and maintaining control of their…
  • Textbook crafts: How to make a valentine from a used textbook

    TAA
    26 Jan 2015 | 6:37 am
    What better to way to say “I love you” to the textbook writer in your life than to make them a valentine using textbook pages? This valentine can be used to embellish a gift box too! What you will need: A used textbook (two pages) A paper cutter Stapler Red yarn Step One: Tear two pages out of a used textbook. Step Two: Use a paper cutter to cut four 1″ x 10″ strips from the textbook pages. Step Three: Cut strip one to a length of 6.5″, cut strip two to a length of 7.5″, cut strip three to a length of 8.5″, and cut strip four to a length of…
  • How to publish an article in an academic journal: Avoid rookie mistakes

    Tanya Boza
    22 Jan 2015 | 11:01 am
    I have reviewed an insane amount of articles this past year and have noticed that many of these articles should never have been sent out for review, because they were missing key components. The authors of these articles thus waited three months for someone to tell them that they do not have a clear argument, that there is no literature review, or that they need to describe their ethnographic methods. Sometimes they waited this long or longer only to hear other fairly generic advice. I frequently am in the process of submitting an article to a journal. As such, I was inspired to write this…
  • The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: January 23, 2014

    Libby Becker
    22 Jan 2015 | 11:00 am
    This week’s most useful posts are a great mix of academic, grant, and textbook content—plus a few “fun” pieces. Each week I roam the internet, from Google searches to Twitter feeds, to find articles that I think you all would be interested in. My hopes are that you find at least one or two every week that are helpful to you and your writing. This week is no different other than I have a favor to ask of you (I rarely ask for favors!). If you have a favorite scholarly, academic, or textbook writing blog, share the title or link in the comments section below. Even though I roam the…
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    Write Nonfiction NOW!

  • Evaluate Your Progress: Nonfiction Writing Prompt #39

    Nina Amir
    28 Jan 2015 | 12:15 am
    It seems like just yesterday I composed my list of goals and wrote a vision for 2015. Now the end of January has arrived. It feels like the month flew by! It’s time for an honest evaluation of my progress: Have I made strides toward achieving my goals? That’s the focus of this writing prompt. The majority of people set goals but never look at them again. You won’t get far that way! Hopefully, you did, indeed, set goals and create a written vision (or a vision map) for the New Year. (Click here to read the first in a three-part series of posts on setting goals.) It’s…
  • What Not to Do When Working with an Editor

    Nina Amir
    26 Jan 2015 | 12:35 am
    No matter how you publish, you need to turn your work over to an editor. If you traditionally publish, the publisher typically provides editors. (Yes, more than one.) If you self-publish, you must hire a similar team of editors. Doing so ensures you produce a book that stands up to industry standards, which means your final product doesn’t stick out of the pack as “indie.” However, once you gather your editorial team, you need to know how to ensure these professionals want to continue working with you. You don’t want them to fire you! That’s what Blake Atwood…
  • Bestseller Status is Not About Book Sales

    Nina Amir
    21 Jan 2015 | 12:21 am
    Lately, I’ve been writing a lot about how to write bestsellers and how to create a career as a bestselling author. I don’t want you to think, however, that becoming a bestselling author is all about money. Of course, for publishers (even indie publishers), success is equivalent to sales, which means money. But not every author defines success in this manner, and there are other important reasons to strive for bestseller status. For your book to become a bestseller it must sell a lot of copies. In fact, it must outsell the other titles in its category. Sometimes that equates to a handsome…
  • Who Said Becoming a Bestselling Author Was Easy?

    Nina Amir
    19 Jan 2015 | 12:31 am
    No matter where I teach or speak, writers meet me with the same complaints. Aspiring authors say the necessary tasks required to achieve their goals—and dreams—of becoming successful, bestselling, published authors feel too difficult, occupy too much time, focus on business more than craft, and, worst of all, put their writing on hold. I understand these arguments. I use to make them all myself, and sometimes I still feel like complaining. Yet, I continue to use and to recommend the strategies that cause these complaints—because they work. They make it easier and more likely for writers…
  • 3 Ways to Overcome the Most Common Obstacle to Success

    Nina Amir
    14 Jan 2015 | 12:34 am
    Some writers have visions of grandeur and wholeheartedly believe they can achieve the big dreams and goals they have for themselves and their careers. More commonly, writers—like a lot of other people—doubt their ability to achieve success. Therefore, they create goals and dreams that fit the mental construct they have created. They think and dream small. In my last post I wrote about attitude as the biggest obstacle you must overcome if you want to succeed as an author. Thinking small relates to attitude, because it stems from limiting beliefs and thoughts about yourself. To succeed as a…
 
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    Unique Web Copy

  • Unique Web Copy’s Ad on PlaidDadBlog.com

    Angie Papple Johnston
    21 Jan 2015 | 8:21 am
    Unique Web Copy is a proud sponsor of the Plaid Dad Blog (PlaidDadBlog.com). The post Unique Web Copy’s Ad on PlaidDadBlog.com appeared first on Unique Web Copy.
  • Video: How to Move Cards on Trello

    Angie Papple Johnston
    19 Jan 2015 | 6:45 am
    How to Move Cards on Trello Using Trello as project management software is easy, and it’s ideal for running multiple regular projects at one time. If you use Trello, you’ll work with cards. Moving cards from one list to another is simple, as shown in the video. (There’s no sound; don’t worry. You’re not doing anything wrong!) The post Video: How to Move Cards on Trello appeared first on Unique Web Copy.
  • Why You Need an eBook (And How to Write One)

    Angie Papple Johnston
    9 Dec 2014 | 1:57 pm
    Surviving the Emotions of Divorce If you want people to join your mailing list, follow your blog or otherwise give you their valuable time, an eBook might be the way to go. Aside from the obvious email snag, you’re going to do something really awesome with your eBook: you’re going to set your company apart from the rest by providing a real, tangible gift that establishes you as the subject-matter expert in your field. Really, you do need an eBook. But where do you start? The eBook Outline: Good or Bad? When you’re writing your website copy or product descriptions, outlines…
  • 7 Surprising Ways You Can Create Awesome Headlines Instantly: Secret Tools Exclusively for Pros

    Angie Papple Johnston
    27 Oct 2014 | 1:02 pm
    If you’re blogging–and you should be–the only way to get people interested in your posts is to start with an awesome headline. That’s easier said than done, though. Here’s a springboard to get you started: use one, two or more of these fantastic words to create something that’s snappy and engaging. 1. You Readers want to feel like you’re talking directly to them, and there’s no better way to do that than… um, to do that. 2. Surprising Nobody wants crappy, recycled ideas. They want you to WOW them with something new, and using the word…
  • Why Aren’t We Ranking?

    Angie Papple Johnston
    17 Oct 2014 | 4:15 pm
    Not sure why you’re not ranking in the SERPs? Maybe you’re not keeping up on the latest best-practices.   Click to view slideshow. The post Why Aren’t We Ranking? appeared first on Unique Web Copy.
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