• Most Topular Stories

  • Introducing Rainmaker: The Complete Solution for Content Marketers and Online Entrepreneurs

    Brian Clark
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    Four years ago this month, Copyblogger Media was born. Up until that point, I had launched several businesses off of Copyblogger, with several smart partners. Each of those individual businesses were killing it and had me involved, but those smart individuals weren’t collaborating with each other … because why would they? The five of us convened in a Denver conference room – the first time the group had ever met in person. In just three hours, we worked through the seemingly impossible task of merging five companies into one new entity, with everyone’s equity interest and…
  • Writers: Revising & rewriting is part of the craft AND the business. Learn to do it without fear.

    Inkygirl: An Illustrated Guide For Writers
    Debbie Ridpath Ohi
    9 Sep 2014 | 5:03 am
  • Fiction writing: A lie that tells the truth

    Carol Despeaux
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    “We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.” –Pablo Picasso   In his Ted Talk, “Why a Good Book is a Secret Door,” children’s author Mac Barnett quotes Picasso and says he loves writing for children because they make the best audience. Children are so willing to enter other worlds. He says good fiction will leave us with the feeling that the characters are real even though we know that they are not.
  • Don't Bend

    Advice to Writers
    21 Sep 2014 | 9:01 pm
    Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly. FRANZ KAFKA
  • How to Predict if Your Novel Will Be Popular

    Quips and Tips for Successful Writers
    16 Sep 2014 | 3:14 pm
    There’s a big difference between getting your novel published and writing popular novels. This research shows how to predict popular novels. If you can convince literary agents and publishing houses your writing will be popular, you’re more likely to get your novel published. In Outlining Your... {If you want to read this article, click the title and bounce on over to Quips and Tips for Successful Writers! Otherwise, go well, my friend.}
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    Advice to Writers

  • The Great Enemy of Clear Language is Insincerity

    22 Sep 2014 | 9:01 pm
    The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink. GEORGE ORWELL
  • Don't Bend

    21 Sep 2014 | 9:01 pm
    Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly. FRANZ KAFKA
  • Writing is More Than Just the Making of Statements

    20 Sep 2014 | 9:10 pm
    Writing is more than just the making of a series of comprehensible statements: it is the gathering of connotations, the harvesting of them, like blackberries in a good season, ripe and heavy, snatched from among the thorns of logic. FAY WELDON
  • Writing is Linear and Sequential

    19 Sep 2014 | 9:02 pm
    Writing is linear and sequential; Sentence B must follow Sentence A, and Sentence C must follow Sentence B, and eventually you get to Sentence Z. The hard part of writing isn’t the writing; it’s the thinking. You can solve most of your writing problems if you stop after every sentence and ask: What does the reader need to know next?” WILLIAM ZINSSER
  • Constantly Refine and Expand Your AutoCorrect Settings

    18 Sep 2014 | 9:04 pm
    If you use a computer, constantly refine and expand your autocorrect settings. The only reason I stay loyal to my piece-of-shit computer is that I have invested so much ingenuity into building one of the great auto­correct files in literary history. Perfectly formed and spelt words emerge from a few brief keystrokes: "Niet" becomes "Nietzsche", "phoy" becomes  ­"photography" and so on. Genius! GEOFF DYER
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    Daily Writing Tips

  • Conjunctive Adverbs

    Maeve Maddox
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:03 pm
    Conjunctions are words that link words, phrases, and clauses and provide a smooth transition between ideas. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. Some adverbs can also join or show connections between ideas. When they do this, they are called conjunctive adverbs. Conjunctive adverbs show comparison, contrast, sequence, cause-effect, or other relationships between ideas. The most common conjunctive adverbs are: accordingly also besides consequently conversely finally furthermore hence however indeed instead likewise meanwhile moreover nevertheless next nonetheless otherwise…
  • Advance vs. Advanced

    Maeve Maddox
    21 Sep 2014 | 9:57 pm
    A reader has asked for a post on the incorrect use of advanced in the sense of advance. Both words are used with an assortment of meanings. This post will focus on only two: advance (adjective): provided or carried out in advance; prior. advanced (adjective): far on or ahead. The adjective advance is properly used in the following expressions: advance booking advance ticket sales advance publicity advance notice advance warning The adjective advanced is properly used in the following contexts: The king, who was advanced in years, busied himself with works of charity. (The king was old.) By…
  • The Suffix -esque

    Maeve Maddox
    20 Sep 2014 | 9:31 pm
    The suffix -esque is frequently used by pop-culture writers who enjoy making adjectives from celebrity names: Paris Hilton dons Madonna-esque fingerless gloves as she takes to the decks in Washington  Never Say Never (sung in Beiber-esque voice, of course) Keith Ford, Looking Very Clooney-esque The suffix -esque means, “resembling or suggesting the style of.” This is a regular French suffix that corresponds to the English suffix -ish, as in reddish. Four words with this suffix entered English ready-made from French. arabesque: Middle French arabesque was a noun meaning “the Arabic…
  • Innuendo

    Maeve Maddox
    19 Sep 2014 | 9:19 pm
    The word innuendo derives from a Latin verb meaning “to nod to, to signify.” As a legal term in the Middle Ages, innuendo was used to introduce the explanation of a word that was previously uncertain. For example, in modern conversation, we often find ourselves explaining an ambiguous pronoun: “Mary and Gilda went to the fair. She–I mean Mary–paid for the food.” A medieval lawyer might have said, “Mary and Gilda went to the fair. She–innuendo Mary–paid for the food.” From being used to clarify, the noun innuendo has come to be used as a way to imply a thought without…
  • Avoid Awkward Joint Possessives

    Maeve Maddox
    18 Sep 2014 | 9:12 pm
    Sometimes the best way to deal with conundrums of jointly owned possessions is to retreat and rewrite, especially when one of the owners is represented by a pronoun. When the owners are named, the rule is straightforward enough: When two nouns are used to indicate common ownership, the sign of possession is placed after the second noun: “This is a picture of John and Mary’s house.” (two people own one house) When two nouns are used to show separate ownership, add the sign of possession to both nouns: “John’s and Mary’s cars are in the garage.” (two people, separate cars) These…
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    Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

  • 434 GG Ya Shank: The Made-Up Swear Words of 'The Maze Runner'

    18 Sep 2014 | 2:00 pm
    Insults, swear words, and world-building for young adults: In an interview with James Dashner, I got the inside scoop on the language of "The Maze Runner."
  • 433 GG Why People Mix Up the Pronouns "Me" and "I"

    11 Sep 2014 | 2:00 pm
    I can tell you which pronouns to use, but it takes a linguist to explain WHY people get confused. Here, Gretchen McCulloch reveals the fascinating reason that people struggle with sentences such as "Billy and me went to the store."
  • 432 GG When to Use a Comma Before 'Because'

    4 Sep 2014 | 2:00 pm
    A tip about when you need a comma before the word "because," an interview with Peter Sokolowski from Merriam-Webster about the philosophies behind dictionary definitions, and a tidbit the phrase éminence grise.
  • 431 GG Words That Aren't Words

    28 Aug 2014 | 2:00 pm
    In this podcast, you get a Quick and Dirty Tip about where to put periods and commas relative to quotation marks, an excerpt from Ammon Shea's book "Bad English," and a tidbit about a 1921 poem called "Alphabet of Errors."
  • 430 GG The Plural of Money. This Is Your Brain on Writing. Egregious

    21 Aug 2014 | 2:00 pm
    In this week's podcast, Grammar Girl discusses the plural of money, how to use "egregious," and talks with Ellen Hendriksen from The Savvy Psychologist podcast about the findings from an experiment done by German researchers in Germany who studied people’s brains while they were actively writing. Read the transcript: http://bit.ly/1AUhYp5
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  • 一騎当千

    22 Sep 2014 | 7:18 pm
  • 一点仏

    22 Sep 2014 | 7:18 pm
  • アンナの投資競馬

    22 Sep 2014 | 7:17 pm
  • ICHI-GEKI 一撃

    22 Sep 2014 | 7:16 pm
  • ALBA horse club

    22 Sep 2014 | 7:16 pm
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  • Introducing Rainmaker: The Complete Solution for Content Marketers and Online Entrepreneurs

    Brian Clark
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    Four years ago this month, Copyblogger Media was born. Up until that point, I had launched several businesses off of Copyblogger, with several smart partners. Each of those individual businesses were killing it and had me involved, but those smart individuals weren’t collaborating with each other … because why would they? The five of us convened in a Denver conference room – the first time the group had ever met in person. In just three hours, we worked through the seemingly impossible task of merging five companies into one new entity, with everyone’s equity interest and…
  • Here’s How Shane Snow (Founder of Contently) Writes

    Demian Farnworth
    17 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    If you are going to run a company around a slogan like “Tell Great Stories,” or rally your troops by adopting the Native American proverb “Those who tell the stories rule the world,” then it pays to build an environment that fosters great writing. Large photographs of your favorite writers covering one wall is appropriate. As is a collection of your favorite books along another wall. And that’s just the environment Shane Snow has created for the employees of his company. Shane is the co-founder of Contently, a high-end brand publishing firm. In fewer than five…
  • Which of These New WordPress Themes is Right For Your Audience?

    Jerod Morris
    16 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    Is your website’s design the right fit for the audience you want to attract? I urge you to do more than simply nod and say “yes.” Really think about it. Who are the people who make up your audience? What are their worldviews? And what specific design elements will allow your visitors to have a human experience on your website — the kind that lays the foundation for them to know you, like you, trust you, and ultimately join your audience? Choose the design that best serves your audience If you run a church website, there are design elements that fit your needs that…
  • Follow This Superstar’s 7-Step Example to Dominate Your Industry

    Sonia Thompson
    15 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    I woke up like this. I woke up like this. Flawless. After listening to “Flawless” five times, Evette went to the mirror, and told herself the lyrics in the Beyoncé song were true. She believed it. She internalized it. She embodied it. Ready to dominate, Evette strutted over to her computer to fire off a blog post. A post that would enable her to claim her rightful place atop her industry. The same way Beyoncé dominates her industry. You’ve met an Evette before, right? Someone who thinks she’s so flawless, all she has to do is show up and everyone will bow down to…
  • Why You Must Not Ignore The Call to Adventure

    Chris Guillebeau
    10 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    The following is an excerpt from Chris Guillebeau’s new book, The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life. In ancient myths, most quests were ones of discovery or confrontation. A kingdom was under siege, so it required defending. A minotaur in a faraway land guarded a magic chalice, and only the hero could wrest it back. Happily, real-world quests offer more possibilities than storming castles and rescuing princesses, and with some exceptions modern-day quests can be placed into a few broad categories. Travel is an obvious starting point. As I…
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  • Fiction writing: A lie that tells the truth

    Carol Despeaux
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    “We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.” –Pablo Picasso   In his Ted Talk, “Why a Good Book is a Secret Door,” children’s author Mac Barnett quotes Picasso and says he loves writing for children because they make the best audience. Children are so willing to enter other worlds. He says good fiction will leave us with the feeling that the characters are real even though we know that they are not.
  • How to stay passionate in your life and writing, Part one

    Carol Despeaux
    19 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    Some days I feel as if I’m still twelve and other days a hundred and twelve. Some days I feel young because I have so many things I want to do in the time I have left. And other days, I feel old because I’ve already done so much—I survived my childhood, graduated college, raised a family, worked for somebody else, ran my own business, went back to graduate school, changed businesses, buried my parents, and lost two aunts, two uncles, and two cousins in the span of two years. So when I heard that one of my favorite authors Isabel Allende was giving a Ted Talk on aging, I couldn’t wait…
  • Think big as you revise your manuscript with these nine steps

    Carly Sandifer
    8 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    You say you’re revising your draft, but are you really? In the past, I’ve thought I was revising a manuscript when in fact I was really just editing it. A revision is just that: a “re-visioning” of the story – looking at it in a whole new way. It’s easy to think you’re revising when what you’re really doing is making small edits, reworking sentences, and tightening up scenes and dialogue. Those things are important but don’t go far enough to truly create a publishable manuscript. Instead, when you’re ready to dive into revisions, think big. Open your mind and pen…
  • Don’t miss a beat: Get into the heart of your character

    Carol Despeaux
    1 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    In a previous post I wrote about a little technique I learned from author and writing instructor, Rhay Christou, who teaches for the online Lawson Writer’s Academy. “Develop your characters through dance” highlights a short video by actor Kevin Cox demonstrating how to unlock your body and mind in order to delve deeper into your characters. Another tip I learned from Rhay is called, “Don’t Dance. ACT!” In this exercise, you pick a moment in your scene where your character is having (or is supposed to have) an emotional response to something. Choose one emotional beat. Now get up,…
  • Deep editing: Make each word count

    Carol Despeaux
    20 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    In July, I took Margie Lawson’s Immersion Master Class, an intensive three and a half day workshop on deep editing. My brain is still teeming with all the tips we learned to turn our manuscripts into bestsellers. One day, as we reviewed one of my first-draft chapters in my current project, we came across a short paragraph about a character’s driving skills. In the scene, my character is driving along a dark, windy road in the mountains at night when he comes across my protagonist walking along the side of the road after she’d just seen her maybe-boyfriend sucking face with another…
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    Writing Forums

  • Writing utensil vs. keyboard

    22 Sep 2014 | 11:46 pm
    Hello, this is my first thread, and I hope that it is appropriate in the category. There are two tools that are mainly used to write. The writing utensil and keyboard. I am wondering... Which is faster? A certain form of writing enabled by the writing utensil; or keyboard typing? If... Writing utensil vs. keyboard
  • Remember When?

    22 Sep 2014 | 11:28 pm
    I'll start out with a couple. Remember when video game controllers were called joy sticks and only had one button? Remember when microwave popcorn was REALLY cool and was a luxury? Remember when parents would make their kids stay outside and play in the dirt? Now share a few of your childhood... Remember When?
  • Inspiration for writing an horror novel: What scared you the most?

    22 Sep 2014 | 11:02 pm
    Hi! I decided that my first novel will be an horror or fantastic drama. I want to write a novel to scare people so I would like to know what makes you scared when you watch a movie, walk in a city or in the woods? What sounds scare you? Are there any animal that scare you or any type of people... Inspiration for writing an horror novel: What scared you the most?
  • Unnatural Campus

    22 Sep 2014 | 10:49 pm
    UNNATURAL CAMPUS GM: TheApprentice Co-GM: KingType The Unnatural World: For longer than records here on Earth will tell, there have always been supernatural creatures hiding among the human race and out of sight. Perhaps there was a time long ago when they showed themselves to the... Unnatural Campus
  • Tavern's Member Picture Gallery.

    22 Sep 2014 | 10:34 pm
    Welcome To The Tavern's Member Picture Gallery​ Any recent Pictures you want to share. Welcome to the Tavern’s member Picture Gallery. If you’ve got a Photo of you/friends You want to share with the forum feel free to post it... Tavern's Member Picture Gallery.
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    The Purdue OWL News

  • Purdue Writing Lab Annual Reports for September 4, 2014

    4 Sep 2014 | 2:59 am
    Purdue Writing Lab Annual ReportsBy Joshua M. PaizThe Purdue Writing Lab is pleased to announce that its annual reports will become freely available to the public beginning with the May 2013 - May 2014 Annual Report. This report provides the reader with a glance into activities at the Purdue Writing..
  • Purdue OWL: Writing Press Releases for August 20, 2014

    20 Aug 2014 | 9:35 am
    Purdue OWL: Writing Press ReleasesBy Joshua M. PaizThe Purdue OWL is pleased to announce the launch of our latest resource. This resource provides our users with a guide to writing press releases. This includes a discussion of the rhetorical situation of press releases, as well as an overview of the ..
  • Purdue Writing Lab Fall 2014 Hours for August 4, 2014

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

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

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

  • Inventive Writing Prompt Round-up #8

    Charlotte Dixon
    20 Sep 2014 | 12:37 am
    Here's the latest collection of prompts from my Tumblr blog!  Enjoy--and go write. #54 What in the world happened here? #55 "And it's too late, baby, now, it's too late."  (lyrics by Carole King) What is it too late for?  To have a baby, to get married, to change a bad habit? Write about it. #56 Thunder boomed and lightning flashed perilously close to the tree beneath which she sat.  Yet still she didn't move.  Why?  #57 It was a change long overdue.  She had lost the excess weight she had carried all those years. What a wonderful thing.  And yet when she…
  • Writing in France (Or Anywhere)

    Charlotte Dixon
    17 Sep 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Bon jour. I am in Pezenas, France, down near Montpelier and Beziers (where we stayed Friday night and had an experience on the free bus trying to find our hotel that still makes me laugh out loud every time I think of it).  We--six of us--are staying in a house that could more accurately be called a mansion, with three floors and a grand marble entry on the inside, and a koi pond and swimming pool with a swag of oleander dripping above it on the outside. Every morning at 9:30 we meet to workshop attendee's stories and discuss our book in common (Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes).  Our…
  • Guest Post: One Would Think

    Charlotte Dixon
    16 Sep 2014 | 12:10 am
    Please welcome my friend, Kayla Dawn Thomas to the blog today.  She is the author of Swept Up, and the newly released (today!) Narrow Miss.  I love her thoughts on publishing the second time around and I know you will, too! One Would Think      by Kayla Dawn Thomas One would think that by the time she publishes her second book, the experience would be old hat. The writer could press publish on Amazon with a confident smile and stroll into the kitchen to pour a celebratory glass of wine. Maybe then she’d take a peaceful, barefoot walk on the beach hand in hand with her lover, the wind…
  • Inventive Writing Prompt Round-up #7

    Charlotte Dixon
    13 Sep 2014 | 12:48 am
    Why yes, I am in France, thank you for asking.  And through the magic of the interwebs, I present to you the weekly round-up of posts from my Tumblr blog. #46 The party was over, but when they started the clean-up, they found…. #47 Would the last one out the door turn out the lights, please? Where’s everyone going? #48  The sun rose higher and higher in the sky, baking the land beneath and all the people in it. #49 The band played on, the baton twirler twirled, the princess waved from the float as the parade passed.  Meanwhile, on the sidelines a different drama occurred.  Write…
  • Traveling Discomforts and Mercies

    Charlotte Dixon
    11 Sep 2014 | 12:13 am
    When you read this, I'll likely be sitting on an airplane from Seattle to Paris.  It'll be cramped and the flight attendants will be speaking in French and I'll have no idea what they're saying and the person next to me will look like they just got out of prison, or the hospital. Yeah, you're not feeling too sympathetic to me, are you? Because, Paris. And the south of France. I know.  I can't wait. But just because I'm gone doesn't mean the blog won't continue.  As mentioned in a previous post, I hope to be able to blog from Pezenas, unlike last…
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    What Kate Did Next

  • New Tricks

    11 Sep 2014 | 12:43 am
    How are you all? Back to school and 5.30am starts here, and a regular writing schedule. Yes, 5.30am. Trying to get two children out of the house by 6.15 is a nightmare (school starts at 7am here). There is a lot of coffee involved. But I love that new pencil case, new shoes feel. Even after five years I find myself hankering for autumn leaves and log fires and opaque black stockings, although it is high 40s and humid outside. I want to be cooking stews and French onion soup, but the hot shamal is screeching in the garden heralding sandstorm season. Oh joy. At least the frangipanis are…
  • 1000 Miles

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

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

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

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

    Chuck Sambuchino
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:05 pm
    I am a traditionally published thriller author. My latest book No Time to Die just hit shelves this week. When I first started writing suspense fiction, though, I had very little idea what I was doing. It took a humble amount of trial and error to get in a groove and overcome basic rookie errors. Now, seven years later, I like to think I’ve figured out some tricks of the trade. I’ve also been extremely lucky to receive the support and mentorship of some of the top names in the biz, like Jack Reacher’s creator Lee Child and the late Michael Palmer. So without further ado, here are some…
  • How to Find and Keep a Literary Agent — Agent One-on-One Boot Camp (With Critiques) Starts Oct. 1

    Chuck Sambuchino
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:02 pm
    How do you hook an agent right away, keep them hooked, and make the most of your new publishing relationship? In this Boot Camp starting Oct. 1, 2014, “How to Find and Keep a Literary Agent,” you’ll learn how to get a literary agent’s attention through a great submission, and also how to navigate the process of working successfully with an agent. You’ll also work with an agent online (the instructing agents are from Sandra Dijkstra Literary) to review and refine your all-important query letter and the first five pages of your novel. As always, seats in the boot…
  • WD Poetic Form Challenge: Terzanelle

    Robert Lee Brewer
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:58 am
    It’s that time again: time for another poetic form challenge. And, as you may have guessed, we’ll focus on the terzanelle this time around. Click here to read the guidelines on writing the terzanelle. Once you know the rules for the terzanelle, start writing them and sharing here on the blog (this specific post) for a chance to be published in Writer’s Digest magazine–as part of the Poetic Asides column. (Note: You have to log in to the site to post comments/poems; creating an account is free.) Here’s how the challenge works: Challenge is free. No entry fee. The winner (and…
  • John Sandford: Bonus WD Interview Outtakes

    Adrienne Crezo
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:34 am
    Few journalists find the level of success that earns a Pulitzer Prize, and few authors can brag that every novel they’ve written has landed on The New York Times bestseller list. Even fewer writers can claim both—but John Sandford can. Before he began a decades-long career at the top of the thriller charts, the writer born John Roswell Camp was a successful journalist. His career included stints at Southeast Missourian and the Miami Herald, a place on the Pulitzer shortlist in 1980, and the Distinguished Writing Award of the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1985. In 1986, Camp was…
  • Write a Book in a Month: More Writers Share Their Experiences & Advice

    Jessica Strawser
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:26 am
    Sometimes it’s a lone writer who’s been putting off a story idea for too long, and decides it’s now or never. Sometimes it’s a pair or a group determined to find out what they can achieve by sharing self-imposed deadlines and strong pots of coffee. Sometimes it’s peer pressure or curiosity about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.org), that challenge that rallies ever-increasing numbers of writers around the globe every November to band together in pursuit of a 50,000-word “win.” Book-in-a-month challenges take all forms, fueled by all stripes of writers with all manner of…
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    The Break Room

  • TBR 227 - The Dirty Dirty Show - Voicemail (469) 665-9827

    11 Sep 2014 | 7:55 pm
    Taste Buddies is all new with a Canadian treat from one of our biggest fans: the Maple Bacon chips from World of Flavours. Plus, we put The Blues Brothers up for the Double Flame HOF, and in the news we debate the Ray Rice debacle, Kevin Sorbo hates the jews, and we explore real telepathy. Listen and subscribe in iTunesRSSFacebookTwitter
  • TBR 226 - The Faithful Fifty - Voicemail (469) 665-9827

    4 Sep 2014 | 9:11 pm
    This week brings us an alcohol version of Taste Buddies, as we take on Mad Dog 20/20 Dragonfruit and Blue Raspberry. Plus, a full segment based on Dustin's first date with F13 in San Francisco, and we review the worst TV movie ever: the Unauthorized Saved by the Bell movie.
  • TBR 225 - Power Bottom - Voicemail (469) 665-9827

    28 Aug 2014 | 8:37 pm
    We're joined by F13 of Cinema Diabolica and a new Tank to play the Rotten Tomatoes game! Plus we taste the hottest taco ever for Taste Buddies: Torchy's Tacos' Scalding Pig. Listen and subscribe in iTunesRSSFacebookTwitter
  • TBR 224 - Egyptian Sour Cream - Voicemail (469) 665-9827

    21 Aug 2014 | 7:20 pm
    Get ready for possibly the worst version of Taste Buddies ever, followed by two full segments of HOF material; Double Dead HOF and Double Flame HOF! To contribute to @OptimisticDoom's cause, go here: http://tinyurl.com/vstlvest Listen and subscribe in iTunesRSSFacebookTwitter
  • KasemRunDMC.mp3

    20 Aug 2014 | 7:04 am
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    The Heart and Craft of Life Writing

  • Tips for Dealing with Details

    11 Sep 2014 | 2:56 pm
    Several pages into a highly recommended memoir, a factual error popped my eyeballs nearly out of my head. Can you find the mistake?In September 1963, the Cuban and Russian governments placed           nuclear bombs in Cuba.In October 1963, the Cuban Missile Crisis ended….In November 1963, John F. Kennedy was assassinated.In December 1963, I was born….The Cuban Crisis was in 1962! Both that event and the JFK assassination are indelibly burned into my memory. The author can’t remember, I thought, but how could something this obvious slip by the…
  • Accentuate the Positive

    1 Sep 2014 | 1:10 pm
    Ac-cent-tchu-ate the positiveE-lim-inate the negative Latch on to the affirmativeDon't mess with Mr. Inbetween.Who doesn't recognize the value of this sage advice from the 1945 hit sung by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters? But you may not realize the power of this advice for your writing when applied at the micro-level of sentences. I'm not talking here about avoiding negative topics. I'm talking about the value of rephrasing sentences from negative statements to positive. One of the most compelling examples of this is found in an online article, Kurdish Female Warriors On the Front Lines…
  • Five Powerhouse P's for Your Memoir Opening

    25 Aug 2014 | 10:00 am
    Everyone knows that the first paragraph of a story is the most important and often determines whether a reader will continue or set the story aside. Follow tips in this guest post from Matilda Butler to learn how to gain instant reader connection with a hot opening paragraph. Read the tips, then put them into practice by entering the “First Paragraph” Contest described below the tips. Don’t dawdle about the contest. Entries are due by midnight PDT September 3. It’s only a few words, so you can do it! If you are already nodding your head, then here's the link to the contest rules…
  • Mystery Solved

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

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

  • 10 Reasons Why Mike Rohde’s Sketchnote Workbook Is Even Better Than His First Book

    Roger C. Parker
    18 Sep 2014 | 9:01 am
    Mike Rohde’s The Sketchnote Workbookshows, once again, why authors should immediately follow-up their first book with a workbook. The success of Mike Rohde’s first book, The Sketchnote Handbook, was pretty much a sure thing long before its publication, because of Mike Rohde’s excellent author marketing and monthly updates while he was writing it. By approaching sketchnoting from two different perspectives–introducing the topic and covering the basics in The Sketchnote Handbook, then focusing on applying the basics in The Sketchnote Workbook–offers significant…
  • Lessons from David Meerman Scott’s New Rules of Selling

    Roger C. Parker
    31 Aug 2014 | 2:04 pm
    Click the graphic to find out how David Meerman Scott has redefined the rules of selling in today’s Internet-driven world. David’s SlideShare presentation provides a concise and visual introduction to his latest book, The New Rules of Sales and Service. Invest 7 minutes (or less) Even if you spend less than 7 minutes with the presentation, it will inspire you to reevaluate the relationship between your online marketing and sales of your products and services. The New Rules of  Sales and Service provides the “missing link” between Internet marketing and sales success…
  • How to Position Your Book to Sell More Copies in a Crowded Field

    Roger C. Parker
    30 Aug 2014 | 4:42 am
    Click the graphic for 10 questions to help you sell more copies of your book by setting it apart from competing books. Using Andy Crestodina’s Content Chemistry: An Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing as a case study, I came up with 10 questions you can use to compare your proposed book to existing books in your field. Positioning your book I wanted to help you write the right book by focusing on your book’s competition as well as your readers and your ideas. I’ve even included a Book Positioning Checklist to help you plan your book from a balanced perspective.
  • Are You Ready for Content Marketing World?

    Roger C. Parker
    22 Aug 2014 | 4:51 am
    There’s still time to register for Content Marketing World 2014, the world’s largest content event! Content Marketing World 2014 is just two weeks away, which means there’s still time to register and take advantage of the best prices. Content Marketing World 2014 takes place September 8-11, 2014. It’s produced by the Content Marketing Institute, whose blog produces daily in-depth articles about content creation, content curation, conversions, content promotion, SEO, and social media marketing. Speakers from A-Z Choose from over 80 keynotes, sessions, and labs. Review…
  • Free MindManager Template for Planning A Book

    Roger C. Parker
    21 Aug 2014 | 4:25 am
    Save time planning books, ebooks, or white papers with a free Mindjet Book Planner template. The latest addition in my Mindjet Dashboard Series, Using a Book Planner MindMap to Save Time Planning Books, E-books, and White Papers, can boost your writing productivity. Book planning tips plus mind map template The article contains advice, a free template, and examples. Advice. The article describes how to use a mind map to jumpstart your writing progress by organizing your ideas before you begin to start. You’ll learn the questions to ask as you organize your book into sections, and plan…
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    Writing Forward

  • Do You Need a Creative Writing Degree to Succeed as a Writer?

    Melissa Donovan
    18 Sep 2014 | 1:00 am
    Do you need a creative writing degree? Young and new writers often ask whether they need a creative writing degree in order to become an author or professional writer. I’ve seen skilled and talented writers turn down opportunities or refuse to pursue their dreams because they feel their lack of a degree in creative writing means they don’t have the credibility necessary to a career in writing. Meanwhile, plenty of writers with no education, minimal writing skills, and scant experience in reading are self-publishing, freelance writing, and offering copywriting services en masse.
  • How to Make Time to Practice Writing Every Day

    Melissa Donovan
    16 Sep 2014 | 1:00 am
    Practice writing to become a true master of the craft. By now, most of you have heard of the 10,000-hour rule, which was made famous in the book Outliers. The rule states that in order to become an expert at something, you need to put in 10,000 hours of practice. In other words, a master writer has already spent 10,000 hours writing. Working at it for 40 hours per week, it would take 250 weeks (or almost five years) to become an expert. If you can only spend half that time, or 20 hours per week, on your craft, it would take ten years to master. For people with busy lives…
  • How to Defeat Writer’s Block

    Melissa Donovan
    11 Sep 2014 | 1:00 am
    Let’s diagnose and defeat writer’s block! Wikipedia defines writer’s block as “a condition, primarily associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work.” However, I have come to believe that in most cases, writer’s block is a symptom, not a condition. Before we can cure writer’s block, we have to diagnose it. Writer’s block is almost always presented as some mysterious disease. A writer sits down to work and nothing happens. The ideas are gone. The words don’t come. It must be…
  • From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: Rock and Rhyme (Poetry)

    Melissa Donovan
    9 Sep 2014 | 1:00 am
    From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: Rock and Rhyme Poetry. Today’s post features an exercise from my book, 101 Creative Writing Exercises, which is filled with exercises for various forms of writing, including fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. It will inspire you while imparting useful writing techniques that are fun and practical. This exercisecomes from “Chapter Eight: Free Verse.” The creative writing exercises in this chapter focus on free-form poetry writing. I chose this exercise because it’s fun and inspiring. It asks you to use a song as a foundation for writing…
  • Seven Ways Your Physical Environment Can Help or Hinder Your Writing

    Melissa Donovan
    4 Sep 2014 | 1:00 am
    How is your writing environment? Please welcome guest author Ali Luke with a post on making adjustments to your physical environment to help your writing. Do you struggle to get into writing? Perhaps you sit down with your favorite notebook on a regular basis, but you never seem to get far. Your kids start arguing. Or you get a backache. Or you’re distracted by that neighbor doing yet another bout of DIY. Or an urgent email pops up for your attention. External factors aren’t the only (or the biggest) distractions that affect our writing, but they make a surprising difference in our…
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    We Are Change

  • Breaking: The U.S Has Launched Air Strikes In Syria ‘The sky is full drones’ (VIDEO)

    Luke Rudkowski
    22 Sep 2014 | 11:19 pm
    We Are Change AUTHOR: JOE FLETCHER http://www.addictinginfo.org The United States began to launch air strikes Monday night into Syria. The strikes are meant to increase military action against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. According to Politico, Pentagon Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement: “The decision to conduct these strikes was made earlier today by the U.S. Central Command commander under authorization granted him by the commander-in-chief.” The Pentagon said the use of fighter jets and bombers are in use. The United States, along with Jordan, Saudi…
  • Syria says US informed it about strikes on ISIL

    Luke Rudkowski
    22 Sep 2014 | 11:16 pm
    We Are Change Syria says the US had informed Damascus before carrying out airstrikes against the Takfiri ISIL militants’ positions inside the Arab country. http://ht.ly/2NX2st According to Syrian state media, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement released early on Tuesday that Washington informed Syria’s permanent envoy to the United Nations that strikes would be launched against the ISIL terrorists in the province of Raqqa. On Monday night, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement that US army and “partner nation forces are undertaking military action…
  • Police put Poconos residents under martial law

    Luke Rudkowski
    21 Sep 2014 | 9:00 pm
    We Are Change Assault weapon, ammo found in woods in search for accused killer of trooper http://www.philly.com/ CANADENSIS, Pa. – Search teams combing the dense, rugged woods not far from where two state troopers were shot on Sept. 12 – one fatally – have discovered an AK-47-style assault weapon like the one suspect Eric Frein was known to have. That discovery and other clues, state police Lt. Col. George Bivens said Sunday, convinced authorities the searchers were closing in on the accused killer. “We’re pushing him hard,” Bivens said. “He’s…
  • Arrested, Handcuffed Man Shot to Death by Georgia Police

    Luke Rudkowski
    21 Sep 2014 | 8:57 pm
    We Are Change Official story says a gun was found beneath the deceased man. Salon / By Joanna Rothkop A Savannah, Georgia man was  shot to death by police after he was found with a gun, kicking out the back window of a patrol car. Why was he kicking out a cop car’s window? Because he had already been arrested. And handcuffed. Then how could he still have a gun? The story remains suspiciously cloudy. CNN reports on the  strange death of Charles Smith: The incident occurred shortly after 11 a.m. in the historic coastal city, Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Chief Julie Tolbert said.
  • Giant MQ-4C Triton surveillance drone flies across the United States

    Luke Rudkowski
    21 Sep 2014 | 8:51 pm
    We Are Change With a wingspan of 130 ft, it will join others to “provide near worldwide coverage” in 2017. by Megan Geuss http://arstechnica.com Kelly Schindler/US Navy This morning, a giant Navy surveillance drone landed at Patuxent River base in Maryland after flying over the Gulf of Mexico and the American Southwest from an airfield owned by Northrup Grumman in Palmdale, California. The test flight represented the first cross-country flight for the MQ-4C Triton drone after 15 previous test flights.The drone flew 3,290 nautical miles over 11 hours, a Navy press release said.
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  • “Bruce Covey Is in Love with Language”: Poetry Review by Gabrielle Freeman

    22 Sep 2014 | 10:30 am
    Bruce Covey, Change MachineNoemi Press, 2014122 pages[ordering information below]I’m just going to come right out and say it. My favorite poem in Bruce Covey’s new collection Change Machine is a one-liner, in both senses. Here is the entirety of “I’m a Bitty Cupcake”: “But if you fuck with me, I’m gonna kick your fuckin ass, you know what I’m sayin?” This poem makes me laugh out loud. It’s not often enough that humor is used in poetry. But it isn’t just the unexpected hilarity that combining a frosting-topped bit of wonderful with an f-bomb laced threat that makes this…
  • How to Choose the MFA Program That Is Right for You

    19 Sep 2014 | 7:55 am
    Here’s a thoughtful list of twelve things writer Pam Houston suggests you consider when selecting your MFA writing program:1. Do the professors who teach in this program actually know how to write?I know, it sounds crazy, but very few first-year grad students have actually read the work of the faculty they are about to study with for the next two-to-three years. Just because somebody got a teaching job at an institute of higher learning does not mean they can write well and, perhaps more importantly, it doesn’t mean they write in a way that is going to make you trust and respect them to…
  • Celebrating Converse Students and Graduates: A List of Online Pubs

    8 Sep 2014 | 5:04 am
    Even I am weary of the constant me-me-me of the blogging/social media life, so I thought it would be fun to help spread the word about some of the publications of the fabulous Converse low-residency MFA students and graduates. And to stave off impatience, I decided to focus on online pubs only…so you can check out their fine writing RIGHT NOW, which I urge you to do.Presented in random order:Sarah M. Cooper, PoetryGraduate, 2014“Grandma’s House” “…Your stairs leading down had one loose board where we would hide pebbles from the lake and bird feathers, ingredients we called…
  • Me-Me-Me! And MY Story in Tahoma Literary Review!

    5 Sep 2014 | 8:40 am
    Thanks to Tahoma Literary Review for publishing my story “Gratitude Journal.”  It’s a rather bitter and angry story, so I’m happy to find such a delightful home for it…and it’s always exciting to be published in the inaugural issue of a literary journal, almost like getting to crack the bottle of champagne on a new ship sailing off to the deep blue ocean.And thanks to Tahoma Literary Review for including these sentences in their mission statement: “We at Tahoma Literary Review are committed to producing a literary journal from the professional writer’s perspective; we…
  • Why I Love the Converse Low-Residency MFA Program

    3 Sep 2014 | 12:22 pm
    October 1 is the deadline for joining us in the next semester at Converse for the low-residency MFA program.  We would love to have you learn more about our program, and if it feels right to you, to apply and start up with us in January. You can get all the important details on the website, here.  But here’s what the website can’t tell you:--How personal this program is, how welcoming our students are to everyone, no matter your age, or where you’re from, or what your writing background is, how our students form tight and lasting and forever bonds with one another, how…
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    Quips and Tips for Successful Writers

  • How to Predict if Your Novel Will Be Popular

    16 Sep 2014 | 3:14 pm
    There’s a big difference between getting your novel published and writing popular novels. This research shows how to predict popular novels. If you can convince literary agents and publishing houses your writing will be popular, you’re more likely to get your novel published. In Outlining Your... {If you want to read this article, click the title and bounce on over to Quips and Tips for Successful Writers! Otherwise, go well, my friend.}
  • 10 Ways Blogging Pays Writers

    16 Sep 2014 | 11:15 am
    Does blogging pay? You better believe it! These benefits for blog writers start with money, and include recent research findings about how blogging pays financially, emotionally, and socially. If you want blogging to pay your bills, you have to approach it like you would any small business. That... {If you want to read this article, click the title and bounce on over to Quips and Tips for Successful Writers! Otherwise, go well, my friend.}
  • 10 Tips for Dealing With Rejection as a Writer

    11 Sep 2014 | 3:18 pm
    If you’re working towards your goal of getting published, you need these tips for dealing with rejection – for your writing will be rejected. Rejection is a sign you’re in the game! Deal with setbacks properly, so you can bounce back and query again. As a full-time freelance... {If you want to read this article, click the title and bounce on over to Quips and Tips for Successful Writers! Otherwise, go well, my friend.}
  • How to Find Blog Posts Not Indexed by Google

    11 Sep 2014 | 11:22 am
    Getting indexed by Google is easy. Harder is figuring out which blog posts are NOT indexed by Google, so you can tweak and tweet them. Here are five steps to finding posts Google hasn’t indexed, and helping Google do her job. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): An Hour a Day by Jennifer... {If you want to read this article, click the title and bounce on over to Quips and Tips for Successful Writers! Otherwise, go well, my friend.}
  • How to Stay Focused on Writing

    5 Sep 2014 | 9:58 am
    These aren’t the same boring old tips on how to stay focused on writing (eg, turn off your WiFi). This is better. Whether you’re writing an essay, blog post, magazine article or obituary, my key to staying focused will help you write until done. Finito. Cooked. Stick a fork in it. One way to... {If you want to read this article, click the title and bounce on over to Quips and Tips for Successful Writers! Otherwise, go well, my friend.}
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    About Freelance Writing

  • How To Educate Your Writing Clients

    Anne Wayman
    16 Sep 2014 | 10:31 am
    I get emails from fellow writers that are mini rants about how difficult it can be to work with certain clients. As writers who are comfortable with the written word I think we tend to overlook just... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • What’s Your Writing Process?

    Anne Wayman
    11 Sep 2014 | 10:43 am
    “What’s you’re writing process?” a fellow writer asked me the other day. I’ve been writing long enough so I don’t think much about how I actually get something... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Battle for the ‘Net

    Anne Wayman
    10 Sep 2014 | 6:59 am
    Today is Battle for the ‘Net day – the perfect time to protest and demand a level playing field for the internet – for all our sites.   The post Battle for the ‘Net... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Making Accountability Work For Your Freelance Writing Business

    Anne Wayman
    9 Sep 2014 | 10:12 am
    Making accountability work for you can be a key factor in the success of both your writing and your freelance writing business. The idea behind accountability is you set yourself up to be responsible... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • How Freelance Writers Can Choose Self-Confidence

    Anne Wayman
    4 Sep 2014 | 12:18 pm
    Lori Widmer, creator of the Word on the Page blog, has an article today called Riding the Writing Excuse Train. It’s a good article that points out the excuses we writers sometimes use to avoid... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    A WordPress Site

  • Hello world!

    17 Sep 2014 | 9:20 am
    Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!
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    Bad Language

  • You’re invited: Microsoft small business mini-summit

    Matthew Stibbe
    19 Sep 2014 | 7:40 am
    Articulate is running an SMB mini-summit for our client Microsoft in Victoria, London on Wednesday 24 September. If you run a growing business and you’d like to come along, we’d love to see you! Register free via Eventbrite. About the event We will look at: Challenges faced by growing businesses and ideas and insights about how to overcome them Expert small business advice and tips from Emma Jones, small business expert and founder of Enterprise Nation Technology insight from Microsoft experts Hands-on demonstrations with the latest Microsoft technology We want to get to know you and your…
  • 6 ways to use social proof in marketing campaigns

    Charlotte Littley
    18 Sep 2014 | 1:15 am
    With so much information on the internet, it can be difficult for customers to know who to trust. This is where social proof comes in. Social proof is the idea that people are influenced by what others do, viewing it as ‘correct behaviour’. Social proof isn’t a new concept, but thanks to the rise in social media it has become more versatile and easier to use and monitor. Taking advantage of social proof is not only becoming easier, but common practice. With 81 percent of consumers using the internet to research purchases before making them, it’s easy to see why ‘social proof is the…
  • How we work: HubSpot and the battle for buyers’ attention

    Katelyn Piontek
    16 Sep 2014 | 1:00 am
    Hannibal had elephants, the Trojans used a wooden horse and Queen Victoria had a Navy. Hannibal’s elephants weren’t so effective, but the Trojan strategy was a success and for years the sun never set on the British Empire. It goes to show that the way you equip yourself determines the success of your endeavours. Marketers are fighting a different kind of battle online. But rather than world domination, marketers are fighting to create content that cuts through the noise and produces results. Creating effective content is only half of it. The only way to tell if your content marketing…
  • Startup marketing boss battle: campaign vs. quick win

    Katelyn Piontek
    9 Sep 2014 | 1:30 am
    You know you need to market your startup online, but the reality is that everyone in your business is already filling multiple roles and short on time. How do you squeeze in effective marketing? Why the quick win wins in startup marketing The quick win is a singular effort with the goal of increasing awareness of your startup while a campaign is a consistent series of activities with an underlying focus that takes planning. The quick win allows you to feel like you’ve checked marketing off your list with a one-off blog post, tweet, ad or promotion without losing any time. And you feel you…
  • Ask not what marketing can do for you, ask what YOU can do for marketing: a product manager’s guide to marketing

    Matthew Stibbe
    4 Sep 2014 | 2:00 am
    I’ve been running Articulate Marketing for nearly 15 years now and, in that time, I’ve met a lot of product managers and technical specialists who see marketing as a kind of voodoo. In their mind it is a tool for communicating the features of their product to the ignorant masses or, worse, it is a wilful trivialisation and misrepresentation of their product. Clue: it’s not about features Product people love their products. They know all the details and they know exactly how their product compares with their competitors’, feature by feature. But marketing is not voodoo. It is also…
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    Word Grrls

  • #NoCommentNoShare

    Laura Brown
    22 Sep 2014 | 5:18 pm
    Because I am fed up with sites which expect me to register for another site, like Disqus, before I can leave a comment I am no longer going to share links to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc for any site which I can not comment on. I have not been blocked or banned from Disqus. I […] The post #NoCommentNoShare appeared first on Word Grrls.
  • Blogging 101: Say “Hi!” to the Neighbors

    Laura Brown
    18 Sep 2014 | 4:13 pm
    Today’s challenge is one I am skipping for now. I’ve got a lot of blogs I follow, years and years worth of blogs I follow and I almost never read them. I would like to take time to weed through my list to find which are link rot, moved and can have a fresh link […] The post Blogging 101: Say “Hi!” to the Neighbors appeared first on Word Grrls.
  • Blogging 101: Say Your Name

    Laura Brown
    18 Sep 2014 | 2:21 pm
    I haven’t re-named any of my sites but I have gone through and put more thought (and some humour) into giving them new bylines. I can’t promise they will still be the same a month from now. But here they are today:   Today’s challenge: You set your blog’s address when you registered at WordPress.com, […] The post Blogging 101: Say Your Name appeared first on Word Grrls.
  • Clear Your Head Before Writing?

    Laura Brown
    18 Sep 2014 | 12:48 pm
    I flushed this as a spam comment because it was on an old post which had nothing at all to do with the question asked in the comment. But, just before I clicked the magic button… I cut the actual question so I could paste it in here. See below: I was interested to know […] The post Clear Your Head Before Writing? appeared first on Word Grrls.
  • Blogging 101: Introduce Yourself

    Laura Brown
    17 Sep 2014 | 7:58 am
    How hard is it to introduce yourself? I’m already a couple of days late on the first challenge of Blogging 101 because I find it difficult to introduce myself and tell someone else what I’m about, who I am. I’m not sure myself. I’m a Canadian woman, born and still living, in Ontario. I have […] The post Blogging 101: Introduce Yourself appeared first on Word Grrls.
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    Get Paid to Write Online

  • Kick start Your Freelance Writing Career: Beyond the Margins Review

    Sharon Hurley Hall
    31 Aug 2014 | 9:43 am
    Looking for some advice to kick start your freelance writing career? Then you’re in luck! I recently read another ebook aimed at beginning freelance writers (see my previous review here). Called Beyond the Margins, the book is by professional freelance writer Michael Kwan. This short ebook has five chapters covering: Preparing to enter the freelance arena Finding work and making some money Managing and expanding your business Dealing with the day to day grind Moving toward greater independence In other words, it mirrors the stages of the average freelance writer’s career. Each…
  • The Step by Step Guide to Freelance Writing Success [Review]

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

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

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

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

  • A sabbatical

    17 Sep 2014 | 11:00 pm
    A couple days ago I got this crazy idea: for a semi-long period of time (like four or six months), I would stop posting to my blog or to anywhere else online — step completely out of the stream — and instead focus just on making things, without any self-inflicted pressure to release them as soon as they were done. At the end of the period, then and only then would I emerge from hiding and post the things I’d made during the long hibernation. And ... I’ve decided to actually do it. Starting October 1 (after I release “Queen of the Cruel Sea”), I won’t…
  • French Fly

    14 Sep 2014 | 11:00 pm
    More punnery. I’m so sorry. Drawn in Photoshop.
  • Landlord

    11 Sep 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Drawn in Photoshop.
  • More PlotDevice experiments

    7 Sep 2014 | 11:00 pm
    I’ve been playing around with PlotDevice more, and yes, it is awesome. For example, I can quite easily create something like my Latin declension charts programmatically: As you can see, I’m taking a simple list of words with brackets around the endings and displaying it, styling the endings using PlotDevice’s stylesheet functionality (lines 11 and 15–16). Super easy. It’s also great for trying out design ideas that would take much longer to prototype in Illustrator, like fan charts for genealogical purposes: Using that code, which took me less than twenty minutes to…
  • PlotDevice

    5 Sep 2014 | 11:00 pm
    I recently came across PlotDevice, a Python-based graphics environment for Mac, similar to Processing and NodeBox. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before with Processing, but it dawned on me that PlotDevice would be perfect for prototyping some of the design experiments I do. For example, it took around fifteen minutes to write some quick code to draw genealogy sparklines (code): For this sample, I have a draw_sparkline function that takes an object with a name, birth/death dates, list of marriages, and list of children, and it handles the drawing. Much easier than copying…
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    Write to Done

  • How to Write a Short Story With Deep Structure (And Win a Prize for It)

    John Yeoman
    18 Sep 2014 | 12:43 am
    Would you like to know how to write a short story that wins a prize? Of course you would! You’ve drafted your story, and it looks good. But now you want to fine-tune it to win a contest. How do you improve your chances? Let me tell you a secret. I’ve judged more than 5000 entries in short fiction awards over five years. What do I look for when compiling the shortlist? Deep Structure. Why is this a secret? Most contestants don’t know about Deep Structure. Those who do, win prizes. To use Deep Structure, you need to go beyond the obvious – especially if you’re…
  • The First Ever WritetoDone Flash Fiction Contest

    Mary Jaksch
    15 Sep 2014 | 11:27 pm
    Many readers ask, ‘How can I become known as a writer?’ One of the best ways is to win a writing contest. We’ve got a lot of talented writers here at WritetoDone; I’m always impressed by the stunning responses to our Scene Stealer series! So we decided to spice it up and give you an opportunity to shine. Here’s what we came up with. The first-ever WritetoDone Flash Fiction Contest, with a Prize of $500! Flash Fiction means a very short story. In our Flash Fiction contest, the entries should be 500 words or less. Read on to know more about the Contest, its…
  • The Number One Tip for Freelance Writers from Han Solo

    Bree Brouwer
    12 Sep 2014 | 4:30 am
    What do you think of Han Solo, the nerd-herder of Star Wars? Maybe you gush about how awesome he is. Maybe you insist: “He shot first.” Maybe you like him because his scruffy appearance hides a heart of galactic gold. A heart of gold? Han wasn’t always like this. In fact, when we first met him, he was only interested in what was in it for him to help Luke, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Princess Leia and the Rebel Alliance. Do you resemble this version of Han in your freelance writing career?   How the “Selfish Han Solo” Mindset Hurts Your Career   It pays to learn…
  • Do You Know The Secret Sauce That Turns Stories Into Magic?

    Larry Brooks
    9 Sep 2014 | 11:17 am
    Let me tell you a story. Once there was a writer who had a dream. To live, work and thrive by telling stories that made people smile, swoon and weep. He was pretty decent at it too, sailing through school on a knack for essays and last-minute term papers that fooled faculty into giving him a generous grade. After graduating, he wrote his way into a series of suit-and-tie jobs doing newsletters and assorted copy work that never really rang his creative bell. On nights and weekends, however, he wrote novels and screenplays. He wrote, and he read everything he could about how to tell stories.
  • What Are YOUR 3 Best Writing Tips?

    Mary Jaksch
    5 Sep 2014 | 9:00 am
    You and I know something about writing. We know about the joy of writing. And we know about the struggle. We know about the times when writing is difficult, and the times when writing flows without effort. But we take our experience for granted. Until… Until someone asks us for advice. Here’s a scenario: Imagine a friend drops in for a visit. ‘I hear you write,’ your friend says. ‘I do, but…’ “Well, I want to become a writer. Could I please ask you something?’ ‘I don’t know whether I …’ ‘Look, just let me know your three best tips…
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    Lisa Romeo Writes

  • Guest Blogger Donna Baier Stein on Rejection, Writers of a Certain Age, and the Persistence of Hope

    16 Sep 2014 | 5:30 am
    One of the many perks of working with The Writers Circle (a wonderful regional organization in northern New Jersey) was finding new colleagues among my fellow teachers. That includes Donna Baier Stein, who guides writers in the art of the short story. Donna's work has appeared (among other places) in Prairie Schooner, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Puerto del Sol. She was a founding poetry editor at Bellevue Literary Review and now publishes Tiferet Journal. Donna has been honored with three Pushcart nominations and prizes from Kansas Quarterly and Florida Review. Please welcome Donna Baier…
  • Guest Blogger Judy Labensohn on Why She's Writing a Hybrid Memoir

    9 Sep 2014 | 5:23 am
    One of my occasional freelance assignments is with Brain, Child magazine, editing personal essays and short stories. That's how my path first crossed with Judy Labensohn, who wrote a moving and clear-eyed essay about spending time in her daughter's shoes before sending her off to military service. Judy is founder of The Writing Gym and The Writing Pad in Israel, venues for local residents, tourists, and visiting writers who write in English. Her fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in Kenyon Review, Kenyon Review Online, Southwest Review, Michigan Quarterly…
  • Guest Blogger Patrice Gopo on a Writing Conference, a College Roommate, an Unplanned Weekend Away

    2 Sep 2014 | 5:45 am
    My work as a writing coach and online Boot Camp wrangler brings me so much pleasure, especially when writers such as Patrice Gopo make their way to my inbox, telephone, and writing life. We spent a chunk of time this past winter working through several of Patrice's already-good essay drafts. Aside from her creative skills, and intuitive sense of where personal stories lie, I was impressed by two things I don’t always see in combination: Patrice had plenty of ideas that hinge on personal experience but immediately reveal a universal connection andshe has the patience to develop them one…
  • Beware of what you wish for. (And what you don't.) -- My Teaching Writing Update.

    28 Aug 2014 | 8:37 am
    For the past seven years, I've tried to keep this blog filled with tips, advice, and resources that will help writers. For the past few months I've relied heavily on some generous guest post contributors and interview subjects (as well as link round-ups) to do the job. My own contributions dwindled because I was extra-busy. Thanks, readers, for supporting the guest bloggers, and sticking around! At first my busy-ness was all about writing, teaching, and editing in fairly equal portions. But lately, that shifted. I hope you'll indulge me a bit while I explain. Then, the plan is to get back to…
  • Friday Fridge Clean-out: Links for Writers, August 1, 2014 Edition

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

  • FTC Disclosure Rules on Social Media

    16 Sep 2014 | 2:26 pm
    A few months ago, in exchange for appearing on a panel, the conference paid my expenses. During the event, I wanted to share photos of the meals on Facebook and Twitter. I also knew the conference organizers were expecting speakers to promote the event on social media. So I did the wrong thing. I posted a few photos, and I didn’t [...] [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • If You Can’t Write Truly Great Recipes, be Honest, says Veteran Editor

    9 Sep 2014 | 7:25 am
    I met cookbook editor Rux Martin years ago, before she got an imprint in her own name. Now she is Editorial Director of Rux Martin Books at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She specializes in cookbooks, narrative nonfiction on food, and diet books. She has worked with Dorie Greenspan, Mollie Katzen, Jacques Pépin, and Ruth Reichl, to name just [...] [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • A Book Proposal You’ll be Proud to Present

    2 Sep 2014 | 12:55 pm
    Most people don’t think much about the appearance of a book proposal. They think that what’s important is the content. Well yes, but believe it or not, agents and editors want your non-fiction book proposal to look a certain way. If you present something else, you run the risk of appearing unprofessional. Folders, binders, ribbons, [...] [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Two More Books for the End of Summer

    27 Aug 2014 | 3:04 pm
    When I wrote my recent post about four irresistible summer reads, I had a nagging feeling that I left off one I really wanted to tell you about. I didn’t realize it until after I pressed “publish,” of course. I figured you always want to know about great food-focused books to read, right? And now I have two [...] [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • See you in September? (Or October?)

    19 Aug 2014 | 2:53 pm
    Like the song from my teenage years says, “See you in September,” woo woo woo, when the summer’s through… And why are those guys singing in suits on the beach?  Now, where was I? Oh yes. I’ll be traveling next month to two conferences, and then a third in October, talking about book proposals, career [...] [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    Fiction Notes

  • Don’t Plot Like I Do!

    Darcy Pattison
    21 Sep 2014 | 6:24 pm
    Read on Wattpad - Serialized NovelFrom September 11, 2014 - October 30, 2014. Read one chapter/day. Click on cover to read the first five chapters. I’m warning you! Don’t plot like I do. I’ve been working on the plot of a new novel for about six weeks and I’m still stumbling around. I’ll describe the messy process here and hope that you manage to shortcut your own process. It started last year with an idea and a short story that gave backstory on the longer story. I’ve wanted to write a sf for a while and this idea has been germinating for a long time. Besides the problem of other…
  • Serializing Fiction: Wattpad

    Darcy Pattison
    16 Sep 2014 | 3:29 am
    Read on Wattpad - Serialized NovelFrom September 11, 2014 - October 30, 2014. Read one chapter/day. Click on cover to read the first five chapters. I am going to be serializing my novel, VAGABONDS: An American Fantasy, on Wattpad for the next 50 days. Why Wattpad Wattpad is a social media platform for readers and writers. Writers post stories and readers comment. That’s almost enough reason right there to be on Wattpad:it’s a place where readers and writers connect. The latest statistics say that 16.9 million readers find time to read at least 30 minutes/visit on Wattpad. These…
  • Short Story Anthology: Fiction River Universe Between

    Darcy Pattison
    15 Sep 2014 | 7:07 am
    Read on Wattpad - Serialized NovelFrom September 11, 2014 - October 30, 2014. Read one chapter/day. Click on cover to read the first five chapters. I am excited to report that I have my first science fiction, adult-audience, short story published! Last year, I attended a retreat in Oregon with Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch as the main instructors. They own WMG Publishing, and one on-going project is a monthly short-story anthology. I was invited to submit, it was accepted and is not in a bookstore near you! Fiction River #8: The Universe Between collects original stories by a…
  • General to Specific: From One Sentence to a Plot

    Darcy Pattison
    10 Sep 2014 | 8:29 am
    Read on Wattpad - Serialized NovelFrom September 11, 2014 - October 30, 2014. Read one chapter/day. Click on cover to read the first five chapters. So, I have a general outline of my story but the writing still isn’t flowing. I realized that I need to break down major events into smaller sections, so I will know what to write. I’ve gone through two stages of plotting or outlining, each one getting more specific. Here’s an example: 1. First, I stared with major plot points: A volcano threatens to blow up, so Jake gets alien Rison technology to make it stop. 2. Second, I start…
  • Momentum: Keep the Writing Coming

    Darcy Pattison
    8 Sep 2014 | 6:05 am
    Read on Wattpad - Serialized NovelFrom September 11, 2014 - October 30, 2014. Read one chapter/day. Click on cover to read the first five chapters. You’ve started! Hurrah! Now, how do you keep going, especially when LIFE happens? As it invariably will! Stop in the Middle One strategy to keep momentum going is to stop in the middle of a sentence, paragraph, or scene. Those who recommend this suggest that you stop at an exciting moment, at a place that will be easy and apparent on how to proceed when you come back to it. This makes sense. Creative people stop working on their craft at a…
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    WritersDigest.com » There Are No Rules Blog by the Editors of Writer’s Digest

  • Self publishing 101: Where to Begin?

    Guest Column
    17 Sep 2014 | 5:00 pm
    “How do I get my eBook on Amazon?” “Do I really need both printed books and eBooks?” “What price should I charge for my eBook?” There’s never been a better time to be an author. It’s an oft-stated truth, as the digital technology driving the publishing revolution now enables creative people around the globe to develop and market content in truly unique ways.  But with anything new and unfamiliar, questions are sure to follow: “Can you help me design a cover for my book?” “How much money can I make from my eBook?” The stigma of failure that used to be associated with…
  • Writing What You Don’t Know: Tips for Telling Another Person’s Story

    Adrienne Crezo
    16 Sep 2014 | 5:30 am
    BY AMY PARKER “Write what you know,” the adage goes. But when my heart pulled me way outside my knowledge base to help Rwandan Frederick Ndabaramiye write his unbelievable story, I knew that I had a lot to learn. Here are a few pointers based on what I did, what I didn’t do, and what you must do … from someone who now knows. What I Did I saturated myself in the culture—as much as a Tennessee girl can, anyway. I asked Frederick for photos, read Rwandan news and books set in Rwanda, and listened to Rwandan (Internet) radio. Much of that information never made it into the book,…
  • Take Action: How I Overcame Writer’s Block

    Adrienne Crezo
    15 Sep 2014 | 9:00 am
    BY RENÉE THOMPSON Ray Bradbury once said if you’re a writer and you’re blocked, well, you’ve picked the wrong subject then, haven’t you? At least he had a subject. For me, writer’s block was never so much about stalling in the midst of writing a story as the lack of a story idea. Until the late winter of 2013, I had never suffered from writer’s block. If anything, I was a bit of a snob, doubting that writer’s block even existed. I thought it was an excuse on the part of writers to keep from doing their jobs – you know: The Work. I’d written hundreds of features as a…
  • The 5 Attributes of a Successful Ghostwriter

    Adrienne Crezo
    12 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    BY KELLY JAMES-ENGER I’ve been writing about making money as a freelancer for well over a decade now. I have written five books, dozens of articles and hundreds of blog posts about the subject. I get many questions, and lately many of those have been about the field of ghostwriting. What is ghostwriting? How lucrative is it? How do I get started? The fact is that any competent writer can ghostwrite as well—as long as you understand the additional responsibilities that come with ghosting. There’s a growing market for talented ghostwriters, so I encourage freelancers to consider whether…
  • The 2015 Guide to Literary Agents is Out! Here are 47 Reasons to Buy It (and a Giveaway Contest!)

    Chuck Sambuchino
    10 Sep 2014 | 10:09 am
    The book is out and available everywhere books or sold — in major bookstores and online! The new 2015 edition of the Guide to Literary Agents is out, all updated and packed with info. I realize there are other places you can turn to for information on agents, but the Guide to Literary Agents has always prided itself as being the biggest (we list almost every agent) and the most thorough (guidelines, sales, agent by agent breakdowns, etc.). That’s why it’s been around for 24 years and that’s why it’s sold more than 320,000 copies. It works—and if you keep reading, I’ll prove…
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    The Truth About Lies

  • Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?

    21 Sep 2014 | 3:30 am
    Diseases desperate grown,By desperate alliances are relieved, Or not at all. (Hamlet, IIII.ii.) Books written solely in dialogue divide people so I wasn’t surprised to see a lot of one- and two-star reviews for this. I, personally, loved it to pieces. I enjoyed Cormac McCarthy's The Sunset Limited and Nicholson Baker’s Checkpoint; Aaron Petrovich’s The Session was good, if a little short, but Padgett Powell’s Me & You was simply wonderful. There are others I’ve still to get round to like Philip Roth’s Deception which I’ll probably have read by the time I get round to posting…
  • You & Me

    14 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    HAMM: We're not beginning to... to... mean something? CLOV: Mean something! You and I, mean something! (Brief laugh.) Ah that's a good one! Endgame, Samuel Beckett It is tempting—and numerous esteemed and not so estimable reviewers have been unable to resist—so let’s get it out of the road: If you’re aware of the existence of Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot then the first thing that will jump to your mind when you begin reading You & Me [You&I here in the UK] is: This feels an awful lot like Waiting for Godot. Which it does. Now whether it was intended to is another…
  • The Wall

    7 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    The crows have risen, and circle screeching over the forest. When they are out of sight I shall go to the clearing and feed the white crow. It will already be waiting for me. – Marlen Haushofer, The Wall I read this book shortly after watching the first season of the television adaptation of Stephen King’s Under the Dome and it’s impossible not to compare the two although really the only thing they have in common is that an invisible and seemingly impenetrable barrier mysteriously appears one day imprisoning (or protecting, depending on your point of view) those within. In King’s case…
  • An arranged faith

    31 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd – Voltaire I wrote a poem back in 1996 about beliefs: THE NATURE OF BELIEFSThe thing about beliefs isthey don't need to be true. That's not their job. They're there becauseso many things aren't true. Nature abhors a vacuum. 19 December 1996 The word 'belief' is one I struggle with. Like all words the only way you can explain belief is by using other words and the most obvious synonym for 'belief' is 'faith' which I have less of a problem with. The first definition I learned regarding faith came from the Bible where Hebrews 11:1 says…
  • The Waterproof Bible

    24 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    [T]he only difference between a happy ending and a sad ending is where you decide the story ends – Andrew Kaufman, The Waterproof Bible Back in the good ol’ days there was real and unreal and that was it; it was one thing or t’other. Then all these other realisms started appearing: surrealism, magic realism, hyperrealism, neorealism, pseudorealism. Suddenly it all got very confusing. Confusion, of course, is a state of mind. And if you were looking for a state of mind in which to approach The Waterproof Bible I would aim for this one: Things only get confusing if you let them get…
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    A WordPress Site

  • Hello world!

    17 Sep 2014 | 9:20 am
    Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!
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    Flogging the Quill

  • Beautiful words from banned books

    Ray Rhamey
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    It’s Banned Books Week, focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, and the American Library Association makes it quite clear what we lose with this brief photo essay on 10 books that have been and are banned in American communities. The first is below. Ray
  • Flogometer for Joanne—are you compelled to turn the page?

    Ray Rhamey
    19 Sep 2014 | 11:42 am
    Submissions Needed. If you’d like a fresh look at your opening chapter or prologue, please email your submission to me re the directions at the bottom of this post. The Flogometer challenge: can you craft a first page that compels me to turn to the next page? Caveat: Please keep in mind that this is entirely subjective. Note: all the Flogometer posts are here. What's a first page in publishingland? In a properly formatted novel manuscript (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point type, etc.) there should be about 16 or 17 lines on the first page (first pages of chapters/prologues start…
  • Flogometer for Sarah—are you compelled to turn the page?

    Ray Rhamey
    17 Sep 2014 | 9:45 am
    Submissions Needed—none in the queue for tomorrow! 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…
  • How about a little Seuss this morning?

    Ray Rhamey
    15 Sep 2014 | 9:24 am
    I came across a post about a tribute to Dr. Seuss that includes pages done comic-book style that illustrate and tell his history and story. I found it fascinating to read about the man whose words I've said so often to my children. Tidbit: I learned that the original correct pronunciation is "soice" as in "voice," but that changed. The article is here. Below is a clip from the art.
  • Flogometer for Aleena—are you compelled to turn the page?

    Ray Rhamey
    12 Sep 2014 | 8:32 am
    Submissions Needed—none in the queue for next week! 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…
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  • Word of the Week: Titch

    Nancy Friedman
    22 Sep 2014 | 5:20 am
    Titch: A small person. This sense of titch* was new to me until very recently, when I encountered it in a brief New York Times Sunday Magazine story about Fatyo, a Japanese retailer that specializes in apparel that is—quoting directly now from the Fatyo website—“Metropolitan, tough. Real and daily, casual clothes. Identity always on the street. Representing Tokyo. FAT.” (Not phat: FAT.) The Times story, in full: Euphemism-averse sneakerheads might consider buying clothes from Tokyo-based Fatyo, a tell-it-like-it-is streetwear brand that sizes not with traditional words or numbers but…
  • Lets Pumpkin Again

    Nancy Friedman
    19 Sep 2014 | 10:02 am
    A postscript to yesterday’s post about pumpkin (verb) and pumpkin spice latte (beverage): Writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Lingua Franca blog, William Germano questions the grammar and logic of “PSL” and unhyphenated “pumpkin spice.” Starbucks has hailed the return of the beverage with big signs for “PSL.” Is the abbreviation an initialism or an acronym? Are we meant to pronounce each letter or make a word from their consecutive sounds? As an acronym, PSL would become pissl, or even pizzle, which just sounds rude. As an initialism, on the other hand, PSL feels…
  • Lets Pumpkin!

    Nancy Friedman
    18 Sep 2014 | 5:24 am
    I spotted a seasonable new verb in the window of Noah’s New York Bagels in Montclair Village (Oakland): “Prepare to Pumpkin” Unlike the store window, the company website refrains from squash-verbing, or verb-squashing: it simply and modestly claims that “Pumpkin Is Here.” The bounty includes pumpkin bagels, pumpkin shmear, pumpkin muffins, and something called pumpkin clusters. You may have noticed that everyone everywhere is prepared to pumpkin: it’s become the dominant fall flavor. And that may have puzzled you, because pumpkin isn’t really a flavor at all—the squash itself…
  • On the Visual Thesaurus: The Revival of Apothecary

    Nancy Friedman
    16 Sep 2014 | 6:30 am
    My latest column for the Visual Thesaurus, “Going Medieval: The Revival of ‘Apothecary’,” is now live—and this month, you don’t have to be a subscriber to read it. (But of course you should subscribe anyway, right?) In the column, I expand on a Word of the Week entry from earlier this year, tracking the word’s long and interesting history (Chaucer! Shakespeare! Eighteenth-century slang!), reporting on “apothecary” sightings far and wide (from medical marijuana dispensaries to a gastropub), and speculating on the reasons for the word’s new popularity (steampunk,…
  • Word of the Week: Validate

    Nancy Friedman
    15 Sep 2014 | 6:24 am
    Validate: To make legally valid; to sanction; to confirm or corroborate; to authorize; to verify. (“The court validated the contract”; “The judge validated the election”). From Latin validatus, participle form of validus: strong, powerful, effective. Related to valiant. Those are the primary definitions of validate in all of the major dictionaries I consulted: American Heritage, OED, Merriam-Webster, and Macmillan. But validate has some specialized meanings, too, one of which baffled me recently. No, not this one: Image from Peds.org. This usage is common in the U.S. “Parking…
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    Holt Uncensored Blog

  • Something Literary

    Pat Holt
    2 Sep 2014 | 8:44 am
    You’d think a traditional publishing person like me wouldn’t be intrigued by a tiny collection of iPhone snapshots such as this:Not a “real book,” right?  It’s smaller than a deck of cards, has fewer than 50 unnumbered “pages” and no text at all except the words iPhone Photos  Julie Gebhardt on the back page. And yet I was drawn to this mini-book from the first moment I saw it, for one thing because it’s so cute (note the green push pin, placed there for scale) and is even kind of classy with its oversized spiral binding and heavy photo-card…
  • ‘According to Our Records…’

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

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

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

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

  • Creativity, art, and drawing with garden vegetables (thank you, Lily and Rina!)

    Debbie Ridpath Ohi
    10 Sep 2014 | 4:18 am
    As some of you already know, I've been having fun drawing with found objects during the past year: Then just recently, I posted a video of how I created a tomato doodle: Thanks to middle grade author Rina Heisel for tweeting this, which made my day:   Our Object Doodle artwork, inspired by the amazing @inkyelbows, using our garden veggies. @J_S_Dub Lily loved it! pic.twitter.com/xOzPfHhfq9 — Rina Heisel (@RinaHeisel) September 9, 2014  
  • Writers: Revising & rewriting is part of the craft AND the business. Learn to do it without fear.

    Debbie Ridpath Ohi
    9 Sep 2014 | 5:03 am
  • Interview: YA author Cheryl Rainfield on writing and publication process for STAINED

    Debbie Ridpath Ohi
    7 Sep 2014 | 6:27 am
    I met Cheryl Rainfield through the Toronto Area Middle Grade/YA Author Group (also known as Torkidlit) and am a big fan of her work (especially SCARS and HUNTED in the past). A survivor of abuse, Cheryl often draws upon her own experience in her intense and highly charged fiction. I love Cheryl's enthusiasm for kidlit/YA as well as her positive outlook and support of others in the community. STAINED was named one of Bank Street College's Best Books Of The Year (2014) for ages 14 and up, and was a SCBWI Crystal Kite Finalist. For those in the Toronto area: Cheryl will be speaking about STAINED…
  • Finding Time To Write and Draw: Tips For Busy Parents

    Debbie Ridpath Ohi
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:53 am
    I continue to be in awe of you parents out there who manage to carve out time for your writing and illustrating in the midst of taking care of children, household chores and (in some cases) a day job as well. At a recent conference, several working parents told me how they were still struggling to find the time to write and illustrate. Having no children myself, I can't offer practical advice, but here are some online resources which might help. If you can offer tips from your own experience or know of other other helpful resources, please do post them in the comments below. Thanks! Some…
  • Writers: Don't rush your submission. Make sure your writing is polished BEFORE you send it out.

    Debbie Ridpath Ohi
    25 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    One mistaken assumption that I've noticed some newbie writers making: Sending out their writing too soon, assuming that the editor who buys their short story (or novel, etc.) is going to be helping them polish the piece anyway. DO NOT DO THIS. Never, ever send an mss out just after you've finished it. Put it away for a few days (a few weeks at least, for a novel). That way you'll be able to reread more objectively, without the rosy glow of "omigosh this is brilliant just wait until publishers see this." I'm a foodie, so often think in terms of food analogies. In this case, it would be sort of…
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    Self-Publishing Review

  • Review: Illusive Intrusion by Tomasz Chrusciel

    T B Markinson
    22 Sep 2014 | 10:43 am
    The cover and blurb for Illusive Intrusion by Tomasz Chrusciel are intriguing. Sisters Bianka and Niamh are offered a trip of a lifetime. Two weeks at a luxurious hotel on Gran Canaria. Niamh is invited for a modeling gig and since she’s underage, her older sister, Bianka, is her chaperone. The shoot is supposed to ...
  • MS Madness Book Promo – Win a $25 Amazon Voucher!

    Cate Baum
    16 Sep 2014 | 4:04 am
    Win a $25 Amazon Voucher!
  • Authors Must Be Marketers

    Neil Raphel
    16 Sep 2014 | 3:54 am
    Authors don’t like to promote their own works. Here are actual quotes from some of the authors we published: “I’m a writer, not a marketer.” “I’m uncomfortable asking people to buy my book.” “I don’t really understand social media.” “I’ve put a ton of effort into writing my book. Why do I have to sell ...
  • An Interview with Josefina Gutierrez

    Josefina Gutierrez
    16 Sep 2014 | 3:11 am
    Josefina Gutierrez, an emerging Young Adult eBook author from San Antonio, chats about The Shadow of Loss and self-publishing. Tell us something about your book. The basics: what’s it about? My book is about a young girl coming to terms with life and loss.  Evelyn has lost both parents and her best friend-soul mate, June.  ...
  • Authors Millionaire Mindset And Selling Millions Of Books With Stephanie J. Hale

    Mayowa Ajisafe
    16 Sep 2014 | 1:22 am
    Self-publishing has offered authors the opportunity to be more than an author or book writer. Authors today have the opportunity of turning written word into various form of multimedia format for profitability to become successful entrepreneurs, building a successful business around their knowledge and expertise. I’m super excited to welcome Stephanie J. Hale to AuthorsCrib.com Expert Author Interview ...
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    Writing Forward

  • Do You Need a Creative Writing Degree to Succeed as a Writer?

    Melissa Donovan
    18 Sep 2014 | 1:00 am
    Do you need a creative writing degree? Young and new writers often ask whether they need a creative writing degree in order to become an author or professional writer. I’ve seen skilled and talented writers turn down opportunities or refuse to pursue their dreams because they feel their lack of a degree in creative writing means they don’t have the credibility necessary to a career in writing. Meanwhile, plenty of writers with no education, minimal writing skills, and scant experience in reading are self-publishing, freelance writing, and offering copywriting services en masse.
  • How to Make Time to Practice Writing Every Day

    Melissa Donovan
    16 Sep 2014 | 1:00 am
    Practice writing to become a true master of the craft. By now, most of you have heard of the 10,000-hour rule, which was made famous in the book Outliers. The rule states that in order to become an expert at something, you need to put in 10,000 hours of practice. In other words, a master writer has already spent 10,000 hours writing. Working at it for 40 hours per week, it would take 250 weeks (or almost five years) to become an expert. If you can only spend half that time, or 20 hours per week, on your craft, it would take ten years to master. For people with busy lives…
  • How to Defeat Writer’s Block

    Melissa Donovan
    11 Sep 2014 | 1:00 am
    Let’s diagnose and defeat writer’s block! Wikipedia defines writer’s block as “a condition, primarily associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work.” However, I have come to believe that in most cases, writer’s block is a symptom, not a condition. Before we can cure writer’s block, we have to diagnose it. Writer’s block is almost always presented as some mysterious disease. A writer sits down to work and nothing happens. The ideas are gone. The words don’t come. It must be…
  • From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: Rock and Rhyme (Poetry)

    Melissa Donovan
    9 Sep 2014 | 1:00 am
    From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: Rock and Rhyme Poetry. Today’s post features an exercise from my book, 101 Creative Writing Exercises, which is filled with exercises for various forms of writing, including fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. It will inspire you while imparting useful writing techniques that are fun and practical. This exercisecomes from “Chapter Eight: Free Verse.” The creative writing exercises in this chapter focus on free-form poetry writing. I chose this exercise because it’s fun and inspiring. It asks you to use a song as a foundation for writing…
  • Seven Ways Your Physical Environment Can Help or Hinder Your Writing

    Melissa Donovan
    4 Sep 2014 | 1:00 am
    How is your writing environment? Please welcome guest author Ali Luke with a post on making adjustments to your physical environment to help your writing. Do you struggle to get into writing? Perhaps you sit down with your favorite notebook on a regular basis, but you never seem to get far. Your kids start arguing. Or you get a backache. Or you’re distracted by that neighbor doing yet another bout of DIY. Or an urgent email pops up for your attention. External factors aren’t the only (or the biggest) distractions that affect our writing, but they make a surprising difference in our…
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  • How to Write Plays Children Will Love

    Laura Backes
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:45 am
    By Laura Backes  by Christina Hamlett   If you want to pen plays that young actors will love, there are two rules you can’t afford to ignore: simplicity and relevance. Unfortunately, a mistaken belief that writing for YA audiences is just a stepping-stone to writing for adults often results in scripts that are heavy on details, condescending in tone, imitate TV shows, utilize excessive staging notes, and require a budget that would strain most drama departments. To craft a production that will challenge the performers, delight the audiences, and stay within budget calls for an…
  • How to Write Compelling Dialogue

    Laura Backes
    16 Sep 2014 | 9:59 pm
    By Laura Backes Struggling with writing believable dialogue in your fiction? In this video, writing coach Teresa gives her best tips for creating conversations between your characters that sound authentic and won’t stop your story in its tracks.   To learn more about Teresa or her coaching services or download a transcript of this video, visit http://www.teresafunke.com/   This is a post from writeforkids.org. Read the original post: How to Write Compelling Dialogue
  • A 2 Minute Master Class in Time Management for Writers

    Jon Bard
    9 Sep 2014 | 9:05 pm
    By Jon Bard Feeling stressed? Can’t get everything on your “to do” list done?  Spend a minute or two with this infographic and start changing your relationship to time.   (If you enjoy this, please share!)   This is a post from writeforkids.org. Read the original post: A 2 Minute Master Class in Time Management for Writers
  • How to Write a Children’s Book with More Depth

    Laura Backes
    8 Sep 2014 | 9:00 pm
    By Laura Backes by Russell Hoy   Whether you’re an expert author or a kids book dummy, if you’ve ever tried to write a children’s book, you know how important it is to write with a particular audience in mind. Once you really understand the thought process of a child in your target age range, then you can develop a plot, characters, and illustrations that those kids will relate to.   Even though having a target audience is absolutely necessary for making a great story, you can add a lot more depth in your story by realizing one important fact: kids aren’t the only ones…
  • 7 Things Editors at Children’s Book Publishers Wish Writers Knew

    Jon Bard
    4 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    By Jon Bard I have tremendous respect for editors at children’s book publishers. It’s a grueling job to wade through a pile of manuscripts looking for that elusive gem. And it can’t be much fun seeing the same mistakes made again and again by aspiring writers. I know lots of editors who would love to issue proclamations such as, “Don’t even think about sending me your work until you understand the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’.” But editors are, by and large, very nice people who wouldn’t dream of being so rude.
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    Letters of Note

  • Barbarous Saxons

    Shaun Usher
    18 Sep 2014 | 8:24 am
    In 1400, a middle-aged Welshman named Owain Glyndŵr spearheaded the Glyndŵr Rising—an ultimately unsuccessful but initially promising independence movement intended to shake Wales free from the ruling grip of Henry IV's England. The revolt started well, and within a few years Glyndŵr, now Prince of Wales, had control of the majority of the country and valuable support from the French; however, by 1407 the English had slowly begun to regain control. Glyndŵr eventually retreated and was last seen in 1412. He remains a hero in Wales.Below are two letters written…
  • Hello!

    Shaun Usher
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:01 am
    Dear All,Hi! It's been a while. I've missed you.I've just returned from a much-needed holiday that seemed to finish before we'd unpacked--quick as a flash; however, the main reason for my recent silence can be seen above. The Lists of Note book. I finally got my hands on a copy yesterday and it's completely lovely, head to toe, cover to cover. You can see more photos over here on Flickr; also, more info about the book can be found on the Lists of Note website.Next week I'll restart the engines around here.Have a great weekend.Shaun RSS Feed proudly sponsored by TinyLetter, a simple newsletter…
  • A string of veritable psychological peaches

    Shaun Usher
    16 Jun 2014 | 8:32 am
    In 1932, renowned Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung wrote a largely critical piece for Europäische Revue on the subject of Ulysses, James Joyce's groundbreaking, controversial, and famously challenging novel. From Jung's essay:I read to page 135 with despair in my heart, falling asleep twice on the way. The incredible versatility of Joyce’s style has a monotonous and hypnotic effect. Nothing comes to meet the reader, everything turns away from him, leaving him gaping after it. The book is always up and away, dissatisfied with itself, ironic, sardonic, virulent, contemptuous, sad, despairing,…
  • Don’t let anybody raise you. You’ve been raised.

    Shaun Usher
    28 May 2014 | 7:51 am
    In 1945, weeks after graduating from high school and with no support from the child's father, 17-year-old Maya Angelou gave birth to her only son. Two months later, desperate for independence, she moved out of her mother's home, found accommodation of her own, and began to raise her son. Over the next 70 years, Maya Angelou achieved more than most as a celebrated and award-winning author, poet, educator, dramatist, actress, filmmaker, and activist. The first of her seven autobiographies, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, is considered a classic.Eight years ago, she wrote a letter of advice to…
  • Dear USA

    Shaun Usher
    6 May 2014 | 4:33 am
    Dear USA,Today is very exciting, for me at least, for one particular reason: the beautiful US edition of Letters of Note is released at long last, which means that you can finally get your hands on a copy in all sensible American book shops, or by ordering one online. I'm very, very proud of the book and the letters it contains, and think that Chronicle Books have done a grand job with this gorgeous edition.To learn more about the book, see some photos, and find links to online stockists, etc., click here. I cannot wait to hear what you think of it. Please do get in touch when you've had a…
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    Blair Hurley

  • It’s supposed to be hard: why anything worth doing feels awful while you’re doing it

    16 Sep 2014 | 9:08 am
     Image by Christian Ferrari In the never-ending quest for self-improvement, I started a modest exercise regimen this summer, of running increasing distances three times a week. Readers, I am not a runner. When I run, my entire body seems to protest. I wheeze and my arms flap, my heart pounds and my ribs heave. Particularly in the beginning, every workout felt miserable. The first few times I ran, I found myself stopping after a little while, gasping for breath. “Is it supposed to feel like this?” I kept asking my running partner. Patiently, he told me, it is, it’s supposed…
  • New Story Available in Nerve Cowboy!

    2 May 2014 | 8:15 am
    I’m delighted to report that a story I wrote nearly four years ago, “Enjoy Our Fair City”, has found a home at the literary magazine Nerve Cowboy. I found out about Nerve Cowboy through my usual flipping through databases of magazines, but thought there was something especially charming about this journal; it’s edgy, fun, and full of attitude. I’m honored to have my story published in the journal; be sure to check it out!
  • Are You a Binge Reader?

    29 Mar 2014 | 12:38 pm
    I saw an interesting post on the New Yorker’s Page-Turner blog the other day about a new trend in entertainment consumption that book publishers are trying to capitalize on. We’ve all heard of “binge watching” as the new it term for sitting down and bombing through an entire season of “Battlestar Galactica” or “Orange is the New Black” on Netflix; there’s something absolutely addictive not only in the way the episodes are framed these days, but even in the way they’re queued on our computers, inviting us to watch more and more. Now…
  • At a Writer’s Colony

    18 Aug 2013 | 7:23 am
    I’m excited to report that this month I’m trying something new in my writing career. For the rest of August I’ll be at a writing and art colony in upstate New York, focusing exclusively on my own writing projects. Some of my goals include finishing the novel editing and starting some new short stories that I’ve been kicking around my head for a while. This does mean that posts will be a little slower around Writerly Life for a little while. I’ll try to send along updates when I can, but my focus is to really stay off the grid as much as possible for the next few weeks. I have no…
  • Fiction in A Bad Penny Review!

    3 Jun 2013 | 11:13 am
    I’m excited to see a short-short excerpt from my novel appearing in the online journal, A Bad Penny Review! These short fables or modernized tales appear in between the chapters of my novel, and I thought I could put them together into their own story. Read “The Eight-Spoked Wheel” here
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    Mysterious Matters: Mystery Publishing Demystified

  • Small Presses: The Future?

    3 Sep 2014 | 6:45 pm
    A couple of days ago I had to have a conversation following the completion of one of those forms you have to fill out in your life. One of the questions was about occupation, so I listed myself as "editor/publisher." The form had nothing to do with business life at all, but when people hear that I'm a publisher, they often ask questions about the business. This particular woman told me that her husband had recently signed a contract with a small press after several years of frustration with "getting noticed" by the establishment. I sympathized with her because, of…
  • So Much Revelation! So Little Space!

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

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

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

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

  • Being Carded

    7 Sep 2014 | 3:20 pm
    Let’s talk about business cards, shall we? It’s true that a lot of business is done electronically, these days, and it’s not like we pay polite visits that require calling cards anymore. (Though, let’s pause a moment and reflect on a society that used to have time to ramble from house to house on any given morning, leaving a bread crumb trail of finely printed cardboard behind to mark each stop.) No, these days, we’re busy. Time is of the essence and some days, we’re lucky to send a text message. And besides … business cards? Isn’t there an app for that? Just a swipe on…
  • What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

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

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

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

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

  • The Christian BookWorm Features Heartsong by Nicola Furlong

    Nicola Furlong
    18 Sep 2014 | 10:11 am
    The Christian Book Worm Digs Heartsong! TheChristianBookWorm.com has just chosen Heartsong, Book 1 of the Sisterhood of Shepherds series, to be featured as one of “Christian’s Favorites” on their home page. Why not let it blossom in your heart? “Looking forward to the next book so I can again share in the warmth and humor of this active family…Enjoyed the book and found it heart warming…An uplifting reading experience of love, caring, family, friends, healing, & resolving.” Heartsong on Amazon #AmReading #GoodRead The post The Christian BookWorm Features Heartsong by…
  • A Most Precious Gift by Jacqueline Freeman Wheelock

    Nicola Furlong
    9 Sep 2014 | 12:00 am
    My terrific publisher Mantle Rock has added another novel to its list. A Most Precious Gift by Jacqueline Freeman Wheelock is a fine historical romance. A Most Precious Gift by Jacqueline Freeman WheelockDinah Devereaux, New Orleans-born slave and seamstress, suddenly finds herself relegated to a sweltering kitchen on the Natchez, Mississippi town estate of Riverwood. Having never cooked a day in her life, she is terrified of being found out and banished to the cotton fields as was her mother before her. But when she accidentally burns the freedom papers of Jonathan Mayfield, a handsome free…
  • Okay Hell on Wheels – Episode 406 ‘Bear Man’ Stunk

    Nicola Furlong
    8 Sep 2014 | 10:03 am
    Why didn’t the ‘white woman’ leap on Elam’s horse to escape his abuse? How could she be whip-smart enough to hook the ‘Bear Man’ into getting her out of White Feather’s camp, but so plank-dumb that she stumbles past his stallion to flee fruitlessly on foot? In order to enjoy many historical TV series, I (and every other woman on the planet) must endure the appalling maltreatment of women. This is bloody hard. Often, overwhelmed by fury and frustration, I abandon these shows as gratuitously misogynistic, and tokens to the testosterone-addled world of movies and television. Like…
  • Crafty Gardener Loves Heartsong by Nicola Furlong

    Nicola Furlong
    4 Sep 2014 | 10:52 am
    The CraftyGardener Loves HEARTSONG “…loved the gardening quotes at the beginning of each chapter. HEARTSONG is the story of family love, sorrow, regrets, and forgiveness…I enjoyed reading and I’ll look forward to the next book in this series.” Why not let it blossom in your heart? #MustRead #GoodRead The post Crafty Gardener Loves Heartsong by Nicola Furlong appeared first on Nicola Furlong.
  • Guest Blogger – Diamonds in Fiction

    Nicola Furlong
    3 Sep 2014 | 11:22 am
    Very fortunate today to be the guest blogger on Diamonds in Fiction. Have a look and discover why I’ve changed my theme focus and am no longer following the clues to crime writing. You’ll also get the inside scoop on my favourite novel and what I gained from reading the terrific Canadian thriller The Red Fox. And that’s not all so click on over!. #AmReading #MustRead The post Guest Blogger – Diamonds in Fiction appeared first on Nicola Furlong.
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    Sean McManus's Writing blog

  • New photos from China, San Francisco, Blackpool and a hot air balloon

    Sean McManus
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:12 am
    If you follow me on Twitter, you might know that I'm still updating my travel photography gallery. The latest galleries are China, San Francisco, Blackpool (including Dr Who in the illuminations), and Hot Air Ballooning. Here are a couple of samples. Click them to go through to the full galleries. You can browse the full gallery here. Photo of the Shanghai Pudong skyline by day Cathedral of
  • Download ScratchJr for free on the iPad

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

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

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

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

  • Getting Under the Skin

    Nanci Panuccio
    12 Sep 2014 | 10:54 am
    photo by Aristocrats-hat It’s one thing to understand a character. It’s another thing to become them. Readers crave the latter. In my early twenties, at Columbia University’s Summer Writing Program, I was fortunate to have novelist and short story author Ethan Canin critique my first completed short story. The story centered around a love triangle of sorts: two friends, both Julliard piano students, and their mentor Joshua who becomes smitten by one of the girl’s musical powers. Ethan’s major criticism was that my story was plot-driven rather than…
  • The Difference Between Plot and Story

    Nanci Panuccio
    28 Aug 2014 | 4:04 am
    umjanedoan via Compfight My first writing workshops in NYC included a few lawyers with novels-in-progress based on real life cases they’d defended throughout their careers. They were writing what they knew. Intricate and wild criminal cases brimming with drama and excitement. Endless twists. Mega suspense. Their plots were riveting. But there was no story. No character development. No emotion driving the novels forward. They had built a scaffold. But not a world. Many of the stories I edit suffer either from too much plot, or not enough. A plot-driven story is full of action, which is…
  • What Is Your Story About?

    Nanci Panuccio
    17 Jul 2014 | 12:28 pm
    Photo credit: Stéfan “So what are your stories about?” someone at a party recently asked. “Hmmm,” I said, mentally scanning my most recent collection, grasping for a cogent response. “Loss. Regret. Grief. Disillusionment. It’s hard to explain. I actually have no idea what my stories are about.” If you’re anything like me, you routinely trip over this question. It’s challenging to understand, let alone, articulate what we’re writing about. To sum up a story or book in terms of its aboutness feels reductive and abstract, a hollow…
  • What It Really Means To Write What You Know

    Nanci Panuccio
    3 Jun 2013 | 11:38 am
    Mathias via Compfight   It’s a myth that writers write what they know. We write what it is that we need to know. ~ Marcie Hershman “Write what you know” is one of the most misunderstood mantras. And one of the most limiting rules to write by. Here’s how writing what we know can limit us: We write exactly what happened, play by play. Or we’re exhaustively descriptive, cluttering our scenes with objects simply because they were there in the room. Unable to move beyond the literal truth, we confuse the facts of our experience for emotional impact. And when our…
  • Beyond Your First Draft: The Drama of Desire

    Nanci Panuccio
    23 Apr 2013 | 5:30 am
    Trey Ratcliff via Compfight If we have no desire we will die; if we have no conflict we will go to sleep. ~Jiddhu Krishnamurti Desire is the heartbeat of your story or novel. It’s what keeps readers emotionally invested scene by scene, sentence by sentence. That’s why we need to resist leaning on exposition – scenes where characters are talking about what already happened, or talking about another character who isn’t in the room. Readers want trouble to happen, not be remembered. They want problems confronted, not just thought about. A scene should never merely impart…
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    Jess C Scott :: Singapore Politics, Etc.

  • To Singapore, With Love

    Jess C Scott
    11 Sep 2014 | 1:12 pm
    Tan Pin Pin’s To Singapore, With Love, a documentary featuring Singaporean political exiles, will not be allowed for public screening. The Media Development Authority (MDA) said the film “undermined national security.” The biggest feeling in response I have to the MDA’s statement is disappointment. As a person with a functioning brain, and a person who was born in and grew up in Singapore, I also feel insulted with the MDA’s official stance on the matter. This isn’t a fictitious movie that depicts a disrespectful portrayal of Singapore’s people or its…
  • Don’t tell us what is true, let us judge by opening official records

    Jess C Scott
    10 Sep 2014 | 9:59 am
    Originally posted on Yawning Bread: Here we go again. Another film banned by the Singapore government. Tan Pin Pin’s “To Singapore, With Love” will not be allowed for public screening in this god-forsaken place. In a press statement released 10 September 2014, the Media Development Authority (MDA) said the film … undermined(d) national security because legitimate actions of the security agencies to protect the national security and stability of Singapore are presented in a distorted way as acts that victimised innocent individuals. – MDA, 10 Sept 2014. Link I have not seen the film…
  • Fifty Shades: William Giraldi / Jennifer Hamady / Lily Zheng

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

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

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

  • Because sometimes it just comes out.

    Shannon Barber
    11 Sep 2014 | 2:59 pm
    For reference I’m going to talk about this essay of mine that is up at Nailed Magazine right now. It’s small and intense so go ahead and read it. I wrote the above essay a few weeks ago in the middle of having fallen down a hole reading about Black victims of various crimes. As difficult as I find writing the tear your heart out shit, sometimes it just happens. What’s on my mind right now is the fact that I felt such a strong need to write that. Also that as opposed to say five years ago, I would have maybe submitted it somewhere obscure gotten rejected and tucked it away.
  • On Being hate read, processing and engagement.

    Shannon Barber
    8 Sep 2014 | 7:07 pm
    So y’all know I’ve been doing a series of self care articles over at XOjane. You can read the most recent one here. One of the things that has surprised me is how much pushback there’s been. Among the reasons: My tips about make up don’t count as self care for anybody ever. My budget / strategic spending tips are telling everyone to blow their rent money. My mention of smart budget friendly shopping is consumerist. I “stole” the idea from DBT (to tell y’all the truth I didn’t even know what that was until yesterday) therapy. I’ve been…
  • What I’m reading and some thoughts.

    Shannon Barber
    2 Sep 2014 | 8:11 pm
    I have been thirsty for other worlds lately and trying desperately to not hate some genre fiction. First I want to talk about the Sandman Slim Series by Richard Kadrey.  So outside of the fact that I just love the character Sandman Slim and these books are populated with low lifes, drunks and assholes as opposed to pure sweet magical folk is great. BUT after reading (I’m up to the fourth book I think?) the last one I read I have some things I have got to say. Now during the first book when he introduced a woman of color as a speaking/thinking character I was, let’s say…
  • Y’all are not ready.

    Shannon Barber
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:28 pm
    I have been sitting on a major secret. I am super proud to announce that Milcah Orbacedo is opening a brand new press called MotherBlazing Books and I am her first author. We are going to do SO MUCH together. There will be special edition print books, ebooks, a brand new website AND TEE SHIRTS. I am so so happy to be doing it this way. Coming up I’m also going to talk about how meaningful it is to me to be bringing my first not published by me print book into the world with someone who really sees who I am and values me for who I am and who I trust and love. This is the publishing I…
  • So many things.

    Shannon Barber
    22 Aug 2014 | 4:48 pm
    So hey. Outside of everything in merica being real fucking terrible right now some good stuff is going on in my writing life. Ready? So firstly new publication news. I have flash fiction in Ex Fic. A tiny story about a prostitute that does not invoke Pretty Woman nor is it anti sex worker nonsense. Go forth and enjoy it here. AND I have tiny prose poetry in Urban Graffiti (I think I told y’all?) my type of romance between cutters. Enjoy. Also the art the editor chose is really beautiful. Kinda NSFW. AND one more little flash piece in Black Mirror Magazine. Get it here. All of these…
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    Writing from the Twelfth House

  • Inspiration needed! Find it here…

    Anne Whitaker
    18 Sep 2014 | 1:03 pm
    Today I have been most inspired and uplifted by a wonderfully accessible, lucid,  reasonable, rational and open-minded statement which puts that fundamentalism which has so narrowed the general scope of scientific enquiry firmly in its place – but without being the least bit offensive in the process of doing so. Earth from Space – from Mokko studio It also reminds us that we live in an inter-connected, multi-levelled Cosmos; our knowledge both of what we now know and what we do NOT know, should be turning us away from narrow position-taking towards open-mindedly and…
  • The Scottish Independence Referendum: a Scottish astrologer’s view

    Anne Whitaker
    11 Sep 2014 | 4:09 am
    Just posted on Astrology: Questions and Answers: To read my thoughts on the Scottish Independence Referendum, viewed through the lens of the larger, and extremely turbulent, contemporary world picture, click HERE  Scotland’s HoroscopeFiled under: 01 - New Posts: January 2014 onwards, An astrologer's 'take' : the Scottish Independence Referendum Tagged: Scotland, Scotland's Horoscope, Scottish Independence Referendum
  • Chilling out with Moondark ( ‘what’s that?!’)

    Anne Whitaker
    25 Aug 2014 | 6:28 am
    Chill out time…. As I sit writing this, tucked away quietly in our Quiet Room with some soothing Japanese incense burning, it is approaching the end of Moondark. ‘What on earth is that?’ I hear you say. Moondark is the last three days of the 29.5 day Sun/Moon cycle. At Moondark, the  Moon disappears. Full Moon is the high energy point of the cycle, fourteen days after the New Moon. A few month’s notetaking is sufficient to realise that life is more pressured and charged up at that time. Moondark is the low energy point. It is a time for rest and retreat, not a time to…
  • A psychological approach to the Tarot, Part Two: the clients’ perspective

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

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

  • Thoughts on Youth Violence

    22 Sep 2014 | 1:59 pm
    I have been remiss in blog posts for various reasons over the past several months. For this, I apologize. The Every Person Is a Philosopher blog remains in operation along with the Journal of Ordinary Thought, and I will try to post more frequently. Today, on The Front Porch, Ida Watanabe from our King Branch workshop, [...]
  • Remembering Writer Mayi Ojisua by Donna Kiser

    8 Sep 2014 | 2:02 pm
    Please help to plant blooming flowers, become a harvest to others.                                      Mayi Ojisua On September 6 Chicago lost another extraordinary voice when Mayi Ojisua passed into peace. He was a musician, a poet, a painter, a dreamer, believer, and [...]
  • JOT Workshops Calling Teaching Artists

    14 Apr 2014 | 5:58 pm
    To Migrate to this Place Delores Tolliver Hall Branch Workshop When children can walk and play in their neighborhood and parents have no fear, I have migrated to the right place. When the color of skin is removed from the heart that once determined or classified another, I have migrated to the right place. When [...]
  • Migration Writing Prompt

    18 Mar 2014 | 4:57 am
    The Journal of Ordinary Thought writers are honored to partner with the Chicago Public Librarys’ One Book One Chicago on their 2013-2014 book “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson. Our five workshops are writing and workshopping personal narrartives as well as thinking outside the box about the word “migration.” I took the liberty [...]
  • Journal of Ordinary Thought Writers, CPL, and the American Writers Museum

    17 Mar 2014 | 10:34 am
    The Chicago History Museum, the Chicago Community Trust, and S&C Electric have co-sponsored for the American Writer’s Museums first pop-up exhibit: From Our Neighborhoods: Four Chicago Writers Who Changed America. The exhibit features Chicago writers Gwendolyn Brooks, Lorraine Hansbury, Studs Terkel, and Richard Wright. This Chicago Authors exhibit could become the prototype for the Chicago Room, [...]
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    Working Writers

  • Top 10 Mistakes Every Author Should Avoid

    Guest Post
    22 Sep 2014 | 4:52 am
    As any author discovers, there’s plenty of free advice out there for what they should – and shouldn’t do – when publishing a book. If I had to create a Top 10 list of mistakes authors should avoid at all costs, I’d focus on the following topics, because these omissions can really set you and […]
  • 5 Great Book Club Selections

    21 Sep 2014 | 7:50 pm
    Looking for a great book discussion for your next book group? Here are some books that book clubs have recommended. The Alchemist – 10th Anniversary Edition by Paulo Coelho 4.75 stars, 4,648 reviews The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho continues to change the lives of its readers forever. With more than two million copies sold around […]
  • Readers Recommend: September 20, 2014

    20 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    These are the books readers have suggested this week as great reads. Final Appeal by Lisa Scottoline 4 stars, 235 reviews Grace Rossi is starting over after a divorce, and a part-time job with a federal appeals court sounds perfect. But she doesn’t count on being assigned to an explosive death penalty appeal. Nor does […]
  • Free Kindle Books: September 20, 2014

    19 Sep 2014 | 7:48 pm
    Here are the top free Kindle books this week. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (Foreward by Julie Klassen) 4.75 stars, 738 reviews Abeloved classic, Austen’s first published novel explores the question of what drives your life: your heart or your head? The Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, are as different as sisters can be. […]
  • New Kindle Books

    18 Sep 2014 | 4:39 am
    Fill up your Kindle! Here’s a few highly recommended Kindle books released recently. The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Series Book 1) by Charlie N. Holmberg 4 stars, 1,209 reviews Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis […]
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    Sara Dobie Bauer's Blog

  • BOOK REVIEW: Hate List by Jennifer Brown

    22 Sep 2014 | 8:37 am
    Five months ago, Valerie’s boyfriend, Nick, opened fire in their high school cafeteria. He targeted people who made their “Hate List:” a collection of people who harassed them, picked on them, and made their lives at Garvin High a living hell. Valerie had no idea he was going to go this far, but in his way, Nick did it for her. To stop the bloodshed, Valerie ended up getting shot before Nick took his own life. Now, Valerie must return to her high school with an injured leg and face the consequences of Nick’s actions and their shared Hate List—which of course made the news. People…
  • Need feedback: BITE SOMEBODY query letter

    18 Sep 2014 | 12:40 pm
    Query letters are supposed to be catchy, succinct, and intriguing. They’re also a pain in the ass to write. As I prepare to sell my manuscript, Bite Somebody, I must first prepare a dreaded query letter. That’s where you come in. Kindly read the following query letter and tell me if it a) makes you wanna read my book and b) flows and/or makes sense. If all goes well, maybe I’ll mention you in the Acknowledgments. Bite Somebody Query Letter: First Draft All Celia wanted was her first bite and a cute boyfriend. She expected her life to change when she became a vampire, but…
  • Skydiving and/or “Why would you jump out of a perfectly good plane?”

    16 Sep 2014 | 10:56 am
    A friend of mine was a pilot who served his country well. Due to his experience, he never understood why someone would pay to go skydiving. In his words: “Why would you jump out of a perfectly good plane?” My tandem mate Tod asked me this same question last week at Skydive Phoenix as I prepared to do just that. Why? Why would I choose to jump out of a plane at eight thousand feet? I wish I had a good answer, but as I told Tod’s nifty video camera, “I was bored.” Now, I realize most so-called “normal human beings” wouldn’t get bored and decide to plummet toward Earth with a bag…
  • How to Lose Your Virginity

    10 Sep 2014 | 10:42 am
    In 2013, director/writer Therese Shechter released the shocking documentary How to Lose Your Virginity. I wasn’t shocked by words like “hymen” or “penis.” I was shocked by our country’s ignorance. Therese waited longer than most to have sex. When she finally decided to “do it,” she said, “It wasn’t so much because I had found Mr. Right but because I had grown tired of waiting for him.” It was in that moment, in a basement apartment, that Therese realized all the hype about losing her virginity really was just hype. There was no earth shattering before and after. She was…
  • Molotov Cocktail features “You Need My Shit”

    2 Sep 2014 | 9:08 am
    The Molotov Cocktail is self-described as “A Projectile for Incendiary Flash Fiction.” Understand I don’t usually write flash fiction, but something about the magazine: the look, the content, the attitude … I had to be part of it. The perfect opportunity arrived when we had a garage sale two weeks ago, and I realized I hate garage sales. While sitting there, watching people dig through my belongings, I wrote an essay with only Molotov Cocktail in mind. Blessing of blessings, they accepted it. For your deviant enjoyment, The Molotov Cocktail presents “You Need…
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    Elizabeth Spann Craig

  • 6 Steps Writers Need to Tame the Story Beast

    Elizabeth Spann Craig
    21 Sep 2014 | 9:02 pm
    by D.E. Ireland, @DEIrelandAuthor If you’ve come with up a unique idea for a book, congratulations. But you may need advice on how to shepherd this idea from that first inspiration to typing the last line of your final draft. Here are six steps that can help you along the way. First you need a light bulb moment. An idea pops in your brain, you say, “what if…?” and off you go to develop the premise. It’s perhaps the most exciting part of writing. Then reality sets in. We came up with the novel idea of Eliza Doolittle solving mysteries with Henry Higgins. But we first had to ascertain…
  • Twitterific Writing Links

    Elizabeth Spann Craig
    20 Sep 2014 | 9:04 pm
    by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig Twitterific links are fed into the Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine (developed by writer and software engineer Mike Fleming) which has over 23,000 free articles on writing related topics. It’s the search engine for writers. Think big as you revise your manuscript with these 9 steps: http://ow.ly/Bruvm @onewildword Bookstores live: Secrets of the stores saving the book world:  http://ow.ly/BrujX @salon The importance of prewriting:  http://ow.ly/BI3YG 7 Ways to Expertly Edit Your Own Writing: http://ow.ly/Btfuz…
  • Prewriting

    Elizabeth Spann Craig
    18 Sep 2014 | 9:02 pm
    By Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig My entire family has suddenly become obsessed with pineapple.  I don’t know what came over them.  It’s like the pineapple fairy visited one night. And they want it fresh.  Not canned or frozen (does it even come frozen)? So…I started out by buying those containers of chopped pineapple at the grocery store deli.  But I balked at paying $6 for a smidgeon of pineapple that the family consumed in less than a day. Then I bought the formidable looking fruit whole.  I looked up “how to cut a pineapple” online and the internet immediately coughed…
  • Why Do Women Read More Novels Than Men?

    Elizabeth Spann Craig
    14 Sep 2014 | 9:01 pm
     by Warren Adler,  @WarrenAdler There is ample statistical evidence showing that adult women read more novels than men, attend more book clubs than men, use libraries more than men, buy more books than men, take more creative writing courses than men, and probably write more works of fiction than men. If, as a demographic, they suddenly stopped reading, the novel would nearly disappear. A recent perusal of the New York Times fiction best seller list, scoring sales of print and e-books combined, showed that of the fifteen titles listed, eleven were written by women. Indeed, women are the…
  • Twitterific Writing Links

    Elizabeth Spann Craig
    13 Sep 2014 | 9:01 pm
    by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig Twitterific links are fed into the Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine (developed by writer and software engineer Mike Fleming) which has over 23,000 free articles on writing related topics. It’s the search engine for writers. New release last week: Death Pays a Visit is now available. :) A writer on being plagiarized and how to respond:  http://ow.ly/Bc5K5 @TheAubreyRose @passivevoiceblg 5 Cliche Endings:  http://ow.ly/Bc5AC  @grammarly 5 Ways to Get Book Reviews:  http://ow.ly/Bc5xK @SashaLeighS How to Write a Horror Story: …
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    Litopia All Shows

  • Fun With Colours

    Litopia Writers Colony
    10 Sep 2014 | 3:40 am
    Donna and Peter are joined in the studio by special guest Ian Winn, who can (ab)normally be found hosting our sister show here on Litopia, Litopia After Dark. Links to stories mentioned: How Amazon got a patent on white-background photography Why Photographers Shouldn't Be Too Upset Over Amazon's White-Background Patent (Peter disagrees with this!) Victoria's Secret Loses PINK Brand Battle B&N Testing Espresso Book Machines Bert The Farting Hippo! FBI Agent Files Defamation Suit Against Ebony Philly Newspaper Editor Fired For Asian Slurs Why Female Writers Get Trolled The Most Florida…
  • Carol Harrison - From EastEnders To Itchycoo Park

    8 Sep 2014 | 3:33 am
    Her role as Louise Raymond in BBC's EastEnders brought her stardom and notoriety, but Carol Harrison's true life story has been as gripping as the plot of any television soap opera. Born in London’s East End to a single mum, Carol grew up in abject poverty. It has been said that there are four main routes out of the East End - crime, sport, acting and rock'n'roll. Carol’s life connects three of those (she was once married to the son of one of Britain's best-known gangsters). Garry’s guest tonight opens her heart about her screen love affair with Ross Kemp's character Grant Mitchell...
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky – Demons (aka The Possessed)

    5 Sep 2014 | 4:03 am
    Everything’s more or less normal in the little town of N until Piotr Stepanovich and his equally psychopathic sidekick, Nikolai Stavrogin, come back from abroad. One thing leads to another leads to another and another and some more after that in Dostoevsky’s extraordinarily rambling (as rambling as this sentence) novel, which does not end well for anyone involved, reader included. The devil inside, the devil inside, every single hour of reading this book – the devil inside. Download the mp3 file Subscribe in iTunes From recent débuts to classics, fiction to non-fiction, memoirs,…
  • Iron’s Den

    29 Aug 2014 | 2:38 am
    Iron Maiden are one of the world’s most successful heavy metal bands with more than 85 million albums sales to their name. Dennis Stratton was their guitarist right back in 1979. He played on and co-produced their self-titled debut album and their first three hit singles. Here he chats exclusively with Garry (who wrote Maiden’s authorized biography Running Free) about life on the road in those early days – the laughs and the tension, and his enduring friendship with the band which, like him, was forged in the East End of London. Den is honest about his fall-out with manager Rod…
  • Two And A Half Stories A Day

    Litopia Writers Colony
    22 Aug 2014 | 8:31 am
    From litigious street-artists to litigious Angolan generals... Donna and Peter proudly present your suits du jour! Now with added dystopian designer stubble. Links to stories: Amazon Sanctions Customers To Get Back At Hachette Amazon Takes on Disney’s Superheroes  Blood Diamonds author faces $1.2m lawsuit Guild battling bosses over byline quota at Pioneer Press  Editors For ‘Survivor’ Return From Strike Over Right To Form Union  Terry Gilliam’s ‘Zero Theorem’ Slammed With Copyright Suit  Premier League warns fans not to tweet goal videos  Judge Orders…
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    Nitpickers' Nook

  • Words that hurt morale

    Columbia Books, LLC
    17 Sep 2014 | 11:41 am
    Avoid these words that have the power to demotivate and demoralize employees: blame, catastrophe, command, crisis, demand, disaster, fault, hopeless, impossible, incompetent, mess and stupid. Those words convey a sense of command and control, as in “You must listen to my orders and do as I say.” Those are words that imply strict instruction and that hold zero hope for drawing unity, inspiration or cooperation from your team. — Adapted from Getting Your Way Every Day, Alex Axelrod, American Management Association, http://www.amanet.org/books.
  • Well-timed feedback

    Columbia Books, LLC
    15 Sep 2014 | 11:36 am
    When is the best time to tell employees that their performance doesn’t meet your expectations? As soon as you notice problems. If you wait until a more “opportune” moment to share negative feedback, their performance will only continue to slide. Worse, staffers may think: “We’ve been messing up and the boss didn’t even tell us? It must not be that important.” Another problem: employee resentment or embarrassment. No one wants to hear about poor performance after the fact. — Adapted from Growing Great Employees, Erika Andersen, Portfolio, http://www.penguin.com.
  • Personalize recognition

    Columbia Books, LLC
    10 Sep 2014 | 11:16 am
    When it comes to recognition, money isn’t everything. Employees often want other shows of your appreciation—and many respond well to rewards that just might surprise you. Find out how your employees want to be recognized by distributing a survey, asking them to mark the items that appeal to them. Then tailor rewards around their responses. “Reward me by …” Offering me positive feedback at a meeting. Asking me to take on a tough problem or challenge. Inviting me to a dinner party or barbecue at the boss’s home. Giving me the chance to work flexible hours or work at home.
  • Answer questions the right way

    Columbia Books, LLC
    5 Sep 2014 | 7:07 am
    Be careful how you answer questions from customers or coworkers. An answer that seems fine to you may be offensive to the other person. Use these tips to answer questions more effectively and to reduce the chances of misunderstandings or hurt feelings: Avoid using “Of course” as a synonym for “Yes.” Answers that are obvious to you may be less obvious to the other person. For that reason, the questioner may interpret the answer “Of course” as an insult. Example: A coworker asks whether she should obtain a manager’s approval before ordering office supplies. You answer “Of…
  • How to win without arguing

    Columbia Books, LLC
    3 Sep 2014 | 9:00 am
    Want to convince others to accept your point of view over their own? Don’t engage in a shouting match. Instead of raising their defenses by attacking their points of view, throw them off guard by agreeing with their viewpoint. Example: A co-worker tells you that you let him down because you didn’t meet an internal deadline that you consider relatively unimportant. You could create a logical argument to convince your co-worker of that, but the co-worker is unlikely to abandon his position. So don’t argue. Instead, say: “Yes, I understand what you mean. We did agree to finish that part…
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    The Write One Blog

  • How To Deal With Negative Book Reviews

    Stefanie Newell
    3 Sep 2014 | 1:37 pm
    View On YouTube | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel As writers, we’re all eventually going to deal with the dreaded negative book review. The key to dealing with negative book reviews successfully is learning how to ... The post How To Deal With Negative Book Reviews appeared first on The Write One Blog.
  • Book Marketing On Facebook – 3 Methods To Boost Exposure

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

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

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

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

  • My Heroes Have Always Been Human

    James Kiester
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:57 pm
    -Dirk Benedict (born March 1, 1945) is a television actor who played the characters Lieutenant Starbuck in the original Battlestar Galactica and Lieutenant Templeton "Faceman" Peck in The A-Team. I vividly remember watching both shows as a kid. I remember the excitement I felt as I watched him blast the feldercarb out of the bad guys, first in space, the as part of the Los Angeles underground.Photo courtesy of Amazon's Affiliate Program. This weekend I had a chance to meet one of my childhood heroes at Rose City Comic-Con. While giddy as my 12 year old self, I carefully prepped for the…
  • Musicals, The Maligned Movie Genre

    James Kiester
    12 Sep 2014 | 1:28 pm
    -Mayor Shinn, of River City, shakes his fists from his podium as he reminds the townspeople of how much money "Professor" Harold Hill has taken from them for instruments, uniforms, and instruction books, promising to create a boys' band. When he loudly demands to know "Where's the band?" Hill is saved by the town's boys who have Photo courtesy of Amazon's Affiliate Program. learned to play Beethoven's Minuet in G on their instruments. Although their technical expertise leaves much to be desired, the boys' parents are enthralled. The somewhat ragged boys' band marches out of the town hall. As…
  • I Want To Live In Springfield

    James Kiester
    24 Aug 2014 | 2:40 pm
    -As I write this, FOX owned FXX Network is running every chapter of "The Simpsons" -- all 552 episodes, plus the movie -- in a 12-day marathon. What began, in 1989, as a series of family based animated shorts for The Tracey Ullman Show,  Photo courtesy of Amazon's Affiliate Program. has evolved into a 25 year chronicle of the, fictional, town of Springfield. While I haven't watched the entire marathon, needing at least enough time to catch the premiere of DOCTOR WHO's 8th season and True Blood's grand finale, I've caught enough stretches of the marathon to know that I want to live in…
  • This Is Mork Signing Off

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

    James Kiester
    30 Jul 2014 | 5:32 pm
    -On June 12th, 2014, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped, and later killed, in Gush Etzion, in the West Bank, as they were hitchhiking to their homes.  Under the assumption Hamas (a Palestinian Sunni Islamic organization, with a military wing known as the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades) committed the crime, the Israeli military began bombing Gaza.Since then, rockets have killed multiple civilians and destroyed infrastructure on both sides.  As the death toll has risen, diplomats have appeared on Meet The Press, and other talk shows, to explain their  solution to the…
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    Stories To Tell Books

  • Are Print Books Going Away? Not If Ikea Can Help It!

    Biff Barnes
    10 Sep 2014 | 4:29 pm
    Are print books an endangered species? You can find plenty of people to argue either side of the question. But if you find the whole debate a bit tedious and would be happy to continue reading your print book, you’ll get a chuckle out of Swedish furniture retailer Ikea’s video announcement of its 2015 Catalog. Taking a swipe at Apple’s over the top product announcements, Ikea invites you to “experience the power of a “bookbook.” Listening to the description of a paper catalog in the language of the latest high tech gadgetry will warm the heart of anyone who…
  • Tips on How to Make Yourself a Better Writer?

    Biff Barnes
    5 Sep 2014 | 9:08 am
    There has been a lot of advice on the web of late suggesting that writers can improve their productivity by paying attention to their environment, routine and work style. Here are four of the best posts on the subject: Courtesy of Acebrand on Pixab 7 Ways Your Physical Environment Can Help or Hinder Your Writing on Writing Forward Ali Luke examines external factors that may interfere with your productivity from a writer’s perspective. The Psychology of Writing and The Cognitive Science of the Perfect Daily Routine on Brain Pickings Maria Popova explores the issue productivity for…
  • 2nd Thoughts Before Choosing My Canvas To Print Your Family History Book

    Biff Barnes
    1 Sep 2014 | 1:06 pm
    Ancestry has found a new home for My Canvas. There has been a good deal of celebrating in the genealogy community. At Stories To Tell we are always happy to see more opportunities for people to share their family history. But this is a good time to ask whether My Canvas, the best known place to publish a family history, is really the best way to create a family history book. Image courtesy of geralt on Pixabay There are two reasons My Canvas seems an attractive option to people who want to publish a family history, but don’t know much about how book publishing works. Ancestry’s…
  • Six Writing Tips to Add Drama to Your Story

    Biff Barnes
    22 Aug 2014 | 7:02 am
    Every writer is looking for ways to enrich the characters, deepen the conflict and build a more dramatic story. Here are six great tips from around the web to help you do just that: Courtesy of Mats Halldin on Wikimedia under Creative CommonsThree Guidelines for Writing Villains from The Write Practice Story Structure: A Graphic You Can Use from Story Fix Boost Story Conflict By Exploring The Dark Side of Your Hero’s Best Qualities from Writers Helping Writers Painting a Scene vs. Dramatizing a Scene from Fiction University 3 Steps to Taking Your Character Further and Deeper –…
  • My Canvas Retirement: The Best Alternative to Preserve Your Family History

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

  • Let's Play!

    18 Sep 2014 | 3:00 am
    Most word lovers love Scrabble™, the classic word game developed originally by Depression-era architect Alfred Butts, who sold the rights to James Brunot, who sold the rights to Selchow & Righter, which sold out completely to Coleco, which shortly thereafter went bankrupt, the assets of which were bought up by modern-day Hasbro. Here are some words for your next conquest. (Each word's basic score is in parentheses.) Memorize them and win all the challenges!
  • Omitting Parts of Verbs

    27 Aug 2014 | 3:30 am
    As the summer winds down, we thought we'd post a short article and perhaps cause you to laugh (or at least chuckle a little). Hope you enjoy today's post.
  • A Great Moment in American Literature

    20 Aug 2014 | 3:30 am
    Rather than a grammar post this week, we chose to devote the post to a great moment in American literature. Whether you're in a lofty Manhattan skyscraper or an out-of-the-way home office in the Australian Outback, we hope you'll find a quiet moment today to enjoy this moving excerpt from Cross Creek, a book about early 20th century life in the Florida "scrub," by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.
  • Tribute to the Left(-handed World)

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

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

  • Beyond Here – Author’s Notes

    James Shelley
    22 Sep 2014 | 7:15 am
    Today I am pleased to announce the release of Beyond Here — the eighth volume of the Caesura Letters, The Daily Devotional for the Curious and Contemplative. This is another quarterly compilation of thought experiments, propositions, and ideas, presented in hopes of inspiring new perspectives on life. As with other volumes, this edition gathers three months of the Caesura Letters into thematic ‘bundles’, dancing between the arts, sciences, and humanities. This volume explores mindfulness and intentionality, bias and cognition, the meaning and value of work, the purpose of…
  • Perspectives on Depression and Mental Health

    James Shelley
    12 Sep 2014 | 9:00 am
    This coming week, I am publishing a series about mental health in the Caesura Letters — The Daily Devotional for the Curious and Contemplative. Here’s a snippet from the update on the Caesura Letters newsfeed: As always, we’re looking for perspective in life, and few issues are throttled with more controversy and conflicting perspectives than the issue of mental health. At the same time, few issues are more central to the lived experience of daily life. Starting Monday, start each day this week with a contemplative reflection inspired a timeless question… what is a…
  • Adaptive You

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

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

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

  • The Ultimate Guide to Getting Freelance Writing Jobs

    Karol K
    3 Sep 2014 | 6:57 am
    It’s July 2008 as I’m sitting in my room, holding my shiny new Master’s Degree in Computer Science, and making up my mind about staying at the univ to become what the western world calls a Doctor of Science. Sounds like a life-defining career choice, doesn’t it? October that year is my first month as a serious scientist, with a room on the top floor of the building (given to me by pure chance, still counts though) and a schedule of lectures that I needed to give (instead of sitting in the back and being bored – my usual). Fast forward one year later, and it turns…
  • 11 Months, an Abandoned Blog, and a Hero’s Return

    Bamidele Onibalusi
    28 Aug 2014 | 12:48 pm
    September 13, 2013. That’s a little over 11 months ago, and it was also the last time I personally “published” an article written by me for this blog. Around then, I was on a quest to write a guest post a day for other blogs, and I did for quite a while, but that also stopped around November, 2013. My emails to my newsletter stopped around then as well, except for one final email I sent on the 22nd of December, 2013 – it was my birthday then – to gift an ebook to my subscribers. That’s it. I recently went through my period of longest silence since I’ve been blogging. I…
  • The Top Skill Bloggers Need Now to Skyrocket Their Success

    Guest Post
    24 Mar 2014 | 11:58 am
    By Carol Have you been wondering how to make your blog stand out? At this point, there are umpty-million blogs out there. Every niche has tons of bloggers. There is no wide-open field you can claim — and if you spot one, it’s probably there because that’s a topic nobody can earn from. Now, it’s a matter of competing successfully with other blogs on your topic to grab readers’ attention. Especially as a startup in a niche full of already successful bloggers with huge mailing lists, it’s tough. But it can be done. When I started my freelance writing blog in…
  • How to Start a Freelance Writing Business in One Hour a Day

    Guest Post
    3 Dec 2013 | 8:27 am
    It takes time to build up a freelance writing business from scratch, particularly if you are trying to create an income stream that covers your outgoings and enabled you to freelance full time. For that reason, it’s common for budding freelancers to start their careers in their spare time and keep a regular salaried 9-5 job for “guaranteed” income. Moonlighting after hours as a freelance writer is a great way to get started in the business without giving up your job security (it’s what I did!). However, it also means that you will have a lot less time to devote to your writing,…
  • 6 Reasons You Will Never Succeed As A Freelance Writer

    Guest Post
    15 Nov 2013 | 12:51 pm
    By Shuchi  If you have been on the freelancing battleground for quite some time and haven’t made much headway, it might be a sign that something is amiss. It could be something that you are doing wrong (which is actually very good news because you can always fix it with a little effort), or it could be something more serious, i.e. you are in the wrong place and freelance writing really isn’t the career for you. Now, this article in no way intends to demean or discourage anyone who wants to make a living out of writing, but after having worked with a large number of writers at my…
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    Florida Writers Conference Blog

  • What’s in a Style?

    22 Sep 2014 | 3:00 am
    By CP Bialois Hello everyone! This is something I’ve thought about a lot lately, and I finally decided it was time to put it on paper, er… I mean, cyberspace. As a writer, I’m often asked what style do I use, and, to be honest, I answer with semi-formal. So far that answer has seemed […]
  • 10 Tips For Taking Notes at a Writer’s Conference  

    21 Sep 2014 | 3:00 am
    by Jennie Jarvis Let’s face it: in the 21st Century, everyone is doing their part to save the trees (and the planet) by going paperless. Mortgages can be paid online. Statements can be emailed. And writer’s conferences are cutting down on the number of handouts they provide to their attendees. The Florida Writers Association is […]
  • My Argument for Cloning

    19 Sep 2014 | 3:00 am
    By Anne Hawkinson Writing is a solitary endeavor, at least for me. I spend hours alone in my office, at my computer, creating worlds that don’t exist for people who aren’t real. I challenge my characters, put roadblocks in their way, and fill their world with conflict and struggle. It’s a monumental undertaking, and takes […]
  • Exercise Wednesday: Is that a gun in your purse or are you just happy to see me?

    Chris Hamilton
    17 Sep 2014 | 3:00 am
    You’re eating lunch with a friend, a kind-hearted soul–the type of person who tries to shoo the moths out of the house, rather than killing them. She’s dressed smartly in a green double-breasted suit jacket with a black blouse underneath. As you eat, you’re catching up on old times–college, or maybe from when you worked […]
  • Rx from the Book Doctor: Never Give Up!

    15 Sep 2014 | 3:00 am
    By Bobbie Christmas We writers often hear discouraging information about rejection and frustration. Only once in a while do we hear a success story, and even more seldom does that story happen to someone close by. I’m here to change that situation for you. Someone who has been a longstanding member of FWA has had […]
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    Productive Writers

  • Why I Don’t Have a Smartphone

    John Soares
    15 Sep 2014 | 6:29 am
    I spend a lot of time on the computer completing my freelance writing projects, and I also spend significant time on the Internet dealing with my multiple blogs, promoting my services on LinkedIn, and networking with other writers and entrepreneurial types on Twitter, Google Plus, forums, and other blogs. But when I’m not on my computer, I […]Related Posts:Why You Need Much More Time OfflineWhy Multitasking Makes You a Less Productive WriterHow to Make the Best Use of Your Travel TimeThe Best Freelance Writing LocationsWhy Writers Need Free Time Alone
  • When and How a Freelance Writer Should Hire Help

    John Soares
    2 Sep 2014 | 6:40 am
    When you become successful enough as a freelance writer, you’ll need to consider when and how to hire people so that you can become even more successful and make even more money. When Should You Hire Help? Here’s the simple Hiring-Outside-Help Maxim: Assuming you can get as much work as you want at your preferred hourly […]Related Posts:How Freelance Writers Calculate Their Hourly RatesSix Copy Editing Tips for Freelance WritersFour Reasons Why Freelance Writers Should SpecializeHow Freelance Writers Can Keep Editors HappyDoes Your Freelance Writing Niche Have Busy Seasons?
  • Watch Me Take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!

    John Soares
    25 Aug 2014 | 6:32 am
    ALS is a very serious and debilitating disease that leads to loss of motor-nerve function and frequently results in death. Unfortunately, Steve Bachman, one of my childhood friends, has ALS. Steve is an intelligent and brave man who openly discusses ALS on his excellent blog. My Challenge to You As I mention in the video, […]Related Posts:Hey Writer, Do You Make the Best Use of Your Brain?5 Things About WordPress That Really Bug MeMy Criteria for Keeping a Print BookProfitable Freelance Writing for NonprofitsBetter Time Management through NOT Watching TV
  • The Science and Psychology of Why You Procrastinate

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

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

  • Have any questions about taking a Disney Cruise? Ask me.

    Zach Everson
    16 Sep 2014 | 11:49 am
    Last week my family and I went on the Disney Dream for a three-day cruise of the Bahamas. While I was there to research Disney Cruise Line’s Halloween and holiday activities for MapQuest... [Select the headline to view the full story.]
  • I told you Stonehenge would hit the big time in 2014! Again!

    Zach Everson
    10 Sep 2014 | 9:43 am
    Last night on Gizmodo: “Underground Mapping Near Stonehenge Reveals a New “Super Henge” This January from me on Twitter: A3. Stonehenge. // Q3: Which emerging destination is going... [Select the headline to view the full story.]
  • U2 ‘Songs of Innocence’ flash review

    Zach Everson
    10 Sep 2014 | 5:51 am
    At least the U2 imitating Coldplay covering U2 era appears to be over. And at free for iTunes users, Songs of Innocence is priced competitively. [Select the headline to view the full story.]
  • I told you Stonehenge would hit the big time in 2014!

    Zach Everson
    5 Sep 2014 | 11:50 am
    Today from Mediaite: “Obama Knocks Stonehenge Off His ‘Bucket List’ After NATO Summit” This January from me on Twitter: A3. Stonehenge. // Q3: Which emerging destination is going to hit... [Select the headline to view the full story.]
  • MapQuest publishes my feature article on visiting Boston child-free

    Zach Everson
    26 Aug 2014 | 5:29 am
    Remember that article I started live-writing in front of an audience? Last week MapQuest published it: “Enjoy a child-free visit to your hometown: After a four-year parenting bender, it was... [Select the headline to view the full story.]
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    Whispered Writings

  • To Freelance Clients Everywhere

    10 Sep 2014 | 3:41 pm
    Your payment may be my grocery money for the week.
  • (786) 607-0603…or how to ruin every chance you had of ever doing business with me

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

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

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

    14 Jan 2014 | 11:21 am
    New agent seeking clients Passing this along to all of my peeps. Filed under: Writing tips Tagged: agent, author, fiction, literary agent, publishing, writer, writing
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    Write It Sideways

  • Sorry! Why I Didn’t Answer Your Email

    Suzannah Windsor Freeman
    2 Sep 2014 | 9:43 am
    So, the other day I mentioned to my hubby—who is also my technical guru—that one of the online forms at Compose didn’t seem to be working. As he prodded into both of my sites, he also discovered a glitch in the contact form at Write It Sideways. In fact, there were hundreds of email messages I hadn’t received from my readers, and they were sitting there in my system. Some of them were more than a year old. How could this happen? How hadn’t I noticed? I suppose there were a number of factors: I was still receiving dozens of messages every day that related to my…
  • How to Write Better Short Stories and Get Published in Lit Mags

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

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

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

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

  • Conducting an effective email interview

    Scott Nesbitt
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:21 am
    When I started writing all those years ago (and even before that, when I was in journalism school), there were two ways to conduct an interview: face-to-face or over the phone. Ah, how times have changed. While you still can do interviews in person or via telephone, you have other options, too. Like using video […] Related posts: Tips for doing telephone interviews Thoughts about effective digital note taking Creating an effective outline
  • A few links for the end of the week

    Scott Nesbitt
    19 Sep 2014 | 7:59 am
    Some tips that can help you make it as a freelance journalist 12 content strategies for your blog How to write when you won’t start writing The joys of trimming your writing A few thoughts about where to find inspiration for your writing 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
  • Useful offline Chromebook apps for writers

    Scott Nesbitt
    17 Sep 2014 | 8:23 am
    Writing with a Chromebook offers you quite a bit of portability and flexibility. No matter what the naysayers might think. A Chromebook is lighter than a notebook, and easier to type on than a tablet. You can just slip a Chromebook into your bag and use it anywhere. One myth about Chromebooks is that you […] Related posts: Getting ready to write with a Chromebook Writing drafts (and more) with Writebox Google Chrome apps and extensions for writers
  • A few resources that can help you set your freelance writing rates

    Scott Nesbitt
    15 Sep 2014 | 8:05 am
    Not all freelancer writers make their living by writing for publications (whether in print or online). Many of us work with small and medium-sized businesses, corporate clients, and the like. That includes me. And if there’s one problem that I share with a number of other freelancers, it’s determining how much to charge for my […] Related posts: Some useful online resources for writers 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

    Scott Nesbitt
    12 Sep 2014 | 7:58 am
    How to proofread your content 150 journalism cliches to avoid. Avoid them no matter what you’re writing 6 tools you have that can help improve the quality of your writing Want more readers? Then write like this Debunking two age-old myths about grammar 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
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    From Meredith Allard

  • Advice On How To Be Happy

    Meredith Allard
    16 Sep 2014 | 5:29 pm
    I was standing in Starbucks yesterday morning when I saw this list from author Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) hanging from the community board.  I think his advice is as appropriate today as it was over a hundred years ago. I’ve been pretty busy lately and I haven’t had time to slow down, so reading this was a good reminder of what’s really important. Enjoy. 1. Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.  2. Make the best of your circumstances. No one has everything, and…
  • Which Authors Have Influenced You the Most? Here’s My List.

    Meredith Allard
    2 Sep 2014 | 3:08 pm
    I was asked by Prism Book Alliance to name the top ten authors I admire. Sounds simple, right? Yet I found it wasn’t that easy for me to narrow down the list since I’ve been influenced and inspired by so many authors over my lifetime. Dickens is listed at number one–no great surprise there–though the others aren’t in any particular order. I’m not sure there are any surprises here except for perhaps the poets–Whitman and cummings–though anyone who has read any of my fiction can see the Whitman influence in my prose (and in my choice of titles). Here…
  • Here’s My Blog for The Huffington Post

    Meredith Allard
    21 Aug 2014 | 6:48 pm
    The nice people at The Huffington Post were kind enough to publish my article on their Gay Voices page about why straight allies should be willing to speak out on behalf of LGBT issues. I added it here too in case you missed it. If you don’t agree, that’s fine. I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything. I’m simply sharing my opinion on the matter. I felt like I needed to have my say on the issue, which is why I wrote my novel That You Are Here in the first place. Here’s the link to the article on The Huffington Post’s website. If you have a moment, stop…
  • Thank you, Robin Williams: A Lesson in Gratitude

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

  • Spicing Up Your Prose Part 4 of 6

    Diana Hurwitz
    19 Sep 2014 | 8:10 am
    This week, we continue to add to our collection of rhetorical devices.Parallelism uses balance and three beats following a sentence or clause with a phrase that starts with a similar kind of word (adjective, adverb or noun          The book was damaged1, damaged beyond all hope of repair2. (balance)Jane loved him more for it1, more than she loved her books2, more than she loved herself3. (3 beats)Personification attributes an animal or inanimate object with human characteristics.         The book hid its…
  • Spicing Up Your Prose Part 3 of 6

    Diana Hurwitz
    12 Sep 2014 | 9:39 am
    Here are more delicious rhetorical devices to add to your prose spice shelf.Epizeuxis repeats a word in a sentence or clause for emphasis.It was a long, long night for them both.Hyperbole uses deliberate exaggeration. It can be funny or sarcastic. Use it sparingly.Jane was so tired she could have slept for a year, maybe four.Hypophora is similar to a rhetorical question, only the question is answered. Often the base clause or sentence poses the question and the modifying phrases answer it. In dialogue, it can be provocative if the character asks the question then answers…
  • Spicing Up Your Prose Part 2 of 6

    Diana Hurwitz
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:20 am
    This week, we continue to add delicious rhetorical devices to your prose spice shelf.Asyndeton omits conjunctions and speeds up the sentence using three or four beats.Dick ran, laughing, hysterical, howlingfrom the library.Balance offers two propositions of equal value joined by a comma or semicolon. The second half mirrors the first half but changes a few words.Dick asked not what Jane could do for him1, but what he could do for her2.Chiasmus repeats a sentence or clause but reverses the order in the second half.When the water gets rough, the rough get in the…
  • Spicing Up Your Prose Part 1 of 6

    Diana Hurwitz
    22 Aug 2014 | 7:26 am
    Variety is the spice of life and these rhetorical devices sound like exotic spices. We know how they taste but have forgotten the names.These spices should be sprinkled in carefully. They enrich a sentence or paragraph when you want a little punch. You shouldn't overwhelm the reader with them and should be mindful of clichés. You earn a gold star for using them effectively. You earn two gold stars if you remember their names.Abstraction advances a proposition from generic to specific.Jane opened the book1, a thick tome2, a collection of poetry3.Alliteration repeats initial consonants in…
  • Redundant Words

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

  • Cutest Thing EVER!

    Raquel Byrnes
    22 Sep 2014 | 2:20 pm
    So Rebecca Enzor has an annual event that is so amazingly fun and cute that I can't...even!  This year's #PonyFest14 encourages authors to custom build a My Little Pony that depicts the character, place, or theme of their book.  There are prizes and everything. The winner gets their pony made into a real one! I know, right?So you go on this Pony Creator and you customize your very own book mascot.  Love it!Pony Description: This is Charlie and she is a steampunk pony. She is beautiful and refined like the society lady she is, but with the tinkerer cutie mark because she is a…
  • They've Got the Right Idea

    Raquel Byrnes
    20 Sep 2014 | 11:05 pm
    So I am knee-deep in revisions AND I am currently teaching a creative writing course for teens. The thing that I like so much about teaching is that it forces me to systematically explain what I do in my head at my computer.So plot points, opening scene, triggering incident...I have to show that to young writers that are basically pansters. They sit and start writing without even caring where its going.Thing is...Its kind of a good thing.  Don't get me wrong. I'm a thorough charter, outliner, index card writing planner to my core.  But these go for broke, just get it out, teen…
  • Gatherings and Cons

    Raquel Byrnes
    15 Sep 2014 | 9:56 pm
    Calculating EngineSo the Gaslight Gathering is taking place here in San Diego on the 18th-20th and I am so trying to go!  It looks like a lot of fun and its STEAMPUNK!  I don't know about you, but when I find a group of people that like the same thing I do...I get happy.I'm not only an avid reader of the genre, I also write it, so I love seeing all the inspirational cosplay ideas and creative twists on favorite characters.Attending these events can be a shot in the arm if you're struggling with a current project or if you just want to geek out.Some more cons to consider this next…
  • Cheap Secrets...

    Raquel Byrnes
    13 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    I am so excited to announce that my gothic romance, SECRETS AT CRESCENT POINT, is on SALE TODAY for only $1.00!Just hop on over to Christian Book.com to enjoy the discount.Leaving Noble Island amid scandal and accusation, Raven vows never to return, but when her sister’s fiancé goes missing, Raven has no choice. Shunned by the island, if she is to unravel the mystery of Niklos’s disappearance, she must rely on the only man she’s ever loved, Siyah Cavaler.Siyah was devastated when Raven left Noble Island, but as the clan’s heir apparent, he has a responsibility to keep the families…
  • Review: Gates of Thread and Stone

    Raquel Byrnes
    9 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    Gates of Thread and Stone is a YA Dystopian Fantasy written by Lori M. Lee. The Pros:The world building is done beautifully. The walled city is creepy and decrepit and you absolutely feel the desperation the characters feel living that existence. Lee does a wonderful job of fleshing out the intricacies of the different districts, the slum-like labyrinth, and the menacing White Court.Kai, the main character, is a strong-willed young woman with an iron clad loyalty to her brother, Reeve. This love and dedication really plays into the reader's connection to Kai.Avan is her friend and love…
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    Grant Writing Confidential

  • Collaboration Again: A Story From the Trenches

    Jake Seliger
    20 Sep 2014 | 10:33 am
    We’re working on a project for a client who needs two things: a lot of data that isn’t easily publicly available and the dreaded letters of collaboration from other local providers (which we’ve written about in the context of Susan G. Komen, Mark Zuckerberg, and Community-Based Job Training). We have to be vague on the details, but our client initially planned to serve a reasonable service area, and we wrote a draft proposal reflecting our client’s plan. The plan didn’t survive contact with the enemy, however. Our client’s so-called…
  • September Links: Why We Judge, Laptops in Classrooms, Debtors’ Prisons, the Folly of the War on Drugs, and More!

    Jake Seliger
    14 Sep 2014 | 8:51 pm
    * “Big chains pay better than mom and pop stores,” which is counter to the dominant narrative. * “Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League: The nation’s top colleges are turning our kids into zombies,” which matches my (anecdotal) experience. * Suburban sprawl and bad transit can crush opportunity for the poor. * “Study: Decriminalizing prostitution could drastically cut HIV infections,” which is sufficiently obvious that I almost don’t want to include it. * “Another Challenge of Parenting While Poor: Wealthy Judges;” this sort of…
  • In Forming a Nonprofit Board, Think “Goldilocks”

    Isaac Seliger
    7 Sep 2014 | 8:58 pm
    When forming a new nonprofit, one of the first issues confronting the sponsor as they apply for a state charter and draft articles of incorporation and bylaws is: How many board members should the new organization have? As with most things relating to nonprofits and grant writing, while there’s no definitive right answer, there are some good answers. Some states will approve a new profit with just a single board member—and the inherent simplicity and control of a single board member often appeals to a founder—this is a fast way to the exit when you apply for IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt…
  • New York City is Having Trouble Giving Away Free Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) Slots—And an Early Head Start (EHS) Note

    Jake Seliger
    1 Sep 2014 | 5:41 pm
    We’ve written many City of New York Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) proposals—as well as various Head Start, Early Head Start and other early childhood education proposals—so we read with interest Katie Taylor’s recent NYT story “In First Year of Pre-K Expansion, a Rush to Beat the School Bell.” New York City is apparently having a tough time giving away valuable free stuff. They City and its legion of grantees have to hire “enrollment specialists”—who we like to call “Outreach Workers” in proposals—to convince people to take the free…
  • Many Proposals Are Swimming Against the Tide: An Example From HRSA’s New Access Point (NAP) FOA

    Jake Seliger
    24 Aug 2014 | 3:19 pm
    Take a look at the laundry list of stuff that HRSA wants New Access Point (NAP) applicants to somehow improve (the quote comes from page 38 of the 101-page FOA): Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, Prenatal Health, Perinatal Health, Child Health, Weight Assessment and Counseling for Children and Adolescents, Adult Weight Screening and Follow-Up, Tobacco Use Screening and Cessation, Asthma – Pharmacological Therapy, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) – Lipid Therapy, Ischemic Vascular Disease (IVD) – Aspirin Therapy, Colorectal Cancer Screening, New HIV Cases With Timely Follow Up,…
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    Emerging Writers Studio

  • Getting Under the Skin

    Nanci Panuccio
    12 Sep 2014 | 10:54 am
    photo by Aristocrats-hat It’s one thing to understand a character. It’s another thing to become them. Readers crave the latter. In my early twenties, at Columbia University’s Summer Writing Program, I was fortunate to have novelist and short story author Ethan Canin critique my first completed short story. The story centered around a love triangle of sorts: two friends, both Julliard piano students, and their mentor Joshua who becomes smitten by one of the girl’s musical powers. Ethan’s major criticism was that my story was plot-driven rather than…
  • The Difference Between Plot and Story

    Nanci Panuccio
    28 Aug 2014 | 4:04 am
    umjanedoan via Compfight My first writing workshops in NYC included a few lawyers with novels-in-progress based on real life cases they’d defended throughout their careers. They were writing what they knew. Intricate and wild criminal cases brimming with drama and excitement. Endless twists. Mega suspense. Their plots were riveting. But there was no story. No character development. No emotion driving the novels forward. They had built a scaffold. But not a world. Many of the stories I edit suffer either from too much plot, or not enough. A plot-driven story is full of action, which is…
  • What Is Your Story About?

    Nanci Panuccio
    17 Jul 2014 | 12:28 pm
    Photo credit: Stéfan “So what are your stories about?” someone at a party recently asked. “Hmmm,” I said, mentally scanning my most recent collection, grasping for a cogent response. “Loss. Regret. Grief. Disillusionment. It’s hard to explain. I actually have no idea what my stories are about.” If you’re anything like me, you routinely trip over this question. It’s challenging to understand, let alone, articulate what we’re writing about. To sum up a story or book in terms of its aboutness feels reductive and abstract, a hollow…
  • What It Really Means To Write What You Know

    Nanci Panuccio
    3 Jun 2013 | 11:38 am
    Mathias via Compfight   It’s a myth that writers write what they know. We write what it is that we need to know. ~ Marcie Hershman “Write what you know” is one of the most misunderstood mantras. And one of the most limiting rules to write by. Here’s how writing what we know can limit us: We write exactly what happened, play by play. Or we’re exhaustively descriptive, cluttering our scenes with objects simply because they were there in the room. Unable to move beyond the literal truth, we confuse the facts of our experience for emotional impact. And when our…
  • Beyond Your First Draft: The Drama of Desire

    Nanci Panuccio
    23 Apr 2013 | 5:30 am
    Trey Ratcliff via Compfight If we have no desire we will die; if we have no conflict we will go to sleep. ~Jiddhu Krishnamurti Desire is the heartbeat of your story or novel. It’s what keeps readers emotionally invested scene by scene, sentence by sentence. That’s why we need to resist leaning on exposition – scenes where characters are talking about what already happened, or talking about another character who isn’t in the room. Readers want trouble to happen, not be remembered. They want problems confronted, not just thought about. A scene should never merely impart…
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    Write Edit Seek Literary Agent

  • Agent transparency: an issue for every writer

    15 Sep 2014 | 8:32 am
    Agents work very hard indeed. They are, the huge majority of them, among the most professional, ethical, passionate and committed people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. They add a lot of value to authorial careers. They have … Continue reading →
  • 17 Tips on how to commission your ebook cover design

    7 Sep 2014 | 4:22 am
    If you are planning to e-publish your book on Amazon and elsewhere, one of the biggest questions you’ll face is how to commission a cover that will sell your story, or non-fiction book, as hard and as effectively as possible. … Continue reading →
  • Average novel wordcount. (And when is YOUR novel too long?)

    31 Aug 2014 | 7:55 am
    You’re writing your novel, it’s getting longer … and you’re just getting a wee bit worried that you might, possibly have over-achieved? Worry no more. This guide will tell you quickly the average word counts for every category of novel, … Continue reading →
  • How to Start Writing a Novel: the ten things to do right away

    22 Aug 2014 | 10:29 am
    You want to write a novel? Keen to get going? OK. Fine. Just make sure you do not write your first sentence. Not now, and not any time soon. I mean, you’ll get there soon enough, but first up, you … Continue reading →
  • How to edit a novel

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

  • Something For TEFL Teachers and ESL Students

    Derek Haines
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:24 am
    For those who have read my blog for some time, you will know that apart from writing and blogging, my main vocation is as a CELTA English Teacher, and also that a number of my posts over the years have been about teaching and the English language, and about its richness and at times, quirkiness. When I looked back at how many posts I had written about English grammar, vocabulary and ESL (English as a Second Language), I thought it might be time to do something more productive with the information that is now hiding deep in my long list of posts, and with the ideas that are still so often…
  • Twitter Has Egg On Its Face

    Derek Haines
    21 Sep 2014 | 6:23 am
    I love Twitter, and have been a user since 2009. However, one facet of Twitter has become an extreme annoyance for me – automatically created user accounts, or bots. They are created by a software program and user accounts can be created by the thousands. They serve no useful purpose other than to spread spam, or in the last couple of years, to be sold as fake followers. It only takes a quick scan of the followers of any popular celebrity Twitter account to see that a huge proportion of followers are fake. In the case of Lady Gaga, it has been estimated that 71% of her followers are fake.
  • Fun English Language Tongue Twisters For ESL Learners

    Derek Haines
    11 Sep 2014 | 2:19 pm
    All languages have silly little irregularities, but English specialises in making pronunciation irregularities a challenge for ESL learners. Try to get your tongue around these examples of English pronunciation. 1. The bandage was wound around the wound. 2. The farm was used to produce produce. 3. The dump was so full it had to refuse more refuse. 4. We must polish the Polish furniture. 5. He could lead if he would get the lead out. 6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert. 7. Since there was no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present. 8. A bass…
  • Louis – The Life of a Real Spy

    Derek Haines
    5 Jan 2014 | 10:00 am
    As a child and a young teenager he would tell me stories and mysterious tales of far off lands and people. Singing strange songs in mysterious languages. At the time, I had not heard of the word enigma, but now I know my friend Louis was exactly that. Louis never lied to me. Only telling me what he wanted me to know, but somehow always managing to slide around a part of a story that would have possibly necessitated at least a white lie. At around eleven years old, I clearly remember asking him with a child’s innocence if he had ever killed anyone. He replied that the subject of death should…
  • The Glothic Tales Trilogy : For those who have wondered why things are as they are …

    Derek Haines
    19 Dec 2013 | 6:24 am
    The Glothic Tales Ever since that fateful decision was made to descend from the trees, stand on two legs and eat fewer bananas, humans have looked back on the decision with regret. It was at that very moment in time, when we began feeling that we were being controlled. By who, why and how is today, just as much of a mystery as it was then. As a species, we have lived our entire existence under constant control; by lords of the manor, governments, banks, moneylenders, faceless men in strange brotherhoods and manufactures of shiny objects that go beep and keep us amused for hours on end. The…
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    Rosanne Dingli's Blog

  • Eventually

    18 Sep 2014 | 6:39 pm
    To go a bit further along the road laid by my last blog post, it might be expedient to work on the virtue that's not always accessible to the author: patience. The threads of impatience start to weave their basketry into the brain the instant one half of a novel is laid down in draft form.Authors are impatient to finish, to start on rewriting, impatient to finish that as well, so their beta-readers can have their first glimpses of this long-awaited new work. Then authors are extremely impatient to hear back from their readers with praise (or otherwise), and how they can go about improving an…
  • Hopes and expectations

    21 Aug 2014 | 7:33 pm
    I could just as easily title this post "Learning from someone younger", or "Receiving enlightenment from a youthful sage". Without going into the identity of the young person who is the fount from which this blog springs, I am riding on a mere glimpse, today, of how an author can truly benefit from listening.We talk, we rant, we deliver workshops to those who would listen. We write reams and reams of words. We read the writings of wise ones who went before - in a book world that was vastly different, of course, pre-2009 - but emerge more or less unaltered.Then a young person says something,…
  • Reading for pleasure - an encounter with Margaret Sutherland

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

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

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

  • 5 Surprises As a Debut Novelist (A Guest Post by Beth Cato)

    J.W. Alden
    3 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    This morning's post comes from the awesome Beth Cato, whose debut novel The Clockwork Dagger comes out on September 16th. Everyone go buy it!Beth hails from Hanford, California, but currently writes and bakes cookies in a lair west of Phoenix, Arizona. She shares the household with a hockey-loving husband, a number-obsessed son, and a cat the size of a canned ham.Beth's short fiction can be found in Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and many other magazines. The Clockwork Dagger is her first novel. The sequel, The Clockwork Crown, will be…
  • My London WorldCon (LonCon 3) Schedule

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

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

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

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

  • How to Avoid the “Extra” Work of Social Media

    Jane Friedman
    22 Sep 2014 | 2:00 am
    by webtreats / via Flickr Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of speaking at a one-day publishing event hosted by Blurb in Brooklyn, NY. My topic was the art & business of building a platform, which included about 5-10 minutes of commentary on social media (out of a full hour). As often happens, most audience questions were about social media, and my one-on-one conversations with authors afterward focused on social media. They confided that they aren’t interested in social media nor do they see the benefit of the extra work presented by it. While I don’t think social…
  • For Publishers to Thrive Requires a Kuhnian Paradigm Shift

    Jane Friedman
    18 Sep 2014 | 2:00 am
    Welcome to the weekly The Smart Set, where I share three smart pieces worth reading about the publishing and media industry. I also point to issues and questions raised, and welcome you to respond or ask your own questions in the comments. “To seek: to embrace the questions, be wary of answers.” —Terry Tempest Williams Amazon, Publishers, and Readers by Clay Shirky Why Publishers Should Listen to Clay Shirky by Brian O’Leary Big Publisher Bashing Again With Fictional Facts by Mike Shatzkin This week’s round-up focuses on a single piece by NYU professor and…
  • The Evolving Role of the Literary Agent

    Jane Friedman
    16 Sep 2014 | 2:00 am
    Writer’s Digest (October 2014) In the most recent issue of Writer’s Digest magazine, you’ll find my feature article, “The Evolving Agent.” I discuss how literary agents’ business models and services are changing to fit the needs of their clients, who are increasingly self-publishing or choosing hybrid paths. The article covers: the value of agent-assisted self-publishing what happens when agents use third parties to assist you (e.g., Argo Navis or Amazon White Glove) specific agencies that assist with self-publishing and what their terms are what questions…
  • How I Recovered From 3 Years of Chronic Back Pain

    Jane Friedman
    15 Sep 2014 | 2:00 am
    As some of you may recall, I’ve been seeking solutions to my chronic back pain, which I assume is partly related to my writing-and-sitting-at-the-computer lifestyle since the mid-1990s. You can read the first installment here. I’m very grateful to say that I’ve been pain-free for six months and have returned to long-distance running. (I can now run for a full hour and am logging a gentle 10 miles a week.) I’d like to share what worked for me—especially since so many things did not work, and I know what a frustrating problem this can be, with little hope. I see the updates of…
  • How University Presses Need to Improve Their Marketing [Smart Set]

    Jane Friedman
    11 Sep 2014 | 2:00 am
    Welcome to the weekly The Smart Set, where I share three smart pieces worth reading about the publishing and media industry. I also point to issues and questions raised, and welcome you to respond or ask your own questions in the comments. “To seek: to embrace the questions, be wary of answers.” —Terry Tempest Williams Direct-to-Consumer Marketing for University Press Books by Joseph Esposito Publishing industry consultant Joe Esposito has released an in-depth, researched report on what’s happening (or not) with academic publshers’ direct marketing to readers.
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    Writer Beware

  • COLOR SONG Release Day!

    16 Sep 2014 | 8:53 am
    We don't often do self-promotion here at Writer Beware--but I have a new book out!Today is publication day for my young adult historical novel, Color Song. A tale of art, intrigue, and romance set in glorious 15th century Venice, it's a followup to my previous YA historical, Passion Blue, but can be read as a standalone.I'm incredibly excited to have Color Song out in the world at last, and for the wonderful reviews it has been receiving on Goodreads and elsewhere. It's published for the older teen market, but there's plenty of crossover appeal for adults.I've got a virtual book tour…
  • Alert: Trouble at Ellora's Cave

    15 Sep 2014 | 8:24 am
    Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer BewareOne of the original digital pioneers, erotic romance publisher Ellora's Cave has reportedly had financial and other problems for some years. But in 2014, things seem to be coming to a head. In May, news surfaced of late royalty payments (though this was not news to EC authors), which EC's CEO blamed on faulty software. Then, in August, EC announced that it was laying off the majority of its staff, attributing this to a precipitous decline in ebook sales via Amazon.Since then, rumors have been swirling, and authors have started to go public with…
  • Guest Blog Post: Author-Editor Compatibility: The Crucial Element for a Successful Editing Experience

    5 Sep 2014 | 8:25 am
    Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer BewareIndependent editors. What do they do? When do you need them? How do you find them--and, most crucial, how do you determine whether they're qualified to be doing what they're doing? These very important questions are addressed on the Editors page of the Writer Beware website.Just as important, however, is a question that arises after you've determined your editing needs (and budget) and done your due diligence: are you and your chosen editor compatible? To get the most out of the editing experience, you must feel comfortable with your editor and be…
  • Haters Gonna Hate: The Smear Campaign Against Absolute Write

    29 Aug 2014 | 11:49 am
    Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware NOTE: Before writing this post, I thought a lot about linkage. I didn't want to increase traffic to propaganda blogs and websites by linking to them--but I did want readers to be able to see the kind of nastiness involved. So most of the links in this post are to cached versions.FULL DISCLOSURE: I've been a member of Absolute Write since the early 2000's, and was a moderator there for several years. Last week, I received an email from the owner of a website that, among other things, posts lists of resources for writers.One of the website's users…
  • Computer Down

    25 Aug 2014 | 9:07 am
    Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer BewareToday I thought I'd be writing a blog post and catching up on Writer Beware correspondence. However, that is not to be.On Friday, my desktop computer (on which I keep most of my Writer Beware files) was working fine. Turned it on this morning...and it won't start. So it's off to the computer repair shop. I do have Internet access via my laptop, so if you've written to me in the past week and I haven't responded (I am, as always, several days behind on correspondence), please contact me again, either via my website (if you want to reach me at my…
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  • Cara Winter: The Anglo Files 5

    Cara Winter
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:20 am
    Martin Freeman as Watson and Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock. On Sherlock Holmes by Cara Winter As we all know, since 2010 two shows (CBS’ Elementary, and the BBC’s Sherlock, which has also been picked up by PBS Masterpiece) have reimagined Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective Sherlock Holmes within a modern setting.   As a writer trying to modernize a Victorian piece myself, I have been wondering  why, exactly, one of these modernizations has set the world on fire… while the other is just on? It all starts with the fact that the BBC’s version came first.  In 2012,…
  • Anne Rice Talks to Writers

    22 Sep 2014 | 3:15 am
    …Cuz there’s no such thing as too much info for us newbies, right? Right? (Unless you’re as sick of everybody claiming to know everything about writing you don’t as I am, that is. Let’s see if I can slip that in here.) Vampire – and Jesus – popularizer Anne Rice gives us the advice that back in the day our mothers would’ve clipped from a magazine and mailed to us when we were struggling through college. Except Anne’s is kind of interesting cuz…vampires! And big, big $$$! And video to boot: Let us know whatcha think, ‘kay?
  • Diana Vaccarelli Sees the VERONICA MARS Movie

    22 Sep 2014 | 3:10 am
      by Diana Vaccarelli I have never watched the television show VERONICA MARS, but the premise of the film intrigued me. After a very successful Kickstarter campaign, Rob Thomas, the creator and showrunner of the series, has brought us this feature-length sequel. In the film, Veronica, now living in New York and interviewing for prestigious jobs at law firms, is pulled back into the life of a private eye when her ex-boyfriend, Logan Echolls, becomes embroiled in a murder mystery involving old high school friend Carrie Bishop. Kirsten Bell stars as the super private eye just as she did in…
  • 2014 Nicholl Fellowship Finalists Announced

    22 Sep 2014 | 3:05 am
    The Motion Picture Academy’s Nicholl Fellowship may not be for TV writing per se, but it’s absolutely the most important contest aspiring screen and television writers can win in terms of future prospects. Which means that these finalists definitely are worth learning about: by the Deadline Team About half of the finalists for the 2014 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwritingare from the Los Angeles area, but the rest span four states and three continents. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today released its list of 10 screenplays whose writers are on the…
  • Women Created Only 20% of TV Shows Last Season

    21 Sep 2014 | 3:10 am
    Not good. In fact, we’d call it a failing grade. Shame on you, TV biz. Really – shame! by Melissa Silverstein The current narrative in the media zeitgeist is that TV is so much better for women than film. Well, it might seem so on the surface, because you see more women on our TV screens, but when you drill down into the numbers, it’s not so good for women behind the scenes. According to new research from the Center for Women in Television and Film, women are doing pretty well onscreen. Women made up 42% of the characters and speaking roles in the 2013-14 season. But even…
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    Everyone's Blog Posts - Our Salon

  • Equinox Harvest

    Just Thinking...
    22 Sep 2014 | 7:30 pm
    From the garden today.....bye bye Summer!
  • A Day in the Life of an Extremely Minor Playwright

    Con Chapman
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:00 pm
    Imaginary friends who I make up for purposes of poorly-sourced articles often ask me “What’s it like to be a published playwright whose works have been performed off-off-off-off-off-off-off (continued in footnote) Broadway?” Broadway: Not there yet “It’s not everything it’s cracked up to be,” I reply with a world-weary air. “I had more actresses throwing themselves at me when I starred as Santa Claus in my fourth grade Christmas play, and back then I still used Brut Soap-on-a-Rope.” But all it takes is a day like today to remind me why I first decided to try my hand at…
  • C.J. and Temba, working on a Mexico Truck

    Dicky Neely
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:02 pm
  • Wrath & Pity On the Equinox

    James Mark Emmerling
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:00 pm
    'I am what is mine. Personality is the original personal property. As the great philosopher of private property (Locke) says, ''By property I must be understood here to mean that property which men have in their persons as well as goods''. Here is the psychological root of private property. Every man has a ''property'' in his own person' NORMAN O. BROWN, 'LOVE'S BODY'       I had to return some library books today ; ten of them which I shall retrieve tomorrow or the next day, for they feel safe & loved & taken seriously only in my room. They tell me they hate having to go back to…
  • The Last Days of the Lab Rats

    Con Chapman
    22 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    Bioengineers are trying to replace the lowly lab mouse with insentient but biologically sophisticated substitutes.                                                                             The Boston Globe It was getting late, and I was getting frustrated.  I’d been stuck in a blind alley of a maze for probably five minutes, my blood sugar too low for my brain to figure a way out of the stupid place. Same with my job.  I’ve been running mazes, pushing pellet and water bars in response to positive and negative…
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    The Web Writer Spotlight - Shining the light for aspiring and inspiring web writers

  • 200+ Proven Ways to Make Money Online [Infographic]

    Staff Writers
    12 Sep 2014 | 1:41 pm
    Have you always wanted to make money selling on the internet? How about starting your own website to make money? Having an extra source of income is something we should all aspire no matter if we have a job that pays well or a solid savings account. The internet presents hundreds of ways to make money. There's no shortage of options for you. Almost everything you can think of can now be done online from selling your old stuff to teaching a skill, freelancing and site flipping. If you’re ready to make extra money from the internet, you’ll first need to decide on the general method you…
  • 12 Web Writing Myths & Beliefs That Make Online Success Harder

    David K. William
    4 Sep 2014 | 2:35 pm
    What do you believe when it comes to writing content for the web and building a successful business online? Some things we believe are myths that keep us from reaching our goals and make it harder for us to fulfill our dream of online success. Thankfully, many of these myths are false and you can break free of them. Here are some of the most common myths and beliefs about web writing and entrepreneurship you should bust today and move past if you want to succeed online. 1. You need to be a good writer before you write professionally. Many aspiring writers don't write at all or write but fear…
  • 5 Ways You Are Wasting Productive Time Online (And How to Stop It)

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

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

    David K. William
    26 Jul 2014 | 11:53 am
    What type of web content do you specialize in? Web content is generally the reason why people visit websites. The two main categories of web content are: Text (the written content that's on the web page) and multimedia (the non-textual content on the page, such as images and video). As web writers, we focus primarily on textual content.  If you are looking to make the leap into web writing or you are a seasoned content writer and just want to take your writing career in a different direction, specializing in a few types of web content niches or sub-sections can sharpen your skills and…
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    Angie's Diary

  • Communion

    Maria Costello
    22 Sep 2014 | 5:26 am
    Angie's Diary Angie's Diary - eMagazine A place has been set for you at the great table, come and claim your place in the world Communion Maria Costello
  • The Signature of All Things

    22 Sep 2014 | 3:36 am
    Angie's Diary Angie's Diary - eMagazine My husband surprised me with this choice of book. He usually makes his selection from award winning sites and best seller lists; he often picks books that won Pulitzer prizes. His choice of author, Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love, however, surprised me. Well, I hadn’t heard about her new book which is an enthralling story […] The Signature of All Things Hernibs
  • Her Open Window

    Nancy Duci Denofio
    19 Sep 2014 | 4:54 am
    Angie's Diary Angie's Diary - eMagazine Fresh steps in snow reveal her footprints - as evening paints her garage a deeper shade of yellow Her Open Window Nancy Duci Denofio
  • How To Write A Great Story

    Aidan Lucid
    19 Sep 2014 | 1:33 am
    Angie's Diary Angie's Diary - eMagazine One recurring problem I encounter with many manuscripts today is that the authors wait until page 50 or 100 for a book to become interesting How To Write A Great Story Aidan Lucid
  • Kiss A Beggar’s Feet – Is Francis The Real Deal?

    18 Sep 2014 | 9:42 am
    Angie's Diary Angie's Diary - eMagazine The amount of media attention for his person turned the new pope into a superstar. Kiss A Beggar’s Feet – Is Francis The Real Deal? Angie
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    The GrammarPhile Blog

  • Let's Play!

    18 Sep 2014 | 3:00 am
    Most word lovers love Scrabble™, the classic word game developed originally by Depression-era architect Alfred Butts, who sold the rights to James Brunot, who sold the rights to Selchow & Righter, which sold out completely to Coleco, which shortly thereafter went bankrupt, the assets of which were bought up by modern-day Hasbro. Here are some words for your next conquest. (Each word's basic score is in parentheses.) Memorize them and win all the challenges!
  • Omitting Parts of Verbs

    27 Aug 2014 | 3:30 am
    As the summer winds down, we thought we'd post a short article and perhaps cause you to laugh (or at least chuckle a little). Hope you enjoy today's post.
  • A Great Moment in American Literature

    20 Aug 2014 | 3:30 am
    Rather than a grammar post this week, we chose to devote the post to a great moment in American literature. Whether you're in a lofty Manhattan skyscraper or an out-of-the-way home office in the Australian Outback, we hope you'll find a quiet moment today to enjoy this moving excerpt from Cross Creek, a book about early 20th century life in the Florida "scrub," by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.
  • Tribute to the Left(-handed World)

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

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

  • The 3 Essentials That Determine Your Writing Success

    Marcy McKay
    18 Sep 2014 | 2:14 am
    Note: This is a guest post by Marcy McKay. If you’ve ever struggled with your writing, you can download her new and totally FREE book, Writing Naked: One Writer Dares to Bare All. Find her on Facebook. Let’s face it, questions constantly haunt us about our writing: Is my work any good? – Will others like it? – Will I find a literary agent or editor? There are so many outcomes beyond our control, but all that stinkin’-thinkin’ leads to… Self-Doubt Positive Writer’s own Bryan Hutchison has a great book on this very subject to help you: Writer’s Doubt: How You Can…
  • Words of Advice for The Aspiring Writer

    Warren Adler
    6 Sep 2014 | 9:29 pm
    Note: This is a guest post by Warren Adler. Warren is the author of The War of the Roses, his masterpiece fictionalization of a macabre divorce turned into the Golden Globe and BAFTA nominated dark comedy hit starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. Be sure to check out Warren’s latest thriller Treadmill. Portrait of a Writer For the aspiring writer in the middle to late 20th century the goal, however fantastical and mythical, was to write The Great American Novel. What this meant was that we passionately burned to be recognized as a kind of literary phenomenon.
  • 21 of the Best Quotes On Writing By Stephen King

    Bryan Hutchinson
    3 Sep 2014 | 2:25 am
    Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. ― Stephen King In this post I present you with 21 of my personal favorite quotes (lessons, really) from Stephen King’s brilliant book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, and 21 interesting and fun facts about Uncle Stevie. Yes, I like the spooky stuff. But more importantly, and closer to my heart, I love a good story. And Uncle Stevie can tell a damn good story.
  • How To Become A Better Writer Every-Single-Day

    Bryan Hutchinson
    26 Aug 2014 | 1:49 am
    Every writer wants the process of writing to be easy. We want our writing to pour forth as if from an inexhaustible reservoir. We all want our first and only drafts to become bestsellers. And we want our readers to not only get us, but to never get enough of us. When we show up for readings, Madison Square Garden wouldn’t be big enough to hold all of our loyal fans. Deep down inside we know what we really-really want. We all want to become bestselling authors. And that’s all well and good, but before that happens, before the bright lights and throngs of readers eager to get your autograph…
  • Why Writers Self-destruct and 5 Ways To Thrive Instead!

    Bryan Hutchinson
    20 Aug 2014 | 11:07 pm
    In The Color of Money, the only movie for which Paul Newman ever won a Best Actor Oscar, there’s a scene near the end where he’s playing against the once infamous real-life pool player Steve “The Miz” Mizerack, and after Steve loses to Paul, Steve says, “I didn’t deserve that.” And without the slightest hesitation, Paul’s character, Fast Eddie Felson, replies, “Yes, you did.” The reason Fast Eddie said, “Yes, you did.” is the same reason too many writers the world over self-destruct, fail and quit writing. When I used to coach and teach pool-billiards the first…
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    Christian Writer | Christian Writing | Christian Books

  • Interview: Margaret Daley, Author, ‘Deadly Hunt’

    13 Sep 2014 | 5:28 am
    I sold 20 books then went through an eight-year dry spell. If I had given up, I wouldn’t have gone on to write 70 more novels. The post Interview: Margaret Daley, Author, ‘Deadly Hunt’ appeared first on Christian Writer | Christian Writing | Christian Books.
  • How to Write Crazy: Going Off the Deep End

    6 Sep 2014 | 8:36 am
    There’s one thing to remember when writing a character in the throes of a psychotic breakdown. While his dialogue may sound like random nonsense, it’s not. It’s nonsense connected by an underlying logic that has significance to the character. The post How to Write Crazy: Going Off the Deep End appeared first on Christian Writer | Christian Writing | Christian Books.
  • The Importance of Prayer in a Writer’s Life

    28 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    The usual reason for feeling like I do is the sense of responsibility. I don’t want to send people the wrong way through my writing, so I absolutely want to write what is on God’s heart. The post The Importance of Prayer in a Writer’s Life appeared first on Christian Writer | Christian Writing | Christian Books.
  • Book Review: All My Belongings, by Cynthia Ruchti

    23 Aug 2014 | 5:41 am
    The author takes her time setting the scene and allowing the reader to really get to know the characters, before hitting them a completely unexpected curve ball. The post Book Review: All My Belongings, by Cynthia Ruchti appeared first on Christian Writer | Christian Writing | Christian Books.
  • Mentoring: Pay It Forward

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

  • Talking about your character: Voice

    22 Sep 2014 | 9:23 am
    A character’s voice is a distinctive and important part of both character development and overall development of your story. Each main character in your novel and perhaps even some of the minor ones should have a distinctive voice that sets that character apart from others. What is character voice? Have you ever had a friend or relative you were so close to that you could always imagine what they might say in certain circumstances even if they weren’t with you at the time? There might also be certain things you can’t imagine that person ever saying. If so, you had a strong…
  • The unreliable vs omniscient narrator

    18 Sep 2014 | 12:24 am
    The point of view that you choose for telling your story can make a crucial difference in how that story unfolds and whether or not it works. The writer may choose between several different approaches to narration including the unreliable narrator and the omniscient narrator. These two types of narrators are very different from one another. The omniscient narrator sees and knows everything that is happening and has access to the thoughts of all the characters. Some describe the omniscient narrator as the storyteller’s voice. Many 19th century novels have omniscient narrators. A more…
  • Principles of storytelling- the inciting incident

    10 Sep 2014 | 3:19 am
    The inciting incident is the first important plot point in a narrative. Although the device is borrowed from screenwriting, novelists and any other type of writer can make use of this concept in storytelling. Screenwriting guru Syd Field wrote about the inciting incident in his classic book Screenplay. The inciting incident also maps well onto psychologist Carl Jung’s description of the hero’s journey. In an examination of myths and stories from all over the world, Jung observed a series of structural incidents and turning points that were present in many of them. In Jung’s…
  • First sentences, first paragraphs

    3 Sep 2014 | 9:34 pm
      Readers have plenty of books to choose from, and they will often put down a story or a novel if the opening doesn’t grab them. Many writers have heard the advice that they need to snag a reader’s attention from the very beginning, but what does that actually mean? A car chase, a family running out of a burning home with only the clothes on their backs, two lovers engaged in a shattering quarrel – this sounds like the stuff of great fiction, doesn’t it? Who would want to quit reading a book that started out with scenes like these? In fact, books that begin in…
  • Actor’s studio method for increasing drama

    28 Aug 2014 | 12:42 pm
    Method acting is an approach to the craft in which actors attempt to stay in character for the duration of a film shoot or the run of a play. Many aspects of method acting can be applied to writing fiction as well to ratchet up dramatic tension. What is method acting? Method acting was developed in Russia by Constantin Stanislavski in the early 20th century. Along with several other American actors, Lee Strasberg was trained by members of Stanislavski’s company when they toured the United States in 1923. He went on to adapt Stanislavski’s teachings for American actors. In 1947, a…
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    The Gryphon Clerks

  • 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…
  • Lost Books

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

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

    Derek Rizzo
    20 Sep 2014 | 3:37 pm
    Buddy dressed hurriedly, haphazardly A fast comb A quick check   Food.., shoveled like coal Juice.., orange, cold Funneled into a Waiting throat   The grapefruit colored sun Spreads its waking fingers Over the dark, slow-moving Morn.   Wiping the crusty,  grimy Still-dream from blue eyes,  still finding their focus. The near sleep slough falling slowly away   Buddy headed out. There a shed lonely and dark, like a sentinel on the wall of night.., his destination. A silver clasp his only obstacle.   The dark poured out The door was open Inside… the thin flexible…
  • It’s Been A Long Time

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

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

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

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

  • 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 »
  • Repetition: Making Prospects Remember Your Key Messages

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

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

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

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

  • 4 Completely Legit Content Marketing Goals

    Grammar Chic, Inc.
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:20 pm
    If you happen to be a content marketing nerd—and yes, we confess that, here at Grammar Chic, Inc., we are—then you likely enjoy talking shop, discussing the finer points of Twitter strategy, the latest developments with Google Authorship, the most valuable analytic programs, and so on and so forth. Crucially, though, not everyone is a content marketing nerd, and many business owners frankly have little interest in the technicalities of content marketing. What they care about is this: What can content marketing do for my brand? Or, even more to the point: How can content marketing make me…
  • Branching Out: How to Effectively Expand Your Social Marketing Presence

    Grammar Chic, Inc.
    19 Sep 2014 | 11:58 am
    When it comes to social media marketing, everyone’s gotta start somewhere. Maybe you launched a Facebook page when you first started your business, and it’s gotten to the point where—through consistent content updates—you’ve developed a loyal social following. Now, you’re ready to expand onto other platforms—taking on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or some combination of new social networks. This is good and right thinking. You can effectively use your following on one social platform to build up a readership on another social network, and amplify your brand’s online presence.
  • Facebook Advertising is Annoying—But it doesn’t Have to Be

    Grammar Chic, Inc.
    17 Sep 2014 | 6:45 am
    I’m just going to say it. I hate paying for advertising on Facebook—hate, Hate, HATE it. As a small business owner, as well as a content marketer strategist for my clients, it’s probably one of my biggest frustrations. And let me just say this, it’s not because I don’t know how to make it work—I do. What irritates me the most is the fact that if you want to have a business page on Facebook, and have an actual audience—then it’s something you simply have to do—and you have to have a budget for it. I know, that stinks because it didn’t always used to be that way. If you have…
  • Keeping Your E-mails Out of the Spam Folder

    Grammar Chic, Inc.
    15 Sep 2014 | 1:07 pm
    Have you ever received an obviously spammy, advertorial, mass e-mail—crudely written and flagrantly promotional—and taken great relish in moving it from your inbox to your spam folder? It can be fun, even therapeutic, to put spammers in their place like this. Of course, when it’s your business e-mail that gets put into the spam folder, then it’s a different story. The truth of the matter is that your e-mail recipients can click on the ‘Spam’ button any time they want to—and the more they do, the more likely it is that your company’s e-mails are going to be blacklisted, which…
  • Content Marketing Lessons Learned from U2

    Grammar Chic, Inc.
    12 Sep 2014 | 9:47 am
    Even if you’ve never in your life cared about the rock band U2, you may well have heard about their latest escapade: Earlier this week, the group—long associated with Apple, at least since appearing in the company’s classic iPod commercials in 2004—showed up at the grand unveiling of the iPhone 6, and they came with a big announcement: They had a new, surprise album ready to release. And release it they did: With one push of a button, Apple boss Tim Cook released the album to the entire iTunes user database. In other words: If you have an iTunes account, you own the new U2 album—a…
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    Writing By The Seat of My Pants

  • Selling The Foreign Rights To Your Self-Published Book

    Rachel Rueben
    21 Sep 2014 | 2:00 am
    By Max Sat via Flickr Last week, I discussed how to get your self-published book translated using various techniques from hiring contractors to using a royalty splitting website. Today I’ll talk about the next logical step in this journey and that is selling your foreign rights to a publisher. Yes, you can sell your book’s rights whether they be digital or print to a publisher in another country.  Sounds cool huh?  Seeing our books being sold at  store overseas is the dream of many authors. There are several options that self-published authors have, you can find an agent who can…
  • Freebies: Forget What You’ve Heard

    Rachel Rueben
    21 Sep 2014 | 2:00 am
    By Jackson Ward via Flickr When KDP introduced its Select program, many authors balked at the idea of giving away their work for free. After all, it took several months, or years to create a decent story worthy of publication so giving it away for nothing seemed like a waste. And I completely understand that line of thinking. I was a freelancer and was very adamant about getting paid for my work. However, I wasn’t a publisher at the time and therefore didn’t have large billion dollar corporations to compete with. The one advantage indie authors have over the big guys is the ability to…
  • Translating Your Book: What You Need To Know

    Rachel Rueben
    14 Sep 2014 | 2:04 am
    It’s a subject most self-published authors avoid and I don’t blame them, translating a book seems complicated as well as expensive. It’s murky territory, where we’re flying blind because we don’t speak the language.  I mean could you imagine embarrassing yourself in another country?  So out of fear we indies stay put in the shallow waters too terrified to dip our toes in the deeper parts of the pool.  Well, I’m getting my poodle noodle as well as my floaties and I’m diving in. Before I go on, I’m not discussing selling your foreign rights, that’s a completely different…
  • Okay, So I Was Wrong About Pinterest: An Author’s Guide to Using Pinterest

    Rachel Rueben
    7 Sep 2014 | 2:00 am
    By Roxanne Ready via Flickr Recently, I had to eat crow when it came to Pinterest. Though I never said anything publicly, I did once joke (privately) about how Pinterest was social media for people who couldn’t read. However, on June 18, that all changed when I was graced with a repin by a Pinterest power user. From that one user, I got almost 150 new visitors to my blog, as well as 5 new subscribers in just a few hours. The last time I’ve seen results like that it was from StumbleUpon. But I’ve been wrong before remember, when I talked trash about Wattpad last year until I learned how…
  • How to get Featured or Reviewed by Amazon

    Rachel Rueben
    31 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    By Noelas via Flickr Today marks the end of our Promotional Hacks Nobody Tells You About series and I saved the best for last. When I began this series I didn’t want to include this information because there were no cases of indie authors successfully pitching to Amazon. But there’s always a first time for everything right?  For those of you unaware of what I’m talking about, Amazon has a section on their website called, Editor’s Picks where they review and even feature author interviews.  They also have a blog called, Omnivoracious and an email newsletter that goes out to…
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    S.A. Barton: Seriously Eclectic

  • Pessimism in Science Fiction: The USA is Worried It’s Over the Hill

    S. A. Barton
    22 Sep 2014 | 2:45 pm
    Is this my future? A big stinky onion future? —– There has been a lot of talk about the pervasive pessimism in science fiction recently. Notably in the last couple of years, but there have been grumblings on the subject all the way back to the dawn of Cyberpunk with its dreary skies the color […]
  • 100 Word Pessioptimistic SFF Short-Short: Missionaries

    S. A. Barton
    19 Sep 2014 | 1:31 pm
    Missionaries S.A. Barton For centuries, they sent missionary after missionary to help the rising young intelligence see past the biological heritage of survival as battle, to pursue empathy, cooperation. After enough missionaries were pierced with arrows, burnt, nailed to trees, poisoned at dinner, beaten with clubs, enslaved, drugged, mocked, impersonated for material gain, and made […]
  • The Man Who Stares at Trees

    S. A. Barton
    14 Sep 2014 | 6:53 pm
    I tweeted this, too.  Not that it made the scene any more or less relaxing. When I’m not blogging about the other stuff I write (Look to your right! In the sidebar! Links for the ebooks and paperbacks I write!), I often write about the things that relax me. Because this dirty old world can […]
  • A Year Ago Tomorrow: Isolation

    S. A. Barton
    12 Sep 2014 | 10:13 am
    Time flies.  I remember working on these stories and it doesn’t seem possible that it was so long ago.  On the other hand, my mind is full of the stories I’m working on now, so I wasn’t even really thinking of them before I realized the anniversary of my publishing Isolation and Other Stories was […]
  • Bunny With A Saw: A Free Short-Short. My 57th Title via Smashwords.

    S. A. Barton
    10 Sep 2014 | 4:12 pm
        This is a fun little story about a very strange event that happens in the middle of the night in rural Florida, on a long drive.  There is no banjo music involved — get your mind out of the Deliverance gutter.  No, this is something different, something entirely beyond human control and maybe […]
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    Your Story Coach - Advanced IM Coaching

  • 3 Ways To Increase Website Load Times

    15 Sep 2014 | 11:08 pm
    Google has recently mentioned many things it consider when ranking a website with the SERP’s. You’d be surprised at many of the ranking factors because you’ll expect them to be hovering around content, links, etc. However, Google has recently said that they have added some cool new updated into their algorithm which will help make the user experience more attractive building their reputation higher. For example, Google recently mentioned that load time will be included within their ranking factors because the faster content can be generated the better. Users tend to visit those websites…
  • Why Non-Authoritative Links Don’t Help Your SEO

    22 Aug 2014 | 9:14 pm
    When ranking your website, you have several options that can add value to your website. The internet has expanded so much that Google is beginning to make some serious changes to the way they rank websites and how they determine a website is worth ranking high within the SERP’s. Many of the older techniques used to rank websites are no longer working as well as they use to because many of these techniques are now considered black hat or grey hat. Google has shifted its focusing paying closer attention to people who have links for authoritative websites and those producing high quality…
  • 3 Things You Need To Understand Before Trying CPA Marketing

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

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

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

  • One idea, a lifetime of better writing

    Jeremy Porter
    28 Aug 2014 | 12:49 pm
    Words are easily forgotten, but feelings and emotions are seared in the minds of everyone. Understanding that is the key to better writing. Audience Photo: Beatrice Murch A few months ago a remarkable woman died. She was a poet, a dancer, a film producer, a playwright, and a civil rights activist. And she said, I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou knew a thing or two about communication. This idea can cure many communication problems. Jargon is one of these problems.
  • Three notes you must hit when making a political TV ad

    Jeremy Porter
    20 Aug 2014 | 3:15 pm
    Can you guess which of these political ads works? The major political parties are off and running in New Zealand’s federal election. National Party election ad 2014 There’s no formula for creating a great political ad, but there are notes that must be hit: a coherent narrative, an appeal to emotion, and a strong message about what the party or candidate stands for. Yesterday the two major political parties in New Zealand released their first TVCs for the upcoming election. They couldn’t be more different. National The National Party’s first 2014 election ad. Labour The…
  • Earth isn’t dying; people are

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

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

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

  • Tarot Tip #48: Organize Your Online Readings

    R. Minerva
    16 Sep 2014 | 4:30 am
    Follow the Pinterest Board. Questions about the Tarot? Ask away! I’ll answer your question and if I choose it as part of a Tarot Tip post, I’ll credit you and link to your blog/business/Etsy shop! Ask me on Twitter @RandiMinerva Or e-mail me your question: randiminerva@gmail.com Get your tarot reading here.
  • Tarot Tip #47: Focus on the Answers

    R. Minerva
    9 Sep 2014 | 4:30 am
    Follow the Pinterest Board. Questions about the Tarot? Ask away! I’ll answer your question and if I choose it as part of a Tarot Tip post, I’ll credit you and link to your blog/business/Etsy shop! Ask me on Twitter @RandiMinerva Or e-mail me your question: randiminerva@gmail.com Get your tarot reading here.
  • Tarot Tip #46: Get into the Tarot Frame of Mind

    R. Minerva
    2 Sep 2014 | 4:30 am
    Follow the Pinterest Board. Questions about the Tarot? Ask away! I’ll answer your question and if I choose it as part of a Tarot Tip post, I’ll credit you and link to your blog/business/Etsy shop! Ask me on Twitter @RandiMinerva Or e-mail me your question: randiminerva@gmail.com Get your tarot reading here.
  • Tarot Tip #45: On a Serious Note

    R. Minerva
    26 Aug 2014 | 4:30 am
    Follow the Pinterest Board. Questions about the Tarot? Ask away! I’ll answer your question and if I choose it as part of a Tarot Tip post, I’ll credit you and link to your blog/business/Etsy shop! Ask me on Twitter @RandiMinerva Or e-mail me your question: randiminerva@gmail.com Get your tarot reading here.
  • Tarot Tip #44: Inappropriate Questions

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

    Richard Hollins
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:22 am
    One of the great things about being a copywriter is learning from your clients. The following was shared with me by Cindy Barnes at Futurecurve. It explains the process buyers go through when they’re deciding what to buy and – crucially from a copywriting perspective – what influences them at each stage. This information can help copywriters guide clients through the materials they need to convince their customers. It’s also helpful for copywriters, when considering how to persuade potential clients to use our services. What buying decisions are we talking about? This model doesn’t…
  • The 5 Cs Of Social Media

    Brooke Ballard
    19 Sep 2014 | 5:28 am
    If you were to ask five different people what the fundamentals of social media were, you’d probably get five different answers. In fact, I asked an entire group of SteamFeed authors and got 9 different answers! Most of those answers fit into one of the five categories we’re going to go over in this post: Content, Community, Conversation, Collaboration, and Conversion. Using the 5 Cs together will ensure you’re building the foundation to a solid social strategy. CONTENT To me, content is the cornerstone of social media. You simply cannot waltz onto a social network and be successful…
  • How to use a nudge in your email marketing strategy

    Juliet Fay
    18 Sep 2014 | 4:33 am
    Tigger bounces piglet. Tigger is neither subtle nor gentle and it leaves poor piglet feeling baffled and overwhelmed. A nudge empowers where a bounce leaves no free will. This is especially true when it comes to email marketing strategy. To get emails noticed in ever more bloated inboxes and keep subscribers on side you need to work harder and smarter. One way is to use your email to nudge rather than make a fully formed offering. What do I mean by a nudge? I think of a nudge as gentle pressure, a hint or bait. A nudge is listed in my Concise Oxford Dictionary as a verb that means : to…
  • Why The Post And Pray Method Doesn’t Work (And What To Do Instead)

    Brooke Ballard
    17 Sep 2014 | 4:57 am
    I did a Google Search of “post and pray method” hoping to find some witty definition, but apparently the staffing industry has cornered the market (or at least the search market) on that phrase. So I’ll have to take a stab at my own (hopefully witty) definition: “The post and pray method is a favorite method of social media “gurus,” “ninjas,” and “mavens” whereby they don’t follow any sort of organized structure or content calendar for publishing posts to social media, and instead find cat memes or take quotes (from other authors) and make them “pretty” in Canva.
  • Why Freelance Writers Should Avoid Content Mills

    Melissa Rudy
    16 Sep 2014 | 4:38 am
    On the surface, content mills seem like a great idea for struggling freelance writers, especially those who are trying to break into the market. No experience necessary! Get paid weekly! Earn as much as you want! But if you want to make a living as a freelance writer, working for content mills isn’t likely to get you there. Is it possible to earn decent money with content mills? Sure—but you’d have to be an incredibly fast and prolific writer, able to churn out article after article on a daily basis. The starting pay for most mills is a penny (or less) per word, with many offering…
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    The Write Practice

  • Use This Tip to Test if You’re Showing or Telling

    Monica M. Clark
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:39 am
    We’ve all heard a variation of the advice: show, don’t tell. In other words, don’t tell us what happened, show us.  In fact, you’ve even heard “Show, Don’t Tell” on The Write Practice. The idea is that through descriptive phrase we can provide a better experience for the reader and provide them with the opportunity to make her own interpretations. Photo by LongitudeorLatitude (creative commons). Modified by The Write Practice. Ok, so you’ve done that.  You’ve completed a piece and tried your hardest to avoid telling. But how do you know you’ve…
  • The Magic of Free Writing

    The Magic Violinist
    18 Sep 2014 | 10:47 am
    One of my favorite things to do is free write. I love it, for so many different reasons. For the most part, I love it because it’s freeing, just like the name implies. But there are three specific cases when it can be especially helpful. Writing is magic. Photo by Evonne. Modified by The Write Practice 1. As a warm up This is one of the best ways for me to start the day. I don’t think, don’t go back to fix mistakes, I just write. It’s such a wonderful feeling, your fingers flying across the keyboard, creating nothing at all, yet the words are filling up the page faster than ever…
  • Euphemism: Definition and Examples for Writers

    Liz Bureman
    17 Sep 2014 | 8:45 am
    I’m in the home stretch of the second book of Lev Grossman’s Magicians series. Basic premise: imagine that you’re a huge fan of the Narnia series, and also a magician at magic college. And then you find out that Narnia is real, and a lot darker than the books led you to believe. That’s the most simplistic way of putting it, but you should probably read the series yourself. But the series is told from the point of view of a high school/college-aged boy named Quentin. Clearly, since there is a young adult male protagonist, there are euphemisms sprinkled liberally…
  • 3 Lessons from Successful Author Pinterest Boards

    Emily Wenstrom
    15 Sep 2014 | 9:56 am
    Confession: I didn’t get Pinterest for a long time. This is embarrassing for me both as a platforming author and as a marketing professional. But when Pinterest suddenly became the fastest-growing platform with undeniably powerful user trends, I figured I’d better at least set up an account and see if I could figure out what all the buzz was about. Image by mkhmarketing Now I’m on Pinterest site almost every day, getting fitness tips, travel ideas and inspiration. But now that I’ve got the basics down, I’m asking myself: How can Pinterest help my author platform? How Pinterest Can…
  • 5 Facts about Fear for Writers

    Guest Blogger
    13 Sep 2014 | 10:00 am
    This guest post is by Marcy McKay. Marcy is the “Energizer Bunny of Writers.” She believes writing is delicious and messy and hard and important. If you’ve ever struggled with your writing, you can download her new and totally FREE book, Writing Naked: One Writer Dares to Bare All. Find her on Facebook! There I was, in the middle of my first novel. I’d found my rhythm and was bringing chapters to read aloud to my weekly critique group. They were loving it. I was thrilled that I was finally making my dream come true. Then, WHAMMO! Out of nowhere, I lost my story. Nothing I wrote…
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    Lauren Sapala

  • Best Blogs and Links for INFJ Creatives

    Lauren Sapala
    16 Sep 2014 | 10:27 am
    As some of you know who read this blog regularly, I’m pretty interested in the Myers Briggs personality types. I’m an INFJ and I’ve written a few articles on being an INFJ (or INFP) writer. I’ve found a lot of excellent resources for INFJs on the web, but I’ve also noticed that some of these resources aren’t so easy to dig up. The following is a top ten list for any INFJ writer, INFJ artist, or just plain INFJ sensitive (which is all of us, to be honest): Jennifer Soldner offers a detailed, yet concise, list of what makes us INFJs tick. She touches on the INFJ intelligence,…
  • The Difficulty Writers Have with Identity

    Lauren Sapala
    10 Sep 2014 | 9:10 am
    The essence of creativity is flow. Creative energy is a fluid, dynamic force that lights us on fire, loves to play with illusion, and changes shape in the blink of an eye. To truly tap into deep creativity, we must embrace and welcome transformation. But this is harder than it sounds for most of us, who are also human and naturally resistant to change. Our culture doesn’t make it any easier. We tend to latch onto identities—whether ours or someone else’s—and we become agitated when those identities begin to shift. We like to think of ourselves and the people in our family as a certain…
  • How Writers Damage Their Own Self-Esteem, and Don’t Even Know They’re Doing It

    Lauren Sapala
    4 Sep 2014 | 10:19 am
    I read a lot of posts on rejection. In fact, I’ve written my fair share of posts on rejection. It’s something that every writer deals with sooner or later. You send your work out and—for whatever reason—the interest is just not there. This is a normal part of the writing process and it shouldn’t hold any writer back from continuing to write and submit their work. What does hold writers back is the harmful mentality of “pick-me-pick-me” that can arise during the submission process. When you’re waiting around for someone to pick you, and no one picks you, it’s easy to feel…
  • 5 Secrets to Hitting Your Writing Goals

    Lauren Sapala
    27 Aug 2014 | 9:09 am
    Making a to-do list sounds like a great idea…at first. But because you’re a writer, your to-do list probably ends up including about a hundred items or more. When your brain sees this gigantic roll of tasks it starts to shut down. Your eyes glaze over and you suddenly need a nap. This is why a lot of people don’t do well with to-do lists. But then, there are those people you know who effortlessly glide through task after task, crossing each item off with a thick and final black line. Where do those people come from? And how do you get to be one of them? This is how: Ruthlessly…
  • Self-Doubt: The Writer’s Constant Companion

    Lauren Sapala
    20 Aug 2014 | 9:22 am
    Every writer experiences self-doubt countless times. It crops up when we’re writing our first draft, revising our tenth draft, pitching our work to an agent, even showing up at a book signing. Whether you’re Stephen King or a writer who just discovered their calling last week, you’ll still experience self-doubt. Why does this happen to us? Because every time you move out of your comfort zone doubt creeps in. When self-doubt shows up it clamps its steely fingers around our ribcage, worms its way into our stomach and makes our guts boil, and then settles down into the back of our…
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    Stories and Stuff

  • Do You Hear Voices In Your Head? (While Reading)

    Harma Mae
    12 Sep 2014 | 9:43 am
    Do you hear voices in your head? When you’re reading, I mean. Of course I mean when you’re reading. I’m not trying to suggest anyone is crazy… I mean, do you hear voices of narrators and characters speaking out loud in your head when you’re reading? I’d never thought about this before. I’m struggling to remember what I actually hear when I read, but I think I enter the fictional world so completely that it’s hard for me to pin down individual sensations when I snap out of it. However, many people do hear voices. And accents. This phenomenon was brought by to me by a lovely…
  • Independent Bookstores Have NOT Disappeared – They’re Doing Fine, Actually

    Harma Mae
    9 Sep 2014 | 1:23 pm
    National Bookstore, by Ramon FVelasquez. Licensed under Creative Commons. So it was bad news for a while for independent bookstores – you know, those tiny neighbourhood shops crowded with books and run by a dedicated owner or two. Chain bookstores were swallowing up their business left and right. Thousands closed as big-box retailers like Barnes & Noble and Borders took over (or Chapters and Indigo bookstores, if you’re from Canada, like me). But, in case you haven’t noticed, it’s these very chains that are now in danger from online retailers like Amazon. While your local…
  • Do You Use ‘Alot’ A Lot?

    Harma Mae
    21 Jul 2014 | 4:17 pm
    Hopefully you realized there were two spelling of ‘a lot’ up there in my title, and hopefully you also realized one of them was not grammatically correct. Why not grammatically correct, you ask? I don’t know – the spaces lobby argued we should all use the space bar on our keyboards more often? That is why I was SO HAPPY to see someone finally speak up in defense of ‘alot’. James Harbeck argued today in Slate that just like ‘ahold’ and ‘awhile’ were finally somewhat accepted in English, ‘alot’ is likely here to stay.
  • J.K. Rowling is Not Dead – But Why Does She Want You To Know What Harry’s Up To?

    Harma Mae
    9 Jul 2014 | 10:04 am
    Hogwarts Coat of Arms, by Jmh2o. CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1 J.K. Rowling, as the infamous Rita Skeeter, wrote a follow-up to Harry Potter. Harry has a new scar. He and Ginny might be having problems. Ron’s hair is thinning, while Hermione’s hair is – still not behaving. And so on. Heresy, you might cry. The Harry Potter series is finished. Who does this J.K. Rowling person think she is, going back and adding stuff? This is just as bad as the time she declared Ron and Hermione should’ve never gotten married, and that Harry was Hermione’s One True Pairing after all. She went and wrote a…
  • In Defense of Typing

    Harma Mae
    27 Jun 2014 | 11:40 am
    Whoa, whoa, whoa! Was not my last post about handwriting? How handwriting stimulates creativity and word productivity? Very true, but since then I’ve run across the article, ‘The Joy of Typing,’ which strikes back at the idea that typing reduces the quality of your thought. Typing, the author Clive Thompson argues, does not make us stupider. Handwriting is great for note-taking, he goes on to say, because it prevents us from robotically recording every word we hear, and instead makes us think about how to shorten what we’re hearing into something we can write down. But typing is…
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    Alma Alexander: Duchess of Fantasy » BLOG

  • Ban Those Books!

    Alma Alexander
    22 Sep 2014 | 8:51 am
    To celebrate Banned Books Week, Powell’s Books found a bunch, well 33, that THE MAN doesn’t want you to read. Fight the power! Read the books! Via static.parade.condenast.com And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson: What is so offensive about a kids’ picture book about penguin parents? Welllll, those penguin parents happen to be the same sex, which, according to Wikipedia, set off the alarm of many social conservatives in the US. So much so apparently that “the American Library Association reports that And Tango Makes Three was the most challenged book of 2006, 2007, and…
  • Feminist SF, really?

    Alma Alexander
    18 Sep 2014 | 7:42 am
    Mainstream science fiction has been pretty terrible at populating its worlds with anyone other than straight white dudes, Devon Maloney writes at The Cut.Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and others wrote almost exclusively about their demographic. Onscreen science fiction, from Star Wars and Back to the Future to War of the Worlds and Blade Runner, is little different.But sci-fi history actually has featured ahead-of-its-time, female-identifying authors and creators who have challenged conventional notions of race, gender, and sexuality head-on for centuries. Here is a rundown of 25 of the most…
  • Famous Last Words

    Alma Alexander
    16 Sep 2014 | 10:20 am
         Many years ago, I went to visit the grave of J. R. R. Tolkien in Wolvercote Cemetery in Oxford. It took some finding in amogst the sea of Polish dead in the Catholic part of the cemetery, but I did find it and stood before the gravestone of the man who gave us the greatest fantasy of all time, and his wife.It had just their names and the dates and then, underneath each name, one word. “Beren”, under his, “Luthien”, under hers.His great immortal love story – or mortal love story, if you want to see it that way – Luthien the Elven Princess who…
  • One day more

    Alma Alexander
    15 Sep 2014 | 2:41 pm
    Monday’s blog will be posted on Tuesday. Long story, don’t ask. Sorry about that. Alma Alexander Share with your friendsThe post One day more appeared first on Alma Alexander: Duchess of Fantasy.
  • Are we the enemy?

    Alma Alexander
    11 Sep 2014 | 8:19 am
    We are living in a science fiction novel. Is our species evolving into a new superorganism taking over Earth? Gaia Vince thinks so. At BBC.com he makes the provocative argument that humanity is completely transforming life on our planet. Vince argues that our species, Homo sapiens, is evolving into a superorganism he calls Homo omnis, or ‘Homni’ that is in some ways equivalent to a slime mold monster. Do we behave like slime moulds, individuals coming together to have a much more powerful influence on the planet? (Science Photo Library) Only time will tell if we will be a benign…
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    In Medias Res

  • A Pre-Order Experiment

    21 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    Amazon couldn't have picked a better time to allow KDP authors to offer pre-orders. The rights to my novelette Girl of Great Price (originally published by St. Martin's Press) will revert to me next month, and I'll be making it available as a standalone for the first time. According to Amazon, "Pre-orders contribute toward sales rank and other Kindle Store merchandising ahead of release, which
  • Good Enough?

    14 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    There's a certain type of stinkin' thinkin' I've tried to shove off to the sidelines during my writing journey. But every now and then, whenever I receive a rejection, this unhealthy knee-jerk reaction will resurface: "Oh well. Guess it wasn't good enough." Wrong. It wasn't right for that magazine or publisher. Granted, submissions have to be written at a good enough level to make it into a
  • Immaterial Evidence – Unbeatable Price

    7 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    With Yakuza Territory on its way in November, my publisher has wisely decided to reduce the price on its precursor Immaterial Evidence from $2.99 to $0.99 this month. Many of you have read Immaterial Evidence already, but if you know someone who hasn't, now's the perfect time to spread the word. (No eReader? No problem. The PDF version is available from Musa Publishing, and the free Kindle app
  • Round 1 - Challenge Accepted

    31 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    We have an official release date for my novella Yakuza Territory (futuristic crime noir follow-up to Immaterial Evidence). Intrepid detective Charlie Madison's next adventure will be available from Musa Publishing on November 7. So you know what that means: time for final edits. This past week, I finished the first round and sent the new, improved version back to my editor. Have I mentioned
  • A is for Apocalypse, C is for ... ?

    24 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    What do you get when you take a bunch of writers, assign them each a letter of the alphabet, and give them complete artistic freedom within a theme? The end of the world, of course. A is for Apocalypse, a new anthology released this week, is filled with 26 stories by writers whose diverse styles and themes provide something enjoyable for every discerning reader. Here's the opening to my story "C
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    Write Line Blog - Free Expressions Seminars and Literary Services

  • Friday Roundup 9.12.14

    12 Sep 2014 | 5:31 pm
    Happy Friday!13 Simple Tips for a Better BlogConfessions of a Bad Writer Gone Good3 THINGS YOUR NOVEL’S NARRATOR NEEDS TO ACCOMPLISHKAMERON HURLEY: SURVIVING THE GAME (WRITING AS BUSINESS)The 5 Most Common Writing Mistakes That Break Reader Immersion
  • Friday Roundup 9.5.14

    5 Sep 2014 | 5:03 pm
    Have a wonderful weekend!Making the Payoff Scene CountThe Introvert's Guide to Selling Books at a ConHow to Contact the AuthorMargaret Atwood's new work will remain unseen for a centuryI’d Know That Voice Anywhere
  • Friday Roundup 8.22.14

    22 Aug 2014 | 6:59 pm
    Here are a few links to kick off the weekend!Fairytale’s Most Wanted: The Five Most Well-Known Character TypesLEGO Libraries and BookstoresThere is No Horse & Cart. On Finding Success as a Writer.Thirty Years On: Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman and the Legacy of MortalityThe Perfect Title
  • Friday Roundup 8.15.14

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

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

  • Images From A Climate March

    21 Sep 2014 | 4:28 pm
    You never know what you might see at a climate march. You're bound to see hordes of people. The estimate I heard was 310,000. A lot of them, like me, are taking pictures of each other.You're bound to see something like this - a mock-up of warhead. What you might not always see is something like the guy in the left-hand corner of the photo with his back to the camera. It's the actor, James Cromwell.There's always the obligatory hemp reference, though not always standing next to Abraham Lincoln.And what's a parade without an inflatable farm animal?Or the sole representative of the Rod…
  • Baby, I'm Falling Apart

    20 Sep 2014 | 5:24 pm
    Is it time for another self-pitying song already? Time really does fly when you're having fun.Loudon Wainwright the third is one of my favorite songwriters and one who knows a thing or two about self-pity. If you don't know the man's work, you owe it to yourself to check it out. Here's a snippet from his newest collection: I'm just a leaky supertankerWith a lot of oil to spillI'm feeling sorry for myselfBut if I don't, who will?It's one of the inspirations for this song, which I wrote last week:It started out so promisingWe both had so much funIf this is just a gameCan't we say you've…
  • Catfight

    17 Sep 2014 | 8:17 pm
  • A Dream Within A Dream

    16 Sep 2014 | 6:02 am
    It's the return of Mr. Happy - E.A. Poe. The guy really knew how to write and was the first to impress me with creating art with words. Is all that we see or seem just a dream within a dream? How should I know? What do I look like, a poet? Take this kiss upon the brow! And, in parting from you now,Thus much let me avow-You are not wrong, who deemThat my days have been a dream; Yet if hope has flown awayIn a night, or in a day,In a vision, or in none,Is it therefore the less gone? All that we see or seemIs but a dream within a dream.I stand amid the roarOf a surf-tormented shore,And…
  • Nobody Loves You (When You're Down and Out)

    8 Sep 2014 | 3:45 am
    I was fired last week from a job I've held a little less than two years. Every other job I've had ended when I decided to walk away. So it was a new experience for me, and not an entirely unpleasant one. The only thing I ever liked about that job, I liked way too much. I could never get the right balance.I fell into a bit of a funk, which was actually a deepening of a low-level funk I've been in for a long time. A conversation with a friend, unbeknownst to her, helped turn me around. When I heard how pathetic I sounded talking to her, I realized I'd been wallowing in self-pity, which is not…
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    Out of the Lockbox

  • Official Lockbox Blogging Hiatus

    Mary DeSantis
    27 Aug 2014 | 2:51 pm
    Hi folks,Yes, it’s true. I’m taking a break. I had every intention of getting back on the personal blogging wagon, but it’s not the time. I need to focus on writing and some other stuff. Blogging at the Lockbox needs to take a back seat.I will still be blogging about books over at Kit ‘N Kabookle, and if I get any kind of news, I’ll post it here. As for the Disney posts and any other stuff, I’m not sure when I’ll pick it back up, but you’ll be the first to know.Take care.Lots of love,Mary-Keep up with me on Twitter @desantismt.
  • MCS #24: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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

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

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

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

  • One-star review?!? What to do when it happens to you.

    Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod
    21 Sep 2014 | 12:25 pm
    Did you ever fall totally in love with your own book? I sure hope so. But as all the romance novels suggest, love makes us vulnerable.  In this case, vulnerable to… our readers. Like that one reader in however-many who comes along and absolutely hates your book. Ouch. It happened to me two days ago, and I’m still reeling. Let me tell you a little about my book Penguin Rosh Hashanah.  It’s all about the Jewish new year, and it’s also all about penguins.  Light on facts, heavy on cute. [The Kindle version is free until Wednesday, Sept 24, 2014 if you want to check it…
  • RIP Crad Kilodney

    Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod
    16 Sep 2014 | 12:55 pm
    Who’s your biggest influence as a writer? Sometime way too long ago to admit, a friend told me about a guy who stood out on the streets of Toronto selling his books.  A crazy guy, with a crazy name:  Crad Kilodney. In an era before self-publishing (think 1972), he typed his own stories and printed them off himself.  Then stood outside, all year long, in all kinds of miserable weather, getting the word out thanks to sandwich boards around his neck. This is how I first met him. This is what he looked like.  Sometimes with the pipe, sometimes not. Most pedestrians on the…
  • Should you crowdfund your next book (on Kickstarter, GoFundMe, or PubSlush)? 3 reasons why not.

    Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod
    14 Sep 2014 | 12:27 pm
    Should you crowdfund your next book (on Kickstarter, GoFundMe, or PubSlush or whatever tomorrow’s Next Big Crowdfunding Site happens to be)? No. Well, that was easy, wasn’t it? Now we can all go home. What?  You want me to defend that statement? Well, okay.  Here are three reasons. #1 Your crowdfunding project makes me feel spiteful. I’m not saying this to be nasty, I promise. I love you, I love writers, I want to encourage independent writers to get their books in print and live their dream.  Really… I do. But if you publicize your crowdfunding project in writers’…
  • KDP Kids: a first look at Amazon’s new Kindle Kids’ Book Creator software.

    Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod
    3 Sep 2014 | 11:27 pm
    Spoiler alert:  I like it.  VERY much. So much, on a first trial pass, that I’m planning to redo all my Kindle books to make them even more true to the print originals. Okay, let me back up for a second.  Amazon has just released a new program designed to make creating beautiful kids’ books a total no-brainer.  This is huge news, because self-publishing illustrated kids’ books for Kindle has always been somewhat of a pain in the you-know-where. Huge.  Like, “drop everything” kind of huge. So I dropped everything to test it out. I have a bunch of other things…
  • How I ended up writing a Bible story (and why you might, too).

    Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod
    3 Sep 2014 | 4:24 am
    Excerpt from Writing the Bible for Children:  How to write blazing Biblical stories and picture books for kids.I never write a story I don’t love.But sometimes, it’s possible to write a story you don’t like very much, at least at first.  Stories can grow on you surprisingly quickly.The scrawny chicken babyYears ago, I wrote a personal essay about how I didn’t bond with my daughter instantly.  She was a preemie, scrawny and demanding, her wail high-pitched and insistent.  Her birth was unexpected, my marriage was in trouble; it just wasn’t the best time in my life…
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    Writeaholic Inspiration

  • Writing News September 2014

    Ruth Barringham
    21 Sep 2014 | 9:42 pm
    July 2014 Author Earnings Reporthttp://authorearnings.com/report/july-2014-author-earnings-report/Women dominate this year's BBC National Short Story Award shortlisthttp://shelf-life.ew.com/2014/09/17/bbc-national-short-story-award-shortlist/Amazing Roald Dahl cakes that Wonka himself would be proud ofhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinkpicturegalleries/11101340/Amazing-Roald-Dahl-cakes-that-Wonka-himself-would-be-proud-of.htmlPhoto-Sharing Service Twitpic To Close Rather Than Fight Twitter Over Trademarkhttp://marketingland.com/twitpic-close-98740Scarlett Johansson wins…
  • Know Thy Market

    Ruth Barringham
    18 Sep 2014 | 4:30 pm
    If you want to sell more books and make more money from your writing, then you need to know your market.Who are you writing for?What are you giving them?How will it help them?Do you even know who you’re readers are?Having a hungry market is more important than the work that you produce.If you’re writing a book that no one wants to read, then you’ll never sell any copies, not matter what.But if you write a book that you already know people want to read, then you’ll have a hungry market.Read more »
  • Know Where You’re Going and Get There Fast

    Ruth Barringham
    17 Sep 2014 | 10:51 pm
    If you want to be more productive then you need to know where you're going and how to get there fast, because there's nothing more frustrating than working long hours and producing nothing significant.When you're working, you want to be moving toward your end goal all the time.So first, ask yourself “What is my goal?” What is the one end goal that you want to achieve with your writing?Then look at everything you do every day to move yourself closer to your goal and get rid of the rest.Once you know what your ultimate goal is, there are 3 things you need to do.Read more »
  • You Can’t Save a Damsel Who Enjoys Distress

    Ruth Barringham
    16 Sep 2014 | 11:13 pm
    On a podcast I was listening to recently, I heard the expression, “You can’t save a damsel who enjoys distress.”The podcast was about business and how not to waste time with people who won’t take advice and will never invest in their own business. These are people who are failing and seem to prefer it to trying something new.It reminded me of a comment someone made last week about my new 15 minute article writing system.Read more »
  • Six Writing Resources to Help You Write More and Earn More

    Ruth Barringham
    15 Sep 2014 | 3:31 pm
    Today I have a new list of six writing resources that are all designed to get you started and keep you going and, how to earn more money from your writing:How to Find an Agent and Get Published Premium CollectionAre you ready to get your book on the shelves? Whether you’re just starting to write your novel or have dozens of submissions under your belt, this collection includes everything you need to successfully get your work into the market.Learn how the publishing industry has changed and how you need to format and submit your proposal in order to build a solid reputation. Get insight…
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    Assignment Help

  • Best custom essay help in Australia

    18 Sep 2014 | 1:16 am
    Where can I find them? Custom essay writers are found on online websites. These writers are professionals and are experts in writing. They have the knowledge regarding the essentials of an essay. They not only provide readymade essays for the students but also train them in writing essays which can get them good grades. Professionals from various fields are hired for various topics of essays. This makes sure that the essays are written by those writers who know the subject in detail and have researched about the topic before it’s written. What are the various kinds of help provided to…
  • 10 advantageous ways to engage students’ attention in the classroom environment

    17 Sep 2014 | 2:43 am
    Hello? Where is your mind? You have used/overheard this statement many times in a classroom environment. Teachers always wonder that how and in what possible way they can allure students to take part in the lecture room learning. But teachers and lecturers slump on the way to grab the attention of students. So here is the glorious opportunity to learn the 10 ways to engage students’ interest in learning process. 10 ways to engage student’s attention in classroom  Take a break and have ‘chitchat’ A long hour study bound to weary students’ brains, so give your students a break of…
  • Getting the best essay help online is very easy

    10 Sep 2014 | 12:01 am
    Students are assigned home work on a daily basis in most of the education systems. Writing essays form an integral part of a student’s education. These essays thus written by the students are validated and the quality of the essay is assessed. The score thus obtained by the students is converted into grades which matter a lot for the career of the student. Essay help service is offered online by myassignmenthelp.com for students who are busy with other co-curricular activities. Students who lack time to work on these assignments can opt for essay help online and make sure that they get the…
  • Things You Should Know About Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) – A Nerve Disease with Extreme Effects

    9 Sep 2014 | 3:11 am
    What is ALS? Every two people out of one lakh global population is affected by a nerve disease called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS. It is a growing neurodegenerative disease which affects the nerve cells of spinal cord and brain. It is also called Lou Gehrig’s disease. Let’s know a little more about this disease in details. What is ALS? – Myassignmenthelp.com Knowing ALS ALS directly attacks the motor nerve which controls several muscles leading to loss of physical strength and inability to move arms, legs and body. Symptoms: Weakness of muscles in hands, legs and speech…
  • How to Solve the Math Equation: A+B+B+B+80+90=100 Logically

    4 Sep 2014 | 11:49 pm
    Wondering how to solve this Algebraic Equation A+B+B+B+80+90=100?   This is a fundamental puzzle in Mathematics. Check the solution of this mathematical equation provided by our experts. It is easy to understand, and you can also utilize this solution for your homework in future. Myassignmenthelp.com – A fundamental puzzle in Mathematics Make it easy and get the solution of the puzzle A+B+B+B+80+90=100 by simplifying it. Let us solve this step by step: A+B+B+B+80+90=100 ——————-> 1 (Step No. 1) Now we can add the numeric values: 80+90 =170…
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    The Writer's Life eMagazine

  • Interview with Maegan Abel: 'Everyone has a story'

    22 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    Maegan Abel was born and raised in TulsaOklahoma. She went back to school her my late twenties and studied Stage Production Technology. She now work full-time in the alterations shop of a major department store and part-time backstage in the various theatres around the area.She has been an avid reader from a very young age and the top goal on her list of things to accomplish in life was to write and publish a book. During the summer of 2013, while working backstage on The Lion King, she read eleven books in four weeks. Maegan read her first New Adult book and was introduced to a genre that…
  • Interview with Jesse Giles Christiansen: 'If a character wants breathing room, let it happen'

    21 Sep 2014 | 9:00 pm
    Jesse Giles Christiansen is an American author who writes compelling literary fiction that weaves the real with the surreal. He attended Florida State University where he received his B.A. in English literature, and holds an M.A. in philosophy from Georgia State University. He is the author of Pelican Bay (book one in the Captain Shelby Series), an Amazon #1 list bestseller, outselling Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway. One of Christiansen's literary goals is to write at least fifty novels, and he always reminds himself of something that Ray Bradbury once said: "You fail only if you stop…
  • Book Review: ‘Bible Bands: Rubber Band Jewelry’ by Katreina Eden

    19 Sep 2014 | 3:49 am
    Bible Bands is a fun, educational how-to book for children who love making jewelry. Not only does it teaches how to make lovely designs, but it also strengthens children’s faith by combining hands-on creativity with Bible verses and stories.Rubber band jewelry seems to be the hottest new craze, so Eden’s book comes at the right time. Though at first glance, when you look at the jewelry, it might seem complicated and difficult to make, especially for kids, the author demystifies it with simple step-by-step instructions accompanied by colorful photos. I found the language and…
  • Interview with Peter Darrach, author of 'Tavern on the Edge of Time'

    15 Sep 2014 | 9:00 pm
    Peter Darrach has lived in New YorkLondonPragueMunich and Vienna. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and a Master of Arts degree in German Literature, both from PennsylvaniaStateUniversity. Darrach pursued a career in sales and marketing in fields as diverse as amusement parks and retail before moving to Europe in 1991. Since then he has worked in Eastern and Western Europe, holding a series of executive positions with blue chip FMCG companies.  Most recently he has returned to the U.S. to pursue his career as a business coach and fiction author and currently lives…
  • Writers today are deciding to forgo six-figure advances in order to self-publish. Are they crazy? #selfpub

    14 Sep 2014 | 6:28 am
     It’s no great secret that the world of publishing is changing. What is a secret is how much. Is it changing a lot? Has most of the change already happened? What does the future look like?You may have heard from other reports that e-books account for roughly 25% of overall book sales. But this figure is based only on sales reported by major publishers E-book distributors like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, the iBookstore, and Google Play don’t reveal their sales data. That means that self-published e-books are not counted in that 25%.Read rest of article here.
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    Wylie's Writing Tips

  • Numbers count

    Ann Wylie
    31 Aug 2014 | 10:12 pm
    Numerals in headlines quantify value, draw readersNext time you hit the Safeway, take a look at the magazines displayed at the checkout counter. Chances are, you’ll find that they’re packed with numerals.By the numbers Headlines with numerals perform better in email, social media, magazines and on the Web. Photo by Clyde RobinsonThere’s a good reason for that: Headlines with numerals, like Top 10, promise quantifiable value. And that draws readers.“Numbers sell,” writes Richard Riccelli, president of Post Rd, Inc.If you’re writing a tipsheet or service…
  • World of words

    Ann Wylie
    31 Aug 2014 | 10:11 pm
    Only 7 countries studied achieve basic literacy ratesOn average, adults tested in the latest worldwide literacy study can read a few paragraphs and locate a single piece of information in them. But they struggle to find information that requires drawing even low-level conclusions from what they’ve read.Laugh, and the world laughs with you Read, and you read alone, suggests the latest global assessment of adult literacy. Image by Casey FleserOr so says the 2013 Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, or PIAAC.About the studyPIAAC is a large, every-10-years study…
  • Write for the world

    Ann Wylie
    31 Aug 2014 | 10:10 pm
    How to reach readers in the face of global illiteracyHow can you write for adults who can barely read? That’s what two Chicago academics — William S. Gray and Bernice Leary — set out to learn in 1935.Breaking bad In a world where many adults can barely read, how can we reach readers with words?To discover what makes prose readable for adults with low literacy rates, the University of Chicago’s Gray and St. Xavier College’s Leary studied 48 passages of about 100 words each, taken from books, magazines and newspapers most widely read by adults.To establish the difficulty…
  • ‘Every sentence is a little drama’

    Ann Wylie
    31 Aug 2014 | 10:09 pm
    How to build plot, scene and character with verbsThings that make your copy more creative: Storytelling. Human interest. Wordplay. Concrete details. Verbs. Verbs? Yes, verbs, writes Constance Hale.And … action! Help your story take off by choosing just the right verb.“What I want writers to understand,” writes the author of Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch: Let verbs power your writing, “is that every sentence is a little drama. There’s a subject, a predicate; there’s a protagonist and a predicament.”Verbs, in this equation, are the predicament — aka, the muddle our…
  • Catch Your Readers in New York

    Ann Wylie
    31 Aug 2014 | 10:08 pm
    Meet me in the Big Apple, Oct. 28-29Would you like to learn to write copy that moves people to act? Master a structure that’s proven in the lab to work better than the inverted pyramid? Make every piece you write measurably easier to read and understand?If so, please join me at “Catch Your Readers,” a two-day writer’s Master Class on Oct. 28 and 29 in New York.See readership soar In this writing workshop, you’ll learn to help readers 1) pay attention to your message, 2) understand it, 3) remember it and 4) act on it. That, after all, is a writer’s four-part…
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  • Let’s Get Digital 2 Is Out!

    Woelf Dietrich
    17 Sep 2014 | 4:51 am
    Originally posted on David Gaughran:I’m very excited to announce the release of the new updated and expanded 2nd edition of Let’s Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should. If you purchased the old 1st edition of Digital, you can grab the 2nd edition for free (instructions below). You won’t actually be able…
  • I’ve Been Summoned

    Woelf Dietrich
    25 Aug 2014 | 3:25 pm
    Early last week I received a tweet from Jessica West summoning me to a Blog Hop aptly titled, “I’ve Been Summoned”, which, as a consequence of being so tagged, resulted in today’s post. The summons entails me answering a few questions and then tagging the next hapless victim or two. I thought perhaps I could […]
  • In Which I Attempt Poetry

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

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

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

  • The partnership between an author and an editor

    The Proof Angel
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:13 am
    This discussion of the relationship between authors & editors is more sensible than its title suggests. Starting with how to train your author, and using words like adversary doesn’t fit with my experience of the process. I think the fundamental message is that by working as a team, everyone achieves more than they can on their own. Visit my websites via the links at the top of this page.Filed under: Resources for authors Tagged: editing
  • All about Times New Roman

    The Proof Angel
    21 Sep 2014 | 2:27 am
    This short video tells you most of what you need to know about one of the classic fonts, Times New Roman. Find out where it comes from, & why you should use it. Visit my websites via the links at the top of this page.Filed under: Bits & bobs Tagged: font, Times New Roman
  • Working with a designer on your cover

    The Proof Angel
    20 Sep 2014 | 2:03 am
    A cover is an important marketing tool for any publication. To make a good job of it, you need to talk to someone who knows what they are doing. But if design isn’t your field, how do you start? Find out here. Visit my websites via the links at the top of this page.Filed under: Resources for authors Tagged: book cover
  • Why do we need grammar?

    The Proof Angel
    19 Sep 2014 | 2:58 am
    Grammar has had a rough ride over the years. Like many other things, it has gone in & out of fashion. This post tracks the fall and rise of grammar. Visit my websites via the links at the top of this page.Filed under: Grammar & usage Tagged: grammar
  • Classic book design

    The Proof Angel
    18 Sep 2014 | 2:10 am
    If you are thinking about the design of your book, here is a useful guide to classic ideas. Visit my websites via the links at the top of this page.Filed under: Resources for authors Tagged: book design
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    eBooks India

  • 5 Things Running a Self-Publishing Business is Not

    Hiten Vyas
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:19 pm
    There are so many great things about running a small self-publishing business. You do what you love. You write and publish books and ebooks, and get your work out to the world. However, there are certain things that running a self-publishing business is not. It’s useful to keep these in mind, so that you get into the business of self-publishing for the right reasons, and don’t have expectations that might not manifest. Read on to learn about 5 such things. 1. A get rich scheme Self-publishing books and ebooks isn’t another quick get rich scheme. It is a serious undertaking (although you…
  • 5 Self-Published Authors You Should Start Following Now

    Moumita Goswami
    22 Sep 2014 | 11:04 am
    You can read about self-publishing and will never finish. Thousands of writers across the globe have now decided to give up on the publishing houses and they are publishing their books through self-publication. The road to success is narrow and there are many stones that litter it. But there are those authors who have really made it big in this domain. Thanks to them you will never lack inspiration as a self-publishing author. Self-publication has become so successful that The Guardian even came up with an article where it questioned if this segment is killing mainstream publication. And one…
  • Make Extra Money through These 6 Writing Gigs

    Hiten Vyas
    19 Sep 2014 | 1:04 pm
    Are you someone who is interested in earning some extra cash on top of your day job? Do you enjoy writing, and are even quite good at it? If so, writing can be a great way to make extra money. Read on to learn how you can make extra dough through popular types of writing jobs. The following are those in particular demand: 1. Article writing There is a huge need from owners and editors of websites, and blogs looking for quality article writers. You can find various websites online which you can join, create a profile, and search for clients looking for writers who know how to write articles.
  • 5 Book Promotion Tips

    Moumita Goswami
    19 Sep 2014 | 11:18 am
    As an author, you are often required to wear the hat of a writer and that of a marketer. In this age of self-publishing, you are extremely lucky if you have a large publisher taking care of marketing and promotion of your upcoming book. But since that is not the case with most of the authors (including you), you have to learn how to market your book. 1. Starting early The best book marketers say that a book should start getting promoted even before it is written. This essentially means that you start promoting your book the moment you have your plot in your mind. While the idea to start early…
  • How Writers Can Develop Their Leadership Skills

    Hiten Vyas
    18 Sep 2014 | 12:27 pm
    As a writer you might be wondering why developing your leadership skills is important. Well, if you’re thinking about self-publishing a book or an ebook then you will need to have the ability to lead, be proactive and work using your own initiative. Believe it or not, you are now a business person. If leadership isn’t something you’ve developed much in the past, or haven’t considered, you can begin now. Read on to learn how you as a writer can develop your leadership skills, and increase your self-confidence in the process. Start a community project Getting a community project started…
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  • Story Submission Guidelines

    Kerri Lowe
    18 Sep 2014 | 10:53 am
    StoryShelter is putting together our first book of short personal stories called "I Am Here: The Untold Stories of Everyday People." For this theme, we are looking for life-affirming stories that highlight ordinary individuals making their mark. At what time in your life did you stand up for yourself and say "I Am Here" and this is my story? The post Story Submission Guidelines appeared first on StoryShelter.
  • Storytelling in Leadership with Sally Fox

    Kerri Lowe
    17 Sep 2014 | 7:49 pm
    This week we talk to Sally Fox, founder of Engaging Presence, a leadership development firm that coaches individuals and companies how to develop more presence, communicate their core message, and inspire others to act. Sally focuses on how you can use storytelling in leadership positions (and in your life in general!) to find your authentic voice. The post Storytelling in Leadership with Sally Fox appeared first on StoryShelter.
  • Talking About Mental Illness and Body Issues with Elizabeth Hawksworth

    Kerri Lowe
    10 Sep 2014 | 7:05 pm
    This week I interview Elizabeth Hawksworth, a feminist blogger who writes about mental illness, body positivity, fatphobia, and more. Her recent article, "Don't Call Robin Williams' Death a Waste," got a lot of traction on The Huffington Post, encouraging people to understand that depression and mental illness is a disease, not a weak choice. Her post encouraged individuals to reach out and support the people in their lives rather than vilify the decisions of others. Elizabeth takes on social justice issues in a tone that leads to new awareness and understanding. The post Talking About Mental…
  • Briana Mackey: Winner of the 30 Day Happiness Challenge!

    Kerri Lowe
    9 Sep 2014 | 10:47 pm
    We're excited to announce that Briana Mackey is the winner of the StoryShelter 30-Day Happiness Challenge! In this challenge, we had participants write a personal story on StoryShelter for 30 consecutive days, keep track of their Gratitudes (3 things you're grateful for today,) and fill out our happiness surveys before and after. Participants were encouraged to share their stories with their friends and family. The post Briana Mackey: Winner of the 30 Day Happiness Challenge! appeared first on StoryShelter.
  • Why You Should Stop Striving for “The Good Life” with Dr. Kelly Flanagan

    Kerri Lowe
    3 Sep 2014 | 5:23 pm
    Dr. Kelly Flanagan is a psychologist and the writer behind Untangled, a blog that focuses on how to tell a redemptive story with your life. What does that mean, you ask? Good question. In our interview, Dr. Flanagan shows us the difference between"The Good Life" (the one he says he lived for 32 years...) and "The Redemptive Life." The post Why You Should Stop Striving for “The Good Life” with Dr. Kelly Flanagan appeared first on StoryShelter.
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  • Are You Making These 5 Careless Writing Blunders?

    Laura Spencer
    19 Sep 2014 | 12:25 pm
    ©iStock.com/Thinglass Studies show that crisp, concise writing that gets the point across quickly is the most effective. For online writing, efficient copy is even more important. Most readers scan online posts and articles before they decide to read them. Yet, many writers make careless mistakes. You can’t count on your spell checker to catch everything. Do you make these five careless blunders? If you liked this post, you may also like Tighten Your Web Writing in 6 Easy Steps. Blunder #1. Wordiness Is your writing full of extra words and phrases that don’t add anything to your…
  • 5 Options for Recycling Your Old Web Content

    Laura Spencer
    12 Sep 2014 | 8:35 am
    ©iStock.com/alexskopje How many posts have you published? 100? 200? More? If you’ve been blogging for as long as I have, you’ve probably published hundreds of posts. (For example, this blog has over 500 published posts.) You may be wondering what to do (if anything) with your old posts. In this post I answer that question. I’ll go over five ways you can recycle your old content. You have five choices for recycling old content. Here’s the list of what you can do with your old content: Reshare Rewrite Republish Repurpose Remove All these choices have to do with…
  • How to Strengthen Your Brand Using Social Shares

    Laura Spencer
    4 Sep 2014 | 2:36 pm
    ©iStock.com/Hreni What you share on social media is important. The quality of your shares can add to or detract from your personal brand. I didn’t realize this until I started to receive compliments on the quality of the posts and articles that I share. More than one social contact has complimented me on sharing relevant and helpful information. Some have asked how I do it. Most writers understand that they should share more than just their own content to engage their audience. But where exactly do you find the right information to share? If you struggle to build your freelance writing…
  • 12 Important Reasons Why Social Media Is Worth Your Time

    Laura Spencer
    22 Aug 2014 | 7:56 am
    ©iStock.com/ahmetemre Whether you’re a writer, an author, or a small business–you may have wondered if spending time on social media is worthwhile. My answer to that is a qualified yes. Social media is worth your time, but only if you use it wisely. Unwise use of social media adds just another time-consuming task to your already busy day. As I’ve discussed before, many businesses make mistakes with their social media use. In this post, I’ll share 12 important reasons why I think social media is worth spending time on. I’ll also add a few tips on how to use it…
  • 14 Top Sites to Help You Learn More About Grammar and Writing Style

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

  • My Sexy Saturday Bloghop (60th Week, Sept 20 2014) #MSS

    Frances C
    20 Sep 2014 | 8:43 pm
    Welcome to the 60th week of My Sexy Saturday. The theme this week is our sexy romance. You know those couples who seem to have it all. The ones that jet-set around the world, drive the nicest cars, live in the coolest houses. Well…this theme isn’t necessarily about them…but it could be.The point is that it doesn’t matter what you have or don’t have. Romance happens everywhere, to everyone. It could be in the jungles of Borneo, or the thriving metropolis of a futuristic city, or even the farm country of Scotland. It doesn’t matter where. And it really doesn’t matter what they…
  • Cover Reveal: Afraid to Fall by Wendy Ferraro

    Angel Voisen
    18 Sep 2014 | 2:46 am
    Title: Afraid to FallAuthor: W. FerraroGenre: Contemporary RomanceRelease Date: October 18, 2014 Jaded and hardened by the ultimate of betrayals, Clearwater Falls Sheriff Gage Dennison is content with his simple, detached life.   With only his loyal dog at his side, Gage has successfully maintained the walls he's built around his life and heart for eight years. From his secluded house at the end of a private road, to the solitude of a small town sheriff, he has no trouble keeping everyone just where he wants them - at a distance.   But Gage soon learns his walls are not as…
  • Blog Tour: Adrian Lessons by L.A Rose

    Frances C
    14 Sep 2014 | 12:00 am
    BlurbIf there’s one thing Cleo Reynolds knows, it’s that she’s not into Adrian King.The son of a model with the looks to prove it, the experienced author of her school newspaper’s sex advice column, the cocky playboy with a hint of darkness. That Adrian King.Nope. Nuh-uh. No way. The problem is, he’s very into her.After accidentally flashing him, and slightly-less-accidentally-but-still-totally-unintentionally making out with him in front of the whole class, she expects to be called crazy. Instead, he asks her out. Cleo’s determined not to end up as another notch on his bedpost.
  • My Sexy Saturday Bloghop (59th Week, Sept 6 2014) #MSS

    Frances C
    13 Sep 2014 | 12:00 am
    Welcome to the 59th week of My Sexy Saturday. Remember the movie ‘He’s Not That Into You’? Well, this is the opposite of that movie. There the heroine actually had to fight her way to get her man but the biggest obstacle was the man himself. How about the characters that are over the top about each other, regardless of the situation? The ones who can never keep their hands off one another. The ones you know will be that little old couple you see at the park, still holding hands after 50 years. It’s those couples we are talking about this week.  This week I'm posting a…
  • Cover Reveal: Claiming the Emerald Spitfire (The Spectrum, #2)

    Frances C
    12 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    BlurbBurned by love once, can two broken individuals risk the fire a second time? An outsider always looking in, Deirdre “Dee” Taylor has never felt like she belonged anywhere because of her unique magic. When the psychopath hounding her murders the man she loves, Dee ends up in the city of New Furor and in the arms of Jeanette Carver.Jean’s a dedicated city Enforcer, but she doesn’t know why she’s putting her life on the line for Dee. A dominant, proud and stubborn force of nature, Dee’s someone to be reckoned with. Especially since she’s capable of rekindling a sizzling fire…
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    11 Sep 2014 | 4:28 pm
    TEN RULES OF WRITING (with thanks to Elmore Leonard)1. Never open a book with weather.If it’s only to create atmosphere, and not a character’s reaction to the weather, you don’t want to go on too long. The reader is apt to leaf ahead looking for people. 2. Avoid prologues.They can be annoying, especially a prologue following an introduction that comes after a foreword. But these are ordinarily found in nonfiction. A prologue in a novel is backstory, and you can drop it in anywhere you want.3. Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.The line of dialogue belongs to the…
  • THE SOURCE OF STORIES: Writing from your experience and imagination

    1 Sep 2014 | 11:22 am
    Today I want to share with you an exercise to find out what you might want to write about:1.  Draw a big circle.  In the middle write WHAT FASCINATES ME?2.  From the circle draw lines with all possible answers of what fascinates you.  Are you curious about the monarch butterfly?  Are you fascinated by the names of winds or hurricanes?  Do you want to learn more about the seven wonders of the world?  Write down all your interests.3.  When you're done with that, choose one of those and freewrite for a while.  Every day spend a few minutes writing…
  • THE SOURCE OF STORIES: Writing from your experience and imagination

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

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

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

  • E-Book Wars Book Review

    Elizabeth Yetter
    12 Sep 2014 | 10:55 am
    E-book Wars: How to Avoid Review-Bombs and What to Do When They Happen By D.G. Harrison Summary The author presents the readers with ways on how to handle review bombs and how to avoid them form the start. Pros Author talks about poor writing skills and how you can improve your writing to avoid negative […]Continue reading...
  • Adding Links Inside of Kindle Books

    Elizabeth Yetter
    11 Sep 2014 | 12:11 pm
    More and more bloggers are writing Kindle ebooks and pasting links to their blogs on nearly every page of their Kindle books. Is this a wise choice to increase blog hits or is it just an annoyance to readers? Why Are You Writing a Book? Some people feel the compulsion to write all the time. […]Continue reading...
  • Writing Kindle Books for Preppers

    Elizabeth Yetter
    10 Sep 2014 | 3:37 pm
    Thanks to the show Doomsday Preppers, the term preppers has become a hot word for Kindle books. The word also does fairly well on Google searches, according to the Keyword Planner. Other terms used are survivalist and homesteader, although preppers is quickly becoming a popular term for people who are preparing for any number of […]Continue reading...
  • The Value of Strong Titles

    Elizabeth Yetter
    9 Sep 2014 | 2:45 pm
    Whether it is a book or a blog, the first thing a potential reader sees is the title. That is why choosing a title is so important to a writer’s success. Use Your Keywords The first thing you do when choosing a title is to write the subject of your book. For example, if you […]Continue reading...
  • Using Google Trends for Book Ideas

    Elizabeth Yetter
    31 Aug 2014 | 9:17 am
    Being a full time writer, you always need to be on the hunt for new book ideas. It doesn’t matter if you write fiction or nonfiction, real life events inspire fiction and nonfiction. Hot Searches First, take a visit to Google Trends and scroll down through the items that are trending. Today, for example, I […]Continue reading...
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    The Art of Storytelling in Novels, Journalism and Pop Culture - Bernice Landry

  • Truth in Fiction With Eudora Welty

    Bernice Landry
    4 Sep 2014 | 9:02 am
    There are all kinds of books on writing — manuals, style guides, words of wisdom, words of warning, and every kind of bizarre miscellany imaginable. Like many writers I read a lot of them — not always for the advice, but often as maps to foreign countries that my fellow travelers have visited.I came across another of these when I thought I would check out Eudora Welty, a writer I didn’t know too much about, who fell between Isaac Bashevis Singer and John Gardner in my copy of The Paris Review Interviews vol. II that has spent the summer on my bedside table. Welty, I discovered, lived…
  • The Electric Wit and Tender Heart of Robin Williams

    Bernice Landry
    28 Aug 2014 | 3:49 am
    Like millions of others, I knew Robin Williams as a famous actor and comedian extraordinaire. I was also familiar with some details of his personal life, like that he had a house in San Francisco, was married more than once, and was a recovering addict. Other than that, I didn’t know much about him.On the other hand, I’m not sure how much the details circulated by the gossip and celebrity industries tell us about a person. It seems like the more minutiae we are peddled — what the celebrity eats, who he is seen with, behind-the-scenes gossip about his quirks and idiosyncrasies — the…
  • Psst! Hey, Peter Mendelsund! Illustrate my book cover, why don’t you?

    Bernice Landry
    25 Aug 2014 | 6:03 am
    Well, what do you know? Apparently the publishing industry is not even close to dead. As we are reminded by the recent release of two books, “Cover” and “What We See When We Read”, by guru designer Peter Mendelsund, there are whole departments of smart and talented people devoted to the ancient art of book cover illustration. And these designers are not historical re-enactors in period costume wielding ancient, cryptic tools — but living and breathing professionals working on lofty floors in Manhattan highrises! Designing real printed book covers (on real paper!) that do not even…
  • The Landscape of the Self in Georgia O’Keeffe

    Bernice Landry
    21 Aug 2014 | 10:25 am
    The other day I had the urge to look up some of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings, and, as I admired her unmistakable work, I wondered if anyone had written her biography. And, of course, there were a few, but I decided to check out “Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O’Keeffe” by journalist and writer Laurie Lisle, originally published in 1980 and recently re-released.That O’Keeffe was a pioneer in the realm of visual arts is incontestable — one need look no further than her striking, sensual flowers, her stark bones against the vast desert sky and her impressionistic…
  • The Artist in Disguise in Isaac Bashevis Singer

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

  • Get The Beginner’s Guide to Writing Quality Online Content by Alicia Rades

    Jennifer Mattern
    17 Sep 2014 | 10:52 am
    Everyone thinks they can write for the web these days. But not everyone can do it well. Freelance blogger, Alicia Rades, is an exception. I've been a fan of her style since her own blog first came to my attention. And she was a guest earlier this year at All Indie Writers. Read Alicia's "Discover the 6 Variables to the 'Blogging Better' Formula" Now Alicia is helping bloggers and other web content writers improve their web writing with her e-book, The Beginner's Guide to Writing Quality Online Content. I bought my copy as soon as I found out about it (highly recommended), and you can get…
  • Quick Tip: Use Google Webmaster Tools for Your Writer Website or Blog

    Jennifer Mattern
    16 Sep 2014 | 9:15 am
    Readers and colleagues often come to me with questions about problems they're having with their websites or blogs. In some cases, such as sudden search engine ranking issues or site indexing problems, one of the first things I tend to ask them is to check Google Webmaster Tools. That's when I sometimes get the mind-blowing responses of "What's that?" or "I don't use that." Not good. So here is this week's quick tip: If you run a website -- a professional freelance writing site, an author website, or a blog -- set it up in Google Webmaster Tools. It's free. It's easy. And it can provide a…
  • How Important are Creative Writing Degrees for Freelance Writers?

    Jennifer Mattern
    15 Sep 2014 | 6:28 am
    This morning I received the following question from Susan Brewer: "How important is it to have a bachelor's degree in Creative Writing in order to launch a writing job as a freelance writer? Or, I should say, "How helpful," is it?" I told her the short answers are "not at all," and "it depends what you want to do with it." But let's dig a bit deeper. Creative Writing Degrees are Unnecessary for Freelancers You don't need a creative writing degree to become a successful freelance writer. You don't need any degree for that matter, though they can help. Creative writing degrees might be a good…
  • Plan Your Writing Projects With Gantt Charts

    Jennifer Mattern
    11 Sep 2014 | 3:50 pm
    Rather than release a new tool this week, I want to share a third party planning and productivity tool that can help you better organize and schedule your writing projects. This tool is called a Gantt Chart, and a great tool for creating them is TomsPlanner.com. Let's take a quick look at what Gantt Charts are and what you might use them for as a writer. What is a Gantt Chart? A Gantt Chart is project planning tool that gives you a visual representation of your schedule (including milestones) and any necessary resources. Here's what they look like (based on a made-up example using the Tom's…
  • Is Your WordPress Database Too Large? Thin Out Revisions

    Jennifer Mattern
    9 Sep 2014 | 7:29 am
    A great feature of WordPress is its ability to save different versions of your posts as you go -- such as when you hit the "save draft" or "preview" buttons. These saved versions are called "revisions," and they give you restore points if anything goes wrong. Awesome, right? Well, it can be. But WordPress revisions have to be saved to your database just like your current post drafts do. And because WordPress can end up saving a dozen or more revisions for a post, your database might be much larger than you think. So for this week's quick tip, let's look some ways you can fix and prevent this…
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  • Announcing the winner of the #SixWordBowie contest!

    Chicago Literati
    22 Sep 2014 | 4:22 pm
    Last week we asked you to come up with your best six word story about David Bowie for #SixWordBowie. Well, the results are in and we’ve chosen a winner (and also runners-up)! Read the winning six word story below and... Read More ›
  • Miss Spoken, Loose Chicks and more in this week’s Live Lit Roundup

    Chicago Literati
    22 Sep 2014 | 11:07 am
    Wednesday In what will be a, “really very” night, come out to the Hideout Inn (1354 W Wabansia Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60642) for the Chicago Zine Fest Movie Night Fundraiser at 6pm. Candy will be provided by Dandy Sweets and the movie of the... Read More ›
  • Light by Patricia Doody

    Chicago Literati
    22 Sep 2014 | 10:17 am
    Light A Personal Essay By Patricia Doody    It is hard to document a journey you spent over a decade avoiding. The timeline concerning my history with depression is mostly blurry, save for specific dates concerning hospitalizations or medical appointments.... Read More ›
  • Guts & Glory: serving their insides through the microphone

    Kristen Nathan
    19 Sep 2014 | 1:06 pm
    As I made my way into Schubas Tavern on Southport Avenue for the Guts & Glory reading, my excitement for it was more than any other reading I have attended. Not only had many people raved to me about this... Read More ›
  • God and the Ocean

    Wyl Villacres
    18 Sep 2014 | 8:43 am
                So I am 19 years old and fucked up on mushrooms in my dorm room, and in the next hour I am going to call my mother to tell her that I found God.... Read More ›
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    Denise Drespling

  • How NaNoWriMo Can Help You Get the 2 Most Important Things a Writer Needs

    Denise Drespling
    19 Sep 2014 | 11:39 am
    photo from Flickr via Creative Commons from good-karma A writer needs many things. Ideas, a mastery of language, an understanding of grammar and punctuation, a medium with which to write, and the time to actually do the writing. But there are two things far more important than knowing how to describe a sunset without using clichés. And NaNoWriMo can help you get them. First of all, if you didn’t know, November is National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo. Or even NaNo for short. It’s 30 days in which several hundred thousand writers come together and try to write 50,000…
  • Book Review: A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

    Denise Drespling
    16 Sep 2014 | 8:44 am
    Plot The storyline was definitely more character-driven than event-driven. We meet the four main characters on New Year’s Eve as each is planning to jump off a building to commit suicide. Instead, they form an unusual friendship and a sort of non-suicide pact. They get together and help each other stay alive. We follow each character on his or her journey through the book as they each find ways to deal with life and with the consequences of living. Characters I don’t think you could find a more motley crew if you tried. You have the washed-up ex-TV star, the want-to-be-but-failing…
  • Don’t End Your Story – World Suicide Prevention Day

    Denise Drespling
    10 Sep 2014 | 6:40 am
    I posted recently about my new tattoo and the meaning behind it. (Read the post here.) Since today is World Suicide Prevention Day, I’ve gone into a little more detail about how to help yourself and others. Please watch and share, and join me in talking about your struggles as well as reaching out to others. Use these hashtags to join in the conversation: #NationalSuicidePreventionWeek #WSPD14 #TheSemiColonProject #StayStrong Resources These are a few of the resources I mentioned in the video: The Semicolon Project: http://thesemicolonproject.com https://www.facebook.com/SemiColonProj…
  • Book Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

    Denise Drespling
    9 Sep 2014 | 11:47 am
    The Maze Runner movie comes out September 19. The movie trailer was enough to get me excited about the book. Unfortunately, I wasn’t totally excited by the book in general. I gave it a 3, which = liked it. Plot One of the better features of the book. The boys are in a strange place where no ones knows much except that life is dangerous and they’re stuck in a maze they can’t get out of. There is plenty of tension and excitement, though some parts were a little convenient. The way the maze was solved was highly anticlimactically. The major plot twist at the very end did redeem…
  • The Best Way to Use a Semicolon That You Probably Never Knew

    Denise Drespling
    5 Sep 2014 | 10:01 am
    I got a tattoo last week. It’s a semicolon. You’re thinking it’s because I’m a writer, right? What better tattoo for a writer than punctuation? Here’s the thing. In my writing, I never use semicolons. In fact, I don’t much like them. So, why ink one permanently on my wrist? Read on… Semicolons are used in two ways: 1. In a series of items where using a comma may be confusing. For example: “This summer I visited Seattle, Washington; Los Angeles, California; and Chicago, Illinois.” This is the only way you’ll ever see me using a…
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    When I should be writing, I'm here

  • Five ways to capture your corporate audience with your speech.

    m.e. welman
    16 Sep 2014 | 5:29 pm
    The video of Ricky Gervais (brilliant by the way) is an example of what not to do when presenting a speech in the workplace. As someone who has written and directed plays and scenes (which I’m getting back into again) I find no greater joy than in seeing and hearing my written words performed by actors. It’s so much more rewarding than receiving written feedback and reviews on a short story or book because the impact you have on the audience is immediate. You get to read the audience’s facial expressions, see their emotional response, hear their laughter or…
  • Does everyone have a bestselling novel in them?

    m.e. welman
    12 Sep 2014 | 9:08 am
    Do we all have that bestseller lurking inside us just waiting to get out? Have you been playing with the plot in your mind for years now–itching to get it down on paper? Yes, well, we all may have an idea, a great idea at that, but not everyone can translate that idea into a full length piece of highly readable fiction. And that’s what makes a bestseller. Although, I must qualify highly readable because what’s highly readable to you may not be highly readable to me. James Patterson, I just can’t get through anything he’s written, yet he’s a bestselling…
  • How to make a reader?

    m.e. welman
    11 Sep 2014 | 4:57 pm
    Give them books. Great article over at The Atlantic about how publishers gave away over 100,000,000 books during WWII. Did they go bankrupt in the process? No. They created a nation of readers. A nation of men and women who took us to the moon, invented video games and created the Space Lab. “Some of the publishers think that their business is going to be ruined,” the prominent broadcaster H. V. Kaltenborn told his audience in 1944. “But I make this prediction. America’s publishers have cooperated in an experiment that will for the first time make us a nation of book…
  • Fluency in English…

    m.e. welman
    10 Sep 2014 | 9:35 am
    both verbally and non-verbally! From a job posting I found today, thankfully not in a Writing/Editing capacity. It’s for a front desk agent at the Terranea resort. Under required qualifications we see, “Fluency in English both verbally and non-verbally.” What if the desk agent can only send out psychic messages in Esperanto? Who will know of this non-verbal, non-fluency? Or did the copywriter really mean to say fluent in English, spoken and written. This is why you hire a writer, people. This is why. The post Fluency in English… appeared first on When I should be…
  • Writers: I have a good quote for you.

    m.e. welman
    7 Sep 2014 | 10:37 am
    “Jo Nesbo” by Elena Torre – Flickr: Jo Nesbo. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons Before we get to the quote (or you can just scroll down, it’s up to you) let me state I am a big Jo Nesbo fan. I have been binge reading him all this year since I found his books at my local Barnes & Noble. See what a good visual display can do? The table at B&N was marked, “Nordic Noir” and the cover of The Redbreast (the all red one) caught my eye and the rest is history. Nesbo writes crime fiction, the not for the…
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    terribleminds: chuck wendig

  • Divergent Tastes In Books?

    22 Sep 2014 | 4:40 am
    It’s banned books week. This is not about that, not exactly, not really much at all, but just the same, I wanted to ask two questions. Two questions about your taste in books and how they relate to the taste of others. 1.) What book do you love that other people seem to hate? 2.) What book do you hate that other people seem to love? I don’t just want names and authors listed — I’d love to hear your reasons. And this isn’t meant to start a war on taste or to suggest in any way that Your Opinions Are Wrong, but rather, quite the opposite — to see how one…
  • Flash Fiction Challenge: Conclude The Tale (Part III)

    19 Sep 2014 | 6:23 am
    Last week was the second part of the continuing story challenge — this week? It’s time to bring it to a close. Go. Find a story that already has two parts written. Now, complete it with a final 500 words. Choose a story you have not yet helped to write. Post the first and second parts together with your concluding climax at your blog or other online space, and do so by next Friday, noon EST. Have fun with it. So endeth your mission!
  • David Barnett: Five Things I Learned Writing Gideon Smith And The Brass Dragon

    18 Sep 2014 | 10:45 am
    Nineteenth century London is the center of a vast British Empire, a teeming metropolis where steam-power is king and airships ply the skies, and where Queen Victoria presides over three quarters of the known world—including the east coast of America, following the failed revolution of 1775.Young Gideon Smith has seen things that no green lad of Her Majesty’s dominion should ever experience. Through a series of incredible events Gideon has become the newest Hero of the Empire. But Gideon is a man with a mission, for the dreaded Texas pirate Louis Cockayne has stolen the mechanical…
  • Beth Cato: ACME Anvils and the Long Unicorn Ride to Publication

    17 Sep 2014 | 6:47 pm
    Hey! It’s Beth Cato! Beth Cato, one of the tacolytes at the Holy Taco Church! Beth Cato, the high priestess of churromancy who will give you a recipe for stuffed churro nuggets. (Confession: my nickname at pro wrestling camp was “Stuffed Churro Nuggets.”) Beth Cato, author of brand spanking new novel The Clockwork Dagger, which, oh yeah, just got profiled at Entertainment Weekly. Here she is, to talk about the long unicorn ride to publication. When you’re a writer, it’s all about trading up to a better set of problems. You start out just wanting the time and/or…
  • Awkward Author Photo: The Contest

    17 Sep 2014 | 6:25 am
    I’m running a contest. I want you to take an author photo of yourself. You know — an author photo, the photo that is meant to go in the back of the book? Or the one that exists on the author’s website, Twitter, and other marketing materials? Author photos can be classy, great, compelling, curious, funny. But some of them can be a little bit awkward. (The hand under the chin, for instance: a classic awkward author look.) So! I thought, HA HA HA let’s do that. I’ll run a contest whereupon you take a truly awkward author photo, and then we all applaud and have a…
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    blog - The Bibi Blog

  • Look Deeply & Remember

    Bibi Tinsley
    17 Sep 2014 | 2:41 am
    Magical Nuummite. Shamanic traveling stone. Holding Ancient Earth Wisdom blog RSS See more
  • Postcards From The Mountain

    Bibi Tinsley
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:32 pm
    co-creating with the elementals In May, 2014, I asked the Sylphs to bring a message to the hummingbirds.  earth * air * fire * water * love elements andelementals crystals The Crystal Beings are conscious, and they want very much to communicate with us...Subscribe to the blog here Lithium Quartz Calcite A Lady's Friends Green Kyanite Amazonite Sylphie My Salamander Nuummite 1 Nuummite 2 Nuummite 3
  • Bird Clan Shaman's Blessing

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

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

    Bibi Tinsley
    3 Aug 2014 | 12:53 pm
    One very determined little guy! Angel got dusty!
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  • 3 Reasons For The Failure Affiliate Program

    Nurdin Budi M.
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:10 am
    Many people start a company that many affiliate programs to benefit and most likely to resign. A number of people who quit 90% during the first two months, while still 10% during the first year and the other to be successful.Below we will give five reasons why people tend to withdraw from the affiliate programs began.Why do people quit?1. Feelings of rejection from family members and friendsOnce someone has been suggested to start the affiliate program and to provide a large sum of money they are set at the outset which increases the motivation to work. Family members or friends may try…
  • 7 Factors of Make Your AdSense Account Banned

    Nurdin Budi M.
    21 Sep 2014 | 4:22 am
    Image credits: theinquirer.netAnd many people complain about their account banned Google. Despite the possibility of a good to a certain extent that their accounts banned because of something they did, perhaps because of the reason that they do not realize they are doing something wrong. Or have been arrested in an attempt to cheat the system.The following are 7 (seven) of the things that make your AdSense account banned:1. Click on your own ads If you do, or are considering doing so as a way to increase your income, cut it out. For starters, if you use the same computer that you will…
  • Fewer Ads, In Just a Few Clicks?

    Nurdin Budi M.
    18 Sep 2014 | 11:57 pm
    Image credits: www.mediabistro.comYou've probably noticed that Google-started automatically change the number of ads advertising units. If they see that the people most pressing only one advertisement, they are going to remove the others, and leave you with only one reference to earn the highest.Now that sounds like a good idea, and I'm all in favor of what he earns more. It is the second part of the process that bothers me: When I was out the other ads, one ad in Google expands to fill the remaining space that remains.Because it breaks the golden rules of successful Adsense statement…
  • How to Boost Your AdSense Earnings Calculators Adsense?

    Nurdin Budi M.
    17 Sep 2014 | 8:33 am
    How to boost your AdSense earnings calculators Adsense? How can we help to increase? Potential of your AdSense site?To simplify calculations such as the image besides, you can use some web that provides the functionality of the calculator, such as MiniWebTools.AdSense calculators are often very simple things. You perform a number of different values in a number of specific areas and the calculator does the potential benefits of your website. How you can help this process is very simple to keep your AdSense site on the right track.It does this by focusing on the three key fundamental elements…
  • You Can Create Your Own AdSense Ads?

    Nurdin Budi M.
    16 Sep 2014 | 11:34 am
    This is great news, to a certain extent. As far as what you want users to click on ads that look interesting, you cannot be trusted to pick which ads a robot - and you can choose to have ads on your page to pay for each the highest possible amount click to have.But you do not get this choice. You can find a lot of things to improve, from choosing the design of your ad unit to choose the color and font, your AdSense earnings, but the only thing you cannot do is sneak into the database and choose the Google ads. If you can do that no one can ever choose low-paying ads.This does not mean you can…
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    Writing...Just because!

  • Author Interview with Sophia Bar-Lev - Pasta, Poppy Fields & Pearls

    Anne OConnell
    11 Sep 2014 | 7:24 pm
    It gives me great pleasure today to interview another one of my new author friends who I met on D'vorah Lansky's Book Marketing Boot Camp Facebook page. What an amazing group of dynamic authors, many of whom are now on virtual book tours. Sophia Bar-Lev is the author of Pasta, Poppy Fields and Pearls and she and I are doing interview swaps today so make sure you pop by her blog and read my interview with her as well.So... Sophia, please tell us a little bit about your book and what it's about.Pasta Poppy Fields and Pearls is a 'Boomer Fiction' novel featuring four very different women from…
  • The Wrap-up Paralysis

    Anne OConnell
    7 Sep 2014 | 10:31 pm
    I’ve been trying to write the closing scene of my next novel for months. I’ve been talking about it in my writers’ group ad nausea, setting and breaking deadlines weekly and agonizing over it in my sleep. I’m a master procrastinator so I put it off by going back and doing the first edit and then the second edit for which I’m using AutoCrit for the first time. In my mind I was making progress! It wasn’t until today, while I was answering questions for an author interview that will post this weekend on a fellow indie author’s blog, that it finally hit me. One of the questions…
  • Guest Blog - Mari Barnes, Author of My Peace Place

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

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

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

  • Why building connections is crucial

    Luke Guy
    22 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    Note from Kevin: This post is written by my new friend Luke Guy of Lukeguy.com. When he’s not guest writing for sites like Smart Passive Income and ProBlogger, Luke blogs on his eponymously-named website. He’s also a Be A Better Blogger subscriber. Read on and, when you’re finished, be sure to leave Luke a comment! Connections are everything in life. It takes connections to be successful or to even get a job these days. So as a blogger you should want to achieve connections as much as possible. That process should never end. No matter how big you get, keep the connections…
  • Blog Traffic Case Study: How publishing daily increased my traffic 46% and decreased my joy 72%

    Kevin Duncan
    18 Sep 2014 | 10:15 am
    “Please, sir, I want some more.” Who can forget the immortal line from Oliver Twist when a young blogger named Oliver asks Matt Cutts of Google for more blog traffic. (I’m assuming that’s what was happening. I’ve never actually read the book.) Young Oliver’s plight is one felt by most bloggers. Whether we have a little bit or a lot, we all want more traffic. Last week, I conducted an experiment here at Be A Better Blogger. In an effort to prove there is no “one right way” to succeed as a blogger, I ditched my customary blogging schedule.
  • Know your audience

    Kevin Duncan
    11 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    “Why did you write a paper about hamburgers for your computer class,” I heard the dad ask his daughter. It was an excellent question. Back when I was a high-school teacher by day, a grad-student by night, I got to experience what it’s like to have teenage sons and daughters. By this mean I got to experience what it’s like to be dumbfounded on a daily basis. One year, I assigned a research paper for extra credit. We teachers were encouraged by school administrators to offer students ways to boost their grades, and I reluctantly agreed. The rules for the paper were…
  • The Facebook comments strategy you will either love or hate

    Kevin Duncan
    11 Sep 2014 | 4:59 am
    There are a fair number of influential bloggers out there, but only a few who make me put on my thinking cap and analyze their actions when they do something new. Brian Dean of Backlinko is one such blogger. Neil Patel is another. Darren Rowse of ProBlogger is definitely one. Derek Halpern is one, too. I’ve mentioned Derek once or twice or thrice here on the blog, but for those unfamiliar with him he’s all about using psychology to get traffic, conversions, and sales. Notice the key word in the above sentence? No, not “thrice”… Psychology. Using a…
  • What a 4-hour meeting can teach us about blogging

    Kevin Duncan
    10 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    I recently had the “pleasure” of sitting through a 4-hour meeting for my job. Thankfully, we took a 1-minute break half-way through. This was long enough for me to stand up and stretch my legs, but not long enough for me to escape from the building, run to my car, and drive home. I loathe meetings. The only upside to them is they give me time to think. Usually, I think about how much I hate meetings. Sometimes, I think about blogging. This was one of those times What can a meeting teach us about blogging? Quite a few things, it turns out. Here are five blogging-related thoughts…
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  • Overheard at Isabell's

    21 Sep 2014 | 5:19 am
    "...and she was crying on the other end of the phone, saying 'I'm so happy, I'm so happy, I'm so happy, I'm so happy......let's feel it from our solar plexus and then we can take the elevator up.......and the boy said, 'In my solar plexus, there is a burning sea of hate.' I mean...wow."And I am thinking, you cannot teach a third grader how to meditate.This chakra woman has short, black, curly hair. I think she is going to ask the man across from her for money.Her words are meant to be inspirational, but her tone is insincere.---I have never liked watercolors---The man responds only…
  • I believe I am worthy, but who am I to say?

    20 Sep 2014 | 8:21 am
    If I believed in God, I would just lay completely still in bed until I starved to deathor maybe I would watch TV all day and eat wasabi peas until I inevitably choked on one and went straight to heavenbecause I can't see a single sin in that.
  • A man named "Tails" should not own a dog kennel.

    3 Sep 2014 | 2:46 pm
    So here's the thing. I don't know. I don't have time to know right now. But the reality is that most people do not have time to know. They do not have time to sit in a cafe for four hours and think about what to write about their more-or-less trivial lives. Because nobody has time for that bullshit. It's hard to know which is more productive. Living day to day, blinded, but busy and working? Or living in your own head only thinking about the future instead of the present? I had an amusing encounter with an old man last night. He had his grey ponytail in a pink Scrunchie. He ranted…
  • Small town gossip

    28 Aug 2014 | 11:53 am
    The barista has a look of anger and annoyance that I believe is meant to cover up her embarrassment. At a local concert last week she was dancing suggestively with my friend's father, as my friend played the banjo in said concert.It was quite amusing to everyone because this particular father is much older than most parents of the people in our generation.I believe he is "pushing eighty," as they say.The barista looks about twenty-five.His son, my friend, was also mildly embarrassed by this incident.It was all the talk that evening: the relatively old man with the relatively young…
  • cafes=humanity?

    27 Aug 2014 | 2:57 pm
    A man is walking his son who, seconds before, I saw in a wheelchair.The man is walking him, holding him under the armpits, and his whole body moves right, left, right, left...The waitress asks the boy, in the tone of voice you would ask an infant, "Did you like your iced mocha?" The man answers, "yes" for the boy.I see some people in their twenties walk by the window. They are attractive and dressed like train hoppers, if you can imagine what that looks like. I know because I know one. I want to go outside and ask them, "Who are you?"I want to spend time with them.I want to…
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    Cristy Burne

  • Dreadful writing, bloodcurdling thrillers, fun and games

    11 Sep 2014 | 6:07 am
    Term 3 is nearly over! It’s time to celebrate, so come on down to the Riverton Library on Thursday 9 October to talk dreadful writing and spooky stories. We’re aiming to have loads of fun, including a bit of theatre, some games and some writing. This will be a fab morning and it’s totally recommended […]
  • Writing science: Avian AIDS, French beetles, ocean modelling and parasite genetics

    8 Sep 2014 | 6:11 am
    When I’m not writing children’s fiction, I’m writing popular science, and right now I’m thrilled to be working with SciTech as a consultant editor, collaborating with the ScienceNetwork WA news team and content editor to increase our readership and spread the word of Western Australian science. This is a mission I’m close to: to paraphrase Todd Sampson, saying you’re not interested in science […]
  • 10 things our puppy taught me about freelance writing

    29 Aug 2014 | 3:20 am
    We recently adopted a rescue puppy from Wish, and for the first time since I was a kid, I’m sharing my life with a pooch. It’s terrific. I expected the joy of seeing my kids learn to love and care for a dog. What I didn’t expect is that this floppy-eared creature could teach me so much about […]
  • 3-step CPR for your feature film script (or my over-edited novel)

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

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

  • Next?

    1 Sep 2014 | 7:01 pm
    I must admit I feel a little lost these days. I’ve been grinding through life satisfactorily so far because I’ve had tangible goals. Finish high school, finish college, get a “real” job, and so on. However, I don’t have anything now. The quest log is empty. There is little for me to aspire to and I find my motivation quickly declining. It probably doesn’t help that my current job doesn’t offer much in the way of advancement, but hey have to start somewhere (and pay the money lenders). It is rather depressing though because I am motivated when I am…
  • The Hermit

    29 Aug 2014 | 6:48 pm
    I took a week off of work this week. Finally. It went by fast, even though I didn’t go anywhere or do anything in particular. What really tickled me was the call I just got from my landlord. Apparently the neighbor called them because they haven’t seen my car move in a long time and they haven’t seen me. I must admit I had to take a little bit of offense to this, but it also made me laugh. If I ever needed confirmation of how much of a hermit I am, I think I finally have gotten it. I appreciate the solicitous nature of making sure that I was still alive though, it reminds me…
  • Beginnings

    27 Aug 2014 | 5:54 pm
    I’ve always enjoyed writing. I haven’t always done it on my own time, but it’s something I have always been drawn to do. Hell, my job involves writing and editing. I spent most of my time in college taking writing classes. So obviously something must speak to me from the written word. That’s a big reason I started this blog. You’ll notice I have a few “fiction” things posted. Things like, The Endless Times: Chapter 1 and The Interview: Part 1 for example. What I’ve found though, especially with writing fiction, is that I have a ton of…
  • The Martian by Andy Weir

    25 Aug 2014 | 8:03 pm
    Title: The Martian Author: Andy Weir Published: February 11, 2004 Publisher: Crown Publishing (Random House) Pages: 384 (Kindle Edition) Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction Well, I normally edge towards so called “literary fiction” which this book certainly is not. Guess what though. A fun read. Sure, I like navigating my way through complex “literary” types of books, the classics, modern classics, all that snooty stuff. What I’ve found out though, is those books aren’t any “better” than their less “snooty” cousins. It’s just a…
  • Overheating, Please Refrain From Use Until Cooldown

    23 Aug 2014 | 8:20 pm
    Ever have one of those days where you can’t think. I mean, you can operate your body. Move around. Perform most daily functions. However, any sort of higher level thinking is completely ineffective. That’s how I feel right now. Just a cold marsh over my brain devoid of any noise or movement. I walk through the paths of my mind and all I hear is the soft crinkle of dead leaves and branches. Where is everything? Just a dark fog covering all pathways. The only logical thing is to continue into the darkness. Don’t get me wrong, my mind is spooky. Dangerous? Probably not. At…
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    Healthcare Content Marketing Writer | Nurse Elizabeth Hanes RN

  • Inbox: Where do you come up with salable ideas?

    Elizabeth Hanes
    9 Sep 2014 | 9:00 am
    I get mail, and I sincerely appreciate that! It’s nice to know so many nurses who read RN2Writer are seriously pursuing freelancing and take my tips and advice to heart. It warms my cockles. Like the old cliche says, I’m unable to respond personally to everyone who writes (though I do get back to most […] The post Inbox: Where do you come up with salable ideas? appeared first on Healthcare Content Marketing Writer | Nurse Elizabeth Hanes RN.
  • Your Friday 5: Threats, Gigs and Your Mission – Tips for Freelance Nurse Writers

    Elizabeth Hanes
    5 Sep 2014 | 9:00 am
    Freelance nurse writers, unite! (Almost) every Friday, I share five tips to help you launch, amp up or maintain your freelance writing career. Enjoy! Tip 1 (Monday): Assess threats to your business For three weeks, we’ve been performing a SWOT analysis of ourselves (and our business). You should complete all four activities by writing your […] The post Your Friday 5: Threats, Gigs and Your Mission – Tips for Freelance Nurse Writers appeared first on Healthcare Content Marketing Writer | Nurse Elizabeth Hanes RN.
  • Free Stanford Science Writing Course plus More Training for Nurse Writers

    Elizabeth Hanes
    4 Sep 2014 | 7:36 am
    I thought I’d pass along a couple of training opportunities I recently heard about. One is totally free; the others require membership in AHCJ. SciWrite: Writing in the Sciences This free online course offered by Stanford University requires you to create a login — and that’s it! Once you register, you have access to this […] The post Free Stanford Science Writing Course plus More Training for Nurse Writers appeared first on Healthcare Content Marketing Writer | Nurse Elizabeth Hanes RN.
  • Welcome to RN2Writer!

    Elizabeth Hanes
    30 Aug 2014 | 1:13 pm
    The only blog devoted to helping nurses and other healthcare professionals forge a second career as a freelance writer. Find fulfillment, make money and help more people than you ever imagined! I’m Beth, and I’m a nurse. But I make my living as a freelance writer. In fact, I make more money — and help […] The post Welcome to RN2Writer! appeared first on Healthcare Content Marketing Writer | Nurse Elizabeth Hanes RN.
  • Your Friday 5: Can you use that image? What is a SOW? Tips for Freelance Nurse Writers

    Elizabeth Hanes
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    (Almost) every Friday, I offer five tips to help freelance nurse writers amp up their careers. Ready, set…go! Tip 1 (Monday): Where do your opportunities lie? If you’ve been following along, you know we’re in the middle of doing a SWOT (Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats) analysis of ourselves. This exercise helps you plan your continuing education activities, develop […] The post Your Friday 5: Can you use that image? What is a SOW? Tips for Freelance Nurse Writers appeared first on Healthcare Content Marketing Writer | Nurse Elizabeth Hanes RN.
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    Leave the Frigging Marshmallows

  • 3 Steps Before Starting the Novel

    11 Sep 2014 | 3:17 pm
    Back in June, I began to talk about where the idea for a novel comes from and how understanding your main character helps develop plot. I stand by this. Your novel starts with a compelling protagonist, or main character. The character doesn't need to be entirely sympathetic, but somebody who we can see humanity in, someone we can feel. And they must have a goal and a desire. (Note that I used and there—not or—I'll get there, eventually.)I am also a proponent for writing several scenes until you develop an understanding for your character. This makes…
  • "There is no literary community here."

    16 Aug 2014 | 3:52 pm
    I live in Phoenix--widely known as a cultural wasteland. But it's not. Or it doesn't have to be.When I lived in Downtown Phoenix a few years ago, the arts community was organizing in a grass roots way. There was so much need for it that the First Fridays grew into First and Third Fridays. It grew from people setting up folding tables on the sides of the streets to having to rent space and white street fair tents. The single block that had art parties on Saturday night (the Phoestival) grew into three blocks--then the vendors were banned altogether and there was a public outcry and the…
  • If you're a novelist, you have to be a little self-centered for at least a brief time.

    15 Aug 2014 | 5:30 pm
    We spend so much time being other things for other people--at our jobs, our volunteer work, with our families. But sometimes we forget that, as writers, our "other" job (our real job) is to present to the world a work of fiction that is somehow relevant, that deals with a truth that doesn't get dealt with on the surface and out in the open in everyday lifeor doesn't get the treatment it should there.To do that, to really dig around in the grime of the truth, you (the writer) need to deeply question your own. Most people don't have time or the energy for such things. Life is easier without…
  • The Blog Hop Begins

    11 Aug 2014 | 9:27 pm
    As previously posted here and on Writing without Workshops, I've enlisted a few people to start out a “blog hop”. I've never done this before, and I don't think any of the people starting it out have either, but that's not stopping us.The idea of it is to encourage writers to discuss their own work in a way that will be relevant to themselves and to readers interested in writing and the writing life. The plan is to give a lift to participating bloggers about writing, to further build the writing community, to exchange ideas about writing, and to support each other in our…
  • "What should I write about?"

    8 Aug 2014 | 11:50 am
    9 METHODS TO ASSURE YOU ALWAYS HAVE SOMETHING TO WRITE When people ask this, I think, "Seriously???" (I have the extra question marks there in my mind.)Really, though, people who tell me they are writers, or want to be writers, ask me this. It's difficult for me to imagine. Personally, I never have a shortage of things to write about—I don't have enough time.But maybe it's coming to writing from a different place. Maybe it's a place where you know you want to write because you enjoy it but you don't know what it's for. Or a place where you know that writing has value to you in…
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    The International Freelancer

  • How to Set Up A Writer Website in 3 Easy Steps

    Mridu Khullar Relph
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:32 am
    Want to build a writer website to showcase your portfolio but don't know how? Here's how in 3 easy steps. The post How to Set Up A Writer Website in 3 Easy Steps appeared first on The International Freelancer.
  • How to Believe in Yourself as a Writer

    Mridu Khullar Relph
    19 Sep 2014 | 1:21 am
    How do you believe in yourself as a writer, knowing with certainty that you really do have talent and skill, when everything in your career seems to come ricocheting back at you at full speed? Here are some ways. The post How to Believe in Yourself as a Writer appeared first on The International Freelancer.
  • 21 Small Things You Can Do Today to Find New Clients

    Mridu Khullar Relph
    15 Sep 2014 | 2:21 am
    Remember, all it takes is one marketing effort a day, no matter how big or small. Here’s my list of the 21 small things you can do today that will help you find new clients. The post 21 Small Things You Can Do Today to Find New Clients appeared first on The International Freelancer.
  • Why Good Writers Cling to Lousy Clients

    Mridu Khullar Relph
    12 Sep 2014 | 2:19 am
    Why do good writers cling to lousy clients? Here are some reasons and what to do if you’re a writer falling back on these excuses to allow a client to treat you shabbily. The post Why Good Writers Cling to Lousy Clients appeared first on The International Freelancer.
  • How to Write 1000 Words a Day, Every Day

    Mridu Khullar Relph
    8 Sep 2014 | 2:19 am
    Every single one of you reading this is either a working writer or aspiring to be one. Writers write. Writing 1000 words a day should not only be something we do without question, but something that should come easily to us. So why doesn’t it? The post How to Write 1000 Words a Day, Every Day appeared first on The International Freelancer.
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    Philip Likos-Corbett
    6 Sep 2014 | 1:23 pm
    An animated short film script I wrote for Edinburgh-based charity MECOPP who specialise in helping those from South Asian communities get the support they need from the local council. Translated into four different languages, the brief was to write the... Continue Reading → The post MECOPP appeared first on .
  • the lost art of being alone

    Philip Likos-Corbett
    27 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    Tea bag in the cup, the kettle pops. In goes the water, piping hot droplets trickling down the spout and onto the floor. You shift your toes to avoid the scalding heat, place the kettle back in position and vacantly stare into the cupboard... Continue Reading → The post the lost art of being alone appeared first on .
  • is david lynch a douche?

    Philip Likos-Corbett
    27 Jul 2014 | 2:44 am
    As we finally arrive at the eleven year, ten month anniversary of Mulholland Drive’s release at the Cannes film festival, I felt we should take some time out to discuss the controversial director who created the film. There will be no prizes... Continue Reading → The post is david lynch a douche? appeared first on .
  • the minesweeper collective

    Philip Likos-Corbett
    26 Jul 2014 | 4:53 am
    There’s a sickly sweet scent of artistic desperation that permeates the air as I examine a work of art next to a toilet door. The clinical whiff of urinal cakes does wonders to invigorate the senses and open the mind to new highs. Or lows... Continue Reading → The post the minesweeper collective appeared first on .
  • spot studio

    Philip Likos-Corbett
    25 Jul 2014 | 12:17 pm
    These guys are big, bad and heavy. They call them the commandos. Crack specialists that deal in creating beautiful webdesigns backed up by powerful, effective and progressive web applications, coding and technology. Their whole ethos... Continue Reading → The post spot studio appeared first on .
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    Email Marketing Tips

  • Stay Ahead of Industry News with AWeber’s “A History of Email Changes” Website

    Kristen Dunleavy
    15 Sep 2014 | 1:01 pm
    The first email ever sent was from programmer Ray Tomlinson to himself in 1971. Its contents? “QWERTYUIOP.” Yep, the message that changed the future of communication was a line of jibberish sent between two computers sitting next to each other on a shared network. Crazy, huh? We’ve certainly come a long way since then. Technology is constantly changing and evolving, and email is right there with it. From filters to spam to confirmed opt-in, there are a ton of things that email marketers need to stay ahead of if they want to be successful. For small businesses owners juggling…
  • Converting Facebook “Likes” Into Subscribers

    Monica Montesa
    12 Sep 2014 | 7:00 am
    If you were one of the brands that scrambled a few years ago to obtain the sacred Facebook “Like” from as many fans as possible, it’s okay. You weren’t the only one. At the time, it was the most valuable social currency around. But ask yourself this: Now that you have all of those followers on Facebook, what else are you doing to turn them into fully engaged customers? While social media is a great way to interact with customers on a personal level, you can also leverage the tool to build your email subscriber list. Chances are, there is a large percentage of people…
  • How To Put Testimonials To Work For Your Business

    Allie Naughton
    10 Sep 2014 | 7:10 am
    Consumer testimonials. You either love them or hate them. But regardless of how you feel as a business owner, they have become an integral part of our everyday decision-making. In the mood to try a new restaurant? You turn to sites like Yelp! to read reviews. Searching for a new doctor? You make an appointment with the one your friend or neighbor recommends. We rely heavily on the input of those we trust in order to make these commonplace decisions, and the decisions people make about your product or service are no different. Your potential customers want to know that the people who have used…
  • AWeber Asks: What Was Your Favorite Summer Job?

    Kristen Dunleavy
    5 Sep 2014 | 11:00 am
    With the unofficial end to summer behind us, it’s time to reflect on all the fun you had in the past few months. What’s that, you say? You were working all summer? Us too! It’s no secret that the AWeber team is full of hard workers, so many of us have a variety of summer jobs under our belts. Here’s a few of our favorite summer jobs from the past, along the with the skills they taught us that prepared us for life at AWeber. Mike F., Senior Facilities Manager Favorite summer job: Construction Worker “Construction work aided in my understanding of how buildings are…
  • Ecommerce, Mobile and Video: September 2014 Apps Roundup

    Hunter Boyle
    2 Sep 2014 | 9:00 am
    Email is a vital part of growing your business online, but it shouldn’t be your only marketing channel. To connect with more customers, you may be using a mix of mobile marketing, video and ecommerce tools already — or trying to figure out how they fit your business plan. Great news: Four more services now integrate directly with AWeber, making it even easier to build up your audience with those channels. We’ve asked our partners to briefly explain how their services can help you (and provide exclusive discounts for AWeber customers), so read on to learn more about these new…
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    Robin Writes

  • Prep Monday—Property Search, Part II

    Robin Tidwell
    22 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    Well. We set off Saturday morning with high hopes—would this be “the one?” Sadly, no. The description was perfect: gently rolling, stock pond, electric, well, ten acres in pasture. The photos were nice, but a bit perplexing. So, anyway, we drove a couple hours and finally arrived. Even the gravel road that led into the […]
  • RHP—Never Nurse a Grudge

    Robin Tidwell
    19 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    Charles M. Gearhart’s new book, Never Nurse a Grudge, is coming soon to a bookstore near you! And you absolutely have to go pick up a copy . . . Check it out here, and hop on over to RHP to order TODAY. It’s targeted to elementary readers, but totally has a lesson for all […]
  • Writer Wednesday—Back to Basics

    Robin Tidwell
    17 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    It occurs to me that many, many people are in the process of writing a book. Now, I’ve said repeatedly that not everyone should do that, and I’ll stand by those words. See, there are storytellers, and there are writers. Often, very often, people have both of those skills. Sometimes they don’t. You may have […]
  • Prep Monday—Finding the Right Property

    Robin Tidwell
    15 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    We spent Saturday on the Great Property Search. I suppose I could call this chapter one, because it might yet turn into a full-length novel . . . I do a lot of research before we even get in the truck and head out: location, size, terrain, area, neighbors and developments, aerial view, plat, etc., […]
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  • Shadufs, prodigal sons, cuckolds and other anachronisms

    Davide Mana
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:45 pm
    Language in historical and pseudo-historical stories. We talked about it back when The Great Swape/Shaduf Debate took place, and I also discussed briefly Ancient Profanities, Their Use and Abuse*. I tend to give a modicum of attention to the words I use and the way my characters speak. And I realize their speech patterns and usages are anachronistic. Nennius Britannicus’ men speak like soldiers in a Viet-Nam movie – “C’mon boss, don’t be so square!” Amunet’s speech patters vary with her mood – the more melancholy or worried or distracted she…
  • Taking a hike

    Davide Mana
    22 Sep 2014 | 3:14 am
    Owen J. Lattimore did it the old way in Turkestan. A few posts back, I mentioned watching the sky as a probably normal practice of ancient travelers. Travel in the ancient world (and not so ancient, now that I think about it) was done on foot. Walking. Even if merchandise and goods traveled on the back of camels or horses, humans normally went on foot. Walking is a way of going that’s close to the territory, it’s slow and tiresome. It’s something else. Now I was talking about health, and getting back in shape (or at least try to), a few days back, with my friend Claire, and…
  • Join the Party!

    Davide Mana
    21 Sep 2014 | 3:01 pm
    The launch party for The Hand of Isfet is about to begin. You can join the party by directing your browser to the Facebook page for the event. Loathe Facebook? Follow our weird shenanigans on Twitter by using the hashtags #handofisfet and #aculeoandamunet. Twitter revolts you and Facebook gives you the creeps? Well, leave us a line here in the comments to this post. The Hand of Isfet is the new collection of sword & sorcery stories featuring Aculeo and Amunet, the (unlikely) heroes of Bride of the Swamp God and Lair of the White Ape. Come join the party – it will be fun: we have no…
  • Singapore … or Istanbul

    Davide Mana
    20 Sep 2014 | 3:03 pm
    Very short video today – I was discussing noir with my friend Lucy a few hours back. One thing led to another and we checked the program of the Noir City Portland event that’s taking place in this weekend. Yes, we sighed a lot, and lamented the fact that we live at the borders of the empire and all that. BUT! On the festival website I saw the poster for this 1947 exotic film noir. Singapore. Featuring gorgeous Ava Gardner. Now I’ll have to track down a copy – and maybe start talking about old noirs here on Karavansara. But for the time being… enjoy! But wait! The…
  • Karavansara on Pinteres

    Davide Mana
    20 Sep 2014 | 4:46 am
    I seldom post a reminder for the Karavansara pinboard on Pinterest. Just in case, here it is…
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    No Categories

  • Oh Life Bites the Dust

    Dylan Kinnett
    21 Sep 2014 | 7:59 pm
    Yet another cloud-based writing app has evaporated, with the imminent death of Oh Life. Oh Life had an interesting premise, as a journaling app that was as easy to use as E-mail. You could set the app to send reminder messages. Then, all you had to do was to send an e-mail to a special address, and your journal entry would be recorded, even with photos attached. Pretty neat? Maybe so. But it failed, probably because people still don’t trust their innermost private thoughts to an Internet company, or maybe it was because it would be just as simple to send an e-mail to yourself? My own…
  • Litblog Roundup, September 2014, Week 3

    Dylan Kinnett
    21 Sep 2014 | 3:33 pm
    Back to School Today being the first day of autumn, I’d like to start this litblog roundup with an instructional video for the incoming class at the New School MFA in Writing program. In it, current and recent graduates welcome the incoming class. They give advice like “go to readings” and “get involved.” They describe what they’ve learned from the program. Formatting Poetry in E-Books E-books haven’t always been able to present poetry on the screen, in a way that remains faithful to the page, but on Monday the New York Times said “Publishers…
  • Litblog Roundup

    Dylan Kinnett
    14 Sep 2014 | 1:51 pm
    For years, I’ve been an avid reader of literary blogs (“litblogs”). I guess you could say I “collect” them. Starting with bookmarks, then moving on through a series of RSS feed readers, I’ve collected a list of hundreds, perhaps even a thousand different litblogs: popular blogs, obscure ones, blogs that update daily, or almost never and I read through them whenever I get the chance. I rarely comment on any of what I read, though. Maybe I should start, but how? For starters, let’s try a round-up. Here are some recent posts that I found interesting. 8…
  • 5 Myths About the New Era of Publishing

    Dylan Kinnett
    7 Sep 2014 | 1:16 pm
    When I read and talk about digital publishing, about how innovation and technology can grow and change the business of literature to the benefit of writers and publishers alike, I hear the same few convictions over and over again… And I’m beginning to think they might all be dead wrong.
  • Coming Soon to Videocassette

    Dylan Kinnett
    7 Sep 2014 | 8:10 am
    A spoken word performance with a playful B-movie riff. Performed live at the Pilot Light in Knoxville, Tennessee, during the Hungry Otter Festival, August, 20, 2014.
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